Today, I’m going to be talking about SISTRIX. I’m a certified trainer for their software and one of the cool things about the job, working on a platform like this for such a long time is I get to learn all of the really cool hints and tips and bits in there that you wouldn’t otherwise see. That’s going to be the main focus on this – on one of those features. Lists.

Below is a video walkthrough – if you want more in-depth reading on the topic, SISTRIX’s own website has you covered.

Transcript below

It’s not going to be a full walkthrough or training session, not like the ones I would give for Sistrix but, I’m going to look at their lists and really dig into how that can be incredibly useful in certain scenarios. It’s something that people often overlook.

To give you a bit of an idea what’s SISTRIX is,  SISTRIX is software that specialises in search visibility, and establishing how visible websites are in search engines. It does a lot of other things and I can describe it in many ways, but essentially they have, for a number of different territories all over the globe, years of reliable, robust data around what keywords websites have been visible for for that duration.

For some countries you get 10+ years of data which is quite a big deal if you work in this space. The various applications, from day to day management of client accounts, running your own marketing efforts or something that I’ve been using increasingly more and more over the last year or so is actually in a sales scenario.

How do you create a strategy for someone quickly based on not an awful lot of information? Usually SISTRIX is where I go for this.

I’m not going to run into the rest at all here. There’s there’s loads of resources on their website is the best place to start if you want to dig into that. For now, let’s gets stuck into lists.

Finding Lists in the SISTRIX Toolbox

Lists are one of the (almost) hidden features within the toolbox. I think partially the name doesn’t sound really that interesting and may do them a disservice, but bear with me!

There’s some good stuff in here. Lists are on the top, right. Mouse over produces a dropdown. We’ll click into it and we’ll go into our list view. Now, as you’ll see, I’ve got a number of lists already. There are many ways of creating lists and there are a couple of different types of lists that you can create.

Now, I’m not going to go into all of them because I don’t have time. But what I am going to show you is how to set one up really quickly and then show once you’ve got that data, what you actually do with it.

I think there’s some really interesting things in there.

Creating a New List

So first thing you notice when you go via this way and create a new list, you get to choose the type of list. Now for this, we’re sticking to “keyword”, but looking at the other options, you can check for a domain level host name, file path, and even Instagram (you can kind of create lists of influencers and bits using a couple of their beta functionality, which is very cool).

To create lists pretty simple, click new, select “keyword”, name it and what it’s going to do is just kind of create that sort of starter point on the list for you.

There’s nothing on this list currently, so the main thing SISTRIX is doing is prompting me to add keywords. The other thing it’s prompting me to do, which is “start analysis” that I will come to later. So adding the keyword simple as clicking, add keyword, keyword, click add. You can copy & paste lists directly in here (or you can build the list from the other modules in the toolbox).

Once the list data loads, it displays the average monthly search volume and other key stats about it from the data the toolbox has. Just remember that’s an average monthly search volume. It is spread across the year, so if this was for “Christmas trees”, for example, anywhere in April, the volume that it would say you get per month does not reflect what you would get in April. It’s just average, which makes it far better for some functions later on.

Note, it still contains the seasonal search trends, you will still see a massive surge in searches for “Christmas trees” at Christmas.

But I digress. Let’s leave that for now. One of the things you’ll note, and it’s something that I skipped when I created this list, you can actually set the country the keyword is pulling the data from. I work out the UK index mostly cause that’s where the vast majority of my work is. But you can choose from whichever of SISTRIX’s indexes are available.

Some of these indexes are more mature than others, but SISTRIX only launches them when they’re usable and they’ve got enough data in there. So go and dig into that when you can.

So you have the keywords in a list, and it confers some of the benefits from any list – but list also fails to do justice with what else you can do with this information.

This is what happens when things start to get interesting. Click the “Start analysis” button and it pulls in search results to start giving us more data. Now I’m going to drop out and go into different lists because we’re not going to get any data out of the one.

We can see that this list has quite a bit more data in it. We’ve got circa 3,000 terms in this, so a bit more useful. Now, the last time I fetched this list view for this was back in April, but for the purpose of this, that’s fresh enough.

If you want an update and you want SISTRIX to go and collect the latest data quick update. So it pulls back the most recent data that they have.

Right. First thing, the menu on the left is where the core functions and features are here and it can be incredibly useful.

Competitors Report

So for the Competitors report, this is now going to show me all of the competition that appeared in that space, which is incredibly useful.

When you go in via the SEO Toolbox in SISTRIX or SEMrush, or Ahrefs or any other kind of visibility tool, they will tell you your competition for the keywords that they see you for currently.

So you would input your domain or the domain you want to focus on. Then it would pull back the competition from what they see in Google, which is great. But if you are a website that doesn’t have a lot of visibility or you want to break into a new market it doesn’t give you a good idea of who your competitors actually will be and will be far less useful.

For this report, what it is telling me is that there’s 122 competitors across those 3,000 terms. What it has then done is ranked them by search market share.

Then you can see here, the really important information on how many of those keywords are ranking within the top 100, and then actually what are the traffic driving ones within the top 10? So as you can see really, really quickly for this particular set of key terms, you can see where, which of the websites that I really need to look at.

With every report that SITRIX has you see these tables always have a cog that lets you download them. So you can pull the data down to CSV or this particular view. If you really want, you can create a shareable link that just, you can send the URL to someone and they can look at it within SISTRIX without a login. All of that stuff’s really quite useful.

At this point, I must stress that to get the most out of the lists function is to use many different lists to kind of look at a particular niche or a vertical that you want to target.

Different types of keywords we’ll have different competitors. If you were looking at an eCommerce space and you were looking at the “buy” key terms, there are terms that people were using to shop, your competitors would look very different to those if you’re “do” questions, and even informational searches.

Look at both because if you’re working any kind of search strategy properly, your competition shouldn’t just be that point of buying. You really want to map the whole process of the customer’s journey and work out “Who are my competitors along the way?” because fundamentally that’ll make your strategy far more effective.

SERP Features Report

Next SERP features, which is really quite interesting in what this will then enable us to do is well for those keywords. What are the elements that we see within Google for these search terms? This isn’t just for organic listings, this includes all of the other features and you can really learn quite a lot from this.

Now looking at this sample dataset, this is relatively, uninteresting interesting or dare I say unhelpful. But even that in itself can be telling. The most common feature, that we’ve seen on these search results pages is Google ads. Of this keyword set can only really see featured snippers where people are paying to advertise on. That does suggest some commercially interesting key terms, so that’s useful to know. 

Of the other featured snippets this will report on, we can also see Knowledge boxes, images, answers, Google shopping amongst many others. This can help us answer “What does Google think the user wants from these keywords?”

If we were looking at this set and we’re just looking at an organic campaign, but we find that virtually all of the SERPs have Google shopping, I want to make Paid shopping part of my mix in terms of a marketing approach.

So this high level information is really useful to formulate your marketing strategy. Now what the really impressive part of that, where this comes into it is going into a pitching scenario. Trying to build a strategy for someone and you’ve not worked with them before (or not had a large amount of time to spend with the data), is hard. But with this you pick well-targeted keyword lists around the website that you want to rank better and look at the search features. You can quickly understand what is the intent around the search and where you have opportunities to be visible – whatever the strategy.

This works well with the C level or executives, I generally find they’re impressed that you are able to provide a search-market in a few seconds. You’re actually you’re teaching them something about their space that they might not already know in your first meeting.

Questions Report

Now, the final point is a quick run through is the questions feature. This is something that can be especially useful as Google is starting to understand the questions people ask around the subject and they give you those in people also ask boxes. What SISTRIX will do when it goes to look for that list of keywords and that scrape data. When you click this button up here, it will actually return the questions that Google is showing us through the list.

What I like about is how quick it is, there are tools that can go and do this at a more comprehensive level. SISTRIX has tricks has some of those functions in other parts of the toolbox, but going out looking at 3,000 keywords, pulling in all of the questions de-duplicating them and pulling them into a dashboard is very useful.

The questions you’re returned is all of the ones that Google sees linked to that list that we want to look at. So if you need to push the back through keyword research process to get the search volume, or group some these together that start forming content strategy. You can use this information to enrich the content on our website with the kinds of questions that people are asking to make their experiences.

If you’re anything like me and you work with content teams in the past, people often struggle to actually put the volume of content on the page. So take the keywords that they’re writing around, run it through this tool and give them a list of questions back that people are searching for.

So that is the very quick run through of my favourite functions the and features of SISTRIX’s list report.

List Content into the Content Assistant

One list thing – you can also used lists to into SISTRIX’s content assistant feature – which is really handy if you want to create content briefs that include the keywords and questions that will produce a piece of really strong optimised content. The content assistant can even then check the level of duplication or potential plagiarism and the reading age/difficult of the document.

Any Questions?

I work with SISTRIX quite heavily and spent a lot of time within the Toolbox and am more than happy to answer any other questions you might have on this. My DMs are open or drop me a message via my website.  Go out experiment, let me know how you get on. Hopefully, I’ll see you again soon – thank you.

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Chris is interested by all things interesting and will write about almost anything (interest not required - but it helps!). Head of Marketing Innovation at Footprint Digital by day and father of two by night.