Spoiler: Cora is both an Excel nightmare and probably the best on-page SEO software on the market.
I don't want this review to be another boring and generic list of Cora's features without any real value.
What I'm going to do instead is use Cora to rank this page for "Cora SEO review".
I'll document every (well, not every, but most) step along the way.
What better way to evaluate an on-page SEO tool like Cora than to use it to optimize and rank for the review's target keyword on Google?
- Setting Up the Cora SEO Software Toolbox
- Creating Cora SEO Reports
- Identifying the Top SEO Factors to Optimize for Using Cora
- Ranking for "Cora SEO Review"
- Cora SEO Software Customer Reviews: What Do White Hat & Black Hat SEOs Think of Cora?
- Cora SEO Review: Summary & Verdict
- Cora SEO Tool Case Study Results
Setting Up the Cora SEO Software Toolbox
Cora is available for both Mac and Windows.
I won't explain how you:
The two most important settings before you create an SEO report are:
You need this in order for the Cora software to be able to extract named entities.
Named Entity Recognition (NER) won't work without it!
Your LSI report settings should look somewhat like the above.
Creating Cora SEO Reports
The first step, of course, is to create the Cora reports.
If you're new to Cora, Ted Kubaitis, the man behind Cora, will help you set it up and offers 1 hour of free consulting to new customers.
Take him up on it!
But the basic process is:
- Set your preferred "Deficit Strategy" (I normally use "Maximum")
- Set target language and location
- Enter target keyword
- Click "Search"
- Select your site in the search results under the "Track" column
- Click "Get Data"
- Wait for the report...
Identifying the Top SEO Factors to Optimize for Using Cora
There are two different ways to find the strongest on-page SEO factors to focus on when analyzing Cora's SEO reports:
1. Top SEO Factors .com
Visit topseofactors.com and take note of the on-page SEO factors with the strongest negative coefficients.
2. Cora Reports
The "Overview" tab in the Excel spreadsheets that Cora generates contains SERP-specific correlating on-page SEO factors, while the "Shared Data" tab contains global factors based on data from all Cora users.
Ranking for "Cora SEO Review"
I'm now going to publish this incomplete article, analyze it with Cora, and then walk you through the process.
Here we go:
Step 1: Identify Deficits & Opportunities
Let's look at the competition and identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as ours:
NOTE: Click on the images to view them in full size.
The Cora SEO Roadmap provides a great overview of your deficits (well, not necessarily yours, but those of your pages).
I don't usually follow it, but use it to get a better idea of how "far off" a page is and how much work it probably needs.
Before I tune for specific SEO factors, I usually look at the Cora SEO Shared Data tab to identify factors that I'm missing entirely that positively correlate (that is, have a NEGATIVE correlation coefficient) with high ranking positions.
Turning zeros into ones is often better than doubling down on a particular ranking factor (at least as long as there are any).
The Cora SEO Overview tab provides an overview of the strongest correlating SEO factors based on the top 100 results for your target keyword according to statistical analysis of the data.
This is where you find and fix specific deficits in your on-page SEO that are likely to positively affect your organic rankings on Google.
The Cora SEO Keywords tab provides an overview of your keyword density compared to the top 100 search results.
If you're tuning for keyword density, you'll want to look at this.
Step 2: Eliminate Deficits & Capitalize on Opportunities
I've identified the following deficits and opportunities:
- Entities in headings: I don't have enough related entities in my headings. I'll pick relevant ones from the Cora SEO Entities tab and add them.
- Exact matches in headings: I should put more exact match keywords in my headings. I'll add one or two.
- Missing keyword variations: I'm missing several unique keyword variations on my page. For "review" keywords, this includes entire sentences from other reviewers. I'll just quote these unique keyword variations (more like entire relevant sentences) in an appropriate subheading section to optimize for them!
- Low word count ranks: I was going to go for "full topical coverage", but it looks like several pages with barely 1,000 words rank in the top 10. So I'll go for low word count and high variation and entity density instead and see if I can break through to page 1! If I can't, I can still pivot and add supporting content later.
Let's start with the Cora User Reviews section to get more unique keyword variations on this page as well as some entities in the H2:
Cora SEO Software Customer Reviews: What Do White Hat & Black Hat SEOs Think of Cora?
If you're reading this because you've been mentioned below, I'd like to apologize for my poor sense of humor and hope that the nofollow link will make up for it (haha)
"Cora SEO tool is a comprehensive tool that analyzes SEO factors to help websites gain organic traffic and ranking for particular keywords."...says Eric Lancheres, grabbing relevant traffic to convert for his own tool.
"Simply the best seo analysis software in fact I would actually say the best seo software around and available for both Mac and PC, Cora will give you the answers to help you rank #1."...says Derek Booth, keyword stuffing like it wouldn't be obvious.
"[…] innovative and data-driven SEO Software"...says Ted Kubaitis in an SEOToolLab press release about his own software.
"It is an advanced tool but it can be used by average SEO people it is just some of the info at times is a bit daunting."...says Derek Booth in the MOZ community forums, contradicting himself in the same sentence.
"The tool finds out what works for a search term, compares that to what you’re doing on your website, and shows you the difference."...says John Lincoln in his so-called review of Cora, which is just a general description of the analytical SEO software.
"It's absolutely worth it."...says one of the possible answers to a Reddit poll about Cora.
"Cora SEO includes more than 500 ranking factors that you can optimize for."...says Craig Campbell in an obviously outdated Cora review. (it analyzes FAR MORE factors)
"The basic Cora SEO package is priced at $250 per month."...says Rebecca Adams, repeating what's written on the Cora software product page.
"The software runs through the top 100 results for your keyword and correlates 550+ factors."...says Ryan Hough, promoting his DFY Cora report service on Legiit.
"Cora SEO is a technical piece of software that provides real time information on search engine optimisation."...says an anonymous website trying to rank for "Cora SEO Software" with an exact match domain.
Cora SEO Review: Summary & Verdict
Cora is an excellent on-page SEO tool for advanced SEOs.
It provides all the data an SEO expert could ever wish for.
The only drawbacks are that it's a desktop software, doesn't come with report scheduling, and that it's complex.
But it's well worth the steep learning curve.
The main difference between Cora and SEO tools like SurferSEO or PageOptimizer Pro (POP) is that the Cora SEO tool will make you a better and smarter SEO instead of a dumber SEO.
Remember: Cora is only as good as the SEO who uses it!
Cora SEO Tool Case Study Results
Below, I'll be sharing the results of this little Cora SEO case study on a regular basis, as well as providing updated reports.
- Click Here to View the 2nd Cora SEO Report > (right after I finished writing the section between the last report and this one)
Update #1 (24 Hours Later)
The page was indexed at #14 within 2 hours of being published.
21 hours later, it has moved to position #12 for its target keyword.
I added product review schema, but haven't tweaked it with Cora beyond the initial "best guess" state (although I have built one tier 1 backlink).
The main thing it has going for it is still just a high keyword variation density combined with a low word count.
Update #2 (8 Days Later)
The page starts to creep up from the bottom of page 1 in Google's SERPs for our target keyword.
I still haven't tuned the page beyond its initial state and think I'll just let it sit for a while.
That's because, according to a Cora SEO Volatility report, it's currently being tested upwards from its current base position #10.
This means that it is likely to move up several positions if we do the hardest thing in SEO: just wait.
Update #3 (9 Days Later)
Just 24 hours after my last update, this page ranks between #5 and #7 on Google for its target keyword.
We're now by far the lowest DR domain ranking on page 1:
The hard part is going to be breaking into the top two positions.
And these Cora case study updates aren't doing my keyword variation density any good!
I'm going to leave this page alone for a few weeks and then finally work through a full Cora SEO report.