John Lincoln

Complete CognitiveSEO Review – Should You Use It?

“The only SEO tool you’ll ever need.”

That’s what the folks at cognitiveSEO say about their tool. But is it true?

It depends.

In this review, I’ll cover the cognitiveSEO features and benefits. I’ll also explain its pros and cons as identified by current users.

Complete CognitiveSEO Review The reality is that cognitiveSEO offers quite a bit for the money. But if you’ve got some cash to throw around, you should probably opt for a more robust solution.

Site Audit

First and foremost, cognitiveSEO is a site audit tool. What does that mean? It means it will crawl all over your site and find SEO issues. Then, it will produce a report with actionable insights so you can make improvements. Here are the kinds of SEO issues that cognitiveSEO will identify:
  • Broken links
  • Duplicate content
  • Sluggish response time
  • Incorrect canonical tags
  • Architecture issues
  • International SEO issues
  • Problems with image attributes
  • Malware threats
  • Unsecured content
  • Sitemap problems
  • Anchor text issues
Once it’s identified the SEO challenges you face, it’s up to you to put a plan in place to tackle each of them. It’s important that you do so if you want to achieve the highest rank possible. Additionally, cognitiveSEO will correlate your site performance with Google’s algorithm updates. That way, you’ll see how a recent change in a search algorithm might have affected your rank. The site audit feature also includes a targeted keyword analysis. It lets you know which keywords and phrases you need to use so that your site can maintain a top rank in the SERPs. That kind of site audit, by the way, goes well beyond what you’ll see with many other auditing tools, such as Screaming Frog. Plenty of other apps will evaluate your site from a technical standpoint, but won’t give you any info regarding keywords. Cognitive SEO Review: Site audit

Cognitive SEO Review: Backlink Analysis

Backlinks are one of the top three ranking factors. They’re an important part of getting your web pages pushed to the top of the search results. Use the cognitiveSEO backlink analysis tool to learn where you’re earning your backlinks. Then, double-down on the kind of content that gets you the highest quality links. It also shows how many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to your pages. Even better: you don’t have to limit the backlink analysis to your own site. You can run a backlink analysis on a competitor’s site as well. What can you do with that kind of info? Find out where your competitors are getting their backlinks and you’re not. Then, you can reach out to the webmasters of those sites and ask for an opportunity to guest-post. Also, cognitiveSEO identifies unnatural links in your backlink profile. That’s important because spammy links don’t do anything to help you rank. In some cases, they might even hurt your rank. The tool also includes a one-click solution to create a disavow file. That tells Google that you don’t want to have anything to do with linkspam. Finally, cognitiveSEO will also alert you via email to new and lost links. CognitiveSEO Review: Backlink analysis

Rank Tracker

When you’re trying to achieve a great rank, you need to know if you’re succeeding. That’s why cognitiveSEO offers a rank tracker. For starters, you get desktop and mobile rankings. Use that info to see if you need improvement on one side or the other. Additionally, cognitiveSEO will track your keywords for all locations and languages. That’s helpful if you’re doing international SEO. Of course, when you track keywords by locations, you’re not necessarily working in an international environment. You might be using Local SEO to reach people in a specific community. No worries. The tool will also show you how well you’re website is doing in local search. If you’re only interested in seeing results for one search engine (Bing, Google, or Yahoo), you can filter your results. Additionally, cognitiveSEO includes a Keyword Tool and Content Assistant Tool that will help you optimize your blog posts and boost your rankings in short order. You can also use the Rank Tracker to keep tabs on competitors. If you find that their content is rising in the SERPs, investigate further to find out why. Then, imitate their strategies. The tool will even show you which keywords your competitors are ranking for. There’s no reason why you can’t optimize your content for those same keywords to give your site a competitive advantage. Also, cognitiveSEO enables you to track keywords daily, weekly, or monthly so that you receive a report when there’s a change in rank. CognitiveSEO Review: Rank tracking

CognitiveSEO Review: Content Visibility

How would you like to know what kind of content works in your niche? Fortunately, cognitiveSEO can answer that question. The tool does that by (surprise!) evaluating what your competitors are doing. Then, it uses an algorithm to identify their most successful strategies. Once again, you can use that info to go and do likewise. Additionally, cognitiveSEO analyzes your own content as well. It highlights the strategies that are working for you so you can double-down on them. The tool will even compare your site’s strengths and weaknesses against a competing site so you can see where you stack up and where you should focus your improvement efforts. CognitiveSEO Review: Content visibility


Any digital marketing tool is only as good as its reporting. Fortunately, cognitiveSEO offers a comprehensive, customizable reporting solution. For starters, the tool allows you to schedule reports to be sent automatically to your clients. You can send the reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. And that’s one less thing that you have to worry about doing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Additionally, cognitiveSEO plays nicely with Google Analytics. So it can produce reports that show all your key performance indicators (KPIs) in one place. Are you looking for custom reports instead of the usual boiler plate options? If so, then, you’re in luck as the tool allows you to adapt your reporting to your own digital marketing needs. Even better: it’s easy to create custom reports. That’s because cognitiveSEO allows you to build reports with a user-friendly, widget-driven UI. Finally, the tool also produces white label marketing reports so you can add your own branding before providing them to clients.

CognitiveSEO Review: API

Are you interested in developing a custom digital marketing solution? Good news: cognitiveSEO offers an API. Use it to run in-depth link audits, track keyword rankings, identify your most shared content, discover new and lost links, recrawl all the lost links on your site, and more. As is the case with countless other APIs, the data is returned in JSON format. That makes it easy to parse with server-side or client-side code. CognitiveSEO Review: API


The cognitiveSEO tool offers two levels of pricing: Starter and Business. The Starter plan gives you three campaigns, allows you to crawl up to 50,000 pages on your site, and tracks rank for as many as 1,500 keywords. It will cost you $129.99 per month. The Business plan is customized. There’s no pricing for it on the website. If you want to know how much the Business Plan costs, you’ll have to contact the company and make arrangements for a solution that’s suited to your needs.

CognitiveSEO Review: Pros & Cons

People who are cognitiveSEO users chat online about the tool. Here’s what they have to say. First, the good:
  • Comprehensive, all-in-one SEO tool
  • Good set of metrics
  • Great for detecting negative SEO attacks
  • Discovers on-site SEO problems
  • Fabulous for competitive analysis
  • Company offers one-on-one training sessions
Now, the bad:
  • Learning curve is a bit steep
  • UI looks a little antiquated
  • Long load time when adding competitors
  • Limited in competitor analysis without the more expensive plan

CognitiveSEO Review: The Verdict

There’s no doubt about it: cognitiveSEO is a good tool. However, it’s not the “Rolls Royce” of comprehensive digital marketing solutions. If that’s what you’re looking for, and you have the money to pay for it, consider going with Ahrefs. That said, if you’re running a cash-strapped startup and need a quality digital marketing tool, cognitiveSEO should absolutely make your short list. As with many other tools in this space, you can get started with it for free to make sure it’s what you’re looking for.

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About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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