For the past two months, I’ve been working with a relatively new company that’s been trying to build SEO organically. I’ve been writing articles and submitting to directories, creating competitive backlinks and commenting on the occasional product-related blog. After a month, we were starting to see increased traffic to the site, but beyond typing in every keyword I’d been targeting, I didn’t really have a good way to see which pages were bringing in more of a traffic and which needed more work.
I started using the trial for Advanced Web Ranking, a website ranking software, about a month ago to see if it would help. It’s a program that allows you to track the position of your website for certain search keywords, on several different search engines. Within a week I loved it and my boss loved it. I created different projects – one with all of the brands on our site, one with all of the keyword phrases I’d been working with, one with some keywords we especially wanted to target – and I started checking a couple of times per week. I would run it on the day when the company’s marketing director had to go to KPI meetings so that he could show the owners of the company the progress we were making. I could also make different reports for the SEO consultants the company was working with. I learned that I could generate the reports in any format my employers wanted, with whatever information they needed (and excluding anything we didn’t need.) I could even create graphs of the progress the keywords were making for presentations.
Another feature I loved was that I could right-click on any term and choose an option that would show me exactly where our keyword was in the search pages, and exactly which page it was indexing. I could show my boss where we were with one click. The program creates list of our top sites so that we can see what’s working. We can tell how well we’re doing for each search engine. We can see which keywords have dropped, which have risen, which have started appearing that haven’t in other searches.We really realized how valuable the program was when it helped us catch a bug in the system. One day, when the marketing director was showing our progress to the company owners, they checked to see the ranking in the search engine and we were nowhere to be found. The website’s traffic had been lower that day, but no one had been able to figure out why, so after seeing what was going on, I started running another update. All of the keywords that had been finding us in the first few pages of searches the day before were suddenly coming up with the big red x’s that meant they’d completely fallen out of the rankings. We started trying to figure out why (at first we were convinced that Google just decided to hate us, which would be a very scary thing indeed) and found out that something had made the website’s product pages start indexing as secure pages. Since Google had just reindexed, it had stopped finding us where we had been in the rankings. After we fixed the problem, we ran another update, and after a day or two (after Google reindexed us again, we assume) we were back up to where we had been before. The same thing actually happened a couple of weeks later – a quick update of one of our projects helped us to see that our low traffic was because of a search engine problem, and once we checked one of the words that had been ranked and wasn’t anymore, we were able to tell that the same problem had occurred and were able to work to create a more permanent solution. Without this quick way to check our rankings, it may have taken a couple of hours to figure out where the problem was coming from, and it would have taken much longer to get the problem fixed and to get traffic coming back to our website.
This is a great program – it seems like every time my boss asks me if I can do something else with it I start out by telling him it’s going to be a big pain, and then after I look around for a minute or two I find that the feature is built into the software. (Yes, I can list which pages are being indexed for those keywords. Yes, I can create a report where we show the difference between now and a month ago. Yes, I can absolutely arrange things by keyword or search engine or rank.) Not only has it been a great way for us to track our progress, but it’s been a great way for us to find problems that are preventing potential customers from finding the website. I love it because it makes it easier for me to prove that what I’m doing is working, and I can see where I need to focus my efforts to grow in other places. The 30-day trial lets you try any level of the software, which means you can make an informed decision about which level has the things you need for your company. I’d recommend the free trial to anyone, especially because they don’t rope you into paying for it if you don’t cancel it before the 30 days are up.