Registration for the Plug in SEO Beta trial started on Monday. Not too many bugs later we're inviting you, our blog readers, in too. We like to think we've built a different kind of SEO tool: one that allows you discover keywords, unearth insights using keyword groups (more on that in our next instalment) and then do something about it.
Real keyword searches that drive traffic to your site arrive in Plug in SEO Keyword Suggestions fed from our real-time Analytics tracking.
Unearth insights using a keyword groups hierarchy
My Keywords is the heart of Plug in SEO. Here you can easily build a keyword hierarchy containing hundreds (or even thousands if you like) of keywords from Keyword Suggestions or entered by you.
Within My Keywords learn what are your best, worst and flat performing individual keywords and, more insightfully, keyword groups. Check individual and aggregate organic rank, visits and conversions to discern where to focus your SEO efforts.
Do something about it
Once you've determined the keywords and keyword groups to target, Business Blog with Link Suggestions enables you to create internal links in your blog post with a single click. When one of your My Keywords is found in the blog text, Link Suggestions will highlight it along with the relevant URL. One click and the keyword anchor text becomes a link. Simple.
We're just getting started
This is our initial beta but already we've built something a bit special that we hope you'll find useful in improving your search engine optimization.
To get instant access to Keyword Suggestions, My Keywords and Business Blog with Link Suggestions, not to mention real-time Analytics, Twitter monitor, Descriptive URIs, Dashboard, an extensive API plus software updates every week simply create an account for the inaugural Plug in SEO Beta.
We'd appreciate your good and bad feedback which you can easily give us using the feedback tab on every page. Subscribe to the Plug in SEO Blog to catch our upcoming post "Be Surprised with Keyword Groups".
Cross-platform desktop SERP position tracking and reporting
- Windows, Mac and Linux
- From $99 to $599/year
- Desktop and server editions
- History, analysis and reporting
|Functionality||4/5||ably performs position tracking and reporting with a regularly updated database|
|Interface||4/5||logically organised with several time-saving features|
|Value||4/5||good value and scalable for search engine marketing agencies, but you buy your infrastructure|
|Support||5/5||very detailed and extensive documentation, active forum and email support|
While the debate rages on about the wisdom of solely focussing on search engine results page (SERP) positions there is no doubt that some form of tracking is part of a competent SEO toolkit. The difficulty is that Google openly frowns on applications that automate the process by scraping SERPs.
In spite of this there are many options both web and desktop based for performing the task. Advanced Web Ranking is of the desktop breed and has exploited many of the benefits brought by binaries.
Organic Rank Tracking
Advanced Web Ranking allows you to have multiple projects containing the websites and keywords being monitored. You can import your keywords, add them manually and get suggestions from Google Suggest and WordTracker. Strangely it doesn't offer the ability to get known keywords for a site from the search engines API- a feature available in both Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing APIs.
Regional versions of Google along with niche search engine definitions are included- an essential for targeting non-US audiences but absent from many online tools.
A Note on Scraping
Search engines frown on and sometimes openly outlaw the use of results scrapers such as Advanced Web Ranking. Google has specifically named Web Position Gold as a package it doesn't approve of. This puts search engine marketers in a difficult position as tracking the position manually, especially of long tail keywords, is impractical and their APIs frequently don't mirror their web results.
Advanced Web Ranking declares itself as 'search engine friendly' in spite of scraping web results. It does this by limiting the request rate and emulating normal human browsing behaviour (both configurable). This reduces the load on search engines and is difficult to block but does still violate terms of service. That said, their behaviour is being tolerated.
Analysis & Reporting
Neatly tucked in its tabs are different ways to slice and dice the collected data. This enables great flexibility to suit the targets of your SEO efforts without resorting to a spreadsheet in most cases.
Reports can be emailed, exported to PDF or several data formats. For search marketing agencies generation and email can be automated- a smart productivity addition.
Desktop-based versus Web-based
Advanced Web Ranking is one of the best-of-breed desktop SERP tracking applications, leveraging the advantages of running locally as opposed to on the web.
There are no restrictions on the number of URLs you can track (think competitor monitoring), unbounded keywords (very long tail) and engines to watch. This can't be said of any web-based tracker on the market. The reporting and analysis functions are more responsive and flexible.
But, you have to pay for and maintain the hardware and bandwidth. Plus it's a pony that can do some good tricks in the keyword monitoring stable, but it doesn't integrate with paid search channels and other components to maximise the value of the data.
When choosing a tool to track keyword positions on search engines the real choice is between a desktop or web application. If you opt for the desktop, then Advanced Web Ranking is a well supported, long established, powerful tool that's also reasonably priced. I haven't found a better, well rounded package.