Tracking Your Rankings In The SERPS Has Never Been Easier
One key component to any good internet marketer’s or SEO professional’s arsenal is a piece of solid rank tracking software. On popular forums it seems to be a question that pops up at least once a week. “What do you use to track your rankings in the SERPs?” There are free tools out there. A lot of people like the free or paid version of Rank Tracker, part of The SEO Powersuite. There is another alternative out there that does not get mentioned as often, except among the elite, and it really should. It is called Advanced Web Ranking, created by Caphyon, Ltd. It is one of the best pieces of SEO software available.
Advanced Web Ranking comes with a 30-day trial and three different versions when you are ready to purchase. Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. The Standard version is going to be sufficient for most internet marketers.
For an SEO professional, you will want to spend the extra $100 to get the upgraded Professional version. The professional version gives you the ability to create printable reports, send them by email, or even FTP them to a server of your choice for browsing online. I particularly like this last option. I have given many of my clients their own directory on my server. I have Advanced Web Ranking scheduled to run once a week to update their rankings and upload them to the server. This way, my clients can view their rankings whenever they choose.
The Professional version also has options for ‘local search’. This allows you to query the Google Maps and Yahoo Local search engines using a search that is limited to a city or region. This is a great feature for anyone doing any offline marketing in their area.
The Enterprise version has a keyword research tool, user profiles, and a proxy per project option. The keyword research tool simply interfaces with Google’s Keyword Tool or Wordtracker (if you are already a paying member). I haven’t used this feature, as I have my keyword research done elsewhere, but it is not a bad starting point before really drilling down into your keywords. It does deserve mentioning that I think Rank Tracker’s keyword suggestion tool is a little better here. On the other hand, I use these tools to track my rank, not look for keywords. The user profiles have some advanced features allowing you to set what information the user has access to, assign proxies to that profile, and setup default settings for that particular user. The proxy per project option is exactly what it says. If you have a client in another part of the country, you can use a proxy in that area to get accurate results for that area.
There is also a Server version available, but this version would only be useful to a select few users. It does include an Enterprise License.
Okay, so the nitty gritty of it. How does it work? Well for starters you have about 1000 search engine options to choose from. Obviously all the big boys are here, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. You can also pick all the country specific options. Specific Google data centers are also included.
Setting up a project is extremely simple. You select your keywords and you select your websites. It is that easy. You can color code your keywords if you choose. This can make the charts more attractive when presenting them to a client. When you update your results, the program finds every page on your domain ranking for that particular keyword. So you don’t have to enter things like:
in order to be able to track multiple pages. This is such a basic feature, but I have found some lesser tracking programs missing this which is just inexcusable.
I’m not going to go into all the options, but let’s just say there are a lot available with this software. Many of which, I will probably never need, but it is nice to know they are there. There are a quite a few reports available as well. Current Rank, Keyword Rank, Search Engine Rank, Top Sites, Competition, and more.
The Current Rank report is what most people are going to use the majority of the time. It will give you current rankings, previous position, change since the last update, and best ranking the site in question has ever achieved.
As far as accuracy, I have no complaints. I have done some manual spot checking on about 50% of my rankings I have been tracking with Advanced Web Ranking and have yet to find any inconsistencies.
Of course, most people are interested in how it compares to Rank Tracker. In my opinion, the user interface blows away Rank Tracker. It is much more aesthetically pleasing and easy to manipulate. I think the reports generated are far easier for a client to follow than what Rank Tracker gives you (without a lot of changes to the default settings). One thing Rank Tracker does better without question is the speed at which it works. Advanced Web Ranking takes steps to emulate a human user making queries to the search engines. Because of this it is slower. Results that take Rank Tracker a minute to inquire on will take Advanced Web Ranking 5 minutes. For some, this might be a big deal. For me, it is not a concern at all. I have setup Advanced Web Ranking to run all my projects on a schedule. Most of my updates occur overnight when I am not using my computer anyhow. At 3:00 in the morning, I could care less how long it takes to update its results.
If you are looking for a solid program to track your site ranking, look no further than Advanced Web Ranking. Caphyon offers a free 30-day trial with their software. This is more than enough time to put it to the test and make your own decision about the software.