Once you get into it, SEO generates a lot of repetitive work and if you are reading this you’ll probably know what I am talking about. As a start-up SEO operation in South Africa with a rapidly growing customer base we had set up pretty good systems to find potential customers, identify what they should be ranking for, look for long-tail keyword phrases and generate a report showing the clients current ranking within the local Google South Africa search domain (Google really dominates in our market).
This was all managed via a mix and match of Excel Spreadsheets, Google tools, Adobe, Word Documents and the like. It was very rapid clear to us that with only 4 staff members we would be working 24 hours a day to keep up. Signing our first deals further placed pressure on the customers service side with a need to generate ranking reports and track ranking history… any SEO company bread and butter.
So jumping on the net we evaluated a large number of free and trial versions of SEO tools that covered rank checking, back link analysis, keyword suggestions and keyword efficiency indexing (KEI). Now there are good free tools out there but bringing this all together in package that was flexible and automated does not come free.
We settled on SEO PowerSuite from Link-Assistant, not cheap but worth every dollar if you want to immediately drive improved work-flow and efficiency. The package includes LinkAssistant, SEO SpyGlass, Website Audit and Rank Tracker. All the software is detailed on the website but I’ll give you a quick rundown on Rank Tracker which we use heavily:
- Firstly I has a complete (or rather the most complete) set of Search Engines internationally, essential to us in South Africa, with local versions of Google, Bing and our largest local search outfit, Ananzi, covered.
- Ranking is really easy to set up; once the target website and keywords are loaded there are a host of features available to fine-tune how the ranking report should run. One of the most important is managing the speed at which Rank Tracker generates the automated queries to the search engines; the Human Emulation Settings allow the user to slow down queries and how many sequential events are run. If you have ever run large ranking reports you’ll know that the engines simply lock you out.
- Once the ranking is done Search volumes for the local engines and competition pages can be simply loaded to give the KEI for each keyword; all loaded onto a simple, clear and flexible report screen.
- Once the client has settled on keywords and you have closed that deal, Rank Tracker will store the historical progress per keyword per search engine – a powerful tool for reporting back to client and flagging potential issues with keywords.
- There is a keyword suggestion tool built in and easy ways to re-run reports for individual keywords on individual search engines.
- Finally, all of the accumulated information can be placed into a professionally formatted report and generated in pdf with you company logo and contact details; all with one click (very cool!)