During the ten years I’ve been building and marketing web sites, I’ve seen a lot change. In many ways there are more opportunities for growing a business online now than there were back in 2000. On the other hand, now that millions of people understand the opportunity that presents itself in the form of ranking a web site well in the search engines, there is a lot more competition. What that means for the typical web site owner today is a need to increase efficiency. You need a thorough understanding of your strengths and the strengths of your competitors. With so many perspectives on what works and what doesn’t, you need to be informed about what specific actions will cause your pages to rank higher, and what might be hindering your rankings. To be sure, the competitiveness of today’s search environment requires that you have to have the right tools (and there are a lot of not very useful tools out there) to achieve success in the search engine optimization (SEO) world. Paramount among the items that should be found in your SEO tool chest is a way to organize your efforts. Advanced Web Ranking is the best tool I’ve found to manage your keyword terms and rankings from start to finish.
The White Board Tracking Strategy
From 2005 to 2009 I managed the web marketing efforts of an online sporting goods store. We were a bit old fashioned in our approach. We had a large whiteboard in our main office on which we wrote the keyword phrases we wanted to own in the search engines. We recorded our position in Google for each of our keyword phrases: basketball uniforms, portable scoreboards, punching dummies, etc. Each Monday we updated the list of between ten and twenty search phrases, and we discussed which one(s) we would work on improving that week. While our SEO efforts were surely more organized than many website owners, it was obvious that we lacked something. What that something was I had a hard time identifying until I used Advanced Web Ranking. Now that I’ve been using Advanced Web Ranking to manage my company’s SEO campaigns, my team’s efforts are much more organized, and we see significant benefits for using the software. Here’s why I think you should add Advanced Web Ranking to your SEO toolset.
The Professional Edition of Advanced Web Ranking ($199) adds some features to the Standard edition that enhance coordination efforts and it helps you organize submitting your web site to the many search engines and directories that exist on the web. In addition, the Professional version allows you to manage local search rankings. Optimizing for local searches has a lot of unique elements that need special attention, so it helps to have the capability to track those rankings separately from the perspective of local search.
For The Enterprise
At the enterprise level, search engine optimization campaigns become much more complicated. Often there is more than one web site involved. There are multiple market segments to be concerned about, each with their own set(s) of keyword phrases and often differing approaches that must be used to achieve ranking success. To address those needs, enterprises most often use larger teams of SEO experts, who must coordinate their efforts and report to superiors. For those environments, Advanced Web Ranking Enterprise ($399) and Server ($599) Editions provide a well-organized management system. The Server version (which comes with an Enterprise client license) is designed to be set up so that multiple clients can connect to and manage the same reports through a shared database. Instead of having to pass reports back and forth, trying to determine which is the most updated, all the members of your enterprise SEO team can work through a centralized report database.
The likely alternative you might choose instead of Advanced Web Ranking would probably involve manually wandering through the search engines looking up your rankings and keeping them in a spreadsheet. Now that Google tracks your behavior and adapts searches for personalization, this approach becomes even more cumbersome. You could attempt to build your own rank tracking software, but then you’ve just complicated your business and watered down your core competency. My recommendation is that you try out Advanced Web Ranking, find the version that fits your company’s needs, and take advantage of the experience of experts.