Tracking Search Engine Rankings with Advanced Web Ranking

We’re always on the hunt for tools and applications to help us take our digital marketing efforts to the next level. Recently, we’ve been testing out Advanced Web Ranking’s website ranking software to track and report on our SEO efforts for our clients. Our criteria: an easy-to-use product with nice aesthetics and great reporting.

Here’s a recap of what we found:

Looking Sharp Out of the Box
The first thing that I noticed about the AWR software was the aesthetics. Without having too much knowledge of the software and how to work it, the buttons and tabs appeared clear as to their function, and navigating through the software was simple and straightforward. Looks obviously aren’t the most important feature when it comes to a new piece of software, but it sure helps with that first impression.

Help Is On The Way
Probably the next most important thing when learning to operate a new piece of software is the “help” section. It’s always nice when there is a built in “help” feature so that I don’t have to waste time searching the web for how to perform what seems like a simple task. Along the right side of the display is a nice “context help” section that defines any tasks or terms to help one understand whatever it is they might be working on. To add to that, there is an “Advanced Web Ranking Assistant” that prompts the user with a list of common tasks that can be performed in AWR.

Getting To Work
After getting a feel for what AWR had to offer (which includes a nice, built in Keyword Research Tool), I decided it was time to test it out on a real project. One of our new client projects just started so we wanted to establish a baseline of rankings.

Here’s the process we followed to get a new campaign started up:
– select your search engines (Bonus: Google local is in the list – important since the client is marketing mostly to local consumers)
– import your keywords (we’d already done our keyword research and it was a cinch with the import function)
– add the site you want to track (along with your competition, more on this later)
– run the report! (can’t miss the giant green button)

The Results: Looking at a Report

We just finished writing title tags, verifying the site in our webmaster accounts, and submitting our XML site maps, so we weren’t expecting much out of the gates. And that’s what we saw plain and clear: the site wasn’t ranking in the top 50 results (you can adjust this to only look at first 10, 20, and so on) for any of our targeted keywords in our search engine list.

It will be really interesting to see how things have changed next month as we continue our SEO work by using the “view evolution in time” feature in the AWR software.

Reporting Features
AWR has several ways to slice-and-dice the results, including looking at rankings by keyword, looking at the top ranking sites by keyword, and a nice overview screen that summarizes your standing.

There are easy-access tabs to obtain all of these views, and a nifty reporting suite that creates reports into easy to understand PDF (or XML, EXCEL, Etc.) files that can be automated to send to specified e-mail addresses.

Tracking the Competition

A key piece of any SEO effort is knowing where we stand relative to our competitors, and how our competitors strategies and rankings change over time.
The “Top Sites” report lets us quickly see the top 10 ranking web sites for a given keyword, which we can then roll into our competitive review and link-building process – who’s linking to our competition and where are specific linking opportunities.

In Summary

We’ll be the first to tell you that rankings are not the ultimate sign of SEO success – improved traffic and ultimately leads/conversions from this channel should be your overriding determination of a successful program.

But, the reality is that rankings are still an easy way to determine whether or not you’re improving. Up or down is an easy concept for clients to grasp and can supplement the more detailed analysis of conversion rates that is required. After all, we have to justify to our clients why and how their money is being spent.

Advanced Web Ranking has created a winner. This is definitely a useful tool for tracking a client’s search engine ranking and we’re looking forward to using it even more often. If it helps make our life easier, and the client happier, then what’s not to love about this software? Cheers to you, AWR.

A nice, big thumbs up for the AWR at work.
A nice, big thumbs up for the AWR at work.