Recently I have been working with a couple of small local business and the question of reporting on their search engine rankings came up. I had started my foray into the web design and development back when Netscape was in beta, into web site optimization back when Google was in alpha and then — a decade ago — would participate in search engine optimization knowledge sharing on forums like HighRankings. Today, I see no better place for finding professional advice than LinkedIn. Not unlike during my early days as a web master, I found endearing the openness and willingness by those who were much more experienced than me to share knowledge and experience. I wanted to summarize the responses I got in the hope that others might benefit from them!
Tools for reporting on search engine rankings and other SEO-related activities
I asked the experts on the Search Engine Land LinkedIn discussion group: “What tools do you use and recommend for reporting on search engine rankings and other SEO-related activities?” Here is what the participants in this LinkedIn discussion suggested, in alphabetical order:
- Advanced Web Ranking Cloud tool
- Authority Labs
- Bing Webmaster tools
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster tools
- Google Monitor Query by CleverStat
- RankTracker by Link Assistant
- Majestic SEO
- Ranktracker by SEO Powersuite
- SEM Rush
- SEO Book Rank Checker
- SEO Clarity
- SEO Profiler
- Screaming Frog
- Traffic Travis
- Xenu Link Sleuth – I had been using Xenu for years to periodically check on broken links until one of my web developers discovered the gem that is SiteImprove!
It is quite interesting to compare this list to a similar one I had put together more than 10 years ago!
Valuable SEO Advise
Tool suggestion aside, I found most intriguing the opinions of a couple of experts: Andrea Berberich shared her whole methodology of ensuring high search engine rankings:
“For keyword discovery and competitive analysis here is what I do:
- Use within Keyword Planner “Display Planner” to get a variety of keywords combination
- Use Chrome SEO SERP Bench to figure out my competitors rank on the keyword variation
- Go back to Keyword Planner and see the search volume of all the keywords that are high on the list with my competitors (best rank)
- Work with the SEO Content Strategist and recommend to create the content.
- Once content is create with recommended keywords (2 non-branded; 1 branded per page) I get them submitted into BrightEdge for continual monitoring and tracking
- I also review the “untracked keywords” that BrightEdge provides
- Ones keyword and PLPs (preferred landing pages) are in BrightEdge Web Manager can monitor the page ranking.”
Scott Stouffer blankly stated that “Rank Trackers are dead — they are based on the query stack of a search engine, which has become incredibly noisy from the personalization (filters like social,local,etc…).” Lastly, Geoffrey Hoesch confirmed “… you’re better off focusing on organic traffic and conversions than keyword rankings, as few keyword rank tools track keyword rankings based on location, which makes regional/local tracking very difficult. In the end, Moz linked up with Google Analytics can help you create the best reports.”