When it comes to SEO there are a plethora of tools available. Practically every facet of SEO has its own accompanying tool. For some (most in our office) this is seen as a good thing, pretty reports and intriguing statistics at the push of a button! Others prefer their Excel macros and tab delimited text files.
Me, I sit kind of in the middle. I love a good piece of SEO software, especially if it makes my life easier and does what I need it to do without completely over-running my computer or by giving me inaccurate results that I can't quite trust. That's the key for me; it has to be good, reliable and consistent.
Fortunately, one piece of SEO software I have found to consistently tick all of these boxes is Advanced Web Ranking. It does what all of us SEO's have an unhealthy obsession for, (some more than others) rank tracking. We’ve all been to conferences and read blog posts saying rankings aren’t the key to all that is SEO, but I think they’re still the number 1 metric (no pun intended) and I really doubt I’m alone.
Current Rank Chart
A big win for me with Advanced Web Ranking is that it tracks rankings for your site and any competing sites you choose to add, and it does it over time. This makes it a lot easier to notice big changes in the search results, to spot sites that are moving up as well as those falling. We have clients in some very competitive markets in which keeping a close eye on competitor sites is a must, it can often be an indicator of an algorithm change, or give a good idea of what's working or what really isn't.
What the Overview Looks Like
This leads onto some interesting and cool features, filtering for sites that have moved into the top 20 for example is a useful way to notice up and coming sites, giving you time to take notice and act before it really is too late.
Also, it's not worth underestimating the value of having a reliable rank checker that will run across as many search engines as you require. I haven't had to use the rank checker for Google Ecuador rankings (yet!) but the fact that it is there gives a good indication of the range of search engines you can run tests against.
Detailed Ranking Screenshot
As a final point I'd like to touch on one other feature of AWR which is what all good SEO tools need and sadly not all have and that is a decent way to generate reports. I am often accused in the Return on Digital office of being far too detailed and I can gladly say that I can get a level of detail from this software that fulfils my need!
However, for those who are much more interested in an overview of what's happening, that need can also be fulfilled. It's easy to see the top 10 sites for a keyword, how much their rankings have changed, what their best ranking has been and what the PageRank of each site is. This can be very useful when starting a project and seeing who the real online competitors are.
The reports created are clear, easy to read and aren't cluttered with over the top graphics (pie-chart lovers, you know who you are!) that detract from the data; it's a clear and concise layout that does what it needs to.
If you are looking for rank checking software that does what it says on the tin, will help you keep an eye on what competing sites are doing and produce useful reports then I don't think you can go too far wrong. Once configured and loaded up with keyword and competitor data it runs when it is told, probably best overnight, to be accessed as and when it is needed.