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    SEO By Hand Still - Or Software Time?


    Hi,
    I run a small, white-hat SEO firm and up until now I've done EVERYTHING by hand. All of my keyword research, ranking reports, etc.

    The problem I now have is now that I have grown, I am wondering if it's time to use some type of software to automate some tasks.

    For example. when I'm doing a baseline report for a client, I use one site to check page rank, another site to check back links, another site to test readability, etc.

    I am NOT against paying for a product, and I don't want something to help me "gain some magical advantage" over other SEO people. I just want to automate some of my routine tasks so everything is in one place.

    And I've come here to ask because much of the software I've looked at as a wide range of pricing, and many sites still have flashing "buy now" and "100% guarantee" banners from the early 80s.

    -Also, is it still true that if you use an automated program to check rankings for keywords for a website, that google will penalize you?

    Thanks in advance!
    David
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    Never think about automatted softwares otherwise google will penalize your website.
    Manual submission is best and all the search engines loves it.
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    @wilson23 - thats a pretty broad comment. Essentially it is correct when considering automated search engine submission programs. They can cause you a penalty, they don't improve rankings. I wouldn't say search engines love manual submissions, but it is certainly better than automated submission. Also, you don't need to submit, a link will get you indexed.

    When considering automated software for SEO management, it is a different story. There are some products that aid in efficiency and make you more productive, once you get to a certain level of work load they just make sense. There is no magic do SEO for me automated program (that I know of) that really works well and isn't likely to give your site a ban or other penalty.
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    I've found that SEO Power Suite works pretty well for rank tracking, links etc. It's a few different programs in one package, works okay but I only run SEO for one business so I usually just do everything manually.
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    Advanced Web Ranking works well for me for checking ranks, links, traffic...
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    Depends what tasks you want to automate to free up your time a little?

    We have started using Avangate's CuteRank to check our clients positions each morning because it seems to give correct ranking positions (something a lot don't always seem to do these days) and it was well priced for unlimited clients! (also free just for single site use)

    And we use seomoz to keep an eye on on-site changes etc as we have a paid account with them.

    I think that's about all the tools we use to automate bits like that as that's all that's need and then we have some custom templates in word for clients monthly reports which draw data from analytics so all we have left to do is a quite summery of what has been done for the month and any changes in traffic, ranks, bounce rates, conversion etc.

    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    Advanced Web Ranking works well for me for checking ranks, links, traffic...
    We use to use AWR, and it was very good, but CuteRank is much cheaper ($59 + $10/year for the updates) which is much cheaper the AWR

    AWR on the other hand does have a few more options to see past positions side by side, where as CR only displays a single days change (customisable though) in the program, but you can export different reports which can be set to show more detailed past rankings.

    I would advice having a look at both CuteRank and Advanced Web Ranking to see which you like best and which meats all your needs, but IMO, if its just rankings you want to watch, CR is fine for the job and cost less to keep up to date.

    You might also want to have a read of this article http://www.seomoz.org/blog/crawler-f...screaming-frog which is about xenu and screaming frog, which are tools for crawling websites to look for broken links etc, these can be very handy!

    For example, we use xenu to crawl large client sites to check for old products which aren't sold any more so we can A) change the links on the site, and B) redirect the old url to a relevant product.
    Last edited by NathanielB; Nov 26th, 2012 at 11:16 AM.
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    Originally Posted by NathanielB
    Depends what tasks you want to automate to free up your time a little?

    We have started using Avangate's CuteRank to check our clients positions each morning because it seems to give correct ranking positions (something a lot don't always seem to do these days) and it was well priced for unlimited clients! (also free just for single site use)

    And we use seomoz to keep an eye on on-site changes etc as we have a paid account with them.

    I think that's about all the tools we use to automate bits like that as that's all that's need and then we have some custom templates in word for clients monthly reports which draw data from analytics so all we have left to do is a quite summery of what has been done for the month and any changes in traffic, ranks, bounce rates, conversion etc.


    We use to use AWR, and it was very good, but CuteRank is much cheaper ($59 + $10/year for the updates) which is much cheaper the AWR

    AWR on the other hand does have a few more options to see past positions side by side, where as CR only displays a single days change (customisable though) in the program, but you can export different reports which can be set to show more detailed past rankings.

    I would advice having a look at both CuteRank and Advanced Web Ranking to see which you like best and which meats all your needs, but IMO, if its just rankings you want to watch, CR is fine for the job and cost less to keep up to date.

    You might also want to have a read of this article http://www.seomoz.org/blog/crawler-f...screaming-frog which is about xenu and screaming frog, which are tools for crawling websites to look for broken links etc, these can be very handy!

    For example, we use xenu to crawl large client sites to check for old products which aren't sold any more so we can A) change the links on the site, and B) redirect the old url to a relevant product.
    Thanks -- that's exactly the advice I'm looking for. My company has grown and I just need to automate more things (lookups, report generation). Obviously I will do all of the interpretation by hand, but I'd love to "press a button and have the data in front of me" so I can spend my time writing the analysis and action plan. (which is really what people pay me/us to do).

    I will check out your suggestions (I'm trialing Raven right now and it seems reasonable for the price. Its automated report wizard is cool but I have to find a way to work in some of my own reports (like PR over time, unique visitors over time, visitors by city, etc).

    Thanks again!
    David

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