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Alternative To Seomoz For Tracking Specific Keywords Over Time?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 tcolling

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:50 AM

Hi -

I would like to track the SERPs positions for our company's website for 800 specific keyword phrases over time. We have been using seomoz for this with their basic "pro" membership, but it only allows us to track a maximum of 300, not the 800 we want. Their only offer to allow us to address all 800 is to "upgrade" to their next level of service, at twice the cost.

We also have become a subscriber to ahrefs due to the recommendations on this forum. While it is a great tool, it doesn't allow us to do what I am describing above.

I could just continue subscribing to both, and "upgrading" to the next level of seomoz, but before I do, I should ask: is there a better choice that could replace seomoz with respect to tracking large numbers of user-defined keyword phrases? If there were, I would like to know about it.

If you think it's not useful for us to track keyword phrases in that fashion, it's ok to say so, too.

Thanks!

- Tim

PS - the 800 phrases result from the fact that we offer service in a market that includes 30 or so nearby communities, and we offer services that can be described with at least 40 different "service name" phrases. We rank on the first page of G serps for some service name phrases alone, but only a small number of them. - Tim

#2 Jill

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:40 PM

Really?

Why are you bothering with that? There's no such thing as a ranking anymore. Look at your Analytics and you'll see which pages are bringing your Google traffic, and therefore you'll know which ones are working for you and which aren't.

Sorry, I know this doesn't answer your question, but running ranking reports hasn't been a very helpful exercise in many, many years.

#3 tcolling

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:10 PM

Hi Jill - Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. I appreciate your help.

Here's why I care: most of our visitors are finding us via organic searches with "not provided" as the keywords. We do very little paid click advertising. The "not provided" searches account for more than 50% of our visitors.

Why would our situation be so high in "not provided" cases? It may well be because our target audience is likely to be fairly well off adult children of elderly parents, and I speculate that many of those audience members may be gmail or Google Apps for Business users and therefore may stay logged in to Google all the time. If I recall correctly, being logged in to Google is the condition that leads to the masking of google search terms as "not provided" searches.

When prospective new customers call us I ask them how they found us on the internet, and if they remember, I keep a record of that information including the search terms they tell us that they used. Almost none of them show up in our GA click through info, though, so I speculate that they're in our "not provided" words.

Does that make sense? Because if it does, that means that we can make well-grounded speculations about which keyword phrases DO work and ARE ones that are more likely to be used by the audience we're trying to reach. And if that's a valid approach, then we can test for how we appear in the SERPs for those keywords that we suspect to be working for us.

If I'm all wet about this, you can just say so, though. :)

Edited by tcolling, 21 June 2012 - 06:10 PM.


#4 chrishirst

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

Yes, we do have a longish thread about the somewhat irritating change by Google to "protect users privacy", Though it is most likely to be a prelude to a wonderful new Google (paid) service for "keyword research".

</cyniscm>
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#5 Jill

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:42 AM

You are right that the not provided data does make it less useful. Many sites now are up to 50% which really does stink. That said, if you get enough traffic, you can usually figure out what their keywords are based on other ones and the landing page.

That said, I know a lot of folks are using Raven Tools to run ranking reports these days. I still don't personally advocate it, but if you feel the need to check rankings you might give them a try.
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#6 Tiggerito

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:25 AM

Google Webmaster Tools data can help to cover the void. It's also good to see the impression/click rate to see where you're converting poorly/well in the search results.

And that's available in Analytics if you link up your accounts.

@Jill, "There's no such thing as a ranking anymore" seem a bit extreme. True that it's more complex and you have to understand the limit of what you gather, but it's still data. I collate around 1,000 search results per client per month and find it often highlights actionable information. I do think position is only a part of the story, so I gather all types of data from the universal results Google now provides. And my algos don't use the classic 1 to 10 position idea!

#7 tcolling

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:02 PM

Yes, we do have a longish thread about the somewhat irritating change by Google to "protect users privacy", Though it is most likely to be a prelude to a wonderful new Google (paid) service for "keyword research".

</cyniscm>


If expecting Google to begin charging for that makes a person a cynic, then I am one too. <sigh>

...That said, I know a lot of folks are using Raven Tools to run ranking reports these days. I still don't personally advocate it, but if you feel the need to check rankings you might give them a try.


Thanks for that suggestion, Jill. Once again, I appreciate your help. Raven Tools is one that I'm "trialing" right now. They're on the right track, with pricing that is competitive. One thing that they haven't gotten to yet is a way to make it easy to tag keywords without having to download to a csv file, updating it in excel, and then uploading it again. However, they're definitely looking good.

Thanks! :)

#8 BusinessWebDesigns

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:27 PM

I use Rank tracker from seo power tools, I don't know why anyone wouldn't track there rankings? How do you know if the seo you are going is improving or not improving your search engine position? Don't say just traffic because anything off the first page you really can't tell.

#9 chrishirst

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 04:22 AM

Don't say just traffic because anything off the first page you really can't tell.

Eh!!!!

Analysing at your site logs tells you exactly how many visitors you had AND where they came from.

How do you know if the seo you are going is improving or not improving your search engine position?

Because SEO is ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT about merely "improving your "search engine position". That idea went away in 2004 when (Google) moved to "rolling updates" and the monthly "Google dance" stopped. Since then "rankings" and the checking of, has become more and more pointless.


REAL optimisation is about improving CONVERSIONS from ALL SOURCES. Just because almost TWENTY YEARS AGO somebody decided to call it all SEO and got it wrong, because it is actually Search Marketing, meaning; "To use search engines as a means of marketing" or "Marketing to search engine users" (just like "TV marketing" is actually "Marketing to the viewers (users) of television"), does NOT mean we have to continue to carry the misnomer on in this millenium.

You "optimise" your documents to improve the conversion ratio of visitors to buyers, and you promote/market/advertise your URLs to people, getting that right means that search engines just might reward your efforts by sending even more visitors your way from search.


Being optimised or "in an optimal position" no longer means having just your site root URL (Home page) in the first spot for a one or two words or phrases. To be getting the optimal value from search engines and their users you need LOTS of your URLs to be "found" for LOTS of different and varied words and phrases. Now THAT is really "optimising".

Edited by chrishirst, 24 June 2012 - 04:27 AM.

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#10 MainelySEO

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

I could go either way when it comes to ranking reports. I know some of my clients *must have* them. I have used SheerSEO for a while which may be something to look in to.

Thanks,
-Nate

#11 piskie

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:12 PM

Rankings not mattering and checking them being a no go futile waste of time, is getting to be a bit of a religion on this Forum.

Like it or not, Ranking is a major performance yardstick as well as Visitor analysis.
It is also a frequently asked (or demanded) measure from many Clients. Whether I believe it to be relevant or not, I am not prepared to lose potential Clients by not agreeing to factor into their targets and reports some degree of Ranking for their most (envisaged) important phrases.

#12 chrishirst

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:22 PM

Rankings not mattering and checking them being a no go futile waste of time, is getting to be a bit of a religion on this Forum.

Not a religion, just common sense.

Give your clients all the "ranking reports" you want, But just hope they don't check them out for themselves.

A big part of being a true search marketer is EDUCATING your clients into what matters and what doesn't, they will have probably read all the drivel that the "experts" spread around and then will start asking "awkward" question when they are seeing no return for what you are being paid.
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#13 piskie

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:29 PM

Chris, of course it goes without saying that personalisation of SERPs is a factor to be taken into account along with any other relevant caveats.
However, the non expert Client is not going to be very receptive to being "Educated" at a Client Needs Analysis Meeting.

Rankings is a Yardstick that is far too deeply entrenched to expect ALL Clients to accept that it is less important than other factors. This is partly because it only takes them a few seconds to check and be either reassured or disappointed.

If that's what they want and are expecting to paying for it, Educating them differently (or trying to) will not get the job.

Apart from all that, I have always found that there is a relationship between Rankings and Visitors.

#14 Tiggerito

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:54 AM

Eh!!!!

Analysing at your site logs tells you exactly how many visitors you had AND where they came from.


But what about the visitors you didn't get? Isn't it worth trying to find out more about the ones you almost got, or the ones your competitors are getting, or even the ones your potential associates are getting.

Is there another source for this sort of data outside SERP data (of which I include GWMT impression/click data)?

I guess tools like Alexa work of a different angle, but their accuracy is also frowned upon.

Maybe just guessing is the way?

#15 chrishirst

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

But what about the visitors you didn't get? Isn't it worth trying to find out more about the ones you almost got, or the ones your competitors are getting, or even the ones your potential associates are getting.

How is checking rankings going to tell you anything about that?
You see what you see which may or may not be what others see.

I guess tools like Alexa work of a different angle, but their accuracy is also frowned upon.

Nope Alexa figures are based on the less than 4% of Internet users with their toolbar installed then extrapolated, that's a 96% margin of error.

If that's what they want and are expecting to paying for it, Educating them differently (or trying to) will not get the job.

Which is why the SEO world is never going to get out of the stupidity level of the "experts" and the clueless "outsourcers" will always have the upper hand.




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