Now admittedly I have not used any of the tools that I am about to mention on my blog. The main reason for this is because this blog is my brain dump area. I can see I get around 100 visitors a month now reading my blogs for quite some time, so thanks for reading for those of you that enjoy the material I have.
I have to be honest, I only use this blog to write my thoughts. In fact, as a freelancer, I can sometimes find it quite hard to get motivated on the morning, so a brain dump is the best way to kick my brain into gear. That is why this blog exists – as well as a good reference point if I ever forget myself. I can always go back and revisit my thought from the past that led my freelance business to where it is today.
With that being said, the first though that came into my mind today was:
“How can I make my services more valuable for my growing list of clients that are requesting an SEO health check”.
In fact, this is a question I have been asking myself for some time, but I have never gotten around to it. Today is the first time I have started to think about tackling this issue, and hence this blog.
Why have I started to think about this? SEO Powersuite has long been my tool of choice. Nonetheless, more recently, I have started to loose my love and faith for the tool for a few reasons in particular.
It is Expensive and Getting Worse
This tool is very powerful, but also very expensive. Initially you need to pay for SEO Powersuite, which comes with SpyGlass, Website Auditor, Rank Tracker, and Link Assistant. By all intense purposes, I tend to use them all for my day to day tasks. However, more recently I am becoming disheartened with tool.
Firstly, you need to pay for algorithm updates on a monthly basis if you want the information you need to be accurate – this does not come cheap at all. After forking out all that cash on the software, I am somewhat put off that I have to the high monthly fees to keep these tools up to date.
Rank tracker is the most useful tool because it is easy to track keywords from all over the world. However, recently I have not been able to get daily rankings, and rather I have to wait 2 days before I can update the rankings again. Nonetheless, daily rankings are not a must have part of my job.
The reporting system is also great. You can customise reports to show the information you want your customers to see. You can also add explanations, so your customers have some of idea of what it is they are looking at exactly.
You can also get competition ratings and at the same time keyword research and suggestions using the Rank Tracker tool. This makes it very much a worthwhile investment to a degree. However, for these particular keyword research tools that make my job easier, the reporting system could work better with them providing the information you can see in view in a report format.
Negatives: What I am annoyed about is the fact that PowerSuite make you use your Google Keyword Planner account for search volumes. Now not many people know this, but unless you have a certain spend on your AdWords account, you will not be given accurate keyword search volumes. Instead of showing 140 searches per month, it will show 100 – 1,000 searches per month. Considering I have paid over $200 for the software and then $150+ per year for the algorithm update, the least SEO Powersuite can do is update this feature and give us real search volumes.
Website auditor keeps providing results that just aren’t true, so I stopped using this for my pre-analysis. I do however, love this tool for post analysis because it has the most awesome reporting system, keyword analysis tool, and more.
When it comes to presentation, this is the best on-page tool I have ever seen or used. However, for some reason the tool over reports on certain errors, which then makes it difficult to track what really needs changing.
For example, ALT texts always come out as xxx number missing, when in actual fact it is counting some images twice. It just ended up taking too much my time and I found other tools that would give me the information I needed without all the junk.
I am sure there are those that love the overkill number of errors. For me, Website Auditor is the perfect tool for after you have fixed on-page SEO. You can use the reporting tool to show a gleaming website.
What would really bring this tool to the forefront of on-page SEO analysis is the ability to use a CopyScape plug so you can search for plagiarised content on your website.
Just stopped using it. It should be the best backlink checking tool ever. However, Spyglass features such as percentages of anchors has just stopped working for me, and I get nothing back from the support team despite having enterprise addition. Very weird.
At the moment, it would nice if the metrics also included Majestic, as I could use this information all in one place. This is a great tool for reporting, it is also great if you need to check for link penalty risks
Finally Link Assistant, this is still a great tool. You can outreach to multiple websites and keep track of link placements all in one place. You can create custom campaigns for each project you have, keep email contacts, scrape email contact information, and check the metrics of almost any website you are considering reaching out to.
Metrics such as age, Alexa, Yandex, MOZ DA & PA, Inlink, Domain Inlink, IP address, and much more can be configured. You can even get an idea of the social metrics for Twitter, Google+, Facebook, PinInterest, and LinkedIn.
There are some great features to SEO Powersuite, but some of the subtler things such as not being able to get exact search volumes for keywords, and the SpyGlass not working is annoying. In the end, PowerSuite makes my job easier in some respects, but has let me down in other areas. For example, having to buy a tool to get exact Google search volumes when you would have thought PowerSuite could provide considering the amount of money it costs.