If you’re an SEO specialist, you need tools to help you gather data and come up with insights for the sites you manage.
However, tools come at a price. A hefty one, at that.
Most premium all-inclusive SEO tools cost $99/month, which can be too much for someone to shoulder at the moment. To play devil’s advocate, you need to pay to “play” SEO. You must invest your resources if you want to get the best ROI for your SEO efforts.
On the other side of the coin, others simply want to do SEO, plain and simple. These premium tools make it harder for people to appreciate SEO due to its high barrier to entry.
However, don’t curl up like a ball and bawl your eyes out just yet! You need to find a tool that provides you the same features as premium SEO tools without burning a hole in your pocket.
In fact, I offer you this solution: SE Ranking.
What is SE Ranking?
SE Ranking is a full suite of SEO tools to help you stay on top of your search engine marketing campaign.
The software takes pride in its accurate keyword position tracking for major search engines. Users can track keywords to track your local SEO performance.
It also lets you conduct a competitor analysis to get an overview of the sites in the same vertical as yours. You can search for their backlinks to find link building opportunities that you can capitalize. If you want to focus on new and lost backlinks to your site, SE Ranking lets you do that as well.
To understand how your site is performing, you can use the platform’s SEO audit tool. It shows you areas that need improvement so you can correct them and help improve your site’s SEO performance.
How to use SE Ranking?
Adding a website
Once you’ve signed up for an account, you need to add a website that you want to optimize for or track.
Connect Google Analytics
After clicking on “Next,” you will be asked to connect your Google Analytics. It would be best to connect your account here to uncover data from the analytics tool and transfer them to SE Ranking. This feature is perfect for agencies creating SEO reports for clients.
Enter the keywords that you want to rank for your site pages. If the pages in your site are ranking for certain keyword, it will be shown at the bottom. You can simply add the keywords from the list that you want to track, so you don’t have to research for them.
If you don’t have any ideas on the kind of keywords to include here, you need to find keywords using the software’s Keyword Suggestion tool, which you can do later.
If you can’t move to the next step if you leave them blank, enter random keywords in the meantime. To proceed to the next step, click on the “Search Engines” tab.
Choose search engine
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you need to choose the search engine that you want to track.
Google is the choice of search engine where you track your search rankings. However, you can also track Yandex, Yahoo!, and Bing.
You then need to choose the country or database that you want to rank for. For local SEO, you must indicate the country that you’re targeting. You can get even more specific by indicating the location so you can track the most accurate search rankings. For global results, choose the USA.
Wait for the rankings to show
Once you’ve chosen the search engines and databases to track, you need to wait for minutes or hours to see your search results. The duration of the search depends on the number of keywords you entered. The more keywords, the longer it will take for SE Ranking to track your search ranking for the keywords you entered.
Check your ranking
Once SE Ranking finishes tracking the ranking of your site pages for your keywords, you will see their exact and accurate SERP position for your chosen database.
Keep in mind that SE Ranking checks ranking every three days. Some SEO specialists have reservations about this issue because they want their SEO software to track rankings every day. However, if you don’t have any problem with this tool tracking your SERP position every three days, then this tool is perfect for you.
Implement online marketing plan
Once you’ve set up your ranking, for businesses who are launching their online presence just now, SE Ranking offers a quick way for them to get onboard with all the things they need to do to get their SEO up and running.
The online marketing plan is a checklist of things that businesses need to do to optimize their site.
The list covers a wide range of optimization tactics and techniques that you need to perform to help you make a better site in the long run. This feature is what makes SE Ranking easier to use compared to other SEO tools.
Track and schedule message on your social media
SE Ranking gives you the opportunity to integrate your social media accounts – in particular, Twitter and Facebook. Not only can you include data from both social media sites in your reports, but also schedule messages to be published soon. This feature renders other social media schedulers unnecessary since you can post messages in advance using SE Ranking.
If you don’t know which keywords to optimize for, you can use the software’s Keyword suggestion tool. The goal of your research is to find keywords with relatively high search volume and low competition.
Enter the keyword in the search bar. You can type the topic or niche of your site. For the database, choose the country or location where you want to find the search volume for the keywords. A keyword’s search volume vary from country to country. For example, if you want to rank globally, you can use the US database. If you want to rank locally, choose the country you’re aiming for.
After clicking on “Start Search,” a new window opens. You will see here tabs for Similar keywords and Long-tail keywords that you can choose from about the initial keyword you entered.
When choosing keywords, you need to find the search volume if you are targeting organic search. The higher the search volume, the easier it is to be found on search engines.
You also need to determine a keyword’s relevance to your site pages. You can’t choose keywords that have high search volumes if they are not related to your site. There needs to be a strong correlation between the keywords and your site topic for your pages to rank.
Ideally, you need to choose long-tail keywords (at least four words in a keyword phrase). They have lower competition compared to phrases with fewer words.
There are other metrics you can see in the suggestion. However, these are only helpful if you are doing Google Adwords.
Get an overview of your competitors
To better understand your site’s SEO performance, you need to look at how your competitors are doing for the same keyword you’re ranking for.
Clicking the Competitors > Top 10 on the menu bar will show you the graph of the top 10 SERP positions for the keyword you’re tracking. From here, you will immediately see sites that you need to watch out for if you want to rank on the first page of Google for your target keyword.
Find pages of competitors
Scrolling the page below will show you the pages of the top 10 results for your keyword. The pages are broken down into their respective Alexa Global Rank, Moz DA, and backlinks.
Among the three tools, the backlinks column is the most important metric of all. Every factor on the page is a byproduct of one’s link building strategy. The more high-quality links you generate for your site, the higher it will rank in search results.
Therefore, your goal now is to determine the backlinks of the top pages and determine how also to acquire links from those pages.
Determine competitor backlinks
Open the pages from the competitor page that you want to keep track of. Then open Tools > Backlink explorer.
Copy and paste the URL of your competitor pages and get their backlinks. An interstitial will open recommending you to load unique domain backlinks of the page. Click on “Get Backlinks” once done.
Once the results are in, you will see the pages that link to specific pages on your site, the anchor text they used, and the Domain Trust.
From here, you can find the best sites that you can acquire backlinks from. The Domain Trust is a good indicator of a site’s authority. Filter the results so that the sites with the highest Domain Trust come out on top.
Next, determine how you can acquire backlinks from the sites. Some wrote a guest post on the site with a link to their site on the byline. Others simply dropped comments with a backlink. There are many ways that people can acquire a backlink from a site. By visiting each of the sites in the list and determining how the link was acquired by your competitor, you can also do the same for your site.
Aside from spying on your competitor backlinks, you can also profile the backlinks from your site. Track new and lost backlinks over time and see how your backlinks affect your search ranking.
Run an on-page SEO audit
If you want to get a general overview of your site’s SEO performance, run an on-page audit. Click Tools > On-page SEO audit and click on the “New page audit” button. Enter your site’s URL and the keyword you want to audit for your site.
Once the results are in, you will see the overall score of the SEO audit in a visually appealing manner. The score is determined by the different SEO factors that the audit uses to check your site. The tool shows the SEO errors and warnings that you need to correct and improve for you to have a higher score.
You can download the audit for your reference and make the necessary changes as recommended by the report.
While the on-page SEO audit is a great way to get an idea of your SEO strategy so far, the best way to use this tool is to generate leads for your site.
Create the widget for the on-page SEO audit tool on your site
If you are running an SEO agency, the lead generator tool is an excellent way to generate leads for your SEO business. Visitors can fill out the form by indicating the URL and keyword so they can also get a copy of the audit for their site. From here, you can close the leads by exerting your expertise and help them with their SEO needs.
To create the widget, click on Tools > Lead Generator. On the next page, click the Widgets link on the menu.
Choose the style of the widget (button, webform, push notification, pop-up) that you want to your site. You can customize the widget by using your branding and preferred theme to match your blog.
Edit the web form
Once you have determined the design for your widget, edit the copy of the web form in the hopes of increasing your conversion rate.
Once you’re finished, click on “Save changes” to apply the changes you’ve made.
Next, you need to add the widget’s code on your site. If you’re using WordPress, you need to embed it before </body> for the widget to work properly. If you want the widget to work on specific pages on your site, you need to install a plugin that lets you do that. If you want it to appear on all pages, simply adding the code after the </head> tag of your site should work.
Check to see if widget works
Visit the site where you install the widget code and see if it appears correctly on the page. If not, there’s probably something wrong with how you installed the code on your site. Correct it and check the pages on your site again.
Also, you can edit and change the widget’s setting, and the changes will automatically apply on your site.
If you have clients, then expect to send them reports to keep up to date regarding their’s site’s SEO progress.
To generate a report using the software, click “Reports” on the menu and the “Generate reports” button.
You can create a customized report by adding the most relevant sections based on the KPIs indicated by the clients.
Sign up for an account!
If you enjoyed how SE Ranking works, then I suggest that you sign up for an account now by clicking here.
The flexible pricing of SE Ranking is one of its highlights. The Personal subscription is perfect for small businesses and bloggers who have no organized SEO strategy and wants to establish one. Bigger businesses will enjoy the Optimum plan if they want to take their established online presence to the next level.
SEO agencies will have their hands full with the Plus and Enterprise plan. If you enjoyed the features of the SEO software, then choosing either plan above will help you carry out SEO in the best interests of your clients and leads.
Pros of SE Ranking
As far as SEO software in concern, SE Ranking is by far the most affordable one in the market. Given the features included in the software, as well as the flexible pricing options, SE Ranking is hard to beat. The $9/month should even be enough for all businesses starting their SEO campaign while the $39/month should be just right for startup agencies to provide their clients manage their SEO needs.
The lead generator tool is also a great addition to your SEO toolbox as an agency. It compares favorably to tools like MySiteAuditor, SEOmator, and SEOptimer, all of which are SEO audit tools. The only downside with SE Ranking’s lead generator is you can only audit a limited number of sites per day. However, unless you’re attracting lots of signups to your audit, this issue shouldn’t be much of a problem to you.
The online marketing plan feature is also a great way to onboard businesses into the complex world of SEO. There’s so much you need to do to optimize your site and get in the good graces of search engines. SE Ranking cuts the verbiage and makes everything much more palatable for businesses to follow and observe SEO.
Lastly, the SEO reporting feature is killer. Aside from customizing your SEO reports from the ground up, you can schedule reports to be sent to clients automatically. You can also create pre-structured templates for specific leads and clients so you can use every time instead of having to build one from the ground up. If you charge clients based on how much you increased their ranking for specific keywords, the results-based invoicing covers that as well.
Cons of SE Ranking
As a beginner’s tool, SE Ranking is great. For more seasoned SEO specialists, SE Ranking doesn’t have enough juice to provide comprehensive data to help people make informed decisions about their sites. For example, the backlink analysis is dodgy to use and doesn’t provide enough data for individual pages that can help SEO specialists get their hands dirty with.
Also, there are features that SE Ranking can do without. For example, the ability to schedule social media messages is a nice touch on top of its SEO features. However, the fact that you need to login to your account before you can publish messages there feels cumbersome. Compare this to other social sharing tools in which they offer Chrome extensions that you can install and click in a jiffy if you want to share something on the fly.
Personally, I think SE Ranking should refine certain features that make it the best they can be instead of offering half-baked features that don’t offer the best usability.
SE Ranking is a fine SEO tool for beginners. It has an easy-to-use and intuitive system that allows you to pick up SEO right off the bat. The onboarding for its rank tracking feature could use some work, but the Online marketing plan checklist makes up for it. It’s best for users to view the checklist first to get a better understanding of what they need to do using the software.
However, the biggest draw of SE Ranking is its price. Whereas most tools charge unrealistic prices to get hands on their data, SE Ranking makes SEO even more accessible through its flexible pricing that’s perfect for all digital professionals from freelancers to SEO agency owners.
SE Ranking isn’t without its drawback. My main gripe about it is, while it does a lot of things very well, the features aren’t the best in the business. The rank tracker is strong enough, but it won’t satisfy people who want daily updates for their search rankings. The backlink analysis could use some work, while the social media feature is a nice but ultimately unnecessary feature of the tool.
I recommend SE Ranking if you want a robust SEO tool that will help you track your search ranking for your keywords. On top it all, it helps provide the necessary data to develop and implement an SEO strategy and campaign.
Keyword Research8.5 /10
Competitive Analysis8.0 /10
On-Page Optimization9.0 /10
Link Building8.0 /10
- Most affordable all-inclusive SEO tool in the market
- Lead generator is a great way to acquire clients
- Online marketing plan makes it easy for clients to understand SEO
- SEO reporting is awesome
- Doesn't provide enough SEO data
- Some features feel unnecessary