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Issue 7.1


SERank and Domainer

Issue: 7.1 (November/December 2008)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,659
Starting Page Number: 11
Article Number: 7104
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fascinating science, sometimes stigmatized as being like counting cards at poker. If you design and place the proper search term words on your website, you can move your website higher up on the results page in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Some feel like this is taking advantage of the system, but there's nothing wrong with the concept, and helping more customers to get to your product has definite advantages. Enter Rage Software's SERank. SERank helps organize and optimize search engine results for multiple websites and search engines.

SERank's interface is clean and the demo version of SERank will work only with the Yahoo search engine to give you an idea of how it works. First, you add the domains you want to track. If you control a number of sites for yourself or as a contractor, no problem. SERank will take them all (the Standard version reviewed here will hold up to ten sites, and the Pro version for $99.95 will track an unlimited number of websites).

Then, you add the search keywords you want to track into each domain. You can add these keywords manually or you can import a csv file of terms. The user guide suggests going to a site like http://www.wordtracker.com/ to help conceptualize and generate your keywords, an excellent recommendation.

As a side note, the user guide, accessed under the Help menu, is excellent. It's worth your time to read through the guide before delving into SERank. It's an excellent introduction to SEO and how to maximize your use of SERank.

Once you have your domains and keywords configured, click on the Check Rankings button to get results for your sites. SERank will return search engine rankings for all the engines you've specified. The demo version of the product will rank only Yahoo searches, but the licensed version will check up to sixty search engines or more. The ranking results will show up in the main window for each site that you've highlighted.

The default rankings give you basic data, but things get interesting when you dig deeper. If you click on Search Results in your main window, you see hits from search engines ranked in order. Your own domain is highlighted, but you also see other hits for your search term. Ideally, you'd want your site in the majority of the first page or results (and your competitors nowhere on the page). The Search Results gives you that information at a glance.

Search ranking results in SERank are saved. Clicking on the History button in the main window will give you a graph for your saved results over time. Then you can see trends for your site's popularity. If you have search results that you've recorded by accident, or ones that you don't want in your history graph, you can see them and delete ranking dates individually.

SERank has quick tools to help you filter your results for criteria you specify. The user guide has a nice tutorial on filters, with some good examples to get you started.

The Pro version of SERank (called the Enterprise version in some documentation) also gives you the ability to generate PDF reports for website rankings. These would be most useful for giving to clients if you're a contractor or to supervisors if you're an organization's webmaster.

Once you have ranking data, then you can examine more popular hits and investigate why they outrank you. You can find popular incoming link hits and possibly get those sites to link to your own site, for instance. SERank will register over time how successful you are in making your sites more popular.

SERank is more than just a single application. It can work with RAGE Domainer to help enhance your use of the product. RAGE Domainer helps you track your domains as well, monitoring your domains for renewal, rankings, and more. It's not limited to your own sites, either. For instance, you can find competitors who outrank you in SERank and add them to Domainer. Then you can explore these competitor domains for incoming links, Alexa rankings, and other information to determine how to raise your own site rankings. RAGE Software is a smart company. SERank and Domainer are companions from a software marketing standpoint, increasing sales for the company. More importantly, the interaction between the two products is very functional and smooth--this is not simply a "synergistic" marketing move. Together, SERank and Domainer make a great combination.

The main hurdle with these two products isn't really with the software at all. There's a learning curve and skill development to search engine optimization, so you need to spend some time researching tactics and strategies to get the most out of SERank and Domainer. The user guides for the products point to some good resources, and the RAGE forums are good places to frequent as well.

If you want to begin gradually, Domainer is a good application to start with. Put your domains in and get things going. You can see domain SEO details and ranking right away, and Domainer has some nice features like iCal integration for tracking expiring domain names. Domainer gets results quickly with little input, and then when you're ready, you can dig deeper with SERank. If you want more, RAGE has additional products on their website for related goals with web traffic and site development

SERank and Domainer are useful applications with (most importantly) clean, informative interfaces. If you're in the business of getting more people to your website, these products do the trick. Highly recommended.

End of article.