SEO PowerSuite is a set of tools allowing you to perform a multitude of SEO tasks:
- Rank Tracker is for SERP rankings monitoring as well as keyword research.
- SEO SpyGlass is for doing backlink research and analysis.
- Website Auditor for content optimization and SEO site auditing.
- LinkAssistant for managing your link building campaign & tracking / contacting potential link partners.
How these disparate pieces fit together are best described by the wizards behind PowerSuite themselves:
The first step of an SEO campaign is keyword research. Rank Tracker is the tools you need to identify the most important keywords and run an initial rankings check for these keywords to see where the website ranks at the moment.
2. Next you need to analyze the website structure and the content of its pages. WebSite Auditor – a tool designed for website SEO audit and content optimization – will be of great help to you. This app runs full SEO audit of your website, gives you advice on how to fine-tune the website structure and get rid of its coding errors. Also this software lets you optimize each HTML element of your website pages.
When your website structure and content are decently optimized, you run a rankings check with Rank Tracker to see how it affected the sites positions in search results. And then you can proceed with offpage SEO.
3. At this point you can start building links for the website. So you launch SEO SpyGlass and start developing a successful linking campaign. You analyze the top competitors’ link sources and hunt down the best places to get links from.
4. To kick off the link-building campaign, you start LinkAssistant and get down to building links from the link sources identified with SEO SpyGlass plus make use of LinkAssistant’s link partner search features and establish new link partnerships.
Let’s take a look at each app of the suite in turn and see how well they function as an SEO toolset.
This is probably the main attraction for users contemplating the PowerSuite, as SERP tracking is the bread and butter of SEO proffesionals. The Rank Tracker from Link-Assistant allows you to track your keywords across multiple search engines and using different rank criteria. Using predefined selectors, you can see how many of your keywords are ranking in the first position, how many keywords are declining / rising and which URLs are falling off the first page and need to be boosted.
In Rank Tracker, if you enter keywords relative to a URL to track. To get your initial list of keywords to input into Rank Tracker, you can cull them from:
• Analytics – Google Analytics / Woopra / Clicky. Google Analytics data can be imported directly into the software. [Edit: You can pull keyword traffic data (the “visits” stat from GA) automatically but it is limited to only the keywords that you are explicitly tracking in Rank Tracker. To add more keywords from Google Analytics, you’ll need to generate a report (say, keywords with more than 10 visits in the last month) and then import them into Rank Tracker. More details are here].
• Placing a competitor’s website into Google Adwords Keyword Tool’s “Website Content” field to get keyword ideas.
• Use Rank Tracker’s built-in “suggest” feature to get keyword ideas from Google Adwords Keyword Tool among other services:
Some negatives of Rank Tracker include the fact that you have to run rank tracking from your personal computer on a schedule:
Because you are running rank tracking from your computer and IP address, you have to use tricks such as proxies / human emulation to fool the various search engines:
This can be such a huge headache as you might waste time just trying to avoid google bans. Another problem with Rank Tracker is that there is no automatic re-checking of failed keywords.
Link-Assistant helps you to set up link exchanges. These links need not be reciprocal: the tool can help you set up 3-way links as well as find relevant link sources to establish 1-way links. You can also use Link Assistant to find websites that have open link submission forms (although these sites will require a link back). This is a welcome part of the suite, but strictly as a link prospecting tool, there are better options out there (such as Ontolo.com and Buzzstream.com).
This tool is designed to analyze your competitors backlinks. It fetches its back links data by taking backlinks directly from search engines (using ‘link:domain.com’ search command) and adding these backlinks to the data from their in-house backlink database.
The problem with this tool is that we’ve been spoiled by online services like Ahrefs.com and http://Majestic.com. SEO Spyglass has to crunch the numbers for all the back link searches it does on your computer. Although SEO Spyglass allows you to select over 40 different criteria on which to evaluate the strength of sites and back links, the simplicity of MajesticSEO and AHREF’s “backlink power” number is usually good enough for most SEO tasks (SEO Spyglass also lists this number, which it calls “Link Value”. Most users would be better served by using one of these online backlink tools over SEO Spyglass.
This part of Link-Assistant’s SEO Powersuite is good for fine-tuning website structure and getting rid of broken links and validation errors. You can also use Website Auditor to analyze the content of each page of your website with an eye towards optimizing each element of a website page for targeted keywords.
One problem that comes up is the fact that Website Auditor is a relative analysis tool, It takes the average values of your top 10 competitors as standard ones for you. Since the pages of their websites might be poorly optimized, please don’t be surprised when you get suggestions that differ from standard on-page optimization techniques. In general, all keyword density reports that tools like these producers are to be taken with a grain of salt.
Example WorkFlow using SEO Powersuite
Here’s a simplified workflow:
- Perform keyword research using Rank Tracker to see if there are some keywords with good search volume/ low competition that you could rank for. Enter in all these favorable keywords to perform initial rank checking for all the keywords you have selected.
- Optimize your site’s pages for selected keyword with WebSite Auditor (choose 3-5 keywords per page).
- Go hunting for good backlink locations based on your competitors’ strategies using SEO SpyGlass.
- Create a link directory on your site for reciprocal or 3-way link exchange and look for good relevant link partners using Link Assistant.
- Constantly monitor ranking changes with Rank Tracker once or twice a week to track changes.
Review conclusion for SEO Powersuite – a mixed bag
Rank Tracker is the strongest tool in the PowerSuite. I don’t believe Website Auditor adds much value, and there are hosted services that go far beyond what Link Assistant is able to scour up for link targets (Raven Tools / Ontolo). The inability to track backlinks from an individual URL is a huge drawback for SEO Spyglass, and its hybrid Google-Domain-Search+database method of finding backlinks is far too clunky and limited compared to online services like MajesticSEO and SEOMoz. The pro version of the suite costs $249, while the enterprise version costs $599 (the enterprise version adds the ability to white label generated reports for clients, including publishing reports to the web). Although many people will be tempted to purchase a one-off investment like PowerSuite in order to try and save money, keep in mind that your purchase price only includes six months of algo updates. These updates cost approximately $125/year for the PowerSuite and $50/year for any one of the individual tools. More info is available here.
Our recommendation: Rank Tracker is a good deal at $100 for the professional version. You don’t need to subscribe to the algo updates – just plunk down $7 every so often for an update if you feel your results need to be re-calibrated. You can also download a demo version which offers everything the Professional version offers except the ability to save rankings, export to spreadsheet and run tasks on a schedule.