Aug 6, 2013
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One thing I REALLY don't like to do is repetitive tasks. When you have more clients than you have fingers, many things can get our of control real fast. About 10 minutes ago, I was hit with another "What took me so long" idea that I think will really help us out.

Every month we review the current ranking positions of our clients website pages. If we see a page that isn't ranking so well or is on life support, we bust out our onpage optimization toolbox and start changing all sorts of things. After we hit the 'Update' button to save our changes, we don't look back. So after a month or so, we have no clue if the page is ranking better, worse or stayed the same. To make things worse, we don't even remember making the changes because we have so many clients with 20-30 pages of content each that we just hope for the best and move on to the next priority on our list

Being an office automation kind of guy, I got to thinking about how we can manage this. First off, I am a big fan of dashboards because I like to see things in one place. My thought went something like this;

"Wouldn't it be nice to see all the changes we made to client webpages where we can see the beginning page ranking and then see a history of the ranking over time?"

I would like a module where I can add a page url that show a starting ranking position then run at certain intervals like once per week where we can see the history of the ranking change.

Here are the fields required:

Page URL to Track
Search Term For That Page
Notes field to describe specific changes made (Page Title, H1, image addition etc)
Current rank for Google,Google Mobile and Google Maps (We can get these using Bright Local or other API's)

1) Add the URL you want to track
2) Add the search term
3) Hit a magic button in the software that would populate the current ranking of that page with the search term

We understand that a search term may rank better on a page that we don't want to rank for so we will deal with that.

We understand that there is software out there that does this but we want to track specific urls for certain client pages and we want it to be integrated with our software so that it's easy to view and use so we can make fast decisions with minimal effort so we can save time.

We will start programming this starting this week and will add to this post with any "challenges" that come our way.

Our software will create a transaction record for each url each time we run a ranking update. By doing this, we can see when ranking changes occur, either good or bad.

If you don't have a means to automate this, you could set up a spreadsheet to track.

Disclosures: I have a background in software development. I have a great resource who has worked on our backend software for over 3 years now and is well verse in API integration.

Thoughts? Comments?

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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I like the idea, because this is definitely something a lot of people are concerned about. My question is how will it be different from other rank tracking software you could use? SEObook has a rank tracker where you can plug in the keyword and pull back the page, SERPwoo allows you to track campaigns by URL (not just domain), SearchMetrics has page tagging, etc... (I just went from free > most expensive software costs).

What's the main goal of building it yourself over paying for a tool subscription?


Aug 6, 2013
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Here are some reasons why we build these tools ourselves:

1) With many tools, it takes way too many clicks to get to the information we need. I type allot and am always looking for ways to cut down on our daily keystrokes. So bottom line, it takes me one click to my dashboard to see the performance of all of our client web pages that we want to track. Sure, I can do it with another tool but it would take me an hour or more to accumulate the data. I need something scalable and with 15+ clients, tracking page changes and optimization effort doesn't get any harder as I add clients.

2) My programmer is fast. He already finished the module for me. I need to make a few screen changes though. He charges $18 per hour and worked about 15 hrs on this so for $270 I have this functionality and I own the software.

3) I am running two other businesses besides my SEM business so I need quick snapshots of how things are working. I have a guy in New York helping me with optimization and with this tool, I can track what pages he is optimizing and if the optimization is paying off. I can hire multiple people to help optimize my client pages and I can see the performance of each persons work.

4) I don't want to pay any more monthly subscriptions past what I currently have.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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$18/hour for a programmer is pretty cheap. I guess if the cost makes sense, then yeah it works to build a tool yourself. Which API's are you using? Is this just for ranking reports or will there be other KPI's you need to look at?
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