WHEN YOU SHOULD MANAGE YOUR OWN SEO
Managing your own SEO is all about control. No-one knows your business like you. The downside is that can be time consuming. You also need to have a huge amount of knowledge of how SEO works….or so I thought.
Why Manage Your Own SEO
As a DIY kind of guy I had been reluctant to go the next step and actually purchase a SEO management system. Two years ago I didn’t think I needed one, as I only had a couple of business websites up and running and I had always done well with my Google ranking. Times change and so does the Google Algorithm. Competition has gotten fierce and my rankings had dropped. Even with putting the time in to add more content and clean up things like title errors description and other Metadata information, my progress back towards top ranking was slow. Something was obviously wrong with my site and I couldn’t work out what I needed to fix to get things back on track. This is where a good SEO management system should be able to help.
Which SEO Management system
I put reservations aside and decided that I would give SERPSTAT a try. This was really just informed guesswork, but I read a few reviews and thought it suited me. You could pay monthly, it was both comprehensive in it’s content and cheap compared to the competition. The big positive was that all the reviews I had read stressed how easy it is to use. SERPSTAT seemed to fit my needs and as it was advertised at under $20 a month (or around $55 for 3 months) it seemed like it would be worth a try. If I was making SEO my profession I may have chosen something different. My choice was based on a need to be easily able to manage my own architectural websites health, visibility and rank.
How Serpstat works
I used the free version on the weekend. Basically you just log on get a password and you are up and running. The free version gives you the same dashboard and tools as the paid version, but some things are greyed out so you cannot use all the functionality. It is all very straightforward and intuitive and there are very helpful tutorials if you need them. My one complaint is that the tutorials are spoken very quickly, so I needed to re-play lots of times to make sense of the information. Once I had a good understanding of how the program worked I paid up and within a minute I had access to all the features I needed.
Firstly (even for the free version) you put in the URL of your website and create a project by filling in a bit of additional information as requested (such as timezone etc). Once you have a project you can do a “Site Audit” which checks the health of your site and then lists and prioritizes the things you need to fix. At 35 % health for my old website and 55% for my new one I realised that there was lots more to do than I had thought. No wonder my ranking had dropped! I had been randomly fixing things for 3 months and hadn’t really made much impact on the problems. One major repetitive problem was due to fact that my Blog didn’t have any descriptions. A bit of Googling & I discovered that Word-Press didn’t do this Automatically and a Plugin was needed. No wonder my Search engine indexing wasn’t coming along very well!
SERPSTAT does a myriad of other things. Check their reviews if you want to find out more about their suitability for your business. Most of these things weren’t of interest to me, but the one other thing I found really useful for my business was the tools you could use to analyse your competition. Being able to generate lists of your competitions keywords and back-links was really helpful and led me to discover that the Website on top of the page in Google for all of the main key terms of my Industry in my city… eg anything concerning Adelaide and or Architect (in any order including plurals) had very few back-links. Of the ones it had there were only 4 around the top 100k in Alexa rank. I clicked on one of these and some answers were gained. It was minimal in content and was advertising links. I did a bit more digging and discovered other links back to a SEO company here in Adelaide. Ok, everything isn’t always fair. At least I knew now how they did it! Previously it had been a mystery to me why they were on top. I have always been skeptical of using someone else to do SEO for me especially if they use a few black-hat tricks to give you a boost. If you get found out Google can heavily penalise you and you may never be found in their top pages again. You may even be completely de-listed. It is a huge risk. If they manage to stay on top at least I will know who their SEO provider is. It may be worth giving them a call and setting up a new website for them to manage. That way I don’t have the risk of losing the hard work I have spent on my existing sites.
Is SEO software worth purchasing?
In one word… YES. Was I happy with the SEO management system I chose? Another resounding YES….
SERPSTAT was as easy to use as it promised and the site audit discovered around 1000 things I needed to fix. That alone was worth the $20 purchase price I paid. It will keep me busy in my spare time for weeks.My only gripe is that the exchange rate between American dollars wasn’t mentioned anywhere I could see and at an exchange rate of 70 cents American to one Aussie dollar it cost me a little more than I had expected.
Being able to see what my competition were doing was a feature I didn’t think I needed, but it turns out that it was really helpful to make informed decisions regarding my own content and keywords and develop a marketing plan for my residential architecture business into the future.