This review is certainly a tangent from my normal personal finance software reviews, but I thought that some of my readers would benefit from a review of some new software that I’ve been using for help with this website. Many of you have websites or blogs of your own and as such, may have dabbled a bit in marketing your site or trying to get it to rank better in the search engines in order to gain traffic.
If this is you, you may want to check out two pieces of software that I’ve found extremely helpful in 1. tracking my website’s rankings and 2. building incoming links to the site in order to help with search engine ranking. One is called Advanced Web Ranking and the other is Advanced Link Manager. Both pieces of software are made by Caphyon and run on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Advanced Web Ranking
Advanced Web Ranking is a very powerful piece of software that can do just about anything (related to website ranking, of course) that you want it to. To give you an idea of how complex the program can be, here’s a screenshot (click images to enlarge):
You can see that the program looks quite complicated, but after spending just a little time with it, you’ll quickly get to know your way around and what was once seen as “complicated” turns into “powerful.”
Want to know just a few things that you can with Advanced Web Ranking? Here’s a screenshot of their “Assistant”:
As you can see, there are a myriad of things that you can do within Advanced Web Ranking (AWR). Want to view your ranking changes over the past month? No problem. Want to do some detailed analysis on the rankings of competitor websites? You got it. Need some suggestions for new keywords that you may want to go after? AWR has you covered.
Now, for most people with small websites or blogs, this may be overkill. And for those folks, there are plenty of inexpensive and even free web ranking monitoring services available. But for those who love to have virtually all data points relating to website rankings at their fingertips, I’m not sure if AWR can be beat.
Being that it would be virtually impossible for me to do a full walkthrough and highlight each of its features, let me just mention a few of the things I’ve grown to love about AWR:
The Amount of Information: AWR goes out and fetches loads of data for the keywords and the websites that you’ve chosen. And while the data can take some time to be gathered (which is a good thing, in a way, because it does it in a “human emulated” manner so it’s more search engine friendly), it’s well worth the wait because when you’re done you can analyze the information to virtually no end. For those data heads out there, you’ll love the power of AWR.
Scheduled Updates: If you don’t like waiting for the data to be gathered each time, all you have to do is schedule your ranking updates on any recurring schedule that you’d like and AWR does at all in the background for you. AWR doesn’t even have to be running. You can even schedule the updates to occur at night so you’ll have all your data ready and waiting for you in the morning.
Interactive Reports: The interactive reports that AWR supplies you are really nice. For those that may be in charge of web marketing for their company, you’ll find these quite handy for providing professional looking reports to your boss. And yes, you can even schedule these reports to be created and emailed automatically so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Keyword Suggestion Tools: Another great feature is the keyword research tool within the application. AWR allows you to use the tools provided by Google, WordTracker, and Yahoo to research keywords. In addition, it has some neat functionality in terms of picking and choosing and storing your keywords so they go right into AWR.
For an overview of all the other features (and believe me, they are many), go to the features page of their website. Or to see an example of how AWR can really help you, go to the features walkthrough.
Advanced Link Manager
Now this is the one that most webmasters could get really excited about. At least those that are actively marketing their website. Advanced Link Manager (ALM) essentially can act as your hub for all things link building. It really is a “link manager.” The amount of data it brings in is almost mind blowing. But the information that’s then at your fingertips can be really powerful when you’re searching for new opportunities for building links and creating relationships with other websites.
Advanced Link Manager is no less powerful (nor seemingly complicated) than Advanced Web Ranking. But the same is true, that after spending a little time, you’ll be able to navigate your way around rather easily. Also, the websites for each piece of software have great walkthroughs and guides that are a huge help as you learn the system.
Here’s a screenshot of ALM (the screen shown is ‘Referrers’, which is their way of showing who all is linking to you):
Just to give you an example of some of the things you can quickly learn from a page such as this: I can see here that I have about 219 websites that are linking to mine. Since I last updated the data (four days prior), 3 links have been removed. And of the 219 links reported by ALM, 60 of which are “nofollow” links.
I can even quickly see what the anchor text is for any given link (in the screenshot, the link text for the squidoo link was “mvelopes review – mvelopes (finicity) money manager review.” Also, a quick double-click and it opens the linking webpage in my browser.
What else can you do with Advanced Link Manager? Maybe this will give you a bit more of an idea:
Again, it would be nigh impossible to go through each feature of ALM, so I’ll touch on a few of the things that really shine in the system.
Backlinks Evolution: Want a quick snapshot of how your link building efforts have paid off over the last 6 months? Or see how your link popularity has grown? This chart will show you the number of backlinks your site has, graphed over time. You can choose to view links for your entire site or a single page. You can even graph multiple pages against each other to compare. Also, using the various categories built into ALM (and customizable by you), you can choose to see “Important” links, “Paid” links, “Blog” links, and many, many more.
Link Text: This screen gives you a break down of how many links you have for each keyword or anchor text. This can be extremely helpful as you try to determine which keywords you should focus on in the future. And yes, by selecting a keyword, you can see all the webpages that are linking to you with that anchor text.
Competitor Analysis: ALM has a myriad of tools that help you to analyze your competitors’ websites and see why they are ranking where they are. It can gather the same information for your competitors’ sites that it can gather for yours, so with a little time you can really see what you need to do to pass up your competitors.
Finding Link Partners: One of ALM’s primary purposes is to help you find link partners that you can build a relationship with to eventually get a link. There are many ways to do this within ALM, one of which is using it’s “Find Link Partners” wizard. Basically it goes out and searches sites (based either on your chosen keywords or on your competitors) and finds the sites that you are most likely to want a link from. From the many results that it returns, you can quickly filter them by PR, outbound links, and virtually any other way you want to find some great opportunities for new links.
Contact Information: For each webpage that ALM gathers, it can quickly retrieve the contact information for that website. From within ALM, you can then email those webmasters to start building a relationship. ALM tracks your emails and your progress with each site so you can always know where you are in the process of attaining a link.
Just like with Advanced Web Ranking, you can schedule updates and reports to your heart’s content. I’ve really found ALM to be a powerful tool. Overkill for most folks? Probably. But for those who spend a large chunk of time marketing their website, Advanced Link Manager is sure to please.
A Few Notes on AWR and ALM
There are varying levels of the product, each with different price points (Standard, Professional, and Enterprise). Most bloggers and small website owners probably wont need something so powerful and can certainly find cheaper alternatives that will fit their needs. But for those that are in need of such advanced software, the prices are very reasonable. Luckily, Caphyon is having a special where they offer free licenses for the software to those who write about their products on the web (hence, this post).
I do wish that ALM and AWR were more tightly integrated with each other. It would be great to be able to glean even more information from the data of both products combined.
I had heard about, and have since experienced, the quality of customer service that Caphyon delivers as well. Any time I’ve had a question or small error, I’ve been responded to very quickly on the forums and via email. Hats off to Caphyon for doing so well in that regard.
Trust me when I say that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what both Advanced Web Ranking and Advanced Link Manager have to offer. To get a better feel for their true value, spend a little time on their respective websites or even give their free trial a whirl. You can use the software, full-featured, for 30-days.