Hello folks and welcome to this (very late!) instalment of The SEO’s Toolbox!
Today I’m joined by Darren Shaw of Whitespark, the company behind today’s featured tool the Local Rank Tracker. This tool is quite new to market so I’m really grateful to Darren for letting us have a sneaky peak under the bonnet. He’s also slipped in a little discount too for anybody who wants to give it a spin…
First of all welcome and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. To kick off I’d like to know a little more about you and how you first became involved with the local rank tracker?
We started development of our local rank tracker in mid-2011. It went through many iterations, overhauls, and redesigns over the next year and half until we finally launched it in January 2013. I think I started telling people that we’d be launching it in “2 weeks” around January 2012, and I just kept saying that over and over for about a year. I’m no good at estimates.
Tell us more about the local rank tracker itself?
It’s a rank tracker that does local really well, and also does organic of course.
We were frustrated by the lack of a good, accurate, local rank tracking solution for our client reporting, so we decided to build our own. The problem with most other rank trackers is that they don’t track local at all (or very well), and when they do, they check the rankings from the IPs of their servers. This leads to inaccurate rankings because rankings differ so much depending on the location of the searcher. We’ve developed a number of features to make our rank tracker the best it can be for local:
Accurate to the City
We geolocate to the specific city on every search which provides much more accurate rank reporting for local terms.
Track Keywords Without the Geomodifier
Because we geolocate to the city, users can see where they rank for the term WITHOUT adding the city name to the keyphrase. For example, “dentist” instead of “dentist Atlanta”. People are more likely to search without adding the city name to the query, so this lets you see where you really stand in the rankings.
Track Local Pack and Places Rankings
We’ll tell you where you rank in the local pack that appears on web results, and within Places itself. When you can see that you’re #8 in Places, you know that it just needs a little kick to break into that valuable local pack.
See What Matters
Our key chart for every campaign provides a great visual on your page 1 rankings over time.
Our campaign overview page lets you see how all your campaigns are doing at a glance. Our color coding on this page lets you focus on what matters by highlighting movement in the top ten.
Track Any URL
Your online marketing isn’t just focused on your website. On any campaign you can track your website, your YouTube videos, your Facebook page, your Yelp listing, etc. If it has a URL, we’ll tell you where it ranks.
Report on Universals
In our organic report we’ll tell you if any images, videos, review stars, or news appeared in the results. This can be useful to tip you off when a competitor is ranking with a video or news item.
If there anything exciting coming up in the next few months? What does the future have in store for the local rank tracker? Do you have a vision of where you see the local rank tracker heading in the short to medium term?
Track your own Universals
We’re working on an update to our campaign form that will let you input information on your authorship, videos, images, and news items. We’ll let you know where these items are appearing in the SERPs.
At the moment, we break up organic, local pack, and Places rankings into three different reports. We’re working on a combined view that will show you where you rank overall and simply specify whether it was organic, local, or some universal.
Improved UI and Charts
We have a number of features planned to make it easier to set up your campaigns as well as some new charts for deeper insight into the health of your campaigns.
We’ll automatically pull your top competitors and show you how you compare.
The way I tend to find out about the best tools (both new or old) is via blogs or presentations from other SEO’s who’ve often been using them for a while. Is there any post or slide decks featuring your tool you’d recommend?
It’s a fairly new tool, so this is pretty much the first post about it! Mike Ramsey and Mary Bowling have been showing it off at conferences though. Mike recently said this about it “I think it’s great. It was my top recommended local track tool at PubCon.”
(From Gaz: Delighted that Darren shared such a new tool with us but it’s a shame to have no further resources so I wanted to drop in the local SEO video which Darren was reciently involved with)
How about some headlines, give me a couple of interesting facts about the local rank tracker?
Our system currently crawls over thirty thousand keywords per hour, and we write about 50gb worth of data to our datastore every day. Those numbers are relatively small though. We’re just getting started. We’ve been busy working on some horizontal scaling that will allow us to scale everything infinitely.
What about pricing models?
We’re happy to offer 20% off all plans (excluding Small Business), ongoing, to all Stoked SEO readers. Simply enter the promo code “stoked!” when signing up