So one of the things I’ve really been working on lately is finding some kind of tool that will track my keywords’ rankings for my various websites. At the moment I have over 100 websites I would like to be able to track rankings on and doing it manually simply isn’t an option at this point. I know that Market Samurai has this feature, however the word on the street is that the results aren’t very accurate. I’ve had SEO Power Suite in my mind for quite a while after it was reviewed on one of the few IM blogs I read regularly – this was probably at least 6 months ago. For anyone who isn’t familiar with SEO Power Suite, it is a set of tools that inclue a rank checker, on page optimization tool, competitive analysis tool and link exchange tool. I personally don’t feel that I have much need for any of the tools other than the rank checker, but I have heard some really great things about it and it sounds like it’s very accurate. The rest of the tools I can take or leave. I don’t think the link assistant is something I would use at all, and about the only thing I would use the other tools for would be for generating fancy reports to include in quotes for potential SEO clients.
So you can buy the indvidual tools, or you can buy the whole package. You also have to choose between the Pro and Enterprise editions. I was literally seconds away from buying the full Enterprise package for around $600, but changed my mind at the last minute. Here are the main reasons:
1. I couldn’t really figure out if I needed the PRO or Enterprise version. They have a nice chart detailing the differences between the two packages, but I couldn’t exactly tell what those differences were based on the descriptions. For example, I know it is possible to generate reports in the PRO version, but I don’t know if it is possible to somehow take those reports out of SEO Power Suite. I could see that a lot of the Enterprise features dealt with exporting reports and similar things, but I just couldn’t tell for sure. I wouldn’t want to buy the PRO version and find out that it doesn’t do what I need, and I wouldn’t want to pay double for the Enterprise version and find out that I really don’t need the extra features at all. I could have just asked support, but that brings me to my second point.
2. They don’t make it easy to email support. Of course, they don’t have a nice easy support email listed on their site – they have a ticketing system, which you have to register for to be able to get in touch with support. I don’t know about you, but I really hate it when I can’t find a support email address, and I especially don’t like having to go through a convoluted ticketing system just to ask a sales question. To me, that’s just crazy. I can 100% guarantee that if they would have provided a sales/support email address, I would have contacted them and likely ended up buying the product.
3. SEO Power Suite has hidden fees attached. One of the things I found out at the last minute that was really the nail in the coffin on this deal for me was the fact that they actually charge an ongoing fee to keep RankTracker data updated, and possibly for the other tools as well. It isn’t for software updates – it has to do with them keeping up with search engines to provide accurate data with the tool. Which is fine. But it is VERY hard to find this information on their site. I found out about it after reading someone’s comment about it in a review I was looking at. From what it sounds like, you have to pay some kind of subscription fee and if you don’t, the software ultimately will become useless. So basically what they’re doing here is getting you to buy a very expensive software package without really telling you that you’re going to have to continue paying to keep it working. Not only that, but I spent about 30 minutes trying to find information on what the fees actually are on their website and funny, I still can’t tell you what they are or what they apply to. They DO have a page buried on their site that vaguely describes the fees, but there are no specifics at all. So that one really sealed the deal for me.
Overall, I really wanted to like this product, and I was sincerely planning to buy it. Unfortunately the fact that they are difficult to contact coupled with the fact that they obviously are not trying to be open about the ongoing fees is just too much for me to get over.
Sadly I really don’t have a lot of other great ideas as far as tools to use for tracking rankings across a large number of websites, so if anyone else has any ideas, I’m all ears.