Rankings Progress – New Screen

One of our clients suggested this report. I hope you’ll find it useful as he does.

Let’s start with a picture to ease up the explanations:

SEO rankings progress

SEO rankings progress

As you can see in the example above, we show here the average rank per week for each keyword. The actual average rank is shown, plus a color that helps to mark the progress made. Each color marks a different range of rank. 1-3: dark green, 4-10: green, 11-20: lime, 21-100: yellow, 101-200 pink, >200: red.

Hope you find this useful. You can export this report using the pdf link at the bottom of the screen or add it to your reports from the reports section.

Here is where you can find this new screen:

rank progress menu

rank progress menu


Reports Section Upgrade

Since we realize that PDF/CSV reports are still important, specially for SEO agencies. We made an upgrade to our reports section.

First, we changed the former screen name from “mailed reports” to simply “reports”, and moved this screen from the settings section to the main left menu.
seo report menu

Second, we added the option to add a cover page to the report. Once you set the report to add cover page, it will be added to any merged report.
SEO report cover page

Third, You can now add a report that is manual, so it isn’t sent through mailed reports, just on demand. To do that just choose the “never” option on the “mail every” selection box in the “add new report” form.

Moving to HTTPS

Just moved our site to https.

The trend is to use https for all pages in websites, even ones that don’t handle any private/sensitive information. So, we moved all our pages to https. Up until now, only our ordering pages were secured. Google are pushing this, because their officials say they give more credit to secured sites. Also, chrome displays “not secure” on the URL bar, for pages that are not secured. So, there is definitely a strong push from Google towards using only https.

White label sites still operate on http since our certificate will not work for them. In the future, we will allow certain white label sites to work with https if they inform us their site’s certificate is valid for the sub domain used for the white label version of sheerseo.com.

Dashboard Export

We now added an PDF export to the dashboard.
For all the SEOs out there – this allows you to send much more impressive PDF to your clients. Not just the usual boring rankings table, but a comprehensive graphical data about their website.
To just export the dashboard, use the export button on the bottom of the dashboard screen.
dashboard pdf report seo

If you want to have this new PDF report sent to the client by email, you can add that in settings>domain settings>mailed reports screen.
The same screen also allows to create a merged report with both the dashboard and the rankings in the same PDF file.

New Dashboard

We’ve just added a new dashboard to the domain accounts.

Here is how it looks like:seo dashboard

You can find it in the menu, just above the rankings.

The dashboard has 3 main sections:

  • Rankings – average rank, rank trending and keyword changes since last collection.
  • Web Presence – data from Majestic and Alexa regarding the popularity of the website.
  • Organic visits (advanced and pro accounts only) – Estimated visits and actual visits. Actual visits will only be available after you integrate SheerSEO with G. Analytics or Google Search Console.
  • Rankings Discrepancies

    Many times I get customers saying that our rankings are not correct. While our system may have errors, that is rare.

    A more probable cause you see different results in Google than what are system is giving is:

    1. Localization – Google gives a different results based on your location. The country is the most critical in this respect, even if you use google.com, your results are not US if you’re outside US. For some keywords, also the city or even the zip code within the city influence the results. Those would usually be keywords that make sense to localize per city, like “plumber”, “lawyer”, etc.

    2. Personalization – Google is  trying to fit the results to your previous browsing history. Thus, usually your site, which you visit often, will appear high in the results. The way to avoid this is to sign out of any Google account you use (Gmail, G. Analytics, etc.).

    3. Low search volume keywords – Google is pretty consistent when it comes to keywords that are valuable, which are keywords that have high search volume. But when it comes to low search volume keywords, you might get different results depending on which Google server you hit.

    Analytics Information is not Reliable – “not provided”

    We know for some time that Google started hiding much of their organic search data from monitoring applications. When we come to see the keywords that originated the searches we see “not provided” most of the time. There is nothing new here, but lately it has become so extreme that Google Analytics information regarding organic search is completely useless.

    Here is a quick example:



    As you can see, 99% of our searches are not provided.

    Thus, I strongly suggest on not using Google Analytics integration in sheerseo. If you can, choose the Google search console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) instead.

    Responsive UI

    We’ve worked hard to keep adjusting our interface to be mobile friendly, or in other words “responsive”.

    You’ll notice that we changed our application side menu, so it is hidden when seen on small screens by default. You can use the hamburger menu next to our logo to show/hide the menu.
    See here (menu hidden):


    Notice also that the logo was reduced to 160px width and 80px height. This is now the ideal logo size. If you use an agency package, I suggest that you find a logo that is around this size. Otherwise, the application will do the best to fit the logo into these sizes, but it might look a little squeezed.

    Optimization Targets – New SEO Feature

    I am happy to announce on a new feature, called Optimization Targets, we just added to sheerseo. I believe this is a very important feature which combines the main features we have in sheerseo. It reflects the entire SEO process, of picking up the right keywords, then optimizing both on page and off page SEO, and finally iteration of tracking and adjusting the SEO for those selected keywords. Even better, you’ll be able to correlate the efforts done for this keyword to results that were achieved.

    Choosing the Keywords

    Some people use sheerseo to track hundreds of keywords, which is great, but eventually, you can only focus your main work on a limited number of keywords. This is what this step is all about.

    So, first thing is to go to the new screen, called “Optimization Targets”. Which is right under the rankings screen, and look at the suggestions at the bottom right part of the screen. Here is how it looks like for our website:

    Optimization targets - keyword suggestions

    Optimization targets – keyword suggestions

    As you can see, the suggestions in this case show you information that helps you decide on what keywords you should focus on. Here, the information includes keywords and your site’s rank for them in Google results. Also, you can see the number of times this Google page was viewed. So, for example, if you rank 15, this is page 2 in google results, and the impressions number in this case mean the number of times the second page was viewed by users for this keyword. The “localization” is here, because it is an integral part of the keyword. Each keyword ranks differently in different countries.
    This information will show up for Advanced and Professional users that integrated Google Search Console (formarly Google Webmaster Tools) into sheerseo. Users who integrated Google Analytics will see less information, and more basic users will see just the keywords they picked up in the rankings screen and their rankings.
    Each keyword you choose here is called Optimization Target, and this is limited, depending on your account level (limits are 2 per standard and light, 10 per advanced account and 20 per pro account ), so choose wisely which keywords you want to focus on.
    Few ideas on what should be focused:
    1. Keywords that are most vital to the business in terms of value.
    2. Keywords that have been neglected so far. If you see a suggestion that you never targeted so far and it has potential, than this might be an easy win.
    3. Keywords that are on the top of the Google page. For example a keyword that you rank 11th, might have a great benefit if it advances to first page.

    On Page SEO

    OK, now you have chosen your optimization targets, and you see some information for them, like here:

    Optimization targets - on page SEO

    Optimization targets – on page SEO

    As you can see, each optimization target shows a score for On Page Optimization. This score reflects how well this page is optimized for that keyword. If you’ll press the link on the score, you’ll be able to see details of how the score was calculated. You can then work to optimize this page, and check again by pressing the refresh button next to the score. In the above image, it looks like “seo software tool” has a low on page optimization score of 50, so it is a good candidate for optimization.

    Off Page SEO

    As you all know, off page SEO, is mostly about getting good backlinks. Here we measure and track the citation flow and trust flow of your page. Those are numbers between 0 and 100 of how well your page is perceived by Google, according to the backlinks  to it. Are they coming from strong sources (citation flow), and are they coming from reliable sources (trust flow). See example here:

    Optimization targets - off page optimization

    Optimization targets – off page optimization

    Another measure you can see here is the number of backlinks. This shows the amount of backlinks per this speciffic URL, not your entire site. Those figures will update weekly, so you can see the progress.

    If you want to use sheerseo to do something useful in order to add more backlinks, you can try the “blog reviews” feature. If you look at the right most column of the optimization targets table, you’ll see an icon with a “B” on it. Pressing it will lead you to the a blog review, with the details of the optimization target already populated. It is a good way of getting good backlinks . Just recently I used it for our website and easily got 2 great bloggers to talk about our product, so don’t miss this one.

    Optimization targets - blog reviews

    Optimization targets – blog reviews

    Let’s Examine the Results

    So we did all we could, and we want to see progress. This takes time. Google scans pages depending on their value, so some pages might be scanned daily, and some are scanned every 4 months. So, it might take months for the changes you did to be noticed by Google. SEO needs patience.
    The Optimization Targets let you track your progress per each of the optimization targets. Let’s see how.

    Optimization targets - seo tracking

    Optimization targets – seo tracking

    As you can see above, we got the rank, the impressions, and finally, the ultimate goal of the visits to our website here. Those of you with basic packages will only see the rankings. Would be great to correlate that to the process you done with the on page and off page optimization, wouldn’t it. In the future, I plan to allow adding some kind of log per optimization target, so you can write the actions you did per each date.

    Hope you enjoy this feature, it took us more than half a year to develop it.

    RIP – Google PageRank

    Sadly, Google decided to stop the support of their Toolbar PageRank. For years, we were able to see Google’s score for each page over the web. On April 2016, two months ago, that stopped. So we can’t tell what is the Google PageRank anymore. Not just us, no one can.

    So, we replaced the Google PageRank with the indications we get from Majestic SEO. They scan all the links in the internet, just like Google does, and provide two scores. One is the Citation Flow, which is somewhat similiar to Google PageRank. It is a number between 0 and 100, where 100 is the best score and 0 is the worst. Another score in the Trust Flow. That is also from 0 to 100. The difference between the numbers is that the Citation Flow shows the strength of the backlinks a page has, and the Trust Flow, indicates how trust worthy the link profile of that page is. So, for example, if a page has strong backlinks from unreliable sources, it might have a high Citation Flow score, but low Trust Flow score.

    What we did to accommodate for the loss of the PageRank is to replace it all over our system with Citation Flow and Trust Flow. That includes the Main Referrers screen, the Backlinks Checker, the blogs score in the Blog Reviews section, and the directories score in the Directory Submission feature.