One of the core services of any SEO campaign is to report back to the client on search rankings. Over the past five years reporting has shifted more to sales and conversion tracking, we now see another shift with reporting on touch points of user journeys. No doubt in the next five years we’ll see more changes in reporting SEO campaigns, however reporting on key phrases positions will always be a key aspect of SEO reporting.

I’m my last role I was part of a team that developed a web ranking tool that scraped search engine results, calculated rankings and reporting back to a client interface. Having your own tool has it’s benefits but for me will also be restricted by the need to have internal resource to initially create such a tool and the continues work to maintain. How many companies are able to pull programmers off paid work to work on internal projects, it doesn’t happen often!

Often costing at companies for programming time is calculated by an hourly or daily rate. A quick estimate to make a ranking tool could be calculated as:

£70 per hour * 7.5 hours a day = £525 per day.

You may need around 6 days of planning time, requirement gathering and meetings to get things started. – £3,150

3 week of development time. – £7,875

1 day of testing – £525

3 days of tweaks – £1,575

So your looking at around £13,125 just to create the tool.

Your alternative is to buy a tool already, for that I would go with Caphyon’s Advanced Web Ranking.

To start the cost is minimal compared to building your own tool, $399 which is about £257 will buy you the Enterprise version. Even with an annual cost it’s still cheaper over many years than building your own ranking software.

As for features it has everything, different types of reports, no limit on key phrases, every search engine you could need is on there to record a site ranking, scheduled reports, scheduled ranking checks, upload reports to ftp, save locally, email to a client, reports come out in multiple formats, reports can be customised and so on and so on everything you could think of from an seo software package.

There’s even a keyword research tool which uses the webmaster tools API and SEMRush API to generate key phrase suggestion lists. That list then can be easily imported into a project.

Everything and anything you can think of the tool has that feature, proxies – yes, multiple users – yes, graphs – yes, on page reports – yes.

As for scalability I’ve had it running 24/7 for 7 months with not one crash on a dedicated server, just under 1000 clients and around 10,000 key phrases.

If you have your own client log in center you can easily feed into that by having csv or txt reports sent to a server, your server then grabs the data adding into your client center. This is a set up I’ve used in the past. Advanced Web Ranking grabs the data, sends it off, your own software displays that data directly into your own reporting suite. There’s even a export rank data feature which will export all the data in a friendly format which then can be uploaded into your own tool.

Accuracy is spot on, and most importantly if Google changes their interface an update will be on it’s way pronto.

Once concern if your planning on changing to the Advanced Web Ranking is the time taken to migrate over from an old system. Features such as the import key phrases from a txt list makes the process quick and painless.

There’s a 30 day trail with no commitment to buy, so give it a try!