AWR Cloud: Advanced Web Ranking Tool Review
The internet is the place to go to when you want to advertise and promote your business – whether you have a local brick-and-mortar store or a startup company operating online. Millions of people search the internet every day to look for services and products similar to yours. But what if they can’t find you? Data shows that the highest CTR comes from the first few search results and people hardly continue looking for businesses on the second page. After all, "the best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google search results". So, it isn’t strange that your goal is to be found online and organically appear at the top of the search results. But how do you start?
One way is to use SEO tools. The SEO tool that we like to use when we want to track the rankings of our client’s website is AWR Cloud, Advanced Web Ranking. AWR gives us, in a quick overview, all the important keyword ranking data of our client’s website, along with the ability to drill down the data into specific subsets. Knowing the position the website has in the search engine is an important factor to create an effective SEO strategy.
Let us tell you a bit more about this robust, powerful tool and how we are using it.
What Is AWR Cloud?
Advanced Web Ranking, or AWR Cloud, is a tool for managing, tracking and reporting keyword rankings on all major search engines. In short; it helps you to find the best strategy for your keywords and keyword phrases. A good keyword is one with a high click-through rate. In AWR, changes within the CTR for a keyword can be easily determined due to the red and green arrows. Besides keywords, AWR has a pretty good link building tool too. AWR identifies potential links and helps you obtain trustworthy referrals. Then, with the link profile analysis you are able to monitor your link progress and understand which links generate the highest traffic. It also reports the backlinks of your competitor’s website. In fact, AWR can show you a lot more about your competitors.
Want to know how your competitors managed to appear at the top of the search results or why they rank well for a particular keyword? In a clear overview all social media strategies, on-page optimization, and link partners are presented, and you will soon know their on page techniques, where their backlinks come from, and what keywords they are targeting. Do what they do – but do it better. At the same time, assess your own website regarding visits, bounce rates, time on site, traffic sources, goal completions, and more. You can simply link your Google Analytics account to AWR Cloud; the Analytics feature pulls your Google Analytics data directly into the tool. Not only your website’s activity can be tracked, but also the number of shares on most social networking-sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Oh, before we forget – the best part; AWR has a Reports function. In the Reports section you are able to create customizable reports on almost all features of AWR such as rankings, analytics, on-site audits, and backlinks. You can combine features and display them in such a way that you do not need to create any separate reports. Plus, the reports can be exported into different formats, like PDF, CSV and HTML, and be scheduled or automatically shared through mail or across browsers.
* AWR comes as a cloud version. The AWR Desktop version was available in the past, but is no longer under active development.
AWR Cloud has four different pricing plans – there is the Starter Plan: $49 per month, Pro Plan: $99 per month, Agency Plan: $199 per month, and Enterprise Plan: $499 per month. It is not the cheapest tool, but compared to other rank-tracking tools it gives you all the necessary insights to evaluate your ranking performance. All pricing plans include seven distinctive features. The Agency and Enterprise Plan also include an eighth feature, as well as each pricing plans differs in keyword size.
Besides, AWR Cloud comes with a 30 day free trial that includes complete and unrestricted access, and there is a 30 day money back guarantee after you subscribed.
AWR Cloud Walkthrough
To get you started, we created a kind of written AWR Cloud walkthrough, in which we explain the most important, useful functions of the tool.
First things first: Proper account setup
To create a good SEO strategy with AWR Cloud, it is not enough to just add your website URL and keywords to track your ranking. In order to fully analyze your organic position and organic performance, you have to integrate your website’s Google Search Console and Google Analytics account. With this you will have a better understanding of your performances and find new opportunities.
Besides, it is important to set how often you want AWR to check your keywords. You may have on-demand updates, but you can also update your keywords daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly (these updates do consume your accounts resources so plan accordingly). For us, bi-weekly updates are more than enough to make an analysis. If you are dependent on a few important keywords, you might want to consider daily updates.
Regarding the Results Page Depth-section, we select five pages (meaning until the 50th result) as it is providing us with enough tracking insights – after the 50th keyword, the results might be irrelevant. Plus, all these small adjustments will save you some resources and helps you to focus on what is more important in your organic analysis.
Keyword setup requires careful planning
Like us, you most probably have a list of keywords that are important to your business – but stop! don’t just blindly add your keyword list and start tracking. AWR gives you several options to segment your keywords. Before importing your keywords, decide which ones are branded and which ones non-branded, and tick the box which labels your branded keywords while importing. By separating your keywords as branded and non-branded, you will have a better understanding of your real organic performance. Your brand name will always bring you some organic traffic but overall your long tail keywords will increase the organic traffic even more. Oh, you should also exclude your branded keywords in Google Analytics using the Search Term Exclusion List.
Besides segmenting, it is important to group your keywords. Adding thousands of keywords without first grouping will make it very hard to analyze. Think of your keyword groups as product sections, or department names of your company – it is easier to understand the different sections of your website or pages when you group them.
Also, in the Keyword Ranking reports you can select your groups and get a more detailed view of your group performance. Ask yourself; why are these groups of keywords performing bad? Are there any trend-related search changes in user behavior? Maybe your grouped keywords are no longer important in your industry, maybe a website technical problem relates with this trend – questions are endless ..
Enter your competitors
Checking your ranking performance just for your own website will give you a very limited and partial picture of how well you are doing in your sector. The title of the book of Intel’s co-founder Andy Grove, "Only the paranoid survive", stresses the focus on competitors. We agree, checking your competition is important, but it is always better to put your energy into your own company.
In AWR Cloud you can enter your competitor’s websites and subdomains (like blogs, stores) and track their positions for the keywords that you are ranking for. You should, however, update your competitors section every six months, and add any new players if necessary.
Our Favorite Ranking Reports
Sometimes we ask ourselves; where is the leakage? Which potentials should we focus on? Well, we can check this with the visibility score, which is a metric that AWR Cloud calculates for you. It’s a general birds-eye-view of how well you are doing. For this, we go to Rankings > Visibility.
In general, we check several potential areas. First up is the Rank Number, which shows how many of the keywords that we entered in AWR, does not generate any ranking in Google. Then, the Not Ranked report pushes us to question whether our keywords are related or not (maybe our website does not create enough content related to those keywords?)
Secondly, we look at the Below First Page metric. This metric helps us to define how our SEO strategy and tactics will be. It gives us a visual representation of how well we are doing since the first day of tracking. Increases might indicate any new competitors that entered the market, outdated content on our websites, maybe we are missing important trends, and so on.
As discussed above, grouping your keywords gives you a better understanding of your organic performance. The Visibility Report integrates the Google Search Console data and allows you to look inside your groups and analyze even further.
Search Engine Comparison Report
As Google presents a new Mobile-First index in 2018, checking both your desktop and mobile results is very important. By just looking at the General Visibility Score (Rankings > Search Engine Comparison Report), you get an idea of the problems on your mobile website. If the results are lower than the desktop results, try to find out why you have a lower mobile position in Google SERP.
Also you may check your individual, branded or non-brand keywords for mobile and desktop performances, and understand your position. So, before it is too late, check your mobile rankings and improve your mobile pages.
Keyword ranking, digging deeper
AWR gives accurate results of your keyword position in Google. There are several reports to check, but segmenting these reports are the best way to find the ‘gems’ in your organic tactics. Segmenting gives the answers to the questions you might have. For example one of our favorite question to ask is; what are our non-branded keywords that are not showing up in the first 10 results? To answer this question, we go to Rankings > Keyword Ranking, instead of All Keywords, select the Non-Branded Keywords, choosing the Not In Top 10 from the top menu. Potential non-branded keywords that should be (at least) on the first page show up and are visualized in a graph, telling us how well the non-branded keywords are doing. So, which keyword to focus on then? If you do not know, just sort them from high to low in the Searches column; High search = more potential organic traffic.
Going beyond 10 Blue Links
Today we are seeing more than 10 blue links in the Google SERP’s – video results, AMP results, images, featured snippets, and so on. These new areas are also new opportunities for you to be seen on Google. If the keywords you are targeting are a bit competitive, then maybe you will find your luck in the new areas.
This is also one of the reasons that we love to look at the Google Mobile Results. For our project, we filter the Results Type to OneBox. The areas shows us how much traffic we are generating and how our content strategy should reflect these data. This data will also help you to establish your Featured Snippet strategy.
Images gives you extra traffic
It is possible that most of your SEO efforts focus on text content, but there is a huge opportunity in the Google Images search results as well. Plus, AWR can track these performances easily. You should, however, first add the Google Image option in your account setting. Keep in mind that this option also consumes your account points.
Once you’ve added the Google Images setting, you can check your keyword performance in the image searches by, in the data table, sorting your keywords according to Searches and check your rankings.
There is more.. If you’ve also connected your Google Analytics and Google Search Console to your account, you can see how much traffic was generated through the image searches. You might see high rankings but no organic visits for some keywords – this might signal that your content and pages for that image is relevant, but the image itself or the quality of the image did not satisfy the keyword or interest of the user. Test whether you should add additional images and text to your page that best describes your image content, or simply change the image completely.
Important to mention: the image search result pages are very different than text results, as results are given in a continuous flow and users see different images per row. For more information, please check the explanation from Google about how Image search results are shown and data given into Search Console.
Finding Opportunities from Google Organic CTR’s
It is possible that the keywords you entered when you setup your account are not enough and there are more opportunities that you are not aware of. This is where Google Search console integration comes into play.
When you go to Google > Keywords, you see next to the keywords you track, also the keywords from Google Search Console. There might be lots of new keywords you are not aware of, but Google relates your website and searches of users.
Select Keywords Only In GWT as this table gives you the keywords that are not tracked in AWR, but which your websites receives. When you sort this table by Click Opportunities, you can see the keyword performances on the search results. First add these potential gem keywords in your AWR list and try to optimize the bad performing keywords in your website. How? Well, you could just change your title, meta descriptions or add better content that satisfy users intent.
Lastly: Keep an eye on your competitors
If you’ve entered your competitors in your account setup, you can check how well they are doing. Again you can filter their keywords in Not In Top 10, and sort them according to their rankings. Here you can see in which keywords your competitors are doing better than you. Check their websites as well and try to understand how they integrate the keywords on their website. Are they, for example, making special content marketing about the keyword topic, or did they write very authoritative pages about it.
AWR is a great product and we are already using it for a very long time. We believe that any SEO practitioner should consider using keyword ranking tools, and AWR is a very good option.
Besides, the main purpose of SEO should not be the rank of the keywords, but creating better content and satisfying your users search intent. Remember: great content deserves great ranking, even if that’s not always the case, but it’s worth keeping this in mind.
Of course, there are a lot more SEO tools that we are using and that facilitate our daily work. For example, at the moment we are testing SEO Monitor and after our tests are done we might post our opinions on this tool here, too. So, it’s worth checking back our blog from time to time. Until then, stay happy and stay on page 1!
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