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A kick-start for search

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Ryan Urban is the founder of Bounce Exchange, which helps marketers monetize unproductive traffic on their websites by serving targeted ads or other relevant content. Bounce Exchange's software is designed to help media publishers improve their page views using “data brain” and “exit-intent” technology, Urban said. The company's business model is advertising-based, so it's crucial that it educate clients on how to boost their Web traffic and improve their SEO strategies. But that can be a real challenge because of the complexity of Google's algorithm. However, that learning curve is becoming considerably easier, thanks to Wpromote's SEOAudit Tool. The free, Web-based service, released in early November, provides a snapshot of a website's rankings in search engines and a quick audit of where a company's competitors rank. Here's how it works: Users visit www.wpromote.com/seoaudit, enter a URL and select “audit.” The audit reports on the number of pages indexed on Google (not the number of pages on a website), Alexa rank and page rank. It also shows e-rankings from MozRank, Domain Authority, page speed and social metrics (the number of Facebook “likes” and Twitter shares). Marketers can then export the data to a PDF or a CSV file. “It's making sense of all of the [SEO] elements, and understanding how Google's evolving algorithm works and the things that you can do to improve your SEO,” Urban said. “It shows you instant SEO opportunities that will move the traffic needle and get you more revenue.” He said the SEOAudit Tool includes some metrics that are just below the radar but should not be underestimated. “Most people who know SEO understand the basics of writing content and keywords” he said. “But [Wpromote incorporated] all of these evolving elements, social share, page speed and inbound links. These are things that people really don't think about. You also cannot find any of these rank elements in Google Analytics, which makes [SEOAudit Tool] even more valuable.” Wpromote is positioning SEOAudit Tool as an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer, which was rolled into Bing's Webmaster tools late last year. SEO Toolbar by SEOmoz and opensiteexplorer.org are among the other SEO audit tools in the space. Michael Mothner, CEO of Wpromote, said the company's SEOAudit Tool is targeting businesses that are trying to figure out why they are being trumped by competitors on Google rankings and other search engines. “For marketers looking for more resources for their site, this really spits out why they don't rank as highly—because they don't have as big a site, or as fast a site or as indexed a site,” said Mothner, whose company's clients include Hewlett-Packard Co. and Symantec Corp. Mothner said the SEOAudit Tool focuses on four areas of SEO signals that can help marketers get a better read on what may be lacking in their SEO strategy: links, content, “crawlability” and speed, and social channels. “There are some tools that I'm sure do a more exhaustive job of link analysis or keyword-density analysis. What we tried to do is put all of the most important, highest-level signals in one place for people [who] are looking for the next steps after the low-hanging fruit on SEO but are not necessarily SEO gurus.” Wpromote offers paid services to marketers that want to invest in SEO, such as Wine.com. The website, which sells wine to retail chains, last year used SEOAudit Tool before quickly upgrading to paid services, said Cam Fortin, director of business development at Wine.com. “We went from thinking of search as purely organic and not spending any money on it to this is a big channel and, even though we don't have to pay until someone clicks, we should be investing time and money upfront to make sure that Google is indexing us,” Fortin said. “That was really the budget consideration, and from there we figured out what keywords to use, link building and content. But that's not going to come from this tool because it's very high level.” Rather, Fortin said that the SEOAudit Tool enabled Wine.com to establish a roadmap on what direction to take with SEO. “There's so much you can do with SEO, and sometimes it's not even clear who is doing a good job and who is doing a bad job.” “It helped us to say,” he said, “here are our 10 competitors that we are thinking about and here are the three competitors that are doing a really good job on SEO; so let's do a deep dive on them and what keywords and pages they are ranking for. It's a time-saving measure because you can quickly compare yourself and see who's relevant and who's not.”
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