Microsite Masters is subscription-based software made for one purpose – tracking your website positioning for various keywords in Google, Bing and Yahoo. It is that simple. This article sums up my opinions on the usefulness of this software.
Is keyword position tracking worth it anymore?
Some might wonder, is search engine position tracking even relevant anymore? Is it worth the effort? I think it is, even if it’s not as powerful as it used to be. But this is probably a debatable argument. There might be webmasters that find it more useful to spend their time doing other things to attract traffic than monitor where their websites are positioned in the search engines.
Some might argue that search results are personalized or localized to a point that tracking positions isn’t really giving you any good data to work with. But I disagree, to a point. I don’t ever look at anything as black and white. I think there is still a lot of usefulness in seeing how your website ranks for the top phrases you are targeting.
What I am getting at is that I still find a lot of value in tracking my keyword positions. The main reason is that do it is to use the data as an indicator of overall performance and reach of websites that I’m managing.
How I use Microsite Masters
I usually will track at least the top 5 keywords that I’m targeting for a website, even if they are fairly broad keywords. I will also then track a few long-tail phrases that drive traffic, so I can see if there are any fluctuations over time.
I then take action when I see lots of fluctuation or poor overall performance. If I see that my keywords aren’t performing very well overall or that the rankings are jumping all over the place, I’ll create more content based around the targeted keywords and go from there. In the past I might have tried to build more links with anchors related to the target keywords as well, but I don’t do that much anymore and try to attract natural links and citations for the most part.
How it works
Microsite Masters makes this tracking and analysis easy. Since it is a web-based tool, I can log into my account whenever I like, usually daily, and view a list of all websites that I am monitoring and see how they are ranking.
Websites can be organized into groups – so if you have a group of client sites, a group of affiliate marketing sites and a group of other personal projects you could organize your sites that way in this system, as an example.
The dashboard gives you an overview of your groups of sites. You can drill down from here.
There are many different levels of subscriptions available, starting with Mom’s Basement and working up from there. Even the lowest level subscription is pretty useful for many sites. And if you need to track tons of sites and keywords there is a plan for you.
Notice that there are some reporting and white-labeling features available in the higher plans, these are good for agencies that have clients and need to deliver reports or an experience that is more branded for their own company.
You can set up manual reports and also create automated reports. Refer to the image of the subscription plans to see which plans offer the automated reporting.
This page shows you a quick overview of your best performing keywords and your worst performing keywords on Google.
If you have a lot of sites and keywords you want to enter into the system you can put them into a spreadsheet with a specific type of column/row setup and import that spreadsheet into Microsite Masters to set up your projects.
This is a very nice feature for people with large amounts of sites and keywords that need to be set up in the system. It can take a while to do it manually through the forms on the site if you have a lot of keywords.
Website Speed and Performance
The speed of the Microsite Masters website itself is very quick. When I first signed up a couple years ago it was a little bit slower but I think it was because they were getting popular and their server load reflected that. However, now, their site is very quick and I never have to wait for any data to load anymore. I can navigate through the interface in a breeze and find the data I need quickly. The interface has been redesigned recently as well and I think that helped quite a bit with the performance.
There is an API available if you want to use data from Microsite Masters in your own projects. This is a useful feature that I haven’t seen with a lot of keyword tracking software, and if you are developer or want to be able to work with the tracking data outside of Microsite Masters it is possible to do so.
If you are looking for simple, no-nonsense tool to track keyword positioning, it’s hard to go wrong with Microsite Masters. They have been around for a while now and have a good reputation, their system is fast and usable, and it’s easy to monitor your keywords for yourself and your clients. The white-labeling opportunity makes this a good option for agencies and those with clients as well.
Overall, this is the keyword tracking software I’ve stuck with over the long haul, and I expect to stick with this system for a while to come.
If you are interested in trying them out you can sign up for a free account with Microsite Masters to see how it all works.