Like most, I find myself using the iPad more and more for everyday browsing. Although it is convenient, the utility (as an internet marketing professional) is greatly reduced now that I’m used to the SEO plugins, extensions and tools available on via desktop. It feels like something is missing- sort of like those days when you leave for work and forget to put pants on. What, that never happened to you?
There are a lot of “SEO” apps for the iPad, but very few are usable, and even fewer are practical. As a result, I’ve taken the plunge into investigating all of the available SEO apps on the market. There are many more which are terrible, but reporting those would take up too much time. Instead, check out the best iPad apps I’ve come across for SEO as of April 1, 2013. I’ll follow this up with a review of apps specifically for analytics. If you have any additions to these, please share.
SEO iPad Apps
WooRank for iPad
Price: 10 free site reviews or unlimited site reviews with paid subscriptions starting at $49 per month.
The WooRank app is an all-in-one site review which can quickly give you a look at a site’s health and provide tons of detailed, actionable insights. Because the free version is limited to 10 site reviews, I recommend using them on your own site and possibly 2-3 of your top competitors. I like this app specifically because it provides so many data points so quickly, and all within an extremely friendly interface. In fact of all the apps reviewed, this one is by far the best looking, although it requires landscape mode.
WooRank gives you a score out of 100 for quick comparison and health checks, and goes into detail with general visitor numbers, social stats, mobile renderings of your site on a smartphone and tablet, SEO basics, content recommendations, links, keywords, authority metrics, usability tips, security, and provides some insight into a site’s back-end. 10 free site reviews might not seem like a lot, but there is so much information provided that it is unlikely you’ll need to run the same website twice. (Other apps are more practical for historical tracking, below). If you get anything from this post, it is to download the WooRank app!
SEOggestor is a free keyword research tool which does exactly what it sounds like – suggests keyword phrases based on your input. It is very similar to Soovle in that it works off of various search engines’ suggest or auto-complete functionality to provide related keyword phrases. Let’s face it, keyword research can be some of the most tedious work for an SEO, yet also the most important. Just like writing or painting, you just can’t force it and need to take a break every once in a while to get the creative juices flowing. So, chill out with some angry birds star wars or the new Jeopardy app and then dip your toes back into the keyword water with SEOggestor.
Enter a base keyword and SEOggestor spits out longer-tail variations from Google, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and Yandex. Unfortunately you can’t export this list, but it does provide some ideas for where to take your research next. Most of the time I’ll follow up these suggestions by checking on their search results and search volumes while still on the iPad.
SERPS is just a straight-up rankings checker. Whether it is for you or a competitor, you can easily see up to 100 search results for any given keyword. Simply enter your domain and language, then add keywords you want to track for each domain. From the few results I’ve checked manually the results seem to be accurate. A one-time purchase enables use on your iPhone as well.
Unlike other rank checkers, this one is domain-focused so your own site will show up red in the results. Additionally, it will save your results for each domain you track so you can view all your rankings in one overview screen. SERPS only scrapes Google, but it provides a wide view of the results, sometimes up to 120 positions.
You’re probably familiar with SEOquake‘s browser plugin which reports valuable data right in the browser. If you are, this app will be like second nature to you. Essentially, the SEOquake App is it’s own browser, which is great for examining web sites while navigating them at the same time. You can browse sites and see how their top level, category, and product pages are all performing.
View it in the landscape orientation to see more data. Just like the desktop browser plugin, the SEOquake app reports:
- Google: Pagerank, indexed pages, links
- Yahoo: Indexed pages, directory counts
- SEMrush: Links, linking domains, rank (SEMrush rank not organic), search engine traffic, search engine traffic price
- Dmoz directory count
- Alexa rank
- Webarchive domain age
- Social: Delicious bookmarks, tweets, likes
- Baidu & Yandex metrics
SEOranking is definitely the ugly duckling in this group- terribly rudimentary design, functionality, and ultra-creative name. However, there are some unique aspects which lead to it’s inclusion here. Where SERPS has depth of rankings, SEOranking excels in historical ranking comparisons. SERPS reports on over 100 Google rankings, and saves those rankings from the last time you ran the app. So, while the data set is large, you can only compare today vs. last time, perpetually creating a baseline and new measurement.
SEOranking does just the opposite. Although it only reports up to 20 organic rankings (and in my opinion it’s useless to care about anything that ranks beyond that, aside from curiosity) it saves the SERPs for up to 180 days. That’s right; 6 months of SERP history for just a couple bucks. I can’t even think of a desktop correlate that can do this at the same price range. The only catch is that you have to run the app to collect data. So, if you want to track SERPs for a given keyword daily, you need to run the app daily. That could be a pain in the butt, however it does have push notifications that pop up and remind you to check your rankings.
Whereas SERPS is domain-focused, SEOrankings is purely about keywords. You can add a site to see how it ranks for a variety of keywords on one screen, but the strength of this app is in the historical data mining. With this, you can identify highly volatile keywords with SERPS that change frequently, and watch how you and your competitors jump around over the preceding weeks. These volatile keywords might be an easy opportunity, or you might decide to focus on something more stable and predictable. This app is also location-based, and provides the localized search results (when applicable) which other apps might have missed. You can see some of the local results for “mountain bike” in the screenshot above for my location (Richmond, VA).
Price: Free to track 3 keywords, +$.99 for 10 additional keywords, $.99 for competitor analysis functionality, $14.99 for unlimited keywords, sites, and exports.
Finally, I’ve saved the best (and most expensive) for last. SEO Manager does not report on any metrics other than rank, but it does this extremely well. Depending on the version, you get a variety of functionality including unlimited keyword tracking, historical data complete with pinch-and-zoom graphs, competitor analysis, landing page functionality to map your keywords to their intended destinations, and the ability export your data in CSV to work with later. Here you can see the free version which tracks 3 keywords, at a frequency of your choosing. To update the ranks just open the app and hit the refresh button.
While it does take a little getting used to, it provides a solid database to refer to wherever you go. For only $15, you can track an unlimited number of keywords with a graphical representation of their performance, as well as the other features mentioned above. I’ve used proprietary desktop software which essentially does the same thing, but costs as much as a typical SEO’s salary. This app is just downright handy, and would be a no-brainer if you and your colleagues frequently use iPads around the office. It is especially useful for client meetings if you haven’t had time to prepare slides beforehand, and adds a little wow factor too (if you dare talk about keywords with your clients).
Stay tuned and in a few weeks I’ll review the best analytics apps I can find. Because, if you’re like me, you can never be too far from your data. Be sure to add your experiences with these or other iPad apps for SEO in the comments. Mountain bike recommendations will also be accepted.