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TMC Labs
January 2005

WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum

WebPosition (owned by NetIQ)
851 SW 6th Ave., Ste. 700
Portland, OR 97204
Ph: 800-962-4855
Web: www.webposition.com
Price: WebPosition Gold 3 Standard, $149; WebPosition Gold 3 Professional, $349; Platinum Upgrade, $99 extra; Page Critic (subscription service), $99 for 12 months.

Installation: 4
Documentation: 4.5
Features: 4.75
GUI: 5
Overall: A

Marketing and sales are inexorably linked. Without the proper marketing — and even with the greatest sales team — sales revenue is still doomed to failure. In the past, marketing mainly consisted of print advertising, radio & TV ads, tradeshows and marketing mailings; but this arsenal at marketing managers’ disposal is incomplete without proper Web-based marketing. Unfortunately, marketing managers are not HTML experts, and they are even less experienced at performing search engine optimization (SEO) on the company’s Web site to ensure a high ranking on the popular search engines. This inexperience has often resulted in Webmasters and Web developers being responsible for performing SEO duties. This introduces problems in of itself, as Webmasters are not marketing experts. They don’t know which marketing campaigns are most important at any particular moment and, as a result, they can’t target specific keywords for the best search engine optimization. Further, research confirms that over 80 percent of Web visitors use search engines to find the information they’re seeking. When a potential customer conducts a search for keywords related to your site’s products or services, if your page does not appear in the top listings, you are losing revenue.

Enter WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum, a Windows-based application and one of the premier SEO utilities on the market today. Using WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum, even the most novice HTML coder and even the greenest “search engine optimizer” will become an SEO expert in no time.

Basically, WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum breaks down SEO into five simple steps:

  1. Research your target keywords with the integration of Wordtracker, a popular keyword research tool.
  2. Design and submit HTML pages with Page Builder, Upload Manager and Submitter.
  3. Monitor your rankings with Reporter.
  4. Optimize your pages, using the built-in expertise available in Page Critic.
  5. Analyze your results through to conversion, using WebTrends Analytics (a separate product).

Let’s examine each of these steps in detail.

Research Your Target Keywords
Every company knows at least a few keywords that, when searched upon via a search engine, they want in order to draw those searchers to their Web site. What they don’t know is that there are many related keywords they may not have considered. With Wordtracker integrated into WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum, you will not only know the related keywords, you will also know how many times per month that keyword is searched. Knowing the popularity of a particular keyword is key to drawing Web traffic to your Web site. Webtracker is very popular among SEO experts, and when we tested Wordtracker integrated into WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum we could not have been more pleased.

Design And Submit HTML Pages
WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum will help you design the necessary HTML tags and keyword placement to ensure optimal SEO via the PageBuilder wizard. Using this utility was very straightforward. For instance, you can simply import keywords created via Wordtracker (See Figure 1), type keywords manually, or import keywords from Meta tags from an existing Web page. You can choose which SE (search engine) to optimize and then enter the main body text, choose your template, and then click Build Page. It will auto-create the important Meta tags (title, Meta keywords, Meta description, etc.) and perform other SEO tricks targeting your keywords.

Monitor Your Rankings
Tracking your rankings on the major search engines could be a full-time job if doing so manually. How do you know if a particular change to a Web page resulted in a “bump” in the search engine rankings? Fortunately, WebPosition makes tracking your SE rankings simple. Using WebPosition Reporter, you can enter in the domain you want to check for specific keyword rankings, as well as enter your competitors’ domains to see how you compare. Check out Figure 2, which shows the Competitive Analysis tab within Reporter comparing two TMC Web sites for several keywords using a few search engines.

Optimize Your Pages
The Page Critic is one of the most powerful features of WebPosition. Using the built-in expertise of this feature, you can examine an individual Web page and determine if it has been search engine optimized. Page Critic will “crawl” the search engines you specified, searching for the keywords you specified and then returning statistics and analysis in an HTML report (See Figure 3). Because WebPosition uses a built-in browser (Internet Explorer), it makes extensive use of clickable hyperlinks for getting definitions and explanations of key terms — terms such as “keyword prominence” or “keyword frequency” — which is useful for SEO novices or is a refresher to those who already know. Web site links are all clickable: for instance, suppose a competing site ranks highly; you can quickly go to that Web page and look at the source code. Back and Forward buttons are both available, with the Back button especially useful for toggling between a view of a WebPosition report and a Web site. We should point out that all of WebPosition’s reports let you choose whether or not to include “sponsored listings” (paid ads) in the reports. This allows you to view your crawler-based rankings, sponsored rankings, even your combined rankings, on a single, easy-to-read report.

After optimizing your pages, the next step is, of course, getting the search engines to list your Web pages. WebPosition’s Submitter automates submission of specific URLs to the top search engines; and it has a built-in feature to throttle how many times you submit URLs to the search engines so as to not spam them and to follow each search engine’s submission guidelines. We should point out that the search engines are notoriously fickle about indexing all the pages of a Web site and keeping them indexed, which is why manual submission is important. In addition to the array of submission options already included in past versions of WebPosition, version 3 can automatically submit any page still not found in the search engine after a reasonable indexing time has elapsed. You simply schedule Reporter’s URL Verification feature to track your most important pages. Any URLs not found, those that you previously had to manually paste into the submitter for resubmission, can now be automatically submitted.

The Platinum Upgrade provides additional features beyond those that WebPosition Gold Standard and WebPosition Professional Edition offer. These features include Meta Manager, to manage your HTML Meta and title tags; Link Defender, to check for any broken links within your site; Code Defender, to remove white space from your HTML code, thus improving performance, making it harder for the competition to copy your pages; and, finally, an additional 25 search engines.

Features Overview

Optimal keyword research from Word-tracker, the industry leader, and with up to 25 keywords free

  • Fully customizable report templates
  • Support for over 200 global and regional search engines, including the new shopping engine, Froogle
  • Enhanced reporting on both your organic and pay-per-click search listings
  • Export of data for use in Microsoft Excel and other applications
  • Expanded expert advice from Page Critic for improved competitive comparisons
  • Platinum package, including Meta Manager, Link Defender and Code Defender modules
  • Integration with WebTrends, an industry leader in Web analytics, for tracking your results through to conversion
  • Reporter checking your site rankings in the top search engines
  • Page Critic supplying expert, custom-tailored advice for how to optimize each of your new or existing Web pages
  • Page Generator creating optimized Web pages based on keywords and details you enter about your business
  • Upload Manager remembering all optimized Web pages you create, change or add
  • Scheduler activating the Reporter daily, weekly or monthly to automatically check your Web site’s rankings

Room For Improvement
Our only suggestion is in regard to the tracking of the previous rankings in Reporter. Currently, it only tracks the previous ranking for a particular keyword to compare with the current ranking. We’d like it to keep the history of rankings for the past 10 times we ran the Reporter mission. Even better, we’d like to see it keep an infinite number of iterations, and then we’d like to see WebPosition provide a graph with a timeline (day, week or month) on the X axis and the SE ranking on the Y axis. Seeing a graph of a keyword’s rankings across a timeline (similar to what Alexa does) would be a valuable tool.

TMC Labs was very pleased with the features of WebPosition Platinum, as well as its ease of use, which surely and fortunately will not intimidate marketing managers new to the SEO game. WebPosition Gold 3 Platinum is, without a doubt, the premiere search engine optimization software utility on the planet, and we enthusiastically give it two thumbs up!

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