SoloSEO Project Management Software Review

I was asked to review SoloSEO project management software. I had heard of the software but to be honest didn’t really know much about it before starting this review so here’s a look at what I saw and thought.

The sign-up screen is pretty straight forward with the basic questions, the only thing that made me pause a little was the domain URL.

Free 2-Week Trial SoloSEO

Now I’m a card carrying member of the tin-foil hat brigade so I always get a little leery about that stuff. The privacy policy said pretty much what I wanted to see, there was however one line that made me pause:

You retain all rights to your data. SoloSEO owns the data storage, databases and all rights to the SoloSEO Service.

I’m not entirely sure what the distinction is, as it seems to have been carefully constructed by lawyer, basically what I want to see is you aren’t taking my data and using it yourself or selling it elsewhere. OK moving on we come to the dashboard.

Dashboard SoloSEO

To get the most out of the package your going to follow the preset checklist. The first step was hooking in the xml sitemaps, since I already have a xml sitemap generated (see SEO Plugins for WordPress) no problem. I’m also testing Google analytics so another easy check. Now something you should know here when you press the little green arrows you get directed to another page so you may want to hit the “update status button” before the green arrows. Going into the keyword finder is pretty interesting you enter your main word and can then get suggestions from Google adwords, wordtracker, overture or all three at once (wordtracker on the outside costs $250 a year so that almost pays for itself here).

Keyword Finder SoloSEO

You can add words to the list using the “+” key and see them on the right or explore deeper using the green arrow. There’s a learn button on the right which takes you into some on site lessons and off site links. When I signed up I checked expert, however if someone checked beginner I hope the link would be little more prominent. There’s also an export feature. Now I did get a little confused here, since keyword manager was in bold I thought that’s where I was but actually I was on keyword finder. At first I thought I lost my keywords but I didn’t I just lost my place. There’s also a sitescan tool which obviously enough scans your site and determines keywords based on content and ranks them.Keyword Site Scan SoloSEO

There’s also a keyword creator that lets you scramble up words with prefix/suffix keywords

1Keyword Creator SoloSEO

The location widgets based on city, state, country all made sense. The other ones will be hit or miss depending on what industry you’re in. However you can pick and choose easily enough.

Keyword Creator SoloSEO

The keywords are grouped into topics, however to modify the topics you have to go back to the dashboard. I figured it out but adding ACID (add/change/inquire/delete) functionality to the keyword page might be helpful.

Back to the dashboard, keywords and topics done, it’s onto import pages. I’ve got over 1000 pages however the software caps out at 50 so something to be aware of there. You can chose which pages you want, I just let it chose the top 50. During importing I did have a few problems, some had to due with my sitemap (which I didn’t know before) some pages it choked on, might have had to do with the embedded media like youtube. Once a page is imported you can go back scan it for keywords which brings you back to the section above or look at backlinks. Not sure exactly what they are using for backlink data but seems ok.

Show Backlinks for Page SoloSEO

There’s also a section on page creation, it tells you things like keywords and density, and creates page elements based on the keywords you tell it. Nothing wrong with that, but the output seems a bit robotic and lacking “drunken master seo fu” for my tastes, but a non programmer might get more use out of it. Adding FTP access might help the non tech types here also.

Next I ran a ranking report and competitive analysis report. They are delayed reports so we’ll come back in a bit. In the linking section there’s a neat little bookmarklet that you use to check some key metrics, pretty cool IMHO

Add to Link Manager SoloSEO

If you’re doing some manual link building you can build a nice little list to keep track of potential link building sites.

Link Manager SoloSEO

and each link has a detail page

Update Link SoloSEO

An email came letting me know my reports were done (cool that) and here’s my keyword ranking report

Keyword Rankings Report SoloSEO

and here is the competitive analysis report

You can also have these reports emailed to you. I’d like the ability export the data to a CSV. What would also be a cool feature would be storing this data and tracking it over time so you can see how you are moving up or down in the rankings. Once all that’s in they have a few other tools on the dashboard such as the link search, competitors backlinks, and top subpages. They are based on similar tools on other sites and mention that.

Another interesting tool is the competitor tool. You enter competitors site and it gives you some basic metrics and lets you scan their sites or show backlinks (cool).

Competition SoloSEO

Now before you go all crazy I consider both Todd and Aaron friends and not competiton. I used them purely as an example. Lastly if you are daft or just lazy you can also let program figure out who your competition is for you.

Another thing you can also run a report to check for dead links, however it takes an hour so you’re on your own there, and you can also analyze your incoming anchor text, takes a little while to run but is ok.

Another nice feature is the ability to set up checklists, like a monthly checklist, new site checklist and so on. The lists are good but could use a little beefing up, I’d run through some of the site review sessions from pubcon and add some stuff. Lastly you can do the whole shebang for more than one website (two gold stars and snaps in a circle for that).

This package comes with a free 2 week trial after that it’s $30 a month. To be honest this probably won’t be used by your super top secret darker than midnight seo’s. They probably have their own tools and don’t trust their own mother with their URL’s. However for the begining and intermediate SEO’s I can definitely see SoloSEO providing some real value. Heck there are some tools I like. The package is nicely integrated and all in one piece. There are some things I would add like registration info, pull it in automatically and tell me when it is going to expire. How about a spot to store data about the hosting company as well. An uptime monitor might be a nice addition too. I know there’s a way to interface with Google analytics directly and feedburner for subscription data so that might also be something to think about. Maybe some click tracking, adsense tracking and Google Adwords API integration down the road too. I know this tool is pretty new and they are still growing and adding things. I spoke briefly with one of the owners at pubcon and scanning their blog you can see the busy little bees are hard at work. They also have an affiliate program you could work with. If you’re looking for a solution to help you manage your SEO project all in one place with some nicely integrated tools SoloSEO is definitely worth looking at.

Update:
Michael Jensen dropped me an email to let me know it also graphs link growth and indexed pages, thanks.

Disclaimer

The preceding post has been a paid review. I hope if you read the post it’s clear that I actually looked at the software with some eye for detail and criticism, and didn’t just give it a rubber stamp of approval. IMHO this kind of review benefits everyone, the owner gets some honest straight up feedback and you get an in depth look at some new software without having to do it yourself. If you find these reviews to be something you don’t like please drop me an email.

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