1.1 RankSense Overview

In this article:

  1. Introduction
  2. Implement SEO changes
  3. Tracking and validation
  4. SEO experiments
  5. Workflows
    5a. Traditional workflow
    5b. Agile workflow

Introduction

RankSense is an SEO platform that can:

  • Implement SEO changes quickly, without requiring developers
  • Track changes and validate that they had the intended outcome
  • Experiment with SEO changes

These features can be used as part of a traditional SEO workflow or they can be combined to use an agile workflow.

This article will give a brief overview of each of these items and link to more in-depth articles.

Implement SEO changes

RankSense uses Google sheets to import SEO changes, primarily changes to meta data. The changes that are currently supported are:

  • Robots.txt
  • Canonical tags
  • Meta robots tags (index, follow, noindex, nofollow)
  • Meta titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • h1 tags
  • Hreflang tags
  • 301 redirects
  • 404 error fixes - These are also 301 redirects, but we distinguish the two
  • Media alternate tags

We are in the process of adding more features, so we plan to expand this list over time.

We refer to these changes as “SEO rules.” See how to create SEO rules using Google Sheets.

RankSense is not appropriate to implement changes other than the above, but can be used to track and validate them.

Tracking and Validation

RankSense can be used to tag pages when a change is implemented. RankSense will display the search clicks that the tagged pages are receiving over time, so you can track the progress of only those pages.

The process is:

  • Create changes using RankSense and tag the changes according to the problem that they had and/or the solution that you implemented

  • Alternatively, you can implement changes on the backend without RankSense and only use RankSense to tag the pages

  • Monitor the pages. RankSense will display when the changes are crawled by Googlebot and other search engine bots, so you will know if your changes have been seen by search engines.

  • After the changes have been picked up by search engines, review the results using RankSense Insights.

Optionally, you can tag a group of pages that are not being changed at the beginning of the process, so you have a basis for comparison at the end.

SEO Experiments

In order to experiment with an SEO change, you will use at least two groups of pages that are similar. One (or more) groups will be considered the experimental group, and you can make an SEO change to it. At least one group will be left unchanged and considered a “control” group.

The app shows when the changes are crawled by search engines. After that, RankSense Insights will show the performance of the experimental group(s) versus the control group(s) so you can determine if your change had the intended effect.

Workflows

Traditional workflow

  • In a traditional workflow, the site is audited over the course of several weeks or months. The audit is shared with the client, and then SEO changes are implemented by developers.

  • RankSense can be used as part of a traditional workflow. It can implement changes quickly and validate their effectiveness.

Agile workflow

  • In an agile workflow, the audit is performed in increments. When an SEO issue is discovered, changes are implemented quickly, tracked, and validated. The plan of action can be adjusted based on those results (i.e. devote more resources to a strategy that has proven effective).

The term “agile” comes from the software development world, where it is commonly used to break up large projects into smaller stages which are completed during a “sprint.” This method allows for continuous refinement throughout the process as the team receives feedback on their work.

In the SEO world, an agile sprint can consist of a partial audit, prioritizing issues that have a high impact but that can be fixed quickly. SEO changes are implemented almost as soon as the issues are discovered and tagged. After some time passes, the effect of those changes will be validated as described above.

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