UPDATE: 11/29 MAJOR SOFTWARE UPDATE – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS. Tons of new features including ability to do ranking reports for keywords without geo modifier. HUGE! Distance from city center added to competitive analysis. Also HUGE! If you already read the original post from Nov 10, be sure to skip down to read about all the new software features. (Even if you already purchased, learn about all the new power that was added.)

PLACES SCOUT – You guys KNOW how hard it is to find local rank tracking software that really cuts the mustard! I have BETA tested so many programs + use other disjointed tools for competitive analysis and other tasks to run my business. But half the time I just need to go to Google and do manual checks to get the data I need.

Today I am SO excited to share with you guys some software I’ve been BETA testing that is like a swiss army knife for local SEO. It does really advanced Places rank tracking PLUS competitive analysis to help you rank your clients higher, PLUS lead generation to help you find new clients PLUS citation finding PLUS reputation management to a degree and lots more, all in one VERY INEXPENSIVE software program. (I keep telling him I could sell this at 3 times the price. Lucky for you he hasn’t taken me up on it yet!) ;-)

Before I even introduce it I want to explain part of the ranking tracking piece that is REALLY important. I had the developer program in a way to show you the TYPE of rankings your client has. Do they rank #2 in a 7 pack plus #3 organic? Or #4 in blended? (If you don’t know why this is SO important read below.)

Places Scout

Introducing Places Scout. (FYI the site isn’t even up yet, so this is a link to a special discount at the Warrior forum – $only 97 right now.)

There are TONS of features, so watch the videos and check out the screenshots that explain each module. So be sure to check out the features that interest you for more info, as this post mainly zeros in on the rank tracking piece. The software has gone through several updates and I was holding back until the last one to announce this to be sure it has most of the new features. And I have him working on some new stuff that will really blow you away! But there are lifetime upgrades, so you can buy now while the price is so low and grow with it, as new features are continually added.

NO OTHER SOFTWARE shows you what TYPE of ranking all in one report. (Pure Places, Pure Organic, Blended and 7 Pack) This is HUGE! (More info about that below.) And again this program does an amazing job of competitive analysis, prospecting and citation research. But the part I’m most excited about is the rank tracking. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW.

Places Scout has something the leading local software I use is missing – something we really need for local. Due to all G’s changes we need to know not only WHERE a client ranks but what type of ranking it is. Are they #2 in a 7 pack plus #3 organic? Or #4 in blended? So I told Mark this was an important missing piece of the puzzle and told him I wouldn’t even switch to his program unless he could make it happen. He did that and TONS more!

WHY is it important to know if your clients is ranking with a Blended, 7 pack or organic result? You can have a client that’s ranking #4 in a generic report that does not spell out the difference. A week later they drop to #22. With reports that don’t show the different SERP styles, you have no way of knowing why they dropped. They could have ranked high in 7 pack but then drop due to G switching that KW to a blended. They may have had lots of citations and ranked in pk, BUT you have not optimized site yet, so that’s why they don’t rank high now that G switched to blended.

I WAS using what I think WAS the best for local rankings (until now). But it does not give me that added level of detail that I need, so I still had to manually spot check rankings all the time and make manual notes about what type of ranking it is. Not any more!

So check out Places Scout and let me know what you think. For $97, even if you just used the competitive analysis piece to help rank clients higher, it would pay for itself. (I haven’t even talked about that part yet, but it’s really powerful, check out the video at the warrior link above.)

Wait til you see some of the new features Mark and I are brainstorming now. The software is already killer, but soon you’ll see some amazing features no one else has. Also if you have any features you think need to be added just let me know. If it’s an important feature lots of people need, I’ll pass it on to Mark. He’s an Fing GENIOUS and can probably make it happen!

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11/29 UPDATE: MAJOR NEW PLACES SCOUT SOFTWARE UPDATE
Based on my recommendations Mark has furiously been programming some MAJOR new features. One of the most important is the ability to run ranking reports for KEYWORD ONLY without a city modifier, emulating the location of the consumers around that business area. So in addition to getting ranking reports that include “city dentist” and “dentist city” you can also find out how your client ranks for “dentist” within that geo region. This is HUGE! See the following posts for all the reason this is so important. Geo Modifier Keyword Research and also really important see Proximity Lockout Algo

NEW FEATURES – AND FIXES – Places Scout Version 2.1.0

New Features Added

  • New Location Emulation Rank Tracking Feature!
    • Places Scout can now track rankings using new location emulation technology! This allows you to perform a keyword query without the geo-modifier
    • This is the same as searching for just a keyword (with no location) but changing your Google location to the entered location. Very powerful for accurate and complete rank tracking reports.
    • You can now enter both regular locations and emulated locations when creating a ranking report.
  • Support for Zip Code Map Polygons – Places Scout can now draw polygons around US Zip Code boundaries when a zip code is entered as a location. Useful in conjunction with new Location Emulation technology.
  • Map Polygons are now available when entering just a city name (as long as there isn’t another city with the same name)
  • Bulk Ranking Report Functions – You can now perform bulk actions on all ranking reports to save time managing many ranking reports. The following bulk features are now available:
    • Bulk Import Client Data – Creates ranking reports for all your clients from CSV files that you can create from most CRM programs.
    • Bulk Run All Ranking Reports – Runs all ranking reports in one click.
    • Bulk Export Ranking Reports – Exports all ranking reports to specified format.
    • Search and Sort Ranking Reports – New features allow you search ranking reports and filter / sort all reports.
  • Rank Tracker – Geo-Distance from Center for Competitor Data – Geo-Distance from center is now provided for each competitor result in the Rank Tracker data. Helps you understand how far each result is location geographically from the location centroid.
  • Mobile Website Detection – Places Scout will now provide whether a business has a mobile website in the Find Local Clients module. There is a new option under the ‘Select Additional Data to Gather’ button that you can choose to gather this data.
    • A filter has been added to filter out results that have a mobile site.
  • Organic 7-Pack / Blended Results in Find Local Clients – Places Scout can now provide Organic 7-pack / Blended Results data in addition to the current Places Results in the Find Local Clients module. There is a new option under the ‘Select Additional Data to Gather’ button that you can choose to gather this data.
  • New Social Media Metrics in Find Local Clients – Places Scout will now provide the Reddit score and Delicious bookmark count for each result when choosing to gather social media metrics.
  • Custom Gridview Filtering – You can now add custom data filters in all grid views for any data column. Here’s how to do it:
    • Click the grid view options button in the upper left corner of any grid view. There is now a button to enable / disable custom filtering. Click this button to enable custom filtering.
    • After enabling custom filtering, there will be a filter icon to the right of all the grid view column headers. Click this icon, and a dialog will appear where you can apply any filtering logic to the data column.
  • Client HTML Reports – Sort by Organic Rank – An option to sort Client HTML reports by Organic Rank instead of Places Rank has been added

General Improvements

  • Ranking Report Data Optimization – Many optimizations have been made to the code that saves and loads ranking report data – the UI is much faster and more responsive when navigating ranking reports.
  • Reduced Memory Footprint – Places Scout now uses less RAM due to optimizations made in ranking report data storage.
  • In-Memory Data Caching – Places Scout will now cache various data elements when gathering data so that the software doesn’t gather the same data over and over again for data runs that have identical results.
    • This GREATLY speeds up data gathering when the same results are returned for similar queries.
    • Only data that should be cached is cached so that results are always up to date.
  • Application Responsiveness – The application UI is now much speedier than before as upgrades have been made to all UI controls.
  • Improved rank tracker status reporting has been added when running ranking reports.
  • Built in detection and user notification has been added if you get banned from Manta for gathering too much data. A dialog will now appear after gathering data when you are banned.
  • Many improvements and optimizations have been made to the data gathering code.

Bug Fixes

  • A bug where excessive captchas were being displayed when running Ranking Reports has been fixed.
  • A bug importing Google Adwords data has been fixed (google recently changed the XML file format for adwords data). Importing Google AdWords data now works for other countries and currencies.
  • Fixed a bug where only 10 results would be returned even if you choose to gather more when changing the Selected Country or running Places Scout in a non-supported country
  • Fixed a bug where the stumble upon views always returned as N/A
  • Fixed a bug in the Keyword Generator where no results would come back for the ‘Google Local Related’ keyword source option.
  • Several other minor bugs have been fixed.
  • Mark just announced the price for Places Scout is going up so if you want to grab it at $97, today is the day.

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