Recently I took some SEO work to do for www.it-director.com and www.it-analysis.com. Both of those portals is publishing around 3-5 articles per day, getting 1000-2000 visitors per day and over 70% of visitors are becoming from search engines. But the analytics showed me, that mostly those keywords were irrelevant for the targeted audience so my job was to increase the value of subscriptions using more targeted keywords. The proper tool was essential for the process and as Trellian had the database of keyword usage, we decided to license the full toolkit.
Trellian includes following modules: Meta Tags Description, Ranking Analyser, Search Engine Submission, Link Popularity Analyser, Reciprocal Link Checker and Sitemap Generator. Later they probably have added Paid Inclusion Manager, Bid Comparison, Ranking Advisor, Domain Manager, Meta Browser, Server Header Check, Keyword Density Analyser, Domain Manager and Keyword Manager as those appear as icons in the top rather than main menu items in the left.
As I didn’t had need for PPC the main tools I used: Keyword Manager, Meta Description Manager, Ranking, Link Popularity Analyser and Search Engine Submission.
My first task was to search appropriate key phrases, analyse their usage and competition. Trellian keyword manager was exact tool to do it. I found easily exact key phrases I should use and the competitive information, like how many times those are appearing in web pages, anchor and title.
The problem was that I wasn’t able to save my keyword phrases so I made Excel spreadsheet to keep those. I expected to build my keyword list inside the application which was missing functionality in Trellian. There where also a bug when saving results. The search results just vanished after I had opened new window or minimized the keyword manager window.
Trelllian had the keyword density analyser, which list key phrases with the usage and type (bold, heading) for each page but I preferred to do this work manually by reading the page. Otherwise we will get huge amount general language phrases and selecting appropriate would have been more efforts from those rather than reading an article.
My second task was to setup proper Meta tags. I used Trellian Meta Editor to do that. In Sitemap, I found nice feature crawl the site and get URL’s listed in Trellian however as those sites had a backlog of thousands of articles, I didn’t had possibility to use it and I entered the URL’s manually.
There was a dialog to edit the Title, Keyword List and Description, which can be expanded to other Meta information like Copyright, Author, Rating, Language, Publisher, Expires, etc information.
Being unable to save my keywords in Trellian, I was now copying those from Excel Spreadsheet back to Trellian and composed the Title, Keywords and Description tags using selected key phrases.
The problem was that after closing the dialog they are again vanished so you need to save those again somewhere. Saving them from the application will generate new HTM page with header but does not take the page content with it. So the only way was to copy the Meta source code again to Excel and asked webmaster to change pages manually.
The Trellian submission tool lists hundreds of search engines and directory listings, which will be updated constantly. However, in my case the relevant search engines where MSN and Google, which where crawling the site frequently so I didn’t use it much.
For Ranking Analysis you have again the possibility to select the search engines from those hundreds from the Trellian database. The problem was that Trellian does not consolidate keywords for the domain so you need to run analysis for each keyword and each page separately? So again I entered my entire keyword list (over a hundred key phrases) manually to main domain page and analysed only main domain positions in Google, MSN and Yahoo.
The ranking analysis can be done up to first four pages for each search engines, however sometimes the network errors occurred and the results where incomplete. This even took lot of time as I needed to run analysis for each key phrase so the possibility to run all keywords for a domain in background could have been nice feature. The ranking analysis saves previous runs so dynamics report can be generated.
The link popularity analyser shows also dynamics for the popularity (how many links found) and saturation (pages in index), but as in my case there where thousands of back links and not all of them where indexed by search engines, the dynamics report in my case was misleading information.
Domain manager shows your domains, their IP addresses, registrar, DNS and expiration information, Back links, Page rank, Alexela rank and PI rank.
You can also check the server header settings directly from Trellian. Trellian ranking advisor somehow didn’t found my pages Meta and Body texts at all? Otherwise it will give some general recommendations which where anyway well known by any professional SEO specialist.
As there where no support to manage graphics titles, anchor texts and filenames, I did this work manually from my selected key phrases list.
As mentioned before, within this project I didn’t had need to use PPC tools and Reciprocal Link Checker however found those tools useful Trellian functionality if suitable project will come up.
Trellian also have competitive intelligence analysis functionality integrated which should analyse your competitors but this request additional subscription and I never even tried it.
My strategy was to increase visibility in very competitive keywords, like: “analyst” and “analysis”. So, my recommendation was using page titles: “IT Director Technical Analysis: xxx” and “IT Director Business Analyst John Doe: xxx”. Few hundred articles with those headings could have made the difference!
But unfortunately due to articles backlog, complications reaching agreement with article contributors and limited budget for SEO work, the customer haven’t yet implemented those.
We got visibility at least in less competitive but still highly used key phrases, like “portal information technology”, “comparative market analysis”, etc just adding those to the Meta keyword and description tags without any of them appearing visually.
So, claim that Meta tags are unimportant for search engine rankings is completely untrue.
The conclusion: Even some inconveniences mentioned earlier, I found Trellian as usable tool for professional SEO work. Trellian does not fit for those customers, expecting their few web pages to be listed no1 position in Google ASAP for “viagra” or similar keyword for $99, but when there is a need to handle several projects simultaneously, manage and optimise constantly changing websites and follow-up rankings without a proper tool could be too much time consuming and expensive work.
I can’t imagine any professional SEO work without proper keyword and competition analysis, which Trellian provides.
I would be very much interested to use Trellian toolkit further by implementing decent e-commerce businesses low budget marketing strategies via professional SEO work and to use mentioned Pay per Click and Reciprocal link management tools if necessary for the customer internet marketing budget and strategy.