seo-software

The Best Software for Better Rankings

If you have a business, then you need a website. And if you have a website, you want it to appear in search rankings. To do this successfully, a business needs a sound strategy for SEO or search engine optimisation. While it is possible to undertake hours of learning and trying different strategies to have success, sometimes it can also be the best route to use some professional software to take the hard work out of the process. With the help of thegrapefruit.co.uk, an expert Search Engine Optimisation company based in London, we’re going to look at some of the best software currently available. Incidentally, these guys have more great SEO advice and infromation and you can catch up with them on Google+.

MOZ

MOZ is more than just a piece of software, it is a collection of products aimed at improving a business’s SEO and internet presence. It offers an all-in-one set of SEO research and analytics tools as well as a free check to see how your business is listed on the internet – accuracy is key especially for local listings. In addition, they offer a MOZ Content option for content marketing, helping discover what customers want to read and what strategy will work for the business. Finally, their Followerwonk is ideal for polishing up the social media strategy and ensuring that a business presence is optimised and growing.

AWR

AWR is ideal if you have an SEO strategy but want to know if it is working and what needs to be done to improve it. The software puts all the SEO tools you need in one place including looking at keyword optimisation, link building and management as well as performance reporting and even analysis of competitors.

 

SEO Power Suite

SEO Power Suite is a combination of four different tools – Rank Trackers, Website Auditor, the SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Working together, the software package allows complete assessment of the company’s SEO in an easy-to-use platform that makes it ideal for even the smallest business. It does have limited options for exporting data and SEO reports as its only downside.

Web CEO

Web CEO is said to be one of the best software packages for the tracking and managing of your SEO efforts. It is user-friendly and has a range of tools to improve SEO strategy. There are also tools to help optimise those tricky keywords as well as building and managing links, as broken links can have a negative effect on SEO. Perhaps the only downside with the software is that it isn’t currently compatible with Mac systems.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is described as an ‘essential tool’ for serious content marketers or SEO. It allows in-depth analysis of both your SEO position and that of your competitors to see what is working and what isn’t. It includes rank tracker and crawl reports to get a feel for how your business places on SEO reports. It does have a slightly rudimental keyword tool and is a little pricier than some options.

So there you have it. Using software such as these packages can do what you need – whether this is setting up your SEO strategy, monitoring one that an SEO expert has instituted for you or changing direction in a meaningful way when things aren’t working. The range of tools available means that no matter what size your business is, there is a perfect match available for it.

software-as-a-service

Software as a Service – Pros & Cons

In recent times, we have all become familiar with cloud services and the idea that not everything needs to be on the server within a business. A new addition to these style of services is known as the Software as a Service or SaaS. But what is it and what potential pros and cons are there for the average business? We had a brief look at SaaS in a previous post, but we wanted to go into things in a bit more detail, looking at the pros and cons, so you can decide if it’s someting that might be right for yiur business.

Software options

For many years, the model was simple – if you wanted a piece of software, you bought it to install on your system, with an on-premise license that incorporated the number of users within your organisation. This meant that the software seller got a big payment from you at the beginning and then hoped you took upgrades and add-ons during the life of the software. The biggest problem with this was that the business could find it had spent a lot of money on software and it didn’t do what they needed. The initial cost also priced out small and even medium sized companies.

The development of the internet, with high speed connections and reliability of service, has forever changed how businesses obtain and use software. The newest version of these concepts are the Software as a Service distribution model and this is becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. It allows both businesses and consumers to lease pieces of software that are delivered over the internet. The flexibility and affordability of these service mean that revenues from SaaS look set to reach $106 billion by next year, a growth of 21% over 2015.

Pros

All of this sounds great for businesses but then natural scepticism comes on – is it really as good as it sounds? What are the downsides?

Firstly, the pros in favour of using SaaS. For starters, affordability is definitely a huge benefit for any size company. Because the software is leased rather than owned, the pricing is completely different. Ongoing subscription fees, often on a monthly basis is the normal payment method and allows businesses to pay for only what they need rather than a set package. It is also simple to increase the license if you add more employees or decrease it if you reduce your numbers.

The internet basis of the software makes it quick to install and to update and is easy to move from one location to another if your employees work in different locations, such as working from home.

Cons

The biggest potential problem with SaaS is that if you lose your internet connection, you lose the ability to access the software. So while your business may be able to operate without the internet, you could be hampered by a loss of software.

Infrastructure needs also to be good enough to handle the software needs and if you are based in an area with limited bandwidth, then operating these internet-based software programs may be tricky or time consuming.

The biggest worry about the internet in general is security and this concern can also effect cloud systems and SaaS software. This can be as much with the business themselves as with the software and up to date security protections are essential for both parties.

Cloud Based Accounting Software

Let Software Handle Your Accounts

There’s lots of great things about being a freelancer but without doubt one of the downsides is doing your own accounts – unless of course you’re an accountant yourself! For this reason, many people are turning to software to deal with their accounts and to make the whole job much easier, whether completing self-assessment or handing the information over to an accountant to finish the process. Here we look at a few the best.

Why use software?

When you are self-employed, you want to save as much money as possible and doing your own books is one area that seems pretty straightforward. Read HMRC’s website or gov.uk and it will tell you all you really need is a spreadsheet showing incoming and outgoing amounts. But what this doesn’t tell you is what you might be entitled to claim for against your tax payment and any items you need to include that you may not realise. For this reason, many freelancers are now using a combination of a good piece of software and experienced contractor accountants to ensure they are paying the right tax. Getting the right accounting advice for Contractors is the best way to make sure you’re getting the most from your software, and taking advantages of all the allowances that are available to you.

KashFlow

KashFlow is a piece of account software designed specifically for freelancers and for small businesses. It is a web based system that also comes with a number of big name apps including for the iPhone and Android – allowing you to add information from a smartphone or tablet. It has balance sheet, expense tracking and invoice facilities as well as producing profit and loss statements.

The package has a free trial available and there is no credit card needed to try this while you then pay a monthly subscription starting from £5 a month. In terms of support, the package offers a knowledge base with video tutorials to assist users with any problems. There is also both phone and online support available.

Quickbooks

QuickBooks is designed for small and medium businesses as well as enterprise users and as well as offering the software to download, it also has both an iPhone and an Android app to use with smartphones and tablets. It has a no credit card required free trial and then is subscription based, with prices from £6 a month. It also allows the creation and management of invoices.

 

Support is both on the phone and online while there are also a number of video tutorials for users to get to know the system. As with some of the other cloud-based accounting system, there are QuickBooks packages that allow access for your chartered accountants, to make your end of year accounts and tax returns even more painless.

FreeAgent

FreeAgent is also designed for small businesses as well as freelancers and is a web based software package with an Android and iPhone app as well. It allows creating balance sheets including multi-currency as well as profit and loss statements and sales reporting. It can also integrate with Google Drive and PayPal to simplify processes.

The package is available at a free trial without a credit card and then is subscription based with costs from £19 a month. It also has comprehensive support including online and on the phone while there is a knowledge base to access and video tutorials to help learn the system.