It’s a bit awkward to write about a company we have an investment in without sounding like a total salesman, but I am going to give it a try. Even if we had no interest in SEO Radar (full disclosure: we do), I’d like to think I’d still be writing this. Cause it saved my ass today.
A few years ago Mark Munroe showed me a prototype of a tool he was building that would crawl websites and report on changes to pages that would affect SEO. Whether you are an in-house SEO or an outside consultant, it often is the case that releases go live without you knowing about it, or without you getting a chance to test everything. We used to use various hacks to automate the tracking of a client site’s SEO elements and a variety of tools that could ping web pages and report but it was always a bit of a kluge. When I saw the SEO Radar demo, I wept like Alexander…and I asked Mark if I could invest in the company.
I am telling you about this today because this morning one of our clients pushed a big release live without alerting us. We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. When I woke up this morning, I had the following alert in my inbox:
We had set up SEO Radar to track all of the main templates to this large ecommerce site. This alert reported on the biggest changes that went live. Clicking the “View crawl summary” link takes you to the full detail on all of the changes to the tracked URLs.
Rather than do a full review of all the bells and whistles, I’ll use one example to illustrate how this tool saves us both time and sanity:
One of the release tickets was to update the mobile alternate tag – it had previously specified media=”handheld” and we had recommended they update this to the more standard media=”only screen and (max-width: 640px)“. So we clicked on the homepage URL in the SEO Radar dashboard and got the URL History report where one of the options is to view a full source diff between different days (there are a few other options like view headers, screenshots, etc.):
Checking the full source diff between today and yesterday quickly showed that the update had been done correctly. And it took about 30 seconds to confirm the other other templates were good to go.
Of course I could have manually checked the site, but this was just one of about 30 changes. SEO Radar allowed me to quickly review all of the changes on each template. And now I have these changes archived so at any moment I can go back and check what the robots.txt file was blocking on any date – that feature alone is worth the price of admission (yes, I’m looking at you client who can’t resist overwriting their robots.txt file almost every week).
There are plenty of other great features including Google Search Console data archiving, ability to test staging sites for changes, competitive monitoring (we have one client who is obsessed about knowing when one of their competitors changes their site) and more. It’s one of the more useful tools in our SEO toolbelt and it has already saved us and our clients a lot of time and money by catching SEO problems before they become big SEO problems.
Like I said, we like SEO Radar so much we invested in the company so feel free to take this post as a very biased pitch. But if you do SEO for a complicated website that gets updated a lot, I encourage you to check SEO Radar out. It’s like the Prozac of SEO tools.