Rank Checking Your Google Ranking

Introducing Authority Labs

Rank checking can be one of the most time consuming, tedious tasks there is – if of course you don’t know how to do it quickly that is. The first time I did a rank check I counted everything manually, it took literally hours – very boring!

Then I learned how to use Advanced Web Ranking, which was a great solution, but sadly it has become increasingly problematic. So last month I set out to find a solution to my problem, and I’m happy to say I’ve found it!

I discovered Authority Labs through a client at work, who had found that they supplied Raven Tools with their rank checking service. So I checked out their plans and prices and I’ve found that they have plans for as little as $24 per month (around £15), but if you don’t need as much as that you can simply sign up for the 30 day trial and then if you don’t pay to use the service they simply let you use a free plan which is limited to 1 website and 10 keywords – perfect for my needs.

Here are the rankings I’m tracking at the moment:

Checking my rankings on Google

It is however a great solution if you’re an SEO and you want to track keywords for multiple clients, or alternatively if you are an in house SEO or a business owner and you have perhaps a lot of website or keywords you wish to track.

The thing that I think makes Authority Labs so unique is that they allow you to tag keywords – so say you sell bedroom furniture and you have two sets of keywords, one for beds (say the keywords are: bed, divan bed, double bed) and one for wardrobes (say the keywords are: pine wardrobe, oak wardrobe, shabby chic wardrobe) you can then tag these keywords with beds and wardrobes respectively and see a visibility chart for them. In my example I’ve tagged my brand (for my name), marketing (for keywords containing “marketing”) and seo (for keywords containing “seo”):

Tag your keywords

So for $24 (£15) per month to track 100 keywords over 10 domains, you can’t really go wrong. So head on over to Authority Labs and signup!

(Disclaimer: I DO get commission if you signup through these affiliate links, however I think its a product worth using otherwise I wouldn’t have recommended it).

Base CRM – CRM Software For The Small Business by Future Simple

Base Value Partner Program Badge

Simple CRM by Base



After spending sometime using Capsule CRM (which became to clunky to use) and Highrise (which is to simplistic and doesn’t have nearly enough advanced features for sales) I have finally found Base by Future Simple. Funnily enough if you look for it on Google, you can’t find it! There is in fact another CRM called Base, which looks like it was designed in the 90’s – do not confuse the two!!! You’re looking for the one at FutureSimple.com.

I discovered Base CRM whilst looking for a CRM app that worked on my Android – Base had the best reviews and after I signed up I could see why. It has an Android app as well as an iPhone app – for all those Anroid users out there I can’t tell you how much of a relief this is, I’m sick of tired of online software with just an iPhone version, letting the Android users put up with a mobile version of their web page.

The Sales Funnel

First up it already has a well thought out sales funnel process which you can customise if you wish (you probably won’t). It’s simple to customise and the actual reporting system is also simple, but at the same time extremely useful. Here’s a few screenshots from my account:

Base CRM Funnel Report

This is a great way to estimate the value of leads – we can see here that of the leads I get, 20% are unqualified – that means I don’t want them. We can work out what percentage of leads actually result in a deal – in this case 4/10 (or 40%). If we apply this to the average value of these leads (£437.50) we can estimate the value of the lead, in this case 40% of £437.50, which is £175. So now I know that each lead I get is worth £175.

I can now use this as a goal in Google Analytics (or other web analytics tool) and from this have a basis to calculate my ROI for my advertising campaigns. Anyways, onto the rest of Base’s cool features…

Reasons For Lost Deals Report

This report is great, when you lose a deal you have to enter a reason – this is some brilliant customer insight that you can feed back into your business when trying to improve your sales process, your marketing or even your product. Anyways, here’s mine (actually I’ve not lost any yet so I had to make some up – but you get the point):

Reasons For Lost Deals

There are a load of other reports, but these are my two favourite – on top of that I think we’ll see some more useful ones coming out as they improve, they have a great user based feedback system using User Voice – so any features suggested get voted on and if they get enough votes they get implemented – great huh?

Other Features

So what else has it got?

Well you can integrate it with your website for starters – I didn’t fancy this because I’m obsessed with my Google Analytics and they won’t let me redirect to a thank you page, but naturally I’ve requested the change so hopefully they’ll be making that improvement shortly. But still, if you don’t pay much attention to Google Analytics, then the web form integration is ideal.

Again they’ve got a very intuitive system for adding contacts (companies or individuals) and you can check back over past sales. All data can be exported (or imported) if needed, and they have a special import facility for those using Highrise, Basecamp or Salesforce – so switching to Base CRM Is Easy.

Check It Out – It’s Free!

Anyways, I suggest you check it out, because after all it is free and it’s a shed load better than all the other CRM systems out there.

Disclaimer: I originally wrote this blog post when I was trialling Base CRM, since then I have referred enough people to earn myself a free account, so any further referrals may end up earning me commission if they end up subscribing to Base CRM. I just thought it was best I cleared that up 🙂

MailChimp – The Best Free Email Marketing Software – And a Great Aweber Alternative


I’ve been using MailChimp for just over a year now, and I’ve been very impressed. I originally switched from Aweber, but decided
that I couldn’t justify paying the monthly fee for Aweber – and I was right to.

MailChimp is perfect for my needs, to be honest I’ve not got many subscribers – the most I had was around 600 or so for a gaming website. If you are considering creating a newsletter for your business then I would highly recommend MailChimp – it’s free if you have 2,000 or less subscribers, so there is no risk for you to try and build up a mailing list.

Here are some of the cool things you can do with MailChimp:
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  • You can add people via your website, via their hosted form, via the admin system or even through their ipad application
  • Capture people’s first name, surname and date of birth and then send them personalised emails, especially on their birthday!
  • Segment customers into groups, such as customers and prospects, or perhaps by their interests or spend
  • Setup autoresponders – emails that get sent to recipients based on predetermined criteria such as “opened this campaign” or “7 days after signup”
  • Adding coupons – this allows you to add physical coupons you can print off and then scan in with an iPhone app when they bring them to your business – it then includes these in the email analytics reports!
  • Split test emails – you can test different subject lines or different body text to see what difference this makes to your open rates and click rates
  • Create an RSS to email campaign which automatically sends out blog posts or news articles from your website to the email newsletter.

Plus much more, the possibilities really are endless, plus they have some amazing webinars you can watch when you sign up that teach you how to do all this and more!

You can signup to MailChimp now and get up to 2,000 subscribers free, forever!.

Capsule CRM – The Best Free Online CRM Software System

I’ve been using Capsule CRM for around a year now and I really like the way you can customise it so easily, plus it is much simpler than Salesforce. It also integrates with my online accounting package, FreeAgent (incidentally if you signup with them, be sure to use my FreeAgent referral code).

Capsule CRM

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management – it’s been around for a while, basically it encompasses your customer database and should record every “touchpoint” with your customer. So your customer logs on to your website, your CRM should know, your sales person phones them up, they should record that, an email get sent out – that too should be recorded, the customer buys something on the website, guess what, that should be recorded too. It improves your ability to manage & track customers and can help you improve customer insight. Without CRM you are unlikely to be able to accurately calculate a customer’s lifetime value, which prevents you from being able to spend as much money on marketing – this can lead you lagging behind competitors who can justify spending up to 10 times more than you to acquire a customer.

Free CRM

The best thing about Capsule CRM is that it is actually free to use, without it limiting the functionality of the software too much, so if you are implementing a new CRM system and you don’t want to pay for anything yet, then Capsule CRM is a great way to get your systems and processes in place before rolling it out across the board.

API Access and CSV Downloads

Capsule CRM allows you access to the API and also provides you with easy to download files, so you don’t have to work out how the software works, you can simply download the data and analyse it yourself in Excel – which is what most people do anyway!

Web Integration Form

They provide a lead generation form you can add to your website, then when someone fills it in, the lead goes directy into the CRM system – this saves you time, to get this functionality for Salesforce you would need to buy the 2nd version up (I think it’s £17 / month / user).

Twitter Integration

To get the latest info on your clients you can add their twitter ID to their customer file, then when you view them in Capsule CRM it will also show your latest tweets – this may allow your sales people to engage better with customers, or identify potential opportunities.

I’ll be writing about best practices for creating CRM systems over the coming months, and I’m also hoping to develop a way to integrate Capsule CRM with your website so that you can personalise pages for people – but that may take some time!!!

If you do sign up for Capsule CRM, you may also want to signup for FreeAgent and MailChimp – all three integrate together, which might save you a bit of time.

FreeAgent – The Best Online Accounting Software For Small Business In The UK

Get 10% Off With My FreeAgent Referral Code! See Below

I’ve been using FreeAgent for just over a year now, and I must admit I am very impressed. I originally got it as I didn’t have a decent system for recording all my business transactions (not that there is many, I’m making a loss this year!) Fortunately it solved the problem of having everything neatly recorded, with an option to upload PDF copies of receipts and invoices – which is great as it reduces clutter.

The great thing is, is that FreeAgent allows me to setup re-occurring invoices, with an automated reminder (you can set how many days) and finally a thank you note once payment is made.

Signup with the code “35bgfwmd” and get 10% off!

FreeAgent - The Best Small Business Online Accounting Software - includes my FreeAgent referral code

Free Agent is one of the few HMRC accredited companies for the online submission of VAT returns in the UK – which I imagine would be pretty handy for larger businesses, they also integrate with a whole host of online software including Google Apps, Basecamp, Capsule CRM and more.

If you are in the UK and you need to get your tax return in this month and you can’t afford an accountant then I highly recommend FreeAgent (it’s free to try).

(Disclosure: I do not get paid if you sign up with the links above, but you get a 10% discount I do get a discount, as do you, if you sign up with my FreeAgent referral code).