That LTD Life

URL Monitor vs. Other SEO Tools: What You Need to Know Before Buying

14 min read
YouTube video

Introduction

In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), staying on top of your website’s performance in Google search results is crucial. Dave Swift from ClientAmp.com brings us another installment of “That LTD Life,” where he reviews the best (and sometimes worst) lifetime deals on the internet. In this episode, Dave takes a deep dive into URL Monitor, an SEO tool designed to help you rank on Google by easily connecting your website to Google Search Console.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the features, setup process, and potential benefits of URL Monitor. We’ll explore its interface, pricing tiers, and how it integrates with Google Search Console. Additionally, we’ll discuss the importance of Google Search Console in your SEO strategy and how URL Monitor can streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a seasoned SEO professional or just starting out, this review will help you determine if URL Monitor is the right tool for your needs.

Plans & Pricing [00:28]

URL Monitor offers various pricing tiers to suit different needs and budgets. Let’s break down the options:

Tier 1: Basic Plan

  • Price: $59 for lifetime access
  • Features:
  • Supports up to 5 websites
  • Submits up to 500 pages per day to Google Search Console
  • Basic reporting features

Tier 2: Advanced Plan

  • Increased page submission limit: 1,200 pages per day
  • Additional features (not specified in the transcript)

Tier 3: Professional Plan

  • White-label dashboard and reports
  • Ideal for agencies offering SEO services to clients
  • Increased page submission limit: 2,000 pages per day

Tier 4: Enterprise Plan

  • Supports up to 100 websites
  • Submits up to 5,000 pages per day
  • Comprehensive features for large-scale SEO management

When choosing a plan, consider the following factors:

  • Number of websites you need to monitor
  • Daily page submission requirements
  • Whether you need white-label features for client reporting
  • Budget constraints and long-term value

It’s worth noting that the lifetime deal aspect of this offer makes it particularly attractive for those looking to invest in a long-term SEO solution without recurring costs.

Setup [01:05]

Setting up URL Monitor is a straightforward process, but it does require integration with your Google account and Google Search Console. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Account Creation and Google Integration

  • Sign up for URL Monitor through the AppSumo deal page
  • Connect your Google account to URL Monitor
  • Grant necessary permissions for URL Monitor to access your Google Search Console data

2. Potential Login Issues

  • Some users may experience partial access issues when logging in with Google
  • If this occurs, try reconnecting or logging in a second time
  • This issue may be browser-specific (e.g., Safari) and not necessarily a fault of URL Monitor

3. Adding Your Website

  • Once logged in, you’ll need to add your website to URL Monitor
  • This process involves linking your site to Google Search Console if you haven’t already done so

4. Google Search Console Setup

  • If you’re new to Google Search Console, you’ll need to set it up first
  • Navigate to the Google Search Console website (search for “Google Search Console” in Google)
  • Click “Start Now” to begin the setup process
  • Choose “Add Property” from the dropdown menu
  • Select the domain-based verification method (recommended)

5. Domain Verification

  • Copy the provided TXT record from Google Search Console
  • Log into your domain name provider (e.g., GoDaddy, Namecheap, Cloudflare)
  • Add a new DNS TXT record with the provided value
  • Return to Google Search Console and click “Verify”

By following these steps, you’ll have successfully set up URL Monitor and connected it to your Google Search Console account, laying the foundation for effective SEO monitoring and management.

URL Monitor Interface [02:08]

After setting up URL Monitor, you’ll be greeted with a clean and minimalistic interface. Let’s explore the main components and features:

Dashboard Overview

  • Initially bare-bones before connecting sites
  • Displays connected sites and their status

Menu Bar Options

Sites Tab

  • Lists all connected websites
  • Shows enabled/disabled status for each site
  • Allows for quick site management

Account Settings

  • Limited options, primarily for account deletion
  • No email address editing feature available

Support

  • Direct link to email support
  • Opens a blank email for user inquiries

Additional Resources

  • Option to become an affiliate
  • Access to URL Monitor’s roadmap
  • Link to their YouTube channel

Key Features

  • Site Connection: Easily add and manage up to 5 sites (on Tier 1 plan)
  • Auto-Indexing: Automatically submit URLs to Google Search Console daily
  • Email Notifications: Receive updates on indexed and de-indexed pages
  • Export Functionality: Download reports and data in CSV format

User Experience Considerations

  • The interface prioritizes simplicity over complexity
  • Navigation is straightforward, focusing on essential SEO monitoring tasks
  • Limited customization options may be a drawback for advanced users
  • White-label features (available in higher tiers) can enhance the tool’s value for agencies

While the URL Monitor interface may seem basic at first glance, its strength lies in its focused approach to SEO monitoring and Google Search Console integration. The tool aims to simplify the process of submitting and tracking URLs, making it accessible to users with varying levels of SEO expertise.

Logging In to Google Search Console [02:50]

Google Search Console is a crucial tool for any website owner or SEO professional. Here’s a detailed guide on how to access and set up Google Search Console:

Finding Google Search Console

  • Google Search Console’s URL has changed over the years
  • The easiest way to find it is to search for “Google Search Console” in Google
  • Click on the official Google Search Console link in the search results

Accessing Google Search Console

  • You don’t need to be a Google Workspace user to access Search Console
  • A regular Gmail account or any Google account will suffice
  • Click the “Start Now” button on the landing page

Adding Your Property

  1. Once logged in, click on the property dropdown at the top of the page
  2. Select “Add Property” from the dropdown menu
  3. Choose between two verification methods:
  • URL prefix (older method)
  • Domain-based verification (recommended)

Domain-Based Verification Process

  1. Enter your domain name (e.g., nimblesound.com)
  2. Google will provide you with a TXT record for verification
  3. Copy the provided TXT record

DNS Configuration

  1. Log into your domain name provider’s dashboard (e.g., GoDaddy, Namecheap, Cloudflare)
  2. Navigate to the DNS management section
  3. Add a new TXT record:
  • Leave the name/host field blank or use “@” if required
  • Paste the TXT record value provided by Google
  1. Save the new DNS record

Completing Verification

  1. Return to Google Search Console
  2. Click the “Verify” button
  3. Google will check for the presence of the TXT record
  4. If successful, you’ll see an “Ownership Verified” message

Importance of Google Search Console

  • Provides valuable insights into your website’s performance in Google search results
  • Helps identify and fix indexing issues
  • Offers data on search queries, click-through rates, and average positions
  • Essential for submitting sitemaps and monitoring your site’s health

By successfully logging into and setting up Google Search Console, you’re taking a crucial step in optimizing your website for search engines. This integration with URL Monitor will allow you to streamline your SEO efforts and gain more control over how your site appears in Google search results.

Granting URL Monitor Access [05:11]

To fully utilize URL Monitor’s capabilities, you need to grant it access to your Google Search Console. This process involves adding URL Monitor’s service accounts as owners to your Google Search Console property. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do this:

Understanding the Process

  • URL Monitor uses automated services to submit URLs to Google Search Console
  • Each account can submit up to 200 URLs per day
  • Multiple accounts are provided to increase daily submission limits

Account Submission Limits

  • Tier 1: 500 pages per day (3 accounts provided)
  • Tier 2: 1,200 pages per day
  • Tier 3: 2,000 pages per day
  • Tier 4: 5,000 pages per day (100 websites maximum)

Steps to Grant Access

  1. In URL Monitor, navigate to your site’s details
  2. Look for the section about granting access to Google Search Console
  3. Copy the provided email addresses (service accounts)

Adding Users to Google Search Console

  1. Click the link provided by URL Monitor to go directly to the correct screen in Google Search Console
  2. In Google Search Console, go to the “Settings” section
  3. Click on “Users and Permissions”
  4. Select “Add User”
  5. Paste the email address provided by URL Monitor
  6. Set the permission level to “Owner” (this is crucial for full functionality)
  7. Repeat this process for all provided email addresses

Security Considerations

  • Granting owner-level access might seem risky
  • These are automated service accounts, not personal accounts
  • URL Monitor uses Google Cloud for these services, enhancing security
  • The risk of unauthorized access is minimal

Verifying Access

  1. After adding all users, return to URL Monitor
  2. Click the “Check Status” button
  3. If successful, you should see an “Active” status

Enabling Auto-Indexing

  • Once access is granted, consider enabling auto-indexing
  • This feature automatically submits your URLs to Google Search Console daily
  • To enable, toggle the auto-indexing option in URL Monitor

Benefits of Granting Access

  • Streamlined URL submission process
  • Increased daily submission limits
  • Automated indexing of new and updated pages
  • Improved efficiency in managing your site’s presence in Google search results

By following these steps and granting URL Monitor access to your Google Search Console, you’re setting up a powerful automated system for managing your site’s SEO. This integration allows for more efficient indexing and monitoring of your web pages, potentially leading to improved search engine visibility.

Website Details [07:36]

Once you’ve set up URL Monitor and granted it access to your Google Search Console, you can dive into the details of your website’s performance. The Website Details section provides a comprehensive overview of your site’s indexing status and offers various management options. Here’s what you’ll find:

Dashboard Overview

  • Site selector dropdown (for multiple sites)
  • Potential white-label area for agency use (Tier 3 and above)

Notification Settings

Index Emails

  • Receive weekly emails (every Monday) about newly indexed pages
  • Option to enable/disable this feature

De-index Emails

  • Immediate notifications when pages are de-indexed by Google
  • Can be turned on or off as needed

Reporting Features

  • Export button for downloading reports
  • Reports can be white-labeled (higher tiers)
  • CSV format for easy data manipulation

Auto-Indexing Configuration

  • Enable/disable auto-indexing for the site
  • Options to auto-index:
  • Not indexed pages only
  • All pages (including already indexed ones)

Manual URL Addition

  • Feature to manually add specific URLs for indexing
  • Useful for prioritizing important pages

Account Status

  • Confirmation of connected service accounts
  • Ensures proper integration with Google Search Console

Indexing Statistics

  • Number of indexed pages
  • Pages in progress (being processed by Google)
  • Not indexed pages
  • Pages not yet checked

Filtering Options

  • Ability to sort and filter pages based on various criteria
  • Helps in identifying and addressing specific indexing issues

Sitemap Information

  • Display of connected sitemaps
  • Option to add or update sitemap URLs

Key Benefits of the Website Details Section

  • Comprehensive overview of your site’s indexing status
  • Easy management of auto-indexing preferences
  • Quick access to important SEO metrics
  • Ability to prioritize specific pages for indexing
  • Customizable notifications for staying informed about indexing changes

By utilizing the Website Details section effectively, you can gain valuable insights into your site’s performance in Google search results and take proactive steps to improve your SEO efforts. This detailed view allows for both automated management and manual intervention when needed, giving you greater control over your site’s visibility in search engines.

Sitemap URL [09:32]

A crucial step in optimizing your website for search engines is submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console. This process helps Google understand the structure of your site and index your pages more effectively. Here’s a detailed guide on how to submit your sitemap and why it’s important:

Locating Your Sitemap

  1. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) automatically generate sitemaps
  2. Common sitemap locations:
  • yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
  • yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml

Submitting Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

  1. Navigate to Google Search Console
  2. Select your property (website)
  3. In the left sidebar, find and click on “Sitemaps”
  4. Enter your sitemap URL in the provided field (usually sitemap.xml)
  5. Click “Submit” to add your sitemap

Verifying Sitemap Submission

  • Look for a “Success” message in Google Search Console
  • Check the “Submitted sitemaps” section for your sitemap status

Understanding Sitemap Types

Sitemap Index

  • A master sitemap that lists other sitemaps
  • Useful for large websites with multiple content types

Individual Sitemaps

  • May include separate sitemaps for:
    • Pages
    • Posts
    • Authors
    • Tags or categories

Benefits of Submitting Your Sitemap

  • Faster indexing of new and updated content
  • Improved crawl efficiency for search engines
  • Better understanding of your site structure by Google
  • Increased chances of all important pages being indexed

Sitemap Best Practices

  • Keep your sitemap up to date
  • Ensure all listed URLs are accessible
  • Use a sitemap index for large sites
  • Include only canonical URLs
  • Adhere to sitemap size limits (50,000 URLs or 50MB)

Troubleshooting Sitemap Issues

  • Check for crawl errors in Google Search Console
  • Ensure your robots.txt file doesn’t block sitemap access
  • Verify that all URLs in the sitemap are valid and accessible

Integration with URL Monitor

  • URL Monitor uses your submitted sitemap to track indexing status
  • Ensures consistency between your sitemap and monitored URLs

By properly submitting and managing your sitemap, you’re providing search engines with a clear roadmap of your website’s content. This can significantly improve your site’s visibility in search results and help search engines discover and index new or updated content more quickly. When combined with URL Monitor’s tracking capabilities, you can maintain a comprehensive overview of your site’s indexing status and take prompt action on any issues that arise.

Why Google Search Console? [11:23]

Google Search Console is an invaluable tool for website owners and SEO professionals. Understanding its importance and how it compares to other Google products can help you make the most of your SEO efforts. Let’s explore why Google Search Console stands out:

Google Search Console vs. Google Analytics

Data Collection Method

  • Google Analytics: Requires code implementation on your website
  • Search Console: No code needed; uses domain verification

Type of Data Provided

  • Google Analytics: User behavior, traffic sources, conversions
  • Search Console: Search performance, indexing status, technical issues

Privacy Considerations

  • Google Analytics: Collects user data, raising privacy concerns
  • Search Console: Focuses on your site’s performance in search, not user data

Primary Benefits

  • Google Analytics: Understanding user interaction with your site
  • Search Console: Improving your site’s visibility in Google search results

Key Advantages of Google Search Console

Direct Communication with Google

  • Submit your sitemap directly to Google
  • Receive notifications about crawl errors or manual actions

Search Performance Insights

  • View queries that bring users to your site
  • Analyze click-through rates and average positions

Indexing Control

  • Request indexing for new or updated pages
  • Remove URLs from Google’s index if needed

Mobile Usability Reports

  • Identify and fix mobile-specific issues
  • Ensure your site is mobile-friendly for better rankings

Security Issues Monitoring

  • Receive alerts about potential security problems
  • Maintain your site’s safety and trustworthiness

Rich Results Testing

  • Check your structured data implementation
  • Optimize for rich snippets in search results

How URL Monitor Enhances Google Search Console Usage

Automated URL Submission

  • Regularly submits new and updated URLs to Search Console
  • Saves time on manual submission processes

Indexing Status Tracking

  • Monitors which pages are indexed, not indexed, or in progress
  • Provides a clear overview of your site’s search visibility

Simplified Reporting

  • Generates easy-to-understand reports on indexing status
  • Useful for client reporting or internal SEO tracking

Proactive SEO Management

  • Identifies indexing issues before they impact search performance

Proactive SEO Management

  • Identifies indexing issues before they impact search performance
  • Allows for quick action on pages that aren’t being indexed properly

Scalability

  • Manages multiple websites from a single dashboard
  • Particularly useful for agencies or businesses with multiple web properties

The Reverse Role in Data Exchange

With Google Analytics:

  • You provide Google with user data
  • Google gives you insights in return
  • The exchange favors Google’s data collection

With Google Search Console:

  • You provide Google with information about your site’s content
  • Google helps improve your visibility in search results
  • The exchange is more balanced, potentially favoring website owners

Long-term SEO Benefits

Continuous Improvement

  • Regular updates to Search Console help you stay on top of SEO trends
  • Alerts about new features or potential issues keep your site competitive

Historical Data

  • Access to 16 months of search performance data
  • Useful for identifying long-term trends and seasonal patterns

Integration with Other Google Tools

  • Works seamlessly with Google Analytics for a complete picture of your site’s performance
  • Connects with Google Ads for better ad targeting and performance

By leveraging Google Search Console, especially when enhanced by tools like URL Monitor, you’re taking a proactive approach to your site’s SEO. This combination allows you to not only understand how your site performs in search results but also take immediate action to improve its visibility. The non-intrusive nature of Search Console, coupled with its powerful insights, makes it an essential tool for anyone serious about their online presence.

Archiving Sites [13:29]

URL Monitor offers a useful feature for managing your website portfolio: the ability to archive sites. This functionality is particularly valuable for users who need to juggle multiple websites within the constraints of their chosen plan. Let’s explore how this feature works and its benefits:

How to Archive a Site

Navigate to the Sites Dashboard

  • Log into your URL Monitor account
  • Go to the main dashboard where all your sites are listed

Locate the Site to Archive

  • Find the website you wish to archive in your list of active sites

Access Archive Option

  • Look for the triple dots (ellipsis) next to the site name
  • Click on the dots to reveal additional options

Select ‘Archive’

  • Choose the ‘Archive’ option from the dropdown menu
  • Confirm your choice if prompted

Benefits of Archiving Sites

Slot Management

  • Frees up a slot in your account for a new website
  • Useful when you reach your plan’s site limit but need to add a new site

Client Management

  • Ideal for agencies that have completed projects or lost clients
  • Keeps your active site list clean and current

Temporary Pause

  • Allows you to temporarily remove a site from active monitoring
  • Useful for seasonal websites or during major site overhauls

Data Retention

  • Archived sites retain their historical data
  • Easy to reactivate if needed in the future

Reactivating Archived Sites

View Archived Sites

  • Look for the ‘Show Archived’ option in your dashboard
  • Click to display all your archived sites

Unarchive Process

  • Select the site you wish to reactivate
  • Choose the ‘Unarchive’ option

Re-enable Monitoring

  • After unarchiving, remember to re-enable the site
  • Turn on auto-indexing if desired

Considerations When Archiving

Plan Limitations

  • Be aware of your plan’s site limit when unarchiving sites
  • Ensure you have available slots before reactivating

Indexing Continuity

  • Archiving a site pauses its monitoring and auto-indexing
  • Consider the impact on SEO before archiving an active site

Client Communication

  • If managing client sites, inform them about archiving/unarchiving
  • Explain any potential impacts on their SEO monitoring

Regular Review

  • Periodically review your archived sites
  • Determine if any should be reactivated or permanently removed

The archiving feature in URL Monitor provides flexibility in managing your website portfolio. It allows you to make the most of your subscription by rotating sites as needed, while still maintaining access to historical data. This functionality is particularly valuable for SEO professionals and agencies handling multiple client websites, enabling efficient resource allocation and streamlined site management.

URL Monitor Details [14:16]

As you continue using URL Monitor, you’ll start to see detailed statistics and information about your website’s indexing status. This section provides a comprehensive overview of what you can expect to find and how to interpret this data:

Indexing Status Overview

Indexed Pages

  • Number of pages successfully indexed by Google
  • Indicates content visible in search results

Pages in Progress

  • URLs currently being processed by Google
  • May take some time to appear in search results

Not Indexed Pages

  • Pages Google has encountered but not added to its index
  • May require investigation for potential issues

Not Checked Pages

  • URLs not yet submitted or encountered by Google
  • Potential opportunities for improving site visibility

Interpreting the Data

Indexed vs. Not Indexed Ratio

  • High ratio of indexed pages is generally positive
  • Low ratio may indicate technical issues or content quality problems

Pages in Progress

  • Normal to see some pages here, especially for larger sites
  • Consistent high numbers might suggest crawl budget issues

Not Checked Pages

  • Could represent new content or overlooked pages
  • Opportunity to manually submit important pages

Actionable Insights

Prioritize Not Indexed Pages

  • Investigate reasons for non-indexation (e.g., noindex tags, low quality)
  • Improve content or resolve technical issues

Monitor Pages in Progress

  • Track how quickly pages move from ‘in progress’ to ‘indexed’
  • Identify patterns in indexation speed

Address Not Checked Pages

  • Ensure important pages are submitted to Google
  • Check internal linking structure to improve discoverability

Utilizing URL Monitor Features

Auto-Indexing

  • Ensure this feature is enabled for consistent updates
  • Adjust settings based on your site’s update frequency

Manual URL Submission

  • Use for critical pages needing immediate attention
  • Useful for time-sensitive content

Export and Analyze

  • Regularly export data for deeper analysis
  • Track progress over time to identify trends

Integration with SEO Strategy

Content Planning

  • Use indexing data to inform content creation strategies
  • Focus on topics and formats that tend to get indexed quickly

Technical SEO

  • Identify technical issues preventing indexation
  • Prioritize fixes based on indexing status

Reporting

  • Incorporate indexing stats into SEO reports
  • Demonstrate progress and areas for improvement to stakeholders

By regularly reviewing and acting on the detailed information provided by URL Monitor, you can significantly enhance your website’s visibility in search results. This data-driven approach allows for targeted improvements, ensuring that your SEO efforts are focused where they can have the most impact.

Conclusion [14:27]

After a thorough review of URL Monitor, it’s clear that this tool offers significant value for website owners and SEO professionals looking to streamline their Google Search Console management. Let’s recap the key points and provide a final assessment:

Key Takeaways

Seamless Integration

  • URL Monitor integrates smoothly with Google Search Console
  • Automates the process of submitting and tracking URLs

User-Friendly Interface

  • Simple, intuitive dashboard for easy site management
  • Quick access to essential indexing statistics

Flexible Pricing Tiers

  • Options to suit various needs and budgets
  • Lifetime deal offers long-term value

Automated Features

  • Auto-indexing saves time on manual submissions
  • Regular email notifications keep you informed of changes

Scalability

  • Supports multiple websites (up to 100 on higher tiers)
  • Archiving feature allows for efficient site management

Detailed Reporting

  • Comprehensive overview of indexing status
  • Export functionality for in-depth analysis

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Simplifies Google Search Console management
  • Automates URL submission process
  • Provides clear, actionable indexing data
  • Offers lifetime deal for cost-effective long-term use

Cons:

  • Limited customization options
  • Basic interface may not suit advanced users
  • White-label features only available on higher tiers

Final Verdict

For $59, URL Monitor represents a solid investment for those looking to enhance their SEO efforts. It effectively bridges the gap between Google Search Console and day-to-day SEO management, offering a streamlined solution for URL submission and tracking.

While it may not replace more comprehensive SEO tools, URL Monitor excels in its focused approach to indexing management. Its simplicity is both a strength and a limitation – ideal for users who want a straightforward, no-frills solution, but potentially lacking for those seeking more advanced features.

Recommendations

For Small to Medium Websites

  • URL Monitor is an excellent choice for efficiently managing indexing
  • The basic tier should suffice for most needs

For Agencies and Large-Scale Operations

  • Consider higher tiers for white-label features and increased limits
  • Evaluate how it fits into your existing SEO tool stack

For SEO Beginners

  • URL Monitor offers an accessible entry point into technical SEO
  • Use it as a learning tool to understand indexing dynamics

For Advanced Users

  • While basic, it can complement more complex SEO strategies
  • Use in conjunction with other tools for a comprehensive approach

In conclusion, URL Monitor stands out as a valuable tool in the SEO ecosystem, particularly for its focus on simplifying Google Search Console management. Its lifetime deal makes it an attractive option for those looking to invest in long-term SEO success without ongoing subscription costs. While it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, for many users, URL Monitor will be a welcome addition to their SEO toolkit, offering a straightforward path to improved search engine visibility.

For more information on SEO strategies and online business development, visit ClientAmp.com. You can also connect with Dave Swift on Facebook or Twitter for additional insights and discussions on digital marketing tools and techniques.

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