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Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) is a search engine positioning software that automates a lot of the tedium associated with managing your site’s ranking(s) on the web. The three main functions AWR manages for you are: keyword research, search engine submission and site analysis.

Currently at version 6.5 AWR is considered by many to be the best analysis tool available on the market. As I have been researching new software for my needs, this was a perfect time to review the software and see how it measures up to my current requirements.

To begin with you can download a fully-functioning 30 day trial version of the software from their site. Installation of the software is straightforward and takes only a few minutes.

After installation, double-click the AWR icon (Applications/Advanced Web Ranking) to launch it for the first time. After determining whether it is a trial version or entering your registration information you can then begin to set up a project.

Setting up a project is how you determine the parameters for the site you are managing. The first window has several panels with information to be entered:

Search Engines: first and foremost is deciding which search engines you wish to use as you gather the rankings for the site.

Keywords: the next panel is where you enter the keywords you are researching. This information can be pulled from a list, a website or manually entered into the fields. Alternatively, the software can generate a list of keywords from any others that you may have entered.

Websites: you can enter a competitive set of sites as well in your tracking here.

Client emails: to email any generated reports later on in the process.

Preferences: Some other fine tuning for the project.

Proxy: only required if you need a web proxy to access the web.

So once you have entered in all of your project details, it is now time to actually run the reports. Depending upon the number of search engines, how extensive your keywords are, the number of sites you are tracking and the depth of your search determines the time required to perform this task. Thankfully, however, this is a purely automated activity, so you can perform this task anytime you are planning to be away from your computer or overnight to increase your productivity.

While the program is searching, the lower portion of the application’s window will show some of the task and the progress, while the overall update will be shown in the upper pane’s Update Progress Tab.

Once all of the results are returned, you can then start to analyze the data. The main application is another single window that has multiple panes for you to navigate. The main categories within these panes are: Current Rank, Keyword Rank, Search Engine Rank, Top Sites, Overview, Visibility, Keyword Analysis and an Update Progress tab.

All of the reports are time-sensitive and displays the information for the last date the project was updated.

Current Rank: presents your current rank for the URLs you entered in the project preferences.

Keyword Rank: displays the ranking for the keywords entered in the project preferences.

Search Engine Rank: probably the most interesting screen of the application and the one you will spend your time reviewing. Lists the ranking of the URLs entered when you set up the project.

Top Sites: this provides a competitive set for measurement against your site(s). The web is a big place and there are a lot of sites that compete and complement your business so you can learn a lot when you research these sites.

Overview: aggregates all of the other information into one place and a single report. This is also split into the three corresponding categories that the application functions upon: websites, search engines and keywords.

Visibility: shows where your site may rank on the selected search engines and any movement since the last update.

Keyword Analysis: refining and addending your keywords from: density, occurrence on the page, occurrence in links and the word count of each phrase.

So this application provides all of the necessary tools any developer would require to analyze his/her website(s). Rather than having to manually hunt and peck throughout all of the search engines to review your site you can have AWR do all of that manually labor, leaving you and your big brain to assess your site and refine the data to increase your returns at search.

I have found the application to be easy to use and the only real issue is the amount of time required to run the updates. Depending on how many URLs, keywords, and search engines you have listed translates into geometric wait times for the update to run. Some of this may be the application itself but some of it is the constraints the search engines place on research like what these applications perform. There is a physical limit of how much data can be processed from third party queries so this is one of the variables in the cause of the length of time required to perform the updates.

Having stated that, however, it is still a lot less time than manually performing these tasks. It is an issue to be aware of for you and your clients. All projects are predicated by time and money, and this application requires time to really perform its task and then you will need some time to analyze the data collected.

This is one of the reason I have been running the updates when I am away from the computer – it can work for me while I perform other tasks for my business. It is not too far fetched however, if you you have an extensive list of sites and keywords that the application could take a full day or more to run its updates.

Factor this into your work week and you will be able to begin getting a better handle on your site(s) and its placement in the world of Google, Yahoo!, et. al. I have enjoyed working with the software and would imagine it can find a place in your web development toolbox.

Another enticement for you bloggers out there, like me, from the developers who are trying to get the word out – write a review of the application and submit it to Digg, StumbleUpon, Sphinn or Reddit and they will provide a free enterprise license for you. In today’s tough economic times it is pretty cool that a developer would offer their product in this fashion, but it is greatly appreciated.

Download a copy today and see if Advanced Web Ranking has a place in your company.