If you are considering downloading a Page Rank toolbar or a page ranking tool, you need to understand your options first. Law firm marketing professionals have recently started understanding how important it is to track PR values for their web pages. A Page Rank tool can make it substantially easier to analyze and record the results of your marketing campaigns on your overall web authority. Let's take a look at several of the most popular kinds of page ranking tools, and go over when they're appropriate for use by law firms in combination with search engine optimization strategies.
Why Would I Want a Page Ranking Tool?
There's more than one reason that a law firm marketer might want a Page Rank tool. The most obvious reason to install a Page Rank toolbar is in preparation for any marketing efforts with an explicit goal of increasing your website's PR value. However, there are several uses for any Page Rank tool. For example, you can use a page ranking tool to do valuable comparative analysis of your website and the web pages of your competition. You can also use your page ranking tool to understand which pages on your website are doing best and which still have a bad Page Rank.
Some people want to start using a Page Rank toolbar just so they can start to “think” in PR value terms. It can be hard to understand what traffic and authority level typically makes a website have a PR value of 4 or 7. After using a page ranking toolbar to search the web for a few weeks, you can see the PR value of hundreds of websites. This helps you get a feel for the differences, so that you can better understand how to move your website to the next level.
Types of Page Rank Tool
Maybe the first time that you use a page ranking tool, you're not terribly concerned about doing anything heavy duty. You just want to see in a very basic way what your website is on the 0 to 10 PageRank scale. Start by downloading the Google toolbar, which contains a simple Page Rank toolbar function. You can access this functionality by mousing over the Page Rank tool icon in the toolbar.
Another type of page ranking tool can be found on many different web pages—just do a Google search for “page rank tool” to get a good selection of the ones being used most right now. The most common page ranking tool you'll find is one that will analyze your entire website and detect the PR value for every single page you have there. This kind of tool is a great way to get a “big picture” view of how your PR value boosting efforts are going and which pages are becoming most authoritative.
Using a Page Rank Toolbar
If you're using a piece of Page Rank toolbar software, you may be able to see a great deal of information on every website that you search for or see. A page ranking tool can actually give you an overlay detailing search engine optimization information for every website you look at. This helps you understand not only where you stand with PR values, but where your competition stands as well.
Interpreting the Results of Your Page Rank Tool
You may be a bit surprised by the results of your page ranking tool. You may have expected that since you perceive your law firm's status as relatively middle of the pack, you'd have a Page Rank toolbar result somewhere around 5 to 6. In fact, it's likely to be substantially lower than that. Why? Because there are many, many more websites at each lower level of Page Rank value than at the next level up. By the time you get to sites with PageRank values of 9 or 10, you're talking about a short list of less than 100 of the most influential web pages in the entire world.
Even if your Page Rank tool reveals that you're starting with a PR value of zero, don't despair. All websites start with no Page Rank, and the easiest level to get is the first level. You can start boosting your inbound link numbers to get your page ranking tool to start showing better results. Keep in mind that usually, a Page Rank toolbar will have data that could be several days or weeks old. Any Page Rank tool you use is very likely to be a trailing, not a leading, indicator of your website's authority and traffic levels.
Common Misunderstandings About Page Rank Tool Software
Some people think that by using a page ranking tool, they will actually be able to improve their results automatically with no further effort. This isn't true. Just checking with a Page Rank toolbar will do nothing to alter your PR values one way or another. You need to couple your use of a Page Rank tool with strategies to actually build original content and inbound links, or you will never see your PR values rise.
Even if your Page Rank toolbar shows an upward swing when you use them, you should avoid automatic inbound link creation programs. That's because Google doesn't like this kind of link building and will likely quash any new link juice coming to you if they suspect you of automating.
Monitoring the Progress of Your Page Rank
If you do nothing to alter the PR values of your website at all, you will probably notice a slow downward trend. That's because other websites are emphasizing a high Page Rank, and they will be competing against your site for the number of high Page Rank slots. You will only be able to imporve your performance with continuous effort, which will mean monitoring your Page Rank toolbar periodically.
You should also check online once in a while to see if a new page ranking tool has been released that gives you new functionalities. An upgrade to your Page Rank toolbar could make a difference to your future optimization efforts, if it makes it easier to compare and analyze your data.