Places Scout - New Release Update? Any Temporary Alternative

JacobMaslow

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Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
79
I agree as well and sent them feedback on it. I literally spent 10 minutes looking at it and could not figure out how many credits I would need...
The bundled package should cover most uses. Bright Local also limits how many reports you can run and gives you far less flexibility if it is a one off event causing overage issues.

Places scout allow you to try a 14 day trial so you can verify that the credits included are plenty. Additional credits are relatively cheap.

For example, bundle package allows for 2 times per month citation reports for each location. Each additional run will cost $2 per report per location. They also allow you to go negative so if you run an extra report, you can still keep using the allocated reports until you go significantly over.

The flexible credits make it confusing but allows you to just pay 50 bucks when your overage is significant and once you pay, the extra credits will stay in your account indefinitely to cover further uses.

In other words, they are giving you lots of flexibility to cover real life when you need to go a bit deeper and grab keywords from page 6 and 7 if you need more keywords for a particular client one month.

Rather than limiting you to 5 pages of keyword results or a certain amount of citation reports etc like any other provider does, they allow you flexibility for overage at a reasonable price.
 

JacobMaslow

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
79
They absolutely have a flat rate package. Like every provider, they have limits.

No calculations to do. The flat rate limits you to keywords up to page 5. If you don't go past that, no extra charges. Citation reports are 1 per location every other week.

You get 1000 keywords in the base package with 1 report (or 500 keywords 2x per month etc). That is plenty for 5 locations.

The limits are very reasonable and within line of other providers. If you go over, you wont get charged overage, you will keep being asked to buy credits to put in your "bank" for future use. You can simply not buy extra credits.

So their software cost $50 per month base and the base price is designed for the needs of a small provider with five locations. The flex credits are there should you ever need it. You also have the option of paying $60 or $70 per month. They let you upgrade in middle of the month and pay a pro rated amount.

The number of "locations" you choose increases your allowances but all limits are per account, not location based.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
26
I guess my use case is different than most, or at least their target audience. I don't really care for the Bright Local pricing either. That is one of the things that drew me to places scout in the first place.

Regardless Places Scout is a great tool and I hope they have the out of beta version up and running soon.
 

KabanaSoft

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
33
Folks,

Wanted to provide an update and respond to the feedback on our pricing structure.

We spent a lot of time coming up with a pricing structure for Places Scout, which proved to be a difficult task ? since we offer many types of reports and allow users to customize the settings in each report to their own individual needs (settings of which ultimately determine our costs), there really wasn?t a way to create any sort of flat-fee system unless we were to lock down the settings and allow no flexibility for each report - Something we didn?t want to do as we felt our users like to customize how they want to run their reports, not be told that the reports must be run in a certain fashion and follow hard-coded limits for a given pricing package.

It was a tradeoff between flexibility vs. simplicity, and we chose the flexibility route because we didn?t want to lock our users into certain settings for running reports, rather we allow the users to choose the settings and charge credits based on those settings. We allocate enough credits based on common usage scenarios and what is fair and competitive for the amount paid.

For example ? if you choose a bundled report package, we give you enough credits to track 50 keywords per location in Google Organic and Google Maps, track the top 50 results for each, with weekly ranking updates (i.e. 4 report runs / month).

However, these mentioned numbers are by no means a limitation for any location. You can have one location that tracks 100 keywords in the top 100 results and is setup to have 8 report runs per month (this location will consume more credits due to increased keywords, number results deep, and frequency of report runs) and another location that only tracks 10 keywords and is setup to have 2 report runs per month (this location will consume less credits due to less keywords and report runs / month).

In fact, even if you purchase a 5 location bundle, you are not limited to 5 locations. You can have as many locations as you want, for example you could have 50 locations that track 10 keywords each with weekly updates and still stay within your monthly allocated credit balance for the 5 location bundle package. This is another example of the flexibility our pricing structure offers.

So basically you are free to setup each report however you want with whatever settings you like. There isn?t any set hard-coded limitations, you just need to stay within your allocated monthly credit balance when configuring and running the reports. We do provide credit costs when configuring reports so you know how many credits that given report will consume when ran based on the settings you configured, and all credit balances are shown in the account dashboard.

If you do go over your given credit allocations for any given report, we do include additional flex credits in the package that can be used to cover these overages. Alternatively, you can upgrade or downgrade your package at anytime based in your demands for a given month, and you can also make one-time credit purchases to re-up your account and not have to change your package subscription.

So in the end the system we came up with was designed to provide the user a lot of flexibility when running reports in Places Scout without being limited in the way you want to run a given report. We designed it like this because everyone uses Places Scout in their own unique way, and this was the only way we could accommodate everyone?s individual needs and usage scenarios. If we didn?t do it this way, you would be locked into certain configurations and allocations that you may or may not use, and why pay for something that you don?t use?

While the flexibility in the pricing structure for Places Scout offers many benefits to the end user, an unfortunate side-effect is that it increases the complexity of the billing system and makes it harder for the user to understand. We sent out a survey to get some feedback on the pricing system, and basically we found two groups of responses ? for those who read everything and understood it, they loved it, for those who were confused and didn?t understand it, they hated it.

So with all the feedback in mind, we are working on making the pricing landing page clearer and easier to understand, as we found a lot of users were simply confused as to how many credits they will need.

We are hoping that once we can dumb down how we explain the pricing system, and make it much easier for the user to figure out how many credits they will need, that people will understand it much clearer and realize that the way it is setup ultimately benefits the end user with complete flexibility and no limitations in the way you use Places Scout.

Lastly, we welcome all feedback / constructive criticism that anyone may have to help us work out any confusion and make our pricing structure easier to understand.

Best Regards,
Mark Kabana
 

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
Thanks Mark for reaching out to me today with a personal update as well as updating everyone here.

Thanks for all your hard work on it. I know having to stop to adjust every time Google threw you curveball must have made it really challenging.

Really excited to try the new product and can't wait for release!
 

JacobMaslow

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
79
This software is relatively inexpensive. The $50 basic package provides plenty of flexibility to run what you need for 5 locations and you can always order a 6 location package.

The pricing landing page does need work.

When will the software be available?
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
I just got my BETA invite last night. Turns out Mark didn't give me early access because he knows how busy I am and wanted to wait to give me access after most of the bugs were worked out.

It sounds like the core software is about finished but they have other features and modules they are still working on that need to be added prior to release. He didn't give me a specific ETA.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
Have been working with Mark again since Scout has finally launched and am REALLY excited!

So many amazing new features and everything runs so smoothly, now that it's online instead of fighting for resources on your PC.

Wanted to let you know, since he's been buried with launch, so much of the info on the site is outdated and still refers to the old desktop features. He's redoing the site.

But if anyone wants to get a sneak peak at all the new features and updates, before the site is finished - to see the info that's more updated - check out the API page. It's been updated and the "functionality overview" has most of the new info - including the new MULTI-LOCATION reporting features.

Then go ahead and get your free trial started and take it for a spin. Based on all the feedback we've given him, the pricing has been greatly simplified too so you'll see that if you hit free trial on the top menu.
(And below pricing if you hit view more plan comparisons, then it really breaks down all the features.)

Be sure to use competitive analysis to analyze some packs you are working on, so you know what it takes to rank for those keywords in that market.

Great for reverse engineering the algo too! I plan to do some competitive analysis runs soon to help illustrate how the current algo is working.


I'll have more details for you soon too. But in the meantime, try it out and happy Scouting! :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
I'm talking to Mark later today and will ask OR hopefully he has notifications on for this thread and will swing by to reply.
 

KabanaSoft

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
33
Are reputation reports ready yet?
@LocalReviewGuy - Yes, our Reputation reporting has been working solid for several months and is a big upgrade from the desktop version!

We now support monitoring reviews for the top 20+ review sites, and will be adding in support for BBB.org very soon.

We have all the important metrics in place, average metrics across all sources, summary by source views, new review alerts, view individual reviews with sorting / filtering capabilities, search reviews, word clouds, historical charts and more!

Give it a test run and let us know what you think!
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
Mike, I often call it the Swiss Army Knife for Local.

It kind of does it all. Ranking, very comprehensive reports. Citation tracking. Rep management.

And it does really extensive competitive analysis so you can see exactly what the other Dentists have going for them that your client does not. (Shows which of the top 10 listings (for example) in that market are claimed, shows proximity, what categories, # of reviews, # of images, # of backlinks, domain authority, social mentions and on and on.

It's also great to use to try to reverse engineer the algo to see which factors are playing into it the strongest. I'll be doing a post about the competitive analysis features and reverse engineering the algo soon.

But SEMrush I think does a little more on the organic side.

And BrightLocal and Whitespark are both great as well.

But they all have slightly different features and one might have more modules than another. So I don't think Scout replaces anything necessarily, it's more like pick the tool that does the best job for your needs.

I'd just do the <a href="https://www.placesscout.com/pricing-packages">Free Trial</a> if you are curious and see what you think.

Or let us know if you have any more specific Qs and I'll have Mark come and answer if I don't know the answer.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
179
I just signed up for the trial, and don't see how I can do this "competitive analysis" and revers engineer competitors.

Sorry if I am plainly missing something.

Mike, I often call it the Swiss Army Knife for Local.

It kind of does it all. Ranking, very comprehensive reports. Citation tracking. Rep management.

And it does really extensive competitive analysis so you can see exactly what the other Dentists have going for them that your client does not. (Shows which of the top 10 listings (for example) in that market are claimed, shows proximity, what categories, # of reviews, # of images, # of backlinks, domain authority, social mentions and on and on.

It's also great to use to try to reverse engineer the algo to see which factors are playing into it the strongest. I'll be doing a post about the competitive analysis features and reverse engineering the algo soon.

But SEMrush I think does a little more on the organic side.

And BrightLocal and Whitespark are both great as well.

But they all have slightly different features and one might have more modules than another. So I don't think Scout replaces anything necessarily, it's more like pick the tool that does the best job for your needs.

I'd just try Scout if you are curious and see what you think.

Or let us know if you have any more specific Qs and I'll have Mark come and answer if I don't know the answer.
 

KabanaSoft

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
33
I just signed up for the trial, and don't see how I can do this "competitive analysis" and revers engineer competitors.

Sorry if I am plainly missing something.
Mike,

You can use the Leads module to gather all the competitive analysis data.

We are going to change the name of this module to be more suited for its capabilities, as it provides a hybrid Competitive Analysis / Leads / Business Audit reporting capabilities depending on how you look at the data.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
How often does the rank tracking update?
Funny Eric, I was just on Join.me with Mark so he could show me some of the new features that weren't in the desktop version. So I can answer that one for you.

Ranking reports are SUPER flexible. You can set for hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, even every Mon, Wed, Friday OR the 1st and 15th of every month. Whatever you want.

AND here is something SUPER cool! Everyone has different ways they want to report. In fact one consultant could want different types of reports for different clients based on what they want to highlight to that client.

SO here is the cool part. The software defaults to counting ranking order top down because that's how most tracking programs do it.

BUT if you had a client that was #1 in the pack AND #1 in organic. If that SERP had the 3 pack and then organic below, this and other programs would report that organic listing as #4, because it's the 4th listing down.

But the software is so customizable, you can tell it to count organic and pack rankings separately. Then it would show the client you got them #1 in the pack AND #1 in organic.
(Instead of just showing a ranking of #1 and #4.)
:)

See the <a href="https://www.placesscout.com/api">Ranking Reports Section on API page</a>. For more info about all the other ranking features.

The other really cool thing is a dashboard with at-a-glance metrics for ALL clients. So if you just want to look at one chain with 40 locations, you pull up that client and see at a glance which locations are low on citations and need more work. Which has the lowest review ratings and needs help with ORM. Which listings need help with rankings, etc.

BUT you can do that for ALL your unrelated clients too. Just see them all in a dashboard to get a snapshot of where each client is at. (Rankings, citations, reputation, etc.) Then easily drill down to detailed metrics for any client to get the full picture.

And one of the main features I worked with Mark on way back when is the comparison ranking reports. So you can show a client, here is where you were at when Ist started working with you 4 months ago, compared to where we are today. And show position increases etc. THEN show awesome charts and graphs of improvements historically over time.

You can find out about all these features and more on that <a href="https://www.placesscout.com/api">API page</a>.

If you can't tell, I'm super excited about everything this program does now. I'm working on a huge post for next week with screenshots of some of the high points.

Just try the free trial. BUT keep in mind the software is so flexible it will do whatever you want, so there are sometimes layers of settings to set it the way you want, because there is so much you can do with it. It's easy to learn and well thought out, it's just there is more than meets the eye under some of the settings, so dig in and experiment.
 

KabanaSoft

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
33
How often does the rank tracking update?
@Eric,

The rankings update as often as you'd like. When you create a ranking report, you can specify a scheduler settings that define how often the report runs automatically on a scheduled basis.

Our scheduler is very flexible, you can choose to run the report hourly, daily, weekly (with options to specify days of the week such as run on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday etc), monthly (with options to specify days of the month such as run on every 1st and 15th days of each month), and you also specify the time of day to run each report (i.e. run the report at 9:00AM the day(s) you have scheduled the report to run).

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

p.s. Go Steelers! I'm from Pittsburgh as well :)
 

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