Getting Started with Visual SEO Studio

A Walk-Through guide to your first steps with Visual SEO Studio, professional SEO tool.

Visual SEO Studio, Free Beta AvailableSo, you downloaded and installed Visual SEO Studio. Good choice.
What follows is the "Now what?" part.

Your first project with Visual SEO Studio

As you launch the program, you are asked a project name.
Visual SEO Studio needs a file name to store your crawling sessions. If this is your first time using the application, the only option you have is typing in a new one.

First project with Visual SEO Studio

Optional: listing administered sites

The first thing I suggest you to do is an optional step: find in the main menu the "Administered sites..." item and click on it.

Administered sites menu item

If you administer one or more websites, you probably did set up Google Webmaster Tools verification code for it, or may be Bing Webmaster Tools verification code. Did you?
If you didn't you might skip this optional part, you can always do it later. I strongly suggest setting up Google Webmaster Tools for your site: if you are serious about SEO, it is a gold mine on its own given you for free.
Why does Visual SEO Studio asks you? It needs an authoritative third party to check whether you do actually administer the site.
Once you are recognized as an administrator, the software let you override some restrictions it otherwise imposes: for example a site administrator can ask to crawl at high speed her own site even if a craw-delay is set (if present it would otherwise be respected up to two seconds), or to spoof the user-agent, while doing it on someone's else site would be unethical.

Administered sites dialog window, Visual SEO Studio

Type you GWT credentials (or your BWT key). You need an active Internet connection now, but hey of course you have it.
You don't want to / cannot use GWT/BWT credentials? You can use the "Visual SEO Studio verification".
Once you click on the "Update list" button, if the credential are correct the list is updated with the web sites you are an administrator recognized by the third party.
The list expires after a month, as administration right could be revoked by the website owner.

Let's crawl your site!

Next thing to do is launching the crawler to visit your favorite web site.
Click on the "Crawl a site..." entry on the main menu or the launch pad on the left.

'Crawl a Site' options dialog, Visual SEO Studio

A "Session name" is optional, it just serves you to distinguish it. You can leave all other parameters with their default value.
Click on the "Crawl" button.

You are presented with a visual representation of the real time crawl process. You can pause and resume it. Let Pigafetta, Visual SEO Studio integrated crawler, walk its way through your site.

 Interactive crawling session - Visual SEO Studio 

Learn more about Visual SEO Studio Visual Real-Time Crawl.

Viewing your crawl sessions

If you close the view, you can always access an equivalent Crawl View to load the saved values and visualize a tree view with the taken crawl paths; just click on the "Crawl View" entry from the main menu or the launch pad.

Other available views are Index View with the folder structure, and Tabular View. If you want, you can collapse the launch pad on the left to see more horizontal content.

Clicking on any page item, you have a variety of "page tools" showing views of the visited pages: "Properties", "Content", "DOM", "Screenshot" on the right side, "Page links", "H1..H6 titles", "SERP snippet emulator" and "Validation" at the bottom of the window.

From the "Screenshot" tool you can manually shoot a miniature of the currently selected page:

web page miniature with folds

Learn more about Visual SEO Studio Screenshots management.

Staying within the session views, you also have a set of tools dedicated to the overall crawl session: "Session" detailing overall data and crawl options parameters, "HTTP issues", "Non crawled items" and "Search results".

On any tabular view, you can also export the grid contents to Excel and CVS formats.

Visual SEO Studio can export in native Excel data format

Supported Excel data format is standard Office Open XML, also supported by the Open Office suit.

Get HTML and URL Suggestions

It's now time to explore some of the powerful diagnostics tools offered by Visual SEO Studio.
Click on "HTML Suggestions" from the main menu or from the launch pad. More than 10 insightful reports mainly covering title and meta-description issues are awaiting to surprise you.

HTML suggestions, Visual SEO Studio

Learn more about Visual SEO Studio HTML Suggestions.

Want more?
Launch "URL Suggestions", and get another bunch of reports about the way your site URLs are formed!

Create customized XML Sitemaps

Visual SEO Studio makes creating targeted XML Sitemaps easy: with its visual XML Sitemap Editor you can select the branches you want to export, decide the listing order, and control the priority to give to the URLs.

 Visual XML Sitemap Editing with Visual SEO Studio 

A visual interface and pre-packed default values make a powerful tool easy and immediate to use.

Learn more about Visual SEO Studio XML Sitemaps tools.

So many other goodies to come!

This is just the beginning!
As new releases of Visual SEO Studio will be dropped, you will see it getting richer of feature and improving every time.

Have fun exploring the other features already available.
Some are quite there, such as Screenshots Management, some are still work in progress, such as the robots.txt tools. Others will appear very soon, such as the possibility to export to an XML Sitemap any filtered report view.

For a full list of features to come, have a Product Tour.
To have a better view of the state of the product, see the Development Status page.

To be continued...

...this tutorial will evolve with the product.
Visual SEO Studio is a powerful tool and I wonder what it will permit to achieve in the hands of a skilled SEO professional.
I'm looking forward to have your feedback, so drop me a line if want to share it with me, or if you have any suggestion to improve the product.