Last week I had the privilege to visit the offices of gShift Labs in Barrie Ontario (ideally located in the downtown right across the road from the main beach) and was given a guided tour of their optimization tool by Chris Adams. gShift has positioned this tool for (and along the way coined the phrase) “web presence optimization”.
Now I've personally know Chirs and Krista (President of gShift Labs) from their earlier days with a start-up known as CGK which developed the first SEO friendly CMS called "Hot Banana". While their involvement with Hot Banana is behind them, they've taken their understanding of the needs of SEO community and have developed a new tool for the evolving industry. What makes this optimization tool different than others (such as Rave Tools or SEOmoz tools) is that it is multi-focused. gShift’s web presence optimizer isn’t just for helping you optimize a site from a SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, while it has components to help you do that. It goes beyond SEO and provides information on how social networking efforts are impacting website traffic (requires integration with Google Analytics). Is your organization heavily invested in Twitter? gShift helps you track the impact of tweets by retweets and includes a component that integrates with your bit.ly account. In essence gShift has (through APIs) integrated their product with most of the popular analytic tools for measuring social media. While their current set of tools for measuring social media may not be as powerful as the single purpose Radian 6 or TrackUr, it does bring together multiple tools to provide one stop reporting.
gShift also provides recommendations on where you need to focus your optimization efforts, be it a new press release or blog post or on site factors (better title tags, h1 tags etc.). You can even use its built in schedule feature to create a list of optimization "To Dos" and then have them appear as an annotation of the various report screens as they are completed.
gShift over the next few weeks will be releasing new features to further help site optimizers. This includes a content submission utility to help submit your blog posts to social bookmarking sites (such as digg) and Twitter. An additional new feature will be a integration into Wordpress.
The one thing that does separate out gShift form other tools is its reporting features. While most optimization tools generate great reports for the technical team, the reports are too technical for senior management forcing people to cut and paste various components into formal senior level reports. gShift’s reports are designed to simplify the complex data used by the technical team into easy to understand management reports that any VP can understand without any hand holding.
Overall this looks like a great product. I was also introduced to a series of planned upgrades roughly scheduled within the next 6-12 months. While I can say WOW and I can’t wait for these, I’m under an NDA not to talk about them at this time.
While I don't have any screen shots at this time, if you're interested in seeing this product for yourself, be sure to visit their site and sign-up for one of there Webinars (http://www.gshiftlabs.com/).