After creating your website, the most important thing you need to do is track and monitor your keyword performance in the search results, and that’s where a Rank Tracker will become your favorite tool. Here are 7 reasons why it should be at the top of your business tools list:
- To understand your current position
How am I looking today on a scale of 1-10?
Seeing your real-time position in the SERP (search engine results page) is no doubt one of the most important aspects of a rank tracking tool. It provides you with a real insight into your current level of visibility in Google based on your chosen keywords.
A rank tracker allows you to enter keywords or phrases related to your activity that you’re trying to position yourself upon. It provides great insights of your keywords that are well-optimized within your content and potential keywords that could be optimized more. As well as the ranking of each keyword, it shows the evolution of each keyword so that you can measure your keyword optimization correctly.
- It shows you the current ranking of each keyword you’re trying to position yourself upon
- It shows the evolution of each keyword over different periods of time
- To better understand your market
It’s about speaking the same language as them.
It’s so easy to say ‘ok well these keywords are positioned well for my French market so I’m sure the same will work for the US market’. Wrong. Check for a rank of a keyword for one country and in another it’ll most likely be different. You may be targeting the same type of person but it’s the search habits and preferences that will differ. That’s why a rank tracker can be a vital tool for you to better understand your target market, and to see how the keywords you are positioned upon, perform in different search engines. For example you might be positioned 3rd for ‘ X keyword in the UK Google but only 15th in the US Google.
- The same keywords won’t work for every one of your markets
- A rank tracker will show you how your keywords perform in different search engines across the world
- To spy on your competitors
Time to activate your Digital Espionage.
Okay here is where your eavesdropping skills can come into play…and no I don’t mean listening into a private conversation that you’re not involved in, that’s not cool, but eavesdropping in terms of finding out what your competitors (*cough* enemies *cough* 😉 ) are up to.
Remember that a rank tracker isn’t just about tracking single keywords that you rank or trying to rank for but also to see if your competitors are positioned on the same keywords as you…and even more than that, to see if they’re ranked higher or lower than you for these keywords.
By being able to see which keywords you and your competitors are both ranking for, it gives you a good idea of the level of difficulty there is to keep ahead on certain keywords or outrank them. Thus, helps you in your next step of your keyword strategy, i.e. which keywords need working on? What tactics are your competitors using to rank high on a specific keyword? How can I keep them from outranking me?
Keeping an eye on your competition needs to be a regular task as it forces you to grow, evolve and become the best that you can be in your sector.
- With a rank tracker you can see what keywords you and your competitors are both ranking on
- It shows you whether your competitors rank higher or lower than you on each keyword
- To react to a loss in position
Keep calm and don’t throw a tantrum.
SEO is an on-going task but like everything, we don’t always have the time to check our rankings daily which is why most rank trackers send you alerts if you lose a position in your keywords. These alerts allow you to be proactive. Proactive in the sense of looking at why it dropped in the first place and then putting a strategy in place of how to improve the ranking of the keyword or phrase in question.
You’ll feel great if you’re positioned high-up in the search engines but if you don’t continually monitor your rankings it won’t then be a nice feeling when you see your rankings drop and competitors getting ahead.
- Rank Trackers alert you if you lose a position on one or more of your keywords
- You need to continually monitor your keyword rankings to stay ahead of the game
- To anticipate fluctuations
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Being able to anticipate possible changes in the SERP is useful so that you’re prepared for any shuffle around in the Google ranking. Here I’m not talking about technical aspects such as website changes or Google updates (which I’ll talk about later 😉 ) but more about what we call Temporal Interest. These are fluctuations caused by a change in search habits rather than a change in rankings.
Let’s take Halloween as an example. It’s pretty dormant for most of the year but the weeks leading up to it, it picks up dramatically. This sudden increase in traffic can normally be predicted but you still never really know where you’ll end up (I mean in terms of ranking, not after your Halloween night out!). Some sites win and others will suffer but as long as you’re aware of the sudden surge, capitalize on the traffic and do the best you can from it, fingers crossed you won’t be affected too much.
- Anticipate fluctuations of Temporal Interest e.g. Halloween, Black Friday
- Changes in SERP positions can be due to changes in habits and search demands
- To track keywords on an international scale
Keyword, mot clé, stichwort, palabra clave, parola chiave.
Rank Trackers don’t only just work for the country where you’re based but also on an international spectrum. You are able to track and monitor keywords in any country across the world, as well as in the country’s language. For example, with Cocolyze’s ranking tool you can get real-time rankings in more than 65 languages over 45,000 different locations on Google and Google mobile. Now imagine the opportunities with that ;).
Being able to specify a country means that you can really focus on a specific keyword campaign. For example if you notice you have a lot of traffic coming in from a different country than where you’re based then it may be worth spending time on optimizing the keywords you’re ranked upon for that country. However, remember that keywords don’t directly translate from one language to another, you need to take into account even the smallest of differences (e.g. slang, language, spelling). Think of British English and American English, of course we use a lot of the same words but the spelling is a big difference between the two (color vs colour 😉 ).
- This tool allows you to track keywords for a specific country or town
- Optimize keywords that bring-in high amounts of traffic from different countries
- Take into account language differences e.g. spelling, slang
- To find out the reasons behind a change in position
I welcome change as long as nothing is altered or different.
Monday: Yes! Number 1 in Google results page!
Thursday: I’m now number 8, how is that possible?!
Even if you get the top position in the SERP, it’s never guaranteed that you’ll stay there. And if you start to lose positions it’s important to understand why and how. Here are some reasons why you might see a change in position, with some being more severe than others:
- Outranked by the competition
This will probably be only a slight change in rank but to overcome this it’s about keeping an eye on their link-building strategies and tracking their content tactics. Also be as diverse and creative as possible.
- Changes to your website
If you’ve made changes to the structure of your website then you might see a fall in rankings. Whether you develop your website internally or outsource the work, make sure there’s communication between the developers and the marketing team when changes are planned.
- Google penalized your website
This will tend to be a sharp drop in rankings due to some of your pages not being compliant with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines such as thin content or cloaking (cloaking is an SEO technique where the content presented to the search engine robots is different from what is presented in the user’s browser).
- Google updates
Updates from Google tend to be kept very quiet (the sneaky little things!) so if you think your rankings have been affected, have a look at the latest algorithm news or if others are experiencing the same problem.
- Lost links
Losing high-quality links can have an impact on your Google ranking performance especially if you don’t have many in the first place, but normally the change in rankings will be moderate.
- Look back at the date when your keyword positions changed
- Compare changes with competition, website changes, Google updates or lost links
A rank tracker can give you reliable data of your current position in the SERP and let you discover the activity of your competitors. Rank tracking tools are simple to use and will guide you in your SEO keyword strategy. You have no excuses now…get climbing to the top of the SERP mountain!