As a marketer, it’s important to be able to track your SEO so you can evaluate your website’s success. After all, there’s no point investing all that time, money, and effort into creating and maintaining an SEO plan if you can’t even be sure that you’re getting a return on your investment. 

This article takes a look at how tracking keywords leads to SEO success. In it, you will learn why keyword tracking is important, how to use it to get better results from your search engine optimization efforts, and much more. 

Without further ado, let’s get right to it.

What is Keyword Tracking?

Keyword tracking involves monitoring the rank or position of your site and individual pages for specific keywords. 

Also known as keyword rank tracking, this process allows you to see if any of your keywords (that is, your webpages) rank on the first position or on the first page in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Keyword rank tracking is essentially about monitoring specific keyword rankings so you can get important metrics and data about how well your site is ranking for those particular keywords. 

Ideally, you want to rank in the first position, or at least on the first page for each keyword. However, that may not be possible if you’re in a competitive niche. 

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t work to improve your rankings for specific keywords on your site. 

Also, regular monitoring of your keywords will help you discover possible flotations in your website’s ranking so you can take appropriate action to remedy it. Keyword monitoring is usually an important step in a backlink analysis, which helps you determine your ability to rank for given keywords. 

Why Keyword Tracking is Important

As previously mentioned, tracking keywords is among the most crucial aspects of successful SEO. Its goal is to help you discover opportunities to optimize your keyword so you can enhance your website’s search ranking

By knowing your keyword ranking, you will be better able to take actionable steps for improving your website traffic – something that is crucial for the success of any online business.

For instance, you will be able to use more query-relevant keywords in your content, which is something that has been shown to be among Google’s most important ranking factors: 

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As an example, I’ve optimized my own website to try to rank for words related to online course software.  The specific keyword is “Best online course platforms”.  If I’m able to rank in the top 3 positions for this term, it would be a game changer for my brand. 

Although many marketers believe that keyword tracking doesn’t provide much value since there are a lot of variables that can affect the ranking of your website, it’s still important to monitor your keyword rankings as this can offer great value for the organic ranking of your website in the search engines.

Here are a few other reasons why keyword tracking is important:

  • If you know how your website’s organic rankings change over time, you will have significant insight into your SEO performance. 
  • Tracking your keyword rankings will also help you better understand the impact of search engine optimization on search visibility.
  • Keyword tracking will allow you to focus on better and more effective search optimization strategies in the future.

As you can see, keyword tracking is vital for a successful website. Having access to the data from tracking keywords gives you a competitive edge over many other businesses that are either unaware of what keyword tracking is, or they don’t know how to effectively leverage that knowledge.

How to Use Keyword Tracking to Optimize SEO Efforts

The ultimate goal of your keyword tracking activities is to help you find new opportunities to improve your presence on Google and other search engines. 

Listed below are 6 ways that you can use your keyword tracking to optimize your SEO efforts.

1. Monitor the Competition

One of the best things about using the keyword tracking tool is that it allows you to see where your competitors are ranking on the same keywords that you are competing for. 

This can alert you to the need for improving your search engine optimization strategy if there is a competitor dominating the SERPs. It will also alert you to possible opportunities if your competitors are failing to rank for specific phrases in your industry. 

Keyword rankings give you a load of data on your website’s performance, allowing you to make the necessary tweaks and changes to your content marketing strategy so you have a better chance of ranking for the top spot.

For instance, if some of your competitors are ranking well for particular terms, you can learn exactly what your competitors are doing to steal away your traffic. With the right keyword tracking tools, you will be able to monitor their rankings so you know when they launch new landing pages or publish new content to help them rank higher for specific keywords.

2. Optimize Your Content

The next step in using keyword tracking to get better SEO results is to optimize your content. You need to identify your brand’s keyword strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities to help you create informed content update strategies. 

For instance, with the information you gather from your keyword tracking tool, you will discover which types of content are the most popular, and then tweak your own content to make it more effective. 

You will also be able to easily identify organic CTR (click-through rate) issues. 

You can have the best quality content on the web, and it may even rank on the top spot in Google. However, this won’t guarantee you a stream of visitors to your website unless people actually click on your listing. 

By monitoring keyword rankings, you can determine if your webpages are getting a healthy organic CTR. 

To do this, you could simply monitor rankings and then correlate the data you collect with the average organic click-through rate that pages in that spot could expect from the search engines.

According to a survey from the Content Marketing Institute, creating relevant content is one of the biggest challenges that online marketers face.

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By using the right keyword tracking tools, you will have access to data that will make it easy for you to craft compelling, engaging, and high-ranking content for your website.

3. Investigate Traffic Drops

In addition to using keyword rankings to evaluate competitors and optimize your content, you can also use the data you collect to help you investigate the causes behind website traffic drops. 

There are many reasons why your website might experience a reduction in traffic. It’s important for you to find out what the reason is so that you can handle it accordingly. 

For instance, ranking fluctuations may be caused by search engine algorithm updates, which can be either confirmed or unconfirmed. 

Other factors that can impact your organic traffic include:

  • Technical glitches on your website
  • Search engines testing new SERP features
  • Penalties or manual actions from Google’s team
  • …and various other factors.

By reviewing your keyword ranking data, you will have a good place to begin troubleshooting your website traffic drop. You will be able to review and analyze the page so you can immediately fix the issue that is throwing your keyword positions off. 

However, to be able to check keyword rankings, it means that you need to be tracking them so you can get a clear view of the trend, as well as the associated ranking position for any particular keyword.

4. Capitalize on Fresh Opportunities

Yet another amazing benefit of using a keywords rank tracking tool is that it allows you to identify and capitalize on fresh opportunities. 

Tracking relevant keywords could allow your brand to jump on keywords before your competitors, helping you gain positive momentum. 

Rank tracking data will reveal how domains perform in the different areas of search results, aside from the traditional organic results. This includes SERP features like:

  • Featured Snippets
  • Rich Snippets
  • People Also Ask
  • Videos
  • Knowledge Panel
  • Site Links
  • …and more.

Here is an example of what the SERP looks like for “Donald Glover” with the different SERP features – each of which offers a different ranking opportunity:

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When you do this correctly, it’s possible that maybe you won’t rank in the Google SERP for organic text content, but you could rank a YouTube video as a result.  Doing so may not bring much traffic to your website, but it would allow you to make more money from YouTube through ad revenue or other YouTube monetization strategies you choose to use. 

5. Track Keyword Data Over Time

Keyword tracking allows you to generate reports regularly and you can use this information to review progress (or problems) over time. This helps you to prove the success of your marketing campaigns so you can demonstrate the impact of your efforts on your business’s bottom line. 

For instance, you can show how many keywords have begun ranking since your last keyword rankings report. 

You can also show their current positions, how much traffic their driving to your website, and even the sales that have resulted from ranking those particular keywords. 

Similarly, the data from your keyword rank tracking tool will allow you to report on the change in performance over time so you can illustrate your website’s overall progress. You might report on how many keywords have moved up from lower positions, or the ones that have jumped from page two to page one, and so on.

6. Prepare for Future Projects

In addition to current keyword tracking, the right keyword rank tracking tool will also help you to prepare effective future strategies. 

With the information you gather, you will be able to make proper plans for the launch of your new site or web page category.  In addition, keyword data will give you a glimpse into the language that your website visitors use and you can use a tool like Thrive Themes to design your pages and focus on copywriting that will resonate with your audience.

As any marketer will tell you, when it comes to planned site launches, it’s important to know how your keywords are ranking prior to the site going live. 

By evaluating the keyword positions, you will be able to easily determine various ranking opportunities. After the launch of your site, you can check how your keywords were affected, and determine if more optimization is necessary.

You will be able to identify a lot of other ranking opportunities, as well as search terms that you can focus on for future projects. 

Summary

Keywords represent a crucial part of SEO. Tracking them is one of the best ways to gain insight into your domain’s organic ranking in the search engines. 

The information you gather will help you make informed decisions to improve your content strategy so you can drive even more targeted traffic to your website.

Do you have experience using keyword tracking tools in your marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Author

Ron Stefanski is an internet entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more about Ron by visiting OneHourProfessor.com

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