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Moosa Hemani

Is Rank Tracking Still Important?

Moosa Hemani

There has been quite the debate going on in the online world. It’s something you may have noticed if you work or play around in the online industry as a business owner or marketer. The debate is whether or not keywords (and how they rank) are worth tracking. Some people say it’s vital, while others think it is no longer necessary.

I believe that rank tracking your money-making keywords is still as important as it was before. Secondly, I find that out of all the rank tracking software I have previously used, this one is wonderfully accurate and graphically appealing.

I’m going to provide an overview of rank tracking and why I think it is still vital for you and your business!

A Little Backstory

This debate started when Google came up with the idea of having personalized searches based on the user's search history. Location and user history played a major role in what searchers found on the first page of Google’s results. This helped tailor results for searchers, showing them things they were more likely to be interested in. This seemed to make rank tracking obsolete to many in the online world.

The question of whether or not you should track rankings became mainstream when Raven Tools updated its program, removing rankings and all other scraped data. Their reasons were different, but chaos still ensued over other rank tracking tools.

Should You Rank Track, Then? Here’s My Answer

While I’m not an industry leader, I do have my opinions. (Don’t worry, you can disagree with me!)

I believe every business, regardless of its nature, should track its rankings, especially for those “money-making” keywords. Here are the top five reasons why I believe rank tracking is still vital today.

  1. This Program Tracks Your SEO Progress

No matter what your business is or which platform you use, your end goal is to receive revenue from your site to further your business. In order for this to happen, you need to use multiple channels such as social media, email campaigns and other advertisements. However, I fully believe that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-lasting, cost-effective channel.

No matter how much SEO has changed over the years, the basic game is still the same — you rank for a particular set of chosen keywords. This will bring more people to your website and can turn a percentage of those visitors into leads. In fact, once you get people to your site and turn them into customers, you have a higher likelihood of turning them into long-term clients. This is something every business wants, and it’s a great way to promote your company.

Just imagine — you bring in a visitor who is then converted into a customer with a keyword. That customer has several social media friends and shares your website’s link, discussing your product or service. From there, you can get more visitors and, eventually, more customers. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? You can get all this with SEO!

The biggest question I often hear, though, is How do you know if you are ranking for the right keywords? You will need to do basic analytic research to see which keywords are perfect for you. You can do this by simply seeing which search terms bring people to your website.

How do you track analytics? You can use awesome programs like Google Analytics; this can make things quite simple. By doing research, you will also see how much work is required to achieve your desired targets. You can also see an approximation for how much time it will take to achieve these goals.

  1. Rank Tracking Helps You Determine Your PPC Budget

At The Workplace Depot, we prefer to track each and every keyword, especially those we target in our Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. The main reason behind this is to see the progress of keywords and to know how well they are doing. If any keywords are showing excellent organic rankings, you can reduce your PPC budget to highlight different keywords to get the best results.

By investing your PPC budget on keywords with great organic results, you can quickly waste money and miss other keywords you should be paying for instead. These ignored keywords can generate significant sales for your business, which is why it’s important to target the right ones.

  1. It Helps You Dig Deeper Into Different “Not-Provided” Data

Google has implemented many changes in the past few years. One of these changes is hiding keyword data from Google Analytics. Using rank-tracking software can help you get to this “not-provided” data to easily see what you might be missing. For us, the “not-provided” data was reaching around 10 percent of the total queries but now, for our website, the figure has hit more than 82.30 percent. We might never have known this if we hadn’t used a rank-tracking program.

When you track keywords on a regular basis, you can see which ones are on that coveted first page of the search engine results page (SERP). You can compare these with data from Google Analytics to understand which keywords are bringing in more traffic and conversions for your website, and then focus on them accordingly.

  1. It Strengthens Your Content Strategy

In today’s online world, it’s almost impossible for a business to survive without a blog. In order to write influential blog posts that allow people to engage with your brand, you need a strong content strategy.

Writing quality material demands effort and takes time. In order to get the most out of it, you need to track rankings. For instance, if you are ranking for WordPress-related keywords but not ranking for content marketing, you should, ideally, change your focus so that you can target new organic traffic.

  1. Be Sure to Check for Penguin and Panda

Google has issued a lot of penalties recently, and if you are violating Google’s guidelines, you could face one of them! I always recommend being creative, but make sure whatever you are planning falls within the guidelines provided by Google. If you don’t, the consequences can be serious and can keep your site from ranking, causing you to lose, losing clicks, visitors, and leads.

How Can You Tell If You Have a Penalty?

Let’s pretend for a minute that your brand was penalized, but you didn’t receive an email notification from Google. How can you confirm a penalty? You can check Google Analytics to see if your ranks are dropping. However, it is best to practice great SEO tactics and make sure you are following any and all Google changes. If you aren’t sure how to keep up with these changes, head on over to the Moz site. It has an amazing resource that will keep you updated on all of Google’s changes.

Rankings are important; and no matter your brand’s niche or business style, you should track them on a regular basis. This will help you align your SEO strategy and ensure success for your site. Don’t neglect those keywords and ranks; use a program and track them to stay on top of your game!

Moosa Hemani is a search marketing consultant. He shares his thoughts and experiences on his blog setalks.com. Follow him on twitter (@mmhemani) to get in touch with him. His last article for SEMrush was entitled: "Is Rank Tracking Still Important?"

Comments

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Matt LaClear
Matt LaClear
What’s important to remember is that, in the final analysis, your site doesn’t rank for the keywords themselves. Keywords are the little lights at the end of a dark tunnel. They can help consumers find their way. It’s what consumers do with your content, after arriving, that ultimately determines how well you’ll rank. So, it’s important to know how well your lights (keywords) are performing within the tunnel at any given time. Are they turned on or off? Solid information Moosa. Thanks for sharing.
Krishna Kumar Singh
Krishna Kumar Singh
Exactly ranking matters Moosa..! I do support you at this point, and also I'wd like to add after a lot of optimisation strategies have been changed but classical SEO is still alive.
Brian Belfitt
Yes, ranking is still important. How well your site does however, is totally dependent on the keywords you are targeting. It's very rare to find blogs that rank for multiple keywords. That's why most bloggers choose only one or two keywords and try to rank their blogs based on those keywords. It takes less effort and over time it is possible.

Thanks for sharing such a valuable information.
Moosa Hemani
Brian Belfitt
Thanks Brian, Glad that you like the idea and agree with it!
M Andrew Eagar
M Andrew Eagar
Great post Moosa! These are great arguments for rank tracking. Personally I think the debate itself is missing the mark. I think the real question is what else should you as a business owner be tracking in ADDITION to keyword rank tracking.
Moosa Hemani
M Andrew Eagar
Glad you like it Andrew!
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