Use a Position Rank Tracker to Monitor Your SEO

Rank tracking helps you monitor how your target keywords are positioned in search engine results pages. Find out how monitoring your keyword positions helps your SEO efforts.

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The more SEO work you do to drive traffic from search engines, the more variables interact, causing you to sometimes lose sight of the big picture. How do you keep an eye on all the keywords you are trying to rank for? And how can you maintain focus on the most important ones?

The answer is the SEO keyword rank tracker. It's one of the most important SEO tools in your toolbox. It can track each keyword position in each search engine on a daily basis.


Overview: What is a position rank tracker?

A rank tracking tool is a software solution that crawls search engine results pages at regular intervals to identify websites ranking for keywords used in a search query. Most keyword rank trackers look up a wide range of keywords on an ongoing basis so you can look at historic evolution and get instant results.

But beyond this collective tracking, a rank tracker can be configured more specifically for your SEO needs. It can track the positions of specific keywords and specific URLs in your website.

Search engines are not happy about crawlers monitoring and monetizing their search results, and Google now provides some of the same basic functionality for free via the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Screenshot from Search Console data in Google Analytics.

When Google Search Console is integrated with Google Analytics, you can find keyword position data in the Acquisition menu to see what terms you rank for, average position, and clicks and impressions the rank generated. Source: analytics.google.com.


4 benefits of tracking your keyword positions with a rank tracker

It's great to start with free tools, but you'll receive greater benefits from doing more advanced keyword position tracking. Let's have a look at them.

1. Monitor what is most important

A rank tracker allows you to monitor what matters to you. You've spent time researching keywords that are important for your business, and now you can track exactly where you stand on those and the progress you make.

Screenshot from the Ahrefs Rank Tracker overview showing ranking metrics for three sites.

The Rank Tracker overview provides a number of metrics to understand the nature and evolution of your positioning on the tracked keyword set. Source: Ahrefs software.

2. Measure the effect of your SEO work

The keyword rank tracker will also help you measure the results of your SEO work. If you invest time and resources in improving your SEO, it's important to measure the effect of your actions to refine your strategy.

3. Keep an eye on competitors

With keyword rank tracking, you can also keep an eye on your competitors' positions on your target keywords. This enables you to discern competitor strategies and create content to maintain or expand your presence in key areas.

4. Be alerted when rankings change

With advanced keyword rank tracking, you can also be alerted to sudden movements in your rankings. Is your site down? Did a recent update negatively or positively generate a sudden impact on your site's visibility? Alerts will help you react swiftly.


Should you track all of your keywords with a rank tracker?

Rank trackers can track an unlimited number of keywords. These software tools deploy resources for each keyword they track and often have economic models providing a certain allowance or payment per keyword. Therefore, it makes sense to only track the keywords that are valuable to you.

In an SEO audit, it's worthwhile checking the rank for all the keywords you target. On an ongoing basis, there are two types of keywords you should monitor:

  1. The most important keywords you already rank for.
  2. The keywords you're targeting but don't rank for yet.

3 best practices when SEO tracking

SEO tracking can be used in various stages of the SEO process. During keyword research, for your on-page SEO, for building backlinks, and most importantly, to measure results. Let's see some of the best practices for SEO tracking.

1. Use position monitoring strategically

In an SEO project, position monitoring can play a role at several stages in the process.

  • Keyword research: You can check keywords the site already ranks for.
  • On-page SEO: You can find URLs to optimize based on pages already ranking.
  • Link building: You can cross-check ranking keywords with backlinks profiles.
  • SEO dashboard: You can use top keyword performance as a KPI in your dashboard.

2. Monitor targets

Rank tracking brings the most benefit if you use it through the entire process. As soon as your keyword targets are set, you should track them with a tool and monitor your progress as your project advances. At the end of your SEO cycle, you can estimate outcome by looking at the number of positions you gained.

3. Pick one tool for all your channels

The free Google tool only works for Google's search engine. Make sure you use a position tracker that can cover the full scope of your project. Some tools can cover the full range of search engines and languages you create SEO for. Others may have limitations, making your life harder by having to add multiple tools.


Rank tracking is a core SEO function

Rank tracking measures the effectiveness of your SEO. It can show your visibility at the outset and the end of an SEO project, and it can be an ongoing monitoring tool, helping you continuously improve your visibility in search engines.

Tools for rank tracking provide great strategic and competitive insight via their ongoing data collection on major keywords. They also provide custom tracking projects allowing you to track your visibility per URL and per keyword. They can be a great foundation for your SEO success.

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