The SERP tracking basics for every SEO campaign

Today’s article is for those who don’t use a SERP tracker at all yet, but do use some basic organic SEO on their own and generally consider themselves novices. We will discuss some SEO lore – and that would be the story that you need a SERP tracker even if you’re an SEO beginner who uses the most basic strategies for a small niche. As an example, let’s say you’re gunning to rank top positions for 5 “big” keywords in some niche. By big keywords, I mean short-tail keywords composed of two words or less that have a relatively large monthly search volume on various search engines.

For example, if we take the footwear e-commerce niche (not a small niche by any means), big keywords would be “Adidas shoes” or “Caterpillar shoes”. Now, every organic SEO campaign also needs long-tail keywords composed of three or more words to bring quality traffic to a website. For the example above, long-tails could be “Adidas shoes mens sale” or “caterpillar steel toe shoes womens”.

Long-tails have a low search volume but usually have a far better conversion rate than the big keywords, and they’re most often a lot easier to rank to the top. The’re the money-bringers, and 70% of all searches are composed of long-tail keywords. Having said that, even the smallest SEO campaign might require as many as 20 keywords that need to be ranked and tracked (5 big ones and 15 long-tails).

This is where tracking truly becomes a hassle to handle manually. These 20 keywords need to be tracked on several fronts if you want to get the clearest picture of how your website ranks. Today’s Google rank is influenced by personalization, geo-targeting and platform type (mobile or desktop), meaning you have at least 3 different ranks for EACH of those 20 keywords, adding up to 60 different ranks to track. Next, we have other search engines to care about – Yahoo! and Bing, together ruling over roughly 30% of all searches on the internet; a huge market share that needs attention and optimization. Multiply those 20 keywords by two to account for only Yahoo! and Bing, adding another 40 to the tally.

Proper use of a SERP tracker will save time and make your life easier

Proper use of a SERP tracker will save time and make your life easier

So far we have 100 different ranks that need tracking, and mind you, this count is just a conservative estimate for a modest organic SEO campaign. So just this “little” campaign will cost you a lot of time and funds to keep track of by yourself. Lo and behold, in comes the great invention of SERP trackers. SERP trackers are like a stock trading program, in that they can track all those 100 keywords at once and show you the very crucial daily, weekly and monthly changes of their relevant ranks. Additionally, they present you with the data conveniently on one page and generate various progress reports for those keywords to visualize that data in several graphic ways.

SERP trackers also look up accurate local ranks and effectively bypass the personalization filters that your manual check and various expensive proxy servers are subjected to, and they give you the closest to a REAL rank as you can get. So let’s review the different ranks required to give the full picture of just a single keyword position in search engines:

  • A general Google.com desktop rank:  This gives you a sort of cumulative average rank that people from the US see (only Google knows what that rank really means).
  • A desktop Google local rank:  For example, if the footwear store from our example had a physical store in New York, then a New York Google rank would be most relevant (preferably with a snack pack rank).
  • A Google mobile rank:  Mobile ranks are DIFFERENT than desktop ranks. They’re influenced by how mobile-friendly your website is, and they are always GPS-targeted, so New York would still be the relevant mobile rank in this example.
  • A Bing rank and a Yahoo! rank:  Yahoo! is actually powered by Bing, so the beauty in optimizing for those search engines is that you essentially need to optimize for only one to get good ranks in both!

So, there you have it. Tracking your keywords couldn’t be easier when you have a trusty SERP tracker at your disposal. Check out our article about how to choose the best SERP tracker for your SEO needs. It’ll help you choose in today’s highly saturated market full of different SERP trackers and SEO tools.

As for us, PRT is a 100% accurate SERP tracker specifically designed to give you a crystal-clear and accurate picture of your organic ranks, and the reports we generate are simple to read. We are very SEO goal oriented, meaning we don’t have irrelevant tools and features, which is also why we have the BEST price-per-tracked-keyword on the market. Setting up a small SEO campaign for tracking is easy and will save you a ton of time and money! Give it a try today.