Insider Tips – How to get the most out of Rank Tracker

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Market Samurai’s Rank Tracker module provides you with the tools you need to monitor your website rankings – in all 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing).

Because of this huge wealth of information, it’s one of Market Samurai’s most popular features.

In support I receive a lot of questions about how to use it effectively. So today, I want to answer the most common questions people have around using Rank Tracker – including “how do you use all of the tools inside Rank Tracker to your best advantage?”

I also want to share with you some advanced analysis strategies for using Rank Tracker. And give you some time-saving insider tips for pinpointing some of the valuable insights Rank Tracker is sharing about your website.

(Note: If you don’t have access to Market Samurai’s Rank Tracker, you can sign up for a free 12-day trial of Market Samurai here. If your trial has expired, you will need to upgrade to the full version of Market Samurai to access the Rank Tracker module as it is one of the advanced Market Samurai features only available in the paid version.)

Why Should I Track My Rankings?

There are 4 reasons why you should check your rankings regularly:

  1. It tells you whether your SEO techniques are working.
    This helps you to fine-tune your SEO strategy. When you are able to see tangible feedback on whether your SEO efforts are having an impact on your site’s rankings it allows you to determine what works for your particular niche. This allows you to spend more time on the things that work, and less time on the things that don’t.
  2. It alerts you if you have made changes to your site that are negatively impacting your search engine positions.
    Sometimes you’ll make a small change to your website structure, or modify your site’s meta-tags and it will negatively impact your search engine rankings. If you are not monitoring your rankings then you won’t know what’s happened until you start investigating why your traffic has dropped. By monitoring your rankings you are able to see this change early, and correct the problem before it has a significant impact on your traffic and income.
  3. Watching your sites move up the rankings keeps you motivated.
    When you first start working on a site it can be a lot of hard work without any tangible rewards. Watching your sites improve in ranking is fun, and allows you to see your hard work paying off. This helps to keep you motivated in those early days and keeps you working towards your goals.
  4. It helps you to prioritize your SEO efforts.
    Few of us have the luxury to dedicate as much time as we’d like towards building our online businesses. In the end you will need to decide which areas you are going to focus your limited time on. By looking at an overview of where your sites are ranking for your keywords you can prioritize your work and focus on the areas that are going to bring the most value to your business.

How Should I Select Keywords To Track?

There are a number of ways that you could decide which keywords to track.

A common approach is to select a large number of keywords in your niche or keywords that you think it would be nice to rank for. This gives you a large list of rank data with many keywords showing no rank or ranking on page 30 where you have no hope of getting any traffic from it. This means that it’s harder to spot the truely valuable keywords and as a result it doesn’t give a good snapshot of how your SEO campaign is going and what you need to work on.

A better approach is to track only the keywords that you are actively optimizing your site for. This includes lower traffic long-tail keywords that you might target with a single blog post or article. In addition, you may like to track the keywords that are currently bringing traffic to your site.

How Often Should I Check my Rankings?

Google is constantly tweaking and updating its search data, over a network of thousands of computers.

This means results can fluctuate greatly throughout the day, particularly when a site has only recently been indexed. So it isn’t necessarily helpful to know your exact position at any one time.

What is more important is the trend in how your site is moving through the SERPs for your keywords.

As a general rule of thumb checking your rankings weekly is plenty to give you the information you need to know about how your site is performing.

(If your cache age tells you that Google is indexing your site more often then you can increase the number of times per week you check your rankings. This knowledgebase article explains cache age further.)

The most powerful interface in Rank Tracker is the historical data. You can access this by clicking the graph button to the right of each row. This allows you to view a graph of how your positions have changed over time giving you powerful information that can help you to adjust your SEO strategy.

historical search engine position data

The brilliance of this is that it filters out the noise caused by small fluctuations in ranking and allows you to easily see the overall trend of how your site is performing in the search engines.

This means that you are not distracted by the small adjustments that Google makes throughout the day so you are able to see exactly where your site is heading and whether the SEO efforts that you are applying are working or you have hit a dead end.

What do I do with My Ranking Data?

So you have all of this historical, and current data on your sites and your rankings, what do you do with it?

Your ranking data is likely to tell you one of three things:

  1. If your position for a keyword is improving then you know that whatever SEO techniques that you have been applying are working so you should continue as you’ve been going.
  2. If your position for a keyword has stopped improving then look at your site and see what you could be doing to improve your optimization. Try something different and see if that helps.
  3. If your position for a keyword is falling – don’t panic! Think about the recent changes you have made to your site. Could any of those have damaged your SEO? Have you been updating your site less frequently? Have you stopped building backlinks? Are your competitors fighting back? Try to determine what has caused the fall in ranking and correct the problem.

By keeping track of how your SEO efforts have impacted your position in the search engines over the long term you can develop your own understanding of what helps, what doesn’t help and what might harm the SEO of your site, allowing you to build your own expertise and give yourself the best chance of success.

Miriam Parkinson
Noble Samurai Support

P.S. Market Samurai’s Rank Tracker is one of the advanced features that you get access to as a full-version owner. To upgrade to the full version of Market Samurai now, click here.

Miriam Parkinson is an oracle of answers on Noble Samurai's software, and one of your friendly Samurai support team.

Miriam has written 4 post(s) for Noble Samurai

39 Responses to “Insider Tips – How to get the most out of Rank Tracker”

  1. Nice coincidence ;-) Some weeks ago I wrote this article http://hospitalera.com/market-samurai-tips-keeping-track/ about how to use the Ranktracker module to keep an eye on whole projects / series of articles on certain sites like Hubpages. It works like a charm ;-) SY

  2. In one of my niches, I found it helpful to track a competitor. He obviously targeted the same keywords in the thirty day challenge. By tracking a competitors site, I can look at rankings and copy (or not) the types of changes – more posts, more backlinks, and even follow his backlink efforts in the SEO Competition module.

  3. The only featuring I’m missing is the ability to search in other countries. though im sure it won’t be long before being implemented.

  4. Rank Tracker is an excellent tool. I used to pay someone to do this manually for me monthly. What a waste of time and resources!

    This is much better.

  5. 5

    Rank tracker is my favorite module in Market Samurai. I use it all the time for all my projects so that I can see what is working.

  6. This feature would be even better if it could be automated! How can we select certain projects to automatically run at a predetermined daily time, say 1am? Please add this feature, thanks

  7. I don’t know much about this from scratch, can you throw more light for the sake of newbies like me, Thank you

    On
    Brent Hodgson replied:

    We certainly can help here.

    Our previous blog post contained a HEAP of great training on Rank Tracker from Dr Anthony.

    Here’s a link: http://www.noblesamurai.com/blog/rank-tracker/fine-tune-your-seo-strategy-rank-tracker-1797

    (These videos, and transcripts, are also available in the Dojo – http://www.noblesamurai.com/dojo/marketsamurai/ )

    I hope this helps!

  8. I’d previously been using the Rankchecker add-on for Firefox from SEObook.com but Market Samurai works far better and is really such an incredible ‘Swiss Army Knife’ type tool!

  9. Hi Miriam

    Thanks for the great article. Hope to put this module into work.

    All the best

  10. One thing that I most appreciate is the depth of training and use information provided by the folks at Noble Samurai. It is useful and instantly helpful in mobitoring and discovering valuable data.
    The podcast by Dr Fernando is one of the finest free training resources I have found.

    The incredible value of being a Samurai owner should not be underestimated Thank you Miriam, Anthony and Brent

  11. I really appreciate the tools that Market Samurai provides, they’re awesome! What I really appreciate are the tips and videos in the dojo showing how to use them.

    Any Chance of a module that you type in a website and have MS tell us what keywords and where it ranks for?

    On
    Isha of Market Samurai Resources replied:

    While we’re impatiently waiting for your great module idea, you might (or might not) know that you can find a webpage’s keywords via “View Source” (or similar menu item, depending on which browser you use).

    When the source page is open, you search for “keyword” and Bob’s your uncle – pop them into your Rank Tracker.

  12. 12

    I second the call for running automated rank tracker once a day at 1am :)

    If this could be started by some kind of script to write in the correct project file then update the data, this would be AWESOME!

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Rank Tracker has been a God Send for me. The ability to see the on page optimization of my sites as viewed by Google has been an eye opener. I have a Google Blooger site and even though I have the page descriptions filled out they are not recognized by Google… whats up with that???

    Tracking domains and articles is really nice… something I really didn’t have time before to do efficiently… not any more! Thanks again MS team… especially for the Dojo page.

  14. Brilliant , as usual. I’m off for
    bit of practice now.

    Thanks
    Lynsey

  15. Great article, thank you! I didn’t know about the trend function. Will check it out straight away. MS is not only special because it’s such a great tool, but also because you provide so much training material. Thanks!

  16. This is a really cool tool and I used to track my rank stats every week! It’s awesome! Thank you guys!

    Brad

  17. The trending aspect is great – it helps you to keep ahead of your competitors if you can spot the trends before they do. Great job!

  18. Thanks for the post Miriam. I find these posts very helpful as a Market Samurai owner…I have my own ways of using the product, but getting more and more ways to use it is always great for my business.

    I look forward to your next post. Can I suggest a next post on how to best use either the publish or promote modules.

    thanks

    Brandon

  19. Do you guyz ever do anything wrong? Every addition to MS is a good one. The product is way better than 99% of the junk in the SEO/marketing industry and your support and tutorials are bar none. If that’s not good enough I can now watch the video tutorials while I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym as you uploaded iphone-ready links on your blog not long ago.

    Was shocked how nice rank tracker module is in MS. I’ve tried them all SEO Studio, Advanced, SEO Power Suite, SEO Elite, and what I’ve found is that MS is the easiest and seems to be pretty darn quick too. The built-in proxies is a solid feature many others lack. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep sending SEO/affiliate crowd your way.

  20. Miriam, great article, I do have a (potentiall dumb) question though. You mention “In addition, you may like to track the keywords that are currently bringing traffic to your site.” How do I use Market Samuari to see what keywords are generating traffic to my sites?

    On
    Isha replied:

    You find out which keywords are generating traffic to your sites by looking in your Google Analytics for that site, or your hosts Control Panel will have that information.

    Then you simply add those keywords into Rank Tracker. It’s really worth doing.

  21. Great article. MS is an invaluable tool in my daily SEO. I love everything it brings.

  22. Thanks for this helpful post. There are so many great tools in MS. I’m still learning how to use them. This will shorten my learning curve for learning how to track my sites in the SEO rankings.

  23. I used MS for a while but never use this module really, but just found out recently that what people now keep watching their websites. it’s the best module .

  24. Hi Miriam,

    Rank Tracker is an important tool in our backlinking campaign. It can really helps us in 2 ways.

    1st: It tells us whether we are doing it correctly.

    2rd: Used the positive results to enhanced existing backlinking strategy.

    Appreciate your time and effort to write this post.

    Thank you for sharing this additional information and tips.

    Ben

  25. Great post. I was always a bit confused as to what I could actually do with this module. Now that I know, I’m going to plug in all of my long tail terms and monitor my positions that way instead of manually searching Google 10 times a day!

  26. Excellent post, conceptually I love rank tracker but like many others ask… “When will be able to track other countries like google.co.nz”

    Untill then I’ve gotta use Rank Tracker from SEO Book in firefox but eagerly anticipate MS adding this.

  27. We’ve been using Web Position for years to monitor rankings, so I’m glad to see it at to the MS suite of products. It’s nice to have a primary resource for go to info.

  28. Is it able to track YouTube video results that appear on the first page of the Google?

    None of the keyword tracking tools I’ve tried has been able to do this and I need it bad…

    On
    Brent Hodgson replied:

    Yes.

    Here’s a video and blog post that explain how:
    http://www.noblesamurai.com/blog/rank-tracker/rank-video-web20-744

    Brent

  29. Just did a test and it really works!

    The only problem is that about 30% YouTube rankings stay undetected while they are there when manually checking.

    On
    Brent Hodgson replied:

    Interesting – I’d like to have a look at this.

    Are you able to send Support some examples?

    It could be Google is showing YouTube results (as embedded search results) sometimes – but not all the time. This is the most likely reason – but we should be able to run some checks and find out for certain.

  30. 30

    Does rank checker work locally or on your server?

    On
    Brent Hodgson replied:

    All data is retrieved and stored locally.

    Currently, there is no scheduling feature

  31. 31
    On June 5th, 2010 at 6:22 am
    Jacqui Cooper said:

    I have a question, I’ve been recommended to this program by someone in the US who especially likes the ‘profitability’ feature of your keyword research tool. I’m based in the UK and work mostly in the UK and European market, will your profitability feature work for those markets?

    On
    Brent Hodgson replied:

    Yes.

    Bear with me for a moment while I explain why (and sorry, in advance, for the tech)…

    How do we assess which markets are more profitable?

    Our experience has shown us (in general) the higher the market value is for a keyword, the more potential there is to make money for that keyword.

    The SEOV (SEO Value) figures are an estimate of the market value of traffic for a keyword.

    There are two elements here:

    #1 What is the maximum someone is willing to pay for a single visitor targeted to our keyword?

    To figure this out, we just ask Google. (This is our AWCPC score – Adwords Cost Per Click – what someone is willing to pay for a single visitor targeted to our keyword)

    #2 How many visitors are there (per day) for our keyword?

    This is where our SEOT (SEO Traffic) score comes in.

    If we multiply #1 by #2, we get SEOV (SEO Value) – the market value of traffic for a keyword.

    (Note: The figures we use are always based in US Dollars)

    Can I use this in the UK?

    Yes.

    When you create a new Market Samurai project, you’re given the option of selecting a country to target.

    If you target the UK, the data that we use to calculate SEOV will be targeted to the UK automatically. (Likewise if you select Australia, Canada, Germany or any other country.)

    This means you can get an indication of which keywords are the most profitable in any market.

    I hope this helps you out.

    Brent

    On
    Jacqui Cooper replied:

    Many thanks Brent, that makes sense to me!!