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.