Yes! You can control the position of your website targeted keyword rankings on major search engine result pages (SERPs) like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

In other words, it is very possible for your website to be on the front page of Google for the keywords you set for your products or services. All that is required is to know what to do, how to do it to get the desired result and of course, track and then monitor the effort.

In the same vein, some bloggers like me who put much effort into content marketing in order to rank better on SERP for specific keywords may not be able to quantity their result overtime if they do not track and monitor these effort.

How would you know the extent to which this effort has qualified your website from reaping the goodies other businesses are enjoying from search engine? According to the stats below by Hubspot;

– 60% of all organic clicks go to the 3 top search results.

– SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have just a 1.7% close rate.

– 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped him or her increase his or her knowledge.

– 61% of global internet users research products online.

– 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.

SEO is for everybody, but enjoyed by those who know how to play the strings.Tweet This

It is therefore suffice to say that if you intend to use search engine as one of your major source of acquiring customer to your business, then it is imperative to measure periodically your website performance on SERP in terms of position and growth.

But alas! How do you even know which keywords to target for your business?

This is actually the starting point in creating website for your business. And that’s why I always advocate marrying website design process with SEO because they work together to provide the synergy needed for business growth.

Let’s dig into how to know what keywords to target on your website.

How to research keywords for your product or services

Let me start by giving you the background for proper understanding. The first thing you must note is that nobody really cares about your product or services.

So, you don’t expect them to search for your brand except you have excited them to do so probably through traditional marketing like TV commercials, Radio jingles, Billboard, Handbill, etc. Otherwise, people search for what is important to them par time or what they want to buy or information they want to know about.

You cannot control or influence the keywords they type into the search box of Google for instance whenever they use it to perform any of the functions stated above. But, you can track how the words or phrases they use when they want to look for the product and services you offer. One of the best free tools you can use for this purpose is Google keywords planner.

It is important to note that one of the major reasons why your website may not be capturing leads that can be nurtured could be either you’ve being targeting the wrong keywords or you don’t even target any at all.

This tool will help you remove lots of guess work and points you in the right direction if you use it wisely.

How to use Google keywords planner for keyword research

The first thing you need to do is to go to Google keywords planner website. Log in with your Google account. This implies that you must have a Google account (Gmail) to access this free tool. Quickly get one if you don’t have. It won’t take you more than 2 minutes and it’s free. Also, you’ll have access to all Google products like Webmaster tools, Google Analytics, Adsense, etc.

On Google planner website, you’ll see the log in link at the top right. Click it and enter your log in credentials. Click on “Tools” at the top menu. On the new page, you’ll see multiple options to choose from to perform your keyword research.

For the sake of this tutorial, I would advise to click the option that reads “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. You will see this option under “Find new keywords”.Keyword Planner Google

This will open multiple fields where you can key in your proposed keyword for your product or services. Let’s use a practical example of a keyword we’ve been trying to rank for. The keyword is: “Free wordPress blog setup”.Google keyword idea suggestion

I’ll type in this phrase into the box labeled: ‘Your product or services’.

The next is the web page on which the keyword would be used. I’ll enter our domain name:

Under “Your product category” field, type in your business niche or industry. In our case, I’ll type in “Website development”.

The other fields have been pre-filled. However, you may re-set them to suite your specific purpose.

To do this, just click on the pencil-like icon against each option to edit it.

Click “Get ideas” button below when you’re done.

The new page that emerge will generate keywords our targeted audience are using to search for that particular services we offer, the average volume of monthly searches, the rate of competition for each keyword phrase and the amount of money marketers are willing to pay for advert (PPC, PPM, CPC) for each keyword.

In our case for instance, the keyword we wanted to target (free WordPress blog setup) has ‘low average monthly search’ and ‘low competition.Google Keyword Planner

However, looking at the suggested keyword ideas, we discovered that there are lots of other keywords with better number of monthly searches with relatively low competition we can target alongside our main keyword phrase.

From the table, we can target ‘free blog’, ‘free WordPress template’, ‘blog setup’ and ‘free blogging sites’. Without doing keyword research, there is no way we could have known this.

Armed with this piece of information, we can start creating content around these phrases as they relate with our services. We may also use them diversely as anchor text for both inbound and outbound links.

It is important to note that there are different types of keywords. Below are two major ones.

– Informational Keywords
– Commercial keywords

1. Informational keywords are the words searchers use when they want to educate themselves about product or services. Word or phrase like:
‘How to’
‘What is’
‘Where to’
And so on.

They use these keywords to get information. From our example, you’ll discover that most of our targeted audience use informational keywords. This implies that they are not really ready to pay for any services at the moment.

The beauty of this type of keyword is that you can leverage on your expertise to educate them about all they want to know about your product using blogging tools like WordPress.

This would allow you to build good relationship that is base on trust with them. And they would eventually buy from you if you can nurture and sustain the relationship long enough the time they would take the buying decision. This is the essence of blogging for business.

2. Commercial or transactional keywords are phrases searchers use when they are at the verge of making purchase. They use words like;
‘The best hosting companies’
‘Where to Buy’
‘For sale’

However, your target should be to use the combination of both informational and commercial keywords in a well defined proportion so that your target audience can find you when they are seeking for knowledge about your services and also when they are ready to buy.

The above keyword research methodology is just a tip of the iceberg. If you want to really have in-depth knowledge of keyword research (which I feel you should), I would advise you read: “The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research” by Brian Dean. It would help you understand the power of long tail keywords and how you can tap into it to grow your traffic.

Once you’re able to identify all the keywords associated with your product and services, then its time to put pen on paper and begin to reel out content for your audience.

Refine your on-page optimization, inbound and outbound links, anchor text diversification, and other strategies that would make your site rank #1 on SERP for those keywords.

But, how do you measure this effort in terms of your website ranking position for those keywords, at least on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing?

This is the very core reason why it is not only necessary, but compulsory to track and measure your website ranking position periodically.

Search engine still remains the most lucrative source of free and targeted traffic.Tweet This

Do I hear you say ‘how can I do that’?

Well, that’s what I’m about to walk you through now. Before then, let’s try to understand the importance of tracking your website ranking per time.

Why it is imperative to track and monitor your website keyword ranking position on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

1. It measures your SEO effort: By this I mean it makes you evaluate your input on SEO precisely. How effective is your content marketing, backlink acquisition and on-page optimisation? You won’t be able to gauge these efforts until you have metrics or data that reference your performance.

2. It allows you to sort out keywords: It would make you know which keyword phrase to drop for later and the ones to work on for specific web pages.

3. It would help you know which keyword to focus attention on: For instance, you might discover that a particular keyword has risen from page 6 to page 2 on SERP. With this information at your disposal, you can begin to intensify your effort on it so as to move it to the first page and then rank #1.

Without tracking and monitoring, there is no way you would have known this. You might just be working amiss.

4. It makes you control your keyword ranking position: Going by the point afore-mentioned, you’re really in control of how your site ranks for your targeted keywords. It would also help you know whether a campaign is working or not and you can even measure the impact on your rank.

You can also quantify this contribution in monetary values if you employed the services of SEO personnel or company.

For instance, the backlink you acquired for X amount (or quantified effort) could be plotted against the upward movement gained on SERP for those targeted phrases or the general movement of the site as a whole.

5. It saves time: Monitoring your performance will help you know what to do and what not to do, saving you tons of time in the process.

I really don’t know how possible it would have been to manually track your website ranking position for your targeted keywords. I guess the only exception is when you have the pre-knowledge that it’s on maybe page 2, 3, 4, or 5 at most.

Tracking manually beyond this level is absolutely a waste of time and energy.

Supposing you have a tool that can track your website rank position accurately, won’t you rather go for that? Sure!

Okay, let’s move on to the actual tracking aspect.

How to effectively track and monitor your website ranking position on Google and Bing

There are so many keywords ranking position tracking tools online. Most of them are really good and efficient, but deficient in some ways in terms of the overall parameters they measure.

For the purpose of consistent tracking and measurement, I’d like to introduce you to “Serpfox“. The free version would allow you track up to 10 different keywords. This is still okay for a small business website. The beauty of Serpfox is that it would let you know the rate of your ranking movement and the number of steps you’ve gained or dropped.

If you want to get this tool, just head on to Serpfox and register an account. On the home page, look at the header menu. You’ll see ‘Pricing & Signup’ button. Click on it.Serpfox - The intelligent keyword rank tracker

On the pricing page, click on “free account” link at the top and then signup for a free account.

However, it cost just $10 (ten dollars) per month to target 50 keywords alongside every other useful analytics.

How to use SERPFOX tracking tool

Once you’ve confirmed your registration, it’s time to log in to your dashboard. Type in your email address and password into the appropriate boxes. After hitting the log in button, you’ll be directed to your dashboard where you can input the website URL and the corresponding keywords you want to track.

On the top right below tracking, click on ‘Add URL’.

A pop-up box will appear. Enter your website URL or the web page you want to track.

Then, click on ‘Add keywords’. Another box will pop-up again.

On the search engine tab: choose the search engine where you want to track your site.

There are two pre-defined search engines- Google and Bing.

On the ‘Keywords’ box: enter the keywords you want to track. Enter on phrase per line.

Remember you’re limited to 10 keywords on the free plan.

Next is the country where you want to track your site performance: the default setting is ‘None’ which means ‘Global’. If you want to target specific country, enter it there.

Next is the ‘Language’: select the language of the audience you’re targeting.

The next box allows you to target a specific location within a country. Enter the location you want to target else leave it blank.

You may leave the other two boxes unchecked except you need them.

Click ‘Add’ when you’re done.
Serpfox Tracking
Wait a bit to allow Serpfox do its job. It may take awhile. The result will indicate your present ranking position under ‘Top Rank’.

If you change the time duration from ‘Recent’ to ‘week’ or ‘Month’, it will show the net change in figure with arrow indicating up (in green colour) or down (in red colour) and zero for no changes. These tabs are on the top right of the result page.

Why I prefer Serpfox is that you don’t have to enter your URL and keywords each time you want to check your rankings. Just bookmark it and you’re good to go.

Conclusion: It is shear wisdom to track your ranking position for your targeted keywords on SERP. Otherwise, you may just be working without any sense of direction. This has happened to me on this blog. I was just writing content for our audience without tracking the corresponding value it has and the effect on our SEO effort.

It was just lately we discovered that we needed to engage outbound link acquisition though in a legitimate way. Without tracking, there is no way we could have known. Then, we can measure the strength and value of link acquisition in terms of ranking.

It is expedient therefore to track and monitor your website ranking position at least on search engines like Google or Bing for keywords you’re targeting for your product or services.

Search engine still remains the most lucrative source of free and targeted traffic. It is only natural to take advantage of this opportunity for your business regardless the stiff competition.

SEO is for everybody, but enjoyed by those who know how to play the strings. What do you think?

Francis 'Toke
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