Every good SEO program begins with keyword development and monitoring
By Michael Fleischner
Keeping track of where your website ranks on Google for important keywords and keyword phrases can be a full-time job. Although many tools exist for monitoring search engine position, properly evaluating SEO performance requires a disciplined approach.
There are a variety of ways to measure search engine rankings for your website. Popular website tools like SEO Elite and Web CEO include search engine ranking tools that can track where your site ranks for identified keywords. But what if you don’t own SEO software?
To evaluate search engine rankings, you simply need a means of measuring rankings on a regular basis. Follow these simple guidelines:
Create and maintain a spreadsheet of your rankings. Having a document that you continually update can help you see weekly changes, as well as trends over time. Be sure to keep it updated at least once a week so that you are always aware of how you rank for keywords and keyword phrases you are watching.
You can choose your keyword list based on the keyword phrases you’ve selected as important, those your competitors rank well for, or individual phrases identified by SEO software. If you want to get a jump start, you can identify which keyword phrases your site is ranked for in the top 20 on Google using SEOdigger.com. This tool provides a listing of which keyword phrases your site ranks within the top 20 Google search results and can be a great tool to identify your competitor’s keyword rankings.
Record changes in search engine result placements simply by entering each keyword term into Google or using SEO software. You can also find free tools online to report your rankings like CleverStat or GoogleRankings.com.
Continue to make changes, build links, and record your results. This step will never be completed, but rather is an ongoing process. You should strive to become number one on all your search engine results pages (SERPs) and get so far ahead that none of your competitors will be able to compete. This requires constant and never-ending consideration to building links and creating more and more reasons for other sites to link to you.
Consider reciprocal linking, link acquisition, as well as adding free tools to your website, valuable content, and helpful downloads. Access to these tools is ideal if you want to attract links to your website. Once you’ve added these valuable tools, make sure to let others know they exist. Consider a free press release, e-mail campaign, or promotion.
Expand your keyword list. As you improve your overall rankings on major search engines, consider adding other keywords phrases that may be relevant to your website, products, or services. Focusing on an expanded keyword list can result in more traffic and broader appeal.
Monitoring and managing your search engine rankings, especially on Google, is necessary if you wish to increase the organic traffic to your website. This begins with basic monitoring and evaluation of your rankings on key search engines. Once you’ve developed your spreadsheet, update your rankings each week with free tools or SEO software.
Continue to focus on your rankings and developing inbound links through free tools and resources on your site, as well as proactive link requests. Over time, as you improve your rankings for key terms and phrases, expand your list. Improving your rankings is a never-ending process, but an important one. Stay the course and you’ll experience the results you’re looking for.
Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit MarketingScoop.com for further details and more marketing articles including tips on how to improve search engine rankings for your website.