[/vc_raw_html][text_output]The ability to accurately track keyword ranking performance has always been one of the core pillars of SEO. After all, one of the main objectives SEO professionals are tasked with is growing traffic levels through improved keyword ranking performance. The measurement of this, is therefore, crucial to demonstrate success.
October the 18th 2011 may not be remembered around the world for anything particularly special. But for anyone who works in SEO it is a day that will live in infamy. It is the day that Google announced that they would be encrypting search queries, for privacy reasons. This decision was the catalyst for keyword ranking performance tools and four years later there are a wide range of tools at one’s disposal for tracking keywords and these are becoming increasingly sophisticated and accurate.
As a search engine, Google has grown in sophistication quite significantly in recent years. With this increased adaptability and personalisation comes a greater range of search engine ranking formats and sub-sections such as Google Maps and Google Shopping. This provides a fantastic experience for anyone searching in Google but for SEO professionals it has created a much more complex and challenging picture to analyse.
Part of the challenge businesses and SEO professionals face as a result is geography. Google and other major search engines use the physical location of the server as a signal. This signal becomes even more important when the domains have generic top-level domains (TLD) such as .com, .net, .gov etc. and when their webmasters have not enabled the Geographic Targeting Feature on Google Webmaster tools console.
However, Google does not just rely only on the IP and the TLD, they use several other signals such as the location of the incoming links, traffic information, signals that come from the text, and the language of the document etc. Many SEOs also speculate that geo information from social media and Chrome is also used, but this is not officially confirmed by Google.
With the increased complexity and personalisation of Google, keyword tracking is now entering a new era, and the way SEO professionals report on how their clients perform in it needs to adapt and evolve. Some features you should look for in any “next gen” rank tracking platform include:
- Good Engine Coverage, Including YouTube: After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine. If e-commerce is your thing, you’ll also want coverage on Amazon.
- Mobile Rank Tracking: You simply can’t ignore mobile rank today. The percentage of search queries happening against your target keywords could be significantly higher than 50 percent of total queries. Top position is even more important on mobile devices because of limited small screen real estate.
- Local Tracking: Where do you show up in local searches? It’s great to get your rank results drilled down to country and city.
- Daily Update Reports: The ability to see exactly what’s going on each day and change notifications by e-mail, makes tracking more transparent, efficient and easier. Obtaining automated scheduled reports also keeps clients happy.
- Multi-Lingual Capabilities: This isn’t just valuable for international SEO. Within the UK, there are large international communities whose members are searching in their native language.
- Responsive, Mobile-Friendly and/or an App: Like most consumers, you probably spend a large percentage of your day on your smartphone. There may be times where you need to access ranking data on the go to address a particular need, or you just want to be more efficient with your time.
- Visual Data Representations: Charts and graphs tell a story more effectively than tables of data. Take into account the user interface design of the ranking tools you use.
There is no doubt that keyword ranking performance software and tools have improved significantly in recent years, but as the search landscape gets ever more complex and personalised, the challenge to accurately report on performance is becoming increasingly difficult. However, the value of doing this well is vital for agencies and businesses alike, so there is no doubt that this area of SEO will continue to improve and paint a more accurate picture of how keywords perform in Google.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”20px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]