Are you landing top positions in search results? Are your keywords winning SERP features and attracting the right audience? If you’re not tracking keyword ranking, there’s no way to tell whether your SEO strategy is working for – or against you. Let’s unpack how to use keyword rank checker tools to track keyword ranking positions in relevant search results.
Keywords & SERP Features
SERP features can give you a major leg up on your competitors. How? If Google favors your content, you can bypass the competition by being shown on search engine results pages (SERPs) in an eye-catching format – in a way that goes beyond the typical 10 blue hyperlinks. Being chosen as a Featured Snippet, Knowledge Panel, Image Pack, Local Pack, or any other type of SERP feature will help drive results by simply standing out in a sea of blue links.
There are ways to win certain SERP features with schema markup and SEO blogs – but, let’s stick to understanding the impact of your keywords and how to track keyword ranking. After all, keywords power all searches and SERPs – so you need to make sure you’re latching onto the right ones.
Why Track Keyword Ranking
Winning SERP features and driving traffic to your site isn’t as simple as pumping out new content, marking up blog posts, and optimizing for keywords that you think will draw the perfect customer. One of the most important parts of SEO is analyzing the data collected from your optimization efforts, and leveraging that data into next steps and new strategies. You need to track keyword ranking to see if your SEO strategy is effectively driving the right type of traffic.
Imagine you own a business that provides residential HVAC services. If you’re dominating search results and winning SERP features for desired keywords like “air conditioning repair near me,” or “home AC installers,” your SEO is right on the money – and it’s probably paying off. You’d want to know exactly what keywords were bringing in those prime customers, so you can build out future SEO blog posts, pillar pages, and entire campaigns using those – and similar – search terms!
However, without monitoring which keywords are landing you top positions in search results, your content marketing efforts and future SEO strategies will be significantly weaker and less effective. Why? SERP features are not permanent. You can lose SERP features and top search engine results placement if you do not continually optimize for desired keywords!
Keyword Rank Checker and SERP Tracking Tools
SERP tracking tools allow you to enter all keywords and SERP features that you want to rank for – and monitor the position you currently hold in search results. The first thing you’ll want to do to make sure that Google prioritizes your content over your competitors’, is to make sure you lock down the snippets you already own, or are competing for.
Your website likely ranks for some featured snippets as is.
To check which keywords are already landing featured snippets, you’ll need to use a SERP tracking tool. There are plenty of tools – some free, others paid – that can help you track keyword ranking, view which terms are bringing in the most traffic, or view how your content displays in search results for a search term.
We’ve vetted a few online keyword rank checkers to see which ones offer the most bang for your buck. Check out each one to determine which is right for you!
Popular Keyword Rank Checker Tools
If you opt for a paid platform like Ahrefs or SEMrush, you’ll unlock more functionality and data. With paid tools, you can upload full spreadsheets of keywords you want to track for your websites, view which SERP features you’re landing for that keyword, or track your SERP position – all in one dashboard.
While free tools are great for quick checkups, if you’re serious about SEO, you’ll want to foot the bill for the extras that are packed into higher-end keyword rank checker tools. After your analysis, if you find that you’re not landing any top positions or SERP features, you’ll need to do a deeper dive into your SEO and keyword research strategy to determine the cause. Of course, if this sounds like a hefty to-do list – which, it is – you can always choose a digital marketing team to help build your SERP and SEO success!
Next Horizon provides our dedicated team of experts to align your business goals with tangible digital marketing strategies that give you deeper insights into your ideal customer, with innovative, cost-effective services.keyword strategy, SEO, SERP