Whether your website is brand new and has only freshly gone live, or if your website has been around since you first hosted it on Geocities (see here), in order to use it to best promote your business you need to know how it is ranking. Data is king and being able to quickly see how your website is performing helps you make adjustments to ensure that more current and potential clients see it.
What Is SERP?
SERP has become a standard term within the industry and stands for Search Engine Result Pages. When SERP is being talked about, generally it is in reference to where your website appears on the result page of Google, Bing, or whatever search engine is being discussed https://www.lifewire.com/best-search-engines-2483352. Although paid advertising on the search engines may help move your website to the top of the list, most savvy internet users are trained to scan over anything that looks like it is paid advertising and go straight to the organic content. Web users tend to have a higher level of trust for a search companies’ algorithm, despite preserved flaws, than in paid marketing.
Why Is SERP and Ranking High Important?
Papers released by computer science researchers, behaviorists and software developers have analyzed how people use search engines, and most importantly for websites, how people choose which links to click on. It is considered abnormal behavior for a person using a search engine to go further than the second page of search results. In general, the majority of people are going to be clicking only on the first three results returned. With modern search engines the results they deliver include the not just the link but webpage title and description. What this means is that a person searching has already formed an opinion about your business, your website, and the quality of the information they feel you can offer before they have even seen your beautifully designed site.
This is why where you rank on a search engine result page is important, and why you should look at using a SERP rank tracker tool by Raven or similar to keep an eye on which of your keywords is performing well, which are performing poorly, and ensure that you are adjusting your content to stay on trend, and in the initial few returned results.
What Is A Rank Tracker?
A rank tracker is a tool that professional marketers, sales teams, social media managers and website developers use to see where their website is listed on a search engine based on specific keywords. Keywords are the top 5-30 words or short phrases that best describe a business or website, and it is these keywords that you want to ensure you are tracking. If you are an author of comedic paranormal romance novels about a vampire and a werewolf in a very Romeo & Juliet setting, you will want to appear in the top three listings on the SERP when someone is searching to “vampire romance novels” However, if you are using a rank tracker tool you might discover that you are only on page three of the listing results for this search phrase, but unfortunately your recent post about your writing inspiration means that people searching for “heavy metal vampires” are finding you on page one, listed at number 5 on the rankings.
Obviously, being able to track the important keywords that your desired clientele are more likely to be using means that you can ensure you have your website edited and updated for search engine optimization. In this example that would mean going back into your inspiration post and editing it so that “death metal” is no longer the keyword that the search engines think is the most important thing on the page. Instead you might look at editing the content to optimize the keyword phrase “romance writing inspiration”.
Why Not Use Google Analytics?
You should be using the Google analytics tool! https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/ As well as your webhosts own analytics tool. However, these are only looking at specific data and providing you with a very select type of information. Google analytics is obviously more focused on a Google search result than that of perhaps Duck, Duck, Go or Bing. What this means is that if the people looking for your information, product or service tend to use Explorer or Firefox, or if they are on an iPhone, chances are high that they aren’t actually using Google as their search engine. So, although you do have excellent data, you are not seeing the full picture, and depending on your target demographic you may end up focusing completely on the wrong keywords and be left wondering why you aren’t seeing the expected results.
Do You Need Pretty Reports?
You may be able to look at a data table and easily understand where the 401 errors are going to and understand that not only is “acountant” trending for your site, but that it’s a dreadful idea and see where it is coming from, but not everyone can. This is my infographics have become so popular. In very little time you can create an easy to understand report that only needs a quick glance to be able to see what is trending, what’s not, and where your website is in the midst of it all.
This is the other advantage of using a rank tracker tool rather than trying to gather the data yourself is that they will generally spit the data out in an easy to understand fashion, that you can either deliver as is to your clients, bosses or the team, or you can edit the data into the format in which you need it. Either way, you will have a clear and easy to understand grasp of what your website is doing, and where it is ranking. From this data you can convince those that need convincing that the internet has responded well to your edits, or even that you need to make further adjustments and improvements in order to move up the SERP rankings for other on-brand keywords.