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A central truth of search engine optimization (SEO) is that not all optimization opportunities are created equal. Additionally, because there are usually more keywords relevant to your brand than time to optimize for them, it’s important to identify and prioritize the keywords that have the most potential to drive motivated people to your website. This starts by knowing where your website stands in the search rankings for target keywords.
By performing SEO rank checking, you can gather valuable insights, like:
Where do your target keywords rank in search overall, and which of your keywords rank highest in the SERPs (search engine results pages)? By knowing this, you can better define a strategy to win higher rankings for essential keywords, and at the same time, protect the position of valuable, high-ranking keywords.
Which pages, including your competitors’ web pages rank above (and below) yours? In SEO, all websites that outrank you in the SERPs are your competition for that keyword, but the impact is magnified when the higher-ranked domain is a business competitor. A higher-ranked business competitor steals not just a click from you, but market share as well.
Which keywords are in striking distance of a top position in search? It is easier for SEO to move a keyword from page 2 to page 1 than it is to move a keyword from page 10 to page 1.
Which keywords, when paired with search volume research, offer the most upside when optimized for a top SERP ranking. By knowing where a keyword ranks and how many searches are performed for that keyword, you can better prioritize ranking improvements with the best chance of driving a higher volume of qualified traffic.
While it is possible to research your SEO position manually by entering in keywords and scrolling through the SERPs to find your position, the manual approach is neither efficient nor scalable. An SEO rank checker, sometimes referred to as an SEO position checker or SEO keyword rank checker, automates some level of SERP rank research. The most sophisticated solutions go beyond reporting your position to give you rich information that helps drive high-performing content and SEO strategy.
There are a number of software solutions for rank checking with varying capabilities. At a minimum, a rank checker should permit you to perform batch research for your target keywords. Ideally, however, your rank checker should do much more. Here are a few things to look out for when choosing an SEO rank checker:
How do you know which keywords to research or if your existing keyword list represents the best opportunities for your brand? SEO rank checking is an important aspect of keyword research, but to do it, it is also important to have a meaningful starting point. Look for your chosen solution to help you understand the complete set of keywords for which a website or page ranks.
How do you know if your SEO efforts will be targeted and productive? How your content performs in search is relative. It depends on demand for the topic, quality and quantity of competing content, and numerous other ranking factors. Look for your SEO rank checker to provide essential context such as specific competitor ranks, search volume, semantically related topics, overall keyword competitiveness and ranked search result type (Text link, Local 3-pack, Image, People Also Ask, etc.). Bonus points if the rank checker provides an easy-to-understand rank score that accounts for all of the above.
How will you measure your success? To understand if an SEO or content initiative is performing well, it is necessary to be able to track the progress of a keyword, page or website. Look for any SEO rank checker to provide rank performance tracking over time for your site, pages, keywords and competitors.
How will you integrate the information you get from the SEO rank checker into your SEO workflow? The best solutions offer a short path between insights and action. The less manipulation, exportation and conversion needed to incorporate an SEO rank checker’s output into your SEO and content strategy, the more productive you will be. Look for any SEO rank checker to offer an easy, repeatable method to extract important outputs, such as keyword or competitor lists in a way that can be seamlessly incorporated into your SEO workflow. Fully integrated SEO platforms, like BrightEdge, do this well.
EASE OF USE
Will you be able to get what you need from the SEO rank checker? Any tool is only good if it gets used. Even if a tool provides great data, if it is difficult to use or its outputs are unclear, its value will be diminished. Look for the SEO rank checker to offer easy-to-read reports and visualizations. Features and capabilities should be robust, but easy to access and intuitive to use.
The lion’s share of click volume goes to the top positions in the SERPs. In fact, the #1 position enjoys a click-through-rate of 28.5%, while the tenth result captures only 2.5%. Knowing where you rank for your most important keywords is like having GPS for search optimization.
SEO rank checkers can help you understand which keywords are relevant to your brand, how much potential they have to drive traffic to your site and how much competition you have for that traffic. They can also give you visibility into your progress with SEO over time, helping you identify which content and keywords are winning in the SERPs.
Using an SEO rank checker is the most important thing, but a close second is choosing the right SEO rank checker. While there are numerous solutions for SEO rank checking, it is important to choose one that is easy to use, delivers rich detail and helpful summary-level info equally well, and integrates seamlessly with your SEO workflow.
BrightEdge Data Cube, part of the BrightEdge SEO and content platform, provides users with powerful SEO rank checking capabilities. Learn more about Data Cube or schedule a demo with a BrightEdge representative today.
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