I’ve been blogging for over five years now, and have learnt a great deal in the process. One of the biggest lessons I learnt is that writing great content is not enough to rank well in the search engine results pages. That is the biggest goal for any blogger really, if people can’t find you through search engines, you’re not going to be effective in getting your message across and ultimately you won’t earn enough money to sustain your blog in the long run. In fact, several high profile WordPress blogs have gone the way of the dodo over the past five years.
WP Mayor has managed to survive by churning out good, informative content on a very regular basis, and ranking well for certain keywords that are monetizeable. Now let’s focus on ranking for the purposes of this post.
How on earth do I manage to keep track of our rankings when we have well over a thousand published articles on this blog, each of which target several keywords?
The secret weapon that I’d like to share with you today is Rank Tracker. It’s an application that is available both on Windows and Mac, and you can use it to keep track of all keywords you want. You can also ask it to specifically track results in search engines in different countries, something that would be very hard to do manually.
I use it to track Google’s results mainly, but do keep track of a few countries such as the US, UK and Australia. Sometimes the results vary considerably between countries and analysing the variances can also help you identify competitors you didn’t even know existed as they wouldn’t show up on your own country’s version of Google.
By checking the results every two weeks I can keep on top of things with minimal time investment. I can quickly see how we are ranking for all our important keywords and take corrective action if we see any dips. It is also important to watch how new articles targeting keywords we haven’t targeted before are climbing up the search engine rankings. Rank Tracker in fact shows you a chart with the positions of all your keywords over time.
Google Penalty Checker
That brings me to another cool new feature of Rank Tracker, the Google Penalty Checker. On the keyword ranking timelines I just mention, Rank Tracker can now superimpose the exact dates when Google updated their ranking systems and penalised certain practices.
Of course, if you’re playing by the rules, you shouldn’t be very concerned about Google penalizing you, but there have been cases when blogs got heavily penalised without previously trying to game the system. What happened a few years ago to WPMU Dev is a perfect example of this. So you need to stay on top of things and this is a great tool to do so.
Another feature I should mention is Geo Rankings. As I mentioned earlier tracking the rankings of your pages in specific locations is very important. Some businesses are heavily dependent on search engine results not only based on country but way more specific results. We’re talking about city and even street based results.
This is not really the case for WP Mayor, but consider a local restaurant or take away joint. They don’t care about their site showing up for people on the other side of the country, perhaps not even on the other side of the city, but they sure do care about the people searching for food in the immediate vicinity.
That’s why with Geo Rankings in Rank Tracker you cna now track your keywords for specific locations down to a certain address that you specify. That is amazingly powerful and I’m seriously impressed that they’ve been able to pull that off.
One final new feature I want to mention is Publishing Profiles. This is a feature that makes use of the cloud and is super useful for those of you who do SEO consultancy for a number of clients. You can set up specific reports for each client then share them via the cloud with said clients and even include a personal message.
Perhaps you have to deliver a mnthly SEO report to these clients or are working on ranking for specific keywords on a one-off basis. Well, this is the perfect tool to present them with a professional report on the work you have done. Have a look at this video to really understand how useful Publishing Profiles are when working with several clients.
I’m sure the features discussed above have whet your appetite for more and hopefully I’ve given you a taste of how important it is to track the keyword rankings for your blog.
Are you also a regular Rank Tracker user? I’d love to hear from you, so go ahead and leave a comment sharing your favourite feature from Rank Tracker.
If you’re not yet a Rank Tracker user, or worset yet, have never tracked your keywords, well you know what you need to do! Head over to the Rank Tracker website right now and get yourself a copy.