No matter how often we tell you not to obsess about ranks, we know you better than
that. So if you’re the one who spends your nights with visions of Googleplums dancing
in your head, today is the day we’ll let you give in to your passion!
Of course, conversions are more important than ranks, and your fundamental
business goals are more important than search engine traffic. But great search engine
ranks really do speak volumes, and checking your ranks can be a very enlightening
Rank Assessment in a Nutshell
To start your assessment, open the Rank Tracking Worksheet that you downloaded
. On this worksheet, you’ll see spaces for each of your top 10
keywords. (Adjust the number if you wish, but don’t increase it much beyond 10 if
you want to keep this task manageable!)
Here’s how you’ll do it:
• Moving one by one through your short list, search for your top keywords on
Google. (To save time, you can set your search engines to display 30 results per
page using the Preferences screen.)
• Scroll through the top 30 ranks. If any page on your website shows up within
these results, note the rank in the Rank Tracking Worksheet. If you don’t see
your site in the ranks, mark “none.”
• We’re looking at the main Web results only! Don’t record ranks in any other
results sets, such as See Related, Local, or Sponsored Listings, as part of your
standard rank check.
• Repeat with MSN, Yahoo!, and Ask.
Automated vs. Manual Rank Checking
There’s no way around the fact that reviewing
keywords can be a bit of a snoozer.
Some SEO professionals have dropped rank checking out of the equation alto-
gether because it is less connected to your business goals than other metrics such as
conversion tracking. Of SEOs that still perform rank checking, some use automated
rank-checking software. Available programs include WebPosition, Ranking Manager,
and Digital Point Solutions.
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