Our organic traffic goes up or down based on our search engine ranking or position for different keywords. We know from various tracking tools and keyword analyzers which are the best keywords we are ranking or we are going to rank or we are targeting in future. Now using these keywords we can monitor our rank and maintain an overall progress report over time. Monitoring rank is a better way to analyze rise and fall in traffic as traffic may go up or come down due to various external factors like holiday season, server problems, shopping seasons , DNS issues etc. However our position in search ranking to maintain or improve traffic is the single most important factor in long run. Considering overall ranking across several keywords we can develop one ranking index which we will monitor over time.
Selecting Keyword to Monitor
While considering the keywords we should not take only the best ranking keywords. Imagine if you have taken keywords for which you have ranked number one, your Index can remain constant or move always in downward direction only. Same way if you take the poorly ranked keywords then don't expect to get a downward trend for your Ranking Index. A true representation will help you to access your ranking. It is better to include more keywords which you are expecting or planning to improve. So important keywords which are ranked in 80 or 90 range are important words we can monitor. At the same time we must keep some keywords which we want to retain our position always.
Number of words
Less the number of words in our searching keywords, more difficult it is to rank high in search engines. If you are ambitious to get good rank for one or two word keywords of your area of web site then include them in your list to monitor.
There is no point in checking your ranking daily. Some small movement will always be there in any Index. So checking in small gaps is of no use. So it is better if we check once in every month or maximum two times in a month. Before google was going for big updates where ranking for all the sites were changing over a wide range. Now it is going for small updates on a regular basis so some changes are always expected.
How to get rank Data ?Rank checker FireFox Add on
There is an Add on of FireFox known as Rank Checker. Download this and install in your Fire Fox browser. By running this you can get a list of keyword and rank, this data can be saved in CSV format and we can maintain one MS Excel page for future reference. It is better to maintain one column with keywords and then next column with respective ranks. We can fill the vertical columns with rank only in future maintaining same keyword list at first column. While checking also we can copy these keywords from our Excel page and paste them in rank checker.
Manually checking your rank
If you are going to google page and checking your rank by searching for your keyword then you have to disable customization to see the actual result. Click the link saying View Customization and then click the link saying without these improvements. At present search results are customized to personal test so it is highly unlikely to get actual ranking by enabling this.
Develop one Index
We are most interested in relative movement of our index than the absolute value. So create the index by taking a good number of keywords which gives you better representation of your site. Take sub-index if you have different sectionns so you can know which section is moving up and which section is moving down.
For example think of your local stock market index.
Modifying the Index
Nothing is static so we have to fine tune our Index by modifying the keywords and adding new to the list. The optimum value can be achieved when growth or fall in traffic will match the changes in Index value. Take care that traffic may change due to seasonal or many other different factors which is to be discounted and a realistic situation is to be considered.
Monitoring rank gives us feedback on our efforts and helps us in focusing or changing our strategy to get best out of our website. It also helps us analyzing the fluctuations in traffic due to various seasonal and market factors as organic ranking is the single most source of free and quality traffic for our website.