What is the purpose of keyword tracking?

‍When it comes to optimizing your website’s online presence, one process stands out from the rest: keyword tracking. In essence, keyword tracking is a systematic approach to monitoring the performance of specific terms or phrases on search engines. This practice is a cornerstone of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and digital marketing and can provide invaluable insights into your SEO strategies and initiatives.

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The Essence of Keyword Tracking

Keyword tracking, often referred to as keyword ranking or search ranking monitoring, is the practice of keeping tabs on the positions of your website or web pages for specific keywords on search engine results pages (SERPs). This process provides a clear picture of what you’ve been doing correctly in your SEO endeavors and what needs to be improved.

Understanding the Importance of Keyword Tracking

Keyword tracking is more than just a routine SEO task. It serves as a compass that steers your digital marketing ship in the right direction. It offers a host of benefits that can significantly enhance your online visibility, marketing campaigns, and overall business performance. Here’s why you should prioritize keyword tracking:

1. It Boosts Your SEO Performance

Keyword tracking allows you to understand how well specific pages of your website rank in search results for particular keywords. If you’re investing in SEO, you need to know whether your efforts are bearing fruit. By tracking your keyword rankings, you can gauge the success of your SEO strategies and attract more organic traffic to your site.

2. It Guides Your Content Development

Keyword tracking can inform your content creation process. If certain pages are ranking well for specific keywords, it suggests that your audience finds these topics valuable. This insight can guide future content initiatives, ensuring your content remains relevant and valuable.

3. It Helps You Monitor Your Competitors

Your competition is not sleeping, and neither should you. Keyword tracking lets you keep an eye on your competitors. By knowing which keywords they’re ranking for, you can adjust your strategies to compete more effectively.

4. It Identifies New Market Trends

Search queries evolve based on current events, seasons, or emerging trends. Keyword tracking can help you stay ahead of the curve, adapting your content and strategies to align with these shifts in search behavior.

5. It Aids in Crisis Management

In the world of public relations, keyword tracking can serve as an early warning system. By monitoring your brand and product-related keywords, you can detect potential PR crises and promptly address customer concerns.

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The Different Types of Keyword Tracking Techniques

As keyword ranking evolved over the decades, so has the way we track them. Today, there are three primary types of keyword tracking techniques, each offering unique insights and benefits.

1. Simple Keyword List Tracking

The traditional method for tracking keywords involves a single list of keywords. This was most common when search engines were less complex. As search engines evolved, so did keyword tracking tools. They brought new features to keep up with the evolving search landscape.

2. Category Split Keyword Tracking

As your business offerings expand, you may find that a simple list of keywords may not cut it. You may find that as your list of keywords grows past 100 or 1,000, it becomes difficult to see the big picture.

3. Keyword Funnel Tracking

Keyword funnel tracking is an advanced approach to keyword monitoring that aligns keyword performance with different stages of the customer journey. This takes a step back from traditional keyword tracking and looks more into search behavior.

How to Choose the Right Keywords to Track

Choosing the right keywords to track boils down to understanding your business, your audience, and your competition. The goal is to identify relevant keywords that your target audience uses when they’re looking for the products or services that you offer.

1. Understand Your Business Domain

Start by understanding your business domain. What products or services do you offer? What are the unique features or selling points of these offerings? These factors can help you identify some initial keywords to track.

2. Identify Your Target Audience's Search Behavior

Next, try to understand your target audience’s search behavior. What terms or phrases do they use when they’re looking for products or services like yours? You can use various tools and techniques, like Google’s Keyword Planner or Google Trends, to gain insights into your audience’s search behavior.

3. Analyze Your Competitors' Keywords

Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can provide valuable insights. What keywords are they ranking for? What terms or phrases are they targeting in their content? This information can help you identify potential keyword opportunities for your own business.

4. Consider Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume

Finally, consider the difficulty and search volume of potential keywords. Keyword difficulty refers to how challenging it would be to rank for a particular keyword, while search volume refers to the number of searches that a particular keyword receives. Ideally, you want to target keywords with high search volume and low keyword difficulty.

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Keyword Tracking Tools: Your New Best Friends

In the world of SEO, keyword tracking tools are indispensable. They provide a wealth of information and insights that can significantly enhance your SEO efforts. Here are some of the most popular keyword tracking tools in the market today.

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website’s presence in Google Search results. It offers a wealth of features, including keyword performance tracking, indexing issues identification, and website traffic data analysis.

SEMrush is a SEO tool that offers a range of features, including keyword tracking, backlink analysis, and competitor research. It’s an excellent tool for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge in their SEO efforts.

Ahrefs is another popular SEO tool known for its backlink analysis capabilities. However, it also offers a robust keyword tracking feature that allows you to monitor your website’s ranking for specific keywords over time.

Moz Pro is a complete SEO toolset that provides keyword tracking, SEO audit and crawl, backlink analysis, and rank tracking features. It’s an excellent tool for businesses looking to enhance their SEO strategy and monitor their keyword performance.

SE Ranking is a comprehensive SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool that helps website owners and marketers improve their search engine ranking and visibility. It is a versatile tool that can be used for various SEO tasks, from identifying relevant keywords to monitoring your website’s health and keeping an eye on the competition.

The Benefits of Keyword Tracking

When used effectively, keyword tracking can deliver a range of benefits. It can improve your website’s visibility, enhance your content strategy, and help you stay ahead of your competition. Here are some of the key benefits of keyword tracking:

1. Boosts Your Revenue

Keyword tracking can directly impact your business’s bottom line. By understanding which keywords are driving traffic and conversions, you can optimize your content and marketing strategies to target these high-performing keywords, ultimately boosting your revenue.

2. Helps You Double Down on What Works

Keyword tracking can provide insights into what’s working for your website. If certain keywords are performing well, you can double down on your strategies for these terms, improving your overall SEO performance.

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3. Helps You Find Solutions to Traffic Dips

Traffic dips are a common occurrence in the world of SEO. By tracking your keywords, you can identify potential issues leading to these dips and find solutions before they escalate.

4. Helps You Monitor Your Competitors

By tracking the same keywords as your competitors, you can gain insights into their strategies and performance. This can help you adjust your strategies to stay competitive.

5. Helps You Find New Opportunities

Keyword tracking can also help you identify new opportunities. By analyzing your keyword performance, you can discover related terms that you can target, expanding your reach and improving your visibility.

Best Practices for Ongoing Keyword Monitoring

Keyword tracking is not a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process that requires regular updates and adjustments. Here are some best practices for ongoing keyword monitoring:

1. Regularly Update Your Keyword List

Your keyword list should not be static. As your business evolves, so should your keyword list. Regularly review and update your keywords to ensure they align with your current business objectives and offerings.

2. Keep an Eye on Algorithm Updates

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. These changes can significantly impact your keyword rankings. Stay updated with the latest algorithm updates and adjust your strategies as needed.

3. Monitor Your Competitors

Don’t just focus on your own keywords; keep an eye on your competitors as well. Monitor their keyword performance and strategies to gain insights and stay competitive.

4. Leverage Keyword Tracking Tools

Keyword tracking can be a time-consuming task. Leverage keyword tracking tools to automate the process and gain more accurate and comprehensive insights.


Keyword tracking is a fundamental part of any successful SEO strategy. It provides valuable insights into your website’s performance, helps you stay competitive, and guides your content and marketing strategies. By understanding the importance of keyword tracking, choosing the right keywords, leveraging keyword tracking tools, and following best practices, you can significantly enhance your website’s visibility and drive more traffic and conversions.

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Written by Matt Li Haoming, Managing Director

Possessing over a decade of experience in web development, Matt is much more than just a strategist – he’s a master of crafting design solutions. Merging data-driven insights with a sharp eye for design, he constructs user experiences that are visually compelling and operationally flawless. With his knowledge of web design, content, and marketing, Matt guarantees an online presence that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is results-oriented.

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