Are you involved in local SEO or any other form of SEO? Are you still tracking keyword ranking?  Do you know keyword tracking is no more a primary measure of SEO success?

Well, keyword rank tracking has been a hot topic for some time – as it helps you track the organic ranking position of your website.

Some SEO experts say that keyword tracking is of little value as there are many metrics that affect the ranking of your website.

In this post, I will help you know everything about keyword tracking and why keyword ranking is not enough for your business. Before we go into detail, let’s break it down.

What Does Keyword Tracking Mean?

Keyword tracking involves monitoring the position of your website or pages for certain keywords. You can check if the keywords are in the first position of SERP.

You can better understand the impact of SEO on the visibility of your website by tracking the keywords. The main objective of keyword tracking is to enhance your visibility on search engines.

For instance, if there is a significant drop in the organic traffic of your website – it means you should take a look at the keyword rank position.

Benefits Of Keyword Tracking

Keyword tracking is one of the important metrics that help you enhance your online visibility. Some of the benefits of keyword tracking are as below –

●    Evaluate Competitors

You can use keyword tracking tools to evaluate how your competitor’s website is ranking for that particular keyword. Keyword tracking is really beneficial when deciding how the long-tail keywords should be optimized.

●    Group Categories

When it comes to group multiple products of e-commerce sites – you will have to rank pages of different categories. You can pinpoint the SEO strategy by checking if the keywords are affected as a group.

●    Monitor Geographically

You will have to monitor location-specific keywords – if you are targeting multiple locations. You can evaluate the competency of keywords in that particular location by tracking the keywords.

●    Launching The Site

It is important to understand how your keywords are ranking before your site goes live.  This will help you know if you need to optimize the keywords or not.

There are several tools such as – SEMrush, Authoritylabs, Ahrefs, AWRCloud, MOZ, etc that help you track keyword ranking and report changes on the position of keywords specific to your website or pages. Remember that not all keyword tracking tools provide the same benefits. You can get free or paid tools based on your requirement.

Is Keyword Tracking Enough For Your Business?

NO! Keyword tracking is definitely not enough for your business.

Keyword tracking is helpful only in pinpointing the negative and positive effects of SEO. If you are a marketer who is focused on keyword tracking, take a break and have a look at the reasons why keyword ranking is not enough for your business.

  • Google Hates Keyword Tracking Tools

With the ever-changing Google algorithm, it has become difficult for search engines to track keyword ranking. The primary source of income for search engines is ads and sponsored results. Most of the keyword ranking tools scrape the results from Google.

Google displays a CAPTCHA to make sure that the query is made by humans and not an automated tool. However, if the pattern repeats again and again – Google will ban the IP address.

  • Keyword Rank Varies With Location

The keywords rank differently when the search is done from multiple locations. If the search is made about a company, person, or organization – you can expect the keyword rank to be different depending on the country where they are searched from.

Keyword tracking is beneficial, if and only if the keyword ranking tools are capable of tracking results from different countries, particularly the ones associated with your target audience.

  • Personalized Results

The results tracked by Google tend to be personalized. These are not based on traditional ranking factors but on the information that the search engines have at the given time.  This is the main reason for ranking differences in personalized search.

To avoid getting such results, it is better to check rankings manually. If you see your website in the top 1 position, it doesn’t mean that you are on the top. Your customers may see a different list in the top 10.

All you need to know are the factors that affect the personal search results.

What All SEO Metrics You Should Track?

Despite many benefits, tracking the keywords merely will not help you enhance your online visibility. There are certain KPIs that every site should track to measure the success of SEO efforts.

You can’t always rely on search engine movements to track SEO progress. Here are the key SEO metrics that help you measure the success rate of your SEO.

  • Organic Traffic

SEO is useless unless it brings traffic to your website. Tracking organic traffic is one of the key indicators of your SEO campaign. A significant increase in the number of visitors every month shows that the ranking of your website is increasing.

This SEO metric will give you quantifiable proof that your SEO efforts are bringing results. The quality of traffic will depend on the keywords you rank for.

Tracking organic traffic is not a difficult task. You can use Google Analytics to track organic traffic. Log in to your account and click on “Add Segment”.

Click Organic Traffic from the next segment and Apply. You will see the percentage of organic traffic in graphical form.

  • Backlinks

Backlinks give you an idea of the number of links per page and help you maintain rank in search engine results pages. Creating backlinks fetches higher rankings in search engine result pages (SERP) as well as an increase in referral visits.

To track this SEO metric, pen Google Analytics and Click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Referral and see the medium.

  • Conversions

The amount of quality traffic your website receives plays an important role in growing your business. Your SEO campaign is a big success if the organic traffic is driving more conversions. On the contrary, if the traffic is more from social networks – it means the SEO strategies like content marketing and brand promotion are performing well.

A higher conversion rate always means that the website is performing better in terms of achieving business goals.

  • Keyword Ranking

Tracking keyword rank plays an important role in driving traffic to your website. You can improve the ranking of your website on SERP by knowing highly competitive keywords that are important for your business.

You might choose to change them manually by simply performing a Google search for the keywords that show you where you stand.

To track keyword ranking in Google Analytics, log in to your account and click on the Admin button. Then, click on New Filters from the Filters. Click Filter Type > Custom >Advanced.

Click on the ‘Add filter’ and enter the ‘Filter Name’. You can see the ranking for target keywords, ranking URL, and ranking trends.

  • Page Authority

Page authority is an important SEO metric that helps you know how competitive is your website. It seems to be a great factor that helps your website to rank well in Google.

If the page authority seems to below, you can look into content strategies, link building techniques, social media engagement, etc. all these strategies play an important role in boosting the page authority.

  • Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is an important SEO metric to measure the performance of your website. When a visitor visits your website and returns back without taking any action, the bounce rate is considered 100%. Poor landing page, slow loading speed, improper navigation, etc are some of the common reasons for poor bounce rate,

You can reduce the bounce rate by providing a relevant answer to the search queries. To track bounce rate – You can check the behavior of your site using Google Analytics.

Login to Google Analytics and go to the dashboard. Click on Behaviour>Site Content>Landing Pages.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)

You must track the number of clicks using Google Search Console to know the number of search queries and organic clicks. The monthly report helps you determine the queries and elements that are responsible for generating clicks.

To track the number of clicks, go to the search console and open ‘Search Traffic’. Then click on Search Analytics. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.


Measuring the success of SEO has become harder with the ever-changing Google algorithm. You can no longer rely on a single SEO metric to evaluate the success rate of your SEO campaign. The 7 metrics listed above will give you an overview of your SEO efforts.

If you have not yet started measuring organic traffic, conversions, bounce rate, and CTR – it’s time to get started. I recommend putting all these metrics in a spreadsheet to track the metrics over time.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console made it easier to track these metrics. You may be surprised to see how your SEO efforts are impacting your business.

Which of these metrics do you use in your SEO campaign? Let me know by commenting below!


Author Bio

Akash Srivastava is a Freelance SEO Consultant. He helps people create or revise their SEO plan, implements it, and monitors results. Akash regularly writes about SEO. He has been in this since 2011. He reads books in his spare time. You can hire him for the consultation only or to do everything. Contact him today!

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