Keyword research and tracking is one of the most important aspects in any SEO campaign and finding a tool to help with this seems like it would be an easy endeavor. There are a handful of effective keyword research tools out there and we’ve definitely used our share to help us determine what will work best for us – and for our clients’ bottom line – which, of course, depends on search engine rankings. With search engine updates happening constantly, whether it being a new algorithm they spring on you overnight or a new feature for finding videos, it’s important to be able to track how these changes affect your rankings. We’re pretty into Raven Tools around here – it’s a basic, yet well-rounded SEO campaign management system, but we were concerned that maybe they weren’t considering Google Places rankings when monitoring SERPs (search engine results pages). With a big focus on local profiles now, it’d be nice to see where a client’s keyword ranked in organic results AND local results. When we reached out to Raven about our concern, this was their response: Universal Results, including the ability to report on Google Places, are something that we hope to implement in the future. We currently don't have an ETA when we'll be able to implement more features that address this, though. In other words- Raven isn’t tracking Google Places rankings yet. On to the next one. Another tool we keep in our belt around here (because we are basically SEO mechanics) is SEO PowerSuite’s Rank Tracker. This is a great tool for keyword research and seems to stay open on my computer all day. It’s my work buddy – reliable, hard worker, straightforward and always ready for a lunch break. Anyway, we reached out to Rank Tracker with the same question – does your program take into account and display Google Places rankings along with organic results? The response from one of their reps is below: It is possible to track Google places rankings which are integrated into organic results: just go to 'Preferences' - 'Rank Checking Mode' and check 'Use Universal search results' box. In this mode Rank Tracker will check your positions also in universal search results (videos, images, places, news) which appear within organic results. Bingo! That’s exactly what we wanted to hear. So – how does Rank Tracker’s Universal Search work exactly? Step 1: Enter the URL of the site you’re checking Step 2: Select which search engines you want to review rankings for (**And select Universal Search)
Step 3: Enter the keywords you’re researching [caption id="attachment_491" align="aligncenter" width="641" caption="Keywords"]
Step 4: Allow magic to happen… Step 5: Boom! The keywords you entered along with their ranking appear for the site you entered, indicating where your site falls in the selected search engines’ results for that keyword query. But now that we’ve chosen to view universal search results, not only are we seeing the organic rankings, but we’re also able to see where our site ranks for Videos, Images, Places, Shopping, News, etc.
[caption id="attachment_493" align="aligncenter" width="685" caption="Keyword Rankings"]
The first number indicates where in the Universal Search the local results appear. And the number in () is what position the actual result appears, A, B, C, etc. Here's a screenshot of the Google search results. [caption id="attachment_494" align="aligncenter" width="641" caption="Google Places Results"]
We’re pretty excited about this feature and it’s just the cherry on top of Rank Tracker’s other useful features. One that we use a good bit is the “Suggest Keywords” feature. It allows us to see related keywords and their keyword efficiency index (KEI) which takes into account how many times the keyword has been searched over the past month and how many competitors are going after it. Big number of searches + low competition = great potential new keyword for your site. Finding a keyword research tool is important, no argument there. The essential role it plays in day-to-day optimization is obvious as it allows us to gain insight and discover hidden gems while we're at it.