I am actually not obsessing about rankings anymore, I am more obsessed about traffic 😉 With Google personalizing search results more and more, the first page of Google, as we knew it, could be soon a thing of the past. But sometimes, when I try out something new, I want to see some yummy data to get a better impression on how things are going and what is work or not working. And as I also just ‘talked’ somebody through the whole process ,via email, I thought that it would be a good idea for a blog post! Never waste content you have already half written 😉
Until now I have used Market Samurai to do this, but it is not displaying rankings as we know it anymore. If you haven’t an idea about what has happened, have a look at their last two blog posts >here< and >here<. Don’t get me wrong, >Market Samurai< is still a great tool for evaluating competition etc, but their ranking feature is seriously broken, so what to do?
Tracking Web 2.0 properties with Keyword Strategy
If you want to track the rankings of articles you have on a Web 2.0 site like >Wizzley<, where you can’t change / add code easily, many keyword tools will not work properly. I show you how I use Keyword Strategy to do exactly this, plus the pro’s and con’s of doing so. If you don’t have articles on sites you don’t own, this will not be of interest to you, you might be better off writing more content for your own sites than reading my long-winded blog post 😉 Have a great day! Still there? OK, here we go finally!
What you need to do or try this out:
- A full, or trial, version of Keyword Strategy with one free project. >Discrete Affi Link for your convenience<
- The keyword and url pairs of the articles you want to track.
Caveat! Whilst you can track multiple domains in one project, you can’t assign the same keyword to more than one url. But yes, you can assign more than one keyword to the same url. Does that make sense?In other words:
You can assign many keywords to one URL, in fact, that’s the heart of the whole process, but you can’t do the opposite. So you can’t track many URLs for the same keyword.
Step by Step Instruction
- Set up a new project and name it something descriptive, for example web2sites.com or something similar.
- Set language and location as needed.
- Un-hook the two import filters completely, if you want to use the tool later to find new keywords, you can change this easily.
- Don’t bother to connect with Webmaster tools, Analytics or similar, not needed in this case.
- Import your list of keywords as a text (.txt) or .csv file.
- Tag as needed, for example with the name of each third party site, makes things more clear when you check your rankings.
- Assign urls (copy and paste them from your browser window is easiest) to keywords.
- Sit back and see keywords updating and the rankings appearing.
- Done! Wasn’t that difficult, was it?
OK, here the pro’s and con’s of using Keyword Strategy to track articles on sites you don’t own
- I already have the tool, so setting up a ranking project didn’t involve any additional costs for me.
- Pretty accurate rankings when compared / spot checked with Scroogle.org.
- Works as well for English web sites as for web sites in other languages. That is important for me!
- Browser based and therefore platform independent, meaning it works on a Mac as well as on a Windows machine or any other geeky OS you are running 😉
Google compliant, as it uses their official API, meaning your IP doesn’t get banned by Google. That is as long as you use the ‘tracker option’, as the browser extension scrapes Google, and it’s not something you should do. That’s why you want to switch everything over to the tracker-based ranking. That’s completely passive and Google compliant.Oops, Lis pointed out rightly in her comment below that this doesn’t work for web 2.0 sites, so use the tracker option for your own sites, where you can add code and the browser option for web 2.0 properties. In that case make sure you are not signed into your Google account when checking your rankings, so far I never got even a temporary Google ban by doing this, but one never knows!
- Fast, updates a few hundred keywords per hour and than keeps checking in real time when using the ‘tracker option’, meaning the rankings are checked with each visitor.
- Price – This might be prohibitive for those that are not already subscribers, as it is a monthly subscription starting at $29 / month. For this you get space for two projects, one would / should be your main website and one your ranking project for any other websites you have content on.
- Unfortunately there is no way yet to import keyword-url pairs directly, that would be a great feature for those that are switching tools. Fraser, are you listening?
- The tool determines when the ranking is checked, normally once a month when using the browser extension, or in “real time” using the tracker option. You can’t do a ‘forced rank check’ NOW when the fancy to know if your article went up or down the SERPentines in the last 30 nano seconds tickles you 😉
So far, Keyword Strategy does the trick for me by keeping track of my articles on third party websites. The initial set-up is a bit of a pain in the back side if you have many articles, but then it works like a charm. If you want to do also further keyword research for the same project, it pays out to connect your Google accounts with it, but if you only want to track keyword and url pairs, the set-up here described is simple and effective, no need to get more complicated.
If you are still looking for a way to track your rankings and are not convinced of my method, have a look at Lis’s latest blog post entitled >Market Samurai – Rank Tracker Alternative< and see if you find there something that suits you better 😉
And, as always, if you have a question, suggestion or simply want to say ‘Hi!’, feel free to leave a comment … For more tips on how to get the most out of Keyword Strategy, have a look here, all articles I have written so far in one handy list >Keyword Strategy Tips<.
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