7 SEO newbie mistakes to avoid when using a SERP Tracker
When you’re a beginner in any field, mistakes from lack of experience are bound to happen. To help you along the way, we’d like to point out some of these mistakes for you, and hopefully help you avoid making them so that you can evolve. Here are the 5 most common mistakes made using a SERP tracker, witnessed by analyzing our 40k+ user data base. Because each SERP tracker’s users are demographically similar, more or less, these can be true for you even if you don’t currently use Pro Rank Tracker. If you consider yourself an advanced user of rank-tracking tools, I still recommend you at least skim through this post, since surprisingly enough, even advanced users can neglect some of these issues to a certain extent, so read on!
For starters, if you’ve reached the level where you actually use a SERP tracker, that in itself puts you a step ahead of complete rookies, so that is very good! The initial mistake rookies tend to make is to make their lives a lot harder by not using (at least some of) the SEO tools available to them— they stick to doing things manually. One of the mandatory tools and great time savers to have if you’re doing any SEO, and even SEM, is a SERP tracker. Instead of checking each rank for every keyword that you promote manually, a SERP tracker checks that for you automatically. It’s far more accurate than you, it keeps the data all in one place with your ranking data spread in a single location, and it even shows you easy-to-read tables and graphs.
Note that some of these mistakes might point to fundamental flaws and weaknesses in your SEO, so pay attention. Let’s begin with the common mistakes:
- Using half measures – This is another way of saying you’re not tracking enough keywords! Although this one might be self-serving in the favor of SERP trackers as a whole, it remains true nonetheless. Don’t limit the amount of keywords you track instead of diving in and using the full potential of a tool that’s there to make your life easier. Sure, keyword tracking quotas are limiting and are accompanied by paid plans, so if you want a larger quota you need to acquire a bigger monthly plan, but in the long run it’s well worth it. Even if you run a modest SEO campaign for a small website in an obscure niche, the amount of relevant ranks you will need to track to get a high-resolution picture of your search engine ranks is 50+ ranks. And the reason is that a search engine rank is a relative. To know how well a keyword that you promote for a website is doing, you need to analyze at least 5 different rank types for that keyword (and this is a conservative estimate).A quick example: You promote 10 keywords for an acupuncture website servicing Toronto, Canada. One of the keywords is “best acupuncture clinic in Toronto” so the 5 (minimum requirement) relevant rank types for that keyword would be Google Mobile (Toronto), Google Local (Toronto), Google snack pack (to be listed on the map based on vicinity), Yahoo!, and Bing. All of these 5 ranks will be different depending on the way you do SEO for that website, and all of these ranks can reach No.1. For 10 keywords with 5 rank types each you would have 50 different ranks requiring tracking, as a very conservative estimate for a small SEO campaign for a small website. And that example is for a very modest campaign… imagine if you ran a slightly larger one, or if you needed to promote more than one website. Having a limited quota for terms and ranks begins to be counterproductive. You might save a few bucks a month, but the trade off is that your work process becomes very cumbersome. This actually ends up damaging your SEO’s full potential and prevents you from having a smoother workflow. So I’m not saying you should get the biggest paid plan the SERP tracker offers, but get the RIGHT plan that allows you a ranks quota with some room to breathe. You don’t have to go overboard on what you need, but you want to leave room for growth.
- Still neglecting mobile ranks – Even though it’s become the top requirement for any website doing SEO, some still just track desktop ranks and ignore mobile ranks altogether. Google’s mobile-first approach means virtually every website needs to be mobile friendly to be visible on Google’s mobile search results, and eventually even desktop search results visibility will impacted by how mobile-friendly a website is. Mobile searches surpass desktop searches, and not doing mobile SEO and checking mobile ranks is a cardinal sin in today’s SEO environment. Does that mean you didn’t dedicate time to optimize your website for mobile? If the answer is yes, begin by tracking your mobile ranks to see your current mobile visibility, and stop wasting time and start optimizing for mobile. Your websites will thank you for it.
- Thinking Yahoo! and Bing don’t matter – Many rookies simply don’t track their Yahoo! and Bing ranks, which are different than Google ranks as they’re influenced by their own unique ranking algorithms. Does that mean you’re not optimizing your website for those search engines? If you answered yes, you should know that not doing any SEO for these two is a mistake in the majority of cases. Although distant runner-ups to Google, they are still very much part of the game, and people who search Yahoo! and Bing could be relevant paying customers for the business you’re promoting. In our example above, they could be acupuncture customers in need of a good clinic in Toronto. Bing and Yahoo!, as of 2017, take a 7.3% and 5.6% market share respectively (compared to Google’s mammoth 77.4% market share). Now 7.3% and 5.6% might not sound like much for sure, but considering the total number of Internet searches worldwide, it’s a staggering 6.6 BILLION daily searches (and the figure rises daily as more and people are going online). Bing holds about 481 million, and Yahoo!, 370 million! As you can see, these are still very large numbers carrying paying, relevant organic traffic.
- Forgetting Local ranks is everything these days – This is basically the same problem as above — checking for general Google desktop ranks instead of accurate relevant Google local ranks. Gone are the days of a single universal global search engine rank. Every Google search is Geo-targeted, regardless if the user uses incognito browsing or not. Ranks differ by location. For example, a person from Toronto searching for “pet food delivery” will see different results than a person searching for that same keyword from New York. This means a website that delivers pet food might be ranked 5th in Toronto, but it might be out of the top 50 results altogether for New York. Naturally, if the website services the Toronto area, only one of these local ranks are relevant to track and promote. This can be the result of not doing proper local SEO, which might be a mistake that limits your growth potential. You don’t need to know the general average rank from the entire US area, you need the one that is RELEVANT.
- Not sending reports to clients – The majority of SERP trackers offer some kind of reporting solution, yet some users neglect this option. Sending your clients ranking reports with updates on how their ranks are doing is one of the recipes for a healthy and open business relationship. Pro Rank Tracker can generate 100% white-label reports for you and your clients, with your logo and company details on the report (keeping PRT backstage). The reports can be customized to show the data that you deem relevant, from basic layman-friendly reports showing just the keyword and its respective rank, to different types of advanced reports showing a full scope with all the different types of ranks, changes, advanced graphs, etc. So, if you have a client that only wants to see the bare-essential data of keyword+rank, you don’t have to overwhelm them with advanced reports. You can choose to send basic reports while keeping the advanced reports for yourself. If you haven’t been sending reports to your clients, it is definitely not too late to start!
- Not bothering to organize your ranking data properly – SERP tracking requires keeping track of large volumes of data on different fronts (even for small SEO agencies and independent experts). A small SEO agency using a SERP tracker can have several clients, be promoting several websites in different niches, and have several SEO experts spreading the workload amongst themselves. All this different data needs to be kept organized, otherwise it can quickly become a mess, with data accumulation over time compounding the problem. This damages efficiency and entanges the workflow. Most SERP trackers in the market offer a solution for keeping your data organized and neat, but Pro Rank Tracker has a multitude of solutions for keeping an account tidy. Attributes such as tags and groups can be assigned to URLs and keywords. There are quick navigation shortcuts. Filters can be customized to show you any chunks of data you want. And sub-accounts can be created under PRT’s main admin account, each with its own username, password, data and permissions. Read more about that here: 12 Awesome Organizational Properties Every SERP Tracker Should Have
- Not making sure the ranks you get are updated and fresh – Although not a mistake in SERP tracker usage per se, this is more a mistake of not choosing the right SERP tracker. So, this one is just a quick tip – always make sure your SERP tracker updates your ranking data at least once every 24 hours. Some SERP trackers on the market only update your ranks once a week, giving you the impression they are cheap, but in reality they’re presenting you week-old irrelevant ranking data. Pro Rank Tracker updates your ranking data at least once a day, and up to 3 times a day on demand.
Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, time to take matters into your own hands and evolve your SERP tracker usage—maybe even your SEO skills as a whole. Better still, evolve it by trying the best SERP tracker on the market currently: Pro Rank Tracker. (Seriously – our algorithms boast a 100% accuracy rating, as well as unique abilities such as finding hidden ranks.) With Pro Rank Tracker, you can monitor the relevant ranks for your websites with ease and reach the highest levels of local and mobile rank-tracking resolutions. We have a free account for you to try, and our paid plans are the fairest and most affordable out there (you can even check for yourself). Try Pro Rank Tracker today!
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