Remember the good ol’ days when SEO was simple?
You could spam a few keywords in the meta sections of your HTML sheet, and, like magic, search engines would reward you with a high rank.
If you were #1 for any search, you were the undisputed champion of that search term on every search engine.
And you’d be among the websites raking in 67.60% of all clicks because that’s what the first 5 organic results on page 1 get.
Pretty sweet deal.
Fast forward to today — every search is personalized, geo-targeted, and tailored to each unique user to provide high-quality search results.
And because of this, SEO has become an art form.
Even in today’s complex SEO environment, you can still track your ranks for different search terms and ensure people find your website through the SERP.
We’re so glad you asked.
In this article we’ll cover:
- What is SERP Tracking?
- Why Should I Use a SERP Tracker?
- How to Add URLs for SERP Tracking in ProRankTracker
- How to Keep Track of Your SERP Ranks in ProRankTracker
- 3 Steps to Help You Rank up on the SERP
What is SERP Tracking?
As SEO has gotten more complex, so has SERP tracking.
To define SERP tracking we’ll start by addressing what it involves.
At the bare-bones level, SERP tracking is the process of keeping track of how high your URLs rank on a search engine results page for different search terms.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a website about coffee.
You may want to track your home page’s rank for the search term “gourmet coffee.”
SERP tracking allows you to see how your page is performing and which adjustments should be made.
However, SERP tracking gets quite a bit more complicated than that.
It also involves other types of SERPs:
- Google My Business (GMB) results (including local finder and snack pack results)
- Other search engines like Yahoo! and Bing
- Amazon rankings (if you sell a product)
- YouTube rankings for your uploaded videos.
Your rank can also be affected by the searcher’s location.
For example, if your coffee business is in Portland, it’ll be shown more often to searchers in that area.
That means SERP tracking also involves following your ranks for each search location relevant to your business.
In other words, SERP tracking can get EXTREMELY complicated very quickly.
Why Should I Use a SERP Tracker?
SERP tracking is so complex that it’s impossible to do well without a tool.
Here’s where SERP trackers come into play — specifically, those that can track local ranks on multiple search platforms, as well as rankings based on the searcher’s device (desktop or mobile), what type of mobile device, and more.
Google’s geo-targeting abilities are so precise that ranks can vary just a few miles apart for desktop searches.
Mobile searches are even more precise.
The SERP for mobile searches can be adjusted based on the searcher’s exact location.
For example, let’s go back to your coffee business — if you’re located in Portland, you don’t care how you rank in San Francisco, right?
So it’s crucial for the SERP to be customized to the searcher’s location.
A good SERP tracking tool will account for all these variables and collect all data concerning your rank in different locations.
Without a tool, it’s impossible to follow each of your ranks for all possible searches.
ProRankTracker is capable of doing just that.
You’re able to easily add all URLs and search terms you want to track.
After that, the tool will keep track of your ranks based on:
- Search term
How to Add URLs for SERP Tracking in ProRankTracker
ProRankTracker’s tracking algorithm allows you to track ranks with unprecedented accuracy.
When adding your URLs into ProRankTracker, you’ll also be able to specify important details like:
- Search location
- Search terms
- Device (mobile or desktop)-
- OS (Android or Apple)
- Search engine
- GMB details
Be as specific as possible to ensure you get the most accurate rank information, which will ultimately help you rank up on the local SERP.
Let’s go over your options for adding URLs for tracking in ProRankTracker.
The quickest way to add URLs for tracking is through the Add Wizard.
To navigate through ProRankTracker, use the collapsible menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Click “Add Wizard” then fill in the URL and keywords you want ProRankTracker to follow — for example, you may be tracking “gourmet coffee”, “coffee shop”, and “coffee” for your coffee website.
Groups and tags are beneficial for keeping your dashboard organized as you add more URLs.
These features are not only beneficial but essential if you’re itching to take on SEO clients, as well.
With a few clicks, you can completely customize where your URL will be tracked.
Let’s stick with our coffee shop example to show you how to fill out the next section.
Your coffee shop is in Portland, and most of your new customer base comes from doing a Google search.
- Under “Track” click “Desktop Results”.
- Under “On” click “Google”.
- You’re in the USA, so be sure to use Google.com instead of Google.au or some other TLD.
- Set your location to Portland (or any deeper zip code), and your search language will most likely be English.
Since you’re most interested in local searches, click the button to track GMB results (snack pack and local finder), and a box will open for you to paste the GMB into.
That’s all it takes to add a URL for accurate tracking using the Add Wizard.
We like to keep things simple around here.
For even more control (or to add multiple URLs at once), you can use the Advanced Add feature.
If the Add Wizard isn’t giving you enough control over your tracked URLs, using the Advanced Add is your next step.
Click “Advanced Add” on the left-hand toolbar, and begin by filling out the type of SERPs you want to track:
- Organic Local
- Local Finder
- Snack Pack
- Google Search Videos
You can select 1 or more of these options, and receive additional info on how you’re ranking in each category.
For example, you might find that you’re ranking for desktop but not for mobile.
Newsflash — that’s no good since about 60% of Google searches happen on mobile devices.
After you’ve selected the type of searches to track, fill out the URLs and keywords that you want to follow in the next section.
Unlike the Add Wizard, the Advanced Add allows you to put in as many URLs as your heart desires — you can even import them.
Next, add in the details about the search engines you want tracked.
Double-check that you fill in the correct top-level domain if you’re monitoring in other countries.
Finally, you’ve got the option to organize your new URLs into tags and groups (you can always do this later from the “Groups” tab on the left-hand menu).
By now, you should’ve added all the URLs you want to track with ProRankTracker.
In addition, include detailed info about:
- Search engine
- Search terms
This information is going to allow ProRankTracker to collect precise data about your ranks.
Next, let’s address how to access and understand that data on how your site ranks for different searches.
How to Keep Track of Your SERP Ranks in Pro Rank Tracker
Now that you’ve got your URLs and keywords in ProRankTracker, let’s go over how to track them.
ProRankTracker is going to do the hard work of keeping up with your SERP ranks.
You just need to learn to use the tool to see how your URLs are performing.
1. URL View
After selecting “URL View” from the toolbar, you’ll see a color-coded dashboard with information concerning each tracked URL.
The top of the URL view displays a brief overview of how your URLs have performed over the last 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days.
This graph provides a bird’s eye view of your site’s overall SERP health.
Keep reading because the golden nuggets that hold the most beneficial info are below.
As you scroll further down, you’ll see a detailed look at each of your tracked URLs.
The rank that ProRankTracker shows you will be based on the type of search you’ve selected to follow.
For example, you may have selected to only track your rank on Google’s local finder for searches within Portland.
ProRankTracker will show you how that URL is performing within those specific parameters.
Monitoring and understanding each of your URLs performance based on individual search terms is the key to ranking up over time.
2. Term View
You’re probably tracking the same keyword or keyword phrase, for multiple pages on your website.
For example, you could be tracking the keyword phrase “coffee catering” on your home page and your about page.
The Term View allows you to easily see how all URLs are performing for a single keyword or keyword phrase and provides much-needed insight into your performance.
Just like the URL View, the first thing you’ll see is a graph mapping out your performance over the last month.
As you scroll down, you’ll see each keyword broken down by all URLs that ProRankTracker is monitoring for a specific term.
3 Steps to Help You Rank up on the SERP
Ranking up on the Google SERP starts with analyzing the data you’ll get from the URL View and Term View pages on ProRankTracker.
Because ProRankTracker’s data is specific to searchers’ EXACT locations, you’ll have access to detailed information to make the most informed decisions on any tweaks that should be made.
If you understand SEO and want to stay ahead of the game, you can’t afford to NOT track based on specific search locations, and you MUST use a good SERP tracker that can track precise locations.
Follow these 3 steps to help improve your rank on the SERP:
1. Use Specific Search Parameters
Now that you understand how vital highly specific SERP data is to your success, confirm that every URL you’re tracking is as detailed as possible.
Whenever possible, include these 3 parameters:
- Search location
- Specific search engine
- Particular device and OS
2. Follow Rank Data Carefully
Diligently follow the ranking data that ProRankTracker gives you.
After all, it doesn’t matter how specific the information is if you never use it.
If you don’t want to spend hours upon hours each week pouring through your data, use the reports page on the toolbar to create automatic notifications.
It’ll save you time and ensure that you’re always up-to-date on any changes.
3. Make Changes to Your SEO Strategy as Necessary
When your ranks are going up, you probably don’t need to change a thing — keep doing what you’re doing!
However, if they drop drastically, the first thing to do is make sure there are no Google penalties leveraged against your site.
If there are no penalties against you, we recommend working on 1 page at a time and follow these steps:
- Ensure there are no errors in the page’s code keeping the rank down.
- Optimize the page for a few strong keywords instead of dozens of weak ones.
- Start working on more advanced SEO techniques like page experience, mobile optimization, and load times.
As you work through your site and optimize each page, your ranks will start to rise.
Accurate Tracking Is Your Best Option
SERP tracking is based on a single, important fact.
Your data must be accurate and precise, or it’s useless.
More and more factors are influencing SERP ranks, so data must continue to become more precise and accurate.
Otherwise, it has no value and won’t help you improve your rank.
SEO will keep evolving and changing.
ProRankTracker is constantly evolving right along with the search engines to give you the most relevant and up-to-date SERP tracking available on the market.
Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
How has a SERP rank tracking tool helped you boost your ranks and grow your business?