It’s a tough world out there in the SERPs. Competition is wild and algorithms change in the blink of an eye.
There are likely hundreds, maybe even thousands, of keywords relevant to your product or service. So, how do you pick the ones to track that will actually help you climb the SERPs and reflect your real performance in the market?
Here we walk through how to cherry-pick 🍒 the most impactful keywords for rank tracking, with a little help from Similarweb’s Rank Tracker, so you skyrocket to the top of those search results in no time.
How to pick the right keywords for rank tracking
1. Create a keyword list in Similarweb
To create a keyword list on Similarweb, head to ‘My Keyword Lists’ under the SEO module. You can either:
Name your keyword list and then start by typing keywords in manually or pasting a list of keywords in.
- Or, use the Keyword Generator:
If you’re looking for inspiration, you can use our keyword tool to enter in a seed word and get a list of related keywords. You can then go through and select which keywords to add to a new keyword list.
Simply check the keywords you like from the generated list and add them to a new keyword list.
Once you’ve got your list set up, it couldn’t be easier to add it into Similarweb’s Rank Tracker:
Within Rank Tracker, import your Keyword List by searching for it by name. This is also your opportunity to add in any keyword tags (which we’ll talk about later).
2. Export your existing terms from Google Search Console
Google Search Console shows the search queries you rank for. While the number of clicks isn’t accurate here, the terms themselves are. So this is a great place to start from scratch.
On your Google Search Console navigation, go to ‘Search Results’ under the Performance section.
Here you’ll see a dashboard with your top queries, which you can then filter by date range:
Then, simply ‘Export’ your filtered list in your preferred format:
You won’t want to track every term in the list. So we advise taking a bit of time to filter out queries that aren’t targets for your business.
Once your list is ready you can upload directly to the Rank Tracker in our pre-made CSV template.
3. Find keywords from scratch using Similarweb
If you are starting new, then keyword research can work for rank tracking. And we have a few places where you can gather inspo from either a seed word or your competitors’ keyword lists.
1) Keyword Generator
Whenever you’re looking for keyword inspiration, Similarweb’s Keyword Generator is the natural first stop.
Type in a seed keyword and instantly get a treasure trove of relevant keywords to sift through.
However, to find the best ones for tracking, that’s where our metrics really make a difference. Once you’ve singled out the most relevant keywords, analyze the data on search volume, yearly trend and search intent to understand which keywords have the most potential for your business.
Dig even deeper and explore the ‘Related Keywords’ tab to find semantically related keywords that you may have otherwise missed. Look for long-tail keyword variations with high search volume but low keyword difficulty that are easier to rank for but will still drive targeted traffic to your website.
To ensure you’re targeting keywords that your customers are searching for right now, check out the ‘Trending Keywords’ section. Here you’ll see which keywords have gained significant traction in the last month.
2) Competitor Keywords
Get some more keyword inspiration by analyzing your organic competitors. Begin by heading to Similarweb’s ‘Keywords’ feature under the Search tab to uncover the keywords your competitors are organically ranking for.
Type in a competitor and select the ‘Organic Traffic’ filter. To remove their branded keywords from view, choose ‘non-branded keywords’.
Then, look through your competitor’s top organic keywords to see search volume data and pinpoint which keywords are driving the most traffic to their website.
As your main goal is to climb up the SERPs, filter the list by keyword intent, keyword difficulty to extract more information on how to rank for each specific keyword you add to your list.
3) Organic Pages
Or, you can gather keywords at a page level. Next, head to our ‘Organic Pages’ feature under Organic Website Analysis. Start by typing in a competitor to see an overview of their best-performing URLs and the keywords that generated traffic to each page.
From here, you can pick out the most relevant primary and secondary keywords to add to your list.
With a quick glance at Anthropologie’s best organic pages, we see that their ‘Dresses’ category page was one of their top 5 highest traffic pages over the summer. The ‘All Keywords’ drop down shows the extensive list of high-volume keywords that brought traffic to that page.
4) Keyword Gap
Use Similarweb’s Keyword Gap tool to compare your keyword profile against your biggest competitors’, and identify keywords that are driving traffic to their website, but not yours.
Find the Keyword Gap tool under ‘Keyword Opportunities’ on our platform. From there, type in up to 5 websites, including yours, to compare. You’ll see a Venn diagram displaying the keyword gap across the websites.
What you really want, though, is the table of search terms underneath. It shows the keywords channeling traffic to your competitor, along with relevant metrics such as traffic volume, search intent and SERP features.
Study this breakdown to identify keywords you are not yet targeting, as well as gaps in your competitors’ keyword strategy. Then, use the metrics on display to measure the traffic-potential of each keyword before deciding whether to track.
How to tag your keywords for rank tracking
So you’ve now got the best possible keyword list for rank tracking. How can you set yourself up for success in the SERPs?
With 🌟Similarweb’s Rank Tracker 🌟
With our keyword ranking tool, you can track your organic ranking position daily to keep a keen eye on the changing SERP landscape, and get a deeper understanding of the keywords you’re tracking with all the juicy metrics on offer.
On top of seeing where you’re positioned, you’ll get a stream of actionable insights based on changing rank, search volume, SERP features and cost-per-click (CPC), as well as which website is winning the most traffic from each keyword.
For the most targeted rank tracking possible, utilize the ‘Keyword Tagging’ feature to segment your targeted keyword list further. Here you tag each individual keyword to create various groups to monitor.
Here’s an great example from Lululemon:
Monitoring the ranking and visibility of various keyword subsets gives you a super nuanced analysis of how each one is performing in the SERPs, with insights on the weighted average position and SERPs features specific to these subgroups.
Each keyword subgroup may require different strategies to improve ranking, thanks to differing keyword difficulty, search intent and the type of SERP features.
Head to our Knowledge Center for more information on how to tag keywords for ranking tracking.
Why choosing the right keywords to track is important
1) Know where you stand
Tracking the right keywords helps you understand your place in the SERPs and in the wider market or industry landscape. It also gives you an accurate picture of who you’re competing against for the top spots. Where you rank on search results is a true marker of how visible your brand is to your target audience.
2) Know where to focus your efforts
When you monitor the right set of keywords, you’ll quickly identify where you rank well, and which pages need improvement.
3) Identify traffic-generating keywords
Keywords are not created equal, and search volume doesn’t necessarily equate to traffic. With Similarweb’s Rank Tracker, we show you accurate click estimates for each and every keyword.
So, if you experience traffic gains or dips or Google rolls out an algorithm update, by tracking the right keywords you can quickly identify your most impactful keywords and work to protect them.
The do’s and don’t for keyword tracking
✅ Focus on relevance: Choose keywords that are highly relevant to your content, products, or services. These should be terms that your target audience is most likely to use when searching for what you offer.
✅ Understand intent: Select keywords that align with the intentions of your users, whether they just want information, to make a purchase, or are seeking a particular service. This will lead to better conversion rates.
✅ Include competitor keywords: Include keywords that your competitors are ranking particularly highly for, especially if they’re potentially relevant to your business.
✅ Select well-performing keywords: Some low-hanging fruit for you to rank even higher for existing content and landing pages that are already driving traffic to your site.
✅ Include long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific, often easier to rank for and can drive highly targeted traffic to your website and improve conversion rates.
✅ Set reminders: Set up weekly or monthly reminders to review your list of keywords to keep track of trends and changes and catch competitor moves.
❌ Rely on high volume: By choosing to track only high volume, high-difficulty keywords, you’ll miss the impactful long-tail specific for your niche.
❌ Overlook branded keywords: Tracking how you rank for your brand related keywords can give you insight into brand visibility and reputation and alert you when competitors step into your established territory.
❌ Ignore local keywords: Only 30% of businesses optimize for local SEO. If you’re a local business, or targeting a specific region, tracking location-based keywords is crucial to see if you’re reaching your audience where they are.
How many keywords should you track?
The key is to track a manageable set of super relevant and targeted keywords depending on the size of your company and how competitive your industry is. Here’s a rough guide on how big your keyword rank tracking list should be:
Small businesses: Start by tracking 100+ keywords, focusing on a mix of branded, product/service-related and local SEO keywords. If, as a small business, you have a content-rich offering with multiple blogs, articles etc, you should look at tracking a minimum of 1,000.
Medium businesses: Those with a bigger market share should track between 1,000 – 10,000 keywords, depending on their range of products/services and competition level.
Large businesses: Bigger brands in highly competitive industries will need to track thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of keywords, encompassing a variety of keyword types, to fully understand their market presence and search visibility.
To wrap things up…
Navigating the SERPs these days is not for the faint of heart. Getting those coveted top spots demands precisive, strategic and consistent keyword tracking. So choosing the right set of keywords is the key to successfully climbing up the SERP ladder.
Tracking where you rank shows where you stand against competitors, refines your focus and identifies opportunities. All so you can drive more quality traffic to your website.
Similarweb’s Rank Tracker can get you there, with the best possible visibility and insight into the changing SERP landscape. With daily organic ranking positions and super nuanced analysis of your most important keywords, you’ll have all the information you need for SERP supremacy 💪
Why is it important to choose the right keywords for rank tracking?
Choosing the right keywords for rank tracking is crucial because it helps you understand your standing in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and the broader industry landscape. By focusing on the most relevant and impactful keywords, you can accurately gauge your visibility and the competitive landscape.
How can Similarweb’s Rank Tracker help me monitor keywords?
Similarweb’s Rank Tracker allows you to track your organic ranking positions daily and provides valuable metrics such as search volume and changing rank to help with ongoing analysis.
Why is keyword tagging important?
By tagging individual keywords to track, you can create various subsets or groups of keywords to monitor. This segmented approach enables a nuanced analysis of how each subgroup is performing in the SERPs.
How often should I monitor ranking performance?
Monitoring ranking performance should ideally be done at least weekly. However, depending on the competition level of the targeted keywords, more frequent monitoring is needed. Daily tracking helps businesses catch and respond quickly to significant changes in the SERPs, like those caused by regular algorithm updates.