Last Updated on March 23, 2020
Getting Intel on Keyword Ranking & Reporting
There’s been a huge shake-up in the online marketing industry with keyword ranking reports. Paid White Hat SEO tools (like Raven Tools) are dropping key ranking reports because of Google API compliance issues. It’s getting harder and harder to extract data needed to track keywords, how they rank, and other insights that feed White Hat SEO efforts like content marketing.
Using Google Analytics for Data
What if you wanted to take a stab at collecting keyword ranking data by using only Google Analytics. Is it possible? Sure. Just be prepared to roll-up your sleeves, add a bit of code to your website, and then implement some fancy configurations to your Google Analytics account.
On his personal blog, Justin Cutroni, an Analytics Advocate at Google, shared the specific code that will enable keyword ranking tracking info. If you aren’t familiar with Google Analytics Events, you’ll want to brush up on this feature first. Google provides a helpful Event’s overview as well as more technical tutorials for experienced developers.
Paid SEO Tool Advantage
While free is good, it usually comes at a price. There are free White Hat SEO tools available, but the data is limited. Or you need to spend time digging around for it. That’s why it’s worthwhile (in my opinion) to pay for more robust and reliable data. For example, I use SEOmoz (disclaimer: we are an affiliate) for these types of insights:
- Issue alerts like 404 pages, duplicate page content, missing titles, etc.
- Track keywords in a campaign, including number of visits, and changes over time
- Ranking reports in Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- On-page grading (A thru F) as well as suggestions on how to improve the page to impact search engine results
- Link analysis, where it compares the site against three competitors
Expect keyword rankings to fluctuate. If you’re actively working on your SEO, it’s likely your competitors are too. SEO is a moving target.