There are only two reasons why any potential webmaster or SEO guru should be concerned about rankings and reports. The first is to justify one’s work (and often pay) and the other is for simple, old fashioned, bragging rights. Honestly, more search optimization specialist spend too much time monitoring metrics when they should be writing new and unique content or link building (social advertising). Many times, report monitoring can become an addiction, leaving one really happy or really depressed depending on the results of his / her daily Google ranking report. However, metrics and reporting are often a necessary evil as such, there are a few things that you can do do become addiction free and time effective.
The first thing to keep in mind when you are running your metric reports is that your results will often drastically change from day to day. As such, never make changes to a website based off of a single day’s or week’s worth of data. Your ranking will almost always rise and decline and should you make changes too soon, you may end up making your situation worse.
The second point to remember is to try and run your reports only once per week. If you can get away with monthly reports, even better. Let the averages suggest any changes you need to make and spend the time you are saving doing something else. There are several really reliable and effective tools that you can use to assist in your metrics and reporting. Each one has its own benefits and features so it is up to you to decide if any of them are right for you.
1. Web CEO (free version) – Web CEO is awesome in the fact that it tries to mimic a human searcher. Each request to the search engines is calculated and delayed to simulate someone doing the search manually. Too many automated queries and Google could very well block your IP address! Web CEO also lets you customize what keywords you are searching for and even automate the entire process. The software has a free version that is great for any beginner search optimizer.
2. The Rank Checker, over at SEOmoz.org is another great tool to monitor and track your rankings. The nice thing about this tool is that the reports are saved and compared against each other and all hosted on seomoz.org (so you can access it from any computer). Unfortunately, you cannot run multiple keyword searches at the same time.
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