Tracking Mobile SEO and Keyword Rankings

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When you are working with a traditional website, you can use a variety of tools to find out how your website is ranking in various search engines. Although these tools have no way of accounting for the problems with personalization or localization, they are a quick way to see how your website is performing in traditional search results over time. Because none of those tools currently report on mobile search engine rankings, you have to do searches by hand or rely on your analytics to see what keywords are driving the most traffic.

The main disadvantage to using analytics instead of actual search results to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts is that analytics show you only how you are doing on keywords that are performing well, because they records information only after someone clicks from a search result to your website. If a keyword is ranking but no one is clicking on it, analytics won't ever tell you that. Similarly, if you are not ranking at all on an important keyword, analytics won't specifically bring that to your attention.

When doing keyword reporting for a traditional website, one tool available, called Enquisite Optimizer, can help eliminate some of the questions present with other keyword-reporting platforms. Enquisite Optimizer reports on all the different ranking positions and physical locations a keyword is in when it was clicked from a search result; although it can't tell you whether the person was logged into a Google account, it can tell you where that person located when performing the search. The Enquisite team is currently working to add the capability to segment the results by mobile browser or user agent, so in the future, we might be able to understand, based on the mobile browser, how keywords are ranking in different places and on different mobile browsers using this tool.

Until the new mobile features are available on Enquisite Optimizer, you can use other analytics programs, such as Google Analytics, to see how much traffic each of your top keywords is generating from mobile devices. In Google Analytics, you can segment traffic to include only organic searches or only iPhone searches so that it will show you what keywords are driving traffic in organic searches from iPhones.

If you are working with other phones, you can use the browser/operating system segmentation options in Google Analytics to drill down to find out how your keywords are performing on specific phones. You can also create Advanced Segments in Google Analytics to group all mobile searches together or set up individual segments for different mobile browsers, operating systems, and screen resolutions, and then easily move among the results for specific handsets. This is covered in more detail in Chapter 3,"Mobile Targeting and Tracking."

If your segments are set up correctly, you can then gather information about what keywords are driving traffic from specific phones and ascertain from that how well your website is ranking in searches performed on the various phones. If your website is not exclusively mobile, the best way to really understand this information is to aggregate all the mobile information and look at the mobile results as a whole.

If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, you can also go there to find out what terms Google has determined are relevant for your site, what terms are driving the most impressions for your site, and what terms are generating the highest click-through from search results. Chapter 9 also covers Google Webmaster Tools.

When you have determined how you will evaluate keyword performance, it is important to routinely generate a report for how your website is performing and track changes in the rankings or traffic associated with your top keywords. If your website is targeting both traditional and mobile computers, you will want to record the performance on both.

Whenever you make a change to the website, it is important to track how it affects your keyword rankings in the search engines. If you are using the same website for both mobile and traditional traffic, you should track how both results are affected. If you are making major changes to the website, you will need to report on your keyword rankings daily, but if you are making less significant changes to the website, you can report on keyword fluctuations weekly. If the site does not change much, it might even be okay to run keyword reports monthly, if you are not very concerned about search engine traffic.

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Advance SEO Techniques

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