SEO Part V - Keyword Management

Welcome back to the third and final phase of your keyword strategy training. In this epic conclusion of phase I and phase II of this keyword research series, we’ll focus on the import discipline of keyword management. After all, managing your keywords and monitoring your ranks is an important measure of success in SEO. So clear your mind and focus your monitor, because it's time for your final lesson in keyword strategy.

Keyword Management
The Karate Kid, "Columbia Pictures"

Rank Checking and Tracking
After you've established what keywords you want to target; you'll then need to know where you fall in the rankings so you can track success. To do this there are a variety of tools you can use. Some are professional tools that require paying for a premium service, and others are free. Below are just a few you can select from; but in the end it's up to you to figure out which one best meets your needs.

Pro Tools
SEOmoz Pro
Rank Tracker - Paid Edition
Serp Fox

Free Tools
Rank Tracker - Free Edition
Rank Checker (Ad Hoc)
Serp Fox - Free Edition

Tracking your rank results for your keywords is an important keyword management practice. While it's easy to get tunnel vision and monitor the fluctuations on a daily basis, you might eventually find yourself in a spot where you can't see the wood for the trees. In other words, ranks are going to fluctuate. The search engines are constantly changing how they evaluate sites and the other sites your competing against probably aren't standing still either. So if you try to react to daily fluctuations you're likely going to make bad decisions for your SEO. So be patient, and instead try keep track of things on a weekly basis, and to step back and evaluate your monthly trends to see what kind of progress is being made. Remember, SEO doesn't happen overnight... unless you've been penalized by Google, which in that case, let's hope you're monitoring webmaster tools. But the fact of the matter is, moving up in the rankings takes time. So just be sure to keep tabs on the changes you make, the content you create, and the links you build to see how they end up influencing your rankings over time.

Lastly, keeping track of your rankings is one thing, but having keywords that drive success for your site is another. That's why it's also important to have analytics set in place to track your success with. Which in the days before secure search was pretty easy, but now a days all that not provided data makes things rather difficult to attribute to organic keywords. Still it's important to try and determine if the increase in traffic your are creating is ultimately helping drive your conversions.

Well that's all for this time around. Hopefully this information has brought you even closer to becoming an SEO keyword research ninja master. So go on, take your new found knowledge of keyword research and management, and start to see if you can apply it within your digital marketing strategy. The world of SEO may lead you down a complex path, but as long as you learn from your successes and failures along the way; you'll be just fine.

And remember... "Man or woman who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything."