1. Branded keywords
The first, and most important keywords you should be monitoring are your branded keywords. These are the keywords that are directly associated with your brand. They can range from the name of your company, names of your unique products or services, and names of key people in your company if they have personal websites or personal brands of their own. Why would you want to see the rankings of these keywords? Simple. Because if you notice that your own brand keywords have dropped in rankings, then there is definitely an SEO problem that needs to be addressed.
2. Competitor’s branded keywords
The next set of keywords you should be monitoring are your competitor’s branded keywords. Again, this would be the name of their company, names of their unique products or services, and names of key people in their company if they have personal websites or personal brands of their own.
Why would you want to see the rankings of these keywords? Simple. Because if you notice that your competitor’s brand keywords have dropped in rankings, then there are two things that could be happening. Your competitor could be getting penalized, which means it might be a great time to put up a Google AdWords ad that comes up when someone searches for your competitor by name (a little grey-hat tactic, but it happens).
This would allow your brand to come up if competitor doesn’t! This can be helpful if your competitor has gone out of business, stopped carrying a product that you still carry, or similar.
3. Commercial keywords
Last, but not least, you have to be tracking your commercial keywords. These are the keyword phrases that you think your customers are searching to find your business in order to make a purchase. The ones you would research with simple tools or advanced tools to see which had the best search volume.
For example, a marketing agency would have commercial keywords like SEO services, link building services, content marketing services, social media services, and so forth. The difference between a commercial and informational keyword? Someone searching for link building services could be searching for someone to hire to do link building. Someone searching for link building could be searching for link building tips, not someone to hire.
As a business, you want to monitor the keywords that are driving your customers. Not people who just want information. With one exception…
4. Informational keywords
If you go into your Google Analytics and look at the Landing Pages report under your landing pages, you will find that some landing pages on your website convert to customers. And some of those landing pages may be your blog posts. In which case, you may want to monitor the rankings of the informational keywords that led readers to blog posts that convert well.
Using the marketing agency example again, they would want to monitor informational keywords like link building if their posts on link building tended to drive the most leads to their business. They would do this to ensure that their blog content on link building was consistently ranking well and moving up in rankings if possible.
Also be sure to expand your visibility by using information keywords for videos, podcasts, live Facebook videos, and other types of content that your target audience may like on networks and platforms that your customers use most. This will give you the best possible chance of reaching the most customers possible for your business via informative content that should be able to convert.
5. Beyond keyword monitoring for rankings
In addition to monitoring the above keywords in terms of rankings, you should also monitor the above and other keyword types using web and social mention monitoring tools. For example, if a brand keyword is mentioned, you may have a chance to use it as a testimonial (if it’s a positive mention) or as a chance for reputation management (if it’s a negative mention). If a competitor keyword is mentioned, you may have a chance to steal a customer (if it’s a negative mention). If commercial keywords are mentioned, you may have a chance to find and answer questions from potential customers. And convert them if you’re lucky! Also, if you notice a particular keyword (branded, competition, or commercial) is being mentioned at a higher rate, you may find that can turn into an opportunity to create content that would attract trending searchers about your brand, your competition (if it’s negative news you can use to drive customers to your product or service), or your commercial keywords. This could help attract new customers to your website if published in a timely manner.
As you can see, monitoring keywords is important. Not just for rankings to ensure that your SEO is working, but also for making sure that you can capitalize on any opportunities for testimonials, customers service, reputation management, and getting customers. So don’t just think about your own rankings. Think rankings and beyond!