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Keywords are a seemingly inescapable aspect of the SEO world. SEO professionals (myself included) encourage clients to focus on more meaningful metrics besides the humble keyword ranking, but the fact remains that ranking well in Google for keywords with significant search volume will (usually) result in traffic to your site.
Of course, keeping track of keywords isn’t free. Whether you spend your time manually checking rankings or your money on a keyword rank tracking solution, you have to limit how many keywords you track per page and per website. So, that begs the question, “how many keywords should you track?”
Are you ready for this one? It wouldn’t be an SEO article if it didn’t have the following sentence:
Unfortunately, keywords don’t materialize out of thin air or come to us in a vision. Even more, you can’t just assume you know what keywords people use to search and what you should be ranking for. That’s why you should always start with keyword research.
There’s plenty of information out there on how to perform keyword research successfully, but I’ll outline some of my preferred steps and best practices below.
I’m not the first Portentite to recommend starting keyword research by looking at what you already rank for. I like to go straight to Google Search Console (GSC) as soon as I get my hands on it. Despite the evidence that Search Console data is quite unreliable, it does come straight from the search giant itself, so we can’t ignore it.
Hop into your site’s GSC Performance section to see a table of queries that domain ranks for.
Conveniently, this section defaults to show which queries got your site the most clicks over the past three months. This gives you a great idea of what Google thinks your site deserves to rank for, and if you click the Pages tab, which pages are ranking.
From this starting point, go forth and research keywords! Again, I’m not going to break down that process in this post, but I can point you to a couple of great resources we already created. Our CEO, Ian Lurie, wrote this timeless guide for doing keyword research that doesn’t suck. Want more help with Search Console? How about a walkthrough from former Portentite George Freitag? Finally, check out this recent post from Senior SEO Strategist Zac Heinrichs on how to take your keyword research to the next level.
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to rank highly for, assign them to appropriate landing pages. In all likelihood, you will have already identified your target pages while performing the keyword research.
The number of target organic landing pages will directly influence the answer to our main question about the appropriate number of keywords to track.
You’ve decided which of your pages you want to optimize as organic landing pages, but how many keywords should you optimize each page for?
At the bare minimum, one; some pages may have a singular focus that answers only one query. It’s much more likely that you’ll want to target two or three keywords per page, even if they’re just close variations. Any more than four is a bit crowded; after all, each page only has one title tag and meta description. With a range of keywords per page determined, we can estimate how many keywords we’ll track.
For example, let’s say you’re working on a services site with five unique offerings and three blog posts that you want to target as landing pages. Between these pages and your homepage, you should expect to track 9-36 or about 22 keywords on average.
Of course, rules of thumb are meant to be broken. We work with a manufacturing client that offers ten unique manufacturing products. Without including their blog-focused keywords, we’re tracking 62 keywords for their site.
Other sites might not be as cut and dried. We work with a major news publishing site which often ranks 1st for extremely high-volume keywords due to their backlink profile and industry authority. We actively track over 200 keywords for them, most of which don’t directly correspond to a static landing page such as a product or service page.
Or, if you’re dealing with a site for a 20-year-old digital marketing agency run by some of the biggest nerds in the industry, you might end up with nearly 500 keywords on your tracking list so you can keep an eye on all the various blog posts you’ve published over the years.
Although I did mention it as a possibility, you’re probably not going to want to manually track keyword rankings by doing a Google search every day (from the same machine, using a private browsing window, at the same time of day, etc.) and looking for your site.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for keyword tracking.
We love our Vancouver neighbo(u)rs to the north! Their robust tool allows you to set up keyword tracking for desktop and mobile, specific locations, different languages, and tons of other features. They also archive HTML snapshots of the SERPs for the keywords you track so you can see how your site and your competitors showed up in Google results.
Another favorite of ours is Ahrefs, a true Swiss army knife for digital marketers. Rather than specifying which keywords you’d like to actively track, Ahrefs updates daily with all keywords that your tracked sites rank for. You may not be able to keep tabs on that ambitious keyword you’d like to rank for but never have, but it’s still incredibly comprehensive.
This is a great free option, but you get what you pay for. We already saw how you can use Search Console to identify what you’re already ranking for in Google search. However, the platform only shows your average ranking for a given keyword over a period of time. That means if you spent weeks ranking 80th for a term, but suddenly jumped to 2nd, your 28-day average ranking will be in the 70s.
There are, of course, dozens of options out there; these are just the few that I recommend.
You’ve done your keyword research, assigned terms to target landing pages, signed up for a monthly subscription to your tool of choice… so now what? Should you sweat over every movement in the rankings, no matter how small? (No.) Should you be worried if all the keywords a single page ranks for plummet 50 positions? (Probably.)
The easiest way to stay on top of your rank changes and have peace of mind for your site(s) is to set up position change alerts. For example, STAT allows you to create custom alerts based on position movement. My most used alert is “If the number of keywords in the top-ten falls by 5%”. The difference between a first- and second-page result is significant.
Still, alerts aren’t going to catch everything. We SEO practitioners here at Portent check in on our clients’ keyword rankings at least once a week, making sure nothing has fallen precipitously and celebrating with our clients when we see a huge win.
Of course, fluctuations are to be expected. Google is notoriously capricious, and you may find your rankings undergoing a single-day jump or a back and forth oscillation.
I’ve given you a framework for estimating how many keywords to track, but anyone in digital marketing can tell you that our rules aren’t so much set in stone as they are written in chalk until someone comes along and hoses down the sidewalk.
You may find that you prefer to track far more or far fewer keywords than I’m recommending. Maybe you don’t bother tracking rankings at all! As long as the tracking that you do is valuable to you and your client, the exact number doesn’t matter.
If I may be so bold as to boil down into a single word the thousands of conversations I’ve had about marketing over the past several decades, as well as my more than a dozen years’ worth of blogging and the contents of my books, it would be this: attention. Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business owners want people to pay attention to their company. Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll to generate attention.
With the rising cost of office space in prime locations in Jakarta, an increasing number of business owners are looking for alternatives that offer better value and more flexibility. Whether you are a startup with a limited budget or you are an established business who is looking to lower your costs or expand into new markets, it’s important to look at your options.
In the modern business landscape, more and more business processes are moving into the digital realm. From cloud computing to online software, business owners are taking advantage of these emerging trends to make their business more efficient. Virtual office providers are stepping into the office space market to offer business owners a flexible office solution that can save money, improve productivity and lead to more opportunities. However, not all of these virtual office services are created equally and it’s important that you choose a premium provider so that you get the best setup possible and get the most value form your virtual office.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to look for when seeking out a virtual office from a premium provider in Indonesia.
In business, it’s important that you make the right impression on both your existing and potential clients. If your business is conducted primarily in the digital realm, you can work from your laptop from just about anywhere. However, if you have a residential address on your business cards, you’re not going to a very professional image of your company to your clients.
With a premium virtual office provider in Indonesia, you will be given a prestigious address in prime office building such as International Financial Centre Tower 2 in Jakarta. When your clients see that your company is located in a prime location like this it will give your business instant credibility in the local business community.
As a business owner, you carry out many different tasks in your day and it’s important that you free up time where you can. Answering phone calls and handling your mail can a lot of time away from more important business tasks.
However, with a premium virtual office provider in Jakarta, you will have a dedicated bilingual receptionist to answer your calls and take messages for you. They can patch calls through to you as required or they can simply give you the messages later. Your receptionist will also be able to handle your mail for you and forward anything important to you on an as-needed basis. With someone else looking after all of these tasks you will have more time to focus on other areas of your business, meet with clients and seek out new opportunities in Jakarta and beyond.
Having a personal assistant to help you with business support can be crucial in helping you handle all of your daily tasks. As a small business, hiring a personal assistant might be outside of the realm of financial possibility. However, with a premium virtual office provider, personal assistants are available to help you with different tasks when you need them. Having this level of support can help you to take your business to new heights in no time as you can spend time on more critical issues.
Making the decision to go virtual gives you more freedom and flexibility than a traditional office setup ever could. However, when choosing your provider, it’s important that you look into the details what you are getting so that you have a clear picture of what is included.
Opting for a premium provider will give you access to a prestigious address in Jakarta, a dedicated phone number with your very own bilingual receptionist to take your calls and a personal assistant to help you out as required. Premium providers will also give you access to fully equipped meeting and boardroom facilities, which are fitted out to five-star standard so that you can meet with your clients in comfort when necessary. With a premium virtual office provider, you can quickly establish your company in Jakarta and start moving closer to your business goals.
The first week of business school was pretty miserable for me. I had no idea if the others were feeling as underwater as I was, because I was focused on my own challenges.
And then, a few days into the semester, Chip Conley, a fellow student, put a note in my campus mailbox. To paraphrase, “I’m organizing a five-person brainstorming group, and I’m hoping you can join us.”
Chip wasn’t in charge of anything. Like me, he was one of the youngest students in the class. But he realized that the best way forward was together, so he reached out and changed the lives of four fellow travelers. By assembling a few others, he created magic, possibility and connection.
What can you organize today?
It’s possible to build a car that will never injure the driver, regardless of the severity of the crash.
The thing is, it will be so heavy, it won’t move, and so wide, it won’t fit on the roads.
We compromise every time we engage with the rules of physics.
And it’s possible that the world will line up and give you exactly what you want. Except that other humans never want exactly what you want, and we build that truth into our expectations about what’s possible. We compromise every time we engage with other human beings.
Once we acknowledge that all forward motion involves compromise, we can get to the actual question, “how much?”
How much will we compromise with the realities of physics and humanity on our path to making things better?
Absolutism is a form of hiding. Perfect is the enemy of good.