Internet Business Blog

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monitoring Your Search Engine Position

Since search engines are the first stop for people on the Internet looking for goods or services, the position your website appears in the search results is an important factor. If your URL shows up far down the results list, the chances of searchers finding you decreases incrementally. Once you achieve a high search engine position, it is essential that you make sure you maintain the high rankingyou have worked so hard to achieve.

This means you must come up with a strategy to monitor your search engines position. This strategy is crucial to the success of any internet marketing campaign. Think of your search engine positions as your online portfolio. Would you let your stock portfolio be ruled by chance and market fluctuations, or would you keep close tabs on your stocks so you could buy and sell when the time is right? This is the way you must consider your search engines position.

Be aware that at first, after you have launched your searchengine campaign and done all the right things to increase your rankings, you will most likely see a continual upward climb. What you need to be on the lookout for is the moment that upward climb reaches a plateau. When this happens, your search engine position campaign moves into stage two, the monitoring and protecting stage.

In stage two, do not be concerned about the short-term fluctuations in your positions. These are similar to the subtle rising and falling of stocks in a portfolio. Short-term movement is an integral part of the whole process. It's the long-term changes that you must watch for and prepare to act on immediately.

Analyzing the long-term trends of search engines positions is imperative. The way in which search engines rank websites may change at the drop of hat. If you are unaware of these changes - many of which are subtle yet can be deadly to your ranking - your position may drop to the bottom of the list before you can get your bearings. To prevent this kind of precipitous drop, you must create a system to monitor your positions on a monthly basis.

Each search engine uses a formula to compute website rankings. When a search engine changes this formula in anyway, it may raise or lower your ranking. Some search engines use a number of different formulas, rotating them so that a formula doesn't become over used or outdated. Depending on which formula is being applied, your search engine position may suddenly drop or rise in rank significantly. Therefore, you must check your positions frequently in order to catch when a search engine changes formulas and what effect it has on your positions.

You must also deal with your competition - a crucial factor you must always be vigilant about. Your competitor's position may suddenly rise, automatically lowering yourposition. Or their position may drop, pushing your position higher. Each month, expect position changes due to the continual changes that are occurring in your competitor's position, and be prepared to adjust your marketing strategy to compensate for decreased rankings. Monitoring these fluctuations will also give you vital information about howto improve your website to increase your position in search results.

Another factor to monitor carefully is a sudden drop ofyour positions in all search engines. This is not the sameas monthly fluctuations - this is a neon red warning sign! It could mean a number of different things.

Finally, pay attention to your keywords. Keywords are the foundation bricks of the entire search engine system, and they demand individual scrutiny in your monitoring efforts. If you have found that a number of your positions haveplummeted, it may mean that a page of your website has become invisible or inaccessible to search engine spiders. Or the competition for that particular keyword or phrasehas recently rocketed into outer space. In either case, youmust act quickly and efficiently to regain lost ground.

Your search engine marketing campaign is an investment. It costs you time and money on a continual basis. Protect this investment as diligently as you would your financial portfolio. In the same way, track your positions from anobjective perspective, and monitor your positions on a regular basis. Make sure your time and effort reap rewards by keeping your eye on the big picture - your long-termmarketing campaign.

Web CEO is a tool that allows you to monitor your search engine rankings, the number of backlinks to your site, your competition and much more. You can download a free version of Web CEO here.

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