How often should you check your keyword rankings?
Keyword rankings are arguably the most volatile thing in SEO. They change so rapidly that while you’re reading this line, thousands of people are trying to figure out why their website positions have dropped.
Given that keyword positions fluctuate from hour to hour, it’s a good idea to track them regularly.
By monitoring your rankings, you’ll be able to correlate your optimization activities with position dynamics, finding out which SEO strategies work and which not. It will help you separate the wheat from the chaff, saving yourself plenty of time, effort, and budget.
Tracking positions will also help you react to any ranking drops in time so that you can optimize your content and be ahead of the competition again.
The importance of rank tracking is beyond question. The question is, how often should you do that?
Should you track rankings every day?
Maybe it’s a good idea to do it hourly?
Or perhaps checking positions once a week is enough?
As you’ll learn in the following paragraphs, it depends on various factors.
For some businesses, it’s okay to check rankings once a week, while for others, monitoring positions every few hours is crucial.
We believe the frequency of ranking checks depends on the following factors:
- The total number of keywords a website ranks for
- The seasonality of keywords
- The level of competition in a niche
The total number of keywords a website ranks for
In most cases, the more keywords a site ranks for, the more often their positions should be checked.
Let us explain our point with an example.
Take this scenario: you own an online bike store — bikeexhange·com.
Using RankActive’s Keyword Finder, we analyzed this website and found out it ranks for more than 200,000 keywords.
When you have that many ranking keywords, some of them definitely have high competition, so your positions will change from hour to hour. Therefore, it’s a good idea to regularly check what’s going on with your website’s visibility.
Of course, not all of the 200,000 keywords are equally important. That’s why we would recommend sorting keywords out and tagging the most important terms.
Using Rank Tracker, you can tag the crucial keywords with labels, which will allow you to sort them out from the unimportant ones.
Given that bikeexhange·com is a huge bike store, you should focus on the keywords with high search volumes and commercial intent. When a keyword has a high search volume and commercial intent, most of the time it indicates a high level of competition. And where high competition is, there are significant ranking fluctuations.
Luckily, Rank Tracker displays all the crucial keyword metrics, enabling you to quickly pick the keywords that are worth your attention. Do that and tag the most critical terms.
Once it’s done, you can check their positions.
Unlike most rank monitoring tools, Rank Tracker allows you to update rankings on demand.
By default, the ranking data refreshes every 24 hours. However, when you have a big list of keywords with high competition, it’s crucial to update rankings more frequently. That way, you’ll be able to react to ranking drops immediately.
By subscribing to RankActive’s Optimal plan, you get an opportunity to update your rankings on demand five times a day per project. While it cost only 50$ more than the Minimal plan, it offers handy additional features that are unavailable to Minimal plan subscribers:
- SERP features tracking
- One-on-one training with RankActive’s product manager
- Spell checker for website content in Site Auditor
- The ability to rescan websites on demand in Site Auditor
However, the Optimal plan has a limit of 2500 keywords. That’s why we would recommend subscribing to the Flexible plan for bigger websites. It offers the same features as the Optimal plan but enables you to track up to 1,000,000 keywords daily.
The seasonality of keywords
Some businesses are seasonal, and some often target seasonal keywords.
Let’s take a travel agency, for example. Even though people travel all the time, peak seasons for traveling are summer and winter. Thus, it’s safe to say that summer and winter are also times of the fiercest competition for travel agencies.
During the seasons, travel agencies are actively promoting their tours, creating numerous pages with new content. Therefore, they experience huge ranking fluctuations and should monitor their positions regularly.
If you also have a seasonal business or target seasonal keywords, you should monitor your rankings for them more often during the season. At other times, automatic ranking updates once a day will be enough.
If you’re not sure whether some keyword is seasonal or not, you can check it in Keyword Finder. Our tool can display the historical search volume of any term, showing you when the term has the most number of searchers.
That will help you understand when to create new content and start monitoring its rankings more actively.
The level of competition in a niche
As you can see, it all comes down to the level of competition in a niche.
Some niches are so competitive that it makes sense to monitor website positions hourly.
According to SEOLabs, the most competitive industries are:
- Fitness and weight loss
- Real estate
- Legal services
- Financial services
- Payday loans services
- Beauty treatments
Content in these industries appears hourly, making it extremely hard to compete.
Not only do you need to create new content at lightning speed, but you also need to track your rankings more often to ensure you’re ahead of the competition
While being highly competitive, these niches often become the victims of numerous Google updates. For example, the latest June core update affected Health, Real estate, and Finance niches.
If your niche is also highly competitive or vulnerable to Google updates, you should opt for a subscription plan that offers the highest number of manual updates.
By subscribing to RankActive’s Ultimate or Flexible plan, you’ll be able to update your rankings ten times a day per project. That is enough even for the most competitive industries.
Let us sum up the key points of this blog post:
- The more keywords you have, the more often you should track your rankings
- If your business is seasonal or you rank for several seasonal terms, you should monitor your positions more often during the season when your competitors are the most active
- The more competitive the niche you’re in (and the more the niche is vulnerable to Google updates), the more ranking fluctuations are there, so it makes sense to track rankings more regularly
So choose the plan that has the appropriate number of manual updates and create your account. We offer a 14-day trial, so you may test our tools before subscribing.