Each week I trawl through loads of material on blogs, newsletters and social media, to keep up with new developments online. Occasionally I find something that makes it all worth it. Here’s one such find.
How to automatically track Google search positions in Excel
This was a fantastic post on Search Engine People’s blog by Yoav Ezer. It’s about a tool he’s made, and provided for free download. It’s an Excel spreadsheet with predefined macros that allow you to track and graph the position of your site in Google’s organic search engine results pages (SERP).
How does that help me?
If you own a website you’re probably interested to know where it appears in Google’s search results when people do relevant searches.
One way to find out is to just do a search and see. That’s ok, but what if you have a large site, with many pages, and you want to track many keywords?
And of course, if you’re tracking something you want to see how it trends over time, so you’ll have to repeat this regularly and record the results.
The manual approach to tracking this soon becomes unmanageable.
How does this automated tool work?
Basically the macro code in the Excel file is collecting the search results from Google for the keywords entered, then looking within this returned content for specific strings (links with your domain).
But to use it all you need to know is how to download the file and follow some simple instructions in Yoav’s post:
- Replace example domain name at the top with your web domain
- Enter the keywords you want to track across the columns (as many as you like)
- Clear the contents of existing reports
- Press Ctrl+Shift+U to update.
If you’re confident editing macros, Yoav provides some background on how these are configured and the potential applications for tweaking the code for other uses as well.
Once you’ve downloaded this tool and got it working, you may be surprised with the results. Are you even tracking the right keywords?
Using this in conjunction with Google Analytics (which can tell you which keywords are sending people to your site) can allow you to track your ranking for the best performing searches.
Google’s Keyword Search Tool can then help you find new keyword combinations around these words, that you can target in organic or PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns to ensure your site is making the most of search engine traffic.