When it comes to tracking keywords, you usually hear about doing it on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. But there are certain scenarios where you need to track your keywords more than just once a day in order to keep up with your competitors.
Nozzle is the best hourly rank tracker, offering all the scheduling options you may need in these situations, like tracking every hour, every 6 hours, or even every 10 minutes! You can customize your schedule to fit your needs.
To learn how to set your hourly or so tracking schedule in Nozzle, click here.
But when would it make sense to track your keywords more often than daily?
Reasons to Track Keywords More Often than Daily
We asked a bunch of SEO practitioners why they would track their keywords more often than daily, and here are their reasons.
Time-Sensitive and Ever-Changing Content
One reason to track keywords on an hourly or custom schedule is when you’re dealing with content that is fast-paced or in need of regular updates. This includes content for news, forums, short sales, and so on.
According to John Bedford, Founder of Viva Flavor, “very frequent rank tracking makes sense when you're handling fast-moving, high-impact industry events. If you've identified a critical, time-limited topic within your niche, it's worth keeping a closer eye on performance and updating content where necessary.”
Similarly, it's important to track keywords more often than daily “if the subject is ever-changing or in the presence of new information. This is crucial when writing an SEO-optimized blog post or article; you need to know what your audience is asking and talking about in order to produce high-ranking content,” says entrepreneur Miles Beckler.
For Quick Reactions to Rank Fluctuations
Just a few hours of lower ranking can take a toll on your business. Having a lower position in the SERPs means lower traffic, lower conversion rates, and therefore lower income. Your website rank is tied to so many other important factors in your business.
If you’re running paid ads for a top keyword it would be good to know if you have a drop in rank, according to Store Space’s Greg Birch. He says, “If you're ranking #1 for a keyword that consistently brings you high value leads/customers and you drop to #2, you'll start losing out on valuable clicks. You may want to immediately resume ads for that keyword or increase the amount you're already spending on paid ads for that keyword. This will help soften the blow of losing the #1 position while you work on regaining that top spot, because if it is a true ranking drop (and not just a temporary fluctuation), it'll take at least a few days for you to retake that position.”
Your reactions can be much faster when you track your keywords on an hourly basis. Another scenario requiring a quick reaction is if your site is hit with negative SEO. “Google is pretty good with ignoring a ton of bad links spammed to a given page, but if for some reason that sparks a sudden drop in rankings, you'd want to disavow asap,” remarks Drew Mann, CEO of Drew’s Review.
To Monitor Updates and Get Immediate Feedback
Major Announcements: As Elizabeth Weatherby, SEO Specialist at AH Management puts it, “tracking keywords more often than daily could be a good idea if your business or your client has made some major updates, announcements, or released new products. When you make a major business announcement, you may want to track brand mentions in specific locations, or you may want to see how other keyword rankings are increasing/decreasing due to ranking for new keywords.”
Site Changes: “Any time you make significant changes to your website, you're going to want to pay extra, extra attention to how those changes may impact your keyword rankings,” Justin Smith, CEO of OuterBox spells out. “Did the update cause some kind of unforeseen technical issue? Unless you're monitoring your keywords like Mission Control Center, you may not even know your keywords have dropped.”
Optimizing for Featured Snippets: Says Zyro’s Domantas Gudeliauskas, “If you're optimizing posts for featured snippets, you should definitely start checking almost right away and do so every few hours. Snippet updates are much faster than SERP updates, meaning if you're doing it right, already have a post ranking high, you're likely to see almost instant results.”
If your ranking for a certain keyword fluctuates a great deal throughout the day, your traffic--and eventually revenue--will follow suit. Hourly rank tracking can help you keep track of this, so you can work on keeping your position consistently high in the SERPs. CEO Bill Joseph of Frontier Blades shared a real-life example with us of this type of strategy in action:
“SEO plays an essential role in our business's performance, as our business solely relies on SEO and organic traffic for generating conversions. Keywords which need to be tracked on an hourly basis are keywords which experience increased volatility in search and are responsible for procuring a notable amount of traffic or conversions for your website.
“For instance, one of our highly converting long tailed keywords experiences increased volatility in search throughout the day, ranging between the first three positions in search. At certain times during the day, our product category page which ranks for the given long tailed keyword can be found in position one, two or three within search results. The position of this category page within search results is crucial, as it significantly impacts our conversation rates. In the event our category page is found in position one of search, we experience increased conversions and organic traffic. On the other hand, when our category page is found in position three of search, our conversion rates and organic traffic decrease.
“To ensure our category page remains at the top of search, mainly in position one, to maintain increased conversion rates and search traffic, we continually update the page every 4-6 hours. This comprises adding new products to the category page which are optimized for the given keyword, updating old product listings, changing product images, and editing the category page's description. Implementing these strategies every few hours secures our category page's top ranking position throughout the day.”
But how do you know if one of your important keywords has a high volatility in the SERPs?
Tracking it hourly or so will help you determine whether you need the kind of strategy used in the example above; plus, you’ll learn valuable information related to “volatility and/or content creation in a specific segment of your niche,” says Sara Bernier, Founder of Born for Pets. “By tracking the keyword hourly, you can determine whether it fluctuates dramatically (i.e. new content being added all the time) or stays settled (i.e. likely not as active). It can also shed light on how well-optimized the keyword is especially in competitive niches.”
Physical Location and Hours
As reported by Kevin Pike, President of Rank Fuse Digital Marketing, “one reason you might want to track keywords more often than daily would be competition hours vs. your hours. For example, if your competition is open from 6am-5pm and your business is open noon-9pm, it would be interesting to measure how Google uses this GMB info to rank organic and map results.”
Likewise, “brick and mortar stores can use this to see how they are faring in the SERP when they are open for business,” explains NOVOS’s Xavier Harley-Rudd.
To Better Understand the SERP Landscape
“Overall, hourly rank tracking can give you a nice insight into algorithmic responses for certain search phrases,” says Janis Thies, CEO of SEOlutions GmbH.
It also gives you “a much deeper understanding of how Google perceives your pages and their relevance for given keywords,” according to Tidio Live Chat’s Content & SEO Specialist, Maciej Duszynski. “As the ranks are constantly fluctuating, you might often miss when your page is tested by Google and temporarily is ranking much higher than usual (usually on multiple occasions throughout the day). It doesn't necessarily come down to either brining or not bringing traffic but rather on understanding what your page might be missing and how to improve it (for example optimizing for mobile) to get it ranked higher in SERP for longer.”
Core Google Algorithm Updates: SEO Consultant James Taylor describes how helpful hourly rank tracking can be for understanding Google algorithm updates: “Like any SEO, the term 'algorithm update' strikes fear into my heart. Naturally, for the weeks following a large update I am going to be monitoring fluctuations on an hourly basis to look for any commonalities and decide what to focus on if a website has been negatively affected.”
For Tracking in Amazon
Amazon is one place where products and product keywords are especially pronounced. Averi Melcher of OSO Content explains, “I could see hourly tracking working if you are on Amazon and looking at keyword rankings for your products specifically in the Amazon ecosystem.”
Need to track your keywords on an hourly or custom schedule?
Nozzle is the tool for the job!
Types of Keywords to Track More Often than Daily
Now, the cost of tracking keywords on a shorter-than-daily basis can stack up if you’re not careful. But tracking certain keywords very regularly can give you an edge against your competitors.
Therefore, you need to be strategic about which keywords you give this increased attention. Such keywords should include those that are time-sensitive, highly profitable, ultra relevant, or high ranking.
According to GetSpace.digital’s Founder & CEO, Rebeca Sena, it is important to track keywords that are “related to fast-paced events covered by the news outlets. They would usually include location, names of people or organisations involved and a brief reference to the type of event that happened.”
Other time-specific keywords, like those related to sales or content requiring regular updates, would be good candidates for custom-schedule tracking.
Highly Profitable Keywords
“Money keywords--those that drive most of your revenue--are extremely important to keep an extra close eye on. Says Baidhurya Mani, Founder of Sell Courses Online, “The main reason why tracking these keywords more closely is important is that fluctuations in rankings of these keywords can significantly affect our revenue and so we prefer to track them twice a day. Another reason why we track these keywords more frequently is that search engine rankings fluctuate all the time. Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm and testing different changes and as a result, keyword rankings move multiple times a day.”
Top Performing Keywords: One group of highly profitable keywords that should be tracked on a regular, even hourly, basis is the kind that usually gets you high conversion rates. ServerGuy’s Faizan Fahim has put this to action. He says, “We track the keywords of a high converting article regularly because they are bringing leads and customers to us. Highly profitable keywords demand more attention, and we gladly give it to them.”
Transactional Keywords: Keywords related to buyer intent are essential to keep careful track of. Depreneurdigest’s Chuks Chukwuemeka explains, “Most of the keywords I track more often than daily are transactional keywords. These are keywords with commercial intent. And as a blogger they are more valuable to me since it is through them that I earn a commission from affiliate marketing.”
High Traffic Keywords: More traffic leads to more profit; therefore, “the most important keywords to track on a more often than daily basis are the essential keywords which send the majority of traffic to your website,” as Jessica Rose, CEO of Copper H2O, puts it.
Keywords Directly Related to your Business or Products
Keywords that are closely related to you or what you’re selling influence the amount of money you make, so you should always be ranking high for them.
As reported by Solution Scout’s Founder, Blake Bobit, “it would make sense to check more regularly on keywords circling around product pages and product/services directly. These are the pages that are closest to the end of the sales funnel, and if you rank for irrelevant keywords, or ranking for misleading content, it will increase the bounce rate, which will ultimately make a huge impact on the site's authority, and thus - ranking.”
Branded Keywords: Branded keywords are important to watch closely to maintain a good online reputation. Alan Rabinowitz, CEO of SEO Image, explains his strategy for this, saying, “What we monitor daily and as often as possible are brand mentions to ensure that no negative branding is happening online at any time. We use Google Alerts to assure we are notified on Google and a service called mention, that monitors social and search activity for brand mentions.”
Long-Tail Keywords: “Some keywords that relate directly to your business should be tracked every 5-10hrs, such as long-tail keywords,” according to Dollar Creed’s Lily Ugbaja. Long-tail keywords--longer and more specific than your run-of-the-mill keywords--should be tracked very often because they are used when a searcher intends to narrow in on a product or service like yours.
Product-Defining Keywords: Ugbaja also endorses very regular tracking of product-defining keywords, which are keywords that “are very product-specific and the customer is already at the first level of being a lead.”
Your High-Ranking Keywords
When you’re ending up on the first or second page of the SERPs, raising your ranking position has exponential benefits. Hence, Lora Bovie of Choosing Therapy says, “keywords that are more important to track more closely than daily would be the ones that are hanging around on the first and second page, and that you are trying to push up in the rankings with different strategies like content updates, keyword research, and more intentional efforts.”
As you can see, there are many reasons why you would want to monitor certain keywords more than once a day. Implementing hourly rank tracking can be a great help if you do it well. The key is to be strategic, stay focused on why you're doing it, and use tools whose data you can trust, like Nozzle.
An avid learner and hiking enthusiast with more than the average appetite for cheesecake, Ian enjoys digital marketing, ancient languages, and 3D design.