Step 2 – Keyword Research, Rankings and Keyword Histories

Step 2 – Keyword Research, Rankings and Keyword Histories

An introductory tutorial video covering Step 2 of the Analytics SEO Welcome Programme:


Welcome to Step 2 of our Welcome Programme. This will cover Keyword Research, monitoring ranking changes and downloading keyword ranking histories.

You access the Keyword Research module at the bottom of the Keywords tab. This is probably one of the first places you should be going to when first setting up a new SEO campaign

The first thing to do here is to decide what data you want to display in this table. To do this, use the Select Columns feature, which is accessible by clicking on the small grey cog icon here. You will then be presented with the following metrics. This list shows you at a glance how the system will take data from several different data sources and mix them together into one really useful component. So, for example, we have our own system filters, Google Analytics data, keyword ranking data, our own Universal Search analysis, plus data we import automatically from Adwords. Simply select the data you want to use for your keyword research and you’ll notice that the table will instantly refresh itself in the background. When you’re happy, click anywhere on the screen to go back to the table itself.

As you can see from the “Source” column here, we automatically populate this table for you by taking keywords from your Google Analytics account and by also crawling your competitors’ homepages and your own homepage. You can of course also upload lists of keywords using this “Upload Keywords” button.

Finally, to round off your Keyword Research, you can make use of our Keyword Suggestions tool. Click here to access this tool. You will be presented with this window. Enter one or more seed keywords – you can easily enter negative keywords which you want the system to disregard in the right hand box here. Tick either Google or Bing or both and click on Get Keyword Suggestions.

You will then be presented with a range of mid and long tail phrases within a couple of seconds. Select a number of additional keyphrases you’re interested in and click on “Select these keywords”. You’ll then be told the system is obtaining additional data related to these keywords. This relates to Competition, CPC, Number of Results and Search Volume numbers, together with any data from Google Analytics (visits, revenue, conversions, landing pages), together with ranking data and universal search analysis. All this data is provided completely free of charge.

There are two ways in which you can setup keyword groups within Keyword Research, you simply click on the Edit Groups link here or here and enter a new keyword group name and save it down.

We also allow you to upload your own set of keywords. Simply click here and cut and paste or enter your keywords here into this white box, one on each line. At the time you import keywords, you can decide whether to monitor them all straight away or just add them to the Keyword Research table. You can also give the keywords a keyword group name or use this to move them in bulk into an existing keyword group.

I’m sure you will have your own ideas as to which keywords you want to monitor for a particular SEO campaign, but it is worth remembering that you can also use the various filtering methods in these column headings in order to break down your keywords into different buckets or keyword groups – e.g. “short-term”, “medium-term” or “long-term” goals.

One thing you might consider examining is the Universal Order column, which will give you a breakdown of the type of results we see on Page 1 of the SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Pages) for your primary search engine.

You can easily filter this to see what type of results are appearing on Page 1 – video or image or news, e.g.; as this might give you additional ideas as to how you get a site to rank well.

This column will always show Page 1 results, even though the Organic or Universal Rank columns show you a screen capture of the actual result for your site, whether that’s on Page 2, 3, 4, etc.

You can also use greater than and less than signs – e.g. I can use these here in Organic Rank if I want to see, at a glance, which keywords are currently considered ‘ranked’ by the system by typing less than 100 here. And, as you can see now, it has filtered out all the unranked keywords from the table.

As you monitor or unmonitor keywords, you will notice the counter updating here and warning you if you are likely to incur overage charges for having the system monitor more keywords than your current package threshold allows. A keyword unit is used by each check we complete against a single search engine, so if, for example, you have more than one search engine setup for this campaign, each monitored keyword will use up one keyword unit per search engine, as you can see reflected in the usage bar.

For details on the various thresholds, please contact your Account Manager or take a look at the signup page on our website ( You can view your current overall usage by clicking on the View Limits link here and you will be taken to the Usage section of the software (visible only to Admin users).

Similarly, if you want to remove multiple keywords from this table, you can select them using the tickboxes or the global tickbox here and then by using the ‘Apply to Selected’ options, you either monitor or un-monitor, delete keywords, add them to groups and set target landing pages for them. Again, if you monitor keywords in this way, they will automatically be assigned to the keyword group selected over here at the time.

An essential task you need to complete is to setup your brand filters. Click on this button to bring up this window. You’ll notice when you first do this that the system has added in your domain as a branded term. You will usually need to add additional filters and take into account mis-spellings and spaces and other common errors. The system will show you some samples on the left here and as you add filters, it will dynamically split them into branded and non-branded terms. We would also recommend that you add in your corporate telephone numbers, possibly your postcode, together with any specific Trademark terms applicable to the domain.

Branded and non-branded data in terms of keyword ranks, visits and conversions is shown in several places in the platform. Our manual explains where this data appears.

Once you’ve selected keywords for monitoring, we will then automatically run keyword ranking checks for these keywords either daily or weekly (depending upon your package) and then update the corresponding modules. We’ll also obtain keyword rankings for your competitors which are shown under a separate module here.

The Monitored Keywords module, like a lot of modules in the platform, is dynamic, in the sense that it will dynamically update both the chart and table, depending upon the date range you select here. You can therefore get a view as to how your ranks have changed over different periods. You can select individual keywords or groups of keywords and they will appear on the chart. So if you’re just interested in reporting on one or more particular keyword groups, you can filter the chart and table accordingly.

We also then summarise these positions in the Keyword Ranking Summaries module here. It gives you a simple breakdown using a table and a chart. Generally, you want to see green arrows in this column on the right as this will indicate generally positive movement in ranking positions over time.

Universal Rankings will breakdown your ranking results into the types of results we see in the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). It actually analyses all the keywords in your Keyword Research table (not just your monitored keywords) and will show you whether your keywords produce video, image or news results, etc. It will also give you a breakdown of Page 1 results and show you the order of those results. Does the keyword generate video or image results, for example, on Page 1 and in what order?

Next up we have the Monthly Keyword Rankings module which gives you a monthly moving ranking average for your monitored keywords; it’s a long term view of keyword movements.

To download keyword histories, you can either download the Keyword Ranking History report (shown here), which gives week by week ranks or daily ranks; or go to the Monthly Rankings module and download that data as that component averages the week by week numbers into a monthly moving average. You can, of course, also download the Keyword Rankings module itself.

Competitive Rankings will breakdown your monitored keywords against your competitors on the campaign. We covered this in the Competitive Analysis video, but this basically allows you to quickly assess any competitive gaps in ranking performance between your site and those of your competitors.

Another module you might want to consider looking at is the Keyword Potential module. This, again working on the basis of historical click through rates, shows you, at a glance, what traffic you could get if you could increase your current ranking position for certain keywords. It can help you identify high potential keywords you might have overlooked. These numbers also show up in the Keyword Research table, along with similar calculations based on existing organic conversion numbers.

And that’s keyword research and ranking covered; next up, we’ll be talking about Competitive Analysis.

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