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Serpstat updates 35 min read September 7, 2020

Serpstat Rank Tracker: A Complete Guide

Максим Астахов
Maksym Astakhov
Project Manager at Serpstat
Today we will take a look at the Serpstat Rank Tracker tool. Why should you monitor site positions? How to work with rank tracking? What useful information can you learn?

You'll find it out if you read this article :)

Do You Track Positions In Another Service?

Stacy Mine
| Editor at Serpstat
You can stop using alternative SEO services to track positions and renew your subscription to save your project's historical data.

Rank tracker at Serpstat allows get the list of keywords for a project, analyze competitors' websites in SEO and PPC, compare their traffic, positions, and dynamic of keywords quantity.

To transfer projects to Serpstat, contact our technical support — they will assist you and explain the details.
The process will take about 2-3 hours!
Import projects from other services to Serpstat and keep getting data for Rank tracker:
In Google and Yandex search engines;
Setting region parameters: country, city, language;
With different SERP types: SEO and PPC;
For different devices: mobile and desktop;
Choosing track frequency: daily, by days of the week, by dates of the month or manually.
Would you like to track your website's positions in search results via the Serpstat Rank Tracker?
Click the button below, sign up and get a free 7-day trial!

Why Do I Need To Check Website Positions In Search Results?

If you are promoting a website, then analyzing its positions is an essential thing to track the effectiveness of such promotion; so you can study the results of your work or check your team.

Most SEO professionals select a list of 20-30 queries which they want to rank for in the top 10, and then monitor the position of the pages of their site in search engines for these queries.

However, this is not quite the right approach. Some keywords are likely to be missed, and you won't know the real dynamics of your development, especially against the background of other sites from search results. And the place on the market that you occupy will remain a mystery.

In Serpstat search engine rank tracking software, you can download the maximum number of keywords (depending on your pricing plan), divide them into groups by topics, and then track both the positions of your site and the positions of your competitors. You will receive all the summary information on the top 100:

  • keywords positions in organic and paid search results;
  • keyword distribution history;
  • competitors data;
  • market share.

Rank Tracker menu looks like this:
rank tracker tab
But before moving on to the sections of this tab, you need to set up a project.

How To Work With The Rank Tracker

Go to your dashboard using this link, you will see a list of all the projects that you create.

This is where the data for the selected domain will be stored:

  • keywords from organic and paid search results;
  • list of referring domains and pages;
  • site audit data (which must first be launched);
  • distribution of keywords by positions in the top;
  • the number of shares of the domain's main page.

There are several ways to create a new project:

Option #1. From the homepage:

Enter the domain in the Serpstat search bar and click Search Track domain. Done!

Option #2. From the homepage:

You can also click on the button Start tracking positions at the bottom of the Overview report.

A pop-up opens with the entered project domain, substituted by the project name, which can be changed as you like. The project group is the default. It can also be changed.

After you have checked all the fields and made sure that everything is correct - click the Create button.
Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций

Option #3. In My projects:

You can see the data from the Domain Analysis, Keyword Research, and Backlink Analysis tools on the My projects dashboard.

From this dashboard, you can also launch a site audit and start tracking positions. Click Start Trackingbutton or the gear icon.
Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
The user can go to the Keywords report either by clicking on the dashboard or through the side menu.
Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
Further, when trying to switch to the Rank Tracker project, the user will receive a message that it is necessary to finish the project setup.

How To Set Up The Project?

#1: General settings

Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
Tracking type — allows you to specify the principle by which project positions will be tracked.
There are 4 tracking types in the tool:
  • project domain only
  • whole site;
  • by exact URL;
  • by URL Prefix.
This setting affects the output of position data on all reports.
A site mirror is a full or partial copy of the content of a site's content.

This feature is useful if:
  • the project was created long ago, but the website moved to another domain, and you don't want to lose historical data;
  • you have two sites on different domains, but you use the same keywords to track positions. The first domain is a mirror of another and, in fact, leads to the same site, but there may be links to one or the other.
    Competitors in top — we may need detailed data on competitors. By default, positions are saved only for our domain, but if we also want to track the positions of our competitors, we should add them to the Competitors in top.
    Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
    Serpstat will also help you find your direct competitors. You need to go to Site Analysis → Domain Analysis → SEO Analysis → Competitors.
    Note! You won't spend your credits for adding aliases or competitors to track; if these domains are found in the search results, we will save their data. You can add them without quantity restrictions.
    Tracking frequency — allows you to set up a flexible domain tracking schedule:
    • everyday;
    • by days of the week;
    • by days of the month.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      Note! If the 31st day is selected for the 28/30 day month, then the tracking will take place on the last day of the month.
      If you don't remember which days of the week you have chosen, then in the table you can see the following 10 scheduled checks: date and day of the week. In the same block, you will find information on the credits remaining on your account. If you run out of credits, you have an opportunity to buy additional ones.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      Time zone is set by default after the project is created and matches the time zone in user settings. This setting item determines which time zone will be used at the project checking.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      If you need to pause the monitoring, the switch allows you to do this. In this case, the project will not be queued for verification until you manually enable tracking again.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      We added a new feature — сhecking positions in manual mode. Now you don't need to wait for data according to the project schedule; you can receive the latest data about the website's positions.

      Advantages of manual position check:
      • in manual mode, you can select only those regions and phrases you want to get current positions for;
      • manual mode will allow you to check the project positions even several times a day;
      • if there have been changes on your site recently and you need to check the current positions, our manual update will solve this problem.
      manual positions check in the Serpstat Rank Tracking module
      How To Check Website Positions At Any Suitable Time
      We implemented manual positions check in the Rank Tracking module

      #2: Search regions

      Next, select the search regions and types of search. The following types of search are available:
      • desktop organic;
      • mobile organic;
      • desktop paid;
      • mobile paid.
      We check the context separately from the organics not to mix the results, since we usually show the best position.

      The list of countries becomes available after selecting a search engine and depends on it.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      The list of regions is displayed after selecting a country and depending on it. The region field is available only to Google and is not obligatory. The peculiarity of Google is that we can check the search results at different levels of region settings. That is, both at the country or region level as well as at the city level.

      When you select the Yandex search engine, the "Region" field is not displayed.

      The list of cities becomes available after selecting a region in the previous field. Optional for Google, but required for Yandex. This is due to the feature of the settings: in Yandex you can see the search results only by selecting a city, you can't see the search results by country.
      The list of languages (optional) becomes available after selecting a country. The language is automatically set depending on the selected country as the official language or the most popular language, if several are used in the country. It works when choosing any search engine.
      The choice of language makes it possible to customize the search results to specific user needs. Then the user will see more relevant results.
      You can see all the search regions that were added to the project and which will be checked.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      The region is deleted only from the interface: if the user accidentally deleted it, it is possible to restore all the data. However, it is better to do this in extreme cases, as this will be done by the developer directly in the database.

      If you delete a search region that already had the data, and then add it again in the form in which it was originally, then all historical data on it will be available again.
      If you need to disconnect the search region from the monitoring of search results and at the same time have access to the data that has already been collected, it is possible to deactivate the search region.

      If a region is deactivated, data won't be collected and no credits will be spent. If all search regions in the project are deactivated, data collection will stop.

      The region can be activated again and data will be collected.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      Deactivating a region is an alternative to deleting the search region from the project, in which you had to contact the developer and spend time to get it back.

      If users no longer work in a certain region, they can still see the data that they have collected and for which they paid.

      #3: Keywords

      The last step before starting tracking is to add keywords to the project.

      General rules for keywords:
      • The keywords must have less than 35 characters.
      • Keyword should not consist of more than 7 words.
      If you break the rule, then there will be no data on the search volume, since these are the rules set by Google and Yandex.

      Keywords can be added to the project in several ways:
      Add keywords manually
      If you already have a ready-made list of keywords, you can add them through a textblock with a line break. It is not recommended to add more than 1000 keywords in this way, as the browser may work slowly.
      Add suggested keywords
      This is an opportunity to add keywords relevant to the domain. After choosing a country and a search engine in the settings, the tool will offer 1000 unique keywords for your project.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      Click Add. You can also add destination URLs for keywords by clicking on the appropriate button.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      The expected URL is set to verify which URL is displayed in the search results and whether the actual one matches the expected one. This will help determine if the exact URL that we would like to see appears on the best position.

      It is possible to connect expected URLs to imported keywords. A keyword can only have one URL per search region. That is, if we have three regions and one keyword in the project, you can add a maximum of three URLs, one for each combination of keyword + search region.
      There are special characters in the validation rules that we don't allow. Keywords with such special characters are cleaned and what is left after cleaning is added.
      If the client is interested in Yandex volume, then the following rules should be borne in mind when importing keywords:
      1. You are allowed to use letters of the following alphabets:
      • English
      • Turkish
      • Russian
      • Ukrainian
      • Belarusian
      • "+"
      • "!"
      2. You can't use the sign "-" in this form:
      • ' -'
      • '- '
      • string[0] == '-'
      • '--' in string
      3. Keywords cannot begin with:
      • point
      • apostrophe
      4. Our additional restrictions - you can not use:
      • (
      • )
      • \
      • "
      Tags in the project are used to simplify data filtering by category of keywords. More than one tag can be attached to one keyword.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      If the user has a small project and few keywords (50-100), then the tags are not a crucial thing. However, for large projects in which there are thousands of keywords, tagging will be necessary.

      Especially if you have a project with several topics or an online store. Thus, tags will help not only to look at data by groups of keywords, but also to manage them.
      By importing a file:
      • csv
      • xls
      • xlsx
      The file must be formatted. That is, in addition to the general requirements for keywords, there should be three columns.
      • Keywords
      • Expected URL
      • Tags
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      The document shouldn't have a header since it will also be imported, and most likely an error will appear.
      We expect to get only keywords in the first column, each with a new line. In the second column, there is only the expected URL. In the third column, tags are separated by commas. If the URL is missing, then the second column should still be empty.

      If you added keywords to the project but forgot to add expected URLs and tags, then this can be done either through operations in bulk for all selected keywords:
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      Or link by link:
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      You can also select all keywords on the page as well as in the project. Previously, with a maximum pagination of 500 pages, users could select only 500 keywords.

      By default, all phrases on the page are highlighted, and if necessary, you can choose the option - all phrases in the project. The counter next to the heading shows the number of selected keywords.
      Чтобы начать мониторинг позиций, нужно нажать на кнопку Отслеживания Позиций
      This feature allows the user to clear all keywords from tags with one click, or attach the same URL to all phrases. And also delete all phrases from the project. This feature will be especially appreciated by users who have more than 500 keywords in the project.
      Done! If you set up everything correctly, the monitoring will start the same day. And the next check will take place according to the schedule.
      Would you like to see how Serpstat can help you achieve your business goals?
      Click the button below, sign up and get a free 7-day trial!

      What Reports Are Available In The Tool

      After Serpstat tracks domain positions, you will get 3 reports.

      #1: Keywords

      In the Keywords report, you can see basic information about the project's positions for the keywords added to the project. The report will display the highest domain position in the SERP .
      Keywords report. Header
      • Project selection
        You can go to other project.
      • Credits meter
        You can see the credits balance in the user account.
      • Settings
        Go to the project settings on the General tab.
      • Filters
        You can filter the data by:
        • keyword;
        • best position;
        • volume;
        • snippets;
        • date added.
      • Notes.
        Now you can leave notes in the project.
      • Export.
        You can export reports in the format:
        • csv
        • xls
        • xlsx
        When exporting, the following is saved:

        • selected domain;
        • date or period;
        • filtering by tag;
        • filtering by region;
        • filter;
        • sorting.
      • Articles from the Serpstat blog.
        Here you can find all articles for the Rank Tracker tool.
      When exporting in xlsx format, the colors of the cells will be saved in the document.
      Indicators in the Keywords report
      • Visibility
        Percentage of total visibility that selected domain receives for project keywords.
      • Average position
        Average position among all the best positions in the SERP for the selected domain.
      • SERP storm
        Percentage of SERP change in scope of project keywords.
      • Snippets
        The number of snippets for the project keywords in which the selected domain was noticed.
      Keywords report. Indicators
      • All keywords
        The default filter with which the report is loaded. The filter loads all the keywords added to the project, including phrases for which there is no data.
      • Without changes
        Keywords that had a position, and it has not changed. Or, according to the phrase, the domain was outside the top and remained there.

        Keywords that have no data are not displayed.
      • Positions up
        All the keywords for which the positions grew or the domain was out of the top and entered it.
      • Positions down
        All keywords for which positions fell or the domain was in the top, and then it fell out.
      • Get in
        Keywords by which domain got in top.
      • Get out
        Keywords by which domain get out of top.
      • Out of top
        All keywords for which the domain is out of the top for the last positions check.
      Next, we see a graph of the distribution of positions by ranges. It shows the distribution for the selected domain by keyword. It is based on the selected domain, the time period and tags.
      Keywords report. Graph
      When you hover over a point, the graph shows the number of positions, their percentage of the total number in the project and the dynamics as a percentage compared to the previous check.
      If you select one day and one region, the distribution data for one region will be displayed.

      If one day and several regions - the data is summarized.
      Now a little about navigation:
      Keywords report. Navigation
      • Tracked domains
        Dropdown allows you to choose regarding what we want to see the positions.
        By default, the primary domain for which the project is created is selected. The dropdown displays both aliases and competitors added in settings.
      • Date picker
        Allows you to select a date or period for which data is needed. You can enter the period manually. In this case, if the positions check schedule was not daily, then the nearest dates within the entered period are automatically selected.
      If you need to get the dynamics between two dates, select them in the date picker. Then the dynamics will be calculated despite the dates in between.
      • Tag filter
        The report is created for all keywords. A tag can be created locally in dropdown. You can create and connect tags in Settings via dropdown when importing phrases, in the Keywords tab next to the phrase or through Operations.

        There is a separate category Without tags in the dropdown - it will help you find all the keywords without tags.

        The counter will show how many keywords are attached to this or that tag.
      In large projects of online stores, a filter by tag allows you to see the status of the project by groups of keywords. This is convenient if you need to get a quick idea of the situation.

      Or, if there is one major project, and several experts are working on it. Not to manually select keywords, you can do this using tags. Even when exporting, the report is saved as the user sees it.
      • Region filter
        By default, the report is loaded with the first search region added to the project. The filter allows you to sort project data by several regions. You can display data for one region as well as for several ones.
      Functionality allows you to see the situation in one click on one keyword or group of keywords in several regions at once.
      The next thing is the search. It works on all the keywords added to the project. Moreover, if you enter the phrase daxx, it will find both daxx and Daxx. In addition, it looks not only for the entire phrase, but also for parts of the word.
      Keywords report. Navigation
      • Operations
        The button is available only if at least one keyword is selected. It is possible to assign tags as well as clear selected keywords from tags, delete keywords and copy to clipboard.
      Keywords report. Navigation
      Next, we go to the table with two reports in it:
      Positions and History reports
      Positions is the report that shows the places that the site takes in search results of tracked keywords, volume and dynamics.

      • With one day selected, data for the day and the dynamics of positions with the previous check are displayed.
      • With the selected period, the dynamics of the positions between the two dates within the period is displayed.
      Positions report dates
      History. When switching from the Positions report to History, the tool selects a range of seven position checks automatically, and with further actions this value is saved until the user selects another period.

      With one day selected, you can see a table of keywords, volume and positions for that day.
      For the selected period, the table displays the columns for each day from the selected period in separate columns.
      History report
      Indicators in the Positions report
      • Keywords
        All keywors of the project in the order in which they were added to the project. It is possible to sort alphabetically, but only if the report is filtered by one region. For several regions, sorting is not available.
      • SERP
        You can see SERP History report by keyword and selected organic search region. The report allows you to understand what happened with the search results in a simplified form.
        You see dates of checks, domains and their positions are displayed.
      • Snippet type
        This report displays the snippet icons that were found in the organic Google search for the keyword for the analyzed domain. If you select multiple dates on the calendar, the tool shows the presence of snippets for the last position tracking.
        • Gray icon: the snippet was fixed by a keyword with a page of another domain.
        • Blue icon: the snippet was fixed by a keyword with a page for the analyzed domain.
      Data about snippets depends not only on the project domain but also on which domain is currently selected in the report.
      Another domain has been chosen in the project.
      If there are more than 4 snippets in the search results for a keyword, they will be hidden in the dropdown. The last icon displays the number of hidden special elements. By clicking on this icon, you will see a dropdown with hidden elements that did not fit into the main report. The icons are arranged in the same order for convenience. By hovering the mouse over the icon, you can see the tooltips with the snippet name and check if the monitored domain has been noticed.
      • Search regions
        Serpstat displays a search region for which the data for this keyword is shown.
      • Positions
        The position that the selected domain occupies for this keyword in the selected region (1 to 50 for Yandex, 1 to 100 for Google).
        • X - for regions with context. It is displayed if the check has passed, but there was no context.
        • NA - no data.
        The position dynamics is displayed next to the position. It is possible to sort the positions in ascending or descending order.
      • Volume
        Keyword volume by exact match in the selected region. It is possible to sort by volume in ascending and descending order.
      • Position dynamics and storm by phrase graphs
        The preview shows two charts in a smaller version - position dynamics for the selected period and a storm graph. This preview allows you to quickly visually determine if there were changes for the selected period.
      • Positions dynamics
        On the graph, you can trace the entire history of the domain's transfer in search results.
      Inside the scroll for position and storm dynamics graphs, you can see a graph preview for the entire selected period. This is done for the user to quickly jump to the period instead of slowly scrolling the entire graph.
      You can adjust the scale of the graph by dragging the borders of the scroll.
      • Snippets
        Snippets for the tracked domain in SERP with the highest position. Color shows the change of snippet.
        Title, URL, Description are displayed inside the snippet.
      • Storm
        The value of the storm in % shows how much the search engine results for a given keyword have changed in a selected search region.

        The dynamics are shown next to the previous value. If the project had only one check, then the block with the storm is not displayed. The value can range from 0% to 100%.

        0% - no domain has changed its position;
        0−40% - normal change in position;
        40% −80% - serious changes are occurring in the ranking algorithm.
        You need to check the storm for other keywords.
        100% - none of the domains remained at their previous position.

        Most likely, there was some kind of update in the search engine. It is necessary to monitor the news.
      If the storm value is close to 100% or more than 100%, it is necessary to additionally check if there were any problems in the service. To do this, you need to check the results for two days in the History tab. If the number of positions is very different, then inform the PM, as there is probably a problem.
      For each keyword added to the project, we check the top 100 results on Google. Our domain, like competitor domains, ranks at some positions, sometimes several, within the same top. Next, we count the number of points at the intersection of these domains in the top and display them according to the number of points.

      We take today's top 100 (Google) / top 50 (Yandex) and go to the positions:
      • if the site's position has not changed - 0 points;
      • if the position has changed, but the site has remained within the TOP-100 + | X | points, where X is the difference between yesterday and today's positions;
      • if the site has got out of search results- +100 points.
      • The result is divided by 10 000.

      We get the storm index in % from 0 to 100.
      • Date added
        Here is the date on which the keyword was added to the project.

      Complete Visual Guide to Google SERP Features in 2022: What Keywords to Use and How to Get Featured

      #2: Competitors

      In the Competitors section you will find a report with a graph of the dynamics of changes in your positions in comparison with the top 100 competitors. To add competitors to the report, tick the check box next to the corresponding competitor.
      Competitors report. Graph
      It is possible to pin certain domains in a report using the pin button that appears when you hover over a domain. After that, such a domain will be assigned at the top for this user. Additionally, monitored domains are highlighted - green is our domain and blue are tracked competitors. Red - all domains that were found in SERPs, but were not included in the top 100 competitor domains.
      The report in details:
      • Header
        Built the same with the Keywords heading, except for the Add keywords button.
      • Distribution:
        Choose the type of data display:

        • range distribution;
        • traffic distribution;
        • visibility distribution.
      Competitors report. Quick filters
      • My competitors
        You can select those competitors that we added through the settings in the Competitors in SERP block.
      • Date picker
        You can select a period or date for the report.
      • Tag filter
        All data in the report will be built relative to the selected group of phrases using tags.
      • Region filter
        You can filter data by region.

      #3: URLs

      The report helps determine if the tracked / expected URL matches the one that is in fact ranked in the SERP. As the actual URL, we display the one that has the highest position in the SERP.

      We display only those keywords for which at least one actual URL was found in the search results. If the search result didn't have an actual URL, but at the same time the expected URL is attached to the keyword, then we still won't show it.
      Header. URLs report
      • Header
        Similar to the Keywords heading, except for the Add keywords button.
      • Quick filters
        • All keywords. All keys by which the domain was found in the top are displayed. That is, if the expected URL was not found for the keyword, then the keyword will not be displayed.
        • Expected URL attached. All keywords by which the domain was found in the top are displayed, but the expected URL is not attached.
        • Without expected URL. All keywords by which the domain was found in the top are displayed and the target URL is set.
        • URLs are different. All keywords by which the domain was found in the top and the URL with the highest position is different from the given.
      The indicators in the table:
      Indicators in the table. URLs report
      • Keyword
        Only those for which the domain was in the top.
      • Expected URL
        The URL displayed here is attached in the table or when importing in the settings.
      • URL in SERP
        The actual URL we saw in the SERP with the highest position. It is highlighted if it doesn't match the target.
      • Positions
        The highest position of the actual URL is displayed.
      • Traffic
        You see the expected traffic for this request and the actual URL.
      To keep up with all the news from the Serpstat blog, subscribe to our newsletter. Also, follows us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter ;)

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