Robust, well-integrated keyword rank tracking lives in the top drawer of any SEO professional’s toolbox.
But what value does it provide the rest of your organization?
Keyword ranking insights are a hidden gold mine of information for many departments and team members, even outside of marketing.
We know the value of tracking keyword ranking trends for SEO pros; generally, the higher you rank the more traffic it brings to your site.
That awareness of how your most important keywords are ranking and trending is critical to SEO success.
But what can non-SEO professionals learn from these insights?
In this column, you will learn how keyword ranking data is used by content, PPC, and product teams—and even at the executive level.
How Content Teams Use Rank Tracking Insights
One trend I’ve seen in working with enterprise SEO teams is that the most successful tend to have a close working relationship with their content teams, whether in-house or outsourced.
With an ever-expanding ability to analyze and interpret content on web pages, search engines’ ranking algorithms have become more and more content-centric over the years.
That has made content production and optimization an essential part of SEO.
Smart content teams know that a deep understanding of how their organization’s keywords perform (as well as those of competitors) is key to their own success, since in most cases organic search is the primary traffic-driver for the content they create.
One way content teams can use keyword ranking data is to expand current success.
When a site is getting a lot of traffic for a keyword (or a set of related keywords), it’s unlikely they are capitalizing on all possible opportunities.
Your site’s high-ranking keywords are good targets for topic clustering, building content that is topically-related to those keywords, then interlinking all of that quality content.
This strategy can greatly expand the range of relevant keywords for which you rank while leveraging the topical authority you’ve already earned.
Another way content teams can use keyword ranking is for content evaluation.
Tracking how keywords related to your content are performing over time can be a significant clue to what’s working and what isn’t working with your content efforts.
If a piece of content you’ve created in the past failed to move the ranking needle for the keywords with which it’s associated, it’s time to revisit that content and investigate how you can improve it.
- Does it cover the topic more comprehensively than the competition?
- Is it written in a way that a human would see it as having expertise, authority, and trustworthiness?
- Are there keywords competitors outranking you are using that you are not?
The Value of Rank Tracking Data for PPC Teams
Too often, SEO and PPC are seen as competitors for an organization’s marketing budget and attention.
That’s a tragedy because both teams can benefit greatly from open data sharing.
Most SEO pros are aware that PPC can be used as a research tool to uncover keywords and segments to target for organic search growth.
But PPC teams can also gain valuable insights from organic.
One area that can be of particular use for PPC is organic search user intent data.
User intent is the “why” behind a search query.
Is the user looking to buy something?
Do they want more information about something?
Are they trying to learn how to do something?
Search engines are adept at sniffing out user intent, and they use that data to adjust what they show in search results.
Examining top search results for ranking keywords in organic search can help PPC teams better understand user intent, leading to better targeting and landing page creation.
Of course, PPC teams should also be paying attention to organic search ranking data for budget adjustments.
If a keyword begins performing well in organic search, the PPC team may be able to spend less on it, freeing up resources for keywords that really need that paid search boost.
Conversely, PPC teams can help close up content gaps by targeting important keywords where their organization is being beaten by competition in organic search, especially since SEO and content efforts to close those gaps can take a long time to bear fruit.
Rank Tracking for Product Teams
Modern product development and marketing teams are hungry for marketplace data.
They want to know if there is a good product-market fit for their target audience.
The organization’s keyword ranking data can be one source of that information.
Product teams can gain market intelligence by examining the keywords that most often bring searchers to their products and services.
Examining those keywords and the content they lead to (yours and your competitors) can uncover new insights as to what the target market thinks is important – what they are really looking for.
Ranking data can also reveal what features and benefits of a product are the best matching with target market needs, especially if you’re creating unique content for each of those features and benefits.
Keyword Ranking Insights for Marketing Executives & Teams
Trends are an important data point for marketing executives and their teams, and organic search rank tracking can be a great source of trend information.
If you are using a rank tracking tool that displays historical data, you can begin to pick out trends over time that can be used to inform budget and planning for other marketing channels.
In particular, if your tool tracks search volume over time, it becomes easy to pick out things like seasonality.
Organic search is literally the marketplace telling us not only how much it wants something, but when it wants it most.
Unlock Your Data Silos
As you can see, keyword ranking and other SEO data can be a helpful resource for many different parts of an organization.
Enterprise SEO professionals can greatly increase their value to their businesses by not only openly sharing such data but helping other departments to interpret it, too.