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Keyword Monitoring: Tools, Tips & Examples

Keyword Monitoring: Tools, Tips & Examples

Home Blog Digital Marketing Keyword Monitoring: Tools, Tips & Examples

When you have a real face-to-face conversation with your ideal customer, you typically tune in to their interests, questions, and what grabs their attention. You then respond, provide relatable answers, and maybe even make a joke.

It’s the same idea online. Instead of real-time dialogue and direct listening to your customers, you can rely on keyword monitoring (tracking what customers search for and say about your brand online).

It’s like eavesdropping on those honest conversations – but in a good way.

This post covers everything you need to know about keyword tracking – what it is, why it matters, the key components of an effective keyword monitoring strategy, and the tools to do it effectively.

What Is Keyword Monitoring?

Keyword monitoring is a technique that allows marketers and businesses to track the specific words, phrases, or terms that customers use when searching for products, services, or information online.

Why is this useful? By knowing your target audience’s language, you can tailor your content and marketing strategies to better connect with them.

Social media and website SEO are the top marketing channels today among 43% and 32% of marketers.

Here’s how keyword monitoring works across these marketing channels:

Keyword monitoring for SEO lets you see how high your website pages rank in search results for specific keywords. The higher your pages rank in search results, the more visitors you can attract.

In other words, keyword tracking helps you understand if your SEO strategy puts you on the top or leaves you buried in the search results.

Estimated traffic trend

Keyword monitoring used for PR, online reputation, and social media management helps you track mentions of your brand that appear on the web, social media platforms, news sites, blogs, forums, and other sources.

This way, you can address issues, respond to feedback, and leverage positive mentions to build your brand’s reach. It also helps you stay in the loop on industry trends and competitor activities to engage with your audience and build stronger relationships.

What Does an Effective Keyword Monitoring Strategy Covers?

Keyword Rank Tracking

Keyword rank tracking involves monitoring the position of specific keywords in search engine results pages (SERPs) over time.

This data helps you understand the effectiveness of the current SEO strategy, revealing what’s hitting the mark and what needs improvement.

Say your online store sells organic skincare products, targeting “organic face serum.” By tracking this keyword’s ranking, you can tell if your efforts to optimize your product pages and blog posts are working.

Rankings moving up mean your SEO is on the right track.

Rankings dropping or stagnating mean you need to adjust your SEO tactics, such as updating product descriptions with relevant keywords, writing new blog articles targeting this keyword, etc.

Regular rank monitoring informs future SEO initiatives, allowing you to focus on tactics driving better rankings and traffic.

Google Search console average position

For example, if you notice that long-form, in-depth blog posts consistently drive better rankings and more traffic for your target keywords, you can prioritize creating more of this content type.

Likewise, if competitors outrank you using videos for valuable keywords, adapt your strategy to incorporate videos.

What Affects Rankings

Recognizing that various factors within and beyond your control can impact your keyword rankings is crucial.

Search engines change their rules often. For example, Google constantly refines its algorithms to deliver the best user results.

These updates can significantly impact ranking factors, leading to SERP volatility or changes in ranking positions. Keyword tracking lets you see how these algorithm shifts affect your rankings and identify areas for website optimization.

Competitors can steal your spot. If a rival optimizes for your target keywords, your rankings might drop. Keyword monitoring tools inform you about competitor activity and ensure your strategy remains effective.

Your SEO efforts also matter. On-page optimization factors such as search intent matching, readability, internal linking, tags, and heading structure can significantly influence your keyword positions.

A ranking drop can signal issues with these factors, prompting you to fix and monitor their positions over time to see if they improve.

SEO

Keyword Monitoring Tools

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool for monitoring the organic search performance of the keywords you’re already using on your website.

The data comes directly from Google, giving you reliable metrics. Moreover, you can sync the data with other Google tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, etc.

Google Search console dashboard

This tool tracks metrics like clicks (visits from search), impressions (how often your site appeared in search results), click-through rates (CTR) (percentage of impressions leading to clicks), and track keyword rankings of pages (typical ranking) for your targeted keywords.

But if you’re looking for more advanced keyword tracking tools than Google Search Console, check our next suggestion.

SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a Search Engine Optimization tool that tracks your or your client’s website’s keyword rankings with 100% accuracy in real-time. It automatically monitors keyword ranking across major search engines and devices for up to 100 locations per project.

Once you’ve specified the targets you want to track, SE Ranking automatically takes you to the Detailed tab, which shows all the critical ranking metrics on one page.

This includes your website’s average search engine rankings for specific keywords in Google search results, forecasted website traffic, overall search visibility score, SERP features, and percentage of keywords ranking in the top 10.

SE Ranking dashboard

Apart from keyword monitoring, SE Ranking streamlines your entire SEO workflow and allows you to:

  • Do keyword research
  • Optimize website content for search engines
  • Analyze competitors
  • Backlink analysis
  • Estimate search volume
  • Conduct site audits
  • Analyze on-page content
  • Create custom reports for clients
  • And more!

Price: Plans start at $55/month. Free 14-day trial available.

Other SEO tools with keyword monitoring features include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.

Media Listening

These days, businesses can no longer afford to operate in a vacuum. The statistics mentioned above only support this point. Businesses must now pay close attention to the online chatter surrounding their brand, products, or services.

This process is called media listening.

It involves monitoring online mentions of a brand, products, or keywords across various platforms like social media, blogs, and news sites. Mentions are all instances in which your brand, product, service, or any related keyword is referenced online,” explains Brandon Schroth, Founder of Reporter Outreach.

For example, an influencer praising your new eco-sneakers on Instagram counts as a mention.

A customer leaving a negative or positive product review on a retail site is also considered a mention. A simple tweet like “Just found the new [product], and it’s awesome!” is a brand mention.

Media listening provides insights for businesses that can seriously uplevel their strategies and decision-making. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this:

  • Track mentions and related keywords to understand customer sentiment (positive or negative feedback reveals what resonates and needs work).
  • Tailor offerings and messaging (deliver what customers truly want and speak their language).
  • Identify pain points (address common frustrations to improve the customer experience).
  • Create images that highlight key mentions or trends to summarize your findings visually. Visual content can enhance understanding and engagement, making it easier for your audience to grasp and retain the information.
  • Listen to avoid crises. Address negative mentions before they snowball. Proactive outreach can turn unhappy customers into brand advocates.
  • Track your campaigns to see what resonates, and optimize your marketing spend based on real data. Focus on a digital marketing strategy that generates engagement and ditch the ones that fail.

Note that advanced media listening tools analyze sentiment and dive into the emotions behind these mentions.

This means you can identify positive brand sentiment, negative feedback, or neutral discussions, allowing you to tailor your responses and marketing strategies accordingly.

Media monitoring campaign

What Drives Spikes and Dips in Mentions

Several factors can influence the volume and sentiment of online mentions, including:

  • Engaging or controversial content drives a surge in mentions (e.g., tweets about a frustrating bug in a new software update).
  • Major news, positive or negative, can dramatically shift the volume and tone of conversations around a brand (e.g., Google’s product news).
  • Well-executed marketing campaigns can generate buzz and drive positive mentions, while poorly executed ones may have the opposite effect.
  • Niche or specific pain points amongst the target audience can position your products or services as solutions (for example, cyber liability protection or business insurance claims)
  • Customer experiences shape public perception through online discussions (e.g., a positive review encouraging others to try a product).

Media Tracking Tool

Mention

Mention is a media tracking tool social media and PR teams use to track online conversion about their brand and competitors. It monitors and analyzes keyword mentions across major social media channels, forums, websites, and even TV and radio (on higher plans).

Mention dashboard

The key functionalities allow you to:

  • Receive real-time notifications by monitoring keywords for your brand, product, or mentions online.
  • Identify online conversations’ sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral).
  • Discover influencers and industry leaders discussing your brand or relevant topics.
  • Access detailed reports and insights to enhance your strategies.
  • Assign and respond to mentions directly within the application.
  • Do competitor analysis, brand monitoring or track specific keywords

Price: Plans start at $49/month and offer higher tiers for extended monitoring across more channels.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free service that continuously monitors the web for new content, such as webpages, news articles, blogs, and scientific research related to specified keywords, and sends email notifications to users with links to this content.

Google alerts example

The key functionalities allow you to:

  • Monitor the web for new content related to specific keywords.
  • Receive real-time or periodic email notifications about relevant updates.
  • Customize the frequency and sources of alerts, such as news, blogs, and the web.
  • Track keywords and phrases simultaneously.
  • Refine alerts using advanced search operators for more precise results.
  • Stay updated on competitors, industry trends, and personal interests.

Price: Free

Trends Monitoring

Trends monitoring is all about keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry. It means constantly watching for emerging topics, shifts in the market, and the conversations that get people talking.

Companies that actively keep an eye on trends are 60% more likely to predict and respond well to changes in the market compared to those that don’t,” said Marc Lamber, Founder of Lamber Goodnow.

To survive and succeed, your business needs to understand trends and use them in your marketing strategies.

Here is an example from the tech world. As of today, many tech companies may have noticed the surging popularity of AI-powered virtual assistants.

Recognizing this emerging trend, many are pivoting resources towards developing their AI capabilities to meet the growing demand.

So, trends monitoring can help you:

  • Stay in the know to stay ahead. For example, a surge in “eco-friendly packaging” searches showed rising demand for sustainability. Companies that were early on this trend quickly switched to biodegradable packaging and updated eco-conscious marketing, establishing themselves in that space before rivals.
  • Identify fresh opportunities and make strategic moves. When you spot a trending keyword, research it thoroughly. You can rework your strategy or plan a product update that resonates with your audience.
  • Make data-backed strategic decisions. Plugged into trends and conversations gives you real-world insights to confidently guide strategic choices, from marketing messages to product development.

Media monitoring campaign

What Drives Trends to Emerge?

Trends don’t just appear out of the air – they’re shaped by a variety of influencing factors, such as:

  1. Major events and breaking news stories can rapidly shift public opinion and change how people think and behave (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic).
  2. Technology is another huge driver of trends, with innovations constantly disrupting industries and creating entirely new markets (e.g., cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin).
  3. Let’s not forget the power of influencers. Celebrities or social media thought leaders who endorse a product or idea can create a ripple effect that turns a slight trend into a massive movement (e.g., TikTok dances!).

Trends monitoring tools

Google Trends
Keyword research tools

Google Trends is a web-based tool that helps you understand search trends across the web. It can act as a keyword research tool, by analyzing the popularity of search terms over time, you can:

  • Identify what people are actively searching for, giving you valuable insights into current interests and potential content ideas.
  • See how the popularity of different keywords compares, helping you choose the most relevant terms for your SEO strategy.
  • Understand how search engine trends vary depending on location and timeframe. This helps you tailor your content and marketing efforts to specific audiences.
  • Uncover what other searches users make alongside your chosen keywords, providing a deeper understanding of user intent.

Price: Free to use.

TrendWatching
TrendWatching dashboard

TrendWatching has one of the biggest trend intelligence platforms – Amplify. It uses a network of 100+ trend spotters in 80+ countries to find emerging consumer trends before they hit the mainstream. This can help you spot keyword ideas and position yourself on particular keywords before there is any search engine competition.

The platform allows you to:

  • Access a database of over 28,000+ trend-driven innovations tagged by industry, region, and consumer trends.
  • Discover specific trends which revolve around 15 mega-trends and 230+ emerging sub-trends
  • Collaborate with a global network of trendspotters and industry professionals.
  • Stay informed about the latest consumer insights and market shifts.
  • Organize favorite innovations, stats, trends, and reports into customizable folders.

Price: Starts at €499/per month and billed annually.

Summary

An efficient keyword monitoring strategy covers all the bases – keyword rank tracking for SEO, media monitoring, and trends analysis. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of social listening and keyword monitoring tools designed to streamline and simplify the entire process. So go ahead and try!

Irina Weber

My name is Irina Weber, a freelance writer, and content strategist. I love helping brands to create, publish, repurpose, and distribute content through different marketing channels. I am a regular contributor to a lot of media outlets like SEW, SME, SMT, CMI, etc.

Freelance Writer @Mention