Keyword Monitoring: Best Tools and Practices

Keyword Monitoring: Best Tools and Practices

When it comes to SEO, keyword monitoring is crucial. One of the best ways to get a high

When it comes to SEO, keyword monitoring is crucial. One of the best ways to get a high level of online presence is through search engine optimization (SEO). Using keyword monitoring, you can track how specific keywords perform and make data-driven decisions. That will make your site more visible to search engines and improves your organic traffic.

But monitoring keywords is not limited to the web only. Brands are now paying close attention to tracking keywords in the social media realm. This is because of the surge in social media use in recent years.

Stick around, because this guide covers necessary information, from keyword monitoring definition and its importance to tips and tools to do it effectively both on the web and social media.

So, let’s start!

What is Keyword Monitoring?

Keyword monitoring is the process of tracking the ranking position of websites and landing pages for certain keywords. This lets you extract relevant data points and KPIs about your SEO strategy and search engine competition on each keyword.

Monitoring your keyword ranking shows how well your site is performing on search engines and social media platforms. Doing this on a regular basis is a valid indicator of your site position changes over a specific period of time.

Why is Monitoring Keywords Important?

So, you get it. Quite similarly to media monitoring, keyword monitoring provides you with valuable metrics. These insights will help you with the following use cases.

A graphic image showing 5 reasons why keyword monitoring is important

To Improve Your On-page SEO

SEO keyword monitoring is an activity that helps you understand exactly what your audience wants based on search results. For example, what phrases did they use to find your website? Knowing what content will rank in search engines and what won’t helps you focus on important keywords.

So, keywords with a high search terms volume will most likely drive traffic to your website. While this may be true, you must also pay attention to what works for your target audience as well.

For instance, what if a landing page ranks high for a low search volume and performs well in conversions? Then you know your SEO strategy is actually working and you should stick to it for a while.

To Increase Your Visibility on Social Media

While SEO ranking is important, most social media managers out there care about digital marketing’s biggest area right now. This means creating more buzz and increasing brand awareness on social media. That’s where social media keyword monitoring comes into play.

You can increase visibility on social media platforms by monitoring keywords. Keep an eye on keywords related to your brand, industry, or products to understand what your target audience is talking about.

You can also learn what topics are trending, and what content is performing well. And when it comes to executing your marketing strategies, you can use Hubspot’s AI campaign assistant, which can handle some of the more repetitive tasks, freeing you to focus on more personalized engagement.

Using these keywords and phrases, you can craft social media posts that resonate with your audience. Including these keywords and trending hashtags in your posts will help your potential customers to find you easier.

Eventually, you can make your brand visible to more users on social channels. Sometimes, you can attract a wider audience there than by being mentioned on news sites, for instance.

That’s why hashtag tracking is a very popular practice among digital marketers!

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To Track What Your Competitors Are Doing

Obviously, you’d like your web page to rank on the first page for every keyword. However, that’s not realistically possible. Don’t worry, though. Instead of focusing only on benchmarking your ranking achievements against your competitors, use keyword rank monitoring to learn.

Generally, competitor analysis is crucial to every type of marketing management. So what SEO tactics can you spot on your competitors’ pages that rank higher for certain keywords than your own?

One of the best practices is to look for keyword gaps. This helps you to discover the topics that your competitors are currently ranking for but you still haven’t covered yet.

Use that knowledge to create or edit your own landing pages –or better yet maximize your efforts and try conducting a site audit based on what’s been working for your competitors.

To Learn About New Trends in the Industry

As you’re performing keyword position monitoring for your competitors and industry, sometimes you’ll stumble upon new keywords. Check their search volume and how others are performing based on them. There’s a chance, you’ll have discovered a new trend either on web platforms or social platforms.

Hence, you can start creating high-quality content to rank for this new keyword and beat your other competitors.

To Prevent Crisis at the Early Stages

What if you use your brand name as a keyword to be tracked? The process’ goal would be exactly the same as what brand monitoring has to offer to companies.

So, monitoring your own brand name as a keyword would be beneficial for an effective crisis management strategy. Learning what people are saying about you on web pages and social networks helps you prevent any brand reputation crisis.

What Metrics to Measure When Monitoring Keywords?

As has been noted above, the importance of web and social keyword monitoring relies on the data that you obtain. Therefore, the fact that we’re listing below important metrics to measure when you monitor keywords should come as no surprise.

Monitor Keyword Ranking

Obviously, starting with the most popular metric. Monitoring keyword ranking helps content creators to understand their real market position on specific topics.

It’s very important to check on what page your content ranks for your targeted keywords. As a matter of fact, acknowledging your place in your industry’s SEO hierarchy is the beginning of the content evaluation process.

Monitor Keyword Popularity

Keyword popularity is another important aspect of sketching your future content creation and management strategy. Let’s say you’ve decided to create content targeting a specific keyword. How many users search for that keyword? A keyword’s search volume is very important in general since it has a direct effect on the page’s traffic.

Monitor Keyword Competitiveness

So, now you know how many users search for the keyword you want to rank for, it’s time to see how your competitors are covering the topic.

Usually, the level of competitiveness for a keyword comes from several factors such as:

  • Keyword Volume
  • Relevance
  • User Intent
  • Backlinks
  • Total search results
  • CPC (cost per click)

Luckily, you can monitor keyword competitiveness by using keyword research tools that offer the above metrics.

Keeping track of keyword competitiveness will help you adjust your SEO strategy. For example, you might choose to focus on long-tail keywords with lower competitiveness. Another optimization is to adjust your content strategy to create more high-quality, authoritative content. This way you can compete with the top-ranking websites in your niche.

Monitor Branded Keywords

Last but not least, there’s brand keyword monitoring.

Branded keywords are specific names and phrases that are instantly connected to your brand. These keywords can be

  • Brand names
  • Product names and entire product line names
  • Service names
  • Brand misspellings and/or name variations

We’ll dive deeper into branded keywords below.

How To Monitor Keywords on Social Media?

According to research, 80% of consumers agree that brand awareness makes them more likely to buy on social media platforms. In fact, the more essential social networks are becoming for businesses, the more popular social search engines are becoming today.

So, how to track keywords on social media, using a social listening tool, like Mentionlytics?

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Start by adding your desired keyword to your account:

  • Find the Mention Trackers box and select the +Add Keyword/Tracker button

Screenshot of a step for keyword monitoring with Mentionlytics

  • Choose the Mention Tracker category (Brand, Competition, or Industry) and name it
  • If you already have a Tracker to add your keyword, choose “Add to existing Mention Tracker” and then select the preferred Tracker from the dropdown menu

Screenshot of a step for keyword monitoring with Mentionlytics

  • Enter the desired keyword –it must be a single word/small phrase
  • You can use the advanced settings to add required/excluded words or choose/deselect a specific site to extract results from

Screenshot of a step for keyword monitoring with Mentionlytics

  • Choose a specific country or language to get results from, if necessary

Screenshot of a step for keyword monitoring with Mentionlytics

  • On the Social Profiles page, you can add any social channels you want to be tracking
  • Set an email alert and its frequency, and include an attachment (pdf/excel/infographic/none)
  • Test your new keyword/Tracker and select Create

Then, all you have to do is wait for our keyword monitoring software to scan all social networks for updates.

How To Monitor Keywords on the Web?

While social keyword monitoring is similar to brand monitoring on social media, things change when it comes to the web. You see, SEO keyword monitoring is not about trying to monitor social media for keywords. It’s a different process that’s used to optimize your website for lead generation.

So, when you’re scanning the web, how do you track keyword performance?

There are several SEO keyword monitoring tools you can use, some of which we’re listing below. As shown above, what you need to check is a keyword’s

  • Ranking,
  • Popularity, and
  • Competitiveness

Keyword Monitoring Tools for Social Media and Web

Here’s a list of 10 keyword tracking tools to help you with SEO and social media keyword monitoring.

  1. Ahrefs

A screenshot of Ahref's homepage.

Starting with one of the best SEO tools out there. Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO solution that helps clients improve their website’s content, ranking, and traffic. Operating with competitive analysis software, Ahrefs offers useful tools, like

  • Site Explorer
  • Keywords Explorer
  • Site Audit
  • Keyword Rank Tracking
  • Content Explorer

In detail, the Rank Tracker feature lets users visualize and chart their SEO and SERP features performance against their competitors. Also, the Keywords Explorer tool suggests accurate keywords and keyword data from 171 countries.

Pricing: Starts at $89 per month.

  1. Semrush

A screenshot of SEMRush's homepage.

Semrush is a leading online visibility management and content marketing platform. In general, the tool offers solutions in content marketing, advertising, market research, social media, and search engine optimization. Speaking of that, Semrush specializes in SEO with features, such as

  • Keyword research
  • On-page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Rank tracking
  • Link building
  • Competitor SEO analysis

It’s a valuable weapon that helps users discover the best keywords and new opportunities to boost their digital marketing strategy.

Pricing: Starts at $129.95 per month. 

  1. Mentionlytics

A screenshot of Mentionlytics' homepage.

Mentionlytics is one of the best social media monitoring tools that offers priceless insights to marketers. The platform’s mention and keyword monitoring software can track every conversation about your brand online. You can discover what’s being said about you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many more channels.

You can check the Keyword Cloud on the Mentionlytics app for important industry keyword and hashtag suggestions. In addition to social keyword monitoring, Mentionlytics offers cool features, like

Create your Mentionlytics account now to enjoy a free trial of the full version of our app!

Pricing: Starts at $69 per month.

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  1. Google Search Console

A screenshot of Google Search Console's homepage

Source: WooCommerce

Are keyword tracking tools free?

Not really. Most advanced keyword monitoring tools come with a subscription. However, small companies and cost-averting individuals have the chance to use Google Search Console.

But remember, GSC only helps you to monitor the keywords that you are already using on your website. So, you cannot perform keyword research for new topics with it.

GSC is a free keyword tool that allows users to accurately monitor the number of clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and average position for the keywords they are receiving.

You’ll also be able to sync your results with other Google platforms, like Google Analytics, Google Trends, Google Alerts, etc.

Pricing: Free tool

Bonus: Read about Best Google Alerts Alternatives for Active Monitoring

  1. SE Ranking

A screenshot of SE Ranking's homepage.

As an all-in-one SEO software, SE Ranking is another great keyword monitoring tool. Focusing on helping small businesses complete their digital marketing tasks, the platform offers solutions, like keyword research and content marketing.

Inside SE Ranking, users find these tools:

  • Keyword Rank Tracker
  • On-Page SEO Checker
  • Website Audit
  • Competitor Analysis Tool
  • Backlink Checker

Additionally, the software provides users with SERP-checking features, website change monitoring, and real-time alerting.

Pricing: Starts at €49.00 per month.

  1. Mangools

A screenshot of Mangools' homepage

As a simple –yet powerful– online suite, Mangools is essentially a group of tools that focus on anything SEO-related. In detail, they offer users the following tools:

  • KWFinder (for keyword research)
  • SERPChecker (for SERP analysis)
  • SERPWatcher (for rank tracking)
  • LinkMiner (for backlink analysis)
  • SiteProfiler (for site metrics & insights)

When it comes to keyword monitoring, users love SERPWatcher’s features that vary from keyword position distribution/flow to performance index.

Pricing: Starts at $29 per month.

  1. Sprout Social

SproutSocial's homepage

Sprout Social is a popular all-included social media suite that helps marketers and social media managers deal with digital marketing. The platform’s products focus on the following use cases:

  • Engagement
  • Publishing and scheduling
  • Analytics
  • Listening
  • Employee advocacy

As with the rest of the social media monitoring tools mentioned here, clients can use Sprout Social’s social keyword monitoring features. For example, the tool offers a feature, called Brand Keywords, which are custom Twitter searches. These results, along with Instagram hashtags and incoming messages are continuously sent in a unified inbox helping users respond quickly.

Pricing: Starts at $249 per month.

  1. Ubersuggest

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's homepage

Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool that specializes in content and keyword idea generation. Produced by Neil Patel, its keyword monitoring software allows users to track their search engine ranking on a daily basis.

Moreover, Ubersuggest offers competitive analysis for keyword and domain ranking, as well as more cool features, like

  • Domain Overview
  • Top SEO page reporting
  • Keyword suggestion
  • Content ideas
  • Backlink data

Pricing: Free tool

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  1. Moz Pro

A screenshot of Moz's homepage.

As an all-in-one SEO toolset, Moz Pro covers site audits, keyword research, link building, rank tracking, and more. While there are many interesting tools to use, there’s one that’s just right for keyword rank monitoring. Moz’s Rank Checker allows users to

  • Create rankings reports
  • Conduct competitor analysis
  • Discover potential future keywords
  • Review the biggest search engines
  • Perform keyword analysis by search volume and difficulty
  • Examine their ranking progress
  • Predict future keyword rankings
  • Start long-time keyword tracking

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month. 

  1. Zoho Social

A screenshot of Zoho Social's Homepage

Zoho Social is a social media management platform that focuses on publishing, monitoring, and social analytics. The tool’s monitoring features include keyword and hashtag monitoring on major social channels, such as Twitter and Instagram. Similarly to other social media tracking tools, users can leverage Zoho Social’s software to track branded keywords across social networks.

Pricing: Starts at 15 per month. 

What Sort of Keywords You Should Monitor?

To help you separate the different types of keywords, we’re diving into two major categories below.

Branded Keywords

As has been noted above, branded keywords are specific words that can be immediately related to your brand. This category centers mostly around the names of your brand, products, or services. You can use keyword research on major platforms, like Twitter, to improve your rankings or monitor conversations about your brand. This can lead to better product designs, customer service, or marketing results.

Industry Keywords

While branded keywords are important for your business evaluation, industry keywords can lead you to success in a different way. For example, product-defining keywords –phrases that describe your product or service– are a great idea for keyword research.

What does your target audience search for regarding your industry? Who knows? Maybe you’ll get invaluable inspiration, ideas, or even customer leads from simple industry keyword research.

Now Over to You

So, this is everything you need to know about keyword monitoring. Hopefully, now you know why it’s important, what metrics and keywords to track, and how to do so.

By all means, nobody really knows how to track keywords from the get-go. Luckily, there are multiple SEO and social media keyword tools to help you do it.

Create a Mentionlytics account and start tracking your keywords on social media and the web for free!

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Nicolas Braoulias

About Nicolas Braoulias

Passionate about social media and communication, Nicolas is a junior content writer at Mentionlytics. His interests include writing & editing, pop culture, and graphic design.