- Sakshi Ragini
Search Rank Tracking: How Web Scraping gives you the Winning Edge
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Search rank tracking involves checking the positions of various keywords that a webpage ranks for in a SERP. The search engines use their algorithm to determine this rank. By performing search rank tracking, you can design a better SEO strategy. One of the long term results of this change is increased revenue and visibility.
To make the most of your SEO strategy, let us learn what search rank tracking is. Furthermore, we will learn its applications, methods to fetch rank data and make the best of the insights you gain.
Ours is, inarguably, a competitive world. Hence, everyone is looking for the best person or brand for the job. So, how do you find the best one?
You start by typing a keyword in a search engine, and you get a plethora of results. Research shows that the results on the first page get the most traffic. Moreover, it performs better as compared to subsequent pages in terms of other KPIs. These KPIs can be click-through-rate, bounce rate, and so on.
If you have been struggling to boost your performance or are keen on doing better, then your goal is clear. You have to improve your ranking. In other words, you have to perform search engine optimization.
But, firstly, we find out your organic search rank. This situation is where data comes in. Most of the search rank tracking tools use web scraping to get data from copious sources. With this blog, Datahut intends to tell how you can use web scraping to get data and, therefore, determine your organic search rank.
benefits of search rank tracking
What is Organic Search Rank Tracking?
SERPs or search engine rank pages show the rank of various websites as per their algorithm. All these websites revolve around one central keyword. It is the search engine which is concerned with the use of these keywords.
Different search engines focus on different things. It verifies how relevant your focus keyword is to your optimized and unoptimized content on your website.
For this, it checks the frequency and distribution of your focus keyword. Next, it compares your website with that of your competitors. Here, your competitors are websites optimizing for the same keyword. Depending upon your scores, it generates a rank list. Keeping this in mind, it generates SERP. Search rank tracking understands where you stand among the plethora of websites optimizing for the same keyword.
How to get data for search rank tracking?
Getting the right data is at the core of a robust SEO strategy. So let us understand how you fetch your rank data.
1. Getting the URL you want to scrape
The first step is to enlist the URLs you want to scrape. You can search for a short tail or long-tail keyword using the search engine you want to optimize. The SERP you get can be your starting point.
2. Inspecting the page
The data which we require is nested in tags. By inspecting the page, we find out which tag nests the keyword that pertains to our requirement.
3. Finding the exact piece of data
This step involves getting all the data you require from your target website’s various webpages for search rank tracking.
4. Structuring and storing the data
You can arrange the data as per the KPIs you want to focus on. As a result, you will be able to track your SEO goals better.
This step is the last and hence, the most crucial step. Based on your competitor’s work, you have to form strategies to drive better results for yourself.
Also Read: Scraping Amazon Reviews using Scrapy in Python
Why should you perform rank tracking?
In the domain of SEO, keywords are one of the leading KPIs. It directly contributes to your growth. Moreover, it is crucial to your visibility and performance. Let us learn why it is crucial to push your business forward.
1. It helps you make your SEO strategy
When you go through the competitor trends, you will understand what works for them. You can get crucial inferences from their keyword density and distribution or backlinks. Keeping these points in mind, you can formulate your SEO strategy.
To make the best out of this, you have to optimize, followed by taking feedback. You repeat the process several times until you get a refined strategy.
2. It reflects positively on your revenue
A successful SEO strategy results in goal achievement. You can increase your conversion rate or drive traffic further. Once this happens, you have a better chance of boosting your revenue through effective search rank tracking.
3. It helps you in monitoring your competitors
A well-performing competitor must have an optimized SEO strategy. From monitoring their practices, you can understand what works for your target audience. Furthermore, this helps you understand how aggressively you have to fight to create your user base.
4. It helps you tackle traffic fluctuation
Many times, such incidents drive you to focus better. An overnight decrease means you have to reoptimize your page. Moreover, specific changes in the search engine algorithm can also be a cause. As a safeguard, keep monitoring new SERP features for improved search rank tracking.
5. It helps you understand the trend
Your ranking can change considerably between two consecutive days. Sometimes, seeing a sudden drop might make you change your strategy. But such sudden drops are not a signal for optimization until it consistently falls for a few days. Hence, foolproof decision-making requires an understanding of the trend over a few days.
Organic search rank tracking: how to use web scraping to get the right data?
There are many SEO factors on your web page that search engine tracks, such as the web page title tag, meta description keyword tags, H1 tags, and HTTP header, backlinks. The search engine uses these factors to determines your relevance.
With the current web scraping tools, we at Datahut specialize in getting you the relevant data to perform your search rank tracking. Now let us understand how and from where do we get these data points.
1. Web scraping on-page elements
Common on-page elements are title tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords. Firstly, you search the keyword you are optimizing for. That is when a list of SERPs appear before you. Now, you start by working on each website one by one.
Many handy crawlers can accomplish this task easily. Secondly, you can use google doc and google sheets to perform search rank tracking.
2. Scraping keywords from a website
Many tools allow you to determine the keywords that are fetching the audience to your competitor’s website. You simply start by identifying each traffic keyword. Secondly, you determine the search volume and the average CPC of each of these keywords.
Moreover, it is imperative to understand the seasonality of various keywords. The percentage of traffic that certain keyword fetches can give further clarity about your competitor’s current standing.
As the finishing step of the search rank tracking, you can also verify the cost % and competition columns. Cost % is the estimated cost of purchasing the same number of visitors as your competitor for your keyword through a google search. The competition metrics determine the number of players bidding for a specific keyword.
3. Scraping Google Adwords from a website
It is relatively easy to earn by placing ads on your website. But it is easier to understand the Ad dynamics of your competitor and compare it with yours. The reason being that many websites can block you from going through their keywords and site metadata. But it cannot do the same with Adwords.
Web scrapers can mimic a human’s method of surfing through the internet. Since most of the anti-scraping tools identify and block robot-like tools, you can easily bypass them and get the data you need.
With this advent, you can quickly identify the keywords that a particular website purchased using Adwords. Furthermore, you can understand the valuation of each of these keywords. Finally, a web scraper can save you precious time and energy.
4. Scraping backlinks
Backlinks are links on other webpages that link to your websites. The backlinks you acquire contribute to your domain authority. Both the number and authority of webpages that link back to you contribute to it. With time, it has emerged as a trust-building factor among retailers and consumers.
Backlink forms the backbone of your SEO strategy. Therefore, exploring the types of backlinks, your competitors are getting can add to your preparedness.
The modern scraping tools follow a standard backlink identifying tool. Consequently, this makes your data reliable and helps in fool-proofing your search rank tracking.
Also Read: How to Build a Web Crawler in Python from Scratch.
Things to keep in mind while performing search rank tracking
Search rank tracking is going to be a game-changer for your business. To get the best results out of it, keep the following in mind.
1. Each search engine is different
Each search engine, be it Google, Bing, or Yahoo, is different. By this, we mean that the algorithm they follow to generate their SERPs vary. That is why you cannot implement the results accurate for one search engine on another. The data you get from each might as well be similar. Yet, you have to be careful in the decision-making step to channelize your SEO strategy.
2. Keywords and their difference
Just like the difference in the primary mechanism of each search engine, their keyword preferences differ. This point is a consequence of the previous point. One keyword might hold more value for a particular website as compared to others. Hence, you need to perform a website-specific SEO analysis.
3. Keep your goals in mind
While you get the data and structure it, you mustn’t lose sight of your SEO goals. This realization will aid the decision-making process. Moreover, it will help in the utmost utilization of your resources.
Datahut has years of experience in web scraping. We collect the data you require, ranging from ratings to keywords, from price comparison data to location data. Furthermore, we structure it for you to enable a smooth decision-making process. Thus, we stay with you until you achieve your business goals.
Contact Datahut to help you in search rank tracking for your business’s growth. To understand how data can turn things around for you, do visit Datahut.