How to Use a Free SERP Checker to Monitor SEO Keywords

How to Use a Free SERP Checker to Monitor SEO Keywords

If your business has a website, and you use that website to reach potential users or customers, then search engine optimization will always play a role in your business plan. The old adage — if you build it, they will come — simply does not hold true when it comes to search engine rankings. You need to track and follow the data. And to do that, the AI-powered accuracy from Zutrix strives to “improve your SEO performance [so you can] achieve more with less.” 

Intelligent Rank Tracking

There are innumerable tools on the internet you can use to improve your SEO efforts. Part of the problem or shortcoming of other rank tracking utilities, however, is that they don’t truly mimic the experience of actual, human users. They may use scraping techniques, for example. This lends itself to inaccuracy. Zutrix is different. 

Zutrix functions as your smart assistant, offering intelligent rank tracking that’s powered by artificial intelligence. Instead of seeing the web through the virtual eyes of a bot, scraping what’s out there, Zutrix provides AI-powered accuracy that really reflects how real human users see the web. 

In other words, it’s “a rank tracker that acts just like you, not a bot.” What this means is you can improve your SEO performance based on the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Track your website’s ranking across hundreds of keywords, inspecting not only changes over time, but also how you stack up against the competition over the same period.

User Dashboard

All pricing plans with Zutrix, which are detailed below, include the ability to add unlimited domains to your account. This makes it easy to keep tabs on all your websites and online businesses. The dashboard is clean and simple, with all the core navigation along the left sidebar. It’s easy to see your projects and domains at a glance, including the last update and your average position.

Clicking on one of your domains, you get an overview of the site’s performance. It defaults to showing a one-month period with daily data, but you can adjust those parameters to your liking. At the top, you see the average change, as well as how many of your keywords are ranking first, in the top 3, top 5, top 10 or top 100 of Google search results, as well as the percentage change over the prescribed period.

Below this is a list with all your keywords. For each of these, you see the most recent ranking data for both desktop and mobile, the performance over time, when was the last update, the estimated volume for the keyword, and any tags or comments you’ve assigned. You can force a daily update by clicking the yellow button, based on the number of refresh credits in your account. Adding new keywords is just as easy.

For each of these keywords, you can dive as deep into the reporting as you’d like. This includes the ability to look at geo-targeted results. 

Want to know how you rank for “Chicago bakery” in Illinois? No problem. This becomes especially important for local, brick and mortar type businesses like that, because how well you rank for “Chicago bakery” in Thailand isn’t especially meaningful to you. As you work with your team, you can also offer live sharing for these reports, showing them exactly what you’re seeing and strategizing where you can go from here.

Neighbors and Notifications

When you click on any of the keywords in that list, you’re immediately shown a few other useful data points. Along the left side, you’ll see your site alongside its “neighbors” on the search engine results page. This way, you can visit each of the pages that are ranking near you in the SERPs and review what they’re doing better (or worse) than you.

Where available, you’ll also see your performance graph for that particular keyword. This defaults to a daily chart over the last 7 days, but you can expand that to the last 15 days, last month or last year, plotting the data daily, weekly or monthly.

To the right, you can see what SERP features are shown for this keyword in Google. Are there Adwords placements that you’ll effectively have to compete against for clicks? Is there an image pack, a Twitter snippet, a review, or a featured snippet? How about related questions, sitelinks, shopping links, knowledge panel, or local teaser map? All of these can factor into your SEO strategy for that keyword.

While you will likely check into your Zutrix account regularly to monitor your SEO performance anyhow, another useful feature are the real-time notifications. You can opt to receive notifications via Telegram, Slack or mail. Configure how sensitive you want these notifications can be. Do they get triggered when your keyword rank drops or gains by five spots? Ten? Twenty? It’s up to you.

Keyword Lab

It goes without saying that keywords are at the heart of any SEO effort. You want to track your keyword rankings over time and against the competition, to be sure, but you also need to research these keywords too. This includes both if you’re going after them for the first time or this is a continuation of ongoing efforts. 

In what Zutrix calls its Keyword Lab, you can research relevant keywords. You’ll gain insight into the estimated search volume, level of competition, and keyword difficulty, as well as a list of the first several domains that rank for the keyword, along with their domain authority and Z-rating.

The click-thru rate is also represented. While it’s obvious enough that the first ranked site will get the most clicks, how does that look for other sites in the top few spots? This will give you a sense of how well your site might perform if it ranks third or fourth for your target keyword, for example. This is also where it’s important to pay attention to the SERP features for the keyword.

Zutrix Pricing Plans

Zutrix offers three main pricing plans, depending largely on how many keywords you want to track. The rest of the features — unlimited domains, keyword lab, competitor tracking, local results, Google Search Console import, advanced reporting — are largely the same. 

The $28 Basic plan allows up to 250 keywords, the $54 Standard plan tracks up to 500 keywords, and the $99 Advanced plan supports up to 1,000 keywords for tracking. Only the Advanced plan enables white label reporting. 

If you want to try the Zutrix Google SERP rank tracker before signing up for a paid plan, there is also a Free Package with no credit card required. You still get unlimited domains, real-time notifications and the keyword lab, but you are limited to 10 keywords and 10 on-demand updates per day.

User Engagement Is the New SEO: How to Boost Search Rank by Engaging Users

User Engagement Is the New SEO: How to Boost Search Rank by Engaging Users

Many businesses aim for their websites to rank highly in search engines, but it’s a moving target.

Google, for instance, updated its algorithm 3,234 times in 2018 to meet user needs (emphasizing the “optimization” part of SEO).

You might remember when Google’s featured snippet addition disrupted the numbered ranking system of search pages. Because the snippet’s goal is to provide a simple answer from a strong piece of content, it might pull from the second or fourth website listed on the search engine result page instead of the first.

As a result, 34% of desktop users don’t even click on a webpage, since their questions are answered by a featured snippet on the search results page. This may seem like a cheap tactic to hoard traffic, but it’s not. By prioritizing the searcher’s experience over the hierarchy of web pages, Google ensures satisfied users.

Optimizing for search engines shouldn’t be your main focus anymore. The ongoing shift in Google’s algorithm over the past decade indicates a new market focus on meeting user expectations. In this post, I’ll do my best to pull back the curtain and show you how improving the user experience on your site will also improve your rankings and increase traffic.

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Search Engine Engagement Metrics

Before we delve deeper into the metrics that will likely correlate with an increase in rankings in the age of user experience, it’s worth noting that no search engine is an open book. Google notifies the public when it updates its core algorithm, but it’s notoriously secretive about this proprietary information.

With this in mind, here are a few user engagement metrics that Google and other engines seem to value as priorities.

Mobile Optimization

In 2015, Google announced that mobile optimization would become a contributing factor to SEO rankings. Half of all searches originate on mobile devices, after all.

Google recommends a responsive web design that adapts to desktop computers, phones, and tablets, and it rewards mobile-optimized sites with higher rankings on SERPs.

This opens up into another potential benefit: placement in Google’s coveted “local pack.” The local pack is the set of three businesses featured on Google’s search results. Previously, Google featured seven businesses there, but the number has since been reduced to maintain a mobile-friendly layout.

local searchSemantic Search

We’ve already mentioned that Google’s algorithm has drastically changed, especially since the old days of keyword stuffing. The first change allowed Google to judge not only the use of keywords, but also the ways in which they are used. During this phase, keywords and phrases needed to appear naturally. If they detracted from the readability of a page, Google would penalize that page’s ranking.

After the 2013 Hummingbird update, the search engine’s algorithm considers overall meaning — it realizes a page is more than the sum of its keywords. For instance, if you searched for “What’s the fastest animal?” prior to Hummingbird, a page would have to use the keywords “fastest animal” in several places to communicate the topic to Google’s crawlers. Now, with semantic search, Google can compare search intent with a page’s content to provide a better search experience.

Most recently, Google has helped searchers by rolling out BERT. This technology was designed for users who increasingly search by posing questions. It considers search intent by analyzing how a word relates contextually to the words that precede and follow it. Most searches made via voice recognition are questions, so this advancement will probably benefit Google in the future (Comscore predicts that half of all search engine inquiries will be voice searches by 2020).

Dwell Time

The dwell time metric is determined by the amount of time a user spends on a page before navigating back to a search engine. Search engines use this metric to judge the relevance of a page to a user’s query. If a user stays on a page for a long time before bouncing back to the SERP, then that page is likely more valuable than others.

Browsers such as Google Chrome, which is used by 81% of W3School’s 50 million monthly visitors as of August 2020, know how long a visitor remains on a page. Dwell time is a significant indicator of relevancy and quality, so webpage designers should aim for visitors to remain on a website for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, dwell time is one of many metrics that only search engines have access to. However, you can still use other data to measure the user engagement on your own site. Tracking metrics like time on page, bounce rate, and conversions from your landing pages can provide crucial insights into the value your users get from their experiences with your website.

4 Ways to Boost User Engagement on Your Website

Realistically, it’s easy to understand how a great user interface has the potential to boost search rankings, but making it happen is another story. Let’s take a look at several UX SEO best practices.

1. Augmented Reality

In 2017, personal care and beauty store Sephora released the Visual Artist update on its app. Users can virtually try on lipsticks, eyeshadows, and other cosmetic products from the comfort of their homes. This small user experience-focused change resulted in a reported organic revenue growth of 14% parent company LVMH.

Augmented reality is increasingly accessible to smaller businesses. It is quite common to find eyeglass retail websites, for instance, boosting user engagement with AR features that allow shoppers to virtually try on glasses.

You can also use this technology to include customers in the experience of launching a product. Jordan Brand did just that with the release of its Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers. Sneaker fans could scan a Snapchat code, purchase through Shopify, and have the shoes delivered by local fulfillment centers within the day.

2. Interactive Tools

Increasing user engagement is as simple as finding ways to capture the attention of a website visitor. Interactive tools and activities that occupy a user’s time (and provide value) are essential when creating a top-notch search experience.

This could be something simple such as a mortgage cost calculator on a home lending website, a responsive chatbot, or live user survey feature on your landing page. Warby Parker, for example, has enhanced the online prescription glasses retail web experience by offering an online quiz for picking out the right frames. The simple quiz provides personalized fashion advice and leads visitors along their sales journeys.

warby parker quizIn fact, if you use a tool like SEMrush to identify the most trafficked pages of a popular website, you will often find that they are interactive. These tools keep users engaged. By installing event tracking within the tools, Google Analytics can report just how engaging they are.

3. Video Content

Many marketers fear that video content will slow down their pages and cause the bounce rate to skyrocket. This is a valid concern, but it also may be worth the risk. Video is easier for people to process, and it can encourage someone to stay 2.6 times longer on a webpage. Well-placed video enhances dwell time and boosts rankings.

For example, Toyota used video in its interactive “Choose Your Wild” campaign for its 4Runner vehicle. The video engages potential customers by letting them go virtually “off-road” in the vehicle and, at the same time, allows the company to collect customer preference information in a fun, unobtrusive way.

4. Lead Magnets

Surprisingly, some of the most effective ways to ensure you’re providing an exceptional user experience aren’t particularly innovative at all. Lead magnets with gated content aren’t a new tool in the digital marketing space, but you’ll find that you’ll command your audience well by understanding their needs and producing applicable content.

After all, the subtext of Google’s movement toward user-friendly webpages is really just ensuring that high-ranking pages are valuable content resources. You will be improving the user experience and prioritizing conversion optimization at the same time.

Bidsketch uses this approach: It offers a free sample proposal in exchange for a voluntarily disclosed customer email address. Content-heavy websites like The Oatmeal and BuzzFeed similarly capture email addresses by offering quizzes (which also enhance user engagement and dwell time). Try offering various free “goodies” as lead magnets such as spreadsheets, tutorials, generators, or calculators.

By keeping users engaged with valuable, meaningful content, you will not only create happier visitors (and maybe brand advocates), but you will also rank highly on Google.

Whether that engagement stems from augmented reality, interactivity, videos, lead magnets, or some other approach, it can make all the difference in the success of a company’s user experience and SEO efforts.

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How to Find & Add Nofollow Links to Your Website [Step by Step]

How to Find & Add Nofollow Links to Your Website [Step by Step]

Ever watch those game shows where contestants have to find the designer product in a sea of knockoffs?

Watching the contestants squint to examine the products is my favorite part. One, because I love game shows, but also because upon first glance, you really can’t tell the difference.

Well, nofollow links are kind of like that. You can’t tell them apart from regular links just by looking at them.

Access 4 Essential Link-Building Tips

As Google continues to prioritize links in its ranking criteria, keeping track of them should be on your SEO to-do list.

So, how do you check for nofollow links and add them to your webpages? All those answers, and more, below.

This matters because links greatly impact your search engine ranking. And whether you’re linking internally or externally, doing so tells Google the destination page is valuable. This, in turn, may increase the page’s ranking — it’s called “link juice.”

The better your link building, the better your chances of ranking higher.

So, when you tell Google to ignore a link, the destination page will not get any link juice. For instance, let’s say a food blogger uploads a blog post. The blogger can add a nofollow attribute to the comment section to tell Google, “Hey, any link included here isn’t associated with me and I don’t vouch for it.”

With Google tightening up its linking requirements, it’s important that brands understand how they work.

How To Tell if a Link Is Nofollow

To find a nofollow link, you can follow one of two routes: Use a tool that will do it for you (jump to that section here) or check it yourself. For the DIY option, here are the steps:

1. While you’re on the page, right-click and select the “Inspect” option.
Right click inspect tool

2. Hold Command + F or Ctrl + F to search for “nofollow” in the code.

Search "nofollow" in the code

3. Scroll to find the highlighted nofollow attributes. It should look something like this:

Nofollow Link Example

How To Make a Nofollow Link

Making a nofollow link is as simple as adding rel=”nofollow” to the anchor tag within the HTML code. If that made no sense, no worries. Here’s the breakdown:

The code for a regular hyperlink looks like this:

 
The linked text goes here

When you’re adding a nofollow link attribute, the attribute will go between the destination URL and the linked text, like this:

 
The linked text goes here

Here’s an example using the HubSpot Blog:

 
Head to the HubSpot Blog

Once you have the link, you can add it to the appropriate section of the source code on your content management system (CMS).

How To Make a Nofollow Link in WordPress

When making a nofollow link in WordPress, you have two options: manually inputting one into the HTML code or using a plugin. Find the steps for each below.

Making a Nofollow Link in WordPress Manually

1. Select the anchor text you want to add a link to.

2. Click the link symbol to add a link into the field.

Red arrow pointing to link symbol

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3. Click on the three dots and select “Edit HTML.”

Red arrow pointing to "Edit as HTML"

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4. Add the rel=”nofollow” attribute and you’re all set.

Nofollow attribute within HTML tag

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If you’re using an older version of WordPress, you may have to access the source code through the “Text” tab.

WordPress text tab

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Then, manually add the nofollow attribute.

WordPress source code

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Once that’s done, go back to the “Virtual” tab and continue editing the post.

Making a Nofollow Link in WordPress With a Plugin

When making a nofollow link with a plugin, the steps will vary depending on the plugin you install. However, here’s an example of how it works using the “All in One SEO for WordPress” plugin.

1. Start by downloading the plugin and making it active.

2. Create or edit a post or page.

3. In your editing text box, select the anchor text and click on the link symbol.

Add link symbol in WordPress

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4. Paste the destination link into the field.

Field to paste destination URL

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5. In the same box, you’ll also see additional options for the link, including the “Add ‘nofollow’ to link” option.

Adding Nofollow links in WordPress

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6. Make sure this option is selected, and you’re done.

Pro-tip: A lot of SEO plugins have the nofollow link feature included. So, if you’re looking to optimize your site, you can install a plugin with multiple SEO features.

1. MozBar

This free Google Chrome extension, created by the SEO software company Moz, highlights all of the nofollow links on a page in one click.

MozBar NoFollow Link Tool

It also tracks followed, internal, and external links as well as keywords on the page. MozBar identifies each link type by color, making it easy to quickly scan the page and find what you’re looking for.

One thing to keep in mind while using the extension is that nofollow links under dropdown menus will not appear as you scroll down. You’ll have to click the menu to reveal the nofollow links. Confused? See the GIF below.

MozBar NoFollow Tool

2. Varvy

With Varvy’s free nofollow tool, finding nofollow links is as simple as entering the page’s URL and clicking “Test.” It doesn’t offer a visual for where the nofollow links are located on the page, but it does tell you how many there are.

Varvy NoFollow Link ToolThis is one of the simplest ways to get an idea of how many nofollow links you have. From there, you’ll have to find other tools to accomplish your next steps.

3. NoFollow

NoFollow is a free extension available on Chrome and Firefox. Similar to MozBar, it identifies the nofollow links on the page and highlights them using a red dotted box.

NoFollow Chrome/Firefox Extension

As long as the extension is active, it will work on every page you visit without prompting. Just as with the MozBar, if a link under a dropdown menu has a nofollow attribute, you won’t see it until you click the dropdown menu.

So, think of yourself like a game show contestant. To win the SEO game, you have to take a closer look at your website links. This will keep you on Google’s good side and increase your odds of landing (and staying) on the first page of the SERP.

link building