In our personal lives, ego searching is the term for checking your name in Google or other search engines. It can be productive fun. Looking yourself up gives you an idea what friends or business associates will see when they search your name (and gives you time to come up with plausible stories for any other items they may unearth!) It is like looking in the mirror to make sure you look presentable.
When we shift to our business lives, ego searching becomes the much more useful and professional sounding SERP – search engine results position. The idea is the same: find out what people see when they search for you. More importantly, SERP lets you see where your business ranks when buyers search for what you are selling.
While there are several paid SERP solutions, the free ones come and go pretty frequently. In part, this seems a result of search engines policies that discourage automated tools that scan their results. As these tools come under fire, some disappear but new ones pop up to provide this invaluable insight.
To use SERP tools, you need three things: your site address, a search term, and a search engine you want to review. For example, if I ran a site selling passport and travel cases, I may want to search where the term “travel cases” for my site www.primetravelcases.com appears on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Alexa. Using one of these tools, you can quickly find the page where your listing shows up. Clearly, if you are not on the top 2 or 3 pages, you have some work to do, but knowing the current rank can help you track your progress.
While one SERP result is useful, its value really grows as you come up with a list of key phrases that you check every month or so. For example, while your rank for the more general “travel cases” may be low, you may find that you rank higher for other phrases and combinations. You might find that you are on the top page for “passport and travel cases” or “leather travel cases” or “zippered passport cases”. Spend some time to find a few combinations where you are doing best. The information you gather is especially valuable if you use it to help guide your keyword strategy and identify niches that your competitors are ignoring. More on that in a later post.
In the meantime, here are some current, and free, SERP engines that you may want to try. My apologies in advance if they are not working when you check, but all are live and functional as I write this.
• SERP Rush - http://www.serprush.com/index.php – modest, uncluttered and fast. A fine site to bookmark.
• What Page of Search Am I On - http://whatpageofsearchamion.com/ – clean, easy to read results presented professionally.
• SEO SERP - http://www.seoserp.com/web_tools/google_top_1000_serps_checker.asp – good site focused on Google ranks in many different countries.
• Tools4Google - http://www.tools4google.com/search-google-position/keyword_tracking.php – maximum 3 searches per day, so good for quick analysis.
Any others you like and depend upon? Let us know. Until then, good selling!