How To Use Alerts to Detect Keyword Ranking and Visibility Changes in SERPs

Nov 3, 2020


min read

Sudden keyword ranking changes? Unusual visibility fluctuations? New growth opportunities unveiled? 

With Alerts, the newest change detection and notification feature from Advanced Web Ranking, you will never miss how the SERPs change and how critical these changes are for your clients’ rankings.

Screenshot featuring the Alerts section of Advanced Web Ranking.

As you know, one of the many great features of Advanced Web Ranking is the automatic keyword rank monitoring and reporting, which empowers you to streamline the entire updating/reporting process. 

Now, you can detect SERP keyword rankings and visibility adjustments automatically so that you won't miss essential changes to keywords tracked with Advanced Web Ranking. Plus, it will make the reporting process more straightforward since you can share notifications directly with your team, manager, or clients.

Alerts allow you to detect ranking and visibility fluctuations and find new growth opportunities and marketing tactics.

Which SERP changes can Alerts detect?

The alerts can check and trigger for five categories:

  • Ranking Position: Immediately detect improvements or declines for your tracked keywords, so you can share wins with your clients, work on fixing things if they decline, or keep an eye on stuff and don't panic yet.

  • SERP features: Trigger notifications for when:

  • SERP features show, or not, in the SERPs for your tracked keywords.

  • You or your competitors rank, or not, for SERP features.

Monitoring the SERP features evolution can help show if the efforts you invested in a particular special result have paid off. You can discover the features your competitors outrank you for, identify the search results types for which you have the highest/lowest visibility, and much more.

  • Visibility Evolution: Aggregated stats like Visibility Score or Percent, Average Rank, Click Share, Estimated Visits on desktop or mobile can be used for the alert’s condition.

Keeping an eye on the fluctuations of the visibility and estimated traffic trends across different search markets can help you, among other things, to identify the market with the highest volatility or value in your search strategy.  Or how your website’s exposure in SERP fluctuates based on seasonality or algorithm changes.

  • Ranking Distribution: Aggregated metrics like Ranked, Not Ranked, First Place, Top 3, Top 5 can be used to check the distribution of keywords by ranking position on different search markets.

Monitoring your keywords by their position in SERPs can help you, for instance, to see how your website performs on desktop vs. mobile and which of these two search markets is most profitable to you. 

  • Ranking Comparison: Use aggregated stats like On First Page, Moved Up or Down, Added, Dropped to evaluate keyword performance by the selected criteria.

Monitor the Ranking Comparison metrics to get a clear picture of your current ranking trend in search results - on which SERP your keywords rank, which keywords improved or have currently lost their ranking, etc.

There are two types of Alerts - global or per project - to check the SERP changes mentioned above.

Let's go over each alert and a few actionable examples to use them. 

1. Global performance alerts

Such alerts can be set for All projects added to an Advanced Web Ranking account and will trigger for any Visibility evolution, Ranking distribution, or Ranking comparison metric.

Screenshot featuring a global performance alert from Advanced Web Ranking.

Overall performance alerts are checked with every new ranking update that takes place in a particular user account. When a project meets the condition of the metric selected when enabling the alert, a notification triggers.

For example, I may want to get notified when the Visibility Percent of any of my projects goes below 50%. Here’s what the alert setup will look like:

Screenshot featuring a global alert setup in Advanced Web Ranking.

Instead of the Visibility Percent, you can choose any other visibility, ranking distribution, or comparison metric critical to your organization.

2. Project-level performance alerts

A project-level alert is more complex, allowing you to segment the input data. You can choose the keywords, the search engine, the website, and even a specific URL to use when checking the alert’s condition.

Screenshot featuring a project-level alert setup in Advanced Web Ranking.

Besides the Visibility evolution, Ranking distribution, or Ranking comparison metrics, a project-level alert can be checked and triggered for Position or the selected SERP Features.

Screenshot featuring a project-level alert to check keywords position in Advanced Web Ranking.

As with overall performance, a project-level alert is checked with every new ranking update that takes place. If the alert condition is met, a notification is triggered with the same frequency as the ranking update.

When calculating the threshold selected as the alert’s condition, the ranking data for the last ranking update completed is compared with the data from the previous update.

Like I mentioned earlier, the alerting system can help you spot new growth opportunities. For instance, you can perform a competitor analysis and discover the SERP Features they achieved and concentrate your efforts there.

If I want to get notified when one of my competitors gains a given SERP Feature, the alert configuration may look something like this:

Screenshot featuring an alert configuration meant to detect if SERP features are displayed on Google’s results pages.

Are there any predefined alert templates?

There is a series of predefined alert templates added to the Alerts section: 

Keywords in Top 3  

When enabled, this project-level alert template will notify you every time keywords ranking on positions 1-3 are detected across the selected search engine and website combination.

Branded keywords drop out of SERP

This project-level alert template will trigger a notification when branded keywords that have lost their ranking position when compared to the previous update are detected.

Keywords are no longer ranked

Similar to the Branded keywords drop out of SERP, this project-level alert template will trigger a notification when the custom selected keywords which have lost their ranking position when compared to the previous update are detected.

New SERP Features achieved

If enabled, this project-level alert template triggers a notification when one of the custom-selected keywords ranks with a search result that is different from organic or sponsored.

Visibility increase 

This overall performance alert template will trigger a notification every time any project added to your account records a Visibility Percent greater or equal to 50%.

Screenshot featuring the alert templates available in Advanced Web Ranking.

By default, all the predefined alerts are disabled. You can enable the alert templates as they are defined, edit, or duplicate them to create new alerts based on them.

If you need an alert different than those available in the templates, you can configure one from scratch.

How do I get notified when the alert’s condition is met?

When the threshold selected as the alert’s condition is verified, you will get a notification both in-app and via email.

Screenshot featuring the notification section in Advanced Web Ranking.

By default, the account owner or the administrator who created the alert will receive the email notification. However, you can edit the email recipients, and you can add whatever email address you want.

Screenshot featuring the two options available to receive alert notifications.

Here’s what that email may look like:

Screenshot featuring how the email notification may look like.

Additionally, if you use Slack, you get your alert notifications on your workspace.

Final Thoughts

The alerting system is an excellent addition to the Advanced Web Ranking’s features. It doesn’t influence the subscription cost, and there is no limitation on how many alerts you can create.

You can use the alerts in many ways, so do play around with them and get creative.

To explore the new alerting system, log into your account or start a free 30 days trial if you’re new to Advanced Web Ranking.

Article by

Larisa Rosu

Larisa Rosu is a Customer Support Engineer at Advanced Web Ranking. With strong background knowledge in CRO, UX, and SEO technologies, she is truly passionate about her work and thinks that top-notch support is a key differentiator that separates a business from its competition.

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