Check your search engine positions with the Rank Checker Firefox add-on
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
One of the things I do on a regular basis is on-site search engine optimisation campaigns for several clients. The process goes something like this: (i) we discuss the objectives for the campaign; (ii) we identify keywords or search terms; (iii) I make website changes based on the keywords; and (iv) I spend ages checking and tracking search engine positions for each of our identified terms on Google, Yahoo etc etc over several months.
Luckily, I've managed to get some decent results but monitoring search engine positions in step (iv) can be time-consuming [and less than exciting] without automating the process. That's where the Rank Checker add-on for Firefox comes in. In short, it enables you to search several search engines for your desired keywords/search terms and track the position of your website/domain in the search results. This means that you can measure the effectiveness of your website optimisation work. Best of all, you can export the history of your results into a .csv file to see how your search engine rankings improve for each of your keywords/terms over time.
There's more. Rank Checker also has a range of configurable options. For example, it enables you to choose which search engines to use, which is great for me since I like to search Google UK. You can even graph your results with the Site Rank Reporter add-on.
Rank Checker must be the most useful Firefox add-on I have discovered this year!
Note: Monitoring search engine positions like this is only one way of assessing the effectiveness of your work. You'll probably want to measure website visitor numbers and other website metrics as well.