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Domain vs Exact URL Tracking

PeakSERP lets you track the performance of either a domain or a single URL for your keywords.

Recommendation: If in doubt, use domain tracking. Then, add a target URL for each keyword. Only use exact URL tracking for domains that you don’t own (e.g., guest posts and parasite SEO campaigns).

When to use domain tracking for your projects

Domain tracking should be your default for most projects. It’s easier to manage since you don’t need to assign a URL for each keyword.

Domain tracking lets us detect keyword cannabilization

In most cases, you should only be targeting each keyword with a single page. That makes it easy for Google to pick which page to show, and making Google’s life easier always helps your rankings.

Sometimes, though, the wrong page ranks for your targeted keyword. That causes a couple of problems for us:

  • The unintentionally ranking article may be targeted at the wrong audience or be higher in our sales funnel, resulting in fewer conversions.
  • The unintionally ranking article may be a poor match for searcher intent, which can degrade your UX metrics and cause Google to decrease your rankings for that search. Because of the Helpful Content Update, this can even also harm rankings across your entire website.

When to use exact URL tracking for your projects

Exact URL tracking is ideal for articles on websites that you don’t own. That makes it the right pick for:

  • Parasite SEO
  • Guest posts
  • Forum posts

Target URLs fill in the gaps

Large sites can sometimes get away with having multiple pages targeting a single keyword. Unless you’re an Amazon or New York Times, though, you should stick to one-page-per-keyword.

Along with tracking URLs, PeakSERP lets you assign a target URL for each keyword. The combination of domain tracking and a single target URL gives you the maximum amount of information about your ranking success.

There are three possible cases you could see:

  • Domain doesn’t rank: Improve overall SEO of site and target article.
  • Domain ranks, target URL doesn’t: Address keyword cannabalization by deoptimizing ranking article, linking ranking article target article, and optimizing target article.
  • Target URL ranks: Success!
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