Nozzle put together a study asking 30 SEOs the following three questions regarding keyword position tracking:

  1. When performing keyword research for each of your clients, how many keywords do you track in your rank checking tools?
  2. Would you run more if you could? If so, why?
  3. What’s the main reason for limiting the number of tracked keywords?

Bob Bentz, one of the chosen SEO experts & President at Purplegator, responded:

“We usually ask the client to provide us with up to 7 keywords each in a gold, silver, and bronze category, so 21 total.

Keep in mind that these are just top level keywords. After we’ve spent a few months optimizing for these keywords, there is an opportunity to target long tail keywords that may have less search volume, but do have significant opportunity due to less competition. Blog posts and backlinks to articles focusing on long tail keywords work wonders for less competitive keywords.

You can’t possibly take all of the keywords that the site ranks in the top 100 for and try to optimize all of them. You would make little progress and wouldn’t get any sleep. Moreover, clients tend to be impatient when it comes to SEO so looking to optimize a smaller number allows them and us to zero in on those that we have the best chance to move up in the SERPs.”