It’s easy to check where your website ranks in search engines like Google. There are free online checkers and paid-for rankings checkers which give you a basic idea of where you’re ranking for certain keywords. Here are several tips to help you navigate SEO tools like Google Search Console and things to bear in mind when tracking your search engine rankings.
- 1 How to Check Your Website Rankings
- 2 Google Personalisation and Localisation
- 3 Quick Check: Free Website Rank Checkers
- 4 Google Search Console: The Best Way to Check Your Website Ranking
- 5 Best Paid For Rank Checking Tools
- 6 Our Rank Checking Service
- 7 In Summary
How to Check Your Website Rankings
If you keep a close eye on your website rankings, you’ll notice that your site’s performance may literally fluctuate from week to week. Small variations within a day is normal, but you may find that your keyword ranking will vary significantly over the course of a month. To get a clear and reliable impression of how your site is performing, you should aim to check your website rankings roughly monthly. To do this you’ll need a bulk keyword checker as checking individual keywords is labour-intensive.
Google Personalisation and Localisation
Google has many search algorithms to consider, and your results may also vary due to local optimisation and personalisation. Localisation refers to how Google will display different results to users, depending on where they are (geographical location). For example, someone in Australia will see different results when they type “lawyer” than someone in London. Your Google search ranking for this term will, therefore, vary from place to place. Any Google rankings check will need to take this into consideration.
Personalisation refers to how Google displays results to a user depending on their previous searches. Google often knows more about you than you think, which is why it can tailor its search results accordingly. This is especially relevant when you are signed into a service such as your Google, YouTube or Facebook account.
It’s for the reasons above that it’s more important to know how your website has performed over the course of a month or so, than knowing exactly where you rank at the moment.
Quick Check: Free Website Rank Checkers
Search Engine Genie Rank Checker
A good way to check your rankings for individual keywords for free is to use this tool. The Google Rank checker can check where your website ranks in any Google, from Google worldwide (google.com) to local Googles, like google.co.uk.
However this is a manual process and you need to check individual keywords, which can be very time-consuming.
SERPs Online Rank Checker
Similar to the tool above, this free online rank checking tool, SERPs, is slightly more sophisticated. You can enter your keyword and select the version of Google or Yahoo that you want (Yahoo is powered by Bing). You can also select whether the search is done on a desktop or mobile device and finally you can also geolocate, by entering in a City, Town or Postcode to emulate a location-based search.
This tool will also give you an estimate of the average monthly search volume for that keyword.
The only issue with this tool, just like other manual tools, is that it takes around a minute for each keyword you want to check. Most websites will have hundreds of keywords that need checking, meaning this manual option is not useful if you want to do the job properly.
Google Search Console: The Best Way to Check Your Website Ranking
While the process below takes a little more time than the website rank checkers above, it is vastly more insightful and much more useful.
You can check your website rankings by signing into Google’s Search Console.
Click on the name of your website and then on Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
If you’ve not set up Google Search Console, then make it a priority. Once setup it’ll take around a fortnight for data to start trickling through. Depending on the size of your site, it’ll take up two 3 months for Google to present you with an in-depth coverage of all the keywords you’re ranking for.
How to Use Google Search Console
Head to GSC > Search Traffic > Search Analytics
Following the steps above, this is the screen you’ll be presented with:
- It will only have Clicks selected. Make sure you also tick the Impressions, CTR and Position checkbox.
- Google Search Console shows the date as the past 28 days. If you change this, then it will automatically select the Pages radio button, so make sure you re-click Queries
- This is a visual representation of the time frame selected and the various metrics: Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position
- This shows you a list of all of the keywords that your website has been surfaced for in Google
- This is the area you want to focus on. You can sort by Clicks, Impressions, CTR or position.
A Guide to the Metrics in Google Search Console: Search Analytics
See the screenshot above – we’re going to focus on points 4 and 5.
These are the keywords and phrases that you’re being surfaced for in Google.
This is the number of times your website has been clicked by a user in Google for the given keyword or phrase.
This is the number of times your website has been shown in Google for the given keyword. Google won’t show you the monthly search volume, so it’s hard for you to establish how many times you are being shown compared to the average number of monthly searches. Our Organic Search audit will tell you that.
This metric needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The Position report in Google takes into account a variety of factors. The position depends on what device a user is searching on, their location, previous searches and also the fact that your position in Google will change. To get an accurate idea of your position, our Organic Search Audit (you can read more below) covers this. GSC will report your position up to the 500th position. Surveys have shown that the first result in Google gets around 30% of all clicks, with the result in 10th (bottom of page one) getting around 1% of clicks. So you can easily understand that being in position 20th or below will amount to very few clicks – if any.
Check Your Most Popular Pages in Google
You can also see which of your website’s pages are most popular on Google. Just click on the radio-button marked Pages and from here you’ll be able to see the pages that have been surfaced the most. This more often than not means the top pages are being surfaced for multiple keywords. If the CTR on these pages and position is low, then you might consider splitting that page up if you feel you can cover all the topics on that page in more detail.
For example, if you have a page on Elephant Facts and you’re getting lots of Impressions but not a lot of clicks, then perhaps you could split up that page into African Elephant Facts and Indian Elephant Facts. You’re more likely to get surfaced for those two longer-tail keywords and due to the subject of your page, you’re more likely to get clicks as your topic will closely match a searcher’s needs.
Making the Most of Google Search Console
If you sort by Impressions, you’ll be able to see which keywords you’re being surfaced for the most. You’ll probably be way down the rankings for this keyword, with only a few clicks. Therefore your CTR will be low. If you can optimise the page that is being surfaced for this keyword, you will climb up the rankings and improve your CTR and outright clicks.
These statistics are important for any webmaster as you want to determine how your site is performing, where your visitors come from, and how you can improve your website’s Google search ranking.
What GSC Won’t Tell You
As useful as Google Search Console is, there are two weak spots, which, if you really want to get accurate rankings, you’ll need to use other software to reveal.
Firstly, Google Search Console won’t show you the average monthly search volumes for the keywords. You’ll have to use Google Adwords keyword planner or other paid tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to get an understanding of the number of monthly searches. Our rank checking service will give you this information (see below).
Secondly, the Position information in GSC is not that accurate. It is a useful ballpark figure; you’re either near to page one rankings or miles away. In that sense, GSC is fine as a position checker. However, you’ll need more advanced tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Rank Tracker to get an accurate view of where you might be ranking for different users in different locations on multiple devices.
There is No Fixed Google Rank
Years ago, where you ranked for a given keyword was pretty-much fixed for anyone typing in the same search term into their local Google. These days, where you rank for a given keyword depends on a variety of factors. The variables are: your location, your previous searches, the device you’re using to search and many more.
Despite what any SEO expert or SEO consultant might have promised you – there is no way to get a guaranteed position one ranking in Google or any search engine.
Best Paid For Rank Checking Tools
There are other tools that you can use to check your website rankings and positions within search engines. These tools include SEMRush, and AHREFs which are paid-for popular platforms among SEOs. All of these popular tools will show you where you currently rank, as well as statistics so that you can determine how to improve your website rankings.
The best way to use them is to extract your keywords from Google Search Console and then add them to these tools. You can then monitor your search rankings.
Our Rank Checking Service
Here at The Content Works, we provide an Organic Search Audit. This audit extracts all of the keywords that your website is being surfaced for, we then check these keywords in your chosen search engine (most people opt for their country-specific Google) and we output the results.
Our Organic Search Audit shows you the keywords you’re being surfaced for, monthly search volumes and the URL that is ranking. We’ll also highlight your quick wins and the keywords that offer the best potential.
We can also compare your keywords to your rival’s domains, to give you an in-depth analysis of market share. You can see the keywords your rivals are ranking for where you’re not.
Contact us on 0207 305 5599 if you’d like to discuss what an audit can do for you.
Knowing where your website currently ranks is important, as it allows you to refine your SEO strategy to improve consistently. You can also compare your rankings with your competitors to see how you are performing for specific keywords. You can then tweak your marketing and SEO efforts accordingly.
Ranking well within search engines will require well-written content with optimal keyword placement. Speak to the experts at The Content Works to help you craft quality, relevant content that will help you rank well, and provide value for your readers.