How to Easily Check Keyword Rankings in Google
- 1 Why Bother Tracking Keyword Rankings?
- 2 How to Check Keyword Rankings in Google Manually
- 3 How to Check Keyword Rankings in Google Using Rank Tracking Tools
- 4 3 Rank Tracking Tools to Monitor Rankings
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
The time has come to check keyword rankings in Google.
But how do you do it?
More importantly, why is it important?
In this post, we’ll explore how to check keyword rankings in Google and why it’s essential to grow organic search traffic.
Then, we’ll share a simple trick you can use to bump those rankings up in the SERPs.
Let’s get started.
Why Bother Tracking Keyword Rankings?
What if I told you that your keyword ranking positions affect your website’s traffic, leads, and conversions?
And without knowing where your website ranks in Google, you’ll be left in the dark.
- You won’t know what content is performing well
- You’ll have no clue which content needs your attention
- And you’ll struggle to develop a rock-solid SEO strategy
So, placing your attention on where your content currently ranks is important. You’ll gain not just insight, but more control over your search ranking progress.
Similar to why an airplane adjusts its course of direction, is the same reason you want to check your keyword rankings.
Here’s the deal:
Your keyword rankings are constantly changing. Therefore, keeping an eye on them will help you stay on course for more traffic and sales.
Next, we’ll look at a few ways to check keyword rankings and what you can do to improve them.
How to Check Keyword Rankings in Google Manually
First up, we’ll look at two methods for checking keyword rankings in Google manually.
They’re completely free but can be a little cumbersome. However, they stand the test of time and are always available for one-off checks.
A simple way to check where your website ranks for a specific keyword is to search Google in an incognito browser.
Sure, it may not be the most efficient method in the long run, but it still works.
Here’s how you do it:
Open an incognito browser and head over to Google.com.
Why incognito you ask? Well, searching a target keyword for your own site whilst logged into Google, can skew results.
And even if you’re not logged in, your location can also interfere with accurate ranking positions.
Firefox or Chrome is fine:
Now, make sure Google is set to the right region.
For example, if you’re targeting the United States but live in the UK like me, you’ll need to change Google’s region setting.
You can do that by clicking the gear icon:
Then, See All Search settings:
Choose the country you’re targeting:
Now, take one of the keywords you’re trying to rank for and search for it.
Scan through the results, clicking through to each page to find where you’re ranking.
In my example, I’m looking for the keyword “time management for bloggers”. After a quick search, I found that I was ranked in the 13th position.
Not bad. Still, page 2 isn’t going to bring in much traffic. With a little on-page optimization, this page could probably bump up the rankings.
More on that later.
Using Google Search Console
Another method to check where your keywords rank on Google is with Google Search Console.
This free Google tool, formally known as Google Webmaster Tools, provides a range of insights for Google search performance.
However, you first need to have added your website to Search Console before it starts collecting data.
After your site is verified, you’ll start seeing your ranking positions within 24 – 48 hours.
Here’s how it works.
Head over to Google Search Console, choose your website property, and click on Performance in the sidebar:
You’ll see a graph where you can select the following:
- Total clicks
- Total impressions
- Average CTR
- Average position
Toggling each of these displays the data on the graph and in the table below:
To determine which keywords you rank for and identify their ranking positions, select the average positions box and scroll down:
Here you’ll see a list of all the queries your website is showing in Google’s search results.
Filter your keywords by selecting the Top queries option and entering the target keyword you want to check:
Furthermore, you can see a list of all the keywords that rank for a specific page. To do that, click on Pages, select the page, and then back over to Queries:
All of these keywords are the one’s this specific page ranks for.
In general, this method for checking keyword rankings in Google is better than manually searching.
However, in the next section, I’ll share a solution for tracking keyword rankings that is much more effective.
Also read: How to Conduct a Google Search Console Audit
How to Check Keyword Rankings in Google Using Rank Tracking Tools
Here’s a 5 step process you can take to monitor keyword rankings in Google using rank tracking tools.
This is a more effective method than checking keywords manually and provides more benefits.
Step 1. Gather the list of keywords you’re trying to rank for
Before tracking rankings in Google, you need a list of keywords you are trying to rank for. These should be keywords associated with the content on your site.
You need at least one primary keyword to monitor for each page or piece of content.
Gathering a list of keywords will keep your SEO strategy organized. Moreover, it’s a good practice to map out your keyword list when performing keyword research.
Consider adding your keywords to a spreadsheet with other data, such as search volume and keyword difficulty.
Lastly, prioritize keywords based on their value and relevance to your audience and business goals.
Step 2. Choose a keyword rank tracking tool
There are plenty of rank tracking tools for you to choose from, three of which we’ll look at in detail in the next section.
Each tool has different features and functions differently. You’ll need to choose the right one for your needs and budget.
For example, Rank Logic is a WordPress plugin that draws in keyword data from Google Search Console and tracks when you’ve made updates to the content.
Other tools like Ahrefs also use Search Console data but have additional features in their paid plans.
Once you’ve chosen a rank tracking tool, you can start monitoring your list of keywords.
Step 3. Add your list of keywords to the tool
Some tools like SerpRobot require you to add your list of keywords for the tool to work.
However, other tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush will scan your site against its content and the SERPs to find the keywords it ranks for.
Either way, it’s still worth keeping a separate spreadsheet of keywords to keep things organized.
Additionally, many keyword tracking tools allow you to export the rankings, which can be added to your spreadsheet.
Step 4. Monitor your keyword placements regularly
The great thing about rank tracking tools is that they help you check your keywords rankings regularly.
This will help you maintain your top-performing pages and identify which pages need optimization.
Moreover, they’ll help you set goals for each keyword and make it easier to achieve them.
Step 5. Optimize content ranking between positions 5 and 20
Now it’s time for SEO content optimization.
You can get some quick wins by focusing on keywords that rank between positions 5 and 20.
Because these positions indicate that your content is valuable enough to show on the first and second pages of Google.
With a little optimization, you can get a potential boost up the SERPs.
Furthermore, moving up a few positions on the first page can double or triple your traffic overnight.
Here are a few guidelines to follow to optimize your content:
- Make sure the primary keyword is in the H1, on the page, and in the SEO title and description
- Also, include click worthy copy in the SEO title
- Add semantically related keywords to the content using a tool like SurferSEO
- Add “People Also Asked” questions as FAQs to the bottom of the content
3 Rank Tracking Tools to Monitor Rankings
In this section, I’ve listed 3 tools you can use to check keyword rankings in Google that makes the whole process a lot easier.
Rank Logic is a new rank tracking tool created by Spencer Haws. It tracks keywords, provides author analytics, and monitors content updates inside WordPress.
The WordPress plugin syncs with your Google Search Console data to show keyword positions, clicks, impressions, and more.
In addition, Rank Logic allows you to see how well specific authors’ content performs in Google.
Another unique feature is content update tracking. This means you can see how updated content has affected ranking performance over time.
Pricing for Rank Login starts at $77 per year for one site.Try Rank Logic
SerpRobot is a simple rank tracking tool that keeps track of keyword positions in Google.
You get a quick glance at your average positions, keywords that have improved, and a list of your current rankings.
Furthermore, as with Rank Logic, SerpRobot shows a graph of how keywords have been trending.
The main difference between these tools is needing to enter your keywords manually into SerpRobot. Whereas Rank Logic adds keywords automatically as it’s synced with Search Console.
Pricing for SerpRobot starts at $4.99 per month which gives you 150 bot searches. There’s also a free option available that provides 10 bot searches per month.Try SerpRobot
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that lets you check keyword rankings in Google.
The website audit tool is free with some features that display keyword rankings. Additionally, the audit tool lets you monitor your website’s technical and on-page SEO problems.
To get the most from the Ahrefs Rank Tracker, you’ll need a paid subscription.
Features include graphs, checking rankings against competitors, seeing which SERP features you own, and much more.
Pricing for Ahrefs starts at $99 per month.Try Ahrefs
How do I find keywords to rank?
The best way to find keywords to target for your site is to do keyword research.
You can perform keyword research with a keyword research tool such as SEMRush or Ahrefs.
Moreover, it’s best to target keywords with a lower search volume in the beginning as these will have less competition.
How do you rank keywords organically?
Once you have a list of keywords, you’ll need to post SEO-optimized content on your website and blog.
Using the primary keyword in the title, meta description, and throughout the page will help on-page SEO.
How do I find competitors’ keywords in Google?
You can find your competitor’s keywords using a keyword research tool. Simply put their URL in the tool to see which search terms a website is ranking for.
Here’s an example using Serpstat:
When you check keyword rankings in Google, you stay on top of your website organic search performance.
Without a solid strategy for tracking where your site shows up in Google, will only cost you time and money in the future.
This post covered ways to track rankings manually and using ranking tracking tools. Either methods work, but rank trackers are much more effective and time-saving.
If you’re looking for more tools to add to your toolkit, you can check out our post 35 best free SEO tools.