When managing an online presence, it is crucial to track your website’s search engine ranking in order to measure its performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Monitoring ranking allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and determine if adjustments are needed.
By frequently checking ranking, you gain valuable insight that informs impactful decisions that can advance your website. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore proven methods for accurately determining your website’s current ranking.
Use Google Search Console
One of the best platforms for checking a website’s ranking is Google Search Console. This free service directly from Google provides detailed analytics on your site’s performance in Google Search. After verifying your site ownership in Search Console, you gain access to valuable ranking data. Useful reports include the ability to view keyword rankings, top search queries that brought traffic to your site, impressions and clicks data, and more.
Monitoring this key ranking data weekly or monthly gives you an accurate overview of your site’s current Google search visibility. You can then optimize pages and content accordingly to target desirable improvements in rankings.
Check Ranking Manually in Google
Beyond Search Console, manually checking keyword rankings in Google is another reliable tactic. For important target keywords, perform manual Google searches and identify if your site appears on the first search engine results page for relevant queries. Document the keyword, your site’s ranking position, as well as the top-ranked result for the term.
Be sure to check ranking from a neutral browser in incognito mode for the most accurate data free of personalized influence. Check rankings weekly or monthly to monitor progress over time. This hands-on visibility into ranking for critical keywords helps drive content and optimization decisions to reach #1.
Use Third-Party Rank Checkers
For broader insight across keywords and search engines, utilize third-party rank checking software. Options like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz allow you to input a domain and generate ranking reports to reveal keyword rankings. Specify location targeting to see rankings in Google results for countries of interest. Review rankings weekly or monthly to inform optimization.
Advanced rank checkers provide useful data like competitors’ rankings, search engine visibility comparisons over time, click-through rates, and keyword suggestions to target. Appointing a services budget for software ensures you gain robust ranking and SEO analytics at scale.
Analyze Alexa Rank
While primarily tracking website traffic data, Alexa Rank also indicates site popularity and provides a ballpark estimate of overall search engine ranking. Millions of Alexa toolbar users influence this ranking data. A site with an Alexa rank in the top 100,000 globally indicates respectable search visibility.
With Alexa’s free basic access, input a URL to view limited analytics. Though best for secondary validation, monitoring shifts in Alexa rank monthly can augment other ranking insights. Decreasing Alexa rank suggests your optimization work fuels growing authority.
Study Ranking Reports in Bing & Yandex
Expand beyond Google to also study rankings in Bing and Yandex—search juggernauts in specific global markets. Bing offers some Search Console-esque data for registered sites, allowing ranking checks for Bing results pages. Yandex provides XML ranking data if you meet eligibility by serving Russian site visitors.
Checking rankings monthly in these search engines reduces blind spots in your visibility data for key regions. Don’t miss opportunities and visibility lifts in Bing and Yandex that support your goals in English-speaking countries and Russian-language markets, respectively.
Connect Site with Google Analytics
While not a direct ranking tool, Google Analytics provides useful visibility that validates optimization best practices that lift ranking. Connect your site to monitor metrics like click-through rates on organic entries, impressions by keyword, pages earning traffic, bounce rates, and more. Poor performance in these areas indicates issues that likely suppress rankings. Use this analytics insight to guide website changes and content creation that better attracts and engages searchers to support rankings growth. Tie analytics review to monthly checks of Google Search Console reports and manual rankings for a comprehensive analysis.
As we reviewed together, monitoring website search engine ranking should become a consistent site health practice. Utilize free and paid tools to assemble regular visibility into keyword rankings across search engines. Considering regional and global competition is key for a thorough competitive analysis. Tracking ranking data over time then fuels smart SEO and content decisions that improve positions. Consistently checking ranking and progress empowers you to elevate site visibility and conversions over the long term.
How Often To Check Rankings
When developing a consistent practice to monitor website rankings, determining optimal frequency is key to avoid redundant effort while maintaining a pulse on meaningful changes. As search algorithms drive regular fluctuations, we recommend checking rankings 1-2 times per month as a starting point with adjustments as needed.
For websites in active development making continual adjustments, checking rankings every two weeks can strike an effective balance to identify impacts from recent optimization activities. This allows enough time for search engines to crawl changes without being overly demanding on resources.
Alternatively, more established websites with gradual modification may only require monthly checks. This still provides valuable tracking while freeing time for higher priority initiatives if rankings remain relatively steady.
In any scenario, ensure checks occur consistently on a recurring monthly or bi-weekly cycle. Identify a recurring calendar reminder to prompt analysis. Consistency allows accurate comparisons to previous months to pinpoint trends.
Pay attention if rankings shift significantly up or down by 5+ spots for target keywords. This indicates substantial algorithm impacts warranting further inspection. In these cases, temporarily increase frequency to weekly ranking checks to monitor closely before taking action.
Outside of target milestones like major site migrations, new product launches or heavy link building campaigns, stick to a bi-weekly or monthly cadence. Adopting this creates a maintainable site health practice to boost visibility over time.
DIY Steps To Checking Rankings
While paid tools provide helpful data, you can follow simple DIY (do-it-yourself) steps for checking rankings accurately using just Google itself.
Step 1) Identify your core target keywords – 5 to 10 terms that are central to your site and business. These will serve as your consistent ranking reporting basis each month. Tracking the same keywords allows for true apples-to-apples comparisons in rankings.
Step 2) Setup a spreadsheet and dedicated tab for rankings tracking. For each target term, establish columns to record the date checked, keyword, ranking position, competing domain ranked higher, and notes. This structures your data gathering process.
Step 3) Check rankings for your list 2X per month from a neutral browser like Chrome incognito window. Note rankings data for each target keyword in your sheet. Checking from an incognito browser sees rankings as a generic visitor not personalized results.
Step 4) Compare against previous months–is your site gaining/losing spots for important terms? Review what sites rank higher and identify on-page factors or backlinks influencing their strong rankings to replicate strengths.
Step 5) Convert ranking notes to action by identifying pages and content to optimize further, ideas for better targeting phrases, and link building opportunities. Then update optimization task lists and editorial calendars accordingly.
Following this straightforward manual inspection process monthly serves as an invaluable ranking health check to drive better visibility. Audit with these steps to boost your SEO prowess like an analytics pro!
Things To Avoid When Checking Rankings
While regularly monitoring rankings is clearly beneficial, several pitfalls can undermine your analysis. When incorporating ranking checks into monthly SEO tasks, ensure your process avoids:
- Checking inconsistently – Sporadic or one-off checks make trend analysis impossible. Schedule standard days monthly dedicated to rankings analysis for accurate data comparisons over time.
- Using personalized browsers – Signed-in browsers with tracking cookies show biased rankings aligned to your interests, past clicks and history. Use incognito/private mode for unseen generic results.
- Neglecting competitor monitoring – Simply checking your own rankings misses context on who outranks you and how you broadly compare to competitors. Track their organic presence and rankings shifts too.
- Focusing only on keyword ranks – While a core metric, also check click-through rates, impressions, search visibility metadata in Search Console. This paints a fuller picture on rankings.
- Not taking action – Don’t let your findings simply idle! Actualize insights by creating task lists and next steps to fuel content, technical and link efforts that can lift targeted pages.
While ranking checks are easy to incorporate, giving into these pitfalls undercuts their usefulness significantly. Keep your process consistent, ethical and comprehensive month over month. Let your informed findings guide positive SEO momentum!
By instituting a smart methodology and avoiding information trappings, you can effectively monitor website rankings. Sustaining reliable checks monthly empowers data-backed decisions that ultimately ascend your site’s visibility over the long haul. Use these indispensable tips as fuel toward an upward climb.
Need help with monitoring and optimizing? Contact 427 Digital today for expert help!