Here are a few ways to check your keyword rankings and my strategy to improve the keywords you rank for.
Table of Contents
What is keyword ranking or position checking ?
Keyword ranking is discovering where your page ranks for particular keywords in the top 100 results of a search engine; but mainly Google.
For example, I rank in position 1 in Google for “ubersuggest vs ahrefs”
But I rank in position 139 for “seo training courses”.
Why check positions and rankings ?
Website owners check the positions of pages and keywords as they seek to check that SEO work they’ve done is having positive results.
Or to detect any decline in ranking positions which could result in a reduction in their website traffic.
At the last check my website ranks for over 15,000 keywords and I have a relatively small website; under 70 pages.
So it’s not feasible to check every keyword and position unless you are obsessive.
Quickly check rankings
You can quickly check your keyword rankings with a free tool such as Small SEO Tools.
Enter a keyword and URL
Press Check Positions
This is a very basic rank checker but it does the job of checking a keyword you rank for along with the search volume of that query as well.
Manually Check Rankings with Google Search Console
The second way to check keyword rankings is to use Google Search Console performance reports.
By default, Search Console will display your average position for the last 3 months.
Last 28 Days
So you want to change the date filter and look at the keyword positions for the last 28 days.
Compare Last 28 days to previous period
Then you want to compare position changes for the past 28 days compared to the previous 28 days.
Or you could compare the keywords and position changes for any date range.
You can also check your most recent keyword rankings; which are usually the positions you ranked for in Google yesterday.
This is a good way to check if new pages you’ve published have been indexed in Google.
Check positions on a per country basis
However all the keywords and positions that I rank for in the screenshots about are average global positions.
Even though my website is targeting UK searchers my pages and keywords rank globally.
So to check your keyword rankings for a particular country, you need to create a country filter.
Web versus image rankings
You can also check where images on your website rank in Google.
Whilst I don’t earn many clicks from images there are many e-commerce websites with product images that drive a lot of organic traffic
Filter keyword positions manually
You can also filter the keywords you rank for.
So for example, if you only wanted to check keywords in position 20 or less use the position filter, select Smaller than and enter a number.
Desktop and mobile device keyword rankings
You may also want to check the rankings of keywords on desktop and mobiles or compare the two.
Simple add a new filter and select a device filter, select compare and then apply.
Create a Data Studio report
With my limited skills, I created a Google Data Studio report like this one.
I can quickly check all 15,000 keywords my website ranks for 10 times faster than I can with Google Search Console.
This Data Studio report also updates every day by itself so the average positions are always fresh.
There are plenty of Data Studio keyword ranking templates; just search Google for them.
Use Google Analytics
An alternative way to check keyword positions is to set up a report in Google Analytics and get it sent to yourself or client each week or month.
Go to Google Analytics
- Select Acquisition
- Select Search Console
- Select Queries
- Select Share
- Enter recipient’s email address
- Select frequency and day of the week
- Choose for how long to send these reports
- Then press send
Premium Keyword Ranking Tools
Or to rank keywords and positions you could use premium rank checkers such as Ahrefs or Accuranker
Ahrefs Rank Checker
Now I’m a huge fan of Ahrefs but I’ve always grappled with their rank checker.
On the very basic lite subscription plan, you can rank up to 500 keywords.
Thereafter, if you want to track more keywords it’s going to cost you an extra $50 for another 500 keywords.
In this example I’ve added a couple of keywords that I want to track.
And your keyword ranking report will look like this.
Alternatively you could try Accuranker; a keyword ranking tools other SEO experts highly recommend.
How to improve keywords you rank for
Updating or upgrading older content is also a brilliant strategy because Google favours older URLs.
And it’s brilliant because most of your competitors are lazy bastards that don’t work on their website.
Here’s the process we shall use; it’s repeatable, you can use this for any website or any search query.
- Search Intent and Volume
- User Intent – what does user want when they arrive on the page
- Check the page topic score
- Improve Page
- Internal Link Boosts
Now let’s target existing informational search queries
I’ll use a dry cleaning and laundry business in this example
A Search Intent and Volume
- Go to Search Console
- Open report
- Make sure clicks, impressions and average position are selected
- (for low traffic sites choose last 3 months)
If you operate locally you may wish to filter the results by your country
- Select the Filter icon
- Tick the Query option
- Enter any of the keywords in the box next to Contains to filter queries
Now the product name, category name or search name will be unique to the client and their industry.
For client it will be
- Dry cleaning
So filter with “service”
Here’s a great one
- Laundry collection service
- 182 impressions
- Position 46
- Click the query
- Click Pages
- Copy the page URL it ranks for
B User Intent – what does a user want when they arrive on the page ?
Copy and paste the query eg: laundry collection service into thruuu
- Enter keyword into keyword box
- Select your location
- Select your search engine country
- SCRAPE THE SERP
Find and write down your Current Page Title
Laundry Collection and Delivery in Prestwick, Ayr, Troon & Ayrshire
Copy from Thruuu the Keywords Frequency in Title
Use this formula to write user intent based Page Title
search query / user intent
Eg: Laundry collection service / delivery dry cleaning service
Write Out New User Intent Page Title
Laundry & Dry Cleaning Collection and Delivery Service
If you need help with the length of the page title type it into so you preview it as Google and users will see it with this tool.
C Check the page topic score
5 free document checks with Frase.io then $39 a month
- Select New Document
- Enter keyword
- Enter URL
- Enter Country
You will get a page topic score.
Then you will see a list of words and phrases that are missing from the page.
Ideally you want to get near to 100%
But if the page topic score is really low like under 10% I would probably recommend getting the page entirely rewritten.
So what are your options?
D Improve page
These are your options:
Optimise page yourself – simply add or incorporate the missing words and phrases into your existing article
Client optimise page – rewrite the page title, copy and paste the missing words and phrases to the foot of the document and export as Word Doc and email to them
Rewrite – If the page has a very low topic score then it needs a complete rewrite, you need to create a content brief and get it rewritten
E Publish Page
Use the template
F Boost with internal links
You want to find pages on your website where you can link to the page you’re trying to boost.
Ideally you want a first link priority
That’s a link near the top of the page, in the body copy and with a relevant anchor text link.
Let me show you an example.
A more advanced method of finding other pages that will boost the page you’re working on is as follows:
Site:domain.com your keyword
Or you might have to short it down
Ignore the page you are working on
Look at how Google has bolded the keyword on different pages.
These are the pages you want to link from to your page to boost it
- Open new tab
- Go into your CMS
- Find the first page and keyword from the google search queries
So that sums up keyword ranking
This was a basic outline of how to check and improve your keyword rankings.