Keyword Rankings

Written by Fraser McCulloch. Last Updated 17th December 2021

There are several ways to check your keyword rankings and positions in Google, along with a strategy for improving them.

What is keyword ranking or Google 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 ?

One of the most vital data to know is your website’s positions in SERPs for the keywords you’re targeting.

Any decline in ranking positions could result in a reduction in your website traffic.

My website ranks for over 15,000 keywords at the last check, 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.

Most Recent

You can also check your most recent keyword rankings, which are usually the positions you ranked for in Google yesterday.

This is an excellent 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 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, many e-commerce websites with product images 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 10 times faster than 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; search Google for them.

How to check keyword ranking in 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 the client each week or month.

Go to Google Analytics

  1. Select Acquisition
  2. Select Search Console
  3. Select Queries
  4. Select Share
  5. Enter recipient’s email address
  6. Select frequency and day of the week
  7. Choose for how long to send these reports
  8. 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 massive 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.

After that, if you want to track more keywords, it will 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.

SEO Minion : SERP Location Checker

If you need to check the ranking of a keyword outside your country, try using the SEO Minion toolbar.

  • Click the SEO Minion icon on your browser
  • Select SERP Location Checker
  1. Select the country you wish to check
  2. Select the language
  3. Enter the search query to check
  4. Press execute search and results and positions will appear 

Alternatively, you can check and compare the keyword positions between two locations as follows:

  • Click the SEO Minion icon on your browser
  • Select SERP Location Checker (v/s)
  1. On the left select the first country you wish to check
  2. Select the language
  3. Select the second country you wish to check
  4. Select the language
  5. Enter the search query
  6. Press execute search and the keyword ranking positions will appear above

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 it for any website or search query.

  1. Search Intent and Volume
  2. User Intent – what does user want when they arrive on the page
  3. Check the page topic score
  4. Improve Page
  5. Publish
  6. Internal Link Boosts

Now let’s target existing informational search queries

Search Intent Keyword Modifiers

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
  • Service
  • Example
  • Guide
  • Learn
  • Top
  • Best
  • Calculator
  • Video

The product name, category name or search name will be unique to the client and their industry.

For clients, it will be

  • Dry cleaning
  • Laundry
  • ironing

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, e.g., laundry collection service, into thruuu

  • Enter keyword into keyword box
  • Select your location
  • Select your search engine country

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

  • laundry
  • delivery
  • dry
  • london
  • cleaning
  • cleaners
  • service
  • pickup
  • collection
  • free

Use this formula to write user intent-based Page Title

search query/user intent

E.g., 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 like Google, and users will see it with this tool.

C Check the page topic score

5 free document checks with 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 – 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, it needs a complete rewrite; you need to create a content brief and rewrite it.

E Publish Page

Use the template

on page seo tips infographic

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: your keyword

Or you might have to short it down collection

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.