If you own a website one of the most important factors is your website’s search engine ranking for different keywords.
Your search engine rankings will have a major impact on the amount of traffic your site receives. And as Google is the most popular search engine it’s good to have an idea of your ranking on Google.
Your rankings will change over time and it will take a while before you see any difference in traffic or revenue. That’s because you will probably only get organic traffic if you are on the first page of the search engines results pages (SERPs).
Keeping an eye on your rankings can help you identify problems with your site or justify your latest optimization efforts.
A big fall in your rankings might mean your site has been penalized, your latest optimization efforts have had the reverse effect or the search engines have changed their algorithm. A rise in your ranking would mean your SEO work has paid off and perhaps you should continue these actions for other pages.
In this post, you will learn how to check your website ranking in Google with three different methods.
Keywords and Your Ranking
Checking your rankings gives you an insight to how well you are choosing your keywords, writing content and performing your search engine optimization.
If a post is not ranking you may have to return and give it some more work. There are a few things you should consider when looking for reasons a post may not be ranking as expected.
- It takes time for a new website to achieve the rankings it deserves. This is known as the Google sandbox. The sandbox effect can last from a few months to a year. During this time a new website may experience:
- very few or no listings in the SERPs
- higher than expected rankings for a very short period
- may appear and disappear from the rankings from time to time
So, if you have a new site be patient and keep adding new content, you will see your search engine rankings improve over time. Also if you target low competition keywords you have more chance of ranking quickly.
- A new post may not rank immediately, but after a few days, you should be able to find it in the search engines. Although in the first few weeks after publishing there might be a fair bit of fluctuation
- Your keywords may be too competitive, always choose low competition keywords at least until your site has some authority
- Did you forget something when you optimized your page? Follow a checklist to make sure you don’t overlook anything
- Is your content good enough? Don’t write your article around your keywords, write your article for your readers and include your keywords in your post. Write content that helps your visitors or answers a question, quality content with information that your readers want. Longer posts tend to rank better than short posts.
- Are you producing content regularly? Some experts say Google likes fresh content and will rank sites that are updated regularly higher. Most successful sites post new content at least every week and some every day.
After seeing why some of your posts may not be ranking, let’s move on to find the positions of your articles that are ranking in the search engines.
Using Google To Check Your Rankings
When you use Google to check your rankings the results you see won’t be the same as everyone else sees. Many people use Google to check their rankings but without carrying out a couple of simple actions your results won’t be accurate.
Google personalizes the results based on your previous searches. This means if you often visit your own website, Google will give your website more weight in the results.
You might think you are in first place in the search results when in fact you are several pages further down in the real results. I have often seen beginners make this mistake and had their moment of joy dashed when they learn why their site was showing as number 1 in their results.
Factors that can affect the search results on Google.
- Previous searches. Google remembers everything you have searched for (at least up to the last time you cleared your cache or cookies). If you often search for the similar keywords or your website name Google will remember and will give results based on your previous searches. This could give a web page or website a seemingly favorable position in the search results that is not its true rank. The search results may be customized even when you’re signed out of your Google account.
- Geographic location. Your results will be affected by the location settings on the device you are using. Google knows your approximate location and favors local results. They will give different results depending on your country or city. For example, if you’re in London and you’re looking for an electrician you will get different results to someone based in Paris.
- Your Google account. If you’re signed in to your Google account while searching, Google will return results based on your past behavior
- Type of device you use. The results on a mobile phone will rank sites that are responsive (mobile friendly) higher than sites that are not. The responsive sites will give people a better experience.
You can see that using Google to check you rankings isn’t as straightforward as you may have thought. Although the rankings may change slightly several times a day which is natural, there are few steps you can take to obtain a more objective idea of where your site ranks.
- Clear your browser cache, cookies and history, turn off the location information on your browser and make sure you are logged out of your Google account
- Use a different browser from your normal browser
- Use the browser’s “In Private or Incognito mode”
It is possible to use Google to check your rankings manually but is time-consuming if you’re not on the first few pages.
Using tools to check your rankings will save you time and you won’t need to perform the actions on your browser I mentioned above. The two tools I use to check my rankings are Jaaxy and Google Search Console (GSC).
Check Your Website Ranking With Jaaxy
Jaaxy is a keyword tool that can find those low-competition keywords that are easy to rank for in the search engines. Also, it can be used to find affiliate programs, check domain name availability, do a little search analysis on your competitors and check your rankings.
The ranking checker is very easy to use.
Sign into your Jaaxy account.
If you haven’t yet got a Jaaxy account you can become a free member of Jaaxy here. You just need to fill in your name, email address and create a password. Then you have 30 FREE searches to try out the platform.
When you enter Jaaxy, you will be on the keyword search page, click on the “Site Rank” tab and you are taken to a page that looks like this.Enter your keywords, your domain and hit search!
Wait for a few seconds and your results will appear. If you are not on the first 20 pages of Google you will see the message below.
When Jaaxy finds your keyword in the first 20 pages you are given the exact position. You can also see if your keyword has gone up or down since the last time you checked. Below are the details you are given.
As you can see checking your rankings using Jaaxy is very easy and can be a little addictive. If this is the first time you have used Jaaxy also take the time to check out how easy it is to find some great low competition keywords.
These low competition keywords may have less traffic. However, it is much better to rank on the first page of Google and have just a few visits rather than rank further down the search engines for keywords that may have a lot of traffic. You will probably have no visitors at all.
Always bear in mind when searching on the internet people rarely go past the first page of results.
You can see that Jaaxy is very easy to use and gives accurate up to date site rank results.
Check Your Website Ranking With Google Seach Console
The GSC is a powerful free tool provided by Google to help you in your SEO efforts. The search console provides different reports that can help you to: eliminate errors, improve certain areas of your site, follow the evolution of your search engine positions and much more.
In this brief passage on GSC, we will just look at the function of checking what keywords your site is ranking for and their average position in the search results.
- Log in to Google Search Console and click on your site.
- Click on Search Traffic and then Search Analytics in the left-hand menu
You have a choice of which metrics you can view. To get an idea of your position you only need to select “Position” but I always leave “Clicks” selected as well.
There are a number of filters you can apply. For example, results for a certain country, results for desktop, mobile or tablet and the type of search web, images or video.
The positions given to you by GSC are average positions in Google, not an exact position at a given time. You can select a time span for the search engine positions from 7 to 90 days. For your current results obviously the last 7 days will be more accurate although the results on Google Search Console are always a few days behind.
A feature I find really useful is that you can see what search phrases are driving traffic to your site and what pages are attracting traffic. This is why I think it’s always a good idea to leave the “Clicks” metric checked.
GSC also makes it possible to check your results against another period. You can compare your rankings against the previous 7, 28 days or set your own custom period. Below is a comparison for the 28 day period.
You can see in the results below the average position is for the date range July 19 – August 15. These results were obtained on the 20th August. Hence you can see Google Search Console is always a few days behind the up to date rankings.
Overall, a great free tool and although the results aren’t 100% exact or up to date still very useful.
How To Improve Your Rankings
The main ingredient to obtaining good search engine positions is writing quality content. Content created for your visitors will increase traffic and in time the authority of your site.
In addition, you should pay attention to the on page SEO. Using your keywords in the post, the title tag, meta description, URL and alt tags will all help your rankings, but don’t overdo it.
In fact, there are many factors that will improve your ranking in Google, although no one knows the exact algorithm and how it works. Brian Dean recently wrote a great article with more than 200 ranking factors. It’s interesting to take a look but don’t panic, concentrate on your content and the basic on page SEO.
Getting an accurate and current idea of your Google rankings with a tool like Jaaxy is very easy. Or obtaining an average position with Google Search Console is also simple.
Although it’s nice to see that you are ranking on the first page of Google, don’t get carried away and spend a lot of time checking your search engine rankings. Once a week is enough, your main concern should be writing new content.
The Google rankings are constantly changing and there are often Google algorithm updates. This means you have to follow these updates and keep an eye on your rankings.
If your posts aren’t performing as well as you hoped, you should take action. Improve your content, look at your on-page SEO or build some quality backlinks. After taking these actions you should then watch your search engine positions to learn what effect your improvements might have had.
On the other hand, when your posts are doing well, you still need to track their positions, to make sure a Google update or a competitor doesn’t cause your site to drop down in the rankings.
Producing quality content after thoroughly doing your keyword research and publishing regularly is most important. Add to that a little SEO and you should find your site ranking well in Google.
If you want to learn how to write good content, do keyword research, SEO and everything else related to an online business, check out my #1 recommended training platform, Wealthy Affiliate. You are given excellent training on all these subjects. In addition, you have all the tools you need to get started and achieve good rankings in Google. The best part, they offer a FREE trial to see if it’s right for you.
Do you have another way of checking your rankings? If you have any questions about how to check your website keyword rankings in Google or you would like to share your experience about ranking naturally please let me know in the comments section below.