Have you ever wondered why your website isn’t reaching its full potential? Are you struggling to attract visitors and compete in the digital landscape? The answer lies in understanding the complex world of keyword rankings. But fear not!
In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of keyword ranking, highlighting their importance and tracking methods. We’ll also walk you through some of the best practices. So, stick around!
Keyword Ranking: Overview
Keyword rankings refer to your website’s position in search engine results for a specific query.
The higher your rank, the closer your page appears at the top of search engine ranking pages (SERPs). As a result, you attract more clicks and drive organic traffic.
Most search engines, such as Google, determine your page’s relevance based on your content’s quality. The best part is that there are no limits; pages can rank for numerous keywords.
Understanding and improving your keyword ranking is crucial for improving your SEO strategies, attracting more visitors, and succeeding in the online world.
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Why Is Keyword Ranking Important?
Tracking where your website stands in search results provides you with valuable information. These include measuring your success, monitoring competitors, and more.
Without these insights, your SEO efforts might miss the mark, potentially hurting your business. Let’s delve into the game-changing benefits of keyword ranking!
1. Drive More Organic Traffic
Ever searched on Google and clicked beyond the first page? Probably not. That’s why your keyword ranking matters—especially for traffic.
Even if your website succeeds in landing a spot on the first page, you’ll only receive around 31.73% of the clicks. The top three pages, on the other hand, get a whopping 75.1% of the clicks, with the first receiving 39.8%.
Now, what does this have to do with keyword tracking?
Assessing your website’s position helps you identify existing and emerging trends. It’s your radar for what’s hot and what’s not.
As you know, search trends fluctuate easily. Unfortunately, this affects your ranking on the SERPs. Discovering these issues early on can help you modify your SEO strategies so that your business performs better.
In contrast, if a keyword performs well, keep creating more content. This data shapes your strategy, helping you climb the SERP ladder and capture more clicks!
2. Troubleshoot Problems
Aside from evaluating your SEO efforts, regularly checking your ranking evolution helps you troubleshoot any problems.
You see, even if you’ve followed the best SEO practices to a tee, staying at the top of SERPs isn’t always guaranteed. That’s because several factors can change your ranking. These include algorithm updates, backlinks, competition, and more.
These changes can hurt or improve your SERP position. Monitoring your progress helps identify reasons for falls early on and tackle them.
What’s more, keyword ranking can be a telltale sign of penalties. You see, Google has rules, and if they think your website isn’t following them, they might give it a penalty. For instance, using irrelevant keywords to improve SEO can cause more harm than good.
Generally, you can receive two types of penalties. One affects only a few keywords, while the other impacts your entire website, making it almost invisible on the search engine. But it’s not just penalties; technical errors can also make your website drop in ranking.
How do you know if this happens? Well, you can check your website’s position and traffic throughout the year to see when its performance started to drop.
3. Monitor Your Competitors
Keeping an eye on your target keyword rankings can save you a lot of time and effort.
When you target specific topics, you want to know who else is in the game. If you see big, authoritative players competing for the same keywords, your chances of ranking higher can be slim.
Instead of focusing on the same content, you can target keywords with high search volumes that are less competitive. Discovering such opportunities can help you increase your business’s visibility quickly!
How to Check Your Keyword Ranking Position
Now that you know the importance of tracking your keyword ranking, you might wonder how to check it. Luckily, there are several user-friendly methods.
You can search manually, use Google Search Console, or leverage SEO tools. Not only do these methods help you understand your starting point, but they also track your progress over time. Let’s discuss each method in further detail!
1. Track Keyword Ranking Manually
The most direct way to check your keyword ranking is by doing it manually. However, it’s trickier than it seems. That’s because Google tailors the results based on your search history. Other factors, like location, language, and time, go into the mix.
For that reason, the ranking may not be accurate. To see the unbiased truth, use incognito mode. Simply open a private window, type your keyword, and voilà!
You can repeat this process for different search queries. However, this method can be time-consuming for larger sites. And that brings us to the next method: Google Search Console.
2. Track Keyword Ranking With Google Search Console
For a swift and comprehensive overview of your SEO keyword rankings, use Google Search Console (GSC). Not only does this tool save time and effort, but it also helps you target all the keywords your domain ranks for. The best part is that it’s free!
Here’s a quick guide on how to use GSC:
- Open GSC
- Go to “Performance” and click on “Search results.”
- Select “Average CTR” and “Average position.”
- Scroll to the queries report for a complete list of your SEO keyword rankings.
You can adjust the date to see your performance in the past few months. You can also use the compare feature to see if your ranking improved or declined during that period.
3. Track With Keyword Ranking Checker
While Google Search Console offers valuable insights, it still has some limitations. For instance, you can’t track specific keywords; you have to work with the data GSC has provided. You also can’t track beyond 16 months of your performance history.
That’s when SEO tools like Semrush come to the rescue. For those wondering, Semrush is an all-in-one online marketing tool. It includes features that allow you to do keyword research and tracking.
To know your ranking for a specific query, use the Position-Tracking tool. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Head to Semrush’s “Position Tracking.”
- Enter your domain and initiate the racking setup.
- Specify targeting details: search engine, device, and location.
- Proceed to “Continue to Keywords.”
- Input your chosen keywords and hit “Add keywords to campaign.”
- Opt for automated reports via the “Send me weekly ranking updates via email” option.
- Click “Start Tracking” to begin.
- Click “Overview” on the next page.
- Scroll down to see the data about the keywords you’ve selected.
How to Improve Your Keyword Ranking Position
Now that you’ve mastered the art of tracking your keyword rankings, let’s shift our focus to the next crucial step: improving your position in the digital battleground.
If your current performance is stellar, your strategies are hitting the mark. However, what should you do if you’re not making any progress?
Below are some key practices to help you elevate your keyword ranking game and increase your website’s visibility.
1. Focus on Search Intent
Out of all the fancy SEO practices, search intent remains Google’s top priority. You can follow all the SEO rules, but if your content doesn’t hit the right notes, Google won’t be impressed. As a result, your website won’t rank higher on the SERPs.
The question is this: what is search intent?
Basically, it’s knowing the reason behind a query. Usually, there are four primary types of search intent. These are:
- Navigational: This means the user is looking for a specific page.
- Informational: The user wants to learn about a certain topic.
- Commercial Investigation: The searcher is inquiring about a product or a service.
- Transactional: The person is looking to make a purchase.
Semrush helps you identify the intent behind your target keywords and tailor your content accordingly. Regardless of the type, aim to answer the query as early as possible in the article to capture the reader’s attention and increase your ranking.
2. Optimize Your Content
Targeting keywords with traffic potential is the first step to increasing your visibility. After all, optimizing for a topic no one searches for is just a waste of time and effort. Using tools like Ahref’s Keyword Explorer can help you with this issue.
Once you decide on the topic, all you need to do is create engaging content that covers the reader’s intent. Make sure to include long-tail keywords, as they usually have less competition.
Keep in mind that keyword positions matter. You generally want to include them in your page title, headers, and introduction. Also, focus on crafting a catchy meta description and including the target keyword. It can help boost clicks and increase your ranking.
3. Focus on Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are essential for increasing your website’s visibility. In fact, they’re one of Google’s top three factors for keyword ranking. They also help boost organic traffic.
For those wondering, backlinks are links created when one website hyperlinks to your page. This helps improve your authority score.
However, not all links are equal. You want to target authoritative sites. Additionally, the content should be relevant to your niche. Google has become savvy with black-hat linking techniques, and having unnatural backlinks can earn you a penalty.
Instead, focus on building quality backlinks. Here are some tips to help you with that:
- Reclaim unlinked mentions
- Reach out to authors to get contextual links
- Publish comprehensive guides
- Leverage infographics to earn mentions
Can you pay to rank higher on Google?
No, you can’t buy higher organic rankings on Google. The results depend on relevance, content quality, and user experience—not payments.
To appear at the top, use Google Ads for paid advertising. Google Ads involves bidding on keywords and paying for ad placements. However, it doesn’t affect your site’s organic rankings.
What causes a drop in keyword rankings?
Several reasons cause a drop in keyword rankings. These include:
- Loss of high-quality backlinks
- Altered or removed content
- Google penalties due to black-hat techniques
- Technical issues like slow page speed or errors
- Changes in URL structure
- Seasonal fluctuations for keywords
As you can see, mastering keyword rankings is your pathway to SEO success.
By understanding your website’s position, you can drive more organic traffic, troubleshoot issues, and outperform competitors.
Tools like Google Search Console and SEMrush simplify tracking, enabling strategic improvements.
Focusing on search intent, content optimization, and quality backlinks enhances visibility. However, remember that this SEO journey is ongoing. So, keep track and adapt to trends. That way, you ensure your website will rise to the top, securing a thriving online presence!