There is a lot of talk about keywords in SEO, for any blogger (or) brand keywords are the most basic pillar to grow their blog. As we all know, if you’re unable to get higher keyword rankings for the content on your blog, then it is most unlikely to generate good search traffic.
To create a successful blog, choosing the right keywords and having good keyword rankings are the most essential element. Despite such, I feel there is not-so comprehensive talk about topics like how to track keywords and what is a good keyword ranking for any blog.
Hence through this article, I am going to clear your doubts by explaining everything in layman’s terms.
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What is Keyword Ranking?
A keyword is a search query that an Internet user uses to search for information or shop online. It can either be one word or a combination of words. For instance, “Best IT Company in the US,” is a six-word keyword, while “Cricket matches” is a two-word keyword. Whenever the user types these keywords in the search box of a browser, the search engine puts forth relevant results from its own collection of databases.
So, if you want to bring web traffic to your site and wanna improve revenue numbers, you have to figure out all the possible relevant keywords for your site and rank them.
Otherwise, your website will get lost amongst millions of websites out there. Several surveys & studies done in the recent past revealed that most people tend to click only on the first page of any search result. In a nutshell, the higher you rank, the better it is.
One thing you need to note here is that you can not directly tell top-rated search engines such as Bing or Google regarding what your website is about. Instead, they’ll analyze your website content to determine what keywords your site needs to rank.
Also, there is no minimum or a maximum number of keywords your website can rank for. There are a variety of factors that affect a website’s rankings, spanning from content, design of the site to link building. Improving keyword rankings for your website is not an overnight venture, it takes time, requires real dedication to be a cut above your rivals for SERP results.
Search engines such as Google have complex algorithms to weight an array of factors to rank or de-rank a site for each keyword.
However, the Google keyword ranking is different for desktop and mobile users. Because users on mobile phones want faster loading sites and navigation-friendly pages to show on their screen and for those reasons, Google shows different search engine results on mobile.
Moreover, these days, Google wants sites to adhere to the Mobile-First Indexing approach which means, if your website is not mobile-friendly, then your desktop rankings can get hampered.
Before you make efforts to rank your site for the keywords you need to prepare a list of keywords to rank for. The keyword list must be prepared based on the search volume and competitiveness of each keyword. For a new website, you should always target keywords that are less competitive, more relevant, and should have decent search volume.
The term ‘competitiveness’ and ‘decent search volume’ while doing keyword research are subjective which means they vary from niche to niche. Since some niches will be easier to rank compared to other saturated niches, I can’t give a generic number to competitiveness (or) a number for decent search volume. To understand how to find good keywords for your blog.
I would recommend you to go through my article on ‘Ultimate guide on how to start a blog and make money’.
For every new blogger, one thing that they should keep in mind is that don’t expect to rank on top for different keywords within a few days, it takes time unless you apply black hat strategies.
However, these strategies may land you in trouble, because Google frequently updates its algorithm and throughout these years Google has become smarter enough to recognize unethical practices which may altogether ban your site from showing up on search results.
So, would you like to wait and achieve long-term results or get yourself in trouble for short-term gains? No, right!
Till now, I think I have talked enough about keywords and keyword rankings. I think one of the most essential parts of blogging after choosing keywords, writing content, and building backlinks are tracking those keywords. Thus the next section is gonna be on that.
How to Track Your Keyword Rankings?
Once you have prepared a set of keywords for which you want to rank for, and you have invested some time writing content around these keywords, it is imperative to track the keywords to know whether your strategies are working.
As a rule of thumb, check your rankings at least once a week, because then only you will know whether you are headed in the right direction or not.
Tracking keyword rankings play an important part for someone who really wants to generate traffic from search engines. You can eventually track keywords within your Google Analytics account but there are many paid keyword tools in the market that can help you do more than just tracking.
Here I wanna share a list of tools that you can use for tracking your keywords and also keep in mind that some of these tools are very useful for coming up with potential keyword ideas too.
Undoubtedly Ahrefs is my favourite keyword tool for almost everything.
It is an advanced SEO tool that offers a pyramid of features to do comprehensive SEO checkups of your website, right from on-page issues to off-page and link building.
Using Ahrefs just to track your keywords is stupidity. Instead, I would suggest every new blogger connect their domains with Ahrefs and use it for:-
- Competitor analysis
- Keyword research
- Keyword tracking
- Backlink analysis
- Domain rating analysis
- SERP analysis & more
For now, if you just wanna look at your keywords, just input your URL in the tool and you can skim through its organic keywords section for your keyword rankings. Ahrefs can cost you almost $100 per month, but before becoming a paid user I would highly suggest you use their 7-day trial.
SEMrush is a powerful SEO tool that provides all the key crucial details and statistics of your SEO projects to create a winning SEO strategy that drives results. It presents a super-easy checklist for improving the on-page SEO of any website.
The FREE version of SEMrush has limited features, therefore, you will have to opt for the paid version costing $200 a month. The linking building feature of SEMrush and its unique CRM style helps in boosting the outreach process for most bloggers. You should sign up for its 14-days trial if you wanna look more into the tool.
People from the SEO community are familiar with Moz. It is not just a tool, in fact, their own blog is one of the biggest SEO resources on the internet and their own keyword tool does so many things just as Ahrefs and is worth using it.
Moz does offer some free tools which you should check. But when it comes to keyword tracking, their main tool covers overall visibility on the SERP hence you can easily keep track of your keywords by just inserting your URL into this tool.
If you can use Moz effectively, you could eventually find gaps in the niches through keywords and also you can check your competitor’s SEO strategies to improve and adapt yours.
If you are in search of a paid dedicated keyword position checker, then AccuRanker is a dedicated tool only for that. You can quickly track your rankings for the Google search engine with just a single click. Hence I would only recommend this tool for that sole purpose.
But that doesn’t mean that AccuRanker isn’t gonna be helpful with your SEO analysis and keyword research.
There is an option in AccuRanker that enables you to know your website keyword ranking positions based on a specific geographical location. Also, another cool feature lets you add a new keyword to track and select multiple target countries.
AccuRanker does offer several plans based on the keywords you want to track. There is a 14-day FREE trial period which you can use if you wanna try this tool.
RankWatch is another popular SEO tool that can help you more with just keyword rankings. Similar to other keywords tools in the list, RankWatch can show you CPC and the search volume of each keyword. You can also select whether you want to check the keyword rankings based on desktop or mobile. Its features like a city-based ranking checker set it apart.
In fact, every time you can take a ranking screenshot as proof. There are numerous advanced keyword filtering features for more specified results. RankWatch also sends automated ranking updates over the registered mail, thus helping you stay alert with your keyword rankings.
How To Check Keyword Ranking in Google Analytics?
I think having a Google Analytics account for every SEO is mandatory and since the tool itself is so simple and makes it easy for us to dissect crucial analytical data. It is never a bad idea to track and monitor your keywords on Google analytics.
However, there are multiple advanced analytics tools in the market. But for most bloggers, brands, and SEO’s I think Google Analytics is more than enough to analyze keyword rankings.
Connect your Google Search Console with Analytics
To get the better out of Google Analytics you need to connect it with multiple tools just like Search Console. The reason why I want you to connect analytics with the search console is that the data between the two tools could be shared and hence when you look at your screen you get to have better metrics to keep up with your analysis.
In this case, we’re connecting these two tools for the sake of keyword tracking. You can follow these steps as mentioned:-
- Log into your Google analytics dashboard and clcik on the ‘Admin’ icon which should appear on the bottom left
- As you access the ‘Admin’ panel, go to your ‘property’ section and look for the tab which says ‘product linking’
- You need to click on the ‘All products’ button and search for Google Search Console
- Assuming you’ve not connected Search Console, you can click on it and press the ‘Add’ button to proceed
- Next you will be re-directed to your search console account where you can select which property you wanna share.
Once this process is done, it will take few minutes and hence from here on you can view the search console data by clicking on Acquitision << Search Console, within your Google analytics
Analyze with metrics like ‘Average Position’ and ‘Clicks’
Once the Google Search Console is connected, Google Analytics makes it easy to track your website’s keyword rankings on Google SERP results by including measuring metrics like ‘Average Position’ and ‘Clicks’ which are helpful.
To view these metrics. You need to go to Acquisition << Search Console << Queries
Average Position:- This metric represents your website’s average position for any keyword. However, one thing you need to know here is that Google Analytics only displays the average ranking position, which is based on all your URLs and target search queries. According to Google, “if your site’s URL appeared at position 3 for one query and position 7 for another query of the main keyword, the average position would be 5 (i.e, (3+7)/2).”
While checking this metric the important note to keep in mind for bloggers with a good amount of content of their blog is that their average position of keywords need to get better with each month and for your main keywords, you should rank higher than the rest of all your keywords.
The clicks:- Obviously clicks represent how many people are clicking your search results from Google. Even though they don’t tell you a lot about keyword rankings but at the end of the day, clicks are the thing that matters the most. Because clicks mean traffic and traffic means monetization for your blog.
As a thumb rule for blogs with over 100+ articles, on average each of your articles needs to generate more than 500-1000 views per month. Please note that this number is just a guesstimate which you can keep in mind.
What is a Good Keyword Ranking?
A good keyword ranking is a definite topic for discussion but the most obvious answer will be ranking no.1 on Google search. But since you don’t control Google, it is next to impossible to rank no.1 for each of your keywords no matter how much effort you put in.
To find out which keyword ranking is a good ranking, you need to understand what can you expect when you rank in certain places on Google SERP’s.
According to Moz, 71% of search traffic clicks are to the websites that appear on the first page. The second-page clicks are below 6%. So, a keyword ranking from second or third page to number one is a tremendous shift that can eventually reflect in your revenue number.
Once, you have stamped your authority on the first page of Google, next up is targeting the first five organic results. Do you know 67.6% of clicks are on these first five results only?
These numbers are staggering, hence there’s your motivation to invest time and resources to be at the top. When you have already made it to the first page and if your content is around that specific search query then it’s high time to go for higher rankings.
Once you reach the top five SERPs, it’s time to target the first three, where it gets even better.
Ranking on the first three search results should be your goal for your main keywords. The rest of the keywords can rank around the second/third page if not the first page.
Note:- Ever since Google has been aggressively pushing featured snippets on its platform for the past few years. It is highly recommended to optimize your content for these snippets too.
At the end of the day, if your overall keywords are bringing in enough traffic numbers as you expected then your blog is positioned quite well on Google. From there on, all you can do is push for more keywords by adding more content, optimizing your existing content, and building more authoritative links.
Knowing the SEO keywords to rank, and then targeting them is imperative if you want to survive and thrive in today’s neck-throat competitive blogging world. It is important to track your website’s SEO rankings to have a fair idea with regard to your SEO strategy. If you are not getting the results you expect, you can always tweak your strategy.
It is recommended to conduct competitive research, understand the latest trends, and even rope in SEO experts to claim the top spot of Google SEPR. Or else you can just sit back, and watch your competitors get all the traffic, and make conversions like crazy.
Hence I hope you understood the concept of keyword rankings and why it is important to keep track of them.
Hope you liked the article, every suggestion is welcomed. Share with us in the comment section below. Happy ranking!