How can I check my website’s ranking in search engines? Video reviews often help to form an opinion about the services for checking positions available on the market. However, making a decision based only on reviews is not worth it. The information in them quickly becomes outdated, they do not reveal all the intricacies of the work and may lose sight of the functions that are interesting to you.
How can I check my website’s ranking in search engines?
Only by testing the position removal services on your own, you can understand which one suits you best. And in order to get the most out of your test period and make a purchase decision, it is better to figure out in advance which features to check and what to look for.
In this article, we answered the questions that SE Ranking users asked while getting acquainted with our service. Read and make your own work plan for the trial period! We hope that the experience of our users will help you find out what position-checking tools can do and how convenient they are.
Search trends and forecasts
How to quickly spot ranking problems?
Data visualization helps to analyze fluctuations in positions and other indicators. Check if the position monitoring tool has a convenient dashboard with graphs and charts. See what data is reflected in them and whether you can quickly jump to view more detailed information.
In SE Ranking, basic ranking data is available in the “Positions” module. You can find a summary dashboard for them in the “Overview” section. The graphs on the dashboard are interactive and allow you to customize the display of data, as well as open tables with filtered data in a new tab.
The first thing you see on the dashboard is the graphs of site visibility in the search engine, the dynamics of the average position, and the distribution of positions in the issue. When you hover over the charts, tooltips pop up to help interpret them.
Google Analytics to SE Ranking,
If you set up the transfer of data from Google Analytics to SE Ranking, a graph of the overall dynamics of your site’s organic traffic will be added to the dashboard. Detailed information about traffic and its distribution by pages and keywords is available in the “Analytics and Traffic” module.
Further on the dashboard, you will find the section “Keywords in search results”, dedicated to changes in the position of the site in various segments of search results. You’ll see the percentage of keys for which positions have improved, worsened, or remained unchanged since the last check.
For example, you can quickly check which keywords have fallen out of the TOP 2-3. Click on the corresponding line of the dashboard and a table of the “Detailed view” section of the “Positions” module will open in a new browser tab, in which keywords that have lost positions will be filtered out.
Keyword Overview table
The Keyword Overview table shows which keywords your site ranks for best, which positions are rising and which are falling. You can sort keywords by visibility or traffic prediction. You can also filter the table so that you can view data for specific groups of keywords.
In the Pages table, you can similarly see which pages are top-ranked, rising, or falling in the SERPs. The dashboard contains the five most important URLs in each category. Click “View All” to open the table of positions in the “Detail View” section, sorted by URL in the SERP.
How to track the impact of updates to search algorithms on the position of the site?
Updates of search engine algorithms lead to permutations in the issuance. Be sure to check if the position removal service can help you keep track of them – for example, add notes about them and see them in reports.
With SE Ranking, you won’t miss any major updates to Google’s algorithms. Information about them is added to the tool automatically in the form of notes. In the Positions module charts, notes appear as icons on the timeline. This makes it easier for you to understand whether search engine updates have affected site positions and other indicators.
Hover the cursor over the note icon on the chart and information on it will appear in a pop-up window. By clicking on the “All notes” button, you will go to the “Notes” tab to the general list:
It is important to note that you can also create your own notes for the project or individual keywords, as well as manage their display on charts in the Positions module.
How to quickly track the rise and fall of positions?
When checking positions, you are primarily interested in how much they have changed over a certain period of time. But if the list of keywords is large, it is quite difficult to keep track of all the keywords for which positions have changed. You will need special filters that will allow you to quickly find the keys that need attention.
In SE Ranking, you can immediately see the number of keywords that have changed positions since the last check. In the “Changes” field above the table, select one of the values to filter the list of keywords for which the site moved up or down in the SERP. To reset the filter, select All in the Position Filters field.
To analyze changes, not since the last check, but from a certain date, enable the display of the Dynamics column. Select a date range on the calendar and you’ll see how your pages have moved up or down in the search results over that period of time.
When analyzing changes in positions, pay attention to the threshold values — the table cells with them will be marked with color. The keys for which your site is in the TOP-10 are highlighted in green, entered the TOP-10 – in blue, and dropped out of the TOP-10 – in red. If you are only interested in the TOP 3, TOP 5, or TOP 10, select the appropriate position filter above the table and view the desired SERP segment.
How to detect keyword cannibalization?
Several of your pages may rank for the same keyword. By default, services remove positions for the page that ranks higher than the rest. If such a page is not the one you want to see for this key, then you are dealing with cannibalization.
In SE Ranking you can check for which page the rankings have been removed. Hover over the link icon next to a keyword and you’ll see a specific URL, or multiple URLs if your site’s pages compete and change positions in the SERPs from time to time.
Destination URL feature
Don’t worry, you don’t have to hover over every keyword to find all the cannibalization issues. Instead, use the Destination URL feature and the system will flag keywords for which the wrong page ranks. To make the function work, define the desired URLs for each key in the list: select a query or group of queries in the table and assign a target URL by selecting the appropriate option from the drop-down menu.
When a keyword is set to a destination URL, an additional link icon appears next to it. Now, if the correct page ranks for such a key, the positions in the table will be gray. If a non-landing page is being ranked, the position and link icon will be red:
To fix cannibalization problems, analyze positions for problematic keywords about six months in advance. You’ll see which of the competing pages has been ranking longer at a higher position. Then compare pages by conversion rate and user interest match to decide which one should be shown on demand. Then take the necessary steps:
- Re-optimize the desired page for the target keyword.
- “Deoptimize” the unwanted page from the target keyword.
- Delete an unnecessary page or set up a redirect from it to the desired one.
When the keyword cannibalization problem is fixed, SE Ranking positions will be tracked for the correct page.
How to track custom SERPs?
Special Google SERP elements (answer blocks, knowledge graphs, carousels with product cards, and others) noticeably compete for user attention with regular search results, so they just need to be tracked. Advanced position checking services show which special elements appear in the SERP and which ones link to your pages.
For example, SE Ranking tracks 35 Google SERPs and this list is constantly updated with new items. General statistics on the special search items that appear in the SERPs for your keywords are shown in the chart above the position table. To see the search items for each keyword, add a “Search Items” column to the positions table:
In SE Ranking, special search items are displayed as icons. Hover over any icon to see what it means. If the icons are highlighted in blue, then your pages appear in the corresponding special elements. If the icons are gray, then these special elements link to other sites.
Key list management
How to expand the list of monitored keywords?
You can add to your list new keywords for which your site starts to rank. You can find them in the Google Search Console service. If the positioning service does not integrate with these tools, you will have to export the keywords to a .csv file and then upload them. With automatic data synchronization, the process can be easier and faster.
For example, SE Ranking’s integration with Google Search Console allows you to add keywords to the “Positions” module in a couple of clicks. To do this, go to the “Analytics and Traffic” module and connect the statistics services that you use.
When analytics services are connected to SE Ranking, the keywords they collect and statistics on them will be visible in the “Google Search Console Data” section.
Keyword monitoring list
The table with imported keywords has a “Position” column. If the keyword is not in the monitoring list, you will see “Not Monitored” in this column. To add keywords to the list, mark them with checkboxes and click the “Add to Project” button. Choose which group to add them to, or create a new one for them. Position data for the added keywords will appear in SE Ranking with the next check.
Another way to complement the semantics of the site is to use “Competitor Analysis” and “Keyword Analysis” in SE Ranking.
What if I don’t have a list of keywords yet?
A list of keywords is required to get started with any position-checking service. However, there are services that allow you to build a semantic core on the go using additional tools.
In the case of SE Ranking, you do not need to have a ready-made list of keywords on hand. You can generate it during the project setup process or later using the keyword analysis and selection tool.
When you create a new project, SE Ranking automatically finds keywords that match your domain. You can view the proposed options and immediately add them to the project. Or you can skip this step and add keywords later using the Add Keywords button in the Positions module.
List of relevant queries
The button opens the “Keywords” tab in your project settings. On this tab, you instantly get a list of relevant queries. For even more options, enter a competitor’s domain or one of your top keywords in the Keyword Picker field.
To use suggested keywords, click the “+” button. They will appear in the “Add Manually” field, where you can review and clean up the list. Click the “Add keywords” button and they will populate the “Added keywords” table. Don’t worry if you add duplicates – the program removes them automatically.
How to divide the list of keywords into groups?
Position-checking services can monitor tens of thousands of keywords. However, the longer your list is, the more difficult it is to navigate. Therefore, it is important that the service allows you to structure your list. The best way to organize keywords is to divide them into semantic clusters.
If you have a new site and there are still a few queries that it ranks for, it will be easier for you to separate the semantics into clusters before adding it to the position tracking tool.
For example, you can prepare a CSV file with keywords in one column and group names in another and upload it to the SE Ranking project. Our Clustering tool will help you create such a file. It sorts your keywords by similarity in search results.
Ranking for multiple keywords
If your site is already ranking for multiple keywords, you can first load the keywords into SE Ranking and then group them. You will need to switch to the “URL in SERP” position table view mode. So the keys will be distributed among the pages that rank for them. Select all keywords related to the same URL and create a group for them. This is how you group queries according to the semantic structure of the site.
Please note that each keyword in SE Ranking can only belong to one group. However, you can move them from one group to another. Once all groups have been created, switch to the “Groups” position table view mode to analyze the indicators by semantic clusters.
Keywords for which you have not assigned a group will remain in the default General group until you decide which group to add them to.
How to work with a large list of keywords?
The longer your list of keywords, the more difficult it is to find and highlight those that have common properties, be it search intent, priority, difficulty, and so on. Sorting, tags, and filters can help you with this.
In SE Ranking, the position table has several viewing modes. By changing the mode, you will always see the full list of keywords, but they will be sorted and ordered differently: by groups, target URL, URL in SERP, date added to the service, or by added tags.
In addition, you can use tags to structure your list and use them to filter keywords on various properties. To tag, a keyword or group of keywords, select it in the table and click the Tags icon at the top of the table. You can select one of the existing tags or create a new one:
Tags help you evaluate the performance of different types of keywords or parts of your site. For example, you can tag and filter keywords that:
- Contain brand name
- They lead to different blog pages (landing pages, home page)
- Refers to commercial, informational or navigational
- Influence key performance indicators in the current quarter
To select keywords by tag, use the “Filters” function. Select a tag or combination of tags and click the Apply Filters button:
By applying filters to the table, you also affect the display of data on graphs. Charts for the average position, traffic forecast, visibility, and other metrics are automatically re-rendered for the filtered set of keywords.
Countries and languages
How do I set up position checking for multiple languages and locations?
If the site targets different countries or cities, you should track positions for each location separately, because search results can vary greatly. In large and metropolitan cities, search competition is so high that the results of issuance of local queries vary even from region to region.
There is another important aspect: if your target audience in all places speaks the same language, you will have a single list of keywords, if they speak different languages, you need several lists. The number of locations and lists of keys is important for customizing the position-checking service for your needs.
For example, in SE Ranking for a monolingual site, you will create one project with a single list of keywords. If you monitor site ranking in only one search engine, in this project you will be able to monitor positions for five locations at no additional cost. If you want to track positions for more locations, you will need to set up another project for the same domain and keyword list.
For a multilingual site in SE Ranking, you will need to create independent projects for each language. When you create projects, you will use the same domain name, but you will add different lists of keywords. When setting up a project, you will be able to choose different combinations of Google interface language and user location.
Let’s take a look at an example. Imagine that you have a bilingual website that targets North American countries. In one project, you’ll be checking search rankings for a Hispanic audience living in Mexico, the US, and Canada. In another project, you will check positions for an English-speaking audience living in the same countries. Thus, you will have one account with two projects, and three locations will be added to each of them.
How to view position statistics for different languages and locations?
If you’re monitoring search results in multiple markets, it’s important to properly organize your projects in your account. With the correct settings, you will be able to analyze metrics at several levels: for each location separately, for a group of locations in one language, for the site as a whole, or for several sites.
In SE Ranking, you have the following hierarchy levels: account > project group > project > search engine. If you have multiple projects set up for different languages and locations, group them together. In this way, you will be able to track the results of the site in all its regional versions. Within each project, you will have up to five search engines that reflect the required combination of search engine, language, and location.
To check the metrics for your account as a whole, go to the All Projects dashboard. There you can view the overall dynamics of the indicators “Average position”, “Traffic forecast”, “Visibility” and “% of keys in the TOP 10”. To make graphs showing data for individual projects, check them in the list.
The rest of the SE Ranking modules will show you search engine-level data. For example, select a project and navigate in the Positions module to the Detail View section. Select All Search Engines to view position tables for all locations, or select one search engine from the drop-down list to see only one position table per page.
To compare positions across different locations in the same project, go to the “General View” section. Then select a time period on the calendar. In the table, you will see the average keyword position for each location for the selected period.
The table “General view” will also reflect changes in the ranking of the site for this period. A red down arrow and a number will indicate a worsening position in the SERPs, and a green up arrow will indicate an improvement.
Paid search and maps
How to track the position of the site in paid search results?
Some services allow you to track the impressions of contextual advertising in search results. This is a separate option and is not always available by default. In SE Ranking, you can enable tracking positions in Google’s paid search results immediately during the creation of a project. To do this, enable the “Track positions in Google Ads” button on the “Search engines” tab:
If Google Ads tracking is enabled, you can switch the position table from organic to paid listing in the Detail View and Historical Data sections of the Positions module. You’ll see which days your ads were shown for a given keyword. The positions of your ads will vary from 1 to 8. If your ad did not hit the first page of Google for a particular keyword, there will be a dash in the cell.
Remember that the position of an ad does not determine its position on the search results page. A 1 in the cell means that this ad was shown first in the search results, but it could have appeared either above or below organic search results. To find out exactly where it was shown, click on the item number and open the “Detailed Information” window. There you will have access to links to the page with the current search results and its cached copy, saved at the time of checking the positions.
Can I track positions in Google Local Pack results?
If you have a company profile on Google (Google My Business), you can check positions in the results of the special Google Local Pack local search engine. If you rank well on Google Maps, you may be among the top three recommended businesses in this block listed below the map. Not all services take into account positions in Google Local Pack. But when creating a project in SE Ranking, you can set up tracking of these organic results in addition to the regular ones. To do this, turn on the “Google Local Pack issuance” button and enter the name and phone number from your Google Business Profile:
If your company ranks in the TOP-3 Google Local Pack for the keywords you track, you will see additional position values in the tables of the “Detailed view” and “Historical data” sections of the “Positions” module, marked with a drop-shaped Google Maps icon.
Monitoring positions in Local Pack allows you to better assess the visibility of a business in search results. Your site may not rank well in regular organic search results, but be present in the map block. In this case, users will still be able to find it on the first page of search results.
How to measure the search visibility of a business?
Some position-checking services offer users to track additional complex metrics. They are calculated according to the author’s formulas based on the data that these services collect.
For example, SE Ranking calculates the overall visibility of your site in SERPs. This metric helps you evaluate the share of impressions in search results that your and competitors’ sites receive.
Go to the Visibility Ranking section in the My Competitors module. By default, you’ll see the overall visibility rating of domains competing for the keywords you’re monitoring. Using filters, you can check the visibility of a site for a specific group of keywords.
Along with visibility, the table shows the number of backlinks and referring domains, the number of keywords in the TOP 10, ICS, and other SEO metrics. This will help you estimate how difficult it will be to beat your competitors and increase your share of impressions in search results.
How to check the nature of the search results and competition?
The position table is a great source of information, but it does not allow you to monitor your surroundings in the SERP. To evaluate the stability of a SERP, find out which pages it contains, or identify the main competitors, you need to see the TOP 100 for your keywords.
With the help of SE Ranking, you will be able to track the changes in the TOP 100 search results for the keywords added to the project. To do this, go to the TOP-100 Monitoring section in the My Competitors module. Select a keyword from the list and compare how the composition of the search results and site positions have changed over the period you are interested in. You can customize whether the table displays individual URLs or domains.
By clicking on the name of the site you are interested in, its position in the table will be highlighted. And when you click on the three dots next to the name, a menu will open from which you can go to this site, tag it, or check it with the Competitor Analysis tool.
Tariffs and settings
How to remove site positions for free?
You can check the position of the site for a specific keyword for free at any time by entering a query in the search bar and viewing the results. However, this method cannot be scaled and customized, which means that it is of little use for SEO.
Position tracking only makes sense if it is done regularly, accurately, and at the right scale. You can’t do without a professional SEO service – they can be used for free during the trial period.
For example, SE Ranking gives you 14 days to try out all the features available in the Basic plan. You can set up projects for ten sites and monitor positions for 250 keywords daily. At the same time, each query can be tracked in the issuance for five different locations, languages, or search engines.
With a free trial, you can get an idea of the current position of the site’s most important pages. However, you can only see the full picture and the impact of optimization on rankings by ranking regularly. Therefore, you can only get the most out of the position tracking service with a paid subscription.
How much does the position tracking service cost?
The pricing policy of position-tracking platforms is quite diverse. Most client-oriented services offer flexible tariff plans. They can adjust the keyword limit and check frequency, which allows the owners of both small and giant sites to count on a reasonable price.
At SE Ranking, you only pay for what you really need. The rates go beyond the typical three-tier pricing model for online services. You can adjust the SE Ranking subscription price by changing the number of keywords to track and the frequency of checks. In addition, by choosing a longer subscription period, you can get a discount of up to 20% off the monthly price.
How many keywords should be monitored?
Each site is individual, so it is impossible to give an exact figure. The number of keywords you track will depend on your niche and the size of your semantic core. However, we can talk about a sample or percentage of keywords for each semantic cluster or page.
The number of tracked keywords will be distributed unevenly across the pages of the site. How many requests to monitor depends on the importance of a particular page. For the least important pages, it is enough to track about 10% of the keys to get a rough picture. Also, For pages that need more accurate data, you should track about 50%. For the most important pages, it’s best to track 100% of targeted keywords.
When choosing which keywords to spend the position monitoring service limit on, focus on the number of requests, user goals, and the type of landing page.
For example, if your site is optimized for informational and commercial queries, tracking the latter is more important. For a blog article, it is enough to track 1-5 keywords, and for a selling page, it is worth tracking as many as possible.
To get a balanced list of keywords in the ranking service, add them iteratively. Be the first to load the queries for which your pages already rank highly. Then add those for which you intend to improve positions in the near future to see progress. Then proportionally expand the keyword groups or add new groups, as long as the subscription limit allows.
How often do you need to check the position of the site?
Positions of your site are constantly fluctuating and the frequency of these fluctuations is not subject to any charts. This is because so many factors influence ranking. At the same time, the higher the competition for a keyword, the more often the positions of sites in the search results change and the more carefully you need to monitor them.
How often to view data in the position pickup service is up to you. For your site, one or two checks per week may be sufficient. Nevertheless, it is desirable that the service automatically remove positions on a daily basis. This will allow you to analyze positions on any day of the week and always work with the most complete and fresh data.
By setting up a daily automatic check of positions in the service, you will not miss important changes and will know exactly on which day they occurred. This will help you understand the reasons for changes, respond to them in a timely manner and quickly see the results of response measures.
How to change the view of the position table and customize it for yourself?
The functions of different position-checking services are similar, but their interfaces are very different. The density of information, interface layout, icons, navigation – every little thing affects usability. It will be more convenient to work if the service provides for personalizing the interface to suit your needs and habits.
In SE Ranking, you can choose which data will be displayed in the position table. In the Detail View section of the Positions module, click on the gear icon and go to Position Settings and you will see a list of settings options:
Also, In the first shot, the interface is set to default, with charts above the rankings table, site positions in the rankings ordered from left to right, and URLs hidden under the link icon in the Keywords column.
In the second shot, the interface has been personalized with no graphics, site positions in the table are ordered from right to left, the full URL is listed in the Keywords column, and four additional metrics columns have been added.
Data accuracy and security
Can you trust the position monitoring service?
By checking the SERPs in your browser, you may see a slightly different picture than in a position tracking service. But don’t be too quick to question the accuracy of an SEO tool. Positions in the browser in real-time may not match those fixed by the service for two simple reasons.
First, search results are constantly changing. For example, you set up a daily position check-in SE Ranking at 8 am and check positions in the browser at 8 pm. Therefore, if you analyze at about the same time, schedule an automatic position check a couple of hours before it. This way you will always be working with the latest data.
The second reason for position mismatch is the personalization of your search results in the browser. Browser search results are adjusted to your current location and based on previous searches. Unlike the browser, SE Ranking shows the position in the SERP for the location you set in the project and does not take into account personal search history.
SE Ranking caches
SE Ranking caches the resulting page of search results every time you take positions. You can always check the accuracy of the data by clicking on any position in the table. In the “Detailed Information” pop-up window, you will find two links: to a saved copy of the SERP and to its current version.
Moreover, in the “Positions” module there is a button “Update data”. At any time, you can run a position check manually and find out how the pages of the site are ranked right now. You can update data for today for the entire account or for a specific location.
How to share data with colleagues and clients?
Depending on the subscription terms, your account can be used by one or more people. If the subscription is multi-user, you can give access to your colleagues or clients. When sending invitations, define access rights – what data users can view and what actions they can perform.
For example, to add users to SE Ranking, hover over the account icon and select “Users” from the drop-down list. On the Users tab, click the Add User button, select the type of account you want to create (Manager or Client), and set up permissions.
Subscription user limit
If your subscription user limit is reached, you can still share data using a guest link. This option allows you to give access to the “Positions”, “My competitors”, and “Analytics and traffic” module in a couple of clicks. It is safe to provide guest links because the guest will only see the data that you have allowed and will not be able to change anything. To remove access, simply update your guest link – the previous URL will no longer work.
What you should not do is share your account information with other people. This is not secure and may result in the loss of data or access to your account due to malicious third parties.
We hope these questions will help you dive deeper into the features of position tracking services and how to use them. Using SE Ranking as an example, you can understand how to better organize the list of keywords, take positions in the SERP for different locations and languages, identify problems with rankings, and notice new opportunities for optimization.
However, our list of questions does not cover all options for using position removal tools. And the services themselves are constantly changing, adapting to the requirements of search engines and marketers. Check out the What’s New in SE Ranking section to see what features and functionality have been added recently.
And don’t forget that you can create the best position monitoring service with us! If you have ideas about which features will help you achieve your SEO goals, let us know in the comments or write to the support chat. We will try to turn your suggestions into new features and improvements.