How to Check Keyword Ranking in Google
Okay, let’s face it: Checking your keyword ranking in Google Search Console or SEMrush doesn’t take long. But that’s not all there is to it. Sure you can do it the fast way.
But you can also do it in the right way. What we’re talking about is a thorough in-depth analysis of your rankings.
You’ll see soon: Running your domain URL through one of the many keyword position tools is just the first step. You still need to verify this info, enrich it with further metrics and organize it. Only then, you’re ready to identify opportunities for improvement.
All that goes beyond simply looking up your Google positions. But it’s all the more important! Now, we tell you what to do. Step by step.
With our Keyword Ranking Report, you get to skip right to the fun part, the conclusion: Spotting your low-hanging keyword fruits!
If you prefer to do it yourself, now the time has come to jump in headfirst. Just follow the steps below and you’ll soon understand how to check keyword ranking in Google – in the right way.
Get keyword rankings! – Verify info! – Add metrics! – Organize it!
Conclusion: Identify opportunities!
Step 1: How to check keyword positions in Google?
There are two ways to get your hands on the keywords that your domain ranks for: Google Search Console (GSC) or an external tool like SEMrush. From our experience, both tools have their up- and downsides.
Search Console is directly linked to your website and gives you more keywords. Then again, some of our alleged rankings on the first Google position where, frankly speaking, wrong.
Since we verify all data in the second step, we still prefer this internal GSC access to an external tool. Have a look at how to check keyword positions in Google Search Console.
- Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics (left-hand menu).
- Tick off the right settings (see screenshot).
- Export the data, for example with Google Sheets.
As an alternative we use SEMrush. It’s a great way for us to fetch the keyword rankings of clients who don’t want to share their Search Console login credentials.
That’s not the ideal way to analyze your own domain but a feasible alternative to circumvent Google Search Console. Here is how you get your domain’s keyword rankings in there:
- Go to Domain Analytics > Organic Research > Positions.
- Type in your domain and select your preferred country.
- Export the data, for example to Google Sheets.
What you now have in your hands basically is the “raw data” of your analysis. But you shouldn’t rely on that quite yet. On the contrary: Stay safe and verify your data!
Step 2: How to verify the keyword information?
So far so good. You have an idea of what keywords your domain is ranking for. But honestly, keyword data is a mess. In our latest SEO research study, you can read all about it: Best Keyword Research Tool 2018
That made us suspicious by nature. And our notion is confirmed on a regular basis. Get this: Google Search Console actually sees us on the top Google position for a keyword like “supermarkets near me”. The bottom line is: Don’t be fooled by this data, do your homework and double-check!
To get rid of those irregularities, we always verify and standardize our data for all our SEOintheSUN keyword services. To do this, we use the paid tool SERPWatcher from the mangools team.
Once there, just set up a new tracking and import all the keywords that Google Search Console or SEMrush suggested to you.
- Add a new tracking and set it up by setting domain, keywords, and
the right country.
- If necessary: Wait for the results to load. (Might take up to 1 day.)
- Filter results for position 1-30 and search volume above 1.
- Select all remaining keywords and export them with their metrics,
for example to Google Sheets.
Double-checking your keyword rankings is as easy as that!
And even better: SERPWatcher gives you the exact URL of your domain that’s ranking for a specific keyword. This info is invaluable to identify opportunities for improvement, as you’ll see later on.
Step 3: Where to get more keyword data?
What SERPWatcher does not give you by default though, are some important keyword metrics. What we’re referring to are search volumes, the keyword difficulty, and cost per click. Luckily, the mangools subscription has another tool for this purpose.
This is where KWFinder comes into play. Usually, you’d use it to search for long tail keywords. But with its import function, you can get the same data for any keyword that’s already on your list.
Also for those keywords that you pulled from Search Console and SEMrush? Exactly. Have a look how it’s done:
- Copy all suggestions to your clipboard and import them to
KWFinder. Don’t forget to choose the right country.
- Sort the results for SEO difficulty (ascending) and fetch all
difficulty metrics with the magnifying glass.
- Select all remaining keywords and export them with their
metrics, for example to Google Sheets.
- Use the VLOOKUP function to assign the right metrics to
the keywords in your previous list.
Having all the standardized data ready and available only gets you so far.
To arrive at the right conclusions, you need to go one step further.
Literally. Take a look at our next step.
Step 4: How to organize your keyword data?
Okay, theoretically speaking you now have all the insights you need to make an informed decision about …
- … which keywords are your most important ones.
- … which content pages to improve or to create from scratch.
- … which keywords need their own landing page.
But in our experience, the output of keyword tools is a hassle to work with. To really make good decisions, you need a bird’s eye view of all the data.
In our Keyword Ranking Report, we consolidate it all into a Google sheets list.
There you’ll find everything your SEO heart desires: filter and sorting functions, new metrics calculated via formulas, explanatory notes and a lot more. Have a look at how we organize it in our template:
We will bring this template to life with data tailored to your business needs! Besides the sheet itself, you also get a histogram of your ranking strength.
Why do you need that?
This histogram is a graphical representation of your current Google SERP top 10 rankings. Each keyword has its very own difficulty. The higher it is, the more competitive will be the first Google search results page.
It shows you the difficulties where you already successfully managed to beat this competition and entered in the first 10 search positions. So it’s realistic that you are able to do this again with another keyword.
The bottom line is: There is one difficulty score in the histogram where most values concentrate. Your new target keywords should have a similar difficulty in the same area.
From our experience, the difficulty of your domain is on the upper end of the histogram’s range. So you can consider that as a maximum value. Don’t target keywords with a higher difficulty than your domain.