What is Keyword Ranking?
Keyword ranking refers to the position of a specific keyword or key phrase in the search engine results pages for your or another website.
It is a metric used to measure the visibility and performance of a website or web page in organic search results for a particular keyword.
For example, if a website ranks first for the keyword "best pizza in town," it means that the website appears at the top of the search results page when someone searches for that keyword.
Why is keyword ranking important?
Keyword ranking is important because it directly affects the visibility and traffic of a website. The higher a website ranks for a particular keyword or keyphrase, the more likely it is to receive clicks and visits from users searching for that keyword.
Increased visibility and traffic can lead to more opportunities for engagement, lead generation, and conversions, which can ultimately help a business or organization achieve its goals.
In addition, keyword ranking provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of SEO strategies and tactics.
By tracking keyword rankings over time, website owners and digital marketers can identify trends and patterns, make data-driven decisions, and adjust their optimization efforts to improve their search visibility and organic traffic.
Ultimately, keyword ranking is an important metric for measuring the success of SEO campaigns, and it can help businesses and organizations stay competitive in today's digital landscape.
How does it work?
Keyword ranking appears on SERPs as a list of relevant web pages that match the user's search query.
The order in which these pages are listed is based on the search engine's algorithm, which takes into account various factors such as relevance, authority, and user experience.
When a user enters a search query into a search engine like Google or Bing, the search engine analyzes the query and returns a list of web pages that are deemed most relevant to the query.
These web pages are ranked based on their relevance to the user's query, as well as other factors like the quality and quantity of backlinks, the page's content and structure, and the website's overall authority.
To understand this concept, you have to know the parts of SERPs first:
Paid search results: These are sponsored listings that appear at the top of the page and are identified with the word "Ad" next to them. Advertisers bid on specific keywords to display their ads to users who search for those keywords.
Organic search results: These are the non-paid listings that appear below the paid search results. They are ranked based on their relevance to the user's query and other factors like website authority and user engagement.
Featured snippets: These are snippets of information that appear at the top of the organic search results and provide a quick answer to the user's query. They are often displayed in a box with a summary of the information and a link to the source.
Knowledge panel: This is a box that appears on the right side of the search results page and provides additional information about the search query. It may include details about a person, place, or thing, as well as related images, videos, and links.
More to ask: This is a section that appears below the featured snippet or knowledge panel and provides a list of related questions that users often search for. Clicking on these questions expands the answer and may lead to additional search results.
Related searches: This is a section that appears at the bottom of the search results page and provides a list of related keywords and phrases that users may be interested in searching for. Clicking on these keywords leads to a new search results page for that specific query.
Now, the higher a web page ranks for a particular keyword or keyphrase, the more likely it is to appear at the top of the search results page.
Typically, the first few search results on the page receive the most clicks and traffic, while pages that appear lower down receive less visibility and traffic.
However, when people discuss "keyword position," they usually refer to the ranking of a particular webpage in the primary organic listings of 10 results per page.
These organic listings are the main links located in the centre of the page, and they are the most recognizable to the majority of people.
To elaborate, the following is how the rankings are divided in SERPs:
Results #1-10 are located on the first page.
Results #11-20 are located on the second page.
And so on...
For SEO marketing, the 10 organic spots on each page are critical. These spots solely consist of organic results, not paid ads or results for other Google channels such as image results or shopping results, which are monitored separately.
The better the ranking, the more traffic the webpage is likely to receive.
How to find the ranking position of your keyword?
Use a Tool
To find your keyword ranking position, you can follow these steps:
Choose a keyword that you want to rank for on your website.
Use a keyword rank-checking tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, Ranktracker to track the ranking position of your chosen keyword.
Enter your website URL and the selected keywords into the tool.
The tool will display the current ranking position of your website for those keywords, typically on the first page of search results or beyond.
Monitor the changes in your keyword ranking over time to see if your SEO efforts are making progress.
Google Search Console is not the best rank tracker tool, but it has more insights and data. You can easily find keywords that you are not even ranking for but are getting a lot of impressions.
You need to find those keywords and then do keyword mapping to target them. Additionally, keep an eye on those keywords.
I have added some top-line methods below on how to use GCS for keyword ranking and opportunities.
Google Search Console
In Google Search Console, follow these steps to check the current ranking of your own website for a particular keyword:
Go to Google Search Console and sign in to your account.
Select your website from the list of properties.
In the left-hand sidebar, click on "Performance" under the "Search Results" section.
In the Performance report, you'll see a list of queries that people have used to find your website. Enter your keyword in the search bar at the top to filter the data specifically for that keyword.
The Performance report will display various metrics for your keyword, including the number of clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and average position. The average position represents the ranking position of your keyword. It is important to note that Google Search Console provides an average position, which is an estimation and may not be the exact position for each search result.
Explore the Performance report for more insights, such as the pages that receive the most impressions and clicks for your keyword. This information can help you identify opportunities for optimization and improvement.
Open a private browsing window in your web browser to avoid any personalized search results.
Go to Google and search for the keyword you want to check.
Scroll through the results until you find your website.
Note the position of your website in the search results.
Repeat this process for each keyword you want to check.
The manual method can be time-consuming, especially if you have many keywords to check. However, it can be helpful if you want to get a quick sense of your website's rankings without using any tools.
Furthermore, I prefer manual checks for all local clients as the results are more accurate when conducting local checks specifically for local clients.
Best practices to improve keyword ranking
Here are some of the best practices that can improve keyword ranking.
Assess search intent
Understanding search intent is critical for keyword ranking because search engines aim to provide the most relevant results to users based on their search queries.
To assess search intent, you need to analyze the type of content that currently ranks for your target keyword.
For example, if the search results show mainly product pages, it suggests that users are looking to purchase something related to the keyword.
If the results show blog posts or articles, it suggests that users are looking for information or education on the topic.
To optimize your content for search intent, you should analyze the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, create content that satisfies the user's intent, and optimize your page's metadata, including the title and meta description, to reflect that intent.
Conduct keyword research
Keyword research involves identifying the most relevant, high-volume keywords related to your business.
This can be done using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Longtailpro. Once you have identified your target keywords, you can optimize your website and the content around them.
Optimize your on-page content
On-page optimization involves optimizing the various elements of a webpage to ensure that it is optimized for the target keyword.
This includes optimizing the page title, meta description, headers, and body text. It's important to ensure that your content is high-quality and provides value to your audience.
Build high-quality backlinks
Building high-quality backlinks is essential for improving your website's authority and trustworthiness. Focus on building links from authoritative websites related to your business.
Use internal linking
Internal linking involves linking from one page on your website to another. This helps create a logical structure within your website and helps search engines understand the hierarchy of your content.
It's important to ensure that your internal linking is natural and relevant to the content.
Monitor and adjust
It's important to monitor your keyword rankings regularly and adjust your SEO strategy as needed. Keep an eye on changes to the search algorithms, competitors' activities, and shifts in user behaviour to stay ahead of the curve.
You can also use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track user behaviour and identify areas for improvement.
When it comes to keyword ranking, competition is a crucial factor that affects how easily your website can rank for a specific keyword.
To check the competition for a particular keyword, you need to analyze the websites that currently rank on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) for that keyword.
You can use various SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush to perform a competitive analysis and get insights into the top-ranking websites' backlinks, content, and overall SEO strategies.
By analyzing the competition, you can identify areas of improvement for your website's SEO and create a more effective strategy to rank higher for your target keywords.
Keep in mind that the level of competition for a keyword can vary depending on the industry, location, and search volume, so it's essential to regularly monitor your competition to stay ahead of the game.
Keyword ranking is a critical metric for SEO that can help drive traffic and conversions to a website. By focusing on creating high-quality content and building quality backlinks, website owners can improve their keyword rankings and ultimately drive more traffic and revenue.
However, it's important to keep in mind that keyword ranking is just one piece of the puzzle and that other metrics and factors should also be considered when optimizing a website for search engines.