Analyzing keyword rankings allows you to find out what ranking spots your website occupies in search of its target search queries. Doing so helps assess a site’s current search visibility as well as the effectiveness of its search engine optimization campaign.
Today, I will tell you how to obtain keyword ranking data using all-in-one SEO and digital marketing platform SE Ranking.
What You Need to Know about SE Ranking
SE Ranking is a platform designed specifically for SEO and digital marketing specialists. The tool-packed platform combines data from search engines with data from their analytics services like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. One of the biggest advantages of using SE Ranking is that you don’t have to be a pro to start getting positive results. The onboarding process guides users step-by-step through different website optimization stages. At the same time, this allows SEOs to collect the most important data on competitors, keywords, and rankings.
In addition, SE Ranking allows you to run an SEO audit of your website against several parameters, get information on competitors’ websites, choose keywords to track for your website, and so much more.
One of the most important and useful features of the SE Ranking service is the Rank Tracker tool. In a nutshell, it helps analyze a site’s performance in search based on the ranking positions of its target keyword search queries. Using this tool, SEOs and marketers can get accurate information on any site’s visibility in search for queries related to their target audience.
How to Run a Site Position Check?
Once you know how your website’s pages are ranking on SERPs for your target keywords, you will be able to discover issues that may be preventing them from driving the right amount of traffic your way. On top of that, keeping an eye on your digital rivals’ keyword rankings helps you understand if they are creating new, better content that can push your pages down in search.
Creating a project for the site
Let me show you how to do it step by step using the following example.
1. Add a new project and specify the site URL
Once you’ve specified the website URL you want to track, determine the keyword rank tracking search depth (top-100 or top-200 search results). If your website is rather new, then it’s best to track rankings among the top-200 results. I liked the fact that the service allows me to automatically check rankings at specified frequencies (daily, once every 3 days, once a week) and get a rankings report sent right to my inbox. Of course, you also have the option to perform manual keyword rankings checks when necessary.
2. Add keywords for tracking
In the next step, you can specify which keywords you want to track for your website. There are several ways of doing that. You can either enter each keyword manually, import them from a file, or even from your Google Analytics account. But if you don’t know what keywords to track, SE Ranking has got your back as it offers the Suggest keywords option.
Just specify the region and enter either your site, that of a competitor, or even a keyword until you find all the keywords that are relevant to your website. And if you’re working with hundreds or even thousands of keywords, you can add them to specific keyword groups that will make it easier for you to manage and keep track of a large number of search queries.
3. Select a search engine and country
Under the Search engines step, you have the option to specify one or more search engines where you want to monitor keyword rankings. Besides choosing a search engine, make sure to specify the country. I want to point out that SE Ranking allows you to specify the country of the search engine, city, and even postal code to get more accurate ranking data.
Plus, if you are targeting residents of the same country who speak different languages, you have the freedom to select the Google interface language. This will allow you to target, for example, every French-speaking person in Canada.
4. Specify your SERP competition
During the setup process, another useful tab caught my eye—Competitors. Since your website doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s vitally important to know how your digital rivals are ranking for the same keywords you are targeting on your own website. This helps you understand when you need to step up your game in search.
Similar to the keywords step, you can also specify your competition manually or select them from a list of suggested options based on keyword commonality. Depending on your pricing plan, you can keep track of 5 to 20 competitor websites.
Note: As was mentioned at the beginning of this article, SE Ranking combines data from search engines with data from their analytics services like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. In the last project creation step, you have the liberty to connect your Google accounts to SE Ranking and access all the necessary data without having to switch back and forth between tabs.
Analyzing keyword rankings
Once your project is set up and ready for action, the platform will automatically analyze keyword rankings. So, where do you need to look first?
Under Rankings → Detailed, you can get an in-depth breakdown of all of your tracked keywords (search volume, traffic forecast, visibility, SERP features, etc.) along with their ranking positions.
Note that every SEO tool I’ve worked with, including SE Ranking starts tracking keyword rankings on the day you created your project and added the keywords. So, if you want to have more rankings data to work with, you will need to wait. By the way, you can always recheck keyword rankings manually by going to Recheck data → Recheck rankings → Recheck all.
While SE Ranking is further collecting data on your website, let’s run a bit ahead and take a look at a Rankings report to give you an idea of how to make the most of it.
What Does the Keyword Rankings Report Include?
As was touched on, in addition to providing information on keyword ranking positions, the Rankings module also contains a number of useful metrics, summary graphs, plus it allows you to customize the tool’s settings.
Quick filters for keyword rankings
With the help of quick filters, you can see the distribution of the site’s keyword rankings among the top SERP results as well as the percentage ratio, plus you can click on a filter to view all the keywords that fall within a certain ranking range.
This allows you to quickly understand your overall performance in search, with arrows showing a ranking increase/decrease. Under the Changes element on the right-hand side, you can also see the ranking dynamics of all of your tracked keywords.
SEO metrics and graphs
As you scroll below, you will find various graph previews that show important SEO metrics based on the site’s rankings. By clicking on a preview, you can see its expanded graph. For convenience, you can even hide the graphs by minimizing them. Doing so will allow you to view more data on a single screen.
Now, let us examine what information each graph provides:
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The Average position graph displays the average ranking position of all keywords tracked in the project for the selected search engine. If you apply a quick filter, data will be updated.
The Traffic forecast graph displays the estimated number of visitors the site can potentially get by targeting all of its tracked keywords. The value is based on the site’s current page rankings and the search volume of the targeted keywords.
The Search visibility graph lets you know what percentage of people will see your site in search if they run a search for one of your target keywords.
The SERP features graph specifies how many times the site was displayed in a SERP feature due to a well-optimized keyword ranking campaign. The expanded graph provides a breakdown of every SERP feature you can get featured for based on your target keywords: Images, Video, Features snippets, Carousel results, and People also ask, to name a few.
The % in TOP 10 graph indicates the percentage of target keywords that rank on the first SERP, as in the top 10 search results. You are free to view a different range of keywords by clicking on a quick filter in the top right-hand corner of the graph.
The Selected keywords graph allows you to checkmark keywords in the table and compares each keyword’s performance stats.
These graphs were designed to get a bird’ eye view of our website’s keyword rankings without diving into specific details.
Keyword rankings table
Now that we’ve gone through various rankings summary data SE Ranking has to offer, let’s finally move down to the detailed rankings table where all the good stuff can be found. Here’s what you can see in the keyword rankings table:
- Target keyword
- The keyword’s current and previous ranking positions in search
- Each keyword’s search volume, traffic forecast, visibility rating, SERP features, level of Google Ads competition, suggested bid, and so on.
Obviously, you want to know each keyword’s ranking position, but why do you need all the other data?
Well, the search volume indicates a keyword’s popularity, as in how many times on average it is entered into a search each month. This is the first thing SEOs look at to understand a keyword’s potential in driving traffic. We’ve covered some of the other metrics provided in the table in the previous section. Still, I want to point out that competition and suggested bids are also beneficial for PPC managers and SEOs as they can help them better understand a keyword’s potential.
Another handy feature of SE Ranking’s Rankings module is letting the system know which exact page you want to display when a specific keyword is entered into a search. Referred to as the Target URL, the Link icon next to a keyword allows you to do just that. Then, suppose another one of your pages is displayed for the specified keyword. In that case, the system will highlight this, letting you know that you need to de-optimize or remove one of the pages to avoid keyword cannibalization.
In other cases, you can just click on a keyword’s ranking position under one of the dates to see which one of your pages ranks for a target keyword.
Moreover, you are free to use the Columns option to include only the necessary data in the table. That way, you won’t have to handle many unnecessary data points visually—only see what you need to.
How to Work with the Keyword Rankings Table?
To make the most of the capabilities of the Rankings table and export a report for further use, let’s first examine its settings.
Keyword rankings table functionality
Right above the table, you will find a control panel that allows you to customize the keyword rankings table and ultimately create a report in the format and with the data points you need.
Going from left to right, the control panel has a drop-down list of search engines. This search bar allows you to quickly find any tracked keywords, tabs that enable a switch between organic and paid results, as well as several options that allow you to change the table’s viewing mode.
On the far right, you have the option to copy the entire table as well as specific rows, add filters to single out keywords that meet certain criteria, and add/remove columns from the table. The copy function is useful when you need to copy data, for example, to a text file or email quickly.
By check marking a keyword in the table, you will see several additional options in the control panel, including Target URL, add keyword(s) to a group, tag them, or completely remove them from the list of tracked keywords.
Now, we’re not going to go into the Target URL option again, but I want to say a couple of words on creating keyword groups and tags.
As you are adding keywords to your project in SE Ranking, you may become overwhelmed by their number at some point. That’s when you need to start breaking your keywords down into buckets of topically related search queries. You could create all sorts of keyword groups: tracked on Google US, tracked on Google UK, branded keywords, competitor keywords, high search volume, low search volume, and so on.
Realizing that keyword groups can also get very crowded, SE Ranking provides the option of creating and applying tags to your target keywords. This allows you to create keyword groups within keyword groups which makes it a lot easier to work with thousands of keywords at a time.
Let’s dive a little deeper to explore what else we can do with the keyword rankings table.
How to make use of Filters?
Filters help narrow down searches and significantly simplify working with long lists of keywords. The bottom line is that they allow you to decide what data must be displayed on the screen. Under Rankings, you will find the following types of filters:
- Keyword groups
- SERP Features
- Target URL
- Search volume range
It can be useful to use filters to select specific keyword groups and tags, such as getting a report for keywords within a specific topic or separately analyzing recently added keywords or those that haven’t been optimized in recent months.
How to track ranking dynamics?
By regularly monitoring your keyword rankings, you will see how the visibility is changing over time and how your SEO strategy is affecting your site.
Once your project has been running for a while in SE Ranking, you will be able to choose the period for analysis or specific dates for comparison. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not with your optimization efforts.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to go back in time further than the date you first created your project in SE Ranking.
How to export a rankings report?
To download the keyword rankings report, click on the Export button and choose between downloading an Excel file with and without ranking changes data or a CSV file. I like the fact that the xlsx spreadsheet can be downloaded along with the rankings dynamics, where the increase in positions is marked in green, and the decrease in positions is highlighted in red.
Besides downloading the rankings report directly, you can use SE Ranking’s Report Builder to automatically send out reports containing all the relevant info on rankings to all interested parties.
That’s it for the Detailed tab under the Rankings module. However, SE Ranking does offer two additional ways of looking at keyword rankings.
Overall and Historical Keyword Rankings
In addition to the Detailed format, the Rankings section also allows you to look at Overall and Historical Data on rankings. Let’s take a closer look to understand what we will find under each of these subsections.
The Overall tab contains generalized data, which is grouped not by dates but by search engines. That way, it is possible to compare rankings data across different search engines or, for example, compare statistics for other Google geo like country, city, or postal code.
With the help of graphs, you can see the performance of individual search engines. Alternatively, you can use the Average for all option to evaluate the overall performance for all search engines tracked in the project.
This comes in handy when working on the same project with different search engines, languages, and regions—sort of like keeping a finger on the pulse of all your SEO activities.
Under the Historical Data tab, you can see where you started with each tracked search engine and where you are now. It’s as straightforward as that.
Think of these two additional Rankings tabs as a quick way of reporting to your senior management or clients or as a way to remind yourself of the overall progress quickly.
By the way, here’s a how-to video from SE Ranking that I highly recommend you check out before setting up your first campaign:
Prices, Pros and Cons
Besides offering a free 14-day trial, SE Ranking offers three pricing plans, but note that the prices indicated here are for annual plans with daily keyword ranking checks:
- Essential: $31 per month (250 keywords and 10 websites)
- Pro: $71 per month (1000 keywords and unlimited websites)
- Business: $151 per month (2500 keywords and unlimited websites)
- I liked that the Keyword Rank Tracker tool allows for accurate keyword rank checking of a large number of search queries as well as grouping them. This helps analyze smaller keyword groups instead of all keywords tracked in a project in a long, never-ending list. I also appreciate filters as they allow me to create custom keyword groups right on the spot.
- On top of that, the tool offers a lot of data on keywords. Apart from the search volume and ranking position, I also added a column to the table with the level of competition, traffic forecast, and visibility.
- Another benefit for me is that the dynamics are shown clearly with the help of arrows, quick filters, and graphs. In addition, you can export the rankings table to your device for further use with colleagues, top management, and/ or clients.
- Overall or Historical data can only be accessed from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side.
- Besides keyword groups, there are no additional filtering options for keywords during project creation. Keywords can only be filtered in the rankings table itself. I put the necessary keywords into groups as I was creating my project but couldn’t immediately select the search queries I needed by specific criteria, for example, those containing a certain word.
SE Ranking Keyword Rank Tracker at a Glance
Overall, Keyword Rank Tracker by SE Ranking is an informative tool that I can recommend to SEO specialists, digital marketers, and business owners. Many features and metrics are offered in the Rankings module, and, thankfully, explanatory comments and tooltips are provided to help us understand everything at our own pace.
Among the main advantages of the Rankings report is the accuracy of the data on ranking positions as well as the convenience of grouping by various attributes: URLs, folders, tags, and so on. The main disadvantage is that you can’t switch from Detailed to Overall or Historical data in a single click.
Putting that aside, SE Ranking’s Keyword Rank Tracker is definitely a tool that has everything you need to keep a wary eye on your keyword’s performance in search.