New website owners frequently ask “What page of Google am I on?”. It’s important to know the answer because getting search traffic is a winner-takes-all game.
By that, I mean, nearly everyone who does a search will click on a link found on the first page. I know I usually do. Ask yourself how many times have you gone to the second page of Google?
So, if you are not on the first page, you will not get much traffic to your website, no matter how good your content is.
Table of Contents
- The importance of Google search engine
- Why monitor your search engine ranking position?
- What is a SERP tracking tool?
- Best rank tracking software
- Final Thoughts
The importance of Google search engine
In case you are not convinced about the importance of your content ranking well in Google, let’s go over a few statistics.
Google is, by far, the biggest search engine available today. Google processes over 70,000 search queries every second.
More than half the world’s population uses the Google search engine.
Nearly 35% of all product searches in the world start with Google.
(all statistics from https://www.websiterating.com/research/google-search-engine-statistics/)
Pros and cons of Google search engine
The pros of ranking well in the Google search engine are:
- Used by everyone
- Google Search Console tool is free and let’s you check crawl and indexing status
- Installed on Android mobile phones by default
The cons of using Google:
- All your competitors are using it to rank their content
- Highly competitive
- Full of ads, widgets and other elements that will attract eyeballs away from your link
- Difficult to understand the algorithm used for ranking because it is constantly changing
Why monitor your search engine ranking position?
It’s important once you have published content to track how that content is doing. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
If you find your pages are performing poorly it means you need to make improvements to your content creation process. Your content could be performing poorly for several reasons:
- no-one is searching for the keywords you are targeting
- your keywords are not low competition keywords and are too difficult to rank for
- thin content, you content is considered low quality by Google
- not formatting correctly for search engines, see: 29 SEO Tips and Tricks for ideas
- technical problems – slow website (maybe you need a faster theme?)
Check page position in Google
You can manually check your content in Google. For any given keyword, type it into Google and look for the page your article appears.
This is a very slow, laborious task, especially if you want to check multiple keywords.
If you are unsure if you content has been indexed at all, you can check this quickly. From the google home page type: site:mywebsite.com (replace mywebsite.com with your actual website).
If Google has indexed any part of your site you will see the links in the results page.
Is it possible to get on the first page of Google?
Given enough time and by producing high quality content consistently – you can rank on the first page of Google.
It is difficult to do so though because ranking on Google is competitive. Nearly all of your competitors will be trying to rank on Google too.
You will need to do the following:
- find the correct keywords to rank for before writing your content
- write high quality content that provides answers your visitors are searching for
- learn the SEO tips and tricks to help you rank well in Google and other search engines
- technical SEO – fast web server and fast lightweight theme for your website
And some patience. It will take time to improve your rankings even if you have done really well with your keyword research and SEO skills.
What is a SERP tracking tool?
First, let’s define what we mean by SERP:
A tracking tool will track the position of your content in search engines by monitoring what SERPs it appears on for various keywords you specify.
The tools can monitor multiple search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.
SERP tracking tools can track hundreds or thousands of keywords at one time.
Daily keyword tracking
Tools will update your ranking positions for each keyword daily – normally. Some tools will do the updates less frequently for a lower price. So if you are on a budget and don’t want to pay premium prices then relaxing the frequency of updates can be a good way to save money.
For new websites, you rankings will be non-existent and will take a long time to start seeing improvements so it’s a good idea to save money by selecting a less frequent update – if the tool allows it.
Check page position in Google
You can always manually look for your content in Google for a particular keyword. This, very quickly, becomes unmanageable when you have multiple keywords you want to check.
For all practical purposes you will need to use a SERP ranking tool to check your position in Google.
For the budget conscious most of the SERP tracking tools have a free version which will track a small number of keywords for free.
SEO and keyword monitoring
What is the relationship between SEO and keyword monitoring?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. So if you are optimizing your content for search engines you should expect to see your rankings improve.
You can use the keyword ranking position to confirm you are producing high quality content for your targeted keywords.
A SERP tracking tool will usually have features to audit your SEO for issues.
Here is an example of some output from an SEO audit tool.
Bulk rank tracker
You may have a large number of keywords you want to monitor rankings for. No problem, bulk importing of keywords is supported by many of the SERP tracking tools.
An example of a bulk import dialog from SE Ranking:
Best rank tracking software
When looking for the best rank tracking software you should ensure it can do the following:
- daily keyword tracking
- keyword research
- competition research
- backlinks checker
- on-page seo audit
These are basic features you are mostly likely to use. Depending on your needs you may want other features included.
Rank tracking software will have several tiered offerings so you can start at a lower tier then move up to higher paying tiers as your requirements change.
Premium rank tracking software
The premium rank tracking software tools are:
The cost of using these premium tools is over USD $100+ per month. If your budget can stretch that far you can’t go wrong with them.
The larger more comprehensive tools can have a big learning curve to get the full benefits from them. For beginners, I recommend simpler tools that covers the basics (keyword research and position tracking).
Affordable rank tracking software
These tools cost between $20 and $60 per month typically. By customizing the plans it is possible to get even lower prices. For instance, switching from daily keyword tracking to weekly you can cut the costs of the plan by 60% to less than $20.
For more budget conscious website owners read this article on more affordable SEO tools: 3 Affordable keyword discovery tools.
For a comprehensive review of my favourite keyword ranking software that I use see here: SE Rankings Review – Affordable SEO tool that’s surprising good
Free rank tracking software
You get what you pay for. Most rank tracking software will let you track up to 5 keywords at most. It’s better than nothing but you will definitely need to track many more keywords than that.
Use these free tools to see if you like the software, if you do it’s definitely worth investing in a good keyword research and daily keyword tracking tool. As a bonus these tools will produce SEO audit reports for your website which is very useful for improving your on-page SEO.
Free Tools for Keyword Research
SE Rankings Review – Affordable SEO tool that’s surprising good
3 Affordable keyword discovery tools
It’s important to monitor how your content ranks in search engines. Otherwise you will not receive any search engine traffic.
Tools are available to do this for you, from free tools that allows you to track up to 5 keywords.
For anything other than tiny websites though you will need to pay for keyword ranking tools.
For budget conscious website owners: 3 Affordable keyword discovery tools
If you want the premium SEO, keyword research and position tracking tools then consider:
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