Having a high ranking on the search engines is an absolute must to be able to attract free traffic to your site. You are almost invisible for search traffic if your ranking is lower than top 30 because only 10% of the surfers bother to look on position 31 and below.
It's important to understand that you have different ranking for different keywords and you should focus on having a good ranking for keywords that are relevant to the web page.
Important factors for ranking
The following factors decides your ranking on the search engines
- The competition for the keyword
- How well your web pages are optimized
- The quantity and quality of your inbound links
- Other factors such as domain age e.t.c
- The algorithms the search engines use to analyze all these factors
The search engines use different algorithms so you should expect to have different rankings depending on which search engine you use.
Ideally it's best to rank high on search engines with large search volumes.
Don't be surprised if the ranking fluctuates on a daily bases. The search engines update their data bases daily with the latest algorithms and the results from the spiders.
The search engines also have different data centers over the world so you might get different result depending on where you live and if you use a country specific url such as for example Google.de.
Check your ranking
There are several methods you can use to check ranking and all of them are quite simple to do. The difference between the methods is that some of them are very labor consuming and some of them are automatic.
I will explain the more labor consuming method to start with because it describes quite well the principles how it works.
Manual ranking check
Go to the search engine and type in the keyword phrase you want to check ranking for in the search box.
- Go through the result page of the first ten results and check if your site is listed.
- If you can't find your site in position 1-10 you should continue and check position 11-20.
- Proceed like this until you found your web page and write down your position.
- You have just found your ranking for this keyword.
After you found your ranking for this keyword you follow the same process for the other keywords you selected.
After you checked all your keywords on this search engine you continue to next search engine and follow the same process. You should check your ranking on the 3-4 most important search engines.
This is a very simple process but unfortunately time consuming. Imagine your site rank badly in the beginning so you have to go through tens or even hundreds of result pages for each keyword and search engine.
It's not my favorite thing to waste my precious time on routine and manual work when I can create content and drive traffic to my sites.
Free tools for ranking check
There are free decent tools out there that can help you check your ranking in a more automated way. You type in the keyword and the url and push a button. Your ranking for the keyword should appear after a while.
You then type in the next keyword but keep the same url and your ranking for this keyword should appear.
This is much less time consuming than doing it manually but there are some drawbacks.
- You can't control exactly which search engine they check ranking on so you are limited to the very few (often one) search engines the ranking checker is designed for.
- You have to manually type in the keywords and manually take notes of your ranking.
- They don't store your results so you have to keep track of your ranking yourself manually.
- They sometimes disappear or move to other url's so you might have a hard time finding them.
Ranking check software
The most efficient way is to use software that checks and logs your ranking.
Thereare several good software's available and the main advantages are.
- You only type in the keywords and your url once
- They have a large selection of available search engines including country and language specific search engines such as for example Google.de for Germany.
- You can select exactly which search engines to use and as many as you want.
- You just push a button and go on doing other important things
- The software will log all results over time so you can follow the trends in graphs and tables.
- You can schedule ranking check at predetermined time intervals
The downside withthese software's is that they cost from 100$ to 450$ to buy. I personally find my time valuable and prefer to use it for important work and not waste it on doing manual work with llittle need for brainwork.
I use WebCEO to check my ranking and find it very satisfying. They have a free demo version of the tool where the ranking checker works just fine. You get full support if you have questions even though you haven't paid for it.
I recommend you download the Web CEO free demo software and check it out.