Ever wondered where your website ranks on search engines but aren’t sure how to check your website position on Google? Knowing where your website ranks in search engines is crucial for any SEO strategy.
How can you grow your business if you don’t know your starting point? How can you know which path to take if you don’t know where you are? This is applicable to life in general and it also applies to SEO.
Why is it worth checking your website position?
It’s worth checking where your website ranks in Google because it’s important to monitor whether your SEO activities are getting results. If your website’s position has stayed the same or has declined and you’re doing SEO activities, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy to find out what’s not working. Google algorithms are constantly changing and your position in search results will never be permanent.
There are lots of SEO tools to find out the page and position of your keywords but let’s leave keyword positions to one side.
Let’s go back one step to find out what the average position of your entire website is.
Here are three ways you can check the average position of your website.
1. Do a manual search in Google
Google likes to give you personalised results based on your search history, whether or not you’ve visited a site before, your physical location, your device type and your social connections.
Since Google remembers your search patterns and you’ve probably searched and clicked on your own website many times, if you type in your main keyword, you’re going to get skewed results.
So, how do you get around the personalised search issue?
The way to get more accurate results is to open an “incognito” or “private” tab. These windows don’t save history or cookies so your own preferences won’t influence the results as much.
From your browser, click on the hamburger menu and you’ll get dropdown options that look something like this. Depending on whether you have a PC or MAC, you’ll see “New private window” or “Incognito mode”.
Now that you are in private or incognito mode, put in the main term you want to be found for.
Have a look down the first page of Google to see if your company website is there. If it’s on page one, congratulations are in order. If it’s not, don’t despair. Go to the next page and the next until you find your website. Your website might be on page 10 or beyond so this might take some time.
This manual method is not entirely reliable and it’s time consuming, but it is an exercise worth doing.
2. Google Search Console
The next way to check your website position on Google is to use Google Search Console. You may have set this up a long time ago and forgotten about it. If so, it’s time to start using it again because it will give you a lot of information. Here’s what to do:
- Log into Google Search Console
- Click on Performance on the left-hand side.
The metric you want to look at here is the “Average position”. This metric is the average of your positions (the sum of positions divided by the total number of keywords) for every keyword you rank for. In other words, it shows the average of your positions for every keyword your entire site ranks for.
In this example, the average position is 42. Google shows 10 results per page. So, this website is the second result on the fifth page.
Compare time periods
To check if your position has improved or declined over time, you can use Google Search Console to compare your website’s position now with another time period.
Click on the date range you’ve selected. In the next box, click on the Compare option and choose the timeframe you want to analyse. With the total clicks, total impressions, average click-through rate and average position selected, the graph is rather overwhelming. To remove the data you don’t want, click on the boxes with the data you don’t want to see and they’ll be greyed out, leaving you only with the data you want to analyse.
There is no prescribed time frame to compare your current position to, but checking how your website has performed over the past 12 months and in the last 3 months are two periods of time you could start with.
3. Use rank checking tools
There are loads of SEO tools that will track your keyword positions and give you the overall position of your website. If you aren’t familiar with any SEO tool, then it’s good to test a few out to see which one you feel more comfortable with and the one that feels the most intuitive to you.
The paid versions can be pricey, but they all come with free trials.
Ahrefs is a heavy hitter when it comes to SEO tools and is widely used among SEO professionals. Once you’re logged in, click on the Rank Tracker tab and set up a new project. You’ll then get a metric that shows your average position. This is certainly quicker and more accurate than doing a manual search.
Semrush is another one of those comprehensive SEO tools that are used widely by SEO professionals. Like Ahrefs, it’s a paid tool, but there’s a free trial. Once you’re logged in, set up a position tracking campaign with the website you want to analyse. When Semrush has finished analysing your data you’ll see the position of your website.
AccuRanker is yet another reliable SEO tool used by SEO professionals. Take advantage of the 14-day trial here and there’s no credit card needed. Once you’re signed in, enter your targeted keywords, select your country, choose your location, pick your device and then click “Search Now”
Don’t start your new or revised SEO strategy until you know where your website ranks on Google. Whether you’re on page 1 or on page 100 there’s always work to do. SEO is a journey and there’s a lot of trial and error along the way. So use the data to help you. Knowing your website’s position is a good place to start.