The goal of natural referencing is to position as many targeted keywords as possible at the top of Google results. In order to measure the progress of its work and its efforts in terms of SEO, it is interesting to follow the evolution of the positioning and performance of these keywords in the ranking of the search engine. The position of keywords is one of the most monitored KPIs in SEO .
Optimization work on targeted queries takes time. The deadlines for ranking well on Google vary according to the presence of competition and the difficulty of the keywords.
- How to monitor the position of keywords?
- How to check the position of your site on the local results?
- Which Google ranking tracking tools to use?
This article aims to answer these questions.
- Positioning audit of your pages on the main keywords of your activity, generally short expressions.
- Positioning audit of your site on longer tail keywords that are positioned thanks to the specific SEO work put in place for these less competitive queries.
- By monitoring the evolution of all of your positioning reports in a global manner, you can quickly identify trends and elements that are on the rise or fall.
- Sudden drops in positioning can reveal a technical problem on your site, a penalty from Google or a change in the algorithm.
- Following netlinking campaigns, monitoring positioning can help identify whether the new links have borne fruit.
Rankings on Google are constantly changing , decreases and increases in positioning are daily. In order to limit the stress, it is preferable to analyze its positions over longer periods to see the trends. Checking his postions daily gives no usable insight.
Monitoring the positions of your competitors is also important, it allows you to try to understand what actions they have put in place to get ahead of you and to identify the possible levers to put in place to overcome them in terms of netlinking and other criteria. optimizations.
For a long time, keyword ranking was an essential component of any SEO campaign and a primary criteria to track.
Google is now able to understand the search intent of users and better understand the meaning of texts. A page optimized for a particular query may very well be offered by Google to Internet users for other keywords if it deems it relevant for the search performed. This makes the work of acquisition and efforts in terms of visibility more interesting.
Quality texts can also generate significant traffic on a multitude of long tail keywords.
Organic search traffic and conversions are our main search objectives, so it is important to have a broader view of the performance of your content and pages and not to have the too restrictive vision of a simple positioning on a particular keyword. What about the hundreds of other keywords people use to find your site?
Google's ranking algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated and use a multitude of variables that affect your site's ranking on the search engine. The reports given by the positioning verification tool are therefore only an average which may have significant variations depending on the Internet user and do not reflect the actual visual positioning on the results page either.
One user may see your site appear in the top spots of Google's SERP, while another user may not see your page appear on the first page at all.
Factors that can influence the positioning of a site on Google:
- The cache and cookies installed on the browser.
- Online search history.
- The browser language.
- The geolocation of the Internet user.
- The location of the ip and the Google datacenters used during searches.
- And no doubt other more subtle factors.
In order to simulate the most neutral searches possible and check the ranking of your site on different keywords, you can perform the following operations:
- Activate the private mode of your browser to cut you off from your browsing history and other personal data.
- Clear browser cache and delete cookies, as Google uses this information.
- Disable location . Google automatically detects the location of your computer via its IP address. You can prevent it from tracking your location to a certain extent, but you cannot choose a geographic area to perform the simulation.
- You can use a VPN or a proxy as a solution to simulate the desired locations.
- Make sure your browser language is the same as your customers. Depending on the languages used, the results may differ.
One trick that works well is to use the Google Ads Ad Preview and Diagnostics tool to simulate queries in areas of your choice based on different criteria.
Being well positioned on the Google results page does not always mean being well visible. With the increasing enrichment of search results, the sites positioned on the natural results can be relegated to the background and have a highly degraded visibility depending on the situation.
Examples of content blocks that can change the actual position of a site:
- Blocks of video content that take up significant space and push certain results lower visually.
- The local pack that displays local businesses on certain keywords.
- The image content block.
- The question block which also takes up space.
- Position 0 which can propel a lower ranked site to the top of the page.
- Front page information that highlights the news.
- Google Ads advertisements that occupy the top of the page.
Example of a results page that does not display any natural results on the first part of the page visible on a computer screen. Obtaining the first position of the natural results on this query, however very typed, does not provide significant visibility.
There are other tools to track your keyword rankings on Google, but here are the 4 that often come up in the rankings of tools dedicated to this feature. The ideal is to test them and choose the one that is most suitable for your use in terms of the number of sites to monitor, the number of keywords, the ergonomics of the ranking table and other features.
It should be noted that Google's Search Console gives a lot of very interesting information about the keywords that generate traffic, giving an average position in its results. In many cases, it may be enough to use this tool coupled with Google Analytics to understand what types of content and which pages are the most effective.
These are dedicated tools below. Other more complete SEO tools like SEObserver or Semrush include position and query evolution tracking in their solution.