How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

A lot of sites will track your search engine keyword ranking for you but they can be very expensive (the best known one charging $150/month) but the good news is that you can do it for free by taking advantage of what is now called the Google Search Console.

Google Search Engine Consolesearch console

Google has been changing its’ web master tool set offering frequently lately and it has been hard to keep up. Firstly it brought all the tools together under the “Web Master Tools” banner but has now renamed that to what it is now calling Search Engine Console.

Adding Your Site

The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already done so) is to add your web site to Search Engine Console here. (You will also need a Google account to do this).

Search Engine Console Home

It’s a fairly painless process to add your site (now) and once it’s done you will see it listed at the Search Engine Console Home.

Google recommends creating a “Property Set” for your web site and adding the main variations of its’ URL as web sites but you can do that later if you want to.

For instance we have a Property Set called interim.team with these web site permutations listed within it – http://interim.team, http://www.interim.team, https://interim.team, https://www.interim.team You only need to add the https:// versions if you are using SSL (and you should be) of course.

Click on the name of your web site/property set and it will take you to the status page.

You should investigate any errors/warnings you see if there are any but if not we can happily click on the Search Analytics Bar and voila here is what we’re looking for…

Search Engine Console Search Analytics

You should now see something like the above with the keywords your site is currently indexed on Google for listed as a column on the left hand side and and Clicks (by default) listed on the right hand side. There is a huge amount of useful SEO information here so let’s have a look…

Clicks – what traffic actually arrived at your site from Google.

Impressions – How many times your site was displayed in the results for that phrase. This shows you the volume for that phrase (i.e. how popular it is) so if these numbers are large it may be worth targeting these phrases for more attention. Conversely if these numbers are very low it may be worth focusing on more popular phrases.

CTR – Click Through Rate. The ratio of display to click. Google uses this as a signal into its ranking algorithm (we think).

Position – What we’re here for. If you click in the box you’ll see your average ranking for that phrase over the time period stated under “Dates”. You may want to focus on one particular country by setting a country in the Countries drop down. Helpfully it is listed from highest (1.0) to lowest. I’m sure you’ll get some surprises in the list – apparently we’re ranking for “give us a job” ha ha.

It’s definitely worth having a look at the “Other resources” page from the Search Console Home Page…there are a lot of useful things there.

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hi@interim.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing interim.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy (and more successful) clients we can tell you about…