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How to Check Keyword Rankings: A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to optimising your website for search engines, understanding your keyword rankings is crucial. Knowing where your website stands in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords can help you devise effective SEO strategies. In this article, we will guide you through how to check keyword rankings and why it’s essential to keep an eye on these rankings due to their fluctuating nature.

The Tools: Google Search Console, Moz, and SEMrush

There are several tools available for checking keyword rankings, and some of the most popular and reliable ones include Google Search Console, Moz, and SEMrush.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps you monitor your website’s presence in Google’s search results. It provides data on which keywords your site is ranking for, the average position for those keywords, and how many clicks they’re receiving.


Moz is a comprehensive SEO toolset that offers a range of features including the ability to track keyword rankings. Moz’s Rank Tracker tool allows you to monitor your keywords over time, as well as keep an eye on your competitors’ rankings.


SEMrush is another powerful SEO tool that offers in-depth keyword analytics. It allows you to track keyword positions, discover new keywords, and get insights into your competitors’ keyword strategies.

The Most Up-to-Date Method: Manual Checking

While the aforementioned tools are incredibly useful, if you want the most up-to-date snapshot of where your keyword is ranking, the best method is to check manually. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open Google: Go to Google in your browser.
  2. Adjust Google Settings: Before searching, click on ‘Settings’ in the bottom right corner of Google’s homepage, then click on ‘Search settings’. Under ‘Results per page’, slide the bar to show 100 results at once. Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page.
  3. Install a SERP Counter Plugin: Download and install a Google Chrome SERP counter plugin. This will number the search results, making it easier to see the ranking positions. I’ve found this Chrome Extension to be the best: MST SERP Counter – SEO Free SERP Checker Tool.
  4. Search for Your Keyword: Type your target keyword into the Google search bar.
  5. Find Your Website: Use ‘Control + F’ to open the search function in your browser, then type in your website name to locate it among the search results.

Understanding Keyword Ranking Fluctuations

It’s important to recognise that keyword rankings can fluctuate. This is a normal occurrence and can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Seasonal Trends: Certain keywords might surge in popularity during specific times of the year, affecting rankings.
  2. Search Engine Algorithm Updates: When search engines update their algorithms, it can cause shifts in keyword rankings.
  3. Competitor Actions: The SEO efforts of your competitors can impact your keyword rankings.
  4. Changes in User Behavior: Current events, news, and cultural shifts can change how people search, and this can affect keyword rankings.
  5. Content Updates and Freshness: Regularly updating content is vital, as search engines often favor fresh content.
  6. Local Search Results: Rankings can vary depending on the searcher’s location and local SEO factors.
  7. Site Changes and Optimisations: Making changes to your website, such as altering the structure or on-page SEO elements, can cause temporary ranking fluctuations.

On the other hand, keyword rankings may remain relatively constant during periods when:

  1. Seasonal Effects are Minimal: If there isn’t a seasonal impact or external event affecting the keywords, their rankings may be more stable.
  2. Steady User Demand: When user interest in a particular topic remains consistent, this can contribute to stability in keyword rankings.
  3. Stable Competitive Environment: In situations where competitors are not making significant changes to their websites or SEO efforts, keyword rankings can be steadier.
  4. No Major Algorithm Changes: If there haven’t been significant changes to search engine algorithms, keyword rankings might remain more consistent.

In addition to the factors previously mentioned, I’d like to add that if you make recent optimisations, the changes will also have an impact on keyword rankings. Here’s how:

  1. Re-indexing: When significant changes are made to a website, search engines may take some time to crawl and index the new content. During this re-indexing period, you might observe fluctuations in rankings.
  2. Site Structure and Navigation: Any modifications to the site’s structure or navigation can affect how search engines evaluate the relevance and authority of the pages, which, in turn, can impact keyword rankings.
  3. On-Page SEO Changes: Updates to meta tags, headers, and on-page content can change how search engines interpret the relevance of your pages to certain keywords.
  4. User Experience: Improvements in site speed, mobile-friendliness, and overall user experience can have a positive effect on rankings, but it may take some time for search engines to recognize and reflect these improvements.
  5. Internal and External Links: Changes in internal linking structure or gaining/losing backlinks can affect the authority and relevance signals that search engines use to rank pages.
  6. Keyword Targeting: If we’ve refined the keyword targeting strategy, this could cause some keywords to rise in rankings while others might temporarily drop as the site’s focus shifts.


It’s important to note that improvements in SEO often don’t lead to immediate increases in rankings. SEO is a long-term strategy, and it may take some time before the full benefits of the optimisations are realised. It’s also common to see temporary fluctuations before the rankings stabilise.

I hope this guide has helped you how to check Keyword Rankings, as well as set realistic expectations whilst monitoring your progress!

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