If you’re serious about optimizing your website and grabbing that coveted top spot on Google it’s important that you closely watch your keyword rankings. Knowing where your website ranks in the major search engines for your target keywords is critical for several reasons:

1. It lets you evaluate how far you’re from the top and how much effort/recourses are needed to reach the front page.

2. It enables you to test different SEO techniques to see which ones are working and drop all the rest.

3. It helps you keep your finger on the search engine pulse enabling you to spot algorithm tweaks and updates before they affect your site’s traffic. If your rankings drop for some search terms you’ll be able to quickly take measures to restore your positions before it impacts your traffic and sales.

4. It helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO and better understand the competition in your niche seo ranking checker.

5. If you’re doing SEO for clients, keyword ranking reports are absolutely a must.

There are a number of ways to check where your website ranks for your keywords let’s see what options we’ve got.

Manual rank checks

The obvious choice is to go to Google and other search engines you’re watching, run searches on your target keywords and look for your site in the results. However this way is not only extremely slow but also largely inaccurate. As you might or might not know Google is now serving personalized results for all users, regardless of whether you’re signed in your account or not. So the results you get will be affected by your previous search history, so they may be different from what most users see.

Google Webmaster Tools

If you have a Google Webmaster tools account you can get some interesting data on your sites positions for various keywords in Google there. If you go to ‘Your site on the web’ -> ‘search queries’. There you get a list of all the search strings that your site appeared in the search results for. The tool shows you the number of impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate and the average position for each keyword. If you click on any keyword you can also see what exact pages appeared in the search results. This data not only shows you where your site ranks for particular search terms but also lets you evaluate how your rankings are affected by personalized results, users location, etc. The downsides of this method is that if your site ranks below the top 10 results the tool only shows you the # of the results page, not the exact positions, and of course you can only track your rankings on Google, so if you target Yahoo!, Bing or any other search engines you’ll need some other solution for tracking your rankings there.

Rank Checkers

Rank checkers offer one of the most popular and perhaps the most effective way of tracking your site’s rankings. There are a lot of rank checking tools out there, both free and paid. Most of them let you track multiple sites and keywords in a Some of the better ones are Rank Checker by SEO Book (free), Advanced Web Rankings (AWR) (paid with free trial) and Rank Tracker by Link-Assistant (free and paid).

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