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How to track your website’s SEO performance

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Google’s best kept secret is the way it displays search engine result pages (SERP) to people who are searching for something. So it’s important to know where in the list of results your website appears to searchers in order to make sure that it can be found by people who are looking for a service or product that you offer. The position of your website ranking has a direct impact on whether someone will find your website. This is because Google Search by default only shows the first top 10 results to users which it thinks will be relevant to the person searching based on the input search term. As a general rule of thumb it is a must to at least be listed on page 1 of Google as anything beyond page 1 is seldom viewed by searchers. So knowing your website’s page rank is crucial for you to determine what SEO strategy you need to implement.

The wrong ways of checking your Google Search ranking

There are two common mistakes that people make when checking their website ranking. In order to get accurate page ranking results and discover what searchers are seeing when they look for specific keywords related to your business, you need to understand what searches are using as keywords to find businesses like yours.

Don’t use the wrong keywords 

What are people searching for? Don’t assume you know the keyword as you might be wrong. You need to know what the most popular keywords people are inputting into the search bar. In the world of SEO this is called Keyword Research. By identifying keywords that are most relevant to your website, you can understand where the gap is to get more SERP impressions of your website. 

A way of obtaining this information is using Google Trends. By using this tool you can compare keywords searchers and look up information using the Google search engine. By analyzing several keywords versus one another you will be able to determine which are the most common search terms.

Screenshot of Google Trends comparing search terms popularity

Don’t use Google Chrome 

Well use Google Chrome but not in the normal mode. If you are logged in as a user in Chrome, Google Search will return results that it’s algorithm believes will be most relevant to you. Based on your search history, some websites might rank higher because you would have already visited them frequently in the past.

So if you regularly visit your website, searches that are relevant to your site will display your website higher than that of your competitors. However, for someone researching your products or services, your website might be listed in a different position in the SERP. 

You might have enabled location tracking in your chrome profile which might screw the SERPs and rank sites that might be closer to you. If that is the case and you also search from the office, then the results Google Search returns with will always be based on your location. 

The right ways of checking your website ranking 

Once you have conducted your keyword research and identified what search terms people are using you can check the ranking of your website. 

Use Google Chrome Private Browsing

Private browsers are the easiest way to check your website SEO ranking. By using Chrome Incognito you will return SERPs that are not biased and not based on a specific location. This browsing method does not store search history, cookies or leverage your location to return results that Google thinks are more relevant to you. This would be the best average website ranking for new users searching for you.

Always make sure you open a new Incognito window by following these steps

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More and then New Incognito Window.
  3. A new window appears. In the top corner, check for the Incognito icon Incognito.

Use a SERP Checker

There are several websites and tools which you can use to track your website’s SERP results. Most offer a paid premium plan with multiple keyword tracking, device type SERP (never underestimate the distinction between desktop, mobile and tablet searchers) and location based searches. A popular website to perform this type of analysis is whatsmyserp. We do not have any affiliation with this product or are not being paid to promote it but we think it does a great job. 

Whatsmyserp provides a free tier with a limited amount of search terms but it should be enough to get you started. But entering your website and choosing a combination of keywords, device type and selecting Malta as the location you see the average user’s SERP results. You can also track the progress of your SEO improvement strategy as it monitors the website’s performance daily. Alerts and automated email reports can also be set up for you to be notified on the rank movement of your website.