Website ranking is one of the main goals of optimizing your website for maximum traffic. SEO marketers work hard to ensure their websites rank as high as possible for high-volume keywords through a continual process of optimization. In this process, it’s essential not only to know what the website rankings are for your homepage but also how other URLs under your domain are positioned for various targeted keywords.
Does all of that sound like a load of gibberish? If so, don’t be afraid. Finding and increasing your Google ranking is not too complicated. It only requires a basic understanding of SEO and knowing your way around your favorite SEO tool. You can use this article as a guide to help you understand your website ranking.
What is a website ranking?
Website ranking is an SEO term that refers to a webpage’s position on a search engine results page, also known as a SERP. SEO professionals talk about Google ranking in regards to a website’s homepage and specific URLs within a domain.
It’s also based on specific keywords. For example, your fishing website might be positioned high in search results for the keyword “fishing reels for sale” but it would be highly unlikely and surprising if it showed up on a search engine results page for the keyword “fantasy novels” — and you wouldn’t want or expect it to. SEO is all about optimizing each page on your website to rank for the appropriate keywords.
Now that you know what this ranking is, you’re probably wondering why it’s so important. The answer is simple: the higher your Google and Alexa ranking, the more traffic you gain for your website. An increase in website traffic can lead to more sales, advertising revenue, and more signaling success for your website or business.
If you want to use SEO as part of your business plan (and if the internet is at all a part of that plan, you should), you’ll want to pay attention to website ranking. Start by figuring out how your website is positioned for pertinent keywords, both currently and over time. You’ll probably want to use an SEO tool to help you out.
What is my website ranking?
To find out how your website ranks for various keywords, you’ll need to use some sort of SEO tool. Many tools also help you take a more in-depth look at your Google or Alexa ranking and other integral aspects of SEO. While you can simply do a Google search for a specific keyword to find out where your page is positioned for that keyword, using a tool can give you much more insight into why your website is ranking where it is, how it has ranked for the same keyword over time, which other websites are ranking for the same keyword, and which other keywords you might also want to target.
Additionally, it’s essential to note that your website ranking will differ depending on the search engine you are focusing on. Most SEO tools focus on a Google ranking — and with good reason because Google is the most widely-used search engine. However, depending on your type of website, it might be helpful in your SEO efforts to find your Alexa ranking.
How to find your Google website ranking
Google searching each keyword you want to rank for or think you might be ranking for and navigating through the search engine results pages is a tedious way to look at website rankings, but using an SEO tool makes the process more efficient and informative. Follow these steps using the SEO tool of your choice. For this example, we’ll use the free SEO Ranking Checker available from The Hoth.
The first thing you’ll need to do is enter your URL into the search bar. Simply copy and paste or type out the URL you would like to check into the field, then click on the View Google Rankings button. Remember, this URL could be to the root domain of your website or any other webpage within it that you’d like to focus on. There’s no limit to the number of searches you can do, so feel free to try out as many URLs as possible. In fact, you can use SEO tools like this and other SERP ranking checkers to find Google ranking information about any domain, whether you own it or not. For this example, we’ll use the root domain of the Starbucks website, starbucks.com.
After you click on the View Google Rankings button, website ranking results will be generated below. The Hoth Google SEO Ranking Checker shows the top 100 website traffic-driving keywords your web page is ranking for and some insight into those keywords. In the results, you’ll see the actual rank of the page for each keyword, the search volume of each keyword (how commonly it is searched), the percentage of your website’s total traffic that is coming from that keyword, and the number of results each keyword is generating from Google.
Additionally, you can get some insight into the keywords’ trends over time with this tool. The line graphs shown in the results let you know whether your keywords are trending up right now or are on a downward slant. The Hoth Google SEO Ranking Checker also enables you to know if your website has risen or fallen in the ranks for any particular essential keywords. If any keywords in the results are ones, you are newly ranking for those keywords. You also can download or export the Google ranking data so that you can track your progress over time.
How to increase website ranking
While monitoring website ranking is an integral part of any SEO strategy, it is equally important to establish how you plan to increase website ranking. There is plenty of content out there to help you learn the basics of SEO, and a good SEO strategy should be holistic and incorporate more analytics than just your Google or Alexa ranking. However, if you need quick, straightforward advice, these steps are an excellent place to start.
1. Look to other websites for inspiration
One of the easiest ways to give yourself a ranking boost is by finding inspiration from other websites to help you improve your Google position. You don’t necessarily even need an SEO tool to do this — all you have to do is enter one of your targeted keywords into the Google search and take a look at the search engine results page. The first few webpages in the results that are not paid advertisements are the top-ranking pages for that particular keyword. Because these have achieved the highest possible website ranking, they’re the prime inspiration for your web content. Click on the pages and look at the content and the way it is structured, including where the headers and images are, and which keywords they contain. On your website, you can try out different strategies you observe to boost your Google ranking. Keep in mind that the articles you see in the results are likely catered to you personally and may be chosen based on your location as well as other factors. Thus, you should take this data into consideration but know that it may not be the true position for all web pages you’re shown.
2. Build a keyword strategy
If you strategize your targeted keywords, you’ll be able to increase your website ranking more effectively. The idea here is that if you target similar keywords, Google’s algorithm will index your webpage as an authority on those keywords, bumping your website ranking. What your keyword strategy will be and how you plan to actualize it entirely depend on the content of your website and company goals. For example, if you manage an e-commerce website, you’ll probably want to focus on keywords related to your products. “Girls graphic tees,” “back to school clothes,” “children’s backpack” could all be good keywords to target for a kid’s clothing website.
3. Do some data analysis
While your keyword strategy will always involve a bit of guesswork, as the company itself does not reveal the inner-workings of Google’s algorithm, you can get a pretty good idea of how the algorithm works using data analysis. The data you use can come from Google Analytics or your favorite SEO tool. Even a beginner data analyst can look at your Google ranking for various keywords over time and use the data to increase their position in SERP. Think about what changes you’ve made to your webpages in the past, and how those changes might have influenced your position for those pages. There could also be other outside factors, like current events or changes, and updates to the Google algorithm that have affected your position.
4. Link internally
One of the easiest ways to quickly increase website ranking is to add some internal links to your content. This practice is also referred to as building a site map. The Google algorithm will better recognize your website as an authority on your target keywords if you are able to interlink related content. Make sure to link purposefully, as interlinking for the sake of interlinking is a waste of links and will not help you increase your website ranking.
5. Get backlinks
Internal links aren’t the only type of links that can help raise your Google position. Getting backlinks, or links to your website from external pages will boost your website ranking even more. The same idea applies to linking internally. If your site is linked to from an external domain, the Google algorithm will recognize your website as more of an authority on the keyword topics you are ranking for, and increase your website ranking for those keywords. While you can sometimes get backlinks organically, by other people finding and linking to your content, you can also use backlink outreach tactics like email blasts or link flipping to try to get more backlinks.
6. Update your on-page SEO
On-page SEO involves, well, changing what things look like on the page. This could be rearranging where you’re using keywords within the content of a specific web page, changing the titles or headers within a web page, adding or removing text, images, or videos, basically just making tweaks to your content better optimize it. Updating on-page SEO isn’t just a one-time deal. As Google updates its algorithm, you’ll want to update your webpages to keep up and continually refresh your content. This practice is known as content freshness.
7. Change your URL structure
Changing your URL structure sounds like a simple way to improve your website ranking, especially if it’s something you haven’t paid much attention to as you’ve created and published your webpages. However, two main factors can complicate it. Firstly, if you have any internal links or backlinks leading to a webpage, changing that webpage’s URL will break those links, actually causing your page to decrease in website ranking. Secondly, it will take a while for the Google algorithm to recognize your new URL, so no matter what, it will take some time to increase your website ranking with a new URL. That’s not to say it’s always a bad idea, but definitely one to proceed at with caution.
Now that you have a good understanding of what website ranking is, how to figure out your website ranking, and a few different ways to increase website ranking, it’s time to get started optimizing your website and increasing your position on search engine results pages. Your keyword strategy, the SEO tool you use, and the changes you make to your webpages to increase website ranking are up to you. Use this article as a guide, but keep in mind that a lot of SEO is guesswork. You don’t know precisely how your Google ranking is influenced because you don’t know the specifics of the algorithm. Increasing website ranking is a process of trial and error. If one strategy doesn’t work, note the results of your efforts and go back to the SEO drawing board. Luckily, there are tons of SEO resources on the web that can provide you with endless inspiration and ideas you can use to increase your Google or Alexa ranking.