How to Track Your Google Keyword Rankings

keyword tracking

Why Should You Track Your Keywords

Identify Emerging and Existing Trends

Keeping an eye on your Google keyword rankings is crucial for identifying emerging and existing trends. Search patterns and user behavior evolve, and tracking your keywords helps you stay ahead of the curve. By recognizing trends early on, you can tailor your content and SEO strategies to meet the changing demands of your audience.

Competitor Analysis

Keyword tracking allows you to monitor the performance of your competitors. Understanding their strategies and identifying the keywords they target provides valuable insights. You can then adjust your own approach to gain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

ROI Measurement

Tracking keyword rankings is an essential component of measuring the return on investment (ROI) for your SEO efforts. By associating keyword performance with website traffic and conversions, you can determine which keywords contribute most effectively to your business objectives.

Content Optimization

Content Quality

Keyword tracking helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your content. High-quality, relevant content is a key factor in search engine rankings. By analyzing keyword performance, you can identify content gaps and optimize your material for improved user engagement and search engine visibility.

Keyword Relevance & Search Intent

Understanding the relevance and search intent behind keywords is crucial. By tracking how well your keywords align with user queries, you can refine your content to better meet the needs of your target audience.

Local and International SEO

Local SEO

For businesses targeting local audiences, tracking keywords at the local level is essential. Monitoring local rankings ensures that your business appears in relevant searches within your geographical area.

International SEO

On the other hand, international businesses need to track keyword rankings globally. This ensures visibility in diverse markets and helps tailor strategies for different regions.

When a Google Algorithm Update Occurs

Staying informed about Google algorithm updates is vital for adapting your SEO strategies. Tracking keyword rankings during these updates allows you to understand how your website is affected and make necessary adjustments promptly.

How to Track Your Keyword Rankings on Google

The Manual Method

Manually searching for your keywords on Google and recording the results is a straightforward but time-consuming method. While it provides accurate data, it’s impractical for large-scale tracking.

Tracking Your Keyword Rankings with Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers a more efficient way to track keyword rankings. It provides valuable insights into search performance, click-through rates, and position changes.

Using Semrush to Track Your Keyword Rankings

How to Compare Your Ranking History

Semrush simplifies tracking by providing a historical view of your keyword rankings. You can compare changes over time and identify trends in your SEO performance.

Track Position Changes with the Organic Research Tool

Semrush’s Organic Research tool allows you to monitor your competitors, compare domain performance, and gain insights into ranking strategies.

What Causes A Sudden and Significant Drop in Keyword Rankings?

A Change to Your Backlink Profile

Changes to your backlink profile, such as a sudden loss of high-quality links, can lead to a significant drop in keyword rankings.

Content Quality, Removal, or Changes

Altering or removing high-performing content can impact rankings negatively. It’s essential to maintain content quality and relevance.

Google Penalties

Penalties from Google, such as algorithmic updates or manual actions, can result in a sudden drop in rankings. Regular monitoring helps identify issues promptly.

Server Migrations or HTTPS Transitions

Technical changes, like server migrations or transitioning to HTTPS, may temporarily impact rankings. Monitoring helps ensure a smooth transition.

Technical Issues

Server errors, site downtime, or other technical issues can influence rankings. Regular tracking aids in identifying and resolving technical issues promptly.

Seasonal Keywords

Certain keywords may experience fluctuations in popularity based on seasonal trends. Understanding these patterns helps adjust your strategy accordingly.

How Do You Respond to a Drop in Keyword Rankings?

Audit Your Site

Conduct a comprehensive site audit to identify issues affecting your rankings. Address technical, content, and backlink-related issues promptly.

Update Your Content

Ensure your content remains relevant and of high quality. Regular updates and improvements contribute to sustained keyword performance.

Match Search Intent

Align your content with user search intent. Review and refine your keyword strategy to better meet the needs of your target audience.

Analyze Your Competitors

Examine your competitors’ strategies and adapt your approach accordingly. Identify opportunities to differentiate and enhance your content and SEO efforts.

How Often Should You Track Your Keyword Rankings?

Monthly Tracking

For most businesses, monthly tracking provides a balanced overview of keyword performance and allows for strategic adjustments.


In competitive industries or during critical periods, bi-weekly tracking may be necessary to stay agile and responsive.

Weekly Tracking

Industries experiencing rapid changes may benefit from weekly tracking to adapt quickly to emerging trends and maintain a competitive edge.

Daily Tracking

Highly dynamic industries or during specific campaigns, daily tracking can provide real-time insights and immediate responsiveness.


Q: How accurate are manual methods of tracking keyword rankings?

A: Manual methods can be accurate but are time-consuming and impractical for large-scale tracking. Automated tools like Semrush or Google Search Console offer more efficiency.

Q: Can a sudden drop in keyword rankings be recovered quickly?

A: Recovery depends on the cause. Addressing issues promptly, such as content updates or resolving technical issues, can lead to a quicker rebound.

Q: Is tracking local and international SEO the same?

A: No, tracking local and international SEO requires different approaches. Local tracking focuses on regional keywords, while international tracking spans diverse markets.

Q: How do I respond to a Google penalty affecting my rankings?

A: Address the identified issues, whether content-related, technical, or backlink-related. Submit a reconsideration request if the penalty is manual, and focus on compliance with Google’s guidelines.

Q: Why is it essential to track keyword rankings during Google algorithm updates?

A: Google algorithm updates can significantly impact search rankings. Tracking during updates helps identify the impact on your site and allows for prompt adjustments to maintain visibility.

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