What Keywords do I rank for?
- By Dominique Jackson
- January 31, 2019
Whether you’re an agency with clients or own your own business, one question you’ve probably asked or been asked is “what keywords do I rank for?” When onboarding new SEO clients, it’s typically one of the first steps you’ll take to identify where they currently stand and to spot opportunities for improvement. For your own sites, you probably want to know what keywords you rank for so you have an idea of what people are searching for to land on your site, and what keywords you’re being found for. Whatever the case, you don’t have to be left in the dark or stuck in a guessing game. With the right tools, you can easily figure out what keywords your website ranks for, so you can plan your next steps.
The Benefits of Knowing What Keywords You Rank For
There are a few reasons to know what keywords you rank for, some of which you probably haven’t even thought of.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to start your keyword research process from scratch. You can save a ton of time by first identifying the keywords you already rank for, then work backward. For instance, let’s say you have a website that reviews outerwear, and you’ve been creating content for a few months, but never took the steps to do keyword research. Now that you have some content on your site, you can use that info to figure out what keywords to improve on, and uncover new keyword ideas based on what you already rank for.
SEO Client Audit
One of the best ways to land new SEO clients is to paint a picture of where they currently stand. Oftentimes, if a company sees that they’re missing out the opportunity to rank for highly searched keywords, it’ll motivate them to sign up and get to work. To do this, look up the keywords their site is currently ranking for (we’ll show you how to do this below). When presenting the data, focus on the keywords that they rank in position 5 or lower. These are the keywords that they’re showing up for, but more than likely aren’t getting traffic from since positions 1-3 get the bulk of clicks for branded and unbranded searches.
If you want to add even more fuel to the fire, show them the rankings of their top competitors that are outperforming them.
See How You Stack Up Against Competitors
Speaking of competitors, you can also see what keywords your own website ranks for and compare it to the competition. This is particularly helpful if you’re starting a new site and want to see what keywords your competitors are getting the most traffic from.
Ok, so now that you know the why, let’s dive into the how. Here’s how to see what keywords your website ranks for.
When most people sign up for a keyword rank tracking tool, they assume they’ll need to have their own list of keywords they want to track ready to go. However, did you know that you can use our keyword rank tracking tool to see what keywords you already rank for? When you add your website, our software will analyze all your pages and see what keywords you already rank for, and suggest adding them to your list.
As you can see, we show you where in the search engine results we found each of your keywords, an estimate of how much traffic each keyword is bringing in, and the search volume. This data is extremely valuable for giving you an initial list of keywords to track without spending hours brainstorming.
Depending on how well optimized your site is, you’ll get up to 1,000 suggested keywords. Obviously, that’s quite a lot. But luckily you can filter your list a bit by the criteria that matters most to you. For instance, perhaps you only want to add keywords to your list that have a search volume of 100 or more. Simply adjust the filters and we’ll show you all the keywords we found with a search volume of at least 100. Or maybe you only want to track keywords you’re not already ranking in the top 10 positions for. Adjust the “Seen” filter and set it to the positions you want to see. Perhaps your main focus is on improving brand recognition.
In the screenshot we used above, we’re looking at the rankings for the software, Shift. Since they have a fairly broad term as their brand name, they might want to monitor their rankings on branded terms to see if they’re improving. If they notice their rankings for keywords that include “Shift” are increasing, it’s a sign that they’re gaining brand exposure and Google is starting to connect searches including the word shift with their brand. So in order to filter this, all you’d have to do is enter your brand name in the search field, and we’ll display only the keywords your site is found for that include your brand name.
Also, remember what we mentioned earlier about presenting data to clients? Here’s a very powerful way to help sell them on your SEO services if they’re currently using Google Ads. Show them the keywords they rank for that have high competition or a pricey cost-per-click (CPC). The competition metric in our tool refers to how competitive the keyword is on Google Ads. So the higher it is, the more difficult (and expensive) the phrase will be to show up for in Google Ads.
If the prospect’s site isn’t ranking in the top three organic positions for these keywords, and they’re paying for Google Ads, these should become the focus of your SEO efforts in your proposal. You can show them how much money you’ll be able to save them by ranking organically, rather than paying for every click.
2. Google Search Console
We’ve walked you through some of the cool things you can do with our own tool to see what keywords you rank for. But we also wanted to give you another option. Google Search Console is every SEOs best friend. It gives you data that no other third-party tool can, since it tracks traffic on your site, including the keywords you rank for. Here’s how to get the data. First, you need to have Google Analytics set up on your website, and then link it to Google Search Console. We won’t get into the step-by-step directions of how to do that here, but you can use these tutorials from Google:
- Setting up Google Analytics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008015?hl=en
- Setting up Google Search Console: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1308621?hl=en
Note: If you haven’t set up Google Search Console yet, you’ll have to wait a few weeks for Google to collect data to report on. Once you have your website setup, login to Google Search Console. In the dashboard, you’ll see a “Performance” chart. Click on Open Report.
This will open up a complete graph that shows you the number of clicks and impressions your website has received over a set period of time. If you scroll down, you’ll see a chart that allows you to drill down into the clicks by queries, pages, and more. Click on the “Queries” tab if it’s not already selected.
Here you’ll see all the different keywords your site ranks for in Google, along with clicks and impressions data. You’ll notice we have a search volume column in our chart. You can get this data by installing the Keywords Everywhere Google extension. Ok, so right now, we can see clicks and impressions, but what about where we rank? If you scroll back up to the top, you’ll see “Average CTR” and “Average Position”.
Clicking on one or both of those will pull in that data in the chart, so now you can see the average CTR and ranking of each keyword.
Now you can start to do some fun stuff with all of this data, and slice it however you’d like. If you click on the filter icon, you can sort and filter your keywords by average position, CTR, impressions and other metrics.
There are plenty of use cases for this. For instance, maybe you want to see which keywords you rank for in positions greater than five, but are receiving more than 50 clicks per month. This would give you a list of keywords that you’re being outranked for, but for some reason, people are still clicking through to your site for the terms. If you’re able to get those keywords in the top three positions, you could potentially double or even triple the traffic you get from those terms. The more you dive into the data the more insights you’ll uncover.
What Keywords Do You Rank For?
Now that we’ve shown you how to find the keywords you rank for, it’s time for you to take action. Sign up for a free trial of Wincher and finally answer the question, “what keyword do I rank for?”