It’s important to pick the right keywords when you first create a new website. After all, you’re not just using keywords in blog post or page content, you’re using them in slugs, tags, and meta descriptions.
So, if you don’t choose the right ones the first time around, you’ll have to revise later in order to communicate to search engines and visitors what your site is actually talking about.
This is why an SEO tool is helpful.
SEO tools generally focus on the quality of your content as a whole. That’s what makes plugins like SmartCrawl essential to the content creation process when building WordPress sites. However, when you’re trying to assess the quality of the keywords you’ve chosen, you need an SEO tool that’s more specialized, as well as one that will help you determine later on–once your site has been running for awhile–where the site sits in search rankings.
In this case, you’ll need an SEO tool that checks Google keyword rankings.
Why Keywords Really Matter in On-Page SEO
Content quality is important, obviously, but none of that matters if the keywords you’ve focused your pages and posts around just don’t work. Perhaps it’s because the phrasing doesn’t align with what visitors are typing into search. Maybe you’ve chosen a term that’s too popular and is near impossible to rank for unless you’re running a major retail site like Amazon. Or maybe the keyword just doesn’t appear enough on your site to make an impact.
There are a number of reasons why a keyword might not work well on your site. A keyword research tool, however, will help clarify some of those questions and concerns you might have about the future success of your keywords or their past failures.
Here is how your initial selection of keywords, integration of them into your WordPress website, and review of them down the road should go:
- Step 1: Research and select your keywords.
- Step 2: Analyze them with your Google keyword research tool.
- Step 3: Optimize your content, metadata, and images with those keywords.
- Step 4: Create internal links using them.
- Step 5: Publish your WordPress site.
- Step 6: Build backlinks to your site using those keywords.
- Step 7: Re-review your keywords using the Google keyword rankings tool to see how your chosen keywords fare in search as well as when stacked up against the competition.
As you can see, there are two different ways to use your Google keyword ranking tool. The first–before your site gets published–to check the viability of your chosen keywords. The second–after your site gets published–to see how your site’s ranking ties into the keywords you’ve optimized it with. This is how you’ll determine the true efficacy of your keywords.
5 Best SEO Tools for Checking Google Keyword Rankings
You work so hard to create an SEO strategy and checklist of steps to follow every time you build a new WordPress site. You would think that with all the work that goes into it, that search engines would automatically respond favorably since you did everything you were supposed to do.
But that’s not always how it goes. If you don’t currently have a Google keyword ranking tool incorporated into your workflow, here are 5 of the best SEO tools to consider.
If you want an easy introduction to Google keyword ranking tools, you can start with AuthorityLabs. The setup is easy and the interface is intuitive, so you’ll have no problems getting started with this tool.
Unlike some of the other tools you’ll encounter, this one allows you to add multiple domains all at once, rather than have to add each one-by-one (which can be a pain when you’re managing multiple websites). Adding multiple keywords is a cinch, too.
In terms of keyword ranking, your choices are simple:
- Search engine: Google, Yahoo, or Bing
- Platform: desktop or mobile
- Geo: local or national
Now, in terms of Google keyword ranking results, the output is pretty bare bones (which is why I only recommend using this if you’re just starting out).
As you can see, for each domain, all the keywords you want to rank for will appear. Depending on which search engines you’re interested in, the data will populate on the right accordingly. You’ll receive your site’s rank for that keyword as well as its overall popularity and frequency in search. If you need anything more in depth from your SEO tool, keep reading for other options.
You’ll notice that while many of these SEO tools give you the option to narrow your Google keyword ranking results down to one specific locale, the focus is generally on search results as a whole. GeoRanker, on the other hand, provides users with deeper insights into very specific local search results.
Simple to use and with deeper results, GeoRanker is a good option if local SEO is a priority for your site.
Once you’ve run your first keyword ranking test, you’ll see how easy it is to get a sense for which markets your site is doing best in as well as for which keywords.
The keyword suggestions and density tools will come in handy if you find that your keyword rankings just aren’t what they need to be in any of your markets.
Another really cool feature about GeoRanker is the heatmap tool. Typically, when we talk about heat maps in WordPress development, the focus is on where visitors engage with your website the most. For GeoRanker, though, a heat map helps you get a sense for what’s going on with your keyword.
As you can see in the picture above, you’ll get a list of the top 10 websites that rank for your keyword in each specified city. You can, in turn, use this information to either tweak your site and keyword usage accordingly or find a keyword that’s perhaps less popular but easier to rank for.
I have to admit, Moz is a pretty intense experience on the first go. It’s not like the SEO tool is confusing to use or poorly designed, it’s just that there is a lot of information about your keyword rankings. So, when you need a comprehensive Google keyword ranking tool for your website and are prepared for the onslaught of data that comes with it, Moz is there for you.
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Once you’re inside Moz, be sure to zero in on the Rank Tracker part of the tool. There’s a lot you can do with Moz, but for the purposes of what we’re talking about right now, the Rank Tracker is all you need.
With the rank tracker, you can:
- Integrate with Google Analytics.
- Choose from a variety of search engines, including Google Mobile.
- Pick your preferred country and language.
- Select keywords from a list Moz has already pulled for your domain.
- Add local keywords to narrow the focus.
- Submit competitors’ websites for side-by-side analysis.
One of the tools you’ll definitely want to use is the Tracked Keywords Overview. It’s great when you want to get a sense of how many ranking keywords you actually have on your site, which pages they’re found on, and how they’re stacking up in results.
There is also the SERP Features module.
This one will be particularly helpful if you have special ranking needs. In other words, let’s say your site publishes video tutorials. It would be great if the website showed up under Google video searches, right? Or perhaps your site is for a local business and you want an associated knowledge card to pop up when someone searches for it. SERP Features will tell where in search your site appears and how it ranks there.
I also like the Analyze a Keyword tool.
You can choose any of your preset keywords and receive an analysis of your site’s performance against it. If you scroll down the page, you’ll also see which other websites rank for this keyword. If you’re not in the number one spot, reviewing these competitor sites may give you some ideas on how to improve your site’s rank.
SEOprofiler is one of the most well-organized and robust of the SEO tools you could use for checking Google keyword rankings. With every domain you set up, you’ll be asked to filter through a number of settings:
- Search date range
- Search engine preference
- Language and country
- City (if you want to get local search rankings)
- More specific search types, like video, image, AMP ranking, local, etc.
The results you receive from SEOprofiler are fantastic: easy to understand and include all the information you could ever need about your keyword ranking. This includes:
Keyword-specific information related to the number of searches, the difficulty of the keyword, your current ranking, where your site appears in search (i.e. video, news, et al.), and where your competitor stands.
You can also see how each page on your site is doing in terms of ranking in search. This will tell you how many keywords the search engines ranks the page for and how much competition there is for them.
SEOprofiler also has a Ranking Opportunities tool available. So, let’s say you’re okay with your keyword rankings, but feel as though you could do better. SEOprofiler can give you suggestions for relevant search terms that might shoot you to the top of results if you optimize your site properly.
Finally, we come to SERPWatcher. Setup is a breeze as it only asks you for the basics: What is your domain? Which keywords are you hoping to rank for? Desktop or mobile? And do you care about which country the search initiates from?
The ensuing report is simple to follow. It will inform you on:
- What your rank was yesterday.
- How much it’s changed.
- What your average rank is for each keyword.
- Your best rank to date.
The best part about the SERPWatcher tool is that it’s part of a pack of three tools you can use to choose, review, and adjust your keywords for better ranking results.
One of the other tools available, SERPChecker, is great for competitor analysis. You can tell a lot from this tool:
- How did those sites optimize their content around the keyword?
- What is the focus of their site?
- What is their site’s/page’s authority on the web?
- How many people are sharing these pages on social or backlinking to it? And why?
There’s also KWfinder, which will help you find stronger long-tail keywords based on the search terms you’re interested in.
If the two tools above are telling you that your Google keyword rankings could be doing better or even that you’ve gone down the wrong path with any of them, KWfinder can help put you back on track by providing keywords search users are actually looking for.
If you’re experiencing issues with a lack of traffic to your site, and performance and security aren’t a problem, then keywords may be to blame. With a Google keywords rankings tool on hand, you can quickly assess the quality of your chosen keywords and take action to remedy any problems found.
For those of you with brand new WordPress sites, you can use these tools to review the overall health and viability of keywords you’re interested in. Evaluate how popular they are and how well they perform for your competitors to get a sense of what they’ll do for you.