May 1, 2021
“I was ranking on page 1 in less than two hours!”
Nope! Not a thing. Not how Google works.
When I hear claims like this, I know that the keywords they wanted to rank for likely had no search volume as no one else uses those search terms. Or they checked their rankings by Googling their own keywords.
You need to know how your website ranks for your target keywords. So stop Googling yourself to find out how your website ranks! This doesn’t work, not even in Incognito mode.
Why doesn’t it work? When you google keywords you’re trying to rank for or have friends google those keywords to see where you show up, those results are almost always going to be skewed. Multiple factors play into your results including your physical location, browser history, interests, etc.
If you want to check how you’re ACTUALLY ranking for your primary keywords, Google already offers a free SEO tool that shows you real-life rankings for specific time periods.
Google Search Console is the most accurate way to track your rankings and find out how people are actually finding your website. This easy-to-use SEO tool is also free AND easy to use.
Hopefully, you already have a Google account to use when you set up Google Search Console because you already have a Google Analytics account. If you haven’t set up Google Analytics or Google Search Console, let me help you get set up! These two Google tools are VITAL to understanding your website performance, SEO rankings, and marketing needs.
Important to Know: To check your rankings for a keyword phrase, select the “Pages” first, then select “Queries” to understand how each page ranks for the keyword phrase. Otherwise, you’re just going to see the average rankings for any page ranking for each search query.
For example, check your keyword rankings for your Home page:
This is how your home page is ranking for your main keywords phrases. When you have multiple pages ranking for your main keyword phrase, they’re competing with each other. You want your home page to rank for that main keyword phrase like “phoenix wedding photographers.”
Google ranks PAGES, not entire websites.
In the performance report, you’ll find the following info to understand how your pages rank:
Use “Search Queries” in the GSC Performance Report to Brainstorm Content Ideas
If you’re looking for new content ideas, try using the “Search Queries” from the Performance Report. You can see what people are already searching for that Google thinks are related to the content on your website.
Then use that insight to write relevant content that covers similar topics.
Bonus SEO Tip: Link your new pages/posts with similar pages/posts on your site to improve your site structure. This gives Google – and potential clients! – valuable content to crawl and rank.