How To Track Your Website’s Organic Ranking Using Google Search Console
Tracking Your Website’s Organic Traffic
Tracking your website’s organic traffic or organic ranking can be quite tricky, especially if you’re a business owner who doesn’t deal with SEO or search engine optimization on a daily basis.
This article is based on our YouTube video where Jaques goes into great depth as to how you can gauge your website’s organic traffic using Google Search Console or otherwise known as GSC. Make sure to check out the video below.
This YouTube video is part-3 of a 4-part YouTube video series that explains Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing basics.
What Is Google Search Console Or GSC
Google Search Console is a fantastic web service that allows business owners, digital marketers and SEO experts to view any website’s indexing status, total website impressions, total clicks and where any given website is showing up.
Keep in mind; you can only access a website’s Google Search Console metrics if your google account is set to have full access or owner privileges.
In this article, we will assume you have full access to your website’s GSC. However, make sure to ask your website developer or SEO expert to provide you with full access if you don’t have any.
Accessing Google Search Console Or GSC
Go ahead and open your preferred browser and type in Google Search Console in the address bar. You’ll get a bunch of search results. So let’s go ahead and click on the first search result that says Google Search Console.
Once the GSC landing page is loaded, click on the Start Now button.
Now, my account is already logged in. Go ahead and log into your Google or Gmail account if you’re not logged in. You will be directed to the GSC dashboard view once you’ve successfully signed in.
Selecting Different Website Properties
At the top left of the screen, you’ll see your website as the selected property. If you own more than one website or property, it will showcase as a dropdown when you click on it. So, let’s go ahead and select the property or website you would like the pull some organic reports forms.
Google Search Console Insights Or SCI
Quick Tip: Google just recently launched Search Console Insights or SCI BETA. SCI is a great way to quickly see how your website performs by showing you the latest clicks your website has gained from your latest organic search results.
Google Search Console Insights is still in its BETA stage, but we will defiantly see some improvements on SCI in the coming months.
Understanding The Dashboard Overview
On the left side, you’ll see the navigation bar. Keep in mind that Google Search Console is meant for developers. However, it’s still a great tool to use if you’re a business owner or website owner.
The four most important items to focus on are; website performance, website coverage and security or manual actions.
In the center of the dashboard, you will see Performance and Coverage. As mentioned above, these two are the most important reports you can pull to see how your site is ranking organically and how many keywords your website is ranking for.
Therefore, with this article and YouTube video, we’re going to keep it short and only focus on your website’s performance.
View Website Performance Report Through Google Search Console
Click on Open Report right on the Performance card. The website performance report can seem complicated, and you’ll notice many up and down spikes on the performance chart. In fact, large spikes in this chart are regular! Especially if your website is still growing.
At the top, you’ll see the Search Type and Date Range selector.
By default, the date range is always set to 3 months. Now, I feel that three months is not a great way to see how your site performs. So, I usually set this to 16 months to get a clearer view of a website’s organic status.
Let’s go ahead and click on the pencil next to the date and set it to 16 months. So there we go, the performance chart just changed, and now we have a much clearer view of what’s going on.
Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average CTR & Average Website Position
At the top, you’ll notice four boxes: Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average CTR, which stands for clickthrough rate and Average Position.
Total Clicks & Total Impressions Boxes
The Total Clicks box refers to how many times people clicked through to your website, and the Total Impressions box is how many times people saw your website showcase on the SERP (search results page), typically 1st page on Google.
By default, Total website Clicks and Total Impressions boxes are always checked, reflecting what we see in the chart. So, if we click on the Total Clicks box, you’ll notice the chart line for Total Clicks disappears.
The same goes for all the other boxes. For example, Average CTR or Click Through Rate refers to how many people clicked on your site. In fact, the higher your CTR, the better your website is performing!
Average CTR is usually a low score for small businesses. However, the Average CTR increases once you have a 200 to 500-page website. You can also improve your CTR by fine-tuning your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions on your landing page or a specific page on your website.
In addition, a great website design can also improve your website’s Average CTR.
Average Position Boxes
Okay, the last box is Average Position. This box refers to the average position your site ranks based on its organic ranking score and overall SEO performance.
The Average Position is a complicated score. However, the lower this number, the more visible your site. For example, one being the first spot on Google and 100 being the last.
Keep in mind; this number is an average score of your entire website and all possible keywords. A good rule of thumb is to keep track of this score but always put it into context.
We know the basics of the four boxes (Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average CTR and Average Position) at the top and how they interact with the line chart below.
In the property example, I have you can see that this site had a steady increase of impressions, and then it dropped off. However, it looks like it’s coming back up again.
This drop-off on Total Impressions is because this site was redeveloped and some services and products changed.
Nevertheless, seeing and slow increase in impressions is telling us that the site is improving.
Google Search Console’s Performance Table
Next, we are going to look at the table below the website performance chart. This table showcases some vital information to determine if your website is ranking or working correctly.
There are six tabs to choose from; however, we will only focus on Queries and Pages for this specific article.
Website Search Queries & Pages Table
Website search queries or organic keywi are the actual search queries or organic keywords your site is ranking for, and pages are the website pages these search queries are collected from.
The left shows us the search queries, and on the right, we have Total Clicks received, Impressions, Clickthrough rate, and ranking position.
At the top right, you can filter this table by selecting or deselecting a few options. You can also rearrange the table results by clicking on the top table header.
For example, if we like to filter this table to show Total Clicks received, we can click on the table header and rearrange the table accordingly.
View Average Position On Google Search Console
How Do I See Where My Website Is Ranking On Google?
To view your average ranking position on Google, you rearrange the Performance table by clicking on the Position header within the table. Clicking on the Position header will automatically sort the table by either showing your website’s performance data in ascending or descending format.
Google SERP or Search Results Page has a total of 8 to 10 spots on each search results page depending on the total organic listings showing at that given time. In addition, the Google Map pack and Google Ads can also influence organic listings.
Search Results Page Or SERP Example
Here’s a great example of determining the total amount of organic ranking spots on a Google SERP or search results page.
Navigate to Google.com and type in “Criminal Lawyers.” Once you hit enter, you’ll see several Google Ads at the top of the page, followed by the Google Map Pack (Local SEO). Below the map pack, you’ll see organic results for questions people may ask that are related to your search queries, and below the questions, you’ll see the organic listings.
The total number of organic listings shown on the SERP is highly dependent on how competitive those keywords or search queries are.
Back to the Google Search Console performance table and average position, we can see the actual position of both search queries and organic keywords.
Keep in mind that keywords or pages between 1 and 10 are seen as the first page on the SERP or search result page.
The performance table provides essential website ranking data. Furthermore, it shows us which page is rank well and which ones are not.
Exporting Website Performance Data
If you want to export this data, go ahead and click on the EXPORT button at the top. A dropdown will appear with several exporting options.
Okay, now we know how to access our website propemb-4ty data and determine Total Clicks, Total Impression, and Average Position. We also now have a basic understanding of how to track ranking on keywords and pages.
Website Security & Manual Actions
The last important piece of information I want to share with you is checking your website’s Security and Manual Action section in your Google Search Console account.
On the left-hand side, scroll down to the Security and Manual Action tab. Then, expand the menu item and click on manual actions.
What Is Manual Action In Google Search Console?
In short, if your website violates the terms of service of Google in any way, then you will see a manual action against your website.
Manual actions are rare, but this typically gets triggered when someone practices Black Hat SEO tactics or goes against Google’s terms of service.
Make sure to check out this YouTube video if you’re not sure what Black Hat SEO tactics are.
ALWAYS check the manual action section in your GSC to ensure your site has no actions against it. Also, if you have something showing in this section, your website is most likely suspended from Google.
The security Issues section is the spot to check if your site is flagged for malware or viruses.