Site Position in Google | 10 Ways to View Your Search Rank Performance

Seeing your site differently in Google’s SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) is “Must Have” skill for any website builder/promoter and SEO enthusiast. Why?

A website’s search ranking is customized around the person who did the search. So to understand your site’s strengths and weaknesses, you should view your website through 10 different angles.

Isn’t Google Analytics Google Enough?

In short, Google Analytics is not good enough, nor is Alexa. Our client www.rubiks-cube.co.uk gains 80% of its volumous traffic via Google Image searches.

Search on the term rubiks cube notation – the site is on SERPS page 7 (don’t even go there). But click on images – the site’s prima facie image is on the 2nd or 3rd row. And traffic flows in from it.

Google Analytics does not tell us the traffic came from Google Images. And Google Images traffic is not delivered with a search string. Many don’t consider Google Images traffic as traffic “per se”. The bounce rate of traffic from Google Images is half that from the main Google Search (pictures don’t lie), and the “time spent on site” stat is double that of the main Google Search.

The techniques below are the ones we used to understand the “wider search picture”. Google Analytics is great for knowing which traffic originates from paid searches, but it doesn’t tell you which traffic was due to your “local search performance”.

www.rubiks-cube.co.uk is a case in point.

Yes we engineered this Rubik’s Cube website, but still, its search rankings and traffic stats are our problem – not theirs!

The 10 Most Rewarding Search Perspectives

If you don’t care about overseas traffic skip it – but that’s not wise if you are a Tourism Board. Likewise a holidays website may not give a monkeys about local area searches – but that’s not clever if you are a key-cutter, or a property management business that is looking for landlords.

So the 10 Key Search Perspectives from a website SERPS rank performance point of view are

  1. How do you rank on Google Images searches?
  2. How do you rank on Google Maps searches?
  3. How do you rank on searches from a Mobile device?
  4. How do you rank on searches in a different language, or country?
  5. How do you rank on searches based on Bookmarks and Social Profiles
  6. How do you rank on searches from your Country or County of origin
  7. How do you rank on searches with your Company/Business name?
  8. How do you rank on searches from a particular ISP?
  9. How do you rank on Google’s Voice searches?
  10. How do you rank on Searches from other Search Engines

Don’t search for your site in Google Search and pat yourself on the back. That is NOT how to determine your website’s position in the search engine’s results page (SERP).

How to View Your Website#s Search Rank from other Viewpints

Sometimes your search performs better or worse than is apparent in searches using a given keyword. The easiest way to get a good feel of your website’s rank for someone in your country with a PC but without any other “meta” information (like Cookies, Social Profiles and ISPs) is using one of the new incognito and private windows

Major Browser Incognito Search Windows

  • Incognito Window – Google Chrome
  • Private Browsing – Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s iPhone and iPad Safari

Factors that Affect Search Ranking

More information on the details of skewing your viewpoint on searches to get a clearer picture of your site’s SERPS performance – is below.
Use this table to man-manage your search ranking investigations.

Factor Influencing Search Example How to Exclude or Include More HowTo Tips and Tactics
Social Profiles Gives away your age, your bookmarks, your preferences, your history. Log out to exclude from the search Your Chrome Bookmark Preferences rule supreme here but so do your Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google Plus and Pinterest accounts.
Browser (PC) Country and Language An English speaker in Australia sees something different to English speakers in Canada Change your Google Site (google.es vs google.co.uk vs google.fr). Also change your Browsers Language and Country Code – Heck Throw in the kitchen sink and reset your computer’s country and language. Try using Mobile Devices. It’s easy to reset a mobile’s language code.
Internet ISP Your net provider gives away your location too so change PC language and country codes influences the search. Change your iPhone, iPad and/or Samsung Galaxy to bypassyour local broadband and use your Mobile Service Provider. This method means you can change from say BT Broadband to Vodafone or O2 – Borrow a mobile that uses the nationality your want. If you are computer savvy you can route your browsing through a hub (far far away) to make Google think you are using an ISP in Mexico, New Zealand, China – this is one of the few ways to truly see your search results from another perspective.
County – (within a country) Search results in the Birmingham area will differ to those in Cornwall Use Google Maps to do a search but set after going to the locality of your choice Time to call a friend up north and say “What site is #1 when you search for …?”
Your Cookies (and Cash!) History tends to repeat itself History repeats itself because Google thinks – “You went there before, so you must want to go ….” – Delete Your Cookies Go the full 10 yards and delete your full (Cash!) cache – Do this in options – history – delete and check every box
Mobile Device vs PC iPhones, iPads, Androids, Samsung Galaxies Change the Search Equation Primarily this is because some sites are NOT mobile friendly – Google favours mobile friendly sites when a mobile is being used – funny that. If you are a site owner – check in Google Webmaster Tools to see if your site is considered to be mobile friendly.
Local Area Some searches like Key Cutter or Petrol Station will give priority to sites in the immediate vicinity. If Google thinks it knows your location it will (or should) prioritize certain searches (like “nearest post box”) if your need appears to be something that is better fulfilled locally (why drive to Edinburgh (from London) to fill up your tank?) Mitigating this is difficult – Google Maps is a useful alternative.

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