We all dream of the coveted #1 ranking spot, don’t we?
Of course, it’s easy to understand why: with around 3.5 billion Google searches per day, search engines will always be a significant traffic source for websites.
Because search engine traffic is vital, never underestimate the importance of knowing where your website is ranking at all times. With this information on-hand, you can immediately identify a sudden rankings drop and respond accordingly.
Unfortunately, manually tracking your keywords is a time-consuming task – which is perhaps why so many of us neglect it! If you’re a WordPress user, however, it doesn’t have to be this way.
This tutorial has been published in conjunction with our ‘Turn Your WordPress Site Into a Business‘ event. Throughout this week, we’ll be publishing free tutorials and offering heavily discounted WordPress plugins that will help you grow and run your business like a pro.
Today, I want to introduce you to Rankie, a WordPress plugin with impressive keyword tracking capabilities.
Now, Rankie performs a number of important functionalities, including:
- Tracking your website’s Google rankings
- Generating ranking reports
- Keyword research
This means you can use Rankie to track your existing SEO performance, as well as finding new keyword opportunities. So sit tight, as I talk some more about Rankie’s many features, as well as demonstrating how to use it.
If you’re new to WordPress and SEO, you might like to have a look at these six on-site SEO strategies for WordPress users.
As always, we’ll kick things off by installing the Rankie plugin:
Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin > Browse > select the Rankie zip file > Install Now > Activate Plugin.
Now that the plugin is installed and activated, let’s start by configuring the plugin. Navigate to WP Rankie > Settings.
The plugin tracks your ranking using one of four methods, all selectable from the Position locating method field. Personally, I’d recommend the Google directly option, as data is more reliable when pulled directly from the source.
Further down, the plugin let’s you select which Google site you’re interested in, both for tracking purposes and keyword research – for example, Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.es.
As you scroll down, there are two particularly important fields to consider:
- Catch Google Search Terms – When this field is activated, Rankie will start tracking which keywords visitors used to find you. When it finds a new keyword, it gets added to the keyword tracking list automatically.
- Auto Update Ranks – Activate this setting if you want Rankie to automatically update your keyword rankings every day.
Both are useful features, and I strongly recommend you activate them both to get the most from the plugin. When you’re done making changes, remember to hit the Save Changes button.
With the plugin successfully configured, I’ll take you through how to use the plugin’s three main functions in turn.
Let’s start with the plugin’s main functionality: keyword tracking, and it’s worth pointing out that Rankie gives you the opportunity to track both your own rankings and those of your competitors’.
To start tracking keywords, navigate to WP Rankie > Dashboard. If this is your first time using the plugin, this screen will be blank, so let’s start by clicking the Add Keywords button to bring up the keywords pop-up.
Add the main URL of the site you’re tracking, then list all your important keywords, with one keyword per line. To help you organize your keywords, you can also assign keywords into groups using a dropdown menu. To demonstrate, I’ll track ‘premium WordPress plugins’ and ‘WordPress plugins’ for CodeCanyon.
When you’re done listing your keywords, click the Add Keywordsbutton, which will add them to the dashboard.
After a few seconds, Rankie will start retrieving your ranking for each keyword – if you want to speed this up, simply hit the clock icon next to each keyword.
After analysis, Rankie has told me that CodeCanyon ranks #1 for ‘Premium WordPress Plugins’ and #2 for ‘WordPress Plugins’.
To confirm this is correct, head over to Google — in this instance, Rankie has got both spot on.
The ranking report tool is a great way to track changes to your rankings — access it by clicking WP Rankie > Reports.
You can filter your report by website, keyword group, and timeframe. When you’re happy, click Generate Report.
At first, your reports will feel rather limited – as you can see from my screenshot below, with only two keywords tracked for one day.
Over time, however, as more data becomes available, the usefulness of these Rankie reports increases dramatically. In fact, the reports are arguably the plugin’s most useful feature, displaying a snapshot of your SEO performance.
Here is some of the useful information you can glean from the reports:
- Ranking graphs – visualize how your rankings have changed over the given timeframe.
- Ranked changes – tracks which keywords went up/down and by how many places (also available as a pie chart).
- Current rankings – displays the current ranking positions of your keywords.
- Ranking overview – tracks the number of keywords in top 3, top 10, and top 100 positions on Google (also available as a pie chart).
You can also use Rankie to perform keyword research by navigating to WP Rankie > Research.
To conduct keyword research, simply type in a root keyword – in this example, I’m using ‘WordPress Plugins’. When you’re done, hit Search and let Rankie do its thing.
Rankie will pull through a list of keywords based on your initial suggestion.
With the list returned, scroll down marking the keywords you like, then click Show as list. You’ll then see a pop-up listing your keywords – they are in a copy-and-paste format, so you can easily save them into Excel or even add them to Rankie’s keyword tracking tool.
Rankie is a great plugin: it’s really easy to use, plus it offers lots of useful functionality.
If you spend lots of sleepless nights worrying about your website’s traffic and ranking positions, Rankie offers you peace of mind – if something should go wrong, you’ll know about it straight away. This gives you more time to respond and resolve the problem, without impacting your traffic figures too much — certainly worth the investment!
Have you used the Rankie plugin before? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!