A New Way to Monitor Search Engine Rankings

Newsletter sent 2016-03-22.

A New Way to Monitor Search Engine Rankings

The rules for search engine optimization have changed. It’s no longer about keywords and page rank – they tell us it’s about topics and the “long tail”. But if position and individual terms aren’t the focus, how do you know if changes you made have any impact? This new free Excel report demonstrates a new way to gain insight.


It’s no longer about which individual keyword, phrase or query was ranked specifically how high, but a more holistic view of how many times your pages appeared in the top search results, and what queries brought you there. For example, 11 weeks ago, I made a big change to my help site and the image above shows the results since then. As you can see, Google favours new content for about a month.


keywords-by-positionThe first chart in the report provides a good visualization of how many different queries showed your content at position 1, 2, 3 etc. For example, 65 different query phrases showed my content at position 1, and 123 at position 2, and 103 at position 3, and so on. The whole bar represents over 1500 keyword combinations, with the darker portions indicating higher positions in the search results.

From a search optimization perspective, there are almost 500 different queries that delivered a top-5 position. The other 2 charts show the number of impressions and clicks that those keywords delivered. The listing at the right of the report gives you a sampling of the top 25 queries that resulted in clicks in the past week.

A quick scan down the list of queries will show you the themes or topics that are popular: events, spam, time on page/site. You can also see some of the queries where there might be some opportunity to optimize some content, where the position is not so good yet the impressions are high.


Made Possible With the Analytics Edge Core Add-in

While the report can be refreshed with a click, the analysis being performed involves a lot of individual steps that Analytics Edge automates. Think of how long it would take you to do this in Excel, and you quickly see the value that an Analytics Edge macro can deliver:

  • determine the most recent dates that data is available [Search Console data is delayed by a few days]
  • grab 12 week’s worth of data, and remove queries that include branded terms
  • count the number of different keywords (rows), total clicks and impressions for each position
  • rearrange the data into summary tables for the charts


You’re Not In This Alone

If all of this seems just too much to figure out by yourself, just drop me an email (mike@analyticsedge.com). I am always looking for ways to demonstrate the capabilities of Analytics Edge, and it takes so little time, I usually do it for free.


Mike Sullivan
Founder, Analytics Edge