SEO Glossary / Keyword Ranking

Keyword Ranking

What is a Keyword Ranking?

A keyword ranking is a website’s organic ranking position in the search results for a particular keyword. Most websites have many keyword rankings because they rank for many search terms across various pages.

Why are Keyword Rankings Important?

Keyword rankings are important because higher ranking pages get more organic search traffic. That’s because 75.1% of all clicks go to the top three organic results, and 31.73% of clicks go to the top-ranking page.

How to Find Your Keyword Ranking Position

Google Search Console tells you average ranking positions for the keywords you rank for, but you can find your absolute ranking position for any keyword in almost any country with tools like Ranktracker's Keyword Finder.

To see all the keywords you rank for and their absolute ranking positions for free, you can use Ranktracker's tools as well.

Best Practices for Improving Keyword Rankings

Google famously has over 200 ranking factors, so there are many ways to improve keyword rankings. Below are some best practices:

1. Optimize for Search Intent

People are looking for something specific when they type keywords into Google. This is known as search intent. You’ll stand the best chance of ranking high for a keyword by aligning your page with search intent because Google wants to give searchers what they want.

For some keywords, search intent is obvious from the keyword itself.

Example: Someone searching for “how to grill steak” clearly wants cooking instructions.

For other keywords, search intent isn’t so immediately obvious.

Example: It’s unclear whether someone searching for “steak seasoning” wants to buy ready-made steak seasoning or a recipe for making it from scratch.

In cases where search intent is unclear, use the top few search results as a proxy. If they’re all recipes, it’s safe to assume that’s what searchers are looking for.

Backlinks are one of Google’s top three ranking factors. There is a positive correlation between backlinks and search traffic. To rank for competitive keywords, you’ll almost certainly need backlinks.

You can get a rough estimate of how many backlinks you might need to break onto the first page of Google using tools like Ranktracker’s SERP Checker.

3. Analyze the Search Intent

Analyzing search intent is crucial if you want to rank well. Look at the top-ranking pages for a given keyword to see what users are getting from them. For example, if the top-ranking pages for “kitchenware” are e-commerce stores, it indicates a transactional intent.

4. Check the Quality of the Ranking Pages

Content quality is subjective, but you can look for certain things to gauge what Google considers “quality,” including:

  • Is the information up-to-date and accurate?
  • Is the subject matter written by an expert?
  • Is the information unique compared to other pages?
  • Is the content well-written?
  • Is the page professionally designed?
  • Is the formatting clean and clear?

Ask yourself these questions and see if your content can be better than the top-ranking pages.


Can you pay Google to rank higher?

No, you can’t pay Google for higher organic keyword rankings. You can only pay Google to appear in their paid search results. Google chooses which pages rank in the organic results on merit alone using hundreds of ranking factors.

What’s the difference between keywords and search queries?

Nothing. SEO professionals use these terms interchangeably to describe the words and phrases that people type into search engines.

For more detailed guides on SEO best practices, visit Ranktracker's SEO Guide.