Tracking Keyword in SEO

Mastering SEO: Tracking Keyword Positions on WordPress

Are you keen to track keyword ranking positions on WordPress websites? 

Knowing the website keywords ranking is essential to see how your site performs across different search queries. It’s SEO 101; tracking keyword positions gives so much insight into the state of your website and its SEO campaign. If you’re not tracking, you can’t improve. 

Manually tracking keywords is possible yet it takes time and isn’t always that accurate. Instead, the team at MySiteAuditor has created an in-depth guide showing how to track keyword ranking using the latest tools and techniques for heightened accuracy! 

Understanding Keyword Significance in SEO

Before we jump into how to track keyword ranking positions, let’s ask ourselves why it’s so significant. 

What do keywords mean from an SEO standpoint? 

Moz outlines things perfectly by saying that keywords help you understand what people are searching for. They let you find your audience and form the foundations of your content. You need to include the right keywords on your site to target the right audience – and that’s where SEO keyword position tracking and research come in. 

Tracking keyword positions means you look at how your site ranks for that particular keyword search. Ideally, you want to be as close to the top as possible; a report from 2023 demonstrated that 68.7% of all clicks go to the top three organic search results.

In other words, if your site isn’t optimized to target the right keywords, it will rarely be clicked on by search engines. 

It all seems pretty significant, right? You can’t ignore keywords and you must

  1. Figure out which keywords to target for your WordPress website
  2. Work out how to track keyword ranking positions to assess your site’s SEO performance

That’s what the rest of this guide will cover – and we start by seeing how to cultivate a WordPress site for SEO success. 

Setting up WordPress for SEO Success

To track rankings of keywords, you must set up your WordPress website for SEO success. If you launched your website right off the bat, it wouldn’t be ready to perform well in search engines. 

Thankfully, there are some simple, actionable steps you can take to get your WordPress website up to speed for optimal search engine performance: 

  • Install the best WordPress SEO plugins
  • Get your site ready for keyword tracking

We’ll explain how to do both down below!

Essential WordPress SEO plugins

WordPress has thousands of plugins and a strong selection of them is dedicated to SEO. We’ll level with you here; if you want the best WordPress SEO plugins, you’ll have to pay for the premium versions. Free options exist, but they come with feature limitations so you never get the most out of them. 

Mainly, you want plugins to help your website become more searchable. These are the ones we recommend: 

  • Semrush – This is an all-in-one SEO tool that integrates with your WordPress site and provides so much information. It can give you an on-page SEO checker to see how you stack up against your main rivals while also providing keyword position tracking for all your main keywords. It’s a must if you want to set your site up for SEO success. 
  • Yoast – Yoast SEO is arguably the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress at the moment. It gives you tools to improve your pages by setting meta descriptions or changing the URL to incorporate keywords. Plus, it automatically generates an XML sitemap for your site, which is critical for making it easier for search engines to find your web pages. 
  • Schema Pro – The main lure of this plugin is its ability to add rich snippets to your website. These will appear in Google searches to make your pages stand out at the top. We wrote an entire guide on snippets that’ll explain why they’re so important and how they benefit SEO, check it out when you have time! 
  • SmartCrawl – Something of a hidden gem, but SmartCrawl automatically encourages Google to re-crawl your website when new content is added or pages are updated. It’s easy to use and ensures your site never flies under the radar. 
  • AIOSEO – A fine SEO tool for keyword research and performance tracking. Provides suggestions on keywords based on your niche and shows you how to track keyword rankings. 

Preparing your website for keyword tracking

Install the plugins above – or at least a few of them – and your WordPress site becomes fuelled with lots of analytical data. Preparing your site to track keyword ranking positions isn’t too challenging. 

You must follow these two steps: 

  • Carry out keyword research to find the most valuable target keywords
  • Use an SEO WordPress plugin to see where you rank initially

At this point, you’ll have a general understanding of the SEO keyword positions before you’ve done anything to influence them. It shows where you stand right now and gives you an idea of the work you have to do. 

From there, it’s time to make changes before going back to track keyword ranking positions again. You’ll be in a constant loop of editing your site, reviewing keyword performance, and making more changes. The goal is to stay in the top-ranking spots for as many keywords as possible. 

SEO keyword tracking

Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research

Of course, tracking keyword positions isn’t possible without keyword research. This helps you understand your target market and see how they search for things related to your website. 

Keyword research is based on two main questions: 

  • What are people looking for when they use a search engine?
  • How many people are searching for the same thing? 

You can try to carry out keyword research yourself by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes; what would you search for if you wanted to find the information on your website? This gives you an idea of the words and phrases you may look to target. 

It’s also advisable to use a keyword research tool as this displays all the relevant keywords for specific topics. For example, if we put “keyword tracking” into the tool we just linked, it will show all keywords related to this topic in order of volume. Some tools also show the keyword difficulty as a percentage, which showcases how hard it is to rank for that specific keyword. 

Generally speaking, when a keyword has a high search volume it is harder to rank for. That’s because the keyword is super competitive so you’ll be fighting more websites for a slice of the organic web traffic pie. On the other hand, extremely low search volumes might make it difficult to gain any traffic as hardly anyone is searching for these terms. 

The perfect middle ground is keywords that are extremely specific without much competition. More often than not, these will be long-tail keywords consisting of multiple words – possibly formed as a question. 

As well as using keyword research tools, you should check your existing keyword performance through Google Search Console. This could tell you that you’re performing very well for a specific keyword or phrase, so it would be wise to continue targeting this. 

Implementing Keyword Tracking on WordPress

You’ll be glad to know that implementing keyword tracking on your WordPress site isn’t as challenging as it seems. Most of the work is done for you by your chosen SEO plugin. A few of the ones we listed earlier will integrate keyword tracking for you, yet we believe AIOSEO is the best for this specific purpose. 

Here are some steps to track keyword ranking positions through WordPress: 

  • Carry out keyword research – We just went over how to do this and it gives you a handful of keywords to target and use across your website. 
  • Find your top keywords – Within your SEO plugin tool, navigate to the keyword rankings section. We know AIOSEO has an entire dashboard called “Search Statistics” that shows you everything you need to see. The goal is to identify the keywords that perform the best for your website at the moment. 
  • See where your keywords rank – While looking at your top-performing keywords, you should get loads of information on how they rank. This includes the clicks to your site for the keywords, how many impressions they generate, and your position within search engines for this search term. 
  • Look at which keywords are up or down – The main reason we recommend AIOSEO for keyword tracking is thanks to its “Top Losing” and “Top Winning” functions. These two sections display the keywords that are either dropping in rankings or improving. If you’re tracking keyword performance, this is a must-have feature. 
  • Make adjustments and re-track – This is where things get difficult. After seeing the keywords to target, make slight adjustments to your web pages. This could mean adding the keyword in the URL or meta description. Make one or two changes before re-tracking after a couple of days. You should see if these changes made a difference or not; if there’s a sudden spike in clicks and ranking positions, you know the change was a good one! Likewise, if you lost ranking positions for that keyword, then you should revert the changes and test again. 

This is the basis of tracking keyword positions in WordPress, though there’s still plenty to talk about. Most specifically, what does all your keyword performance data mean? We’ve mentioned a few things already, but the next section will explain all in more detail. 

Tracking Keyword positions

Analyzing Your Keyword Performance Data

How do you make sense of the data given to you when tracking keyword performance? 

First of all, you begin by understanding what each metric means. When you’re tracking website keywords ranking positions in organic searches, you’ll see the following metrics: 

  • Clicks – This one is obvious. Clicks refer to how many users physically clicked on your web page link in the search results for each specific keyword. The more clicks you get, the better! You may also see this metric referred to as “traffic”. 
  • Impressions – Your impressions will show how many users saw your web page in the search results. In many ways, it’s the most frustrating keyword performance metric. Some website owners see it as showing the lost potential of your website. Getting lots of impressions is impressive and shows your site is performing well in search engines. It can help with building brand awareness, though impressions are ultimately useless if they don’t translate to clicks. 
  • CTR – If 100 people see your website and 10 people click on it, this gives you a click-through rate of 10%. As you can imagine, you want the CTR to be as high as possible; it’ll mean the majority of people who see your site will visit it. Realistically, most experts agree that a good CTR for organic searches is anything above 3%. Keep this figure in mind as you’ll quickly identify which keywords are underperforming. 
  • Position – Finally, the “position” will tell you where your website ranks for each specific keyword. You may also see another metric next to this titled “difference” which will display a plus or minus number depending on if your position has gone up or down. 

Once you know what this data means, analyzing it is easy. You want to track keyword positions to see if they go up or down while also ensuring your total clicks increase along with your CTR. This will mean your search engine performance is on the up as you’re generating more traffic and your site is becoming more visible. 

Pro Tips for Maintaining Top Keyword Rankings

Here’s the thing with SEO: it never remains constant. 

You could have the top-ranking position for all your best keywords one week, and then someone else steals them the next. 

Maintaining top keyword rankings is tricky – but here are some pro tips to help you keep up a consistent performance: 

  • Always update your site – Google ranks sites based on the “freshness” of the content. You can’t publish a page and let it sit there for years, hoping it’ll still achieve the top keyword positions. Make updates to your site so it’s constantly being spotted by Google as a fresh source of information. 
  • Keep tracking keyword positions – You have to continue tracking keyword positions to see where you stand. It helps you spot underperforming keywords so you can focus on getting your positions back up. 
  • Audit your site regularly – Once a month or so, run an SEO audit to see the state of things. This lets you spot any lingering technical issues that might contribute to poor keyword performance. Fixing them gives you a boost and helps you climb the rankings. 
  • Implement a good linking strategy – This refers to both backlinks and outbound/inbound links in your content. Backlinks are part of a link-building strategy to gain website authority. They will show Google that lots of sites trust yours as a resource, which bumps it up the rankings for your desired keywords. Outbound/inbound links improve the way your site is structured by linking to your other pages (inbound links) while linking to other websites (outbound links) provides more context to your content. Always check your links to be sure they aren’t broken – your SEO audit should identify this for you. 

That’s basically all there is to it; it doesn’t sound like much, but you’ll be in a constant state of checking and analyzing things. If you want to maintain top keyword rankings, you can’t afford to sit back and relax!

Common Challenges & Solutions in Keyword Tracking

You’re bound to encounter some challenges as you track rankings of keywords. Some issues are extremely common – though the benefit of their prevalence is that there are some simple solutions. 

  • Keyword Competitiveness – Some keywords might become more competitive over time. The solution is to constantly track keywords and think about pivoting to more specific long-tail options. 
  • Keyword Cannibalization – This is when multiple pages on your site compete for the same keywords. It makes it harder for either page to rank well and should be avoided. We wrote a guide on Keyword Cannibalization with loads of tips on how to solve it. It’s worth checking it out if you see this as a problem. 
  • Algorithm Changes – Google can change its algorithm all the time and bring in subtle updates that affect keyword performance. This could mean your keyword positions are great before the update, but bad after. Always stay up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes and be sure to change your site to appease any new rules if the performance drops. 
  • Seasonal Variances – Some keywords may become more competitive during particular seasons depending on what your website is about. You must prepare for these and plan content around these trends to stay ahead of the pack. 


Every website owner should track keyword ranking positions on their WordPress site. It is a crucial way of viewing your website’s search engine performance and seeing which keywords are doing better than others. This can help you find ways to draw in new web traffic and create more leads – which will, ultimately, result in a more successful website.