In this guide, we’ll explain the stages of creating a Local Search Rank Checker report (Ranking report).
There are two ways to create a new Ranking report, depending on whether you already have a Location set up.
1) Initial Setup
a) Create a Ranking report with no existing Location
To create a Ranking report without a location already set up, first click the 'SEO Tools' dropdown in the Top Menu and select 'Rank Checker'.
This will show a list of all existing Ranking reports — if any have been created.
Next, click the green 'Add New' button (shown below within the red box).
b) Create a Ranking report with an existing Location
If a Location has already been set up, and you'd like to create a Ranking report for it, please follow these steps:
Click 'Clients and Locations' in the Top Menu to reveal a list of Locations.
Then, click the green 'View Dashboard' button to the right of the Location for which you want to create the Ranking report.
Once the Location is open, you will see the Location sidebar menu on the left — this shows a full list of all reports for your location.
Click 'Rank Checker' from this menu, and then click the green 'Monitor Search Rankings' button to start setting up your Ranking report.
You’ll now see a popup asking whether you want to monitor all your data at once, or just stick with one ranking report. To set up multiple reports, you can select 'Monitor All My Data'. However, in this guide we’ll be focusing on Ranking reports only, so just click the green ‘Monitor Rankings Only’ button for now (you can always come back and choose to monitor more data later).
2) General Settings
The next step of setting up a Rank Checker report involves selecting your General Settings. Here’s an overview of the General Settings section, which highlights what is required for each field:
Which Location is this report for: Here, you can select the location for this Ranking Report — this will be populated automatically if the Location already exists.
Give your report a name: You can give your report a unique name to identify it when searching in the BrightLocal platform.
How often do you want this report run: You have three options here:
- Ad hoc: The report only runs when manually triggered.
- Weekly schedule: Select which day of the week you’d like the report to run.
- Monthly schedule: Select which day of the month you’d like the report to run.
Select white-label profile: Here you can select the white-label profile you’d like to use for this report, if applicable (you can have multiple white-label profiles set up at once).
Which day of the week / month do you want to run this report on: This will dynamically change depending on what schedule you select — monthly or weekly.
Add tags to make it easier to search for your report: Here, you can add tags to your report that can be used later down the line for Roll-Up reports, which are our Multi-location Ranking reports.
3) Search Settings
The Search settings required to set up your Ranking report are shown below:
Enter your SEO search terms: Here, you can add all your search terms that you wish to track for this location — please enter one search term per line (there is a maximum of 100).
Enter your website address: Enter the website URLs that you want to be tracked. You have the option to add up to 10 different URLs here by clicking on the green plus symbol next to this field.
Please note: If you enter the main domain URL, we will find the subpages in the results. If you put a subpage here, then any subpage under this will not be tracked in the results.
This business does not have a website: Please select this checkbox if there is not a website address yet for this location.
Select country this business is based in: This has a dropdown menu for all the countries that work for our Ranking reports — simply select the country for this location.
Set your Search Location (Google & Bing only): Here, you can input your search location as a postcode or town — your results will show your search terms in these locations.
Please note: If you put in the town, you need to add the state code (for US) or the county (for UK). Google and Bing both provide ways for us to set a search location for your search ranking queries.
Select the search engines you want results for: A checkbox for all the search engines that we provide results for is shown here:
- Google Mobile
- Google Maps
- Bing Local
4) Google Local Rank Tracking
Here is an overview of this section of the edit report settings:
You can connect the locations Google My Business account here — we do not require this to pull in ranking results, but it does help us to keep the results as accurate as possible. Simply start typing the location name, and the dropdown will suggest locations as this is pulled in from Google.
If you need to update this, click the option highlighted by the red box below and follow these steps:
5) Advanced Settings
Here, we talk through how to set up the advanced settings if you would like to track the business name on third-party sites, or set up the external URL report, where you can also add Competitors.
First, select the checkbox ‘Show Advanced Settings’ and you will see new fields appear.
a) Name Tracking
Here's a summary of each section:
We use these settings to identify results for your business when your website URL is not displayed — e.g. in some local results. We do not use your postal code to set your search location; it is purely used as an identifier for some local results or directory results.
Track mentions of your business on third-party sites: Select this checkbox if you wish to bring up third-party websites that mention your name.
Enter business names: Here, you can add the business name you would like us to search for — multiple names can be added; please enter one business name per line.
Enter business telephone number: Use the correct format — e.g. 888-645-0838 or 01224 872 553 or 02 7010 1123
Zip code / Postcode: Please add the relevant zip code or postcode of the location here.
b) External URL
You can publish this report to an external URL (outside brightlocal.com) — this makes it easy to share with clients and others who don't have a BrightLocal login. Reports are published to an anonymous URL, and can be white-labeled with your existing white-label profile.
Do you want this report to be available on an external URL: Select 'Yes' to allow access to an external URL link, or select 'No' if you do not wish to have this feature.
Do you want to show Summary Chart in External (HTML and PDF) reports: Here, you can select whether you want to show the Summary chart in the report, or not — this gives you control over what you'd like to show on the external report (depending on whether it's for colleagues or clients). The screenshot below shows the summary chart we are referring to here, which you can find on the 'Rankings' tab of your finished report.
Do you want to show Keyword Query Count in External reports: The keyword count shows on the Ranking table under the 'Rankings' tab of your finished report (see screenshot below). Here, you can select whether you want to show this on the external URL report.
You're able to add your competitors' details here to track their ranking results for the same keyword —if you decide to add this to your finished ranking report, there will be an additional tab called ‘Competitors’ in your report. You can track a maximum of four competitors.
Here is an example of how this looks when completed:
Competitor 1 name: Input the location name of the competitor you would like to track here.
Competitor 1 Website Address: Add the competitor's website address that you want to track.
6) Setting up email alerts
In this section, you can set up the notifications that you’d like to receive once the Ranking report is completed. Up to five email addresses can be added to receive a notification. If you don’t wish to have notifications sent, just select ‘No’ from the dropdown menu.
Below is an example of the email that’s sent out:
Here’s a breakdown of the information included in the notification emails
Ranking Positions: A table is displayed with the breakdown of all your search terms and where they are ranking on each search engine.
Ranking Change: Here, a similar table shows a summary of all the ranking changes since the last report was run.
You can also see the full report by clicking on the link from this email.
7) Saving / Updating the Report
At the bottom of the report, you’ll see the green 'Update Report' button (shown below within the red box), which must be clicked to ensure any changes you’ve made to the report setup are saved.
Selecting the 'Update Location & Other Reports' checkbox will apply all the information that you’ve supplied and all the settings you’ve selected, to the Location details and other reports.
Please note: You won’t see any changes in the data from the other reports until they are re-run. Furthermore, this will not make any changes to Citation Builder campaigns — to make changes, please contact us here.
8) After Your Report is Set Up
Once your Ranking report has completed, there are several further actions you can take to get more out of the data — you can access these by clicking on the 'Actions' dropdown.
Re-run report: You can manually re-run the report here. Once you've made any updates to the settings, or you want to manually see new results without waiting on a schedule, you can manually re-run the report.
Edit Report: This takes you to the 'General Settings' of the report where you can make updates.
Download CSV: Here, you can download the Ranking report data in CSV format.
Download PDF: Select this to download the Ranking report in PDF format, which can be white-labeled (if required). Find out more about white-label reporting here.
View External Report: This opens the interactive report in a new internet browser tab, with all mention of BrightLocal removed, including in the URL — this is perfect to share with your clients and colleagues when you want to showcase local marketing progress. Discover more about white-label reporting and external reports here.