In this overview, we explain how to understand the results of a completed Local Search Rank Checker report (Rank Checker).
Once complete, a Rank Checker report will look something like this:
Here we explain what is shown in each section and how to understand the report data:
1) ‘Rankings’ tab
When you first open the Rank Checker report, the ‘Rankings’ tab will be selected. The ‘Rankings’ tab focuses on the most valuable ranking data for your keywords on the search engines we monitor (Google, Google Mobile, Google Maps, Bing, Bing Local).
At the top, you'll see the option to switch your display from Blended to Unblended ranking results. For more information on this please read our FAQ.
a) ‘Rankings by Position’ chart
You’ll see the ‘Rankings by Position’ chart which is a summary of the ranking positions for all of your keywords on all selected search engines.
This chart groups rankings into bands and displays how many rankings you have in position #1, #2-5, #6-10, etc.
Best Rankings Only
The chart only displays the best ranking position for each keyword on each search engine. So if you rank in more than one position for a keyword, the chart only plots the best position, except if you appear in both the local pack & organic results.
For example, if you rank 2nd in the local pack and 5th and 25th in organic results with one keyword:
- The chart will plot both the local pack rank (2nd) and the best organic rank (5th)
- It will ignore the 25th rank
Bar chart columns
We gather new ranking data every time your report runs. Each of these ‘runs’ is plotted on the chart as a column - so each column represents a unique set of ranking results gathered on a specific day.
Note - if you re-run your report multiple times in one day, the chart uses the ranking results from the latest run on that day.
The colors on the chart represent different ranking bands. For example, the dark green section shows all rankings at position #1, and the orange section shows all rankings between #21-50. The breakdown of the rankings that are represented by each color can be found on the right-hand side of the bar chart.
Hover over each bar column to see a pop-up that will show the number of keywords that were ranking in each band at the time when the report was run.
Checkboxes: At the top of the bar chart you’ll see checkboxes for each search engine. If you’d only like to see results for Google, for example, you can uncheck the other search engines and the chart data will update instantly.
Date filter dropdown: If you’d like to expand the timeline of the chart, or zoom in to focus on the last month, then you can change the date period using the date filter dropdown menu. By default, the date range is set to 6 months.
Show/hide ‘Rankings by Position’ chart: If you’d prefer to hide the chart, and don’t want it to be displayed on external reports that you show to clients, then you can click on the small gray chart icon that is displayed to the top-right of the bar chart.
b)‘Rankings by change’ table
Under the ‘Rankings by Position’ chart, you’ll see the ‘Rankings by Change’ table. This summarises the change in rankings across all search engines and for each specific search engine.
'Compare Date' dropdown: This ‘change’ data compares two report run dates, showing the change in ranking positions between these dates. You can select which dates to compare using the date dropdown.
All Search Engines: The green, red, orange and blue boxes highlight changes:
- Green box: This shows how many keywords have improved in ranking
- Red box: This shows how many keywords have dropped in ranking
- Orange Box: This shows how many keywords have stayed in the same ranking position
- Blue box: This shows how many keywords have new rankings (i.e. they didn’t rank in the top 50 results when previously checked)
Under the boxes is a breakdown of the data by each search engine.
Hide Breakdown: if you don’t want to view the ‘Rankings by Change’ breakdown you can click ‘Hide Breakdown’ to hide it from view; this also hides it from view on external reports you show to clients.
c) Rankings Table
The Rankings Table displays all keywords that are being monitored in the report and displays their ranking for each search engine.
We will now explain what each column on the chart displays and how to understand it.
‘Star icon’ column: If you have priority keywords that you would like to focus on, you can ‘star’ them which means they always display at the top of the Rankings Table.
‘Keyword’ column: This displays all keywords that are being monitored in the report. We display the keywords in order of their ranking, with the highest-ranking keywords at the top of the report. You can sort the keywords alphabetically by clicking on the column heading.
‘Count’ column: ‘Count’ refers to the Keyword Query Count, and this column displays the average number of times people search Google for this exact keyword and from this location per month. We get this data from Google Adwords and update this figure every 60 - 90 days.
The higher the count, the more times the keyword has been searched for, and (potentially) the more value it has to you; more searches = more opportunities to reach customers.
Note: This feature is only available on our SEO Pro subscription plan.
Search engine columns: You’ll see a column for each search engine that has been selected in the report’s settings.
Under each column are subsections for ‘Rank’, ‘Change’ and ‘Type’:
‘Rank’ column: This shows where the keyword ranks on this search engine. A keyword may rank more than one time so you may see more than ranking position here.
Note - we monitor the top 50 ranking results on each search engine.
We use several symbols and numbers to help you identify the ranking:
Letters: If you see A, B, C, or D, etc this means that we found your business displayed in the Local Pack on Google or Bing.
Numbers: If you see a number then this is the overall ranking position on the search engine.
See below to find out how we calculate your ranking when there are local pack and organic results.
‘Change’ column: This displays whether the keyword has changed ranking position since the last time the report was run. There are several symbols we use here:
- Grey circle - no change in ranking position
- Blue plus - new ranking for keyword found
- Green number with ‘up’ arrow - keyword has gone up in rankings by a given number of positions
- Red number with ‘down’ arrow - keyword has gone down in rankings by a given number of positions
Here is a breakdown of other information you may see in the rankings table:
Loc: These are ‘local’ results (e.g. Local Pack) that appear in Google and Bing. To appear in these results a business needs to have a local listing on a search engine - e.g. Google My Business, Bing Places.
Org: These are organic ranking results for the URL (website address) that you provided.
3rd: These are search results that mention your business name but aren't your website. Typically these results display for brand-name searches for a business; if a business has a listing on a 3rd party site (e.g. Yelp.com, Facebook) then their Yelp or Facebook listing will appear in the search results on Google. We are able to identify these rankings by scanning the results for the business name.
Car: These are ‘carousel’ type results which can appear at the top of Google for certain types of searches - most commonly universities, theatres, museums, attractions, and other public arts and leisure searches. These results do not contain a website URL and can only be matched by business name.
KP: You may see 'KP' under ‘Type’ in your Rank Checker report. This stands for 'Knowledge Panel'. For more information for this read our FAQ.
For information on Unblended vs Blended results read our FAQ on this.
To see what these what the different results look like in search engines, read out FAQ on this.How we calculate rankings
In the above example of a search result, we have outlined what each number/letter would mean in the Rankings Table. If the organic results in the example were above the local results then the local result at 3C would then be 5C as it is then the 5th result on the page and the third in the local pack. This is because we track positions of local results within the local pack, as well as the overall ranking position on the page. So you should see a letter next to all local results from both Google and Bing.
For instance, if you see a number ‘5’ followed by letter ‘C’, this means that your website is in 5th position on the page and in 3rd position (‘C’) in the local pack itself.
This only applies to the results in the main search engines, not the Maps or Local versions.
2) ‘Keyword Groups’ tab
Here we breakdown the sections of the ‘Keyword Groups’ tab. This part of the Rank Checker report allows you to group keywords together. When you first come to this section it will be blank as you will need to create your own groups to see any data.
a) 'Keyword Groups' section
Here are the steps to take if you are looking to compare keywords grouped together. To create a keyword group click the ‘New Group’ button on the right-hand side.
You will then be taken to a new page to create a grouping of certain keywords.
Keyword Group Name: Here you can set the title of the keyword group. Its best to make this obvious - for example, here we have used ‘Apple Brand keywords’ and selected all of the relevant Apple keywords.
Search: You’ll only need this if you have many keywords and want to find specific keywords to group together
The ‘Select All’ and ‘Deselect All’ buttons help to make this process as quick as possible. Once you have selected all keywords for the group, click the ‘Create Group’ button.
Once you have created at least one keyword group you will see them under this section:
b) Keyword Groups 'Rankings by Position' chart
This chart shows how many keywords are ranking in each position (#1, #2-5, #6-10, etc) for all of the search engines. We only use the ‘best’ ranking for each keyword and we only consider ‘organic’ and ‘local’ result types - not 3rd party results.
On the left, you will see your keyword groups. If you click on the relevant groups the bar charts will change to reflect the groups chosen.
On the right-hand side, you will see checkboxes that allow you to select or deselect different search engines, as well as the ‘Filter by Date’ option which allows you to compare to previous report runs, similar to the Rankings Table.
c) Keyword Groups 'Rankings by Position' table
This table displays all the keywords that are included in your report. It shows the ranking position for your most recent report, grouped into ranking ‘buckets’ (#1, #2-5, #6-10, etc). It aggregates results for all of the search engines (Google and Bing) so each keyword will have one ranking position per search engine.
If you click the small arrows by each ranking number it will reorder based on which column you have selected.
You can also click the CSV button and download an excel file of this table.
3) ‘Tracker Chart’ tab
This area of the report lets you see more granular details of each keyword and how it has changed over time. Here you can track an individual keyword and see how it has changed over time and compare across the different search engines.
a) Keyword Tracker Chart
This chart shows the rankings for an individual search term over time, showing the keyword’s history.
At the top of the chart, you’ll see ‘Select Search Keyword’ dropdown menu which will have all of your keywords.
On the top right-hand corner of the chart there is an option to filter by date, so you can select the timeframe you’d like to see for this keyword.
You should now see different color-coded lines throughout the graph that represent each search engine. A key for what each line of the graph represents is listed on the right-hand side.
You can hide any search engines that you don’t want to see on the chat by clicking that search engine in the list. To bring the line back to the chart, simply click on the search engine’s name again.
b) Keyword Tracker data table
As you change the settings for the chart above, the details for the ‘Rankings by date’ table will change too.
This table shows the report date and ranking for each of the search engines.
4) Aggregate Ranking Chart
This section has a chart and a table that shows you how many search terms you have ranking in key positions - i.e. how many search terms you have ranking in position #1, positions #2-5, etc. It will only show the best result for each search term. For example, if you feature multiple times for a search time it will illustrate the top result only. This is especially helpful if you are tracking more than one URL.
Please note this does not include 'extra' ranking results which might be shown on the main results table, so for a full overview please see the Rankings Table on the Rank Checker tab.
a) 'Aggregate Ranking' chart
This chart works in the same way as the other charts in the report. Here you can change the search engines as well as the date range.
b) 'Rankings History' table
This table shows all the ranking history of the top results of all keywords. If you click the small arrows by each ranking number it will reorder based on which column you have selected. This table can help you to check historic results and see what was ranking on that date overall.
5) ‘Competitors’ tab
You will not see this tab unless it has been set up if unsure read our guide on How to create a Local Search Rank Checker Report and scroll down to Section 5C, Competitors.
Once this is set up and the report has been re-run you will see something like this:
At the top right-hand side you can select the dates and compare two different dates if required. You can also filter the search engines by clicking the button for each search engine at the top left-hand side. This changes the data that you will see in the table.
You’ll see a list of keywords on the left-hand side and your rankings will be displayed alongside your competitors. These ranking results are displayed in the same way as the ‘Rankings Table’ on the ‘Rank Checker’ tab so please refer to this above if needed.