Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by scottkandh
Rank Math has so many features that I’ve barely been able to scratch the surface for all the analytics that it provides. I’m writing this post in an effort to get to know how to use Rank Math so that you and I can both learn how to monitor our analytics with Rank Math.
Using Rank Math is one of the best ways to learn how to effectively use focus keywords in your posts to increase your SEO.
Before I get started it’s necessary to talk briefly about Holistic SEO. To learn more about Holistic SEO please see my post called Holisitic SEO wrap up for new bloggers.
What is Holistic SEO?
“Holistic SEO is looking at the overall big picture with the primary goal of building and maintaining the best website. What will come along naturally if your website has extremely high quality is a better ranking.”PinArtwork
I bring the subject of Holistic SEO up because in looking at the overall big SEO picture your search results are going to change on a regular basis and you need a mechanism to monitor those analytics which can be provided via using Rank Math as it provides regular search updates on a weekly basis (to the best of my knowledge, the updates are done weekly on Sundays). You’ll be able to see the changes that occur from the Google search results as the Google search algorithm goes through it’s magic.
I’ve mentioned it time and time before that you should do a SEO site audit at least on a monthly basis because looking at your SEO requires a continuous effort on your part. Once the Google search update provides the information to you, you’ll be able to look at your site to see if it’s performing well, which posts may need some improvement, the posts that need to be optimized for keywords and other SEO factors, or see if your site is declining in some aspects.
Rank Math does a wonderful job of eliminating the guesswork and pulling the information from Google into analytical graphs. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at how to monitor your analytics with Rank Math after it’s done it’s weekly search updates.
How to Monitor our Analytics with Rank Math
1. Google Search Updates
The Google search algorithm evaluates your web pages and uses lots of ranking factors for it’s evaluation.
For the most part, I don’t believe that the updates are going to have too much effect on your website, but you should be aware of it’s availability and periodically check to see if there are some updates that could be adverse to your SEO.
2. Google Search Updates Timeline in Analytics Pro.
Updates to the Google Search timeline are only provided with the Rank Math Pro version.
What do with the weekly Google search updates?
Rank Math will bring all the Google search updates right into WordPress dashboard as well as updating the Analytics data with visual graphs. The reason behind looking at these updates periodically is to find out if your website strategies are working well (or not) and most importantly to see if you’re losing a huge amount of traffic.
2.1 Enable Analytics Module
As mentioned earlier, the search updates timeline are available only in Rank Math’s Pro (under the Analytics tab). Go to WordPress Dashboard > Rank Math > Dashboard > Modules as pictured below (in the far right).
2.2 Connecting Your Google Account with Rank Math
Once you’ve enabled the Analytics module, you’ll need to connect your Google account with Rank Math SEO under Rank Math > General Settings > Analytics. You can refer to their dedicated knowledge base tutorial here to connect your Google account with Rank Math.
2.3 Accessing Rank Math Analytics
Now that you’ve configured the Search Console and Analytics property of your website under Analytics settings, you can access the Analytics module under the Rank Math menu in your WordPress admin area.
2.4 Open SEO Performance
Inside the Analytics Dashboard, click the SEO Performance tab as shown below.
How to find any Google search engine algorithm updates
In the SEO Performance graph, you can click on the Google icon (the “G”), then you’ll see a little snippet with the details of that particular update.
Note: So that you don’t have to switch from one tab to another, Rank Math includes the search engine timeline in “all” the Analytics graphs, including the Keywords tab.
3. Understanding Analytics Data
Let’s look at the options that you can use to build your Performance graph by looking at various metrics.
3.1 Comparing Metrics
You’ll notice that you have five metrics available that you can select on the graph (what you have in your system may slightly variate from what I have being available).
- Search Impressions
- Total Keywords
- Search Clicks
- Average Position
Click a metric to enable it so you can see the data it provides. Once enabled, a colored line will appear below it, and the line graph will be updated to reflect the changes.
To disable the metric you simply need to click on the metric again and the colored line will disappear.
3.2 Selecting Time frame
There’s an option to select a time frame that’s available in the upper top-right corner. By selecting a time frame, you’re able to look at recent data or a longer duration of up to 6 months. I don’t see any benefit from using this option but wanted to bring it to your attention in case there’s something I might have overlooked.
3.3 Confirmed Updates vs Unconfirmed Updates
The Google Search Algorithm provides major search updates to Rank Math and identifies them as either confirmed or unconfirmed. Any update not being confirmed on Google’s part is marked with unconfirmed status. And also, any search update confirmed on Google’s part is marked with confirmed status.
4. Checking Google Search Algorithm Update Performance Effects
To evaluate if your website has benefited positively or negatively after it’s done a search update, the following checks are helpful.
First, you should check your number of search impressions, the number of times your website has appeared in search results when people searched the keywords you’re ranking for.
Things to look out for are if your traffic is steady, or if there’s been an increase or decrease in the number of impressions on your site.
In the SEO Performance graph, you can select Search Impressions and look for any changes in your impressions.
Upward trend – indicates that your website is now being shown more often in search results than before. If you’re investing time into improving your SEO this is the goal that you should be aiming to see by having an upward trend.
Downward trend – indicates that your website is now being shown fewer times in search results than earlier.
In the example below, you can notice a noticeable gain in search impressions of 24.04K. (marked by 3). The timeline points also points out the improvement of using Holistic SEO with a steadily increasing growth of impressions that started around 24 July 2021 to the current date and there’s been increased visibility. The amount of impressions before beginning Holistic SEO was barely visible hovering less than 3K. This graph demonstrates the importance of putting efforts into improving your SEO.
4.2 Total Keywords and Average Position
The next thing to check is the Total Keywords and Average Position (labeled avg. position).
The Total Keywords metric indicates the total number of keywords your website ranks for.
The Average Position indicates the average rank of your website’s pages for your search keywords.
Look for any changes in the trend.
Upward trend (Total Keywords) – indicates that your website is now ranking for more keywords than earlier.
Downward trend (Total Keywords) – indicates that your website is no longer ranking for some of the keywords you were ranking earlier.
Upward trend (Average Position) – indicates that your website pages have slipped rankings for some keywords.
Downward trend (Average Position) – indicates that your website pages have improved rankings for some keywords.
From the below example, you can notice a steady upward trend in the number of Total Keywords.
From the example below (for the average position) it appears that there’s been no significant change which actually surprises me because I thought that there would be more of a noticeable difference. But the funny thing that I noticed is that before I started concentrating on using a Holistic SEO approach around the 28th of July, that the average position isn’t even noticeable (despite having the time frame set for 6 months) on the graph.
4.3 Search Clicks/Traffic
The third metric you need to look at is website’s search clicks (traffic) over a selected time frame (the example below is for a period of six months).
Note: I don’t know if the search traffic is no longer visible in Rank Math Pro or if I’ve overlooked a setting to show that information. So I’m going to be contacting the folks at Rank Math to find out. I’m guessing that I didn’t have Google Analytics properly set up, so maybe the traffic results will show up in the next update.
Search Clicks are the number of times people saw and clicked your website in search results.
Search Traffic on the other hand is the total traffic, you’ve received from these search clicks.
On the SEO Performance graph, select the Search Clicks/Traffic (or both) metric and then choose a time frame. The line graph will be updated for the criteria you’ve set.
The line graph makes it easy to check the trend if your site’s traffic/clicks have increased or decreased over time and makes it easier to spot any changes.
From the example below, you can notice a big upward trend in the clicks.
5. Measures to Take If Your Site Performance Is Hit
From the above checks, if you had noticed your site’s performance has improved, that’s great! Continue with your current strategies and efforts that are in place.
However, in case your site’s performance has been effected negatively, then follow the steps outlined below to alter your SEO techniques to recover your search traffic.
The idea is to understand what changes happened during the update so that you will know what you should fix to get your site’s performance back to normal.
5.1 Take Recovery Measures
Evaluate your site and look for any potential issues on your website that might be violating Google’s rules and guidelines.
Once you’ve identified any such guidelines or violations, you can get started with fixing them.
Download, my SEO Audit Checklist to help optimize your posts / pages, and/or your website.
I hope that this post was helpful to learn how to use Rank Math a little more fully. I have found that if you have any questions on using Rank Math, that they have a great a support team to help you. Feel free to reach them at Rank Math support team.
About Rank Math: “Rank Math is the Swiss army knife of SEO tools for WordPress. It gives you complete control over your entire website’s on-page SEO.” I hope that after reading this post, you’ll consider switching your SEO over to Rank Math. Give it a whirl. There’s a free demo for you to take it out for a spin on their website.