If you are engaged in any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) activities, it is very important to know how your search engine rankings change over time, but even if not, everyone loves to know how highly their website ranks in Google for search terms that are important to them. To find this out, many people make the mistake of searching Google themselves, but this is actually the least accurate method available. Google personalizes search results based on your previous behavior, so if you regularly visit your own website (which you probably do),then Google will attach extra importance to your website in search results. In addition, your geographic location and even the device you are using will have some effect on your rankings.

To find out the most accurate rankings your website achieves for various search terms, you will need to have both a Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) account, and these need to be "linked" so that your Search Console data is available from within your Analytics account. You can find out if this is the case by visiting the "Admin" link in the main navigation menu and viewing the "Product Linking" section. You normally need to click on "All Products" to see if Google Search Console is linked:

Check if Google Search Console is linked to Google Analytics

Once you have confirmed that the two services are linked, go back to your Google Analytics dashboard and find the "Acquisition" heading on the left menu. Under the "Search Engine Optimization" sub-header, click on the "Queries" report:

The Queries report in Google Analytics

This report includes all the keywords that your website is ranking for, with the average position, impressions and clicks data for each. Note that the average position listed here will probably be slightly different than the position you are familiar with when you perform the same search, for reasons explained earlier. This data refers to the average for everyone, wherever they are.

Armed with an accurate view of your search engine rankings, you can now identify how well you are performing for the phrases that are important to you. It is also useful to note the search terms that you are ranking very well for, even though they might be unexpected and/or unintended. If these search terms are useful (that is, if they are still related to your website's main topic),you should take advantage of them by adding more content of a similar nature.