What is Rank Value? | How Obility Reports on Rankings

06.25.19 // Carly Schoonhoven

Monitoring your keyword rankings is an important way to measure the success of your SEO efforts over time. While traditional keyword rank tracking tools do a good job of showing individual rank improvements and losses, they don’t give you the whole picture.

Moving from position ten to five is a lot more valuable for a keyword with 10,000 searches per month than one with 10 searches per month, so why are so many people still reporting on all their keywords like they’re on and the same?

At Obility we wondered if there was a way we could reflect not just the rank improvements themselves, but the value of those improvements by taking into account search volume as well as the expected click-through-rate (CTR) at each position. In order to do this, we created a metric we call Rank Value.

What is Rank Value?

Rank Value is based on keyword ranking, search volume and the expected CTR for that position. By multiplying the search volume for your target keywords by the expected CTR for their ranking position, you get the Rank Value for an individual keyword. By averaging together the Rank Values for all your target keywords, you get a better idea of the true value of those rankings. This average is what Obility calls Rank Value.

Rank Value Formula


At Obility, we report on the Rank Value for our clients and their competitors monthly. Rather than looking just at average ranking, this makes it easy to see which competitors are truly competing on the high-volume keywords you want to show up for.

How is Rank Value Calculated?

One important metric for calculating Rank Value is the expected CTR. How are you supposed to know what CTR to expect at position ten vs. position five?

The expected CTR Obility uses is based on the CTRs we have seen across all of our clients at each position. Because all of our clients are B2B, this allows us to use a CTR that is more accurate to the space our clients compete in, rather than using an expected CTR from a third-party.

Once you have the expected CTR for every position (stopping at position 50, as CTR becomes negligible at that point), all you need is the search volume and current rank for your target keywords. Use a VLOOKUP in Excel to match your current rankings with the expected CTR, then multiply the expected CTR by the search volume.

You can report on the average Rank Value for all your target keywords, or get more granular by breaking your target keywords into categories and averaging the Rank Value for each one. This can help you see if certain keyword categories are providing more value than others, and can help you prioritize your SEO efforts.

Rank Value Report

What Makes Rank Value Different?

One metric that is often used to report on competitive rankings is Share of Voice. You might be wondering how Rank Value is different from Share of Voice, and why Obility chooses to use this method instead.

Typically Share of Voice from an organic rankings perspective looks at the total number of keywords ranking for a site and its competitors. While this can be helpful to get an idea of which competitors are ranking for the most total keywords, it doesn’t give you much insight into whether or not those keywords are relevant to you, or what kind of search volume they have.

One thing that makes Rank Value stand out is that it only factors in your targeted SEO keywords. If your competitor is ranking for a lot of branded terms that might skew your results when looking at Share of Voice, but Rank Value only takes into account the keywords you care about.

Knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting is important, and Obility does competitor audits regularly to look into this. When evaluating your ranking progress month over month, however, seeing data just about the keywords you care about provides a lot of value.

Get More Value From Your Ranking Reports

Don’t settle for a traditional keyword ranking report. Make sure you understand the value your keywords rankings are delivering. Get in touch with Obility to learn how we can help.

About Carly Schoonhoven

Carly Schoonhoven is a Senior SEO Manager at Obility. As a member of the inbound marketing team, Carly drives SEO strategies to grow organic traffic and build backlinks for her clients. In her spare time, you can find her doing karaoke. View all Carly Schoonhoven’s posts >