No matter what industry your business is in, it’s critical that you have some form of a website. After all, websites are one of the best ways to introduce yourself to potential customers, spread brand messages, and distinguish yourself from the competition. However, part of having a website is ensuring that people can find it because this is necessary for people to consume your content. Getting your website found, of course, is the realm of search engine optimization.
Of course, one of the biggest factors in SEO performance is the use of keywords. Even in relatively non-competitive industries, businesses need to ensure that when they pick the right keywords that their website will land on the first page of search engine results. Poorly performing keywords should be changed or improved as appropriate. And one of the more efficient ways of measuring progress is using the best rank tracker tool based on your needs. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites.
Why Do You Need to Track Keyword Performance?
In short, any successful SEO strategy requires that you understand the performance of your SEO efforts. Great SEO means that your website will rank higher on the search engine results page. Over time, you want to get your website on the first page of Google for the most important keywords. Don’t believe me? People click on one of the first five organic search engine listings 67.6% of the time. However, there are other reasons to track keywords besides getting the most clicks.
Identify new keyword opportunities
Using the best rank tracker tool, you can sometimes identify new keyword opportunities. For instance, you might find that the most popular keywords for your industry are highly competitive, but that a small keyword change can make you more competitive. Perhaps switching from single to plural, swapping word order, or another minor adjustment instantly improves your competitiveness. Similarly, you might find that a keyword you didn’t think about yet is trending and worth pursuing.
Monitor your competitors
Another use for the best rank tracker tool is to see how well your competition is doing with their keywords. Or even for the keywords, you’re trying to beat them at. If you’re doing SEO right, your toolbox can do research on your competition. This is true both for the keywords used, their overall performance, and the use of paid search. Once you know what your competition is doing right, it’s easier to adjust your strategy to meet the challenge.
Troubleshoot traffic drops and algorithm changes
Finally, as most people know, Google and other search engines change their algorithms frequently. One of the biggest parts of SEO is keeping track of these algorithm changes, then responding to them for best results. Using the best rank tracker tool, you will gain better insights into which keywords are bringing you the most traffic. Likewise, it’s easier to figure out if your traffic is dropping due to your competition performing better on a keyword, or if something else can be causing it.
Why Should You Use a SERP Rank Tracker Tool?
Simply put, a rank tracker tool helps you automate and build reports in a more accurate, scaled, and unbiased way than you can do yourself. One reason for this, of course, is that the best rank tracker tool doesn’t have an emotional attachment to keywords. Instead, the tool simply gathers information through the processes set up by the developers. Plus, you should consider that a majority (57%) of brand managers use a second tool to re-check the rankings provided by their main tool. In other words, they consider that two sets of digital “eyes” are better than one.
Begin with Google
Just because Google is the “sheriff” that does the rankings doesn’t mean that they don’t want you to do well. In fact, competition for top search positions is beneficial to Google and its advertisers. For that reason, they’re quite willing to help with SEO strategy.
When it comes to the best rank tracker tool, Google Search Console gives you a quick look at overall performance. Or as they put it, Search Console shows you how Google sees your website. From there, you have opportunities to improve. Cost: free.
Rank Tracker Tools Included with Top Comprehensive SEO Tools
There’s a decent chance that you already have access to the best rank tracker tool on this list, at least if you’re using these comprehensive offerings.
With SEMrush, you have access to a wide variety of tools. That’s because this service is designed for all areas of search engine and internet marketing. They even cover social media! When it comes to their rank tracking, SEMrush does three basic things. First, they track your rankings based on keywords, both for you and your competitors, every day. Second, they let you know how volatile the rankings are. And third, you can find out which websites are the most successful in your region for each keyword.
Pricing: From $120/mo, 500 KW limit
Ahrefs is a specialty tool for SEO only, rather than working with all online media. Their best rank tracker tool gives your ranking for specific keywords, then compares it with the competition automatically. Insights are provided to help you improve. In addition, information is charted over time to help you keep track of progress.
Pricing: From $99/mo, 500 KW limit
This best rank tracker tool is great because it intentionally sets out to identify the holes in your competitor’s SEO strategy. They do this by both tracking rank positions for you and the competition, and by predicting what it’ll take to get to the top. Finally, Moz has dedicated tools to track positions in over 200 countries. If you’re a multinational, check it out.
Pricing: From $99/mo, 300 KW limit, and 400,000 pages crawled monthly
Which Other Rank Tracker Tools Should You Use?
Outside of the above, many companies have emerged to fill the gap for smaller businesses or those with less extensive SEO campaigns. For instance, if you run a blog but do little more than monetize it, then one of these might be the best rank tracker tool. After all, comprehensive marketing suites are probably much more than you need in this situation. There’s little point in paying too much money for features you’ll never use.
According to their website, the primary focus of this service is SEO. That’s on-page, off-page, and even social media. They also track YouTube placement, making this a great tool for content creators. As far as their best rank tracker tool goes, they look at ads and maps. In addition, there’s support for both mobile and desktop rankings.
Pricing: From $31/month with 250 KW limit and 10 sites tracked.
Unlike most other tools, SERPWatcher is specifically marketed as the best rank tracker tool for beginning websites. You can easily add solopreneurs/freelancers, local businesses, and bloggers to the mix here. In brief, SERPWatcher provides basic, yet comprehensive, SEO tools that are easy to use, but can grow with your site. You’ll get daily results and also locality-sensitive keyword tracking, too.
Pricing: $30/mo for 200 KW daily.
This is a suite of tools that does SEO and only SEO. However, three features stand out with their rank tracker. First, they do Google and Yandex, which is a Russian language search engine. Second, they will give you worldwide rankings in addition to local ones. And third, they take market share into account. With the last metric, they don’t mean just search engine rank. Rather, they want to know how much site traffic you’re getting in comparison to the competition.
Pricing: $59/mo for 4,000 searches a day
With AccuRanker, you get the best rank tracker tool, and nothing else. Except, that is, for competitor analysis and other comprehensive data points related to search engine rankings. The downside: You’ll need another tool for everything else SEO. As a second set of eyes, though, this is a great tool.
Pricing: From $109/mo for 5000 KW
According to the developers, this one has the best algorithm for rank tracking. Whatever you think of that claim, there are two major features. Unlike its competitors, Pro Rank Tracker is completely cloud-based, meaning you can access it from anywhere and don’t need to load anything on your computer. Second, the app supports major European languages, making it an attractive choice for companies with a presence in Latin America or western Europe.
Pricing: Freemium (paid starts at $13.50/mo)
For businesses that need location-specific rankings, this is a serious contender for the best rank tracker tool. Why? Because they have the best local information. However, the benefits go beyond this. Nightwatch gives you a comprehensive view of “decaying content,” as well as your best opportunities to pursue. For instance, if a competitor is getting weaker in an area, they will tell you to move into it. The other thing that Nightwatch does is segment your results so that it’s easy to see your strengths and weaknesses.
Pricing: From $24/mo with 500 KW and 50 sites tracked.
AWR has been around longer than most at 19 years. They also track the most search engines of anyone and operate in 170 countries. Even smaller “search engines” like Amazon Marketplace are tracked. In addition, AWR looks for the visibility of your site/product on a search engine, not just its position. This is especially good if you are an Amazon seller or run an eCommerce website. Next, the service tells you where you can improve, and where you are strongest. Finally, they’ll alert you about up-and-coming competitors so you can take action early.
Pricing: From $49/mo for 2,000 “units.”
Authority Labs is known for one major feature: they actually provide you with relevant keywords for your brand. Most of their competitors require you to do keyword research yourself. But with Authority Labs’ provided keywords, it’s easy to identify new opportunities that may not have been found otherwise. Besides this, the developers pride themselves on their ability to be both locally and globally aware. Finally, rankings take both mobile and desktop results into account.
Pricing: From $49/mo for 250 KW and 50 domains tracked.
Wincher is a contender for the best rank tracker tool for one main reason: it is powerful, yet easy to use. They start out with an important extra feature: keyword research. This is more often found in comprehensive SEM suites. Then, they give you both daily and on-demand ranking data. Finally, Wincher gives you competitor information to help inform your overall strategy. Best of all, it’s a simple tool if you don’t want a lot of extra features.
Pricing: From €24/mo for 500 KW and 10 domains tracked.
The Powersuite is a set of SEO tools that primarily works with on-site SEO. However, this one is unique in that it tracks some less-common search engine results, such as Google Images. In addition, you get keyword research, competitive analysis, and historical reports that track progress over time. Finally, you can set this tool to work and then mostly forget it except when analyzing its reports.
Pricing: limited feature free. Paid from $299/yr with unlimited keywords.
RankRanger’s claim to fame is its custom features. Rather than having a pre-determined menu of ranking information, you can tell RankRanger exactly what you need and want. This saves a ton of time sifting through irrelevant information. In addition, RankRanger can use a wide variety of search engines. Finally, the tool is specially equipped to handle local SEO projects with its advanced local filtering.
Pricing: From $79/mo for 500 KW daily.
After looking at the contenders for the best rank tracker tool, one thing is clear: there are a lot of different ranking tools out there. And, there’s a wide variety both in features and pricing. In practice, this means that as a site owner you have a lot of great options to explore. It also means that almost anyone can have a fair chance at competing in the broad SEM and SEO marketplaces. Even the little guys.
Further Reading: The 16 Best SEO Tools to Power Your Search Engine Marketing
Hero photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash