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When it comes to SEO, keywords are king. After all, it’s keywords that are used by search engines to categorize the content. However, keywords aren’t the only factor that helps determine search engine ranking. For instance, search engines like Google look for articles that meet the search intent of users. In other words, keyword stuffing tends not to work very well, especially when the keywords are used improperly.
With that said, keywords are one of the biggest factors in search engine rankings. In addition, when we write content, we do it to rank well for certain keywords. To do this effectively, we need good information about how well our content is ranking currently for given keywords. We’ll also want to see what the top content for a particular keyword looks like. This way, we can meet the competition and get our content placed above theirs.
One of the best ways to perform these checks is by using a keyword rank checker.
What are Keyword Rank Checkers?
A keyword rank checker is a piece of software or Internet-based tool that shows us how well our content is performing for a particular keyword. It will also tell us how well our competitor’s content is performing for the same keywords.
In other words, these tools give us a realistic view of how well we are progressing toward our SEO goals. You can see this from the standpoint of current performance and from competitive performance. In addition, if you are planning to write a fresh piece of content, you can use a keyword rank checker to look at the best content for that keyword and reverse engineer it. That way, you can write a highly competitive piece of content from the beginning.
Further Reading: 11 Easily Implementable SEO Tips for Beginners
Why do You Need Keyword Rank Checkers?
You need one of these because competition for top spots on search engines is fierce. It’s also important because driving organic traffic to your website is important for dramatically increasing your reach and realizing better ROI from your website efforts. While there are other aspects to SEO, such as technical SEO techniques, keywords are a huge factor in the SERP position.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of keyword rank checkers is that you can immediately see how high you need to set the bar for success. However, this bar is always moving because your competitors also use a rank checker and will come after you when you’re content for each competitive keyword gets too high.
Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to the most competitive keywords. You can also use a rank checker to find related keywords that are a little bit less competitive, then concentrate on those. This is especially effective if you have a small business, are just starting out on the Internet, or are in an especially competitive field. Over time, the fuse that you get from those less competitive keywords can help raise your domain authority and improve your chances of competing for harder keywords.
Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites
The Top 15 Keyword Rank Checkers
With that in mind, let’s look at the top keyword rank checkers. Some of these are included in your website tools for free, while others cost different amounts of money. In addition, some rank checkers have different features. For this reason, you can easily use more than one of these for different purposes and insights.
Published directly by Google, this tool is one that every website owner needs. It’s also absolutely free and does a lot more than provide a keyword rank checker. For instance, you can get advanced analytics on your websites, such as page views and visitor demographic insights.
In other words, one of the things that make Google Search Console unique is that it is a relatively comprehensive tool in terms of statistics. You can also use it to plan your future content because it will help you see places where your site needs work. With that said, it only works for Google searches. If you want to rank on another search engine, you’ll need another tool. On the other hand, free tools have limits, and this one is no exception. Using a different tool for other search engines isn’t a big deal.
Semrush is a comprehensive search engine marketing tool. In other words, it has a lot more than a keyword rank checker. You can subscribe to this software, and it will help you with most of your search engine-related tasks and analytics.
Let’s focus on the keyword-related features. First, you do get a traditional rank checker that shows you how well each of your pages is performing. You can also see opportunities for improvement. Similarly, Semrush gives you competitive analysis and data on top-performing keywords. Both of these tools can help you plan ahead.
With that said, Semrush doesn’t give you any of this for free. You can get a 7-day free trial, but after that, you need to buy a subscription. However, the trial does give you the chance to check out the many features of this tool before you decide if it’s for you.
Ahrefs is also more than just a keyword rank checker. You get that feature, as well as site audits, content analysis, and competitive analysis. All of this comes in a handy dashboard, complete with charts and graphs. In other words, you get a wide variety of website management and SEO tools.
One of the great things about Ahrefs is that you can see your historical results. This means that it’s incredibly easy to see how well your content is performing and how much it has improved. Conversely, you can easily track a decline in your SERP position. Then, you can either do troubleshooting, or you can double down on techniques that have worked well for you.
Another Ahrefs distinction is its thoroughness. For example, you can get all the analytic information for both the desktop and mobile versions of your website. With an ever-increasing percentage of site views being from mobile devices, this information is very valuable. Similarly, you can get this data for any of 170 countries worldwide. This means that Ahrefs is very valuable for international brands.
To access these tools, you will need an Ahrefs subscription from day one. You can choose subscription levels based on how many reports you need, how many users you have, and a few other factors.
With MOZ, you also get a very thorough set of tools for keyword analysis, planning, and tracking. In other words, their keyword rank checker is just the tip of the iceberg. Arguably, the most valuable feature of MOZ services is that they work with all of the major search engines, not just Google and Google Mobile. Specifically, MOZ will help you with Bing and Yahoo. This way, you can optimize for multiple search engines at the same time.
Another distinctive of the MOZ keyword rank checker is its ability to predict how certain actions may impact your future search engine ranking. In other words, as you try to improve your search engine rankings, you won’t do as much guesswork. Similarly, MOZ will help you choose the right keywords for success.
MOZ lets you try their service for 30 days risk-free.
Further Reading: SEO Report: What Metrics to Include (with 27 Suggestions)
AccuRanker was designed specifically for SCO agencies and enterprises. This focus on power users means that AccuRanker can handle a large amount of data efficiently. In fact, their keyword rank checker features the ability to show one segment of data at a time. That way, users can focus on one area at a time. For agencies, those segments could easily be different client accounts.
Another aspect of AccuRanker that’s important is that you can do keyword research right in the tool. While a complete search engine marketing suite will always give you this capability, more specialized tools won’t always do this. AccuRanker focuses on keywords, whether it’s for your site or examining a competitor. In other words, AccuRanker is a more specialized tool that you would normally combine with other pieces of software to run your campaigns.
Price-wise, AccuRanker is relatively affordable, even for large users. You can get a 14-day trial.
Also called AWR, this is one of the original keyword rank checkers. Along with its nearly 20-year history, AWR claims to be the most accurate tool of this type. It’s also very comprehensive while remaining specialized. For example, AWR has reliable data for some 4000 search engines. That’s essentially every search engine they’ve built for the past 20 years, including foreign language search engines (like Baidu and Yandex) and those that are website-specific.
Practically speaking, this exhaustive list of search engines means that if your brand operates in a niche space or if you need to be competitive on sites like YouTube, AWR is one of your best options. You can even use it for local SEO and diagnosing the issues that are causing your website to perform poorly. Overall, this is a very valuable tool.
The best part? AWR is reasonably priced and works just as well for small businesses as it does for enterprises or agencies.
Authority Labs is a good choice if you have a local business. It’s also excellent for larger businesses that have multiple locations and need a combination of local SEO and international tracking. That’s because Authority Labs has support for multiple countries and languages. However, this keyword rank checker only handles Google, Bing, and Yahoo, so it will miss the regional search engines.
Like some of its competitors, Authority Labs also handles the mobile version of websites. You can even get competitor analysis and those missing keywords not found on most other rank checkers. Your ranking data updates every day, so it stays fresh and available for frequent website adjustments.
Unlike many of its competitors, SERPWatcher is a dedicated keyword rank checker that isn’t attached to anything else. It is, however, part of the Mangools family of products. Their value proposition is that the information provided is easy to understand, and the tool itself is easy to use. For this reason, they’re heavily marketing themselves to small businesses that don’t need or want anything complicated.
With that said, SERPWatcher doesn’t skimp on features within its core functionality. It does support foreign language keywords and locations in foreign countries for local SEO. You’ll also get a daily report, which lets you solve problems quickly before they become more serious. Finally, the tool claims to measure represents your site’s real-world performance, both on desktop and mobile. You can even check your account from a mobile device.
Best of all, SERPWatcher is super affordable. You can buy it month to month with no minimum to make sure it’s right for you.
Serpstat is another all-in-one tool for SEO. As part of the package, it includes a keyword rank checker. Arguably, there are two features that are especially powerful. The first is that Serpstat provides rank tracking changes throughout the day. Second, this tool makes note of the trending keywords within your industry. These are broken down by region since a trending English-language keyword popular in the US might be a bust in the UK. This way, you can instantly include the right keywords for the right locations.
This tool is very affordable, even for freelancers and solopreneurs with a limited budget. Start small, then scale up as appropriate. The price includes all your basic features even at the lowest level.
Like most of the tools in this article, SE Ranking is actually a suite of tools. However, their keyword rank checker is carefully described separately from the rest of the software. Central to this rank checker is a keyword discovery tool when trying to carve out a niche or find a competitive advantage. In addition, you can track your competitor’s keyword rankings where it matters.
Arguably, the most important feature of this keyword rank checker is that it automatically keeps track of Google algorithm and guideline changes. This feature lets you make adjustments as necessary before Google’s changes damage your rankings. In other words, it lets you stay ahead of the curve.
SE Ranking you need, and not much more. That works out great if you have a limited budget.
If you need support for more than just Google, or if you need a high level of data segmentation, think about Sitechecker. This keyword rank checker supports Yandex, Bing, Yahoo, and Google. In other words, it can handle the vast majority of customers in Eastern Europe, not just the West. Mobile browsers are also supported.
Sitechecker is feature rich. It has the standard keyword checking and competitive analysis available. However, it also helps you view bulk results. When specific information is all that matters, you can even narrow down the results and apply filters for specific metrics. Finally, it’s easy to make a report because most of the information is already presented in chart form. Simply add comments, download the image, and you’re done. For that reason, Sitechecker is great for agencies and large in-house marketing departments.
Woorank lets you do more than download the numbers. Instead, it helps you form a plan to stay on top of the SERPs. Track your keyword rankings in real time and monitor your competition. Then, they’ll give you actionable data that helps formulate and adjust your strategy, including a list of Google’s top results. Strategy adjustments can include adding new keywords because Woorank will help you find opportunities to rank well for less popular keywords.
Finally, Woorank helps with local SEO, because you can track keywords that are location-specific. This makes the keyword rank checker appropriate for businesses of any size.
If you have one, small to medium-sized website, then Woorank is very inexpensive.
Wincher has a keyword rank checker that integrates with Google Search Console and any other website tools that you might be using. For example, you can use as many of Wincher’s tools as you want or use the rank checker along with Yoast or another old-school SEO tool.
Another important feature of Wincher is that you get very detailed reports, including competitor monitoring and keyword opportunities that you should follow up on. Finally, there are significant collaboration tools built in, including with external users. This is somewhat uncommon in the other keyword rank checkers we’ve discussed.
Also unlike most of the competition, you can get a limited-feature version of Wincher for free. Or, try the full version for two weeks before you buy.
If you do business in China or other parts of Asia, RankWatch is a good choice because it can handle both the mobile and desktop versions of Baidu, and a South Korean search engine called Naver. Additionally, this is the only keyword rank checker on this list that specifically mentions Google Maps as a supported search engine.
The other thing that sets RankWatch apart is its algorithm. Rather than simply crawling the web for information, the algorithm helps detect areas where the program needs to pay special attention. Want to get a featured snippet? RankWatch will help you with this, too, through its proprietary analytics. You can even look for less traditional items such as newspaper mentions and videos. This information can help you fine-tune your SEO strategy even further.
RankWatch offers a short free trial. After that, paid plans are reasonably priced.
Lastly, there’s Ranktracker. Despite its name, you get a full range of features that move far beyond simple rank tracking. This is actually a complete SEO solution, though the keyword rank tracker itself is comprehensive. You’ll get immediate results, but also updates as your site moves up and down. Then, you get insights to help you improve your ranking as needed.
Like many other tools, Ranktracker supports both mobile and desktop search versions. It also covers the major US search engines, plus Yandex. Finally, if you have a Google My Business account (if not, why) then this tool will help you maximize and optimize it.
Guess what? This is the least expensive comprehensive SEO suite in the industry. A big find if you’re starting out or need to save money.
Test Out These Keyword Rank Checkers to Find the Best One for YOU!
Managing your SEO can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know how to use a keyword rank tracker or other tools. Fortunately, they’re easy to learn, letting you unleash your website’s potential. Just follow the other SEO best practices, and you’ll soon find your SERP rankings improve. Check out each of the tools in this article, and find the perfect one for building your website.
Further Reading: 11 SEO Best Practices to Follow in 2023
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