SEO is a complex topic that requires a lot of research and hard work. Not only do you have to work hard to get to the top of the Google SERPs, but you
have to work hard to stay there, as well. But how do you know if your efforts are really working? If you’re targeting dozens, even hundreds of keywords or more, how can you possibly keep up with whether or not your rankings are going up, staying the same, or even slipping?
Think about this:
Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight. You go on a diet and start exercising regularly, but you have no measuring tape and no scale to track your results. You might see occasional signs that you’re actually losing weight, like your pants fitting a bit looser, but without facing real result, you’re likely to lose motivation to continue. Eventually you will give up entirely.
The same thing can happen in SEO. You might see occasional signs that your website rankings are improving, such as increase in website traffic, but that could be due to anything from getting a post on social media to some sort of seasonal boost in search traffic. It doesn’t necessarily mean your rankings have improved.
You need tools to help you keep track of your website seo rankings. These tools can track your rank over time, showing you whether you are gaining, losing, or retaining rank. Not only that, but these tools can track many different keywords at a time, which would be very difficult and time consuming if you do it manually.
So let’s take a look at some of the different tools you can use to track and measure your SEO results.
Types of Rank Trackers
There are two main types of tools you can use to check your SEO rankings—desktop and online. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s see which one is more suitable for you.
The main advantage of desktop trackers is that if you’re working with a huge number of keywords, they may be the best option because a lot of online trackers limit the number of keywords you can track, or charge more for larger numbers of keywords.
The problem is that if you’re using a desktop tracker from your own IP address, the searches engines may ban your IP address temporarily for doing too many searches in a short period of time. This necessitates the use of proxies.
Another benefit of desktop trackers is that they often charge a one time flat fee, while most online services charge an ongoing monthly fee to pay for the cost of all those searches. That can really add up over time, so running a desktop tracker can be cost effective in long term.
While online tools may end up becoming expensive if you have to track a lot of keywords, you won’t risk your own IP address getting banned, and you can track as many keywords as you need to (as long as you’re willing to pay the monthly fee.)
Now let’s take a look at some of the specific tools you can use to track your rankings.
Another benefit of online tools is that they will work on nearly every computer out there, and many will even work on a tablet because they work in a browser. No specific OS required.
We’ll look at desktop tools first, because those are generally more affordable and most have the advantage of allowing you to track an unlimited number of keywords.
Rank Tracker (PC, Mac, Linux)
Rank Tracker is a desktop program that is available for all major operating systems, including Windows, OS X, and Linux.
Rank Tracker will keep track of your rankings in over 400 search engines, even in foreign markets, and without any limitations whatsoever. There is no extra cost for more search engines or more keywords. It can even be set to do this on autopilot at whatever frequency you choose.
Not only will it check your ranks, it will also help you research keywords, build and manage links, research your backlinks and competition, audit your website content, and even manage your social media.
There’s a 7-day trial, but the software itself starts at $299 for the Professional version, which is fine for most website owners. It’s pricey, but it can save you money over the long run when you factor in many months of service from an online service that has a monthly fee.
EZ Rank Tracker (PC)
EZ Rank Tracker is for PC only, comes with a wide range of features, and
is one of the most affordable solutions out there. You can track your rank in 188 Google domains and have an unlimited number of projects and keywords, as well as track social signals and website stats and more.
Pricing is $19.99 per month or $99.99 for lifetime.
Online tools will probably cost you more over the years, because all those monthly fees really do add up. However, their services can be absolutely invaluable, so if you can afford them, this is one area where you may want to splurge for your business.
I’m going to rank these according to price, from cheapest to most expensive. Those that cost more are generally richer in features, but if you’re just getting started, you may not be able to spend so much for month.
Keep in mind that the results you get with one system will likely NOT transfer if you move to another system, so if you start with a cheaper one you may lose a lot of tracking data.
With the paid list, I’m ordering these by their lowest price point. Some of the options with lower entry-level prices have higher upper level pricing, but I’m ordering them by the lowest possible price you can pay. These prices may change any time, but they are accurate as of the time of this writing.
Google Webmaster Tools
The cheapest online rank tracking tool is, of course, Google Webmaster
Tools. Their free Google Search Console will allow you to check basic information about your keyword rankings, but none it is done automatically, and it won’t give you very much information at all. But if you’re broke and have no other option, it’s better than nothing. You’ll just have to keep track of your rankings by checking manually and writing them down at regular intervals. Be sure to date each entry so you can tell how long it’s been since your ranking changed.
$5 to $200 Per Month
WhiteSpark focuses specifically on location-specific rankings, so you can
check how you rank in a specific market. It starts at just $5 per month for 10 keywords, so it’s a great value. You can also use unlimited domains and unlimited locations, but you’ll be limited to checking your rankings for just 10 keywords. The price of plans rises based on the number of keywords you want to track, but all plans include unlimited locations and domains.
$7 to $189 Per Month
SE Ranking has affordable plans starting at just $7 per month when you pay for a year at a time. That lets you track 50 keywords. If you need to track more, you can upgrade to 250, 1,000 or 2,500 keywords at higher price points.
This system also includes backlink monitoring, website auditing, and many other features.
$49 to $450 Per Month
Authority Labs is one of the most trusted names in SEO tracking. Their plans start at a very reasonable $49 per month for 250 keywords and rise to $450 per month or more for 5,000+ keywords.
They have a plethora of features like local tracking, mobile tracking, daily updates, and more, so you’ll have pretty much everything you need to get a complete picture of your rankings.
$69.95 to $999.95 Per Month
SEOprofiler starts at $69.95 per month with a limit of 500 keywords and goes up to $999.95 per month for 10,000 keywords. This service also includes web page auditing and other features. This service doesn’t include as many tools as other services, but they do include more keywords than some of the cheaper options.
$99 to $599 Per Month
Moz is considered by many experts to be the ultimate SEO tool set. They’re on the pricey end of things, but their features match their prices. Not only do they have the same features most services have like rank tracking and keyword research, but they also have other features that are extremely useful such as search visibility score. If you’re looking for the one tool that can pretty much do it all, Moz is considered the one to go to.
$99.95 to $399.95 Per Month
SEMrush is a very well-known and highly respected service. They have an enormous number of features, from keyword research, to advertising research, and yes, of course, rank checking. You may not need all these features, but if you do, SEMrush is one of the top tools available. There are many, many other tools available, but these are some of the most popular. If you can’t find what you need in one of these services, there’s a good chance it doesn’t yet exist.
SEO is not going to do you a lot of good if you have no way to track your results. Let’s say you make a change to your site that you think will boost your rankings, but it actually hurts them? How will you know ifyou aren’t tracking your results?
Obviously you could check your rankings manually, but if you are trying to rank for more than a handful of keywords (and you probably are), you’re going to spend a crazy amount of time checking this. And you need to check your results frequently, even daily, so you can respond to changes immediately. For example, if your rankings drop drastically, you need to respond as quickly as possible before the traffic you lose rises dramatically.
These tools will help you track your rankings on a regular, automated basis so you don’t have to spend all that time doing it manually.
Good luck and hope your website will rank high on search engine!