You don’t want to know how many rank tracking tools I’ve tried over the course of 4 years, tools that claim they are the ‘best rank tracker tool’ currently on the market with their fancy GUI and testimonials, but in reality, it’s garbage + it’s very over priced. I know, it’s disappointing.
Therefore, to avoid disappointment to those that recently entered the SEO scene, I thought I’d share my knowledge on what rank tracking tool you should use to get started. A tool that doesn’t break the bank, does the job and provides decent data in terms of where your site ranks in the SERP’s.
Just to confirm that we’re all on the same page here – a rank tracker tool is a piece of software that automatically crawls Google’s search results and proactively collects data in terms of where your site ranks in the search results.
If you’re serious about implementing best-practice SEO and you plan to dedicate your time and effort on trying to improve your search engine ranking, then you’ll need to keep an eye on your rankings to see if any of the changes that you’re making are impacting your positioning in the search results positively (or negatively for that matter).
It’s relatively straight forward, instead of you manually having to go to Google and type in your search phrase to find out where your ranking, you can get a rank tracker tool that does that for you while you sleep.
So, what’s the best rank tracker tool to get started?
Taking into consideration that if you’re just starting out in the search industry, the chances are you’re only looking to get ranking data for “some” keywords, therefore, I am happy to introduce you to (drumroll) … RankWatch.
This rank tracking tool was, in fact, the first one I tried when working agency side, I found them in Google when searching for ‘best rank tracker tool’, ha. It’s a decent budget-friendly kit that you need to get your hands on moving forward. Let’s not forget that you can use a combination of tracking tools to monitor your search engine performance from multiple perspectives – you don’t have to just use RankWatch, you can use more than one if you have the budget.
A lot of SEO agencies tend to focus their high-priced ranking tools at the keywords that genuinely contribute to the success of their business, as these are the most important queries that make up their search strategy. On the other hand, for all of the long-tail keywords that they want to track but don’t necessarily have the budget on their primary rank tracking tool, they purchase a budget-friendly tool to cover these. Just like Rank Watch.
As an example, I use Pi Datametrics, it costs just over 4 digits a month for 1,000 keywords to be monitored. I am splitting this up across 7 sites, but I don’t have the budget to monitor every generic & long-tail keyword. Therefore, I purchase RankWatch for £19/month to track an additional 1,000 keywords, rather than spending yet another 4 digits on Pi Datametrics. I hope that makes sense, so RankWatch can be useful to everyone, not just those starting out in SEO.
Didn’t think of that one did ya?
What’s so good about RankWatch?
Yep, I knew you’d ask that question. First off, it doesn’t break the bank and they are relatively cheap. You’re probably thinking that you get what you pay for, therefore the results won’t be accurate. Wrong, but let’s discuss it’s performance later, I’m quite keen to share the pricing structures of other rank tracking tools currently on the market to demonstrate the difference.
- RankWatch – $23/month – 1,000 Keywords;
- Pro Rank Tracker – $59/month – 1,500 Keywords;
- RankTracker – $79/month – 1,000 Keywords;
- Smart SERP – $79/month – 1,000 Keywords;
- RankTrackr – $79.20/month – 1,000 Keywords;
- Authority Labs – $99/month – 1,000 Keywords;
- SEMrush – $99.95/month – 500 Keywords;
- Moz Pro – $149/month – 750 Keywords;
- Ahrefs – $179/month – 1,000 Keywords;
Pricing varies depending on the number of keywords you’re looking to track, 1,000 keywords is more than enough to get started and will give you the flexibility to track every search query from every angle. Please be advised that the websites I listed above aren’t desktop-based, these sites periodically check your ranking online, therefore you don’t need to run an application on your own machine or anything.
The above results clearly demonstrate that RankWatch is one of the cheapest solutions for a ranking tool, as well as all of the features that RankWatch offer, it’s honestly a must-have in your toolset for this price – even if you plan on using it to monitor your not-so-competitive keywords.
It’s ability to provide pinpoint accuracy
The reasoning behind why most of the other tools I’ve tried that claim they are the ‘best rank tracking SEO tool’ on the market fail is because the fundamental must-have feature of any rank checking tool doesn’t work. That being, it doesn’t accurately collect ranking data and it’s not an accurate representation of where the site currently stands in the search results. Nothing is worse than a client asking why it states on their report that they are ranking on the first page, but in reality, their site doesn’t even hit the 3rd page.
I think we both agree that you need an SEO tool that works correctly and collects the data as precisely as possible. Therefore, RankWatch provides location-based tracking that can be used to obtain ranking data as if you were searching from that specific location. If you’re looking for ranking results based on where you’re located, let’s say in London, you can configure your settings in RankWatch to collate the data as if it was searching from London.
Having this functionality will allow you to track your keywords across multiple languages, search browsers, and countries across the world. Not only could you give your clients an idea of their ranking positioning from a London perspective but also Brighton, Manchester, United States etc – the software is very feasible.
Below are a few of the countries that RankWatch support, just to give you an idea of how flexible they are:
- United Kingdom – google.co.uk
- United States – google.com
- Spain – google.es
- Sweden – google.se
- Germany – google.de
- France – google.fr
- Greece – google.gr
- India – google.co.in
- Denmark – google.dk
- 100+ more.
Lots of countries, cities, and towns to chose from when configuring their location-based tracking. Good stuff.
Automated email alerts of rank fluctuations
This is a must-have feature for any rank tracking tool, especially when you’re monitoring hundreds or thousands of keywords and you just don’t have the time to check your rankings. RankWatch will, in fact, email you as soon as one of your keywords leaves the first page results (9-10), top 100 and even first place positioning. This will give you the visibility you need to determine whether or not your implementations are working and if any page needs to be actioned on right now.
- RankWatch will email you in regards to ranking fluctuations;
- Unlimited email recipients, this can include you, colleagues, your boss and more;
- Automated email notifications when a keyword enters/leaves top 1/10/100.
- Comprehensive report structure.
Let’s not forget the reporting feature that RankWatch offers, after a hard month of grinding you’re able to export a report to CSV & PDF to show your colleagues the positive effects of the best-practice strategies that you have implemented to the site. The report is fully customizable depending on your requirements, this includes adding your logo design, changing the positioning of certain elements etc – plus, you can set it to automatically compile and email you a report on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly).
Suggestions for other keywords to monitor
Not only does the SEO community consider Rankwatch as one of the best rank tracker tools, it’s also a wizard in terms of identifying other opportunities in the market and keywords that you should be taking advantage of right now. Search queries that you weren’t necessarily tracking, but have been identified as an opportunity to generate even more traffic. You can find yourself picking up some quick wins by including at least one mention of other related phrases in your content. I’ve experienced RankWatch suggesting long-tail keywords, similar phrases, generic phrases and city-specific results.
Not just a ranking tool but an SEO toolset
RankWatch isn’t just a rank checking beast, but an all-round great toolset for any SEO. Whether you’re a content creator, technical SEO, backlink analyst or manager – RankWatch has something for everyone, at such a cheap cost. Below are some of the other features RankWatch provides:
- 100% white label login system for clients to view their rankings;
- Keyword archive and historical data;
- CEO dashboard to obtain visibility across all your active projects (websites);
- Competitor analysis (organic competition, paid, keywords etc);
- Google Analytics integration (Page views, time on site, bounce rate, new visitors etc);
- Site audit tool to get a comprehensive overview of your site (great marketing collateral for new clients);
- Backlink analysis tool to get an overview of your deep link ratio, sitewide links, do/no-follow and more.
That’s it, folks, if you’re looking to automate your ranking checking I’d suggest taking a look at the tools I mentioned in this post, or if you’d like, check out RankWatch. You can get started for just only £19, they even offer a 14-day trial.