What comes to your mind when I say SEO?
A compilation of articles that comprise the target keywords? Or pictures and videos strewn across your website, because hey, the world is becoming more visual now! In reality, SEO is much more.
The world of SEO is ever-evolving. With numerous Google updates, innumerable competitors hovering around the block and new tools springing to the limelight, it can get hard to choose the right software/ tool for your business. If you want your website traffic to compete with the big guys, it is important that you use the right tools that will leverage your traffic for each SEO related activity.
Because SEO is so dynamic, the tools you use will also constantly change to keep up with the current trends. In this blog, we will talk about 7 SEO rank checker tools that will help you scale your organic traffic in 2021.
What is Rank Tracking?
As an SEO analyst/ manager, it is your prime responsibility to track keywords. Rank tracking is the process of checking how your keywords are performing on Google and other search engines and also keeping an eye on your competitors and what keywords they are ranking for.
Every company must have a set of primary keywords (involving seed and long – tailed keywords), that they must sort on the basis of keyword volume. Regular monitoring must be done to find out which keywords the website is ranking for, where it has slipped positions and if the ranks are improving. Smart tracking and strategy implementation will eventually increase the website traffic.
Limitations of free Rank Tracking tools
I agree that free tools are economical, but let’s not forget that nothing good in life comes free. Usually, websites have a 7 day or 30 day trial period, after which they start charging the usual amount. And while there are a few rank tracking tools that operate free of charge, they have certain limitations which can pose as a hindrance for the company. Some of them are:
Inaccurate Data – There are chances that free tools can present traffic volumes which are inaccurate and may show the wrong related keywords or queries.
Limited Features – The functions and features are usually limited and they will often have a cap on the number of times you can search a keyword. Some features, like competitor analysis, maybe restricted.
Eventually Becomes a Paid Service – As mentioned before, most rank tracking sites present a trial package for a few days, after which they anyways transition into a paid service. Today, keyword tracking has become such an important activity, that companies are willing to spend a considerable amount to attain desired data.
Should you invest in a paid Rank Tracking tool?
The simple answer is – Yes.
With the digital spectrum growing leaps and bounds, having your website reach the top has never been more important. But how will you beat your competitors to reach that coveted rank #1? It’s by research and competitor analysis which will help you build smart SEO strategies.
In this scenario, an efficient SEO rank tracking tool becomes supremely important to the company.
How Accurate is Rank Tracking data?
What you need to understand is that search engines take a lot of things into consideration when showing results. For example, answers for the query, “Best mutual funds” will be different in India and Australia. Simply because the locations are different. Search engines also take buying habits and past searches into consideration (among other things) and that’s precisely why no two sites will give you the same statistic.
However, a good rank tracking tool will have various filters, like a geographic filter, which will minimize inaccuracy in results. This will help you create more accurate strategies.
What SEO data should you track?
Different companies track different parameters, but these are 7 standard things a company should look into:
- Top keywords your company is ranking for on search engines
- Organic Traffic (natural sources you are getting traffic from)
- Conversions/ sign-ups from your organic traffic
- Top website pages of the company that’s generating traffic
- Top keywords and pages competitors are ranking for
- Bounce Rate (the amount of time a user stays on the webpage)
While most SEO tools report on many of the above metrics, in this article we’ll focus on those that does rank tracking really well.
So, now that all your questions are taken care of, let’s get started with the best rank checker tools.
1. SEM Rush
SEMrush is an SEO tool which is mostly used by companies to measure website traffic, and conduct competitor analysis. It has many other features like checking your domain authority, page authority, etc.
What sets it apart from its competitors is the near accurate data and inputs about what keywords competitors are targeting. You can also run PPC and AD Campaigns through SEMrush.
Why Use SEMrush?
- You can analyze competitor strategies;
- You can get a holistic view of where you stand in the market and do an in depth traffic analysis;
- Thorough keyword research to come up with the right kind of content.
The tool has 3 plans:
Pro: $99 a month
Guru: $199 a month
Business: $ 399 a month
The Pro and Guru plans present a free 1 month trial period.
Rankz is an SEO tool that helps SEOs figure out what’s working for them and what’s not. Different from the typical host of SEO suites, it offers ease of use and zero clutter. From checking your domain authority to checking ranks for a set of keywords over different regions and data sources, it is a one stop shop for anything keyword and rank related and has a multitude of tools segregated between the free and paid range.
With it’s rank tracker, you can monitor a set of keywords, figure out whether they have special features on Google, view the best rank and latest rank, get search volumes, cost per click data and see historical performance, all in one dashboard.
You can also set email alerts for ranking changes and reports.
Not bragging, but Rankz has probably one of the best designed rank tracking tool in the industry! Check it out!
Why Use Rankz?
- Zero clutter interface – Rankz focuses on simplifying SEO. Be it rank tracking or SEO reports, Rankz cuts through the frills and gives you just what you need.
- Automated rank tracking – Rankz can track any keyword for you, send you weekly or daily reports and keeps you in the loop of everything that’s changing on the search results pages.
- Hidden keyword explorer. Rankz helps you choose keywords that best suits your website. Not just the most obvious ones but the less explored, hidden gems.;
3 plans are present on the platform:
- Individual: $499 a month
- Start-up: $999 a month
- Enterprise: Customizable according to the company’s need.
Ahrefs is easily one of the most popular tools in the SEO universe. It helps with a multitude of things like in-depth keyword analysis, checking backlinks, URL checks, it also gives you an idea about related keywords that can be important for your site.
The user experience is great and it is highly recommended for beginners. If you’re looking for a rank tracker however, you might need something more simple and less costlier.
Ahrefs does a lot more advanced stuff that may be intimidating for beginners.
Why use Ahrefs?
- You can continuously monitor your backlinks.
- You can get a better idea about what kind of content generates more traffic.
- It can generate a multiple keywords for a single query.
- You can analyse your competitor’s traffic.
There 4 plans marketers can choose from:
- Lite: $99 a month
- Stand: $179 a month
- ard: Advanced: $399 a month
- Agency: $999 a month
The Lite and Standard plans present a 7 day trial for $7.
As a marketer I can tell you that SmallSEOTools is exceptionally important to not overlook the tiny nuances of SEO. If you are a content marketer, this is one tool which can sure as hell make your life easy.
It harbours functions like plagiarism checker, grammar checker, word counter, spell checker, article rewriter among others. It is designed to refine a site’s own content rather than give data about the competitor’s.
Why use SmallSEOTools?
- It helps you check plagiarism for any content and names the source it has been copied from;
- It can grammar check, rephrase and re-write articles;
- It converts, image to text and text to image;
- It’s absolutely free!
Well, some good things do come for free! If you want to check up ranks/positions of upto ten keywords once a while, not on a regular basis, then this may be a good tool. (Make sure you have an Ad blocker installed though. Ugh!)
Moz is another SEO tool which can help you with a plethora of activities such as, checking the rank of your pages, keyword research and checking broken links. The USP of this site is that it efficiently gives you updates about the technical SEO hygiene of the website. Apart from this, it leverages AI and gives in-built suggestions to improve your on-site SEO as well.
You could use it to check positions of certain keywords on search engine results pages from a particular region like USA. Neat! However, it’s not very accurate in our experience.
Why Use Moz?
- Regular reports are sent on your website’s performance and milestones are recorded.
- Helps in regular keyword rank tracking for a set of keywords.
It has 4 plans to choose from:
- Standard: $99 a month
- Medium: $179 a month
- Large: $ 249 a month
- Premium: $599 a month
6. Google Search Console
Well, we all know that Google is the boss and it’s beneficial to listen to the SEO tool that Google provides. Not many people use this tool, as compared to Google Analytics, however, this tool is excellent if you want to compare your site’s traffic over a period of time, the average position and also garner a fair idea about your competitor’s traffic.
Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmasters Tool) goes hand-in-hand with Google Adwords, through which you can find traffic volume and related keywords. Keyword rankings? Not really but it’s very close. Very.
Why Use Webmasters?
- It lists out the keywords that your site is ranking for in descending order (without the ranks).
- Great tool for measuring past data v/s present, which can help you in deciding the future course of action.
- You cannot select a set of keywords and get the ranking data for it, but only monitor the number of impressions and clicks from search results.
Google does sweet stuff for you, free of charge! But comes with it, lot of limitations. 🙂
Bonus: Google Analytics (Workaround)
There is no one particular view where you can track search engine positions just like in typical rank tracking tool but considering this tool comes from Google and that it is customizable, there are certain work arounds you can do to achieve it.
Moz has an article on how to make Google Analytics track rankings with a custom script. Warning – It’s not the faint hearted.
Google Analytics or simply, Analytics is the holy grail of the marketing world. Every marketer aspires to master Analytics and its features. Analytics is connected to your website, so you can check various minute parameters, like distribution of traffic from the homepage, the source through which traffic is coming from and which keywords your website is ranking for.
Again, Analytics gives you a super holistic view since, you can link your blog, website, social media, emails and even set-up different goals for the same. However, it does not give insight about competitors. For that, Google Webmasters, also an SEO tool by Google can be referred to.
Why use Google Analytics?
- It is the easiest to access, since it comes along with your company’s google account and it is a free tool;
- Comparison of historical data is easier;
- You can see live data (how many people are on your website, which pages are they currently on, geographical location of users, etc).
Free of charge!
Summing it Up
These are a few SEO tools that can help you in your journey to get your website at the top. However, as mentioned earlier, SEO is dynamic and therefore its trends keep changing. Make sure you know which tools can benefit your website the best and select the right plan.
Let us know if we have missed out on any tool which should feature on this article.