For website owners, search ranking results are everything. You need to know whether your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are working and where and how to adjust your keyword emphasis on the fly.
When you want to measure your search engine result pages (SERPs), the best rank tracking tools provide this information. These tools show you the progress you are making over time, while also giving you real-time information.
The Top 6 Best Rank Tracking Tools
- Semrush – Best overall
- SE Ranking – Best for real-time tracking of keywords
- Ahrefs – Best for tracking backlinks
- SERPWatcher by Mangools – Best for daily rank tracking updates
- Wincher – Best for rank tracking on a budget
- Serpstat – Best for SEO campaigns
Finding just the right rank tracking software to use with your website can be a challenge. We will break down the most important aspects of each of these tools, helping you find the software that delivers the features you need.
#1 – Semrush – Best Overall
- Customizable historical site rankings
- Tracks performance in special categories
- Monitors your competitors’ sites
- Delivers alerts after ranking changes
Semrush delivers a wide range of features for keeping an eye on your site’s SEO results.
You’ll receive a historical ranking of your site’s keywords over time, helping you track your progress. You can group these rankings to show which keywords are giving you a top three, a top 10, or a top 100 ranking.
Should any of your pages rank in areas outside of general search, such as in featured snippets, Semrush will highlight these results.
For those who need to go beyond the most common features found with rank tracking software, Semrush delivers. You can receive help with:
- Researching additional keywords for your site
- Seeking high-quality backlink opportunities
- Analyzing your competitors
- Auditing your webpages for SEO performance
- Receiving suggestions for content creation
- Helping with your overall digital marketing campaign
- Tracking your social media performance
Should any of your site rankings shift upward or downward in a significant manner, Semrush will send you alerts. You then can determine whether you want to make changes to your content.
When you want to track the performance of your competitors, you can add up to 10 sites to track.
Semrush offers multiple pricing tiers ranging from about $100 per month to $375 per month when you subscribe annually. Your price depends on the number of keywords you are tracking. You can try Semrush for free.
#2 – SE Ranking – Best for Real-Time Tracking of Keywords
- Tracks your rankings constantly
- Monitors your competitors’ results
- Studies projected search volumes
- Estimates SEO campaign successes
SE Ranking has some similarities to Semrush. It provides a wide range of features that can help you zero in on the specific areas where your site’s SEO strategy needs tweaking.
For those who have websites that focus on the latest trends, the real-time tracking data in SE Ranking is invaluable. Use SE Ranking’s Keyword Rank Tracker feature to see exactly where your site stands at any time.
You not only can see the positioning of your site for various keywords, but you also can learn more about upcoming trends. SE Ranking will attempt to determine the way that your keywords will perform in the near future, based on trends that it measures.
When you want to see how your site stacks up against your primary competitors, SE Ranking delivers. You can easily study your competitors’ use of organic keywords and paid advertising.
SE Ranking also offers an excellent keyword research tool that helps you measure the search volume for various keywords. This can help you determine the best path forward for your SEO campaigns.
For daily, real-time tracking, you will pay anywhere from $39.20 to $191.20 per month for an annual subscription. Your cost will depend on the number of keywords you want to track. A free trial period is available.
#3 – Ahrefs – Best for Tracking Backlinks
- Uses advanced keyword analytics
- Audits the strength of backlinks
- Relies on visual data charts
- Tracks your competitors’ sites
When your large organization needs to track metrics for a significant number of pages on your site, Ahrefs has the tools you need. It relies on the general processes you’d expect to find in rank tracking tools, including:
- Keyword rankings and analytics
- How your site ranks against competitors for certain keywords
- Statistics for mobile and desktop visitors to your site
However, one of Ahrefs’ best features is its ability to track your site’s backlinks. This allows you to keep an eye on your backlinks, ensuring they are not from sites known for generating spam.
Ahrefs will also audit your site, looking for areas that you could strengthen. It will give you alerts any time your rankings undergo a significant change upward or downward.
You can see all the data in easily decipherable charts, which some people prefer over a list of numbers.
Ahrefs’ pricing tiers for an annual subscription are available between $83 and $833 per month. By subscribing annually, you receive two months for free. You also may have some add-on costs for extra features. Ahrefs does not offer free trials, but users can request a limited access demonstration account.
#4 – SERPWatcher by Mangools – Best for Daily Rank Tracking Updates
- Receive daily rankings by email
- Get up and running in minutes
- Extra tools for online marketing
- Tracking of visitor originations
SERPWatcher is a strong rank tracking tool for those who need to stay up to date on the performance of a website on a daily basis. You will receive an email message with your daily updates, ensuring you always have the latest information available.
When you want to be up and running quickly with your tracking tool, SERPWatcher makes it easy to start tracking the basics within a minute or two. Once you have the basics down, you then can explore some of the more advanced features.
You can drill down through your tracking results to determine which visitors reach your site through a mobile or desktop connection. You also can track the results based on the user’s location.
Mangools offers a range of tools designed to help you with online marketing and site optimization. If you like using SERPWatcher, you can explore some of the other Mangools’ features (for an additional cost).
You can subscribe to SERPWatcher by Mangools on an annual basis for the best price. The pricing tiers run from $29.90 to $79.90 per month for the annual subscription. A 10-day free trial period is available.
#5 – Wincher – Best for Rank Tracking on a Budget
- Setup process is very easy
- Multiple users for one price
- Helps with tracking WordPress pages
- Tracks your competitors’ results
Small companies that need the benefits of rank tracking software for a low price will appreciate Wincher. It allows you to have multiple people on the account, saving you money over tracking tools that charge for extra users.
Beyond its low price, Wincher is great for small companies that need an easy-to-use tool. It has a simple interface that’s ideal for receiving the answers you want quickly.
It gives you the basic rank tracking features that you need to optimize your site. You do not have to spend a lot of time setting up your Wincher account, leaving you more time to work on your site.
It will track the results of your competitors, giving you ideas for making changes to your site to improve your performance.
Should you use WordPress for your website, Wincher simplifies the ability to track keywords on each individual page and post.
With Wincher, you receive a discount when subscribing annually. Pricing tiers range from $24 to $199 per month, depending on the number of keywords you are tracking. You can test Wincher through a 14-day free trial period.
#6 – Serpstat – Best for SEO Campaigns
- A full-fledged SEO tool
- Helps with tracking backlinks
- Tracks seasonal keyword performance
- Friendly, visually pleasing dashboard
If you need help with every aspect of SEO, including your site’s rank tracking, Serpstat is a powerful all-in-one SEO tool.
Serpstat will start by analyzing your entire site, finding situations where improvements could benefit you. At the same time, it will analyze your competitors, seeking areas where you are trailing.
Serpstat also helps you with tracking and qualifying your site’s backlinks. It presents all the information in an easy-to-understand visual dashboard that you can adjust as needed.
If you are primarily looking for rank tracking features, Serpstat has plenty of features for you here as well. You can track your rankings anywhere from daily to monthly.
It will help you perform keyword research, while also ranking your site for various keywords. Should your site focus on keywords that have some seasonality to them, Serpstat can take this into consideration when giving you historical information about your rankings, giving you a clearer picture.
With Serpstat, you can subscribe annually or monthly. When subscribing annually, you’ll have pricing tiers between $48 and $349 per month. Some other features have an add-on cost. Serpstat also offers a custom pricing tier for large enterprises.
How to Find the Best Rank Tracking Tools for You
Rank tracking tools don’t all work in the same way. Some of these tools emphasize certain criteria over others.
When seeking a rank tracking tool that will fit the way your website operates, it’s important to understand the criteria involved. Find a tool that delivers the information you want at the level of depth that you require.
Historical Keyword Rankings
Although it can be easy to use these tools to obsess over trying to be the top-ranked site, this is not typically beneficial. If you don’t immediately jump to number one after launching a campaign, it doesn’t mean your campaign is failing.
Instead, you want to be certain that your SEO campaigns are clearly and steadily moving toward the intended results.
The best rank tracking tools will measure your progress over time. If your rankings are slowly improving, and if you are seeing increases in your organic traffic, you are having success.
Through this data, you can be certain which of your actions related to SEO are giving you the best results. You then can emphasize those actions at a greater level going forward across your entire site.
These tools will display historical charts about your keyword rankings. You should be able to specify the period of time you want to study in the tool.
Additionally, if your keywords suffer a sudden rank drop, the ranking tool should give you an alert. This could indicate that you need to make a slight adjustment to your keyword emphasis.
Detailed Tracking Information
You can gain valuable insight from your rank tracking tool about the types of devices with which your ranking results are strong.
Your tool should be able to break down your organic traffic based on whether the visitor was using a desktop computer or a mobile device. If your traffic is primarily from mobile users, it may tell you that your site visitors are younger. Perhaps it means they are searching for your site while traveling, such as looking for the best hardware store or restaurant nearby.
You also should be able to see which search engine generated the visit. Your website may generate more organic traffic from Bing than from Google, for example. This tells you that you need to adjust your SEO work to try to improve results on Google.
As an added benefit, some tools will help you track your position in special categories. For example, with a Google search, it can be extremely helpful to receive positioning as a featured snippet or in the “people also ask” section. Your ranking tool should alert you when your site becomes part of these areas and when you lose this desirable positioning.
Some tools will also notify and track when your site ranks among sections where visitors are searching specifically for images, videos, and/or shopping options. These sections rank differently than with general searches, but it still can be beneficial to rank highly in these areas.
Understand Search Volumes
You may be considering starting a new SEO campaign around a topic your site does not cover currently. Your rank tracking tool should be able to provide keyword search and volume estimates for this topic.
You may find that the search volume is so low for a particular topic that launching a new SEO campaign is not a good use of your time.
If the ranking tool gives you historical data regarding search volumes, though, you may see a trend for a particular topic. If the topic’s search volumes are relatively low now, but they are increasing steadily, you may be able to jump on board now. This could give you a leg up over your competitors.
Having this kind of information can help you determine the next steps to follow in your SEO campaigns.
Monitor Your Competitors
The majority of the top rank tracking tools will provide detailed information about your website’s performance. Additionally, though, they will give you insight into how your competitors are performing in SERPs.
You can use this information to determine which keyword categories need improvement on your site.
Perhaps your competitor is trying to enter a related area of the market that you did not consider previously. But your competitor may be struggling to gain traction in this area.
With the help of your rank tracking tool, you can determine which keywords will give you success in this area. After launching a new SEO campaign around your idea, you may find a significant increase in your organic traffic, as you responded well to your competitor’s original idea.
The Top Rank Tracking Tools in Summary
To newcomers in the world of search rankings and SEO, the process can seem impossible to decipher. However, the more information you have at your fingertips when making decisions, the better.
The best rank tracking tools are a key source of this information, helping you figure out the correct steps to take now and going forward. Rather than having a haphazard approach to your keyword usage, your tracking tool will keep your campaigns focused and moving upward.