Do you know if your SEO efforts are really paying off?
Researching keywords and optimizing your on and off-page ranking factors are only one piece of the SEO puzzle.
If you’re serious about getting more search engine traffic, you need a reliable way to measure your results. Without knowing whether your work is paying off, your time invested in trying to rank for specific keywords is wasted.
A truly comprehensive and effective SEO strategy can benefit greatly from keeping track of your keyword rankings – and for that, you need access to the right tools.
Check out our favorite tools below.
Downloadable software vs. online rank tracking tools
The list below includes only online services that track your keyword rankings. Why?
Desktop software does hold some advantages. For one, they can be better for working with a large numbers of keywords. Online tools sometimes limit the number of keywords you can track, or charge much higher pricing for large volumes.
On the other hand, updating the data for a large number of keywords from your home computer can easily get your IP address banned from the search engines, which necessitates the use of proxies.
If you need something more straightforward and easy to set up and share with a team or with your clients, online tools might just be the answer.
Best online keyword rank tracking tools
SEOprofiler is a full-featured suite of web-based SEO tools that include keyword rank tracking as well as page auditing, competitive intelligence tools, and backlink tools.
The keyword rank tracking tool keeps tabs on your website’s rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can enter the keywords you want to track, and you also get keyword suggestions. There are tools for prioritizing which keywords to target, including a difficulty analyzer and an optimization tool for Google AdWords.
Its competitive analysis tools also track your competitors’ rankings in comparison with your own, as well as their ad strategies and backlinks.
SEOprofiler also integrates with Google Analytics and social media networks, and has plenty of advanced reporting features. For the price, it’s a great value.
Pricing: Starting at $49.95 per month
SEMrush is well-known for their competitor research tools, but they have a lot more to offer. Their position tracking feature allows you to track any domain or keyword, discover competitors for your rankings, and even organize your keywords by grouping them together with tags.
Data from Google is updated daily, giving you an up-to-date picture of how your rankings in paid and organic search are changing over time.
You can also keep track of your competitors’ rankings side by side with your own.
For local businesses, you can also keep track of location-specific rankings. Plus, sites that have audiences in different countries or that speak different languages can create multilingual tracking campaigns.
SEMrush is a powerful suite of tools packed with a ton of features. In addition to keyword rank tracking, you get all kinds of analytics reports on paid and organic search, advertising, backlinks, and more, plus a keyword difficulty analysis tool, social media analysis tools, and auditing features.
Pricing: Starting at $69.95 per month
3. SE Ranking
SE Ranking may not be packed with as many features as other tools on this list, but if all you’re looking for is a simple, easy-to-use tool for tracking keyword ranks, it’s a very cost-effective choice.
The intuitive dashboard shows you at a glance your day-by-day changes in Google, Yahoo, Bing keyword ranks for you and your competitors. The fully-automated tracker is updated daily with fresh data, and you can always manually update to find out your real-time results.
Keyword rankings can be tracked for your domain, subdomains, and individual pages. You can also track your rankings on social networks including Facebook and YouTube.
There’s also an app available for Android or iOS so you can check your rankings anytime, anywhere.
Another useful feature for agencies or freelancers is SE Ranking White Label, which allows you to customize URLs for clients and add your own logo and branding.
Pricing: Starting at $9 per month
4. Advanced Web Ranking
Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) offers both desktop software and a cloud-based tool for tracking your rankings. You can track an unlimited number of websites, campaigns, and competitors.
With AWR, you can choose to either schedule automatic updates of your keyword ranks, or you can refresh the data automatically at any time. They also offer location-based tracking for local businesses, and support Latin, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, Chinese or Korean keywords with special characters.
One of the cool features of AWR is its features for teams. You can assign users specific permissions, so they can edit data or just visualize and run reports. There’s also white-label reporting available.
Pricing: Starting at $49 per month
RankWatch offers not only a rank tracker, but a whole suite of online marketing tools.
The rank tracking tool includes data from a whopping 177 search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. The tracker displays your current rank, plus your highest rank and initial rank, and can be location-based. It also provides suggestions for valuable new keywords for you to target.
RankWatch also includes an SEO site audit, hidden keyword opportunity identification, competitor locator and analysis, and backlinks report.
An interesting feature is the email alerts: You can create a customized alert to be notified automatically of specific changes in your rankings.
Pricing: Starting at $29 per month
6. Authority Labs
Authority Labs specializes in keyword rank tracking reports.
You get daily updated keyword rank data from Yahoo, Bing, and Google, including localized results, and you can also track your competitor’s rankings as well.
And with their unique Now Provided tool, they claim to recover all those pesky [not provided] search terms.
For agencies, you also get unlimited users, so you can setup login credentials for any number of team members and clients. Plus, there’s a 100% white label feature.
Pricing: Starting at $49 per month
For local businesses interested in city-specific keyword rankings, WhiteSpark offers a simple Local Rank Tracker that’s a great bargain.
The service tracks Google and Bing local search results, including your maps and organic search ranking results, so you can understand how your customers are finding you and which keywords your competitors are outranking you with.
Local results are geolocated for accuracy, allowing you to track keywords without location modifiers – so, for example, you can track “pizza” instead of “chicago pizza,” and still get the same results someone in Chicago sitting at their own computer would get.
Pricing: Starting at $5 per month for 10 location keywords
For those who need much more than a simple tracker, Moz has all you’ll ever need when it comes to SEO tools. They offer a huge suite of products including Moz Analytics, On-Page Grader, Keyword Difficulty, and Crawl Test tools.
Their rank tracking tool allows you to track selected keywords on Google, Bing, and Yahoo over time, and includes customizable email notifications.
You can also compare your rankings to your competitors’, and filter data by keyword labels, rank, search engines, and more.
A deep competitor analysis allows you to look into how Domain Authority, link metrics, anchor text, and title tags affect rankings, all from your Moz dashboard.
Pricing: Starting at $99/month, or $84/year for local only
How do you track your rankings?
Do you know your exact rankings for the keywords you’re targeting? How are you keeping track? Share your favorite tools in the comments.