Rankings offer invaluable insights for SEOs. After all, you want to monitor the progress of your work and adjust your strategy accordingly.
But with the large number of rank trackers available, picking the one that works best for your organization can be challenging. After all, your ranking data is at the core of everything you do in SEO. That’s why selecting the right rank tracking tool is so important. You need accurate, on-time, reliable ranking data with the utmost quality. You never want to question the data you have, so we compiled a list of the best keyword ranking tools in the marketplace.
Why did we decide to put together this list? Because, we think an informed buyer is the best kind of customer.
There are different ways you can approach buying a keyword ranking tool: there are companies that offer solely keyword or position tracking, there are those that have multipurpose SEO tools with keyword rank tracking being one of them, and there are enterprise SEO platforms that offer, well, everything for the entire SEO life-cycle.
You should know the key factors to evaluate in keyword ranking tools – we’re here to help you find out what will be the best investment to meet your company’s and team’s goals.
But first, let’s start at the beginning…
What is a Keyword Rank?
A keyword rank (or keyword position) is where a search result appears on the search engine results page (SERP). Paid listings and other search features like an answer box appear at the top of the page (if applicable to the search query) followed by the organic listings.
We all know the Google results page – and we all know that no one clicks on a result from page two. That’s why you want to optimize your content to gain visibility within the search engine. You’re putting in the work, and you deserve to have the online visibility (which of course helps increase CTR).
But as an SEO, you know there is an enormous amount of data to deal with. There are so many keywords to track, and so many keyword ranking positions that it can be hard to make sense of it all and find value and derive the insights.
With the SERP constantly changing and you constantly creating new content, it begs the question: how do you keep track of keyword rankings?
Enter keyword rank tracking tool.
What is a Keyword Rank Tracking Tool?
A keyword rank tracker is a tool that allows you to track your website’s rankings for target keywords in Google’s top 100 organic results. The data shows you how your optimization efforts improve your keyword ranking progress in the organic search results over time. A rank tracker can also provide insights on your website results for target keywords in paid search.
Sure, you can manually track keyword rank position with search queries on Google, then record the results, input the data into Excel, and finally do the analysis. All of which is not scalable and wastes precious time – or you can invest in a rank tracker so you can actually execute strategy instead of trying to form it in the first place. Tracking keyword rankings doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Using the right rank tracker is crucial to boost your insights and strategy. Your keyword rank tracker needs to offer quality information that you can trust. And not only that, the data should be updated frequently – most rank trackers offer weekly, every three days, or daily updates to present you with the most current insights possible. Scalability is also an important factor to look out for. You need to have a tracking tool that is capable of properly tracking potentially thousands of keywords – those that are relevant to your specific industry.
All of these factors (quality, freshness, scalability, and relevancy) should be considered before you choose a keyword rank tracking tool. After all, you’re using the data to make important strategic decisions for your company.
Recommended Reading: Business 2 Community: The 15 Best Tools For Local Rank Tracking
There are three main types of rank tracking tools:
- Web Browser Plug-Ins
According to Search Engine Journal, SEOBook’s Firefox Rank Checker Extension is the only browser plug-in that exists, so we won’t go into too much detail. But essentially, it’s a tool that lives directly on your browser.
- Desktop Applications
These tools are downloaded onto your computer, and there are options out there, but for the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on…
- Web-Based SaaS Platforms
Web-based SaaS (software as a service) solutions eliminate the need for downloading large applications on your computer – instead they are accessed through the internet. They typically run on a month-to-month subscription, with varying price amounts and capabilities.
The market is full of different SaaS solutions for rank tracking, but for the most part, as previously mentioned, they can be categorized into three subsections: those that are just keyword rank trackers, those that are multipurpose SEO tools that include rank tracking as a tool, and enterprise SEO platforms.
Solely Rank Tracking Tools
- Authority Labs
- AWR: Advanced Web Ranking
Multipurpose SEO Tools
- Dragon Metrics
- Moz Pro
Note: We do not list all features and capabilities of the following companies’ rank tracking tools, only what we thought to be most important. A full list of features can be found on each company’s respective website.
Solely Rank Tracking
The following are only used for rank tracking – some of which cost as little as $99 per month. Don't get caught up too much in the starting price. Rank tracking pricing can vary a lot depending on the frequency, number of keyword queries, number of domains, and the analysis functionality that is included in the tool. Be aware, how you accelerate SEO matters, and these tools are limited when it comes to scalability and reliability especially when tracking thousands of keywords with accuracy especially considering the variation and volatility of changes in Google's SERP.
Track 250 keywords for $49 per month, or move up to 5,000+ for $450 per month. Daily data is available for all plans, and can work for Google, Bing, or Yahoo!. Authority Labs is white label (depending on the plan) so you can put any company logo on the dashboards.
If your organization has multiple people that need direct access to the information, Authority Labs grants you unlimited users – everyone receives their own log-in information. You’re also able to recover “term not provided” – a pesky road bump by Google that disrupts data accuracy.
A free trial is also available.
Created in 2002, AWR is the longest-standing rank tracker. It’s tailored to agencies and in-house SEOs.
Service ranges in price from $49 per month – which includes 2,000 keywords updated weekly (286 updated daily) – to $499 per month. AWR is capable of giving you localized rankings with great accuracy.
It can be used on a variety of browsers, including Google, Yandex, Baidu, etc., on desktop and mobile. Their whitelabel feature is also available for free on all subscriptions. See if it’s the right fit for your organization with their free trial.
Use STAT to start tracking the SERP starting at $720 per month.
STAT allows for daily tracking on Google and Bing. On Google, it includes data for features like maps, images, CPC, news, etc. You can also look at comprehensive SERP archives and segment out the data.
You can also benefit from one-on-one training with a client success coach.
Note: Moz acquired STAT in 2018.
Multipurpose SEO Tools
A lot goes into SEO. The following companies offer more than just rank tracking, which gives you a more comprehensive understanding of data.
Recommended Reading: What Are the Best Site Audit and Crawler Tools?
Ahrefs begins at $99 per month. For this, you can track 500 keywords that are updated weekly. Need more? You can track up to 10,000 that are updated every three days for $999 per month.
Ahrefs allows you to track Google rankings on desktop and mobile, because as we’ve seen, the SERP does vary between devices (and other factors as well). You can also map out the data of up to five competitors. And, Ahrefs gives you access to data on a total of 13 different SERP features, including featured snippets, image pack, knowledge panels, etc.
Pricing begins at $99 per month for 1,000 keywords and 30 competitors, and goes up to $999 per month for 10,000 keywords and 2,000 competitors.
Dragon Metrics allows you to track more than 25+ SERP features and integrate with Google Analytics and Search Console. You’re able to check website rank on 10 search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) on both desktop and mobile at a local or global look.
A free trial is available.
$600 per month gets you access to the Starter Package, which comes with 10,000 “rank tracking credits.” You can move up to their Enterprise Package, but note that no price information is available for this level.
Linkdex gives you ranking data as well as search volume, CPC, and estimated traffic per keyword. Filter information by device or location (e.g. postal code) and see when keyword cannibalization is happening. A free trial is available on their website.
Moz Pro allows you to track rankings across four search engines: Google (US and International), Google Mobile, Yahoo!, and Bing. You can track 300 keywords a month for $99 per month, with the ability to track up to 4,500 for $599 per month. In addition to tracking and crawling, these price packages have different capabilities for research, reporting, and access.
Moz Pro also comes with on-page optimization, link research, custom reports, etc. They also offer one-on-one onboarding and 24-hour online support. Free trial available.
The SEMrush Pro package begins at $99.95 per month and is tailored to freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers. This package gives you 500 keywords to track. Move up to the Business package at $399.95 for 5,000 keywords. An Enterprise level is available upon request.
SEMrush’s position tracking allows you to monitor your Google rankings for both desktop and mobile. Tracking is daily, and is for domain, subdomain, folder, or URL for the keywords you track. Data can be filtered by any of 16 SERP features. Competitor analysis is also available, all with the ability to then create reports of this information to share internally and with clients. Free trial available.
Recommended Reading: What Are the Best Keyword Research Tools?
Enterprise SEO Platforms
Enterprise solutions are built for enterprise companies that need insights into all things SEO.
From content creation to rank tracking, strategy to execution, SEO platforms integrate all data into one holistic picture, giving you a single source of truth.
Because enterprise SEOs deal with so much data and information, they need to be mindful when selecting the platform that will house their rank tracking tool.
BrightEdge offers keyword performance by desktop, smartphone, or tablet, as well as by geographical relevance. You’re able to see trend graphs, measure the competition, and see insights into the SERP layout.
Focus on which keywords have high search volume to set your priorities. BrightEdge’s keyword reporting also shows you which URL would be best suited to be the preferred landing page. Visualizations also show you how things like search intent have changed over time.
Note: BrightEdge does not mention pricing on their website.
Conductor‘s rank tracking features are related to the others we’ve discussed so far: daily ranking keyword technology, competitor insights, SERP features analysis and the ability to filter by location, device, and search engine.
By performing advanced SEO tasks like rank tracking, Conductor gives its clients insights that inform strategic digital services like performance measurement.
Note: Conductor does not mention pricing on their website.
With Searchmetrics’ Global SEO, you’re able to evaluate SEO factors (like rankings) for more than 130 countries. The country selected impacts which search engines you can receive insights for – potential search engines include Google, Bing, Baidu, and others.
You can get current rankings on-demand, five times per week.
As a part of their Mobile SEO capabilities, Searchmetrics now has App Rankings – their App Pack lets you track the search performance of iOS and Android mobile apps.
Additionally, Searchmetrics' Mobile SEO allows you to narrow in on mobile rankings at the city level. Their Local SEO also shows results for 485 city-search-engine-combinations.
A free trial option is available on their website.
seoClarity has fresh rankings for full SERP visibility. With unlimited tracking (including unlimited competitors), find out how your content is performing globally and locally – and at a granular level. Dive into insights at the page- or folder-level, or use keyword tags to segment out your data.
With Rank Intelligence, you can also view the universal ranking types that appear for your managed keywords. There are more things you can track besides standard search engines – YouTube, Amazon, Google Maps, Google Images, and Google Jobs tracking are all available. You can also integrate Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adobe, and most custom analytics.
Since the SERP is constantly growing and changing and adding new schema, you are now able to see visual rankings on the SERP based on pixel depth.
With seoClarity, you can also capitalize on the explosive growth of local search. Optimize your site for location-based searches and location-intent keywords to win local search visibility – see your results at the country, state, city, or zip code level.
Our platform, for all inclusive capabilities, starts at $3,000 per month, however, when comparing rank tracking pricing, seoClarity's keyword rank check cost is competitive. With a minimum 6,000 keywords tracked per month, seoClarity includes daily rankings with API and/or data extracts, dashboards for reporting, and interactive analysis to slice, dice, and analyze your ranking performance.
Just keep in mind that specialized tools and enterprise platforms are fundamentally different in their abilities, and in SEO, you get what you put in.
Rank tracking tools automate the process so you can spend your time in action, not researching and sifting through data. We can’t tell you which keyword rank tracking tool is the best. As you’ve seen, different tools have different price points, capabilities, etc. But we hope we've offered you a highlight of what each tool is capable of and which would be best suited for your organization.
If you’re considering an enterprise SEO platform, remember that they bring everything under one roof, so it’s important to consider their other features as well. And of course, there are many other rank tracking tools out there, these are simply what we believe are the best to get the job done.
Recommended Reading: Top 10 Free SEO Tools and Why You Should Use Them