To many, search rankings are the hallmark of a successful SEO campaign. While ranking well in organic search is not the end-all-be-all to SEO success, it is difficult to argue with the potential benefits (traffic) of ranking on page one of Google, especially in the top three positions or even in a featured snippet.
Of course, it’s still wise to track your rankings and compare them against historical performance. Doing so can help you map out the addition of new blogs and pages to your website, identify which pages on your site could benefit from improved optimization, and guide your link building efforts (both onsite and offsite).
There are a number of ways you can determine how well your website is ranking and most of them don’t include hours of Google searches. Here are a few of our favorite tools:
As the name might suggest, this tool is designed with digital marketing agencies in mind. Scale is paramount and the tool does a whole lot more than just keyword tracking (although it does that very well). You can track a specific location, or the whole United States, and can keep track of Google Search, Google Local, Google Mobile, and Bing Search rankings. Agency Analytics can give you a very accurate representation of how your website is trending for the keywords you select to track.
Pricing starts as low as $49 and goes all the way up to $499 (or more for custom agency accounts) depending upon how many campaigns (or domains) you’re tracking.
Have you ever wanted to track keywords by device? SEMrush offers the ability to track devices including desktop, tablet, and smartphone—this can provide data to aid in adjusting strategy accordingly. In addition to just rank tracking, another feature we find helpful is the Estimated Traffic feature. SEMrush will calculate your traffic volume from organic search based on your search page positioning (pictured above).
Moz Pro Rank Tracker
Ever have the need to check current rankings for a handful of keywords? The Moz Pro Rank Tracker is a great option, especially if you already have access to a current Moz Pro subscription. Moz provides the option to track keywords over time, or just a one-time ranking check. There are also options for checking rankings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo (if that’s your thing).
If you want to take it a step further, you can make use of the on-page grading tool (pictured above). This tool provides additional info on what can be improved on the page for the selected keyword. Keep in mind that search engines are more complex than a grade from Moz, so take the grade with a grain of salt and simply use it as a guide.
Google Search Console
Although not technically a rank tracking tool, the Search Analytics dashboard in Google’s Search Console is a great way to find keywords you rank for, but may not be tracking with an actual rank tracking tool. Keep in mind that Search Console reports the “average position.” This means that if you had a website result in the 10th spot, and another result in the 30th spot, your average ranking would be 20th. This is valuable to know, because you could be on the 1st page for a keyword, but you may not know that because of the average position. Also, we recommend adding a filter (as pictured to the right) to filter out “queries not containing” your brand name. Branded keywords can be a large portion of the data since search and click volumes can be higher than normal competitive keywords—so it can be helpful to review data without branded keywords. Oh, and did I mention Search Console is free? We highly recommend verifying your website on Search Console if you haven’t already.