If getting on top of your SEO goals was a resolution of yours this year and you’re looking to invest in the best rank trackers to help you blast past the competition when it comes to SEO, then we have some great tips for you below.
As you will likely already know, there are a tonne of great SEO toolkits out there to make easy work of understanding your traffic metrics and to get your blog, site or store on the right track to being seen by customers.
That being said, it can be hard to find the best rank tracker for SEO if you don’t know where to look, or aren’t sure about all of the options on the market.
Of course, being the best is always subject to your own use case and requirements, which means a lot of SEO rank trackers out there might be the best for one business or agency, though not for another.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a list of the best rank trackers in 2021 and which ones you might want to consider for your SEO workflows this year.
Things We Considered
As mentioned above, a lot goes into a great rank tracker and for a lot of users, there are some pretty specific requirements to get them the ‘best’ tracker out there.
That said, we took a dive into the best rank trackers with a few key features in mind. These included:
- The Ability to Gather On-demand Data
- Information on Historical Rankings
- Features to Geo-check Rankings Based on Location
- Easily Monitoring Rankings on Multiple Devices and Search Platforms
- The Ability to Track Performance Against Rival Sites
- Insights into Visibility Across Keywords
- Metrics on Ranking Distribution
- Simple Ranking Alerts
- Mapping Data on Ranking to Traffic and then Conversions
- Support for Third-party Integration
With all of those points, or features factored into our analysis, we were able to narrow down the tools that did all of these things the best. To help with this, we took into account user reviews, referrals and business mentions of each SEO rank tracker to ensure these platforms did what they were supposed to do — and could work from small to large scale without issue.
All that out of the way, let’s take a look at the best rank tracker for 2021 and why you should consider investing in these tools.
For those looking to get the key points of information and get on your way, we have a summary of all the rank trackers below starting from our favourite.
With any of the trackers below on your side, you’ll be able to easily understand how your traffic is affected by your SEO activities and whether you need to make adjustments, alter your website content or take a new SEO route entirely.
SEMrush came out on top for us, which was to be expected given that it’s one of the most widely used and feature-packed SEO tools out there.
A vast majority of SEM and SEO agencies make use of SEMrush thanks to its seemingly endless data points and metrics on everything from keywords, traffic, competitor advertising campaigns and more.
If you’re looking for the best rank tracker that also comes with a tonne of other essential features, then SEMrush is certainly going to be the top choice for you this year.
If you’re not set on SEMrush or looking for a secondary rank tracking tool, then we have some other suggestions for you.
Consider the following:
- Google Search Console
These are all excellent rank tracker and SEO toolkits that should be considered if you’re looking to improve your grasp on SEO this year.
Neither of these is as well-rounded or features a keyword index as large as SEMrush, though they do all offer their own unique and decently-developed user interfaces.
You’ll have no trouble at all here when it comes to getting a good look at your SEO rankings and finding out some essential information on what needs to change to make sure you’re able to take out that top spot on Google or Bing.
Those mentions out of the way, let’s get into the review of the best rank tracker on our list, SEMrush.
The Best Rank Trackers
When it comes to SEO and rank tracking, it’s imperative to have a toolkit that offers as much information about your visibility on the web as possible.
All of these rank trackers come with brilliant rank-tracking capabilities as well as a tonne of added features that make SEO processes a whole lot simpler to undertake.
SEMrush — Our Winner
The SEMrush platform is one of the worlds most popular SEO tools and is designed to be a comprehensive all-in-one SEO Toolkit that’s been designed especially for marketing professionals.
Although the key selling point for the SEMrush platform has been its ability to provide a tonne of useful insights on rival websites, there is also an incredible ‘Position Tracking’ feature baked into the suite.
You’ll be able to use this tool to keep a close eye on your rank on search engines and rely on all of the information here to be as up to date as possible.
A vast majority of agencies have pointed out that although SEMrush is essentially their own ‘be all end all’ SEO tool, there are some drawbacks.
Given that SEMrush is one of the most feature-packed tools out there, you’re getting a lot of information displayed in a single platform. That said, the user interface is one of the bigger let downs of SEMrush, though it isn’t too much of an issue if you take the extra time needed to learn the ropes.
When it comes to keyword tracking and rank tracking, the best features of SEMrush are:
- Highly Accurate Insights and Ranking Information
- Fantastic Visibility on Keywords
- Insights into Competitor Rankings and SEO Visibility
The SEMrush platform pricing starts from $99 per month with three pricing tiers depending on user requirements.
Ahrefs — Runner-up
If you’ve done any research on SEO tools you’ll know that Ahrefs is steadily climbing towards the perfection that is SEMrush.
The service is also a neat all-in-one toolset for SEO professionals, however, it does have a better user interface than SEMrush and backlink analysis capabilities that make tracking your reach across the web exceedingly easy to do.
You’ll be able to make use of Ahrefs for rank tracking too, of course, and with plenty of added features you’ll be able to make use of keyword analysis tools, content guides and plenty of other essential SEO tools.
One thing a few agencies have mentioned is that although Ahrefs does offer an incredible suite of SEO tools, there are a few minor issues with the accuracy of the data. It’s not too inaccurate to cause concern, in fact, for larger websites the data accuracy matches SEMrush — however on smaller domains, you’ll be out of luck.
That in mind, the keyword rank tracker tools are issue-free and you’re going to be quickly on your way to improved SEO and ranking with Ahrefs.
When it comes to keyword tracking and rank tracking, the best features of Ahrefs are:
- The Well-designed User Interface Makes Data Glanceable and Easy to Understand
- A Tonne of Data Filtering Options — location, device, tags, competitors and more.
- Simple SERP Overviews Built Into the Tracker
Ahrefs pricing also starts from $99 per months and increases based on user requirements and the type of plan tier you’re choosing.
To our final mention, AccuRanker is one of the tools on our list that doesn’t offer an entire suite of SEO tools, but rather confines its service offering to being a simple rank tracker. That in mind, the platform has been able to refine and enhance its capabilities in rank tracking to offer some of the most up-to-date insights out there.
For those looking to get near-instant information and rank data updates, then AccuRanker may be the top choice for you, even if there isn’t a whole lot of other tools baked into the software.
The platform does boast all the same keyword tools as the two services we mentioned above, however, it does beat out both SEMrush and Ahrefs in that you’re getting on-demand ranking metrics here. This means less wait time and the chance to keep the ball rolling when it comes to getting on top of SEO.
When it comes to keyword tracking and rank tracking, the best features of AccuRanker are:
- Instant Keyword Ranking Insights and On-demand Search
- Ranking to Conversions Mapping
- Support for the Google Data Studio
AccuRanker is priced from $99 per month with tier-based pricing based on user requirements or business sizes.
What to Look for in a Rank Tracker
With our look at the top three best rank trackers out of the way, we’ll take a look at what you and your business should look for in a rank tracker.
As you’ll agree, the best rank tracker is going to be one that you find easy and intuitive to use, but also provides a tonne of useful metrics that give you the edge to grow your website traffic and climb web search results.
As we outlined above, a lot of rank trackers do come with a tonne of other tools baked in, though when it comes to rank tracking alone, we have some pointers below to consider.
Off the top, by far the most important thing to keep an eye out for is the accuracy of the metrics and ranking data you’re being given.
If your rank tracker is spitting out data and insights that aren’t accurate or are even a few weeks or months out of date, you could be stuck working on a campaign that has no chance of success. That in mind, it’s always good to take a look at a rank tracker’s clause on data accuracy — or check with other SEO agencies.
It’s also good to note that historical data and ‘old data’ are two different things when it comes to rank tracking. The historical data you’ll want to see is just a day or up to weeks old, rather than being months or more.
All in all, it’s good to find a rank tracker that offers daily updates to all of the data you’re seeing. Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush do have regularly updated data, though AccuRanker is the winner for this metric given that it has an on-demand feature allowing constant updates and always giving users the most recent ranking data.
Ranking Data by Location or Device
Another important metric to be on the lookout for in a rank tracker is the types of data and the level of tracking you’re able to hone into.
Of course, a far-reaching and ‘overall’ look at your ranking data is integral to a successful SEO campaign and to get a look at the market. However, you also want a good look at some niche or detailed insights too.
That in mind, we would suggest keeping watch for a rank tracker that has the ability to narrow down searches and pull detailed information such as data on smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop rankings along with location-based data metrics.
As an example, does your rank tracker allow you to track both mobile or desktop metrics, and choose these metrics based on a location? If it doesn’t, you’re missing out on a rather important dataset.
Those in the industry will know that keywords and ranks will change depending on the device and location of an audience, and without a tracking being able to compare more niche metrics, you’re effectively going in blind.
To end, it’s also a good idea for local businesses to search for a rank tracker that has localised data. That means information on postcodes or addresses, rather than having data limited to large swathes of a state or a country — the closer you can get to your audiences the better.
Multiple Search Engine Support
A feature that goes without saying is support for more than just one search engine or platform. Of course, Google remains by far the largest search platform, however, it’s important to be able to see some data on websites like Bing and YouTube too — especially when it comes to trend-tracking.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of trackers out there will only have support for Google, which is okay if you’re only working with this platform.
However, agencies with clients or partners in other countries like China or Russia, for instance, will need something with support for Baidu and Yandex.
It might also be important for your own website to have a look at international rankings given that you may have an untapped market in these regions and not know about it provided that your current rank tracker doesn’t have the global reach to tell you or not.
That said, a Google-only rank tracker isn’t a major issue, however, with a tool that enables worldwide rank tracking support, you’re going to see more data and be able to adjust content for better SEO.
Access to Historical Ranking Metrics
As we mentioned earlier in our article, historical rankings are also important to have access to.
A few rank trackers do have this option, though not too many.
When it comes to historical data, this is where you’re able to take a look at a specific keyword and get insights into how that keyword has performed over time. This will give you some essential insights into whether there’s a possible trend occurring and if there are annual or bi-annual spikes in this keyword’s use.
As an example, this is a good feature to have if you’re the owner or manager of a website that relies heavily on trending content for web traffic. If you can spot a trend occurring, or know that a specific piece of content will gain popularity at a specific time of year, you can have these content pieces ready beforehand.
On top of this, you’re also able to use this historical data on your rivals. This will give you a look at whether their use of the same keywords as your website offered better or worse results — which you can then work to understand why.
Track Ranking Distributions for Rival Websites
For those times that you need a good look into the ranking distributions of keywords, you’ll need a rank tracker that offers distributions data.
As you’ll know, keyword rankings are always changing and it’s imperative to understand where they’re moving over the course of a week, month or year. When you have ranking distribution data on deck, you’re able to see where these keyword groups land on the search engines.
You’ll be able to see a specific keyword’s location from 1-50 and be able to see whether this ranking or distribution changes over time with relation to competing websites.
In all, this metric is going to let you know whether keywords are falling or rising over time, and whether it’s just your website affected, or if rival sites are dealing with the same issue.
Ability to Tag Keywords and Track Visibility
One of the more niche, yet imperative rank tracker tools is the keyword tagging feature.
If you work in the world of SEO you’ll know that when you’re keeping a close eye on hundreds or thousands of keywords, things can get a little complicated. That in mind, a rank tracker that allows you to easily segment and analyse this data is a good place to start.
These tools will essentially allow you to tag keywords or label them as a category and watch their movements and visibility changes without having to run searches and start again each time.
To explain, when you tag a keyword, you’re able to see how this keyword performs through the entire sales funnel and if your content is filling keyword gaps.
If it isn’t filling these gaps, or not reaching a specific consumer or audience, you’re able to see this front and centre and work on adapting your content to better fill these gaps.
One of the trackers we outlined above, AccuRanker, provides an excellent tracking feature where you’re able to quickly paste notes on keywords, as well as dates and other minor info pieces.
This will let you see where a keyword ranks after you’ve made changes to content, for example.
On the Ahrefs tracker, you’ll be able to see a tonne of different aggregated metrics here for a tag. That said, you’ll be more easily able to tag a keyword and keep a close eye on its ranking or visibility across a segment over a period of time.
To end, these tracking tools and visibility metrics are going to give you just about all the insight you need when it comes to tracking performance over time, and guide you to better adjusting your content.
Tracing Keywords to SERP Features
As Google has increasingly begun to focus on SERP Features for specific keywords, SEO professionals are now working to ensure their keywords have the best chance to gain a SERP feature.
A SERP feature is essentially a visual result on a search engine that gives users their answer paired with some sort of visual layer. Whether it’s an image at the top of the search page, a graph or an info box, this is something you certainly want to have attached to your website’s search results.
In fact, a SERP feature is becoming the best way to drag up your organic traffic as users are more likely to trust websites and results in general which have a SERP feature.
That in mind, a rank tracker that comes with information on keywords with SERP opportunities is one that you can’t skimp out on.
Ask those in the industry and they will let you know that a major spike in traffic and subsequent fall could be, and typically is, the result of gaining and losing a SERP feature on a keyword of yours.
With that out of the way, the best rank trackers in 2021 offer SERP feature information in the form of SERP analysis tools.
These are going to give you plenty of information on a tonne of SERP features or openings in your keywords so you’re able to spot where these are and how best to capitalise on them.
The AccuRanker tool is one of the best for this given that there’s a SERP Feature Analysis tool here which essentially collates all of the SERP information you need into one page. The data is typically so well-organised you can digest it all at one glance and be on your way to understanding the number of SERP features you’ve acquired over time.
Ranking Alert Notifications
When it comes to saving time and remaining on the ball, the ranking alert notifications are going to be another feature you can’t overlook.
A few rank trackers out there allow you to set up an alert schedule that can be emailed to you with a tonne of information on whether you’re losing and gaining SERP features, if your rankings are moving and whether your keyword performance is up or down.
These are ideal tidbits and work to keep you informed on changes without needing you to stay glued to your SEO tools. It’s a time-saver and a great way to only be ‘bothered’ about your SEO processes once or twice a week, or each month.
To end, there are also alert tools out there that can be triggered by specific, rather worrisome events such as your websites or keywords dropping off the top 20 search results entirely.
Third Party Integration Support
Coming toward the end of the essential features of a rank tracker is third-party support for sharing information with clients or stakeholders.
When working with clients on their SEO activities, there’s a good chance you either want to share what you’re working on and what your results are, or they’re already asking you for this type of information.
The best rank trackers will typically have some sort of third-party support for sharing simplified and easy-to-understand SEO reports that go over changes to rankings, integrations of new keywords and other key data.
Our favourite third-party integration for this is the Google Data Studio platform the Agency Analytics software.
These will allow you to move all of your data into a report sheet that can easily be shared to your clients. To add, these tools give you the chance to brand your reports too, so you’re sharing a clean, simple and professional report with your company’s tagline or logo at the top of the sheet.
The Agency Analytics tool is also great when it comes to offering this service as you’ll be able to share the latest information with clients and give them visual summaries and other information that isn’t overly complex, though still gets the point across.
That said, take a quick look at rank tracker which allows third-party tools and you’ll be able to check this report-sharing workflow off your list without issue.
Data on Rank to Traffic and Conversions
Our final thing to look for in the best rank tracker will be the ability to map data from traffic to conversions.
If you’re a marketer, you’re going to want to see this metric at almost all times.
One of the rank trackers on the list, AccuRanker, offers the ability to combine all of your keyword data into Google Analytics data and take a look at the final report. With these two datasets, you’ll be able to determine what type of impact your ranking is having on conversions and whether movements up and down the search results are impacting sales.
With this profit-focused metric you’re going to be able to see which types of keywords offer up the best revenue growth and if there are some workflows that are taking up a lot of your time and not resulting in much revenue growth.
That said, this is one of the more important rank tracker tools to have under your belt as conversion information will assist you in moulding campaigns and SEO activities to focus on more than just ranking, but also profit and revenue growth.
With all of those rank trackers out of the way and some of the most important features to look out for, you’ll be well on the way to getting on top of your SEO goals this year — with as little time spent as possible.
Keep in mind that the best rank tracker is one that you can rely on to offer the most updated data, but one that you also find the most effortless to use.