If you plan on getting visitors to your website via search engines, then keeping track of where your content is ranking can help you determine if your promotional efforts are paying off or not.
Whether you are experimenting with on-site search engine optimization, content marketing, or social promotion and outreach, if you aren’t measuring the rank of your website in the search engines, then it will be hard to know what is working and what isn’t.
In this article we will look at a selection of the best options available for monitoring the visibility of websites in search engines. These options range from free basic online services, to a rank checking WordPress plugin, right through to a premium suite of online tools for monitoring the health of your website and those of your clients and competitors.
If you want to know where your content is ranking for the keywords and search terms you are writing about, then these tools can tell you all you need to know.
SerpLab is a free online service for finding out where your website is ranked in the search engines for the keywords and search terms you are focusing on.
You don’t need to register an account to use the basic service and you can simply provide the address of the website you want to research, and then add up to 10 keywords.
The results are then displayed on the same page, giving you the rank for each keyword, making this a very quick and easy solution. You can also view the top 10 results for each keyword to get a better understanding of the competition.
This is all very basic but it does allow you to almost instantly check the rank of a website for a selection of keywords, all without the need to create an account and hand over any personal details.
However, if you want more functionality, you can register for a free account and then start monitoring a set of keywords to track their movement over time. Once you have created an account you can return to the site, login, and then see the latest ranking information for your website, as well as any of your competitors that you wish to monitor for the keywords you have saved.
Notable Features include:
- Quick check without creating an account
- Create and save multiple projects with a free account
- Keywords checked every eight hours
- Enable alerts for certain conditions
- Compare the rank of multiple websites for the same keywords
As a free option, SerpLap is a useful tool to have access to. It’s a little less polished than some of the premium options but it does the job for those on a budget.
SerpBook is another hosted service for tracking the rank of your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the search terms of your choice. It’s one of the most affordable premium services of its type, with prices starting from just $4.95 a month.
SerpBook is also very easy to use and once you’ve added your keywords you can simply login to your account to get an instant overview of where your site is listed in the search engines.
The service automatically updates at set intervals to give you a clear picture of the visibility of your website for the search terms of you aiming to rank for. While the dashboard quickly informs you of recent changes for each keyword, you can also view a graph depicting the movements in the SERPs for individual keywords, over set periods of time.
When it comes to adding domains and keyword combinations to track, it’s as easy as entering the website domain or exact URL you want to track, and then one or more keywords you want to monitor.
You can also set the Google region, and change the tracking location to allow you to monitor the local results as a user based in a certain location would experience them.
As the keyword and domain combinations are by default stored together in your account, you can better organize them by using categories.
Once you’ve added one or more keywords that you want to track the position of, you will almost instantly be able to see its position in Google’s listings, providing the domain or URL is in the top 300 positions.
Notable Features of SerpBook:
- Google rank updates bi-hourly
- Bing and Yahoo rank updates daily
- Track the top 300 positions in Google
- Track Google Maps and YouTube videos
- Track number of backlinks and Google PageRank
- Support for every local version of Google
- Share links to your reports
- Schedule report to be sent via email
- Create white label PDF and Excel reports
- Export data and charts in Excel and PDF format
- Custom email alerts
- Link with your Google Analytics account
When it comes to pricing, SerpBook offers a no credit card required 14-day free trial that should give you enough time to decide if this service is for you. If you do decide SerpBook is the best option for tracking the rank of your website in the search engines, you can get started on the Lite+ plan for just $4.95 a month. This option allows you to track up to 25 keyword and domain combinations.
If you want a very easy to use service that you can set and forget, then SerpBook is a great value hosted option.
If you’d like to keep your ranking tools in-house, then the premium WordPress Rankie plugin is a one option to consider. Instead of using a hosted service, by installing this plugin on your site you can begin monitoring the rankings of multiple websites for the keywords of your choice.
As you can monitor the position of a website other than the site the plugin is installed on, you can avoid placing a burden on the resources available to your main website, and instead install WP Rankie on a WordPress site created specifically for hosting this plugin.
Once you’ve entered the address of a site and one or more keywords you want to monitor, the position of that website will be checked at regular intervals.
As well as getting a quick overview of the current rank for each keyword on the plugin dashboard, clicking on the individual keywords displays a rank chart and rank report. This allows you to see how the rank of the website for that keyword has changed over time.
You can also generate reports for the websites you are monitoring. The reports include:
- Which keywords went up or down in the period
- Position summary
- A list of all current rankings
- Line graphs and pie charts depicting movement and distribution of rankings
The reports can then be exported as a PDF document. However they are pretty basic and not the most impressive to look at.
In addition to keyword tracking, Rankie includes a basic keyword suggestion tool which can generate keywords based on an initial entry.
The plugin also gives you easy access to its activity log so you can see when the reports were last updated and what actions were performed.
Notable Features of Rankie:
- Track unlimited domain and keyword combinations
- Monitor from within your WordPress website
- Receive daily email ranking reports
- Generate reports for each site and export as a PDF
- Rank distribution charts
- Keyword movement graphs
- Monitor multiple sites from one WordPress dashboard
- Basic keyword suggestion tool
If you don’t mind managing your keyword reporting solution yourself, then Rankie is one way to do so while replacing a monthly subscription for a one-time fee. It’s a little rough around the edges in some places. However, it’s a cost effective solution if you want a tool to monitor multiple websites and keywords that is under your control.
If you are looking for something more powerful and feature packed than the previous options, Advanced Web Ranking is a service that does a lot more than just checking the position of a selection of keywords in the search engines.
Advanced Web Ranking is a service more aimed at SEO professionals and site owners who want access to a range of reports and data relating to the visibility of their websites and those of their competitors.
The service comes in two variations: cloud and desktop. While the desktop software is the more affordable option, available for a one-time fee, you are required to update the reports manually, or at least handle the scheduling yourself.
The web based cloud offering, on the other hand, is available on four monthly subscription plans. However, the service is much more hands off than its desktop counterpart, with updates taking place automatically in the cloud. The reports are also available from anywhere with an internet connection.
With the ability to carry out an SEO audit, as well as social media monitoring alongside the rank tracking features, Advanced Web Ranking is aimed at both website owners and those carrying out search engine optimization work, whether as an individual or agency.
Notable Features of Advanced Web Ranking Cloud:
- Intuitive dashboard and detailed reports
- Results from 50+ countries, with custom Google locations
- Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools integration
- Monitor competitor websites and compare sites side-by-side
- Track keywords with special characters
- Connect to and monitor Twitter and Facebook pages
- On demand and scheduled updates
- Monitoring of Google algorithm updates
- Mobile responsive interface
- White label reporting for clients
- Share access to reports with client accounts
While Advanced Web Ranking has more features than the other options covered here, this does come at a price. With the entry level plan available for $49 a month, and the ability to track 2,000 keywords, this option won’t be for everyone.
If you don’t mind paying more for a slicker interface and a lot more features, then Advanced Web Ranking should be on your shortlist. If you’d like to try Advanced Web Ranking, the cloud service is available on a 30 day free trial.
By using one of these tools or services you will be able to keep an eye on where your content is ranked, allowing to measure what effect your attempts to improve the visibility of your website are having.
These services can also allow you to instantly see when your content is starting to lose its position in the search engine results, giving you an opportunity to rectify this before you start experiencing a drastic reduction in visitors, conversions, and sales.
If you have any questions about tracking the rank of your website then please leave a comment below.
Image credits: Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0
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