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Play to Win: The Best Search Engine Ranking Tools for Cutthroat SEOs

Want to make your SERP competition kiss the ring?

No guts, no glory, man.

In SEO, there’s no greater glory than ranking at the top of search results for your money keyword.

Getting position #1 at the top of Google means that you’re the best.

But it also takes a lot of guts.

That’s because we’re not just talking here about any keyword. It’s easy to rank for any random search query with zero search volume.

We’re talking about a high-traffic, high-competition, highly-relevant keyword that’s raking in hundreds and thousands of searches—and ready-to-pay visitors—every month.

Ranking for this type of keyword simply means that you’re the best of the best.

Naturally, a lot of work goes into achieving this. You’re taking a big risk jumping for a challenging keyword like this, especially since the top dogs in your industry are probably already climbing all over each other to rank for it.

That’s where the guts come in.

Why You Need the Best Search Engine Ranking Tool

Once you’ve taken the risk, you want to look for results.

As an SEO specialist, it’s your sworn duty to keep track of your search ranking. This is the direct result of your SEO efforts.

Your ranking will tell you the quality of your site’s SEO. From there, you can figure out what you need to do to improve its position. And if your hard work is paying off, you’ll want to be able to share that with colleagues and clients.

You just need to keep in mind that not all search engine ranking tools are created equal.

Some ranking tools are more accurate, more frequently updated, more informative or more customizable than others.

Therefore, if you want to be the best, then you need to use the best search engine ranking tool. Not only should this tool accurately monitor your keyword ranking, but it should also show you key SEO metrics and give you actionable information to help you increase your SERP position.

Below are some of the tools that we consider to be the best at what they do.

The Best Search Engine Ranking Tools for Cutthroat SEOs

Monitor Backlinks

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Any seriously competitive SEO knows that a site’s ranking hinges on its backlink profile.

By acquiring lots of backlinks from authoritative sites, you can greatly improve your site’s SERP rankings. Therefore, aside from finding ways to build links over time, you need to manage your current link profile and identify the ones that are having positive or negative effects on your rankings.

Enter Monitor Backlinks. The sharp keyword rank tracker in this tool is great all on its own, including interesting metrics like current SERP position, best recent SERP position, difficulty level, search volume and CPC—and you can see how all this looks for your keywords in different languages and regions.

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And you can export this information as a CSV, PDF or Excel file to get a more fine-grained look at it.

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This powerful tool not only has a keyword search ranking tool with lots of useful metrics, but it will also help you monitor your link profile by notifying you of links you’ve earned and lost. You can set the tool to alert you if your competitors acquire new links that could potentially increase their rankings.

All these features help you make sense of your search ranking. Whenever you or a competitor earns a crucial backlink, you can check the rankings for immediate changes in your SERP positions.

To get a taste of the backlinks data you’ll get, try out the Monitor Backlinks Free Backlink Checker.

The best part is that you can try try the Monitor Backlinks SEO tool for free. Why not take it for a spin this month to get a closer look at how your search engine rankings are looking?

After that free trial period, the tool is still quite affordable, starting at $21.67 per month.

AWR Cloud

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One of the most significant concerns with using a search engine ranking tool is the accuracy of the rankings it provides.

Some platforms only show “estimated” rankings of your site pages for your target keywords. If you’re serious about your SEO campaign, then you’re aware that “estimated” won’t cut it.

With Advanced Web Ranking Cloud, also known as AWR Cloud, you won’t have this problem. The tool is a very popular search engine ranking tool for this reason. You can be guaranteed to see accurate organic search positions of your site’s pages for any period of time you wish (daily, weekly, monthly and beyond).

AWR Cloud allows you to carefully monitor your competitors so you can benchmark your SEO performance based on what others are doing. The tool also lets you track your local SEO efforts so you can scale and measure your local rankings efficiently.

The white label reporting features of AWR Cloud help you provide clients with exceptional insights and beautiful, easy-to-understand SEO reports. You can customize the appearance of the reports and the metrics included so you can deliver reports that your clients want to see.

The Starter Plan ($49/month) tracks 2,000 keywords, generates unlimited reports and tracks unlimited websites for you, among other things. The higher plans offer the same features but track more keywords, for example, 7,000 keywords are tracked with the Pro Plan ($99/month), 14,500 keywords with the Agency Plan ($199/month) and so on.

RankTracker

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Due to its simplicity and effectiveness, AWR Cloud—the first ranking tool on our list—has spawned copycats and imitators throughout the years.

One of the better AWR Cloud alternatives is Rank Tracker.

It offers similar features to AWR Cloud, such as accurate rankings for global and local results, competitor insights and advanced reporting for the benefit of your team or your client.

However, what separates Rank Tracker from AWR Cloud is the pricing. For $23/month, you can track 250 keywords for three domains and six competitors. The Plus Plan, its most popular plan, tracks 1,000 keywords for 10 domains and 30 competitors for $71/month.

For all its plans, you can update your rankings and generate SEO reports as many times as you want.

True, there’s a finite number of sites and competitors you can track and include in Rank Tracker. However, the tool is ideal for solopreneurs and website owners who don’t need to monitor thousands of keywords and competitors from the start.

SE Ranking

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SE Ranking is a full-suite SEO tool with features that run the gamut of key SEO tasks, so you can save your precious time and increase your productivity.

As a search engine ranking tool, it accurately tracks the real-time global and local positions of your site’s pages in relation to their target keywords.

You can track desktop and mobile SERP positions and consolidate the data to analyze the results. You can also create white label reports for clients at any time, to give them an overview of their SEO performance. For maximum effect, pit your site against competitors and compare your SERP rankings to theirs.

Aside from its ranking feature, you can explore the backlinks of your site and competitor sites to see link-building opportunities. SE Ranking lets you perform research for low-hanging fruit keywords, so you can target keywords that are easy to rank for. You can even run a deep website audit of your site and optimize things accordingly to boost rankings.

SE Ranking offers competitive pricing, to the benefit of people who are just starting out with their websites.

The Personal Plan costs $84/year and tracks 50 keywords for five sites. You can kick that plan up a notch and get 100 keywords for $144/year. The Optimum and Plus plans track 250 keywords for 10 sites and 1,000 keywords for unlimited websites, respectively.

All plans include a limited number of site page audits, backlink monitoring and other functions, so watch out for that and prepare in advance.

SEO Powersuite Rank Tracker

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The Rank Tracker is part of the many tools offered by SEO Powersuite. Unlike the other tools mentioned in this post, you can only use this platform if you download a copy to your hard drive and install it. This quirk shouldn’t be a problem for you if you’re using a high-performing computer, which I certainly hope you are.

Rank Tracker can check the rankings of 571 local and international search engines. You can schedule automatic rank checks, then go ahead and worry about your other priorities instead.

If you want to make the most out of monitoring your keywords, you can include up to 10 competitors to cross-reference your performance with. Once you’ve compiled the data, you can create reports using your findings to send to your clients. To do this, however, you need to save a copy of the results on your hard drive so you can access it again within the tool.

You can only use the limited version of the tool until you purchase a license code. The Professional version of the tool costs a one-time payment of $124.75 while the Enterprise version costs $299.75.

While there are no monthly fees for you to cover, which is nice, the tool requires you to update the search algorithm every six months to generate accurate rankings.

RankTrackr

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RankTrackr takes a page from AWR Cloud and Rank Tracker by providing users with a slick and intelligent way to track your keyword rankings with precision and accuracy.

You can add competitors to track so you can see how you’re faring against other sites vying for the same keyword. If you’re tracking keywords for your clients, you can send them a report containing the most relevant metrics to help them make sense of their site’s SEO condition.

RankTrackr is easily the most affordable and offers the most flexible plans among the search engine ranking tools featured here.

For beginners, you can track 50 keywords of 5 sites for $7.5/month. You can choose a higher plan if your site grows incrementally. The white label reporting and sub-users are only available for Pro 2000 and above, in which you track at least 2,000 keywords for 200 sites for $82.5/month.

So, Which One Is the Best Search Engine Ranking Tool?

As with most SEO tools, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer as to what constitutes the “best.”

No matter how much you try to look at each platform objectively, the decision will boil down to how convenient the individual user finds the tool.

While all the search engine ranking tools above share the same core feature—obviously, the ranking tool—each one offers other features that could make it the perfect (or less-than-perfect) fit for your needs.

AWR Cloud is the ideal choice for general rank tracking needs. Beautiful, intuitive, accurate and easy-to-use—there’s nothing more you can ask for from a search engine ranking tool. It has all the key SEO metrics you should need tied into rankings.

While AWR Cloud has been around longer and is a more established name, Rank Tracker compares favorably in all respects. Not to mention, it’s much more affordable than AWR Cloud, which makes it an attractive choice for website owners on a tight budget.

The other tools just tell you about your rankings—Monitor Backlinks helps you make sense of your search rankings and gives you all the data you need to perfect your SEO. It’s arguably one of the more actionable search engine ranking tools on the list. Instead of simply tracking the position of your site pages for their keywords, it correlates the number of backlinks to higher search positions. You can also look at competitor rankings and key SEO metrics related to your tracked keywords.

Plus the free 30-day trial makes Monitor Backlinks a great first ranking tool to take for a spin.

SE Ranking offers more than just rank tracking features. It also lets you perform competitive analysis and gather backlink data from other sites.

SEO Powersuite Rank Tracker is a comprehensive ranking and keyword research tool. As a tool with a one-time payment, Rank Tracker is a very cost-effective option. However, you need to install the software on your desktop to operate it.

RankTrackr is perfect for SEOs with limited resources due to its flexible pricing options. For people just starting out with their websites, this tool may prove to be the ideal first tool to help you scale your SEO performance.

Referring to the advantages of tools listed above should help you determine which ones to try out first.

Take advantage of any free trials they offer, and see which one is right for your unique needs!

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