Finding good keywords is hard…
However, tracking how well you used those keywords is definitely the hardest of all.
To effectively track your website rankings in search engines, you need a keyword rank tracking tool that does as much of the work for you as possible.
You need to be able to know the ranking of any of your keywords at any given time, and you need to be able to trust that the ranking information you’re being given is accurate.
You also need to be able to understand the data (without a technology degree), and how to use that data to improve your SEO strategy.
Much easier said than done—trust me.
So, I’ve put together this list of the six best keyword rank tracking tools currently available to lift some of that weight off your shoulders.
Choosing the Right Keyword Rank Tracking Tool: 3 Things to Consider
But before I dig in, I want to start with the criteria I used to help determine which rank trackers were the most effective.
1. Insights & Reporting
First, the tool needs to give you information that’s thorough, well-structured and easy to understand, ideally with reporting ability too.
That means you’ll be able to access the right information at the right time, and make logical decisions with that information.
2. Data Quality
One thing that I didn’t originally realize when I began looking at various keyword rank tracking tools is how important the quality of the data is. I’d always assumed that data was data and that these tools probably all drew from the same source.
This, however, is not the case. Tools can have vastly different degrees of data integrity, which obviously changed the utility of the tool. A truly helpful tool will have excellent data quality.
At the end of the day, you can only pay what you can pay. So it stands to reason that you need a tool that fits within your budget so that it’s a beneficial investment for you rather than a financial burden.
I’ll cover specific pricing information for each of these tools as we go over them, but this is an important component that really only you can decide for yourself.
6 Keyword Rank Tracking Tools to Accurately Monitor Your (and Your Competitors’) SERP Rankings
With that said, let’s get right into our list of tools—the crème de la crème of SEO rank trackers!
Monitor Backlinks Rank Tracker
One of the best tools out there is Monitor Backlinks. Obviously, as its name shows, it does a lot more than track your keyword rankings, but that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article.
Insights & Reporting
Monitor Backlinks’ Rank Tracker gives you a lot of great information to work with.
And, you don’t have to go far to find the information you need—it’s all well-organized in one central dashboard.
Three graphs appear right at the top of the page: your “Average Rankings,” “Average Rankings vs. Competitors” and “Rankings Positions.” These give you a big-picture view of how your keywords are performing overall, at a glance.
This system is particularly good for long-term rank tracking.
You can see how your rank is changing compared to your competitors, over the time periods of last month, the last three months, the last year and forever.
These overview graphs are followed by a more detailed list of your tracked keywords and how they’re performing.
Scroll down to see all the keywords you’re tracking, your current ranking for each keyword and your competitors’ current ranking for the same keywords.
You also get a bunch of helpful data points such as how many positions your rankings have moved and in which direction, the ranking URL, the best ranking you’ve had for the keywords, keyword search volume, cost per click and more.
In addition, the timelines in the “History” column are a great way to identify trends in your keyword rankings.
Finally, a lot of this information can be further customized by adding filters, changing timelines and choosing to focus on different sets of data.
Monitor Backlinks sources its data from a range of well-trusted databases including Majestic, Moz, Authority Labs and its own crawlers. This gives you a well-rounded dataset so you don’t need to use multiple tools to track certain metrics.
Your keyword rankings are updated automatically every seven days, and in my experience, have always been accurate when I check those same keyword rankings in Google.
Monitor Backlinks even sends email notifications to let you know of your keyword ranking changes with every update, so you can stay on top of your current performance just by checking your inbox.
To monitor one domain, two competitors and 50 keywords, Monitor Backlinks is only $24.90/month.
SERPWatcher by Mangools is another great option for accurate rank tracking. Although Mangools is—like Monitor Backlinks—not exclusively focused on rank tracking, their SERPWatcher tool definitely meets our preferred criteria.
Insights & Reporting
One of Mangools’s biggest strengths has always been how easy their tools are to navigate and understand, and SERPWatcher is exactly the same.
It operates all on one page, with clearly-labeled buttons for adding keywords to track, filtering, tagging and exporting.
To get started, you can easily import keywords from an uploaded CSV file, the Mangools KWFinder tool, or just by copy-pasting or typing them in.
Once your keywords are being tracked for your domain, SERPWatcher also shows you a unique metric called Dominance Index, which summarizes both the position and weight of the tracked keywords for your site.
Simply by looking at this one metric over time, you can easily see how your keywords have performed and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Additional graphs show you detailed information like how many of your keywords are ranking in the top 10, how that’s changing over time, and how many keywords go up or down in a given day.
Plus, SERPWatcher generates monthly and weekly keyword reports that can be sent directly to your email.
They show you detailed information about the movement of your site’s keywords, which keywords are doing well and which ones your opponents are outranking you on.
Similar to the notifications you get with Monitor Backlinks, these reports make the overall keyword tracking process so much easier because you don’t ever really have to go to the website unless you want to look at something specific.
SERPWatcher updates your keyword data on a daily basis.
Based on my experience and research, the data they provide is usually very precise and trustworthy. In fact, I find SERPWatcher to be more accurate than SEMrush, which is a much more popular tool.
Mangools Basic is set at $29.90/month and Mangools Premium is set at $39.90/month.
The main difference between the two has to do with how many keywords you can track (200 vs. 700), and how many keyword suggestions you can get per search (also 200 vs. 700).
Like with Monitor Backlinks, you have to purchase the entire tool to use the SERP tracking features, but it can be well worth it to keep track of different aspects of your SEO for a reasonable price.
Moz is probably the most well-known tool in all of SEO, and for good reason. It’s a well-designed system backed by detailed and reliable data, which is what all marketers go crazy about.
Insights & Reporting
Similar to most SERP trackers, Moz offers an over-time rank tracker that measures your average search visibility in one easy graph.
This graph can make it a snap to see how well your strategy is working over the long term and what changes you might need to make to improve.
You also get a nice overview at the top of the page that breaks down your search visibility into a percentage, along with how many of your currently tracked keywords are ranking and where.
Something I really like about Moz’s rank tracking tool is that it also tracks your featured snippet rankings along with your regular rankings, and tells you in the overview how many of your keywords are currently showing there.
There’s also an Engines section where you can track how your keywords are ranking on different search engines.
This is an often overlooked but essential feature to rounding out your SERP strategy—sometimes keyword rankings can be very different across various search engines.
Moz is known for having very trustworthy data, so if accuracy is important to you, you won’t have to worry about that with their keyword ranking tool.
Ranking data is updated daily so if you’re also the sort of person who needs to obsessively check their rankings every morning, Moz can provide!
Moz packages start at $99/month, which is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum compared to the other tools on this list.
However, you do get a lot more than just the rank tracker for the price, so if you have the budget, I’d highly recommend checking out the other products on offer to see if it’s worth it for you.
SEMrush is another very well-known tool that’s trusted for its extensive product offering, excellent organization and reliable data.
Insights & Reporting
SEMrush’s Position Tracking tool displays a large amount of information about your keywords and about how your keyword performance stacks up against your competitors.
Four graphs at the top of the page give you a real-time overview of your “Top Organic Keywords,” “Organic Position Distribution,” “Main Organic Competitors” and a “Competitive Positioning Map.”
These small graphics can also be expanded and looked at in a full report, which is great because you can take a quick look at the essentials or deep dive into the more detailed stuff.
The “Top Organic Keywords” graph shows your highest-performing keywords by taking into account a combination of factors including their ranking position, search volume, traffic generation and cost per click.
“Organic Positioning Distribution” shows you the spread of your ranking keywords, which is helpful for understanding at-a-glance whether your overall SERP strategy is improving or not.
The other two graphs are about your competitors’ keyword performance. The “Competitive Positioning Map” is an interesting way of displaying where you stand against your competitors, with a colored circle representing each tracked competitor.
In my experience using SEMrush, the data quality was pretty disappointing compared to what I get from other tools such as Monitor Backlinks and SERPWatcher.
I’ve used SEMrush to create keyword reports for one of my SEO clients and I had to re-check many data points that I suspected to be false (and turned out to be so) using other tools.
Still, many top SEOs such as Neil Patel highly recommend SEMrush for keyword rank tracking and SEO, so I suggest you personally take the tool for a spin to see how you like it.
SEMrush plans start at $99/month, which includes their entire suite of tools.
Like Moz, this is one of the pricier tools, especially if you’re looking for just a keyword rank tracker.
But you get a lot of bang for your buck with up to 500 tracked keywords across five campaigns, and 3,000 reports per day.
Unlike most of the other keyword rank tracking tools on this list, SpyFu is concentrated almost entirely on your competitors’ keywords.
This might seem irrelevant, but it’s not.
Understanding your competitors’ keyword strategy is crucial to the success of your own keyword strategy—and if you aren’t ranking like you want to, it might be because you aren’t paying enough attention to what your competitors are doing.
This tool could be how all that changes.
Insights & Reporting
SpyFu has an incredibly well-organized dashboard, which is one of my favorite things about using the tool.
Just open it up to see how many organic keywords your competitor is ranking for, how many clicks those keywords are producing, how many keywords are making it to and falling off the front page, and tons of other information about both their organic and paid search performance.
Scroll down to see your competitor’s top ranking keywords (organic and paid) and how profitable those keywords are for them.
You can see how many clicks the keywords are producing and the monthly cost of their PPC keywords, and based on all this information, get recommendations for keywords to target on your own site.
There’s also a graph near the bottom of the page that shows you how these competitor keywords have ranked over time and how that rank is changing.
And, you’re able to produce detailed reports about your competitors’ keyword performance through this tool and have them emailed to yourself, which really helps you stay on the pulse of what’s happening with your biggest competitors.
SpyFu is a great competitor keyword ranking tool that works best when used together with a tool that tracks your keywords as well, such as Monitor Backlinks or Moz.
All SpyFu data is updated weekly. It’s imported from various Google sources such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Search, and then added to their local database.
Since Google is where you (mostly) want to rank, it’s good to know that the data you’re seeing comes directly from them. I’d say that’s pretty accurate!
SpyFu starts at $33 a month for the basic plan.
You get access to a lot of features with this plan, including 5,000 tracked keyword rankings and unlimited search results.
And finally, we have Kompyte: another great competitor keyword rank tracking tool with extensive data in a sleek, modern platform that’s easy to use and navigate.
Insights & Reporting
One of Kompyte’s central features is the ranking timelines, which benchmark a number of your competitors against each other and show you how they’ve ranked over a period of time—daily, weekly or monthly.
You can customize these ranking graphs by search engine, website and timeframe, which gives you more control over what data you feel is important to your website.
One of my favorite Kompyte features is the real-time updates about your competitors’ movements.
And not just their ranking changes, either—you’ll also be alerted when they make changes to their website, product prices and more.
Seeing how Kompyte works in real time and having reviewed this tool previously, I’ve found the quality of the data they provide to be very satisfying and reliable.
And in fact, the way Kompyte channels your data into actionable strategies makes it even more valuable than SpyFu when it comes to competitor keyword rank tracking.
Kompyte has three pricing tiers, with the lite plan starting at around $36/month.
This plan lets you track 20 keywords and five competitors.
Final Words on Keyword Rank Tracking Tools
And there you go! You can’t go wrong with these six powerful keyword rank tracking tools.
With them, you’ll have a full understanding of your rankings and your competitors’ rankings, and can take the next steps to outrank them!
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide and BigCroc Studio. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.