Most SEOs use keyword ranking tools to track where their pages are ranking in the SERPs for target keywords. It gives them an idea how well their optimization efforts are faring against the competition as well as how well those rankings are progressing over time. Now even though rankings without traffic and conversions are meaningless, it all starts with rankings. If your pages don’t rank, nobody finds them. And the higher you rank, the more potential traffic you can grab.
Now, there are a lot of a lot of paid and free tools out there that help SEOs track keyword rankings. Some are paid and some are free. In writing this post, I did a lot of research to bring you the best keyword ranking tools for SEO.Free Keyword Ranking Tools
Paid Keyword Ranking Tools
Free Keyword Ranking Tools
If you’re on a budget and money is tight (or even if you're not on a budget, but you're fiscally conservative), there are host of fantastic, FREE keyword rank checking tools available on the Web. Here are three of my favorites.
Rank Checker is one of the free seo tools we use every day and should have a place in every search marketers toolchest. With this simple, easy-to-use Firefox extension, you can check your website's rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing simultaneously.
After running a rank check, you then have the option of exporting the results to a .CSV file. My two favorite features of Rank Checker are the ability to add multiple keywords at once (up to 100) and the convenience of being able to save big keyword lists as presets, so you don't have to re-paste in your keywords each time.
Web CEO is a slick keyword rank checker that allows to not only check your own site's keyword rankings but to also run a side-by-side comparison of your rankings versus your competitors. The free ranking software offers a lot of nice reporting features, which among other things allows users to track your site's historical rankings in the SERPs.
If you're worried about getting your IP banned for flooding the engines with queries, Web CEO has taken precautions and says that their keyword ranking tool "completely emulates browser activity as if a human were sitting in front of a computer querying search engines. So, it is impossible to tell our ranking checker from a usual user and you do not risk your rankings and IP address." You'll need to download their software and go through a brief set up, but once you’re up and running this is a great rank tracking tool.
Ventio Google Position Tool is the most basic of the keyword ranking tools I've tested. However, it's still fast and pretty powerful, and a nice alternative to the other rank tracking tools if all you want to do is run a quick check of keywords without downloading any add-ons or software.
The keyword checker's results return a snapshot of your SERP listing, including snippets, which is handy for immediate evaluation. Ventio Google Position Tool is a blue collar, no frills tool for anyone who wants to monitor their position in the Google SERPS on the fly.
Paid Keyword Ranking Tools
If you’ve got money to burn and you want more out of your keyword rank checker, than it may be worth it to pony up the cash for a software platform that offers more advanced features and functionality than free keyword ranking tools.
Advanced Web Ranking's strong suit is the range of advanced reporting features it offers. Users can track and report on their own keyword rank evolution and visibility in the search results as well as chart the evolution of your competitor sites in the SERPs. And, to me, having historical, competitive ranking intelligence for specific keywords is a huge advantage.
In addition, Advanced Web Rankings providers users with a wealth of features for customizable, granular reports, which can be branded and personalized with company logo for internal or external distribution. I also love the ability to set the scheduling feature and have my custom reports emailed to me weekly.
PRICE: $199 for the professional version
Rank Tracker has one of the nicest user interfaces of all the paid keyword rank checking tools I've tried. Every time you check your SERP rankings, Rank Tracker displays changes in rank, so you can easily see if your site has moved up, or if it has slipped down the SERPs.
Like some other keyword rank checkers, Rank Tracker integrates a keyword suggestion tool so you can discover profitable keywords using Overture, Google Suggest or your competitor's websites.
PRICE: $99 for the professional version
Accurate Monitor for Search Engines is unique in that it tracks both organic keyword rankings as well as paid rankings too. This rank checker also supports Unicode, so you can check the results in 30+ different languages, so you can see how well you're ranking internationally in foreign data centers.
Like other tools you can receive keyword suggestions based on relevancy to the current keywords you're tracking and it has scheduling, reporting and exporting features, so users get comprehensive, one-stop shopping for complete keyword ranking and tracking analysis.PRICE: $99 for the personal use version