The key to growing your online business, is to track everything you do. On the SEO side of things, that means making sure you are tracking the website rankings of your chosen keywords. This allows you to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not and makes sure that your link building strategies are working and having the effect that you are looking for.
When you have a single website, it’s easy enough to check your website ranking in Google yourself for a few keywords. But once you start adding more sites and keywords into a mix, it’s imperative that you find a more effecient way of checking your search engine rankings. Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried a few different automated rank checker software tools, but I’ve recently settled on my favorite one so far – Link Assistant’s Rank Tracker software.
How It Works
Rank Tracker is a desktop software you install on your computer and it works on both Windows and Macs. Getting started is simple. Just create a new project by stepping through the simple wizard to add your domain, search engines to check, and the specific keywords you want to monitor.
Once you enter in all the required info, Rank Tracker will go out and search for your keywords. The first thing you will notice is that Rank Tracker is extremely FAST. I used to use a software called Advanced Web Ranking to check my website rankings, but Rank Tracker blows it away in terms of speed.
Once Rank Tracker has processed all your keywords, you can see the results in the a table. What’s nice is that the software is extremely customizable and you can specify exactly what columns you want to appear. I’ve set mine to show the keywords, ranking url, Google Rank, and ranking difference each day.
What I love about Rank Tracker are the progress graphs you get for each keyword. Over time, you will start building a ranking history for each keyword in your project which you can quickly analyze using these Progress graphs. Are your link building strategies working? If so, you should see an upward trend for your keywords. How long did it take for my site to climb out of the Google Sandbox? I can figure that out my looking back at my site’s ranking history as well.
One thing I find useful is to see how much traffic I’m getting for certain keywords at specific ranking positions. By cross referencing my Google Analytics and Rank Tracker data I can do this fairly easily.
If you have multiple sites to track, you will probably create new projects for each site. You can switch between projects by clicking on tabs at the bottom of the app. Or use the keyboard shortcuts which is a bit faster. One nice thing about Rank Tracker is that you can schedule your ranking checks so everything is done automatically using built-in scheduler. For me, I have mine set to check every morning at 9am.
Rank Tracker Issues
I only have a couple of minor quibbles with Rank Tracker. The first, is that the Professional version (which I have) doesn’t include the ability to generate reports. You only get that with the Enterprise version, which is quite a bit more expensive.
The other thing I don’t like is that you can’t setup a default workspace view for each new project. This means I have to customize my results view each time I setup a new project. It’s a minor hassle, but I think it’s something worth mentioning.
Rank Tracker vs Advanced Web Ranking
I used to use Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) before switching over to Rank Tracker and it’s actually a decent product as well. The main reason why I switched though is that AWR only offers 1 year of updates, while Rank Tracker gives you lifetime updates. Rank Tracker is also faster, and I find the interface a bit easier to use.
The Professional version of Rank Tracker costs $97, plus the free lifetime updates. They also have a free version as well. The big limitations of the free version is that you can’t save your projects or use the scheduler, but it’s still a really good way to test it out. Rank Tracker is one of those tools I make use of every single day, and it’s a must have for anyone into SEO.