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Reviews

Best Rank Tracking Tools Compared

Over a few weeks of research, we’ve compiled a list of the best rank tracking tools. Over a dozen different providers got picked apart, after which we found SE Ranking to be our favorite ranking tool. They offer SEO strategy for any business size, tools that think for you so you rank better with less effort, and B2B features that help with lead generation. And you won’t believe what else SE Ranking can do.

Top Rank Tracking Tools: Golden Eggs

Included below you’ll find our Golden Eggs, the three rank tracking tools we recommend highest out of the 15 providers we researched.  

SE Ranking is our favorite rank tracking tool because of how they excel in segmenting SEO use cases and providing advanced tools. Improve your search visibility today when you sign up with SE Ranking.   

Semrush is a marketing agency’s dream software because it’s great for SEO, content creation, and social media posting. Plan and create your entire marketing strategy with this one tool.

Ahrefs has the most advanced keyword explorer online, and it lets you find the keywords your customers are already searching for. Start seeing results today by getting started with Ahrefs.  

Best Rank Tracking Tools Golden Eggs with logos for SE Ranking, Semrush, and Ahrefs

Rank Tracking Tools Review Process

There’s a lot of ways to get SEO wrong. The most common is getting lost in all the options and features providers have. So we took that out of the equation by identifying all the key use cases so you know exactly where to start and what’s most important.

After researching 15 different providers and combing through reviews, we found the top six use cases that SEO experts, beginners, and agencies constantly use rank tracking tools for:  

  • Competitor analysis
  • Keyword research and analysis
  • Managing backlinks
  • Running site audits and reports
  • Keyword list management
  • SEO for beginners

If one or multiple of these use cases sound like your situation, we’ve made it easy to see what rank tracking tool options are most applicable to your needs. 

We wanted to make this list of reviews scannable so you can quickly find a provider that excels at what you need most. 

If you’re looking for more details about what goes into finding the best rank tracking tools for each of these use cases, and what you should pay attention to when selecting rank tracking software, check out our section on key review criteria here.

The Best Rank Tracking Tool for Competitor Analysis

Seeing how your competitors are doing is a big part of an SEO strategy. It allows you to steal like an artist and build a path to ranking on page one without taking years to do it. The right tools are crucial to getting as deep in the woods with this as you want. 

SE Ranking

The competitor analysis tool from SE Ranking makes seeing how your competitors perform as simple as entering a website domain. 

SE Ranking logo

You get an almost unfair advantage because it’s like you’re sitting in the room with your competition as they create their SEO strategy. You can see what their traffic looks like, what keywords they use, what their ads look like, and evaluate their backlink profiles. 

Each feature goes far deeper with SE Ranking than other similar tools. You can compare keywords and see overlap and advantages to exploit. You can even identify the geography of where competitors’ organic traffic is coming from and target that area so you can get in on the action. And that’s just the beginning of what’s possible. 

The Best Rank Tracking Tools for Keyword Research 

Keyword research is the lifeblood of SEO. Without doing this right, you can spend weeks creating a SEO strategy and fail miserably.  Most providers have decent features in this regard, but some go above and beyond.  

Ahrefs

This is the all-in-one SEO tool with deep focus on keyword research. Ahrefs includes several SEO features dedicated to this. 

Ahrefs logo

They claim to have the most complete keyword research tool on the internet. We definitely feel that to be true. We use Ahrefs here at Crazy Egg and feel it provides a huge advantage when looking up keyword options and suggestions. Plus, Ahrefs is the only tool on the internet that actually gives you estimated clicks for the keywords you research. 

And, while Google is the main search engine anyone cares about, Ahrefs also allows you to work on ranking on alternatives (such as Startpage and DuckDuckGo) for any customers that are more privacy-minded. provides you with 10 different search engines to rank on. That leaves no gaps in your strategy to pull in more traffic and leads to your site from every avenue.

Semrush

Semrush holds many different features that unlock powerful results. You can track any keywords, domains, and competitors on Google using the tool, optimizing your targeting efforts based on the most current data available. 

Semrush logo

Plus, they make it easy to spot and fix cannibalization (when your content uses too many similar keywords and ends up competing with each other for rank). They even do your homework for you by offering adjustments that make anticipating Google updates easier.

By tracking your rankings with Semrush, you are able to discover domains ranking better for the keywords you want, analyze them, and make content that outperforms them to swipe that sweet organic traffic. 

The Best Rank Tracking Tool for Managing Backlinks

Backlinks are just as important to understand, research, and manage as keyword research and on-page SEO, if you’re serious about mastering optimization. One tool rises above the rest in this regard. 

Serpstat

Serpstat has built a very powerful backlink analysis tool that can help you grow your websites’ authority and rankings. With it, you can compare your backlinking quality with competitors, identify low-quality backlinks that can actually hurt your rankings, and get comprehensive audits of what external pages are linking to yours.

Serpstat logo

Analyze the results of your link building campaigns and get assistance sourcing quality sites whose links will improve your overall backlink quality all in one handy dashboard. Then apply your findings and watch your SEO strategy soar.

Serpstat goes even deeper with its ability to analyze the anchor text of backlinks and report when they broke if any have been lost along the way. 

The Best Rank Tracking Tools for Site Audits And Reporting

So many SEO strategists waste enormous amounts of time because they are using tools that don’t give them a full view of what needs to be adjusted for on-page SEO. This is a recipe for failure. The best way to avoid this is to get a tool that offers comprehensive site audits. 

BrightEdge

BrightEdge helps you take back hours in your week by providing data from AI-driven analysis. They help you audit your website to make sure you’re not wasting time on SEO processes that don’t get results. 

BrightEdge logo

Plus, it will spot SEO opportunities you would not have recognized before. You can compare different pages and see what makes certain pages perform better than others, all without having to know exactly what you’re looking for. 

BrightEdge is enterprise-grade software that takes a big SEO project and makes it manageable in far less time. And it doesn’t stop at smart auditing—it helps you optimize content and gives you a plan to make sure your SEO strategy is applied correctly across all your webpages. 

AgencyAnalytics

If you run an agency, you already know how hard it is to keep tabs on everything you are doing. It’d be nice to have an easy way to do that for SEO at least, right? Well, AgencyAnalytics was built for marketing agencies by marketers, so they’ve felt that pain and addressed it. 

AgencyAnalytics logo

Build custom dashboards, deploy different SEO marketing plans specific to each client, and add up to 70 different integrations to make your life even easier.  

Now you can create custom metrics that tell your clients’ stories in the most SEO-friendly way. And you can deliver key metrics, site audits, and even backlink health to them. Whether you want daily updates on rankings, to see new and old backlinks, or to detect onsite issues and errors, it’s all possible in AgencyAnalytics. 

The Best Rank Tracking Tool for Keyword List Management

Your SEO strategy might have thousands of keywords to weave into your pages and content. Keeping tabs on that can get messy. Trust us, you don’t want to be doing that level of list management in a spreadsheet. 

Ahrefs

Segmenting your lists and saving them to come back to later with a click of a button is way better than sifting through Google Sheets, trying to find the right list you need to manage. 

Ahrefs logo

Ahrefs has a specific location within their dashboard for keyword lists. They make it easy to find and even easier to manage. Plus, you get a ton of other data about keywords, like search volume, how many clicks they receive, and even the parent topic they fall under. 

Think about the time you will save using this approach instead of filling out a document with ever-changing data? It’s not talked about much, but organized list management is a valuable piece of a well-planned SEO strategy. 

The Best Rank Tracking Tool for Beginners

SEO is a complicated subject. There are several twists and turns that can make you feel like it’s too much to learn on your own. We get that. When you’re just starting out, you want a tool that can simplify everything and walk you by the hand to ranking as fast as possible. 

Ranktracker

Ranktracker was created for regular users who don’t speak the language of SEO fluently already. Yes, you will learn what is what; but they do it in a way that walks you through things step-by-step so you are not left feeling overwhelmed. 

Ranktracker logo

The free SEO checklist highlights every piece of information you need upfront, so nothing on your site is left unoptimized. Ranktracker will even appraise your site’s embedded .txt documents and its Google Analytics connection. 

Ranktracker will also guide you through keyword research, on-page and off-page SEO, content strategy, and leveraging social networks. Just because it’s for beginners, that doesn’t mean you don’t get all the tools you need to run reports, check rankings, and build links. You just get a simple guide to walk you through it all. 

What Matters When Reviewing Rank Tracking Tools 

Our research team found the most vital criteria to consider when choosing rank tracking software. Knowing these key features and when they’re most important makes the difficult process of choosing this kind of software a lot easier. Below you find six main criteria we poured hours of research into.

Ranking Trends and Forecasting

SEO ranking trends shift like the wind blows. Pages move up and down so often that it’s necessary to be able to see into the future and pick out what advantages you can get with your research.

When It Matters Most:

  • Competitor analysis – Seeing what your competitors are ranking for and being able to forecast what keywords are not being used to their full potential is what gets you the edge you need. Monitoring ranking trends is an art that can easily be mastered with the right rank tracking tool. 

Search Visibility

Looking at what’s working is what makes a great SEO plan. But granular detail on how your pages (and those of your competitors) are showing up across search engines and the internet at large is the key differentiator. It’s also extremely important for building backlinks. Why waste time figuring it out on your own when you can see what the top page-one searches are doing in your industry. 

When It Matters Most:

  • Competitor analysis – Some tools give you search visibility results and others give search results plus how those results have changed overtime. The latter, in-depth view will help you avoid spending time on keywords that are losing steam.
  • Managing backlinks – When it comes to growing your business, getting backlinks is a big way to get a leg up. But you need quality here, so you need insight into which sites you can build backlinks through will build authority for your own sites quickly. 

Budget

Paying $100 per month can be an obstacle to maximizing your SEO tactics. Truthfully, everybody wants a good deal, but you need to determine what value feels like. Is it in ease of use, a quality interface, or detailed reporting? Either way, price will always be a factor when considering what you’re getting in return. 

When It Matters Most:

  • SEO for beginners – Simplicity is key and saving the most you can while learning the SEO ropes is important. And, just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it won’t work. Try using the most affordable option that offers the essentials you know you will use. Don’t just go for the trending tool because it’s trendy.
  • All use cases – Everything we listed in this post is affected by price. Some providers will give you more for what you pay but have a less appealing interface or workflow. Others will be higher priced but offer exclusive insights that others don’t. It’s all about your needs and what you feel is going to give your business the edge to rank. 

Data Accuracy

Some providers have tons of data but it’s days or even weeks old. Surprised? Us too. Making sure you are getting the most accurate data matters, as does being able to run and share reports as needed on everything you’re doing. 

When It Matters Most:

  • Managing backlinks – Once you start getting some links built, you will need a place to see them, manage them, and see if they are helping or hurting your business with precision. 
  • Site audits and reporting – Agencies and small businesses alike need reports for rankings, site health, and much more. Whether you’re managing websites with thousands of pages or need to deliver data to keep clients in the loop, accurate reporting is key. Else, you won’t know what you’re really doing.

Further Reading

Want even more tips and help about SEO strategy? Check out these 15 other Crazy Egg posts to become an SEO expert by the end of the weekend. 


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