Don’t miss a thing, or why tracking your SEO progress from the very beginning makes you awesome!
It’s no secret that SEO is a long-term process, but it can yield long-lasting results. The best keywords are long-term and long-lasting. And, if you agree with me here, then you’ll also agree that an SEO specialist’s efficiency is very hard to determine in the very first stages. So, the first two to three months are the most painful for your clients because it’s too early to report on any significant growth in organic traffic. I’m more than sure that you can easily recall a lot of cases where you dealt with clients who were annoyed by this. They probably called you on a daily basis and bombarded you with tons of emails asking if anything had changed with their SEO traffic. A couple of times, I’ve experienced this nightmare, and that’s what inspired me to use a more data-driven strategy. I simply started tracking keywords from the very beginning, creating keyword tracking campaigns on the first day of my SEO projects.
Honestly, now I can’t imagine working without this data, and there are a couple of reasons why it’s a goldmine for any SEO specialist:
- It provides immediate feedback on your SEO process by highlighting what is positively and negatively affecting your SEO visibility
- Tracking keywords helps you keep a close eye on your competitive landscape
- It alerts you about any overlaps in your organic and advertising keywords
- It makes your processes transparent for you, your clients and business owners
OK, I’m persuaded! What’s next?
Now it’s time to select the right tool and start your first tracking campaign. All the tools below are carefully selected and tested by me, but it’s not an exhaustive list for sure. So if you know any other great tools, please share them in comments!
SEMrush gives you access to a number of great tools and competitive intelligence data for only $69.95. I love SEMrush’s Overview report, where you can see at-glance-all all your keywords in the top 3, top 10, etc.
Here are some key features:
- Analyzing competitors in a really actionable way with the help of a competition map
- Unlocking keywords’ positions for both organic and advertising Google results
This tool helps you track keywords and SMM channels on a daily basis and audit your website’s health. Here’s a list of features that I found extremely useful, particularly in AWR:
- Granting access to your campaigns for an unlimited number of clients and colleagues
- White label reporting with your own domain names and logos
- Providing data on local results like maps and Google places listings
- Getting universal search tracking data
- Integrating Google Analytics and Google Webmaster’s data into your keyword tracking reports in order to show your real traffic and CTRs
Honestly, I don’t use Moz a lot, so in order to review this tool, I created a keyword ranking campaign from a scratch. I have to admit that it was super easy to create, and I also love how Moz gives users the ability to add branded terms and then mark them automatically in a list of tracked keywords. The only issue with Moz is that, unlike other tools, it doesn’t collect data on the fly and it needs, on average, around a week to collect keywords’ positions. So, if you need data right now, then it’s not a best tool to use.
Kerboo is a set of (tools?) designed for auditing and monitoring a website’s backlinks profiles and keywords rankings. Kerboo’s interface is super easy to use and the data it provides is extremely reliable:
Among the competitive advantages of Kerboo’s ranking tool is the number of keywords it allows you to track with the basic plan – 1500. So, if you simply need a third party to collect rankings and then pull this data into customized reports via API, then you should definitely try Kerboo’s ranking checker.
If you’re looking for a software that will give you the ability to create white label reports, view users clicks and traffic using data from GA and GWT tools, as well as add milestones and forecast your achievements, then SEOmonitor has all of these features and much more.
The tool’s functionality fits perfectly with digital marketing agencies and helps them spend less time preparing convincing sales pitches. It automatically generates reports based on goals you select and forecasts traffic, clicks and conversions for your future SEO campaign.
Advanced Web Ranking and Authority Labs looks pretty much the same in terms of keywords tracking options. But it’s totally not the same in terms of pricing. For $99, with AuthorityLabs you get 1,000 keywords and with Advanced Web Ranking you get seven times as many – 7,000. But, on the other hand, I noticed a really cool feature which allows you to group similar sites in order to create industry reports, and I think it’s invaluable when you want to point out to your client or manager how a website is standing out in an industry.
Ahrefs is a market leader in providing backlinks analytics, and it has recently launched a bunch of tools for keyword research and tracking. Ahrefs allows you to set up one campaign (with?) various locations, so you don’t need to waste time launching the same set of keywords for each location. It’s a super user-friendly solution that I’ve found extremely useful!
Here’s a screenshot showing an example of US and UK keyword positions:
This newly designed tool totally stands out among others because it allows you to setup custom industry landscapes using a predefined by user list of keywords. Also, Horizon allows you to create groups of keywords within your landscape that will help you observe general trends and see what share of the market your company currently owns. You can also tailor these lists according to segment.
Accuranker is a brand new tool, and I’m certain it deserves to be listed among others. It has an easy-to-use interface and can be updated on the fly. On top of that, it provides a comprehensive overview of a domain’s positions because it tracks its first 500 in depth! Another feature that I’ve found extremely useful is the preview of your page snippet:
With the help of Positionly you can track your domains’ positions not only in Google and Bing, but also in Yahoo and Yandex. I think this tool is especially handy for intentional projects in locations where Google is not the number one search engine that aren’t solely focused on SEO. Also, Positionly helps you control your links and build and healthy backlinks profiles.
If you’re searching for a free solution to track keywords, then the Rank Checker tool from RankTank is exactly what you need! This tool is designed in Google Drive and can be used in combination with other add-ons for Google Excel.
This is another tool that is primarily focused on tracking your keywords’ positions on a daily basis. I think the most interesting feature that’s worth mentioning is that it gives you the ability to run various experiments in order to track your history and compare future results of tracking campaigns.
To sum up
It doesn’t matter which tool you use to track keywords or whether the tool has a lot of features or only a table of keywords and their rankings along with an export button. What really matters here is that you check your SEO progress and keep an eye on your competitive landscape!