For any SEO professional or internet marketer building an online empire, one of the most important pieces of software to own is a fully functional, highly accurate program to track the ranking of websites for a given list of keywords in the search engines. Without one, there is no way to monitor the progress of your search engine optimization efforts or to communicate that progress to your clients. One of, if not the, most popular such tools is Rank Tracker from The SEO PowerSuite.
I personally do not use, would never use, and would never endorse the use of programs that let you check the rankings of a website without the ability to save that data and monitor it over time. Such a program might be sufficient for someone just starting out online with one website, but it is not sufficient for anyone truly running a serious business online. Rank Tracker is really for people running their online real estate or that of their clients as a business, not a hobby.
Although it has an immense amount of features and tools under the hood, Rank Tracker is extremely easy to use right out of the box. When you start Rank Tracker, you will be prompted to enter the URL you wish to track.
Following that, you are presented a list of search engines that you would like to track your rankings for. There are over 700 search engines provided and they are broken up by country. If you do not see a search engine you are looking for, there is a link to request for the team at Link-Assistant to add additional search engines.
There are two things that really are worth mentioning about the available search engines. First, one of the available search engines is YouTube. This is an awesome feature for those who do a lot of video marketing that is absent in other rank tracking software. Second, there is also tracking available for Google Images. I know one of the hot new SEO tactics out there is to optimize images to bring in traffic from the Google Images SERP. With Rank Tracker, you no longer need to track that progress manually.
After making your appropriate search engine selections, you are asked to enter in the keywords you wish to track. From there, Rank Tracker goes to work finding your pages in the search engines. One thing I love about Rank Tracker is that if you enter in just a single domain, it will bring back any page on that domain that shows in the search engines.
SEO PowerSuite has jam packed Rank Tracker with features and options. For its tracking, you can tell the program to pull information from different data centers, making its presence less noticed by the search engines as it goes about its task.
You can tell it to emulate a human user. What it will do is look through a page or two and then pause for a few seconds before continuing on in the SERP. This prevents the search engines from blocking your IP address and forcing you to enter in a CAPTCHA to continue. On the other hand, for those who like lightning fast results, skip this setting and purchase CAPTCHA solving through Rank Tracker and it will take care of everything for you.
Rank Tracker also features integrated proxy support. You can easily and quickly insert your proxies into the program for use.
When I say, “lightning fast results,” I really mean lightning fast. This program will pull results for a few hundred keywords in just a few minutes. It’s pretty amazing to see.
If you are not using CAPTCHA solving or proxy support, you may need to use the human emulation options for a very large list of keywords. While this is a little bit slower for data collection, there is a very simple workaround. There is a scheduler in place. Simply schedule it to check your rankings at 2:00 in the morning on Sunday nights, or some other obscure time when you are not sitting in front of your computer waiting for results.
Rank Tracker has settings for how deep you want to search in the results to find a site. Have a brand new site that you want to track as it climbs up the rankings? Tell Rank Tracker to go out to 1000 listings and bring back the results. Already have a well optimized site? You can tell Rank Tracker to search just the first 50 results. No need to waste your time (or CAPTCHAS) going all the way out to 500 or 1000.
Once you have your results, Rank Tracker allows you to save them so that you can compare rankings month over month, year over year, or even further back. The data can be displayed to you anyway you choose. Want to see your rankings in Google, Bing, and Ask along with the change in rankings for each search engine since the last time you pulled rankings? No problem. Have a giant list of keywords and want to focus on just the ones that are currently in the top 10? Done. Do you want to see which keywords in your campaign are slipping in the rankings? It’s accomplished with just the click of a button.
Of course it is great that there are all of these tracking options, but probably the most important thing to look at is how accurate is the tracking. I tested a bunch of keywords. I checked everything manually and against two other popular tracking programs. Rank Tracker is spot on.
Going along with the tracking, Rank Tracker also provides several reporting options to present to your clients. I’m not going to comment too much on the reporting options. SEO PowerSuite just released new improved reports and I have only had a chance to look at them briefly. What I can tell you, the new reports look fantastic and are a huge improvement. On top of that, you can customize the reports, including branding them with your company and logo.
Report distribution comes with several options. You can print out the report as a PDF to give to your clients. You can email the reports to your clients. And lastly, you can upload the report to a server to be viewed online.
Another feature of Rank Tracker is the ability to do keyword research right in the program. I will be honest, at first I didn’t really appreciate this feature. However, as I played with it more and more, I fell in love with it.
Rank Tracker does not have its own proprietary keyword research program. What it does is integrate with all of the most popular online research tools available. You can pull data from Google’s Keyword Tool, SEMrush, WordTracker, Keyword Discovery, Google and Bing’s Related Search, and Yandex to name a few of the available tools.
You might be thinking, “Big deal. I use those all the time already. That’s nothing new.” Here is where Rank Tracker got me hooked though. You can pull data from all these different places and have it all in one place in front of you. No more checking Google, then going to WordTracker, then to the next one when doing keyword research. I now have it all in one spot. It is a huge time saver and really takes away a lot of the tediousness of choosing keywords to analyze further.
When it comes to monitoring your rankings in the search engines, for any professional business, I really think right now Rank Tracker is the program of choice. It boasts accuracy, an enormous amount of tracking features, a scheduler, a keyword research module, and some excellent reporting functions. On top of that, for the more technology challenged users out there, it is extremely easy to use and is fully functional right out of the box without any tweaking.
SEO PowerSuite does offer a free version of Rank Tracker you can download to try the software for yourself. The free version does not allow you to save your results, but it does give you the opportunity to get a feel for how the software works and determine if it is right for you.