Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results. If your site is higher ranked on the SERP (search engine results page) it will generally get more visitors, more ad views, more sales etc.
Many businesses target a lot of keywords to track and know how hard it is to keep it all straight. It’s good to start tracking now so you can see how your target keywords are performing over time. I have been focused on tools that are web-based. Ideally the tools would be simple — most small businesses don’t really want the geeky interface some tools offer — info overload that is only appropriate to an SEO professional. Some find it useful to track their competition also.
Tracking links to your web pages is a major part of any SEO strategy. Fortunately, there are many tools to provide a comprehensive view of where your web pages stand. Here I will talk about four of those tools: AuthorityLabs SEO, Microsite Masters Rank Tracker, Wincher, and TinyRocketLab.
AuthorityLabs started in 2008 and gained a strong reputation in delivering search engine ranking monitoring services. AuthorityLabs has three plans available, and it is the only one that does not offer a free plan, but it offers a free 30 days trial and it is the most complete tool.
Some of its special features are:
- Daily Data: Daily rank checking is provided on all accounts to give you the best opportunity to react to changes in the search results.
- Local Results: Track search results at the city or postal code level for the most accurate and granular reporting available.
- Global Tracking: Easily add domains or pages to be tracked from any country and language offered by Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
- It provides all the important ranking reports, option to download and export to CSV and PDF format.
- Emailable, automated reports available
AuthorityLabs tracks Google, Yahoo and Bing, you can generate the graph selecting the time range, and you can also see how the graph was in a specific date in the past, this way you have total access to the keywords history.
Visit the official website: www.authoritylabs.com
Microsite Masters Rank Tracker
This tool was launched in 2009 and offers comprehensive rank tracking services. The first thing that you should know about Microsite Masters is that you can join for free and track up to 10 keywords, then you can update your account anytime toward one of the following plans:
This tool tracks Google, Yahoo and Bing. It is the most complete free tool and the most similar to AuthorityLabs.
The dashboard of rankings (and the interface in general) is very user friendly and all features available are well organized on the left sidebar.
One other cool feature is the Customized Report, which allows you to easily export the report into Excel or PSD Files and share with clients and partners. There are advanced tracking metrics to determine campaign efficiency and there is the possibility to generate graphs of each keyword to view the site’s rankings, and also where other sites rank for each keyword you track.
- Emailable, automated reports available
In this tool you can also generate graphs within a specific time range, but it differs from the AuthorityLabs graphs because AuthorityLabs compares all the keywords and the Microsite Masters compares each keyword by search engine.
Visit the official website: www.micrositemasters.com
This tool offers two plans, both with unlimited numbers of keywords, but the free one has weekly updates, while the paid one has daily updates and costs €6.
Wincher is a simpler tool when compared to the previous ones and it just tracks Google, but it does everything it should and has the most user friendly interface, with all the rankings, graphs, keywords information, etc.
The main features are:
- Easy search engine monitoring: Add your important keywords. We notify you when something big happens.
- Get a grip of your Ranking history: We save ranking data every day for your keywords.
- Dynamic low price: Add domains and keywords of your choice. Pay only for what you use.
- Daily ranking updates: Your domain rankings on chosen keywords updates daily. And of course your competitors position as well.
- Ranking alerts: Wincher alerts you when important changes take place!
- Easy sharing: You can easily share your ranking success via social media.
Visit the official website: www.wincher.com
This is the newest contender to join the market — in 2013. The plans available are:
Key information such as keyword progress and visibility is shown in the Dashboard, and a graph is available as well. TinyRocketLab is even simpler than Wincher and offer a little less information about the keywords, but it’s not a bad tool, it’s just less detailed-oriented.
However, there is the Task management feature, that allows you to work with your team, create tasks and experiments. This is something unique among the rank trackers.
Visit the official website: www.tinyrocketlab.com
MORE SEO RESOURCES
- This article is very developer focused but lists some great SEO tools.
- the place to start keyword research is here: Google Keyword Tool. You input a series of search terms and Google tells you how many people searched for those terms, and searched for related terms, both globally and locally. Click on the headings at the top of the table to sort by keyword, number of searches or competition. Competition is a measurement of how many people are actively marketing on that term through Google Adwords. This gives you some idea of how hard it may be to rank for the term.
- Google Insights for Search: Some search terms are just better than others, and search term value changes over time. Google Insights for Search lets you rank keywords against one another and lets you see their performance over time. The best thing, from a marketing perspective, it to have a website that sits on a keyword which is starting a meteoric rise. For example, if you are the only cell phone accessory store with content about the iPhone the week the iPhone is announced, and your site is equipped to close sales, you’ll likely draw a lot of traffic and sell a lot of product.
- Also a nice Beginners guide: http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo
- UPDATE: RankScanner has a great looking WordPress plugin. 5 keywords free, up to 30 free if you refer others to free accounts. 9€ /month for 100 keywords.