Picking the right SERP tracker for your business is an important decision. You have to make sure that the tool you choose fits your needs.
However, finding a tool that fits your current needs isn’t the only thing you need. You must also find a tool that’ll pave the way toward a BETTER SEO strategy.
With so many tools on the market (offering so many different features), how can you make the best decision for your business?
Ultimately, choosing the right tool comes down to sticking with the basics. If you focus on finding a tool that can help you execute SEO best practices, you will excel in SEO.
This article will focus on the 12 SEO standards you MUST have in any SEO tool. These simple SEO guidelines will make it easy to choose the perfect tool and begin to grow your SERP success quickly.
Let’s get started!
- The Goals of a SERP Tracker
- 12 SEO Standards Every SERP Tracker Needs
- How to Use ProRankTracker to Track Your Keyword Strategy
The Goals of a SERP Tracker
Before we can even start to talk about what you should look for in an SEO tool, we have to talk about the goals of any SERP tracker.
We can’t correctly understand any SEO tool unless we understand the goals it’s trying to accomplish.
It’s important to note that each business will have different goals for its SERP tracker. For example, you might be primarily focused on growing your keyword strategy, while another company might be more focused on competitor research.
However, there are some basic SEO goals that any tool should help you accomplish. While you’re looking for tools, ensure that each one checks off everything on this basic SEO checklist.
Throughout this article, we’ll show you how ProRankTracker will help you accomplish these 3 goals while providing industry-leading features.
If you aren’t signed up for ProRankTracker’s 30-day free trial yet, sign up to follow along throughout this article.
Goal #1: Save Time
Doing good SEO can take a TON of time. Many small business owners spend hours every week just doing standard SEO activities.
- Checking ranks
- On-page SEO
- Competitor research
- Keyword research
- Targeting new keywords with articles
SEO is essential to the success of any company, but wouldn’t it be nice to spend a little (or a lot) less time on basic SEO tasks every week? Extra time could allow you to develop your strategy, focus on customer acquisition, or improve your social media presence.
A good SERP tracker will save you time by automating your regular SEO work.
- Collects your ranking data for you
- Provides instant reports and notifications
- Generates keyword lists
- Tracks competitor keyword ranks
Some SEO tools are so complicated to use that they cost MORE time instead of saving it. Avoid those tools at all costs.
Instead, you should be looking for a simple tool that provides many different time-saving features like those listed above.
Goal #2: Improve Tracking
If you’re going to invest time and money to use a rank tracker, it should certainly improve the quality of your tracking.
In other words, why would anyone pay for a tool that doesn’t provide them with accurate, up-to-date ranks?
Yet this is exactly what we see people doing all the time. Many people find tools that LOOK great, but they provide insufficient or faulty data.
For example, some tools cut costs by only providing weekly ranking updates to their customers! However, in the fast pace of today’s SEO scene, week-old ranks are often ancient history!
Instead, you should pick a tool that guarantees 100% accuracy on all their ranking data. In addition, your ranks should be updated every day at the very least.
A tool should provide you with accurate data, but it should also improve your tracking in other ways. It should give you a more in-depth look at your ranks that you couldn’t get without it:
- Search device
- Ranking trends
- Positions in different search engines
- Local ranking data
All of these features contribute significantly to the quality of your tracking data. Make sure you choose a tool that provides these features.
Goal #3: Expand Strategy
Finally, you shouldn’t settle for any tool that doesn’t help you develop and expand your SEO strategy over time.
For example, let’s compare 2 different imaginary tools. The first one provides 100% accurate ranks but doesn’t provide keyword discovery tools. The second one offers 100% correct ranks and keyword discovery tools.
If 2 businesses start using these tools for 2 years, which one will have better SERP performance at the end of those 2 years?
Of course, the one with the keyword discovery tools! Expanding and developing your keyword strategy is one of the best SEO standard operating procedures (SEO SOP) to improve your performance on the SERP.
In other words, you have to be constantly growing in SEO. If you’re staying still, you’re falling behind.
When looking for a tool, ensure that you settle on one that provides keyword tools to help you grow your strategy over time.
12 SEO Standards Every SERP Tracker Needs
Understanding SEO is all about being able to do the most essential things exceptionally well. If you know the basics and relentlessly focus on them, you’ll beat your competitors and fly up the SERP.
But what are those basic SEO rules that everyone needs to follow? What are the core functionalities that every tool needs to be helpful?
If you’re going to find the best tool, you’ve got to find something that meets the core SEO standards that every SEO expert looks for in a tool.
This section will detail 12 core SEO features that you should look for in ANY rank tracking tool before signing your name on the dotted line. Following these SEO guidelines will ensure that you find the best tool possible, which will help you get your website to the top of the SERP.
1. Fresh Updates
Getting daily updates on demand is one of the most critical factors in making good SEO decisions.
Daily updates give you a close-up insight into any rank changes occurring. In addition, they help you recognize triggers in real-time to test your strategic moves and understand what causes ranks to rise or drop.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, many software tools update ranks only weekly while making it seem as if the ranks are fresh. Unfortunately, not getting fresh data can be devastating for a campaign depending on what strategy you’re going with.
Managing SEO is like trading stocks. You want to see how your stocks are doing in real-time. It can be the difference between making money and losing big.
In SEO terms, seeing how the ranks shift daily can be the difference between getting traffic and floundering on the second (or third, or fourth…) page of Google.
ProRankTracker offers daily updates to ALL plans (even the smallest ones). Starting at the Pro-level plans, you also get additional daily updates. No ProRankTracker user ever has to wonder about the freshness of their ranks!
What good is an analytical tool if it shows you approximated data?
What if your car’s mileage gauge showed you just roughly how far you’ve traveled? You would probably install a standard gauge very quickly.
Ranks are no different. An inaccurate rank (even if it’s just off by 1 or 2 ranks) is essentially worthless.
Accuracy in a SERP tracker also means that you get accurate data from different rank types:
- Mobile ranks
- Location-based ranks
- A variety of search engines
Some experts value accuracy so much that they even use several services simultaneously to counter-check against one another and see a complete picture.
Some SEO services and SERP trackers have dropped as low as 60% accuracy. Additionally, many tools cannot guarantee the accuracy of their ranks because they are either old or their rank fetching algorithm has issues.
ProRankTracker uses the most accurate ranking algorithm in the industry, and all users have access to 100% accurate ranks at all times.
3. No Redundant Features
How many features are too many?
Many expensive tools and SERP trackers are packed with a TON of features, which you end up rarely using, if ever at all.
All these unneeded features are supposedly there to justify a steep price. However, it isn’t worth paying a much steeper price for a few tools that you rarely (if ever) need.
Many SEO experts stick with a few super-focused tools that help them accomplish their most important jobs easily. Instead of focusing on the most diverse tools, they focus on the most specific.
ProRankTracker can offer extreme value as a highly specialized SEO rank tracking and reporting solution. It focuses on a few high-quality tools instead of trying to be mediocre at everything.
4. White-Label Customization
When SEO experts start to sell their SEO services, they need to be able to present precise data with their logo on the report. Otherwise, reports can begin to look clunky and unprofessional.
Some tools use a pay-per-use pricing model, meaning users have to pay a flat rate for every report they generate. This can get expensive if users have multiple clients that want reports every day.
Therefore, having unlimited reports and not paying extra for that feature is also an essential feature for white-label sellers.
If you think you will ever be interested in selling SEO as a white-label seller, you should find a tool that offers excellent white-label customization features.
At ProRankTracker, all users can customize their reports with:
- Custom color schemes
- Company logos
- Cover letter
- Email sender
More extensive plans even access highly advanced white-label features like a customizable app for clients.
5. Local and Mobile Tracking
In the old days of SEO, you could throw a bunch of keywords together and get in the top 3 in no time.
These days, it’s not quite that simple. Every user is shown a unique SERP based on:
- Their search history
- Their location
- Their device
- Hundreds of other factors
That’s why every SEO expert knows the value of targeting specific keywords for local and mobile searches. If you ignore these two unique types of searches, you’ll never be able to beat your competitors.
ProRankTracker makes it easy to target and track local and mobile searches by allowing you to tag each keyword with a location and device type.
If a ranking tool doesn’t provide powerful tools for tracking local and mobile searches, you’ll be ignoring over HALF of all the searches made on Google. So make sure any tool you test out follows these SEO best practices for local and mobile searches.
6. Various Search Engines
Your potential customers aren’t just on Google. They’re on Yahoo and Bing as well. Not to mention Amazon and YouTube (which are both search engines).
So why do so many ranking tools focus on Google without allowing their users to target keywords specific to these other search engines?
Your guess is as good as ours.
However, it can cost you dearly if you choose not to include other search engines in your SEO strategy. Bing alone gets 12 billion searches a month, making it worth your time, especially since keywords are far less competitive. Amazon gets around 3 billion visitors a month.
That means you NEED a SERP tool that can help you focus on various search engines–not just Google.
ProRankTracker allows you to track keywords across ALL these search engines, and it even helps you find keywords specific to each search engine, which we’ll talk about next.
7. Keyword Discovery Tools
Growing your keyword strategy is a critical part of increasing your traffic. If you only ever rank for 3 or 4 keywords, you’ll never be able to see your business boom.
To ensure that they can develop their keyword strategies, SEO experts use tools that help them discover new keywords.
Without a tool to help you find new keywords, you’ll guess which keywords to target. A rank tracker with no way to discover new keywords doesn’t help your business grow–it just helps it not shrink.
ProRankTracker’s Rankings Discovery and Keyword Suggestions tools will help you find HUNDREDS of new keywords relevant to your current strategy. Many people have made these tools a central part of their keyword strategy because of their immense usefulness.
8. Notifications and Reports
When it comes to saving time tracking your ranks, nothing beats notifications and reports.
These 2 SEO tools allow your software to send you updates about your ranks automatically. You don’t even have to log in–they send at predetermined intervals.
However, some tools don’t include notifications and reports for all users–especially users of lower-tier plans. Others make users pay for reports or have a limited number of reports per plan.
ProRankTracker offers more than 20 customizable white-label reports, and all plans get unlimited reports at no extra cost.
You can set reports to deliver any type of rank data:
- Historical data
- Comparison data between multiple URLs or keywords
- Daily changes
These reports are helpful for all users, but they’re especially helpful for ProRankTracker users selling white-label SEO to their clients.
9. Time-Saving Features
One of the core functions of any rank tracking tool is its ability to save you time.
After all, it wouldn’t be much help if you spent more time tracking ranks after purchasing a tool.
Most time-saving features come in 2 forms:
Automation is where you’ll save most of your time. ProRankTracker automates almost every part of the keyword tracking process:
- Collecting data
- Sorting data
- Sending reports
- Finding new keywords
Organization is all about using features that make it faster to do the standard SEO procedures you do every day.
For example, ProRankTracker allows you to split your URLs and keywords into groups and tags. These organizational features make it quick and easy to filter your data and find what you’re looking for.
Using both types of time-saving features, many ProRankTracker users will find themselves saving hours a week on their data management.
10. Customizable Tracking Views
SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Your needs will differ from a user’s needs in another niche, and theirs will be different from mine.
That means that you should only work with tools that give you a great deal of control over the data you see and HOW you see it.
For example, you might be trying to target low-volume keywords. In that case, knowing each keyword’s volume would be critical to you. You should have the control to prioritize search volume when your tool presents your ranking data.
Other users might want to show or hide a variety of ranking data:
- Meta title
- Indexed URL
- Top/bottom rank in a given period
- Search engine
- Search device
If you can’t organize your data in a way that makes sense to you and fits your needs, your tool isn’t doing you much good.
ProRankTracker allows all users to customize all the data tables in their account with easy drag-and-drop reordering.
11. Multiple Plan Sizes
Most small businesses aren’t ready to track 10,000 terms a month. That’s OK!
You shouldn’t have to pay for more than you need before you’re ready for it.
On the other hand, your tool should be able to accommodate a growing business. For example, maybe you only need 100 tracked terms this month, but you might need 200 next month.
If you’re using a tool that helps you discover new keywords (and you should be!), you should quickly be growing the number of terms you’re tracking.
The tool that you choose should be able to accommodate your business’s tracking needs no matter how small or large they are!
ProRankTracker’s plans start at just 100 tracked terms, but they go up to 20,000+ tracked terms. ProRankTracker can grow with your business as you’re ready.
12. Reasonable Price
Price will always be a consideration.
Having the lowest possible price per keyword in the market is an essential tool feature. It’s vital for anyone who needs to keep track of many different keywords and search engines.
ProRankTracker is the most affordable cost-per-keyword tracker in the industry. However, unlike other budget-friendly tools, they don’t skimp on the features to lower costs.
Even at ProRankTracker’s lowest-cost plan, you still get:
- Unlimited reports
- Unlimited URLs
- Unlimited full SERPs
- White label features
- DAILY rank updates (for super fresh rank data)
All that comes in a plan that starts at just $11/month! Most other ranking tools don’t start offering a list of features like that until their higher-tier plans.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice accuracy and quality because your business doesn’t have an infinite budget. With ProRankTracker, you don’t have to!
How to Use ProRankTracker to Track Your Keyword Strategy
So far, we’ve talked a lot about what you should look for in a rank tracker. This basic SEO checklist has shown you what you should be focusing on when tracking your ranks.
You know that ProRankTracker’s list of features allows you to maintain your ranking data with extreme accuracy and precision.
Now that we’ve gone over the basic SEO SOPs let’s talk about executing this process with ProRankTracker’s tools.
This section will walk you through the entire process of tracking your ranks on ProRankTracker. We’ll start with adding your URLs and keywords, then show you how to use organization features to check your ranks quickly. Finally, we’ll give you a quick look at how to find new keywords quickly.
Add URLs and Keywords
Before you can track any data with ProRankTracker, you have to add the URLs and keywords that you want to track. This includes:
- Keywords you’re currently targeting
- Competitor keywords that you’re interested in following
- Keywords that you’re considering targeting
The easiest way to add URLs and keywords is with the Add Wizard tool.
- Input your URL
- Add any keywords for that URL separated by lines
- Add tags and groups for those URLs and keywords
- Select the search engines you want to follow
- Add location data
- Select the types of device you want to follow
That’s all there is to it! Using the Add Wizard, you can only add 1 URL at a time. The Advanced Add feature allows you to add multiple URLs simultaneously if desired.
It’s imperative that you split your keywords and URLs into groups and tags at this early stage. Doing so will make tracking different aspects of your keyword strategy MUCH easier, which is what we’ll talk about next.
Use Groups and Tags to Quickly Track Keywords
Each of the 5 rankings views gives you a different look at your ranks. Use them all to get a well-rounded understanding of your strategy’s success.
In these rankings views, you can filter out specific groups and tags in 2 different ways:
- Filtering options
- The eye icon
Filtering options are at the top of each page, and they allow you to narrow down your search on that page to specific groups, tags, keywords, or other parameters.
If you repeatedly use the same filter, go to the “Saved Filters” tab and save your frequent filters for quick access.
The eye icon, on the other hand, the eye icon is always at the very top of your ProRankTracker window. It allows you to quickly jump to different aspects of your data with a single click.
Use groups, tags, and other organizational features frequently to save as much time as possible on ProRankTracker!
Grow Your Keyword Strategy With Keyword Tools
Now that you’re confidently tracking your keywords and URLs, it’s time to expand your keyword strategy.
ProRankTracker offers 2 tools to help you discover new keywords:
- Keyword Suggestions
- Rankings Discovery
The Keyword Suggestions tool suggests targeted keywords based on the keywords that you’re already tracking. In other words, it doesn’t generate a list of random keywords that won’t help you gain traffic.
Instead, it can help you find long-tail keywords with super targeted traffic.
Go to the Keyword Suggestions tool and select the URL and keyword you want to use to expand your keyword strategy. ProRankTracker will automatically generate a list of keywords for you.
It also shows you the search volume of each suggested keyword.
The Rankings Discovery tool is your secret weapon. You can use it to uncover keywords you and your competitors rank for without knowing it.
It generates a list of keywords you already rank in the top 100 but aren’t currently tracking.
One excellent way to use this tool is to find a single keyword that your opponents are tracking, then input it into this tool. Then, Rankings Discovery will automatically reveal your competitor’s ENTIRE keyword strategy in just a few seconds.
This is a great way to go toe-to-toe with your competitors on their high-value keywords.
Finding a keyword tracking tool that meets the basic SEO standards can be challenging. Hopefully, this article has helped you uncover the essential needs when looking for a tracking tool.
ProRankTracker is the best highly-specialized keyword tracker due to its excellent cost-per-term ratio. It provides the best value of any keyword tracker on the market, and it can help you quickly grow your keyword strategy.
If you aren’t already using ProRankTracker, sign up for a 30-day free trial and follow the steps above to see how much it can improve your tracking strategy.