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11 Keyword Monitoring Tools To Track Your Rankings

Understanding which of your target keywords you're ranking for and and how well your pages rank for them provides valuable insight into the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

Mar 22, 2024

9 m read

The right content strategy is like a good game of chess. There are multiple tactics to outsmart your competitor, and knowing your own weaknesses is crucial if you want to improve on them. Keyword monitoring is one such tactic, and if you’re not doing it, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to grow your business and brand.

Keyword monitoring tools are not just nice-to-have features but critical tools in your arsenal for outranking competitors and improving your organic search engine rankings. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using these tools to maximize your rankings and organic traffic.

What Is Keyword Monitoring?

Simply put, keyword monitoring tracks words and phrases your potential customers are using when they’re looking for products or services like yours. If your business is landscaping, knowing and using keywords related to your services, such as “landscaping service” and “commercial landscaping,” is what will bring more potential customers to your website.

Monitoring keywords is also a necessary step in getting your website to the top of search engine results. Most users click on the top result first when they search for services or products online. Beyond that, the first three organic results on Google account for about half of all clicks, which makes keyword monitoring an essential strategy if you want to grow your business.

Benefits of SEO Keyword Monitoring

There are tangible results involved with monitoring keywords as part of your overall search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing strategy. Companies that effectively track keywords achieve a higher ROI from their efforts. Monitoring allows them to work smarter by doing the following:

  1. Climbing the Search Engine Ladder: Keyword monitoring acts as your personal roadmap to improved rankings and visibility. By consistently tracking your website’s performance for essential keywords over time, you gain a crystal-clear understanding of what’s working and what needs fine-tuning. This empowers you to identify areas for improvement, optimize your content, and gradually climb the search engine ladder, placing your brand in front of the right audience at the right time.
  2. Crafting Content that Converts: Uncover the hidden gems — the keywords that drive the most traffic to specific pages on your website. You can then tailor your content, meta descriptions, and internal linking structure to resonate deeply with search engine algorithms and, more importantly, your target audience, ultimately leading to higher engagement and conversions.
  3. Learning From the Best (and Beating Them): Competitor analysis is a cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy. Keyword monitoring lets you peek behind the curtain and witness your competitors’ top-performing pages for specific keywords. Analyze their tactics, identify gaps in your own strategies, and leverage these insights to create even more compelling content that outshines the competition.
  4. Staying Ahead of the Curve: By monitoring keyword data, you gain access to information about changing industry terms and emerging search trends. This empowers you to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate audience needs, and continuously refine your content to remain relevant and engaging.
  5. Measuring Your Success (and Making Money): No marketing effort exists in a vacuum, and SEO is no exception. Keyword monitoring allows you to quantify the effectiveness of your SEO campaigns by clearly demonstrating the connection between keyword rankings and your desired business outcomes. This data-driven approach empowers you to calculate your ROI, showcase the value of SEO to stakeholders, and make informed decisions to optimize your budget and maximize your return on investment.

Best Keyword Monitoring Tools

Whether you need in-depth competitor analysis, lightning-fast rank tracking, or budget-friendly options, there are multiple keyword monitoring tools available to consider. We’ll show you some of the most popular and reputable keyword monitoring tools, covering a mix of powerful, enterprise-level platforms and accessible tools for smaller businesses.

1. Ahrefs


Why It’s One of the Best: Ahrefs is a powerhouse in SEO with extensive keyword tracking features across Google, Bing, YouTube, and more. Ahrefs boasts 14.8 billion indexed web pages and 16.2 billion indexed keywords.

Best Suited For: Marketers needing data-rich insights, competitive analysis, and backlink research along with keyword monitoring.


  • Global and local keyword rank tracking
  • In-depth keyword difficulty analysis
  • Competitor keyword and backlink monitoring

Pros: Powerful feature set, detailed analytics

Cons: Can be overwhelming for beginners, pricier than some options

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

2. Semrush


Why It’s One of the Best: Semrush is a robust tool suite covering a broad spectrum of SEO and marketing tasks, including effective keyword tracking.

Best Suited For: Those wanting a platform for SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing with robust keyword research and tracking.


  • Keyword rank tracking (desktop and mobile)
  • Competitor analysis & research tools
  • ‘Keyword Magic’ tool for discovery
  • 7-day free trial

Pros: Comprehensive platform, intuitive

Cons: Cost can add up with multiple tools

Pricing: Plans start at $129.95/month

3. Moz Pro


Why It’s One of the Best: Known for its trustworthy SEO metrics, Moz Pro includes solid keyword tracking within its offerings.

Best Suited For: Individuals and businesses wanting trusted metrics paired with other tools for on-page optimization and link analysis.


  • Keyword ranking across search engines
  • Keyword difficulty metric
  • Search volume trends
  • 30-day free trial

Pros: Established brand, user friendly

Cons: Fewer features than dedicated tools

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

4. AccuRanker


Why It’s One of the Best: AccuRanker is known for its accuracy and speed, updating ranking data often.

Best Suited For: Agencies or larger businesses needing enterprise-level features and large-scale tracking.


  • Google & Bing tracking, unlimited domains
  • Flexible reporting, granular historical data
  • Share of Voice metric (for market-level data)
  • 14-day free trial

Pros: Speed, accuracy, scalable

Cons: Steeper learning curve

Pricing: Plans start at $116/month

5. SE Ranking

se ranking

Why It’s One of the Best: SE Ranking offers accurate tracking alongside a suite of SEO tools at a competitive price point.

Best Suited For: SEO agencies and marketers needing value-driven solutions for tracking, site audits, and backlink monitoring.


  • Daily ranking updates
  • Competitor analysis
  • Website audit tool
  • 14-day free trial

Pros: Excellent competitor and keyword research, broad feature set

Cons: Steeper learning curve, AI words limit

Pricing: Plans start at $44/month

6. Glimpse


Why It’s One of the Best: Glimpse focuses on local SEO tracking across search engines and maps, making it valuable for businesses targeting location-specific audiences.

Best Suited For: Brick-and-mortar businesses, service-area companies, and agencies who manage local SEO for clients.


  • Tracks Google Maps rankings
  • Local competitor insights
  • White-label customer dashboards

Pros: Niche focus on local SEO data, intuitive interface

Cons: Limited global tracking features, fewer overall SEO tools

Pricing: Free

7. Ubersuggest


Why It’s One of the Best: Delivering straightforward keyword analysis and tracking, Ubersuggest is known for its affordability and accessibility.

Best Suited For: Freelancers, bloggers, and smaller businesses with limited budgets who need essential keyword and competitor insights.


  • Keyword rank tracking
  • Keyword idea generation
  • Backlink analysis (limited)
  • 7-day free trial

Pros: Easy to use, low cost, offers both free and paid versions

Cons: Feature set less extensive than all-in-one SEO platforms

Pricing: Individual plans start at $29/month

8. Mangools


Why It’s One of the Best: Mangools is a well-regarded suite of user-friendly tools excelling in keyword research and easy-to-digest analytics.

Best Suited For: Marketers and website owners who value simplicity and need strong keyword research alongside a limited keyword tracker.


  • Keyword tracking (with limited updates per cycle)
  • Keyword research tool with search volume data
  • SERP analysis features

Pros: Intuitive design, clean reporting

Cons: Keyword tracker updates per day are limited, better known for research functionality

Pricing: Plans start at $19.90/month

9. Mention


Why It’s One of the Best: Mention specializes in tracking mentions of keywords across social media platforms, news outlets, blogs, forums, and more.

Best Suited For: Reputation management, social media monitoring, brand managers, and PR professionals.


  • Brand and competitor mention tracking
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Influencer identification
  • 14-day free trial

Pros: Covers sources beyond traditional search engines

Cons: SEO keyword functionality isn’t the core focus

Pricing: Plans start at $41/month

10. SerpWatch


Why It’s One of the Best: SerpWatch is a flexible, highly customizable keyword tracker with robust reporting options.

Best Suited For: Those who need detailed, flexible monitoring with granular location & data visualizations


  • Tracks organic and paid search results
  • Automated, white-label reports
  • Integrates with Google Analytics

Pros: Data granularity, customizable interface

Cons: May be too in-depth for casual users

Pricing: Plans start at $29/month

11. Honorable Mention: Google Search Console (GSC)

google search console keyword monitoring

How It Helps: While not a dedicated tracker, GSC is free and directly from Google, offering valuable insights into your site’s average position for certain keywords and overall search performance. It provides general ranking overviews, identifies content improvement opportunities, and surfaces technical SEO issues.

Best Suited For: All website owners


  • Average keyword positions
  • Click-through data for tracked terms
  • Sitewide organic search performance indicators

Pros: Free, authoritative data

Cons: Not a real-time tracking tool, doesn’t cover competitor insights

Pricing: Free

What Metrics To Track

Tracking the right metrics is essential to gauge your keyword strategy’s success and identify improvement areas. Here are some of the most important metrics to monitor:

  • Keyword Ranking: Your website’s position in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a specific keyword or keyphrase. Monitoring changes gives you a direct overview of the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
  • Search Volume: The average number of times a particular keyword is searched for within a specific time frame (monthly, usually). It indicates potential traffic and the overall popularity of a term.
  • Keyword Difficulty: A measure of how challenging it will be to rank highly for a keyword. Several factors are at play, including competitor strength and the quality of their content. Assessing keyword difficulty guides your strategic approach.
  • Traffic Potential: An estimate of how many visitors you might attract if you rank at the top of the SERPs for a given keyword. Traffic potential ties in with search volume and considers competitor strength to give a realistic projection.
  • SERP Features: Rich results, such as featured snippets, image carousels, and ‘People Also Ask‘ boxes that appear along with traditional search results. Track whether targeted keywords trigger these features, giving context to organic ranking changes.
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on your website’s listing in the SERPs after seeing it. A high CTR for a top ranking indicates an engaging title and meta description.

What Types of Keywords To Track

Choosing the right mix of keywords can significantly impact your website’s visibility and potential to attract targeted traffic. Here are some of the types of keywords you’ll want to track:

  • Branded Keywords: Search terms that contain your company, product, or service names. These have high conversion potential because the searchers already have awareness and intent.
  • Industry Keywords: Broad terms and phrases relevant to your industry or niche. Tracking them helps assess overall visibility and competitor presence in your field.
  • Target Keywords: Specific terms that closely align with the products or services you offer and address potential customers’ pain points or specific questions. These have conversion potential.
  • Long-Tail Keywords: Longer, multi-word phrases that are highly specific. Due to their specificity, they tend to be less competitive and may convert well as their search intent is clearer.
  • Competitor Keywords: Key terms for which your competitors rank highly. Analyzing these allows you to identify opportunities, learn from their strategies, and discover industry trends.
  • Informational Keywords: Keywords users employ when they are in the early research stages of the buying journey (e.g., “how to…” or “best ways to…”). Targeting these helps provide valuable content and builds authority.

And here are some additional useful keyword types beyond the main categories:

  • Navigational Keywords: People searching for specific websites or brands are valuable for direct traffic and brand recognition.
  • Seasonal Keywords: These are terms with fluctuating search volume based on the time of year or events. They’re important for timely content and promotions.
  • Geo-Targeted Keywords: Include location-specific terms to attract relevant local audiences.
  • Question Keywords: These queries phrased as questions indicate deeper search intent and potential conversion opportunities.

Rise in Rankings With an SEO Partner

Using keyword monitoring tools is a powerful way to boost your website’s traffic and rankings, but it’s just one part of a successful SEO strategy. To attract more customers, you have to know the words they’re using to locate products and services, but you also need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your current content.

If this seems overwhelming, our team at Victorious can help. We offer comprehensive SEO services, including keyword research services, that we tailor to target your business needs and deliver tangible results. With our proven techniques, we can help you improve your website’s visibility, drive organic traffic, and ultimately help you achieve a solid return on your marketing investments. Sign up for a free SEO consultation today and let us unlock your website’s full potential!

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