Best SEO Software 2020

The 3 Best Keyword Rank Tracking Tools: SEMrush, AccuRanker & Ahrefs

Learn about the best keyword rank tracking tools to improve your SEO performance and drive more traffic to your website. We provide an introduction to keyword trackers, and profile the three best options: SEMrush, AccuRanker and Ahrefs.

As mentioned in our Guide to Selecting SEO Software, keyword rank trackers are arguably the most important SEO software. In this article, we'll provide a detailed introduction to keyword rank trackers, and profile the three best keyword rank tracking options.

Table of Contents

Why Do You Need a Keyword Rank Checker?

Keyword rank checkers (or keyword rank trackers) are used to monitor the performance of your website in Google and Bing's organic search results, and to surface insights that can be used to improve your SEO programs. Any organization that gets a material amount of website traffic and business through organic search should regularly check its keyword rankings.

Keyword rank checkers allow you to answer important questions such as:

  • What search terms drive the most traffic to your website?
  • Are your most important keywords doing better or worse than a week or month ago?
  • Are your link building or content programs producing the results you desired?
  • Did the last Google search algorithm change hurt your website's SEO?
  • What other websites do you compete with for organic search traffic?

Much of the information provided by keyword ranking tools is not provided by Google. While you can get tons of valuable information through the Google Search Console and Google Analytics, Google does not provide the same amount of information in as useful of a format as keyword rank tracking software.

Keyword Rank Tracker Features

Keyword rank trackers come with the same must-have features. The must have features are:

  • The ability to upload and tag keywords
  • A daily view of how each of your keywords is performing on Google search results
  • The ability to filter results by device (mobile, desktop), keyword group, and location
  • Useful reports to see major changes in keyword performance, and to see keyword rank tracking distribution
  • The ability to see how your website is performing compared to your top online competitors
  • Alerts for large changes in your keyword performance

How Much Does a Keyword Rank Tracker Cost?

A good keyword rank tracker will cost you $50-100 per month for 500 keywords. With most solutions, price is based upon the number of keywords you want to track. Here's a comparison of the monthly cost of SEMrush, AccuRanker and Ahrefs for different keyword volumes.

Keyword VolumeSEMrush PriceAccuRanker PriceAhrefs Price
500$99.95$49$99
1,500$199.95$99$179
5,000$399.95$249$399

SEMrush: Best Overall Keyword Rank Tracking Tool

SEMrush is a highly popular, best-in-class SEO software tool. It offers a broad suite of tools for paid and organic search, and its keyword tracking tool is outstanding. If you're in the market for an all-purpose SEO solution, and want one that excels in keyword rank tracking, then we highly recommend SEMrush.

While other tools offer the same core keyword tracking reports and insights, SEMrush provides a larger number of reports that can be filtered and sorted in more ways. It's keyword ranks are also updated at least every 24 hours; Ahrefs, for example, updates keywords every 3-7 days. SEMrush has also built a Position Tracking App so you can monitor your website's performance on the go.

Here's an overview of the features available in SEMrush's Position Tracking solution:

  • The ability to track keyword position over time based upon average keyword position, SEMrush's Visibility Score, and estimated traffic for desktop, tablet and mobile
  • The ability to track keywords down to the zip-code level, a big plus for local businesses
  • The ability to filter all reports by tag, domain, SERP features, and keyword position
  • A report to see position, trends, SERP features, estimated traffic for all your keywords
  • Keyword ranking distribution report
  • The ability to see SEO performance by landing page
  • An automatically generated report providing insights on your featured snippet performance
  • The ability to see your top competitors by number of keywords and keyword position

We've included a screenshot of SEMrush below. If you're interested in testing the tool, check out our full review of SEMrush, or visit SEMrush's website to get a free 7 day trial.

semrush position tracking

AccuRanker: Best Specialized in Keyword Rank Tracking Tool

The AccuRanker product is built specifically for keyword rank tracking, and is used by over 20,000 marketers. Unlike SEMrush and Ahrefs, it does not offer a broad range of features. As a result of this focus, AccuRanker offers a complete set of keyword rank tracking features for a lower cost. If you only need a solution for keyword rank tracking, and aren't in need of a tool to support keyword research, on-site SEO auditing, or backlink campaigns, then we recommend AccuRanker.

AccuRanker provides all the reports and data views that you need, as well as useful integrations with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Sheets and Google Data Studio. With these integrations, the tool calculates and shares valuable insights such as the keywords with the greatest untapped potential. The data in the system is refreshed at least every 24 hours. Some features, such as share of voice and API access are not available in the Basic Plan.

Here's an overview of the features in the AccuRanker solution:

  • Ability to see keyword performance for Bing & Google on desktop and mobile
  • The ability to track keywords down to the zip-code level, a big plus for local businesses
  • Reports to see your share of voice, top competitors, ranking distribution, and average rank
  • A report to drill into performance by keyword including data on rank, rank change, search volume, share of voice, and SERP features
  • A report to see performance by landing page with the same filters as the keyword report
  • Automatic notifications for meaningful positive or negative changes in your keyword rankings
  • The ability to build and schedule delivery of custom reports
  • The ability to add multiple domains and control user permissions for large companies or marketing agencies

We've included a screenshot of AccuRanker below. If you're interested in learning more about AccuRanker, read our full review of AccuRanker, or visit AccuRanker's website to get a free 14 day trial.

AccuRanker keywords tab

Ahrefs: Great All-Around SEO Tool with Solid Keyword Tracking

Ahrefs is a very popular SEO tool that comes with a broad range of useful features. As we mention in our full Ahrefs review, it is the best SEO tool in the market for backlink campaigns. It's keyword tracking module is effective, and if you're in the market for an all-in-one tool, then Ahrefs is a great option. However, if you're specifically interested in a keyword tracking tool, then we believe you'll be slightly happier with SEMrush or AccuRanker.

Here's an overview of the features in Ahrefs keyword tracking tool:

  • Ability to see keyword ranking on desktop & mobile for 170 countries (note: only Advanced Plan supports mobile)
  • Ability to filter reports by tag
  • Keywords updated every 3-7 days, depending on your plan
  • Average position and visibility over time
  • Keyword ranking distribution (1-3, 4-10, 11-50, 51-100)
  • Track where your site ranks with rich results
  • Measure your performance against up to 5 competitors
  • Scheduled email reports

We've included a screenshot of Ahrefs below. If you're interested in exploring the tool in more detail, check out our full review of Ahrefs, or visit Ahrefs to get a 7 day trial for $7.

ahrefs rank tracker

Bottom Line

SEMrush, AccuRanker and Ahrefs are all great keyword rank tracking options. The best tool for you depends on exactly what you need from your SEO software:

  • If you want an all-in-one SEO tool that excels in keyword rank tracking, and offers other solutions for keyword research, on-site auditing and backlink building, then SEMrush is the best option.
  • If you want an all-in-one SEO tool that offers keyword rank tracking, keyword research, on-site auditing, and excels in backlink building, then Ahrefs is the best option.
  • If you want a tool that is laser-focused specifically on keyword rank tracking, and do not need the broader suite of features, then AccuRanker is the best option.
Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed Internet companies, and launching new ventures. Bruce graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of Business.