Keeping tabs on our search engine rankings has always been something we’ve struggled with. We’ve tried tools like SEOmoz and Raven, but as we only have limited requirements and a relatively small set of keywords, we’ve always struggled to justify the spend. Both of these services start at $99/month.
Last week I was invited to try a new tool called RankWatch. They offer packages starting at a very affordable $10/month. They also offer a free trial, without the need to enter any billing details. I gave it a whirl and here are my findings.
The UI is pretty simple and easy to navigate. I liked the fact that once logged in, it was just a case of entering my keywords (upto 50 for the basic package and free trial) and the relevant search engines (in our case Google UK, US and AUS). Users can also create separate projects for different websites.
The results are delivered in a graph which plots positions for the selected territories in a timeline. Underneath this is an overview of keywords in the top 3 and the the first page and below this a table which can be toggled based on rankings in each territory. Users can also look at rankings at a keyword-specific level.
One thing that really impressed me about this tool was the speed in which it gathered the relevant data. The last time I used SEOmoz it seemed to take ages for rankings to be delivered, RankWatch delivered them in what seemed like no time at all.
Alerts and reporting
One handy feature this system offers is the ability to set up email alerts which are sent when a particular keyword either rises or falls in the rankings. As I had only the standard free account, I wasn’t able to check this out, but I can see that it would be really useful.
You can also pull down keyword reports in either Excel or PDF format. If you opt for one of the more expensive packages, you can white label these with your own branding, perfect for agencies.
The sample report I downloaded was quite basic, lacking the visual appeal which is sometimes needed to wow clients. It would have been nice to see the rankings graph from the dashboard here.
Prices start from $10 for 50 keywords, up to an unrestricted enterprise-class package which is POA.
There was a gap in the market for an affordable, no-frills ranking tool and RankWatch has filled it perfectly. It’s fair to say that it doesn’t offer the same level of backlink and competitor insight as its more expensive rivals, but for businesses such as ours it is ideal.