Search engine rankings are complicated these days. Much more so than they ever used to be.
Today, your web site might have completely different rankings depending on where in the world a user is searching for you or what device they’re using. Your positioning might also be different depending on the type of business you have or what kind of content you’re producing.
And while rankings are not the be-all, end-all of actionable data these days with respect to how well your business is actually benefitting from organic search, they’re still pretty important.
Today, we’re going to look at one of the better options I’ve found if you’re in the market for pure rank tracking and reporting: Pro Rank Tracker.
We’ll walk through the product (with plenty of visuals and screenshots!) so you can use this Pro Rank Tracker review as a guide to either making a purchase or as a tutorial once you’ve purchased a monthly (or yearly) subscription.
- 1 Onboarding
- 2 Dashboard and Views
- 3 Reporting
- 4 Other Tools
- 5 Apps & Plugins
- 6 Pricing
- 7 Final Verdict
Pro Rank Tracker makes it easy for keywords and URLs to be added quickly and in accordance with what kind of tracking you’re most interested in.
If you’re just looking to track rankings on a desktop basis, you can simply type in the URLs you’re looking to track, along with your keywords in the “Searched Terms” box. Alternatively, you can upload any spreadsheet in .XLS form to have URLs and keywords added.
The “Exact Match” option refers to how the domain will be searched. If it’s a root domain you’re looking to track rather than a sub-page, then it will always be searched as broad. This means ProRankTracker will always show you the individual page under your domain that ranks for a keyword you’ve chosen. If you’d rather check rankings for a specific URL (e.g. www.sustainedsurge.com/free-seo-tools/) then check the Exact Match box and your rankings will only show if that particular page is ranking for a keyword.
You can then choose to track your rankings on any of the local Google variants, in English or in other languages. You can also choose from a variety of different search engines, including ones you don’t often find in most rank checking software options, including Amazon, which is a huge one for many e-commerce merchants who use the platform as a 3rd party seller. Finally, you can choose to segment your keywords by using either groups or tags for easy recall later on.
Tracking mobile rankings is just as easy. Simply click the “Add (mobile)” tab and enter your keywords and URLs the same way:
Most of the settings here are the same. However, here you also have the option of segmenting by device in case you want to track how your rankings shape up on, say, an iPhone vs. an Android phone. If you want to track all devices, just click the “Select all Devices” and they’ll all be added automatically.
Dashboard and Views
Pro Rank Tracker’s widget-based dashboard interface is color-coded effectively and contains all of the important information you need to know about your rankings in one spot. Each individual widget’s content can be exported as an image for easy insertion into a more robust report. There are also separate reports that slice and dice your ranking data in just about every combination you can think of.
For now though, let’s look at some of the views of your rankings that you can get within Pro Rank Tracker itself that don’t require any exporting of data:
URL View is a pretty straight-forward view of your ranking data by URL. This will give you a look at where a particular URL stands for each of the keywords you’ve chosen. You can see the current ranking, as well as how its increased (or decreased) relative to the previous, day, week and month. You’re also provided with local and global search volume for each term.
You’ll also notice immediately to the right of each keyword a designation called “Type.” This refers to the different types of listings Pro Rank Tracker tracks. The “O” symbol in the screenshot above is the standard desktop organic search listing. However, there are also designations for a Google Local listing, a Google “Snack Pack” (sometimes referred to as the “3-pack” or the “local stack”) listing, a Local Finder listing, a mobile search listing and a YouTube search listing.
Term View is probably the best way to use Pro Rank Tracker to get a sense of where you and your competitors rank for a given set of keywords. Each term is listed out separately, with the URL, ranking page, search engine and ranking data all laid out for you.
You can also use the filtering capabilities at the top of the page to help narrow down the list of keywords to what you’re most interested in:
Finally, List View presents a quick list of domains with jump-off points to get to more advanced reports. This view is best for those who have tons of URLs to sort through. It also presents an easy way to quickly add or delete terms for your domain, etc.
Pro Rank Tracker offers a litany of exportable reporting options for your keyword rank tracking. Each report can be set up as a one-time download, either to .PDF or .CSV, or as an automated download at the time interval you select. You can also connect Pro Rank Tracker with either Dropbox or Google Drive to have reports automatically sent there.
Overview Reports are exactly what they imply: an overview of what your chosen keywords look like at the present moment.
Here’s a sample report that we through together for some of the long tail terms we’re tracking at Sustained Surge:
As in Views, these can be customized to just about any specification or filtering criteria you want to use, making it perfect to segment URLs and terms out for clients or for higher-level people within your organization. The visuals and coloring are vibrant and perfectly illustrate ranking changes without ambiguity. It’s also nice to get an aggregate number of terms that are ranking #1, top 10, top 20, top 100 etc.
Progress reports are a little bit more granular, allowing you to measure your progress for each keyword over time.
The Daily Breakdown Report gives you a daily look for each term, including progression charts like the one above detailing how rankings have progressed over time.
You can also compare terms within the same chart by clicking on the terms you want to compare and clicking the “Multiple Terms Graph” button:
This will give you a graph that looks like the below, which is easily exportable to .JPEG, .PDF etc:
Comparison Reports can be used to benchmark ranking progress between your site and that of your competitors.
Here’s an example of a URL comparison report I created for handful of keywords:
You can also use the Search Engines Comparison Report if you want to compare how your rankings are across different search engines, be it different local Google variants or different search engines altogether. Here’s an example with our own site for the same set of terms across Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo:
Finally, you can create a Benchmark Report to compare keyword rankings across a time span of your choosing, including percentage increases and decreases. The sample report above compares terms across a two-week span to determine change in positioning. You also get an aggregate number of keywords that have either increased or decreased during this time.
All of these reports can be saved and re-run at a later date. Additionally, all of the charts can be downloaded to image, .PDF or spreadsheet.
Another cool feature in the reporting section is the ability to leave comments in the report automatically. Simply use the text box to format your comment the way you want, download to .PDF and it will be included along with the data. This is perfect for agencies and freelancers who want to be able to add some context to their clients’ ranking data.
In addition to the customizable reports that can be generated with Pro Rank Tracker or downloaded externally, you can also set up Shared Reports that clients or stakeholders can access through a custom URL. These shared reports, by default, contain a combination of what you can get in the Overview and Progress reports. However, you can control how much of that information you want your clients or stakeholders to actually see.
Each report link has an expiration date. However, the date can be extended as far as necessary.
Automated reports can be created easily, and can be sent via e-mail, Dropbox or Google Drive to whomever you want at a time interval that you specify.
You can also customize the look and feel of the e-mail templates themselves by choosing the “Customize Templates” from within the Settings menu.
Pro Rank Tracker also features several other tools that can help you find high-value keywords to track.
One of those is Rankings Discovery, which will provide you with a list of terms you’re not currently tracking but your web site is already ranking for.
You might not get much insight out of this feature with a new site that isn’t ranking for a whole lot of terms. But if you have (or are working with) a well-established site, this is a good way to get some insight into keywords you might not have immediate thought of.
You can also use the Keyword Suggestions Tool to surface keywords that are already similar to the ones you’re tracking already. Simply select a keyword that you’re already tracking and it will be used as a “seed keyword” to bring up terms that are directly related.
Neither tool is particularly groundbreaking if you have access to SEMRush or a similar competitive benchmarking tool. But to get tools like this together with rank checking at as low a price point as Pro Rank Tracker starts at is an exceptional bargain, in our eyes.
Apps & Plugins
Finally, Pro Rank Tracker offers a handful of apps & plugins for you to make the most out of the service.
Their free mobile app, available for iOS and Android, allows you to view most of the same ranking data you can get on your desktop. In the screenshot above, you can see the same Quick Account Stats overview that you can get on the web version.
Here’s an example of ranking data for healthline.com: a general overview, followed by a comparison of two terms which you can view on the app.
The mobile app is free for all Pro Rank Tracker customers.
In addition, Enterprise plan holders can take advantage of MyRanks: a white-labelling solution that will brand an app with your logo and company details that your clients can then access any time.
Plugins for WordPress and cPanel
ProRankTracker also offers plugins for both WordPress and cPanel, both of which are supposed to allow you to view your ranking data either from the WPAdmin section if your site runs on WordPress or from the standard cPanel set-up.
We gave the WordPress plugin a shot but it didn’t seem to work for us. (It hasn’t been updated in over a year, according to its official plugin page from WordPress.org, so it might not work with your current version of WordPress.
Still, there are so many other ways to use Pro Rank Tracker, this shouldn’t make a difference between purchasing or not.
You’d be hard pressed to find stand-alone rank tracking software that has the level of depth at the price that it’s being offered for than Pro Rank Tracker.
Even Positionly, which we reviewed a few weeks ago and is offered at the same $19 starting price for a month of service isn’t as robust when it comes to what they track and where. For example, Pro Rank Tracker offers mobile rank tracking (down to the device, if necessary), as well as rank checking on sites like YouTube and Amazon.
Their full list of available search engines is more comprehensive than any other stand-alone rank checker we’ve seen. Plus, they provide insight into what’s happening in expanded SERP listings like Snack Pack and Local Finder: perfect for local businesses trying to optimize for searches in a specific location.
With their entry-level Bronze plan, you can track up to 300 keywords across an infinite number of URLs for only $19 on a monthly plan and a pro-rated cost of only $17 per month if you sign up for an annual plan.
Having gone through the software extensively, I came away extremely impressed with Pro Rank Tracker’s capabilities as a stand-alone rank checker.
The charts and visuals all feature vibrant color patterns and are easy to understand. The flexibility you have in being able to move widgets around on the main dashboard or download specific charts is perfect for those who like to customize their own reports, whether for their own business or for their client.
It does have a few blind spots in terms of presentation that I’d like to see shored up. Probably the most frustrating is how they set up their mobile rank tracking, which is not labelled well when you’re tracking more than one device. Here’s what I mean: See how each keyword is simply categorized as “mobile” without any indication as to which device that mobile ranking is for? This is the same for all three views: URL, Term and List. If you’ve chosen to track all six devices (iPhone, Android Phone, iPad, Android Tablet, Windows Phone & Windows Tablet) this is obviously confusing. Which mobile ranking corresponds to what device? Logically, you would think that tagging each term would help. And it does to some degree: you can go to the Term Tags section and when you create a new tag, you’ll (finally) see which of the same terms correspond to which device so you can tag them appropriately:
But even still, if you want to get into specifics of which “mobile” keyword is assigned to what device, it requires an extra click from within a view. In Term View, you can click on each of the tags and you’ll be presented with all of the terms that you’ve now labelled as being from an iPhone, for instance. You can also choose each device individually from the filtering option. But again, this seems unnecessary. And it doesn’t give you a clear cut, side-by-side picture of how your mobile rankings are different by device. Hopefully, they change this in future versions to where they have not just a mobile icon specifying type but also specifying the specific device so you don’t have to go through this. It’s not the end of the world but it’s definitely an annoying quirk.
Edit 10/27/16: A couple of days ago, an anonymous reader left a helpful comment on this post explaining how to see keyword rankings for each device in the default view instead of having to tag each keyword according to its device.
In either URL or Term View, in the column directly above rankings, click the “Columns” drop-down menu and check the “Device” box:
This will add a new column to the view called “Device,” which will show an icon signifying which device each keyword ranking is associated with:
Here’s the map for all of the devices, according to their icon:
So while I still feel it should be part of the default view and not something that you should have to actively check, it can definitely be done from within Pro Rank Tracker without having to tag your keywords by device. My apologies to the readers for not finding that before!
There are some other little nuances as well (not keeping you logged in long enough, for example). And while they do leverage Majestic to give you the number of total inbound links for the URL as a whole, they don’t give you the kind of detail that even something like Positionly gives you. So that would be nice to see in future versions.
But honestly, if all you’re looking for is a great rank tracker, there’s nothing I found strikes me as a deal breaker or an impediment for moving forward with it.
Indeed, having gone through a multitude of different rank tracking solutions over the last few years, I can honestly say that as of now, Pro Rank Tracker provides you with the most bang for its buck of any rank tracker currently out there.
You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Pro Rank Tracker by clicking here.