10 Little-Known Rank Tracker Features That You Must Try
When I first launched Rank Tracker (which was about 8 years ago), I was happy to simply check ranking positions for a bunch of my keywords. Of course, I rechecked the results manually in Google and most of them were precise, so I couldn't be happier with my experience.
After I mastered rank checking, I got curious about researching new keywords — and you can only imagine how delighted I was to collect dozens of ideas via the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
But time flies and now I feel I got so much more experienced with Rank Tracker, I feel it's my moral obligation to share that knowledge with more SEO PowerSuite users out there. Because at the end of the day, it's all about the experience we could share with one another, right?
So, here are some of my favorite Rank Tracker features that might have flown under your radar!
Fully automate your ranking checks and reports
I think this hack definitely tops the chart. Imagine you can automate rank checking and report publishing for 100% — you can set everything up once and get ranking reports right into your inbox (for all your websites and clients, of course!).
Your Rank Tracker tool can do this — here's how to set up this killer timesaver.
First of all, we'll need to schedule a rank checking task in Preferences > Scheduler:
After you click Add and choose the task (Check search engine rankings, in our case), you'll need to pick the project and specify the time and recurrence rules for the task.
For instance, I need to check my site's rankings on a weekly basis and I prefer to get this data first thing on a Monday morning before anyone gets to their working place. So, this is how my task schedule looks like:
Now the tool will perform a weekly ranking check, but how do we get that report straight into our (or client's) inbox? We'll need to schedule another task — reports publishing.
Let me walk you through the steps:
Again, navigate to Preferences > Scheduler, click Add and choose Publish reports. After that, select the project you need and pick the necessary report template from the list.
You will need to choose the preferred publishing profile — click Add to choose the format (I choose Publish online and send the access URL via email) and follow the instructions of the setup wizard.
Make sure that when you fill in your email settings, you test the connection. If you need to connect a Gmail account, you'll have to enable the "Connect to less secure apps" option in you Google safety settings. Otherwise, Google will block the connection and your report won't be sent.
When your publishing profile is ready, proceed with scheduling and specify the time and recurrence. In my case, the rankings will be checked by approx. 7-30 AM, so I'll set the start time to 7-35 AM, and by the time I get to work at 8 AM, the rankings and visibility report will be already waiting for me to be opened and viewed.
All done? You're now a lucky person whose rankings are checked and emailed on the fly!
2. Replace search volume ranges with precise numbers
When we do keyword research, it's a bit annoying to get search volume data in the format of ranges, such as 1000-10000.
The good news is that you can tweak Rank Tracker to show you more precise results. All you need to do is go to Preferences > Number of Searches and choose Google Forecast as a data source.
From now on, Rank Tracker will refer to this specified method when checking search volume stats for your keywords. And data ranges will be replaced with numbers:
P.S. Just keep in mind that keyword analysis may take significantly longer when using Google Forecast compared to the default Keyword Planner method.
P.P.S. In case you get search volume data from other tools and want to use them in your Rank Tracker project, you can import the data by clicking File > Import and choosing a CSV file.
3. Add custom search engines for local and mobile SEO
If you haven't been using custom search engines in Rank Tracker, you're gonna love them!
Here are top 3 cases when you might need to add a custom search engine:
Check local rankings
Local SEO is of great importance, no doubt about this, but geo-specific rank tracking became quite challenging especially after Google removed the search tool that allowed users to change their geo-location when doing a search.
Rank Tracker has its own location emulation solution built-in, so you can choose from over 570 search engines for your project. Just go to Preferences > Preferred Search Engines, click the Add Custom link next to Google in your target country.
Go on and specify your desired location — feel free to make it as precise as an exact street address.
Don't forget to add a short name for your local version of Google. When you're done, you'll need to add the local search engine to your Rank Tracker workspace. To do this, right-click the header of any column in your workspace, and pick the new search engine you just created.
One thing I should warn you about is to not go crazy with customizations of the selected search engines. Some users add so many filters that the ranking results they get are not 100% realistic. Most Google users don't set any search filters at all, that's why you'd better stick to the location parameter only, in most cases.
Check mobile rankings
If you're doing mobile SEO, it's only logical that you should be tracking your mobile ranks alongside your desktop positions. You can do it with SEO PowerSuite's Rank Tracker by adding the mobile versions of your target search engines to your project.
- Launch SEO PowerSuite's Rank Tracker and create or open a project.
- Go to Preferences > Preferred Search Engines, select Google.com Mobile under your country's folder, and click the little "+" button next to it. Feel free to also select Bing Mobile or Yahoo Mobile.
- Back in your Rank Tracking dashboard, right-click the header of any column to enter the workspace editing mode, and add the columns for the newly added mobile search engines to your workspace.
That's it — all you need to do now is simply hit Check Rankings whenever you'd like to see how you rank in mobile search.
Check rankings for YouTube videos
Any vloggers here? If you have popular (or destined to be popular!) videos on YouTube, you may want to track their rankings for your target keywords. Here's how to do that with Rank Tracker.
First of all, you should create a new project and specify your video URL. Then go to Preferences > Preferred Search Engines, find YouTube on the list and click the green plus button next to it.
Finally, right-click the header of any column in your workspace, and pick the YouTube rank column to be added to your workspace.
Run a ranking check and see how your video's positioned for your target keywords:
4. Use filters and tags for quicker reporting
I think most of you are familiar with the basic filtering option in Rank Tracker when you can simply type in the word and see the list filtered:
But you can also apply more advanced criteria, which can be useful when you're working on really big projects with hundreds of keywords.
Finally, you can apply filters when creating reports in Rank Tracker. Let's say I have a list of keywords tagged as "important", and I want to create a rankings report that contains only these keywords.
Go to Reports, click the Edit button next to the report name, and find the Keyword and rankings (detailed view) widget.
Click to edit widget settings and then press the filter button.
Locate the Tags criterion on the list and specify which tags you need for this report. Click Ok and Save.
Here you are — the generated report will include now the stats only for the specified tagged key phrases.
5. Add Keyword difficulty and SERP features to your reports
I use keyword difficulty a lot, as it's a great indicator of a keyword's potential and helps build lists much faster. Here's a handy hack for those of you who would like to add the Keyword difficulty stats to their reports.
Navigate to the Reports module and click the edit button next to the report template name. Add the Rankings by search engine widget and click its Edit button. Scroll down the list of factors on the left and check the Keyword difficulty option to be added to the widget.
Finally, hit Ok and Save and generate the new report to view the just added keyword data.
Another "not-so-obvious" factor that can be added to your reports is SERP features. Why is this data important for SEO analysis? Say, you've been doing some image SEO, applying optimized alt attributes, file names, etc. And you hoped more of your images would occupy the top positions in search results.
To add SERP features, we'll need to edit the report template and add the Keyword rankings: Summary widget. Click the edit button on this widget and choose which SERP features you'd like to include in your report.
I'm interested in Images and Places, so I add these two, click Ok and Save and now my report will include the overview of these SERP features.
Finished? Let's move on to one more reporting tip.
6. Localize your reports
Another helpful tip is to create localized versions of your SEO reports.
To create a localized report, you don't have to switch your UI language, just press the Edit button and click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen:
Choose Localization and select the necessary language. The software currently supports 8 languages — English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish, Slovenian, Russian, and Japanese.
Tip: Clone your existing report templates, select the necessary languages and name them accordingly, e.g. Rankings report [Spanish], Keyword research [French], etc.
7. Add alternative URLs to track
A great way to fully monitor your organic visibility is to use the Alternative URLs option in Rank Tracker.
This nifty little feature allows you to track rankings for a group of URLs at a time. These URLs could be your company's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or several separate websites you promote your product or service on. Whatever your motives, you can specify up to (!) 10k alternative URLs along with your main domain in Rank Tracker's settings and monitor rankings for all your sites in one project.
Here's how it works:
Go to Preferences > Alternative URLs in Rank Tracker and type in the URL addresses, one per line.
Click OK when you're done, and that's it! From now on, you'll be tracking rankings for all the sites you entered in a single Rank Tracker project. Also, go to the Rank checking mode factor to make sure that Track multiple results for keyword option is enabled (otherwise, you'll see only the best ranking URLs for the selected keyword in your project).
8. Record SERP history data
If you often visit Google to take a look at the search engine results and see if there are any new competitors out there, you'll find Rank Tracker's SERP History really helpful.
To start using it, go to SERP Analysis in Rank Tracker's lower screen, and switch to SERP History. Click on Record SERP Data, and for every subsequent check you run, all the top 30 search results will be saved here.
These stats allow you to:
- get some insights about your search competition;
- quickly spot the "new players";
- detect search engine algorithm updates in your industry.
What's more, every time you check your rankings, the SERP fluctuation value will be recorded and displayed on the graph so you can see how much the SERP has changed since the last check. Broadly, an average daily fluctuation across all industries is around 6.3%.
9. Analyze competitors' keywords
To get the most comprehensive view of competitors' keywords, I suggest using a powerful combo of two methods — Ranking Keywords and Domain Research.
The Ranking Keywords module will show you the keywords the competitor's site already ranks for:
Okay, now I know the keywords they rank for, I can sort them by search volume, rankings, and keyword difficulty and pick the ones with the highest potential for me.
And now I'm gonna extend my list semantically by analyzing the found keywords using the TF-IDF tool.
Click on the Domain Research tab and select Competition TF-IDF Explorer, then paste the copied keyword and hit Search.
In a minute, you'll get a list of semantically relevant keywords which you can analyze further or move to the target keywords module and assign to your site's landing pages.
I really enjoy this combination and hope it'll be handy for your keyword research too.
10. Remove site's ranking history and compare previous checks
If you want to compare site's ranking results of the previous checks, there's a little handy trick you can use.
Save your Rank Tracker project as a copy, open it, select all (or the necessary) keywords, right-click on them, and choose Remove Unnecessary History Records.
In the new window, choose the date range for history removal and the search engines and hit Okay.
Now, click on the Compare with Previous Results button and choose any custom date you need:
And as you can create unlimited copies of projects, you can use this hack as many times as you need.
Over to you!
I'll be thrilled to hear from you — which are your favorite shortcuts and little-known features in Rank Tracker? And which features have made the biggest impact on your SEO results?
Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, and let me know if I can add any more detail to what I've shared already!