SE Ranking Review

 

Introducing the tool

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SE Ranking is a simple SEO tool with the primary purpose of monitoring keyword rankings but with some other nice little options. Its not what we’d call an all-in-one SEO tool like Raven but it serves a purpose and if you’re primarily looking for an SEO tool to run ranking reports it might be a good fit for you.

I would suggest SE Ranking as being most suitable for SEO agencies handling mostly smaller clients who need some degree of automation in their analysis and reporting in order to be efficient and profitable.

Rank tracking and ranking reports

As the name of the tool suggests SE Ranking’s primary function is the monitoring of your keyword rankings in search engines.

As is the overriding theme of SE Ranking the rank tracking tool is designed to be as simple and intuitive to use as possible and in that respect I think it succeeds. Compared to the complicated layouts of ranking results in desktop software like AWR and SEO Powersuite I really enjoyed the simplicity of the layout and even with large sets of results its quite easy to filter down and make sense of the data in front of you. For that it should be applauded.

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I also liked some of the features of the rank tracker. Its nice to be able to monitor rankings at a local level, using a postcode to set the location to retrieve ranking data against. This is great for local SEO campaigns and I think the tool could be a very nice fit for these smaller, local businesses or agencies who primarily serve this end of the market.

When you signup to the tool you can choose to monitor your keyword rankings on either a daily, every 3 days or weekly basis – its great they offer this flexibility as not everyone needs daily rankings, but if you do its nice to know the tool is running in the background on the cloud. By contrast desktop software has to be running on your machine or on a sever so there’s always the risk of something going wrong and losing data.

The report scheduling and white-labelling of the branding is agency friendly and again makes your reporting hands off – ideal for small or local SEO projects.

Website audit tool

While rankings may be the primary focus of SE Ranking there are a couple of other tools which are going to be a value add for some users. The website audit tool does a scan of your site (the number of pages is limited by the plan you’re on) and you get a checklist of potential issues with your technical SEO. As I’ve said when using similar features on other tools we’ve looked at, these tools can be useful, but can also be dangerous in the wrong hands.

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The SE Ranking audit tool works nicely and the layout of recommendations is clean and easy to follow but I am dubious about some of the checks it runs. For example there’s a robots.txt test which seems to simply check that there is a robots.txt file available on the site. You get a tick just for not having flash on your site and a warning if a page has less than 250 words.

Other recommendations are just plain strange such as;

“If you use the trailing slashes at the end of the URL it makes it pretty and clear, while the URL without slash will look quite weird.”

While it may seem pedantic to mention it, the audit reports are littered with poor English so I wouldn’t personally be comfortable sharing these reports with paying clients.

Results based invoicing

This is a really interesting feature you’ll find in the reports section of the tool. It allows agencies to set per day pricing for keywords to appear in certain positions. So for example if a target keyword is in position #1 you could charge £10/ day. Position #2 £5/ day and so forth. While I don’t know any agencies who charge like this (or any clients who would be happy to pay in this way!) it’s an interesting feature and one I’ve never seen on any other tool. If this is your pricing model, or you’d like it to be then this could be the tool for you.

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Reports

I like the automated reports created by SE Ranking which can include keyword rankings and other reports like results from the website audit and visitor data from Google Analytics (if connected). It’s a bit like a very stripped back version of the excellent report builder in Raven Tools. There’s far less features and fewer integrations but if you just need a quite basic but nicely branded PDF report to send to your SEO clients or your boss at the end of the month then SE Ranking has got you covered.

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Price

As a hosted SaaS tool you pay for SE Ranking as a monthly subscription with prices ranging from £3 to £535/ month or larger plans for enterprise users with lots of keywords to monitor. Plans are quite flexible allowing you to monitor keywords daily, every 3 days or every week (less frequent updates are cheaper). In competitive sectors I monitor keywords on a daily basis but for smaller sites, local businesses or slow moving search results weekly ranking reports are absolutely fine.

Whether SE Ranking provides value for you is going to depend heavily on how you use it. If you just need to monitor rankings for a handful of important keywords on 1 or 2 sites then their plans are quite affordable and novice users are going to like the fact that this is a hands off tool which runs on the cloud unlike a desktop tool such as AWR or Rank Tracker in SEO Powersuite. I know lot of people use Moz Analytics primarily for monitoring keyword rankings – if this is the only tool you really use in Moz then you’ll be better off cancelling that subscription and using SE Ranking to monitor the same keywords for far less each month.

At the enterprise level SE Ranking may appeal to agencies with a lot of keywords to run regularly for clients, who don’t want the logistical hassle of downloading and storing thousands of keyword rankings on a daily basis and while £500/ month may seem expensive to some, distributed across 10 or 20 paying clients, it soon pays for itself.

You can get SE Ranking on a 14 day free trial which lets you monitor 50 keywords across up to 5 websites.

Conclusion

SE Ranking isn’t likely to become the only SEO tool in your arsenal but what it does it does well. It’s a reliable and accurate way of receiving regular keyword rankings without the need to setup and run desktop software and proxy servers, or to invest in a more all encompassing tool like Moz or AnalyticsSEO which do rankings as well as a lot of other things.

My best advice on this one would be to sign up for a free trial and have a play and see if it does everything you need.

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