If you're in the SEO industry, you know just how valuable a good serp tracker can be. The problem with serp trackers today is there are so many of them to chose from. So what do you look for in a good serp tracker? I look for 3 main factors.
There are alot of serp tracking tools out there that seem to provide ALOT of features. Most of the fancy features however really do nothing to help you with your actual SEO. I have gone through many many rank tracking tools myself. I find that depending on which area and google database they are pulling from, may or may not provide an accurate reading. You can see this as evident by simply going into incognito mode in your chrome browser and doing a keyword look up. In many cases, alot of the rank checkers I've tested were far from accurate. The fancier they were, they less accuracy. Perhaps, all the added features are to make up for it?
The speed in which a serp tracker brings back results is also important. I've seen many that take forever to get back even a single search. What good are all the features when the most basic component isn't living up to par with our expectations? Part of this speed also has to do with whether the serp trackers are locally installed on your pc or if they're in the cloud off the vendor's servers. That also plays a big difference. I personally like local installed serp trackers for the simple fact its usually faster, however, the caveat is you will more than likely have to use a proxy. The other big reason I like local rank tracker software is because there's usually no monthly fees.
Alot of companies are in it to make money with serp data. Of course, we understand, but paying monthly to keep your serp data tracked can be somewhat of a pain, especially if you wanted to switch to a different vendor that has cheaper rates for example. I opt to go with a SERP tracker that doesn't charge a monthly fee. Some people will say, well, if they don't charge, then they wont' stay in business for long. I disagree with that. I believe if the product is good, it will continued to be sold and actually grow in popularity as more and more seo's or marketing agencies enter the market.
What Else Do I Look For That's Important?
Well, every serp tracking tool has their own special unique toolbox of additional addons. The first thing I look for are the 3 factors above. Afterward, everything else that is added into the product is simply gravy. One of my favorite rank trackers has a backlink checker which checks the most popular links of competitor sites. It also contains a difficulty score. The difficulty scores to me are important, because even though they are subjective, it still gives you a baseline from that specific tool, to use against all competition and with this, you can use it to gauge how easy or difficult it will be to actually beat your competitors.
I also like SERP tracking tools that return stats about the URL associated with the kws like site strength for example.
There are countless other things I look for, however the core would be the above 3 factors.