Best Ways to Track Keywords on Google

Tracking keywords on Google is important for anyone who wants to improve their online visibility. It allows you to see how well your content matches with what users are searching for, which can help you improve your SEO. By monitoring keyword performance, you can optimize your content strategy, improve your optimization, and generate more traffic to your website.

In this article, we will explain the best ways to track keywords on Google using both free tools and advanced paid software. Each method provides unique benefits. By exploring these options, you can pick the one that best suits your needs. This will ultimately help improve your website’s position in search engine results.

The Importance of Keyword Tracking

Keyword tracking is a necessary part of any successful SEO strategy. It requires monitoring the performance of specific keywords that potential customers use to find your products, services, or information on Google.

Here’s why it’s important:

  • Understanding User Behavior: Keyword tracking helps you understand what your potential customers are searching for. This insight can help your content creation strategy so you can provide the information, services, or products they are looking for.
  • Competitive Analysis: Keyword tracking lets you see how your competitors perform for the same keywords. This can give you valuable insights into their SEO strategies and help you develop a strategy to outperform them.
  • Identifying Trends: Keyword tracking can help you identify trends or changes in your industry. You can tweak your SEO strategy to stay relevant and visible to your audience by staying on top of these changes.
  • Measuring Success: Keyword tracking provides measurable data that can help you determine the success of your SEO efforts. By monitoring your keyword rankings, you can see if your strategies are working and make adjustments as necessary.

Tools for Advanced Keyword Tracking

If free tools aren’t enough for your SEO, consider investing in a paid tool that offers advanced features for keyword tracking. These tools give you more data, detailed reports, and deeper SEO insights to help you improve your strategies for better results.

Here’s a look at some of the top paid tools for advanced keyword tracking:

Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker is the best flexible WordPress plugin designed to monitor and manage your website’s keyword rankings directly from the WordPress dashboard. It simplifies SEO monitoring by integrating smoothly with your site. Plus, it provides real-time updates and extensive tracking abilities across various locations and devices.

Rank Tracker makes it easier to monitor SEO directly within your WordPress dashboard. It lets you to easily add, update, or delete keywords and track their performance across different global locations without needing an API key. The plugin’s simple interface provides straightforward navigation for users of all skill levels. Further, with unlimited site activation, you can apply for a single license across multiple websites. It boosts your SEO work and makes your website more visible in search results.

Using Rank Tracker for Keyword Tracking:


Installing Rank Tracker is hassle-free. You can either add it directly from the WordPress plugin library or upload the WP Rank Tracker file from the official website. Once installed, the plugin is ready to use immediately, allowing you to start tracking your keywords without any complex setup procedures.

Keyword Management

Rank Tracker features a user-friendly interface where you can manage your keyword list effectively. For each keyword, you can:

  • Check Updates: To get the latest information, refresh the ranking data by clicking on the ‘Update’ button next to each keyword.
  • Delete Keywords: If certain keywords are no longer relevant to your SEO strategy, you can easily remove them from the tracking list using the ‘Delete’ button.
Adding Keywords

Adding new keywords to track is straightforward with Rank Tracker. From the plugin panel, click the ‘Add Keyword’ button. Each keyword you add appears in your list with vital details such as its current ranking position, location, and status. This allows you to closely monitor how well your keywords perform across different search engines.

  • Add Keyword Button: In the plugin panel, click the ‘Add Keyword’ button. Enter details such as the keyword, the specific location for tracking, and its current ranking position.
  • Keyword Details: Each keyword you add is listed with essential information, including its latest ranking position and status, providing a clear overview of its performance.
Ranking History

Rank Tracker also offers a detailed view of your keywords’ historical performance:

  • History Page: Access the history page to see a comprehensive timeline of your keywords’ rankings over specified date ranges.
  • Graphical Analysis: The plugin displays graphs showing ranking increases and decreases, allowing you to consider which keywords are improving and which are declining.

This functionality helps track immediate keyword performance, analyze long-term trends, and make informed adjustments to your SEO strategy.


Rank Tracker offers three pricing tiers:

Basic: $6.99/month for tracking up to 10 keywords daily.

Standard: $29.99/month for tracking up to 50 keywords daily.

Premium: $119.99/month for tracking up to 200 keywords daily.

Each plan includes unlimited website usage, detailed ranking history, and options to save reports in multiple formats.

Rank Tracker is an excellent choice for WordPress users looking for an effective, straightforward solution to monitor and optimize their keyword rankings.


SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers top-notch features to track and optimize keywords. It is a powerful resource for digital marketers and SEO professionals who want to improve search engine visibility. Known for its detailed analytics and competitive insights, SEMrush helps users monitor keyword rankings, understand competitor strategies, and optimize their SEO efforts effectively.

Using SEMrush for Keyword Tracking

Position Tracking Tool

SEMrush’s Position Tracking tool is a key feature for anyone serious about SEO. It allows you to track your website’s daily ranking for target keywords daily and compare your performance against competitors. Here is how you can use SEMrush:

  1. Configuration: Start by setting up the Position Tracking tool. Enter your domain, specify the target location, and select the device and search engine you want to track. This setup tailors the tracking to your specific audience and competition.
  2. Keyword Monitoring: Add the keywords you want to track. You can manually input or import these from your Google Analytics account for integration. For additional convenience, SEMrush also offers keyword suggestions directly during setup.
  3. Visibility and Ranking Overview: Once configured, the Overview tab presents a dashboard of your keyword rankings and visibility trends. You’ll see a graph showing your visibility percentage over time compared to competitors, which reflects the average position of your ranked pages.
  4. Detailed Analysis: Explore the Rankings Distribution and Rankings tabs to delve deeper into specific keywords and landing pages. This section shows how well your pages rank and helps identify which ones perform best.
  5. SERP Features and Snippet Opportunities: SEMrush identifies opportunities for featured snippets and other SERP features, allowing you to optimize your content to capture these high-visibility spots.
  6. Competitor Discovery and Analysis: Use the Competitor Discovery tab to find and monitor websites competing for similar keywords. This feature is crucial for benchmarking and strategy planning.
Grouping Keywords and Assessing Performance
  • Tags for Grouping: Organize your tracked keywords into groups using tags. This helps manage large data sets and align them with specific campaigns or content strategies.
  • Pages Performance: The ‘Pages’ tab lets you see which pages drive the most traffic and rank for the most keywords, helping you focus your optimization efforts where they are needed most.
Local and Device-Specific Tracking
  • Devices and Locations: Track and compare your website’s performance across different devices and locations, identifying specific areas for improvement. This is especially useful for optimizing mobile SEO or local SEO strategies.


SEMrush offers several pricing plans customized for different needs:

Pro Plan: Starts at $129.95 monthly and is designed for freelancers and small in-house teams.

Guru Plan: This plan offers advanced features and costs $249.95 monthly, making it ideal for mid-size businesses and agencies.

Business Plan: Priced at $449.95 monthly, best for large agencies and enterprises with extensive needs.

Each plan includes many features suitable for various professional demands, and you can scale up for more extensive resources and capabilities.

SEMrush’s Position Tracking tool is invaluable for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge in SEO. By providing detailed insights and actionable data, SEMrush helps enhance your keyword strategy and overall SEO performance.


Ahrefs is an ultimate SEO tool that excels in keyword tracking. It offers many features that help users monitor and analyze their search engine rankings effectively. Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker is particularly adept at providing detailed insights across different geographies and devices, making it invaluable for SEO professionals and marketers aiming to optimize their online presence.

Using Ahrefs for Keyword Tracking

Setting Up a New Project

Setting up a new project in Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker is straightforward. You simply input or import your keyword list, specify the countries for each keyword, and add competitor URLs if you want to track competitor data alongside your own. Once set up, Ahrefs begins tracking data and provides regular updates to help you stay informed about your rankings.

Visualizing SEO Progress

Ahrefs allows you to visualize your SEO efforts with interactive graphs that detail several key performance indicators, including:

  • Share of Voice (SOV): This shows the percentage of clicks your site gets from organic search traffic landing on your website, giving you an idea of your overall market share within the SERPs.
  • Average Position and Traffic: View a snapshot of your keyword ranking progress over time, helping you gauge the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
  • Positions Distribution: Track your ranking positions segmented into groups (e.g., Positions #1–3, #4–10, etc.), which helps understand which keywords are performing well and which need more attention.
Tracking SERP Features

With Ahrefs, you can monitor your site’s performance in SERP features—a crucial aspect of modern SEO. Ahrefs tracks 15 SERP features, including featured snippets, local packs, and image packs. This data helps you find opportunities to optimize for these features, which can significantly enhance your visibility and click-through rates.

Keyword and URL Management
  • Filtering and Tagging: Ahrefs lets you sort your keyword list with filters and tags and by the page ranking for your tracked keywords. This organization helps manage large datasets and match them with specific SEO campaigns or objectives.
  • Discovering Organic Keywords: Under the “Organic keywords” button, find additional relevant keywords that you might want to track based on existing rankings, expanding your SEO efforts efficiently.
Integration with Google Search Console

Connect Ahrefs with your Google Search Console account to access extended data for keyword rankings, including historical data older than 16 months. This feature is particularly useful for long-term trend analysis and deeper insights into your SEO performance.

Competitive Analysis
  • Competitors Overview: Compare your data against up to ten competitors. Ahrefs automatically reports on positions, traffic, and SERP features, giving you a comprehensive view of your main competitors’ positions.
  • Competitors Traffic Share: Understand the “Share of Voice” across all pages and websites competing for traffic from your tracked keywords. This can inform strategic adjustments in your SEO approach.
Advanced Metrics and Scheduled Reports

Ahrefs provides advanced metrics for each tracked keyword, such as CPC, estimated search volume, clicks, return rate, and more. Additionally, you can opt to receive scheduled email reports that keep you updated on the most notable changes in your keyword rankings and SERP feature acquisitions.


Ahrefs gives users access to all its comprehensive tools with each subscription plan, so they have a complete set of SEO tools available.

Lite Plan: Ideal for beginners and small projects, priced at $129 per month.

Standard Plan: Suitable for growing businesses and freelancers, available at $249 per month.

Advanced Plan: Designed for small to medium-sized businesses, priced at $449 per month.

Enterprise Plan: Best suited for large agencies and enterprises, customized to meet your team’s needs. You can talk to their sales member for a customized plan.

In addition to these pricing tiers, Ahrefs also has a credit system. Using common tools such as Site Explorer, Keywords Explorer, Content Explorer, and Web Explorer uses one credit each time you create a new report5. Plans come with 500 to 750 credits per user a month5. If you run out of credits for the month, it costs $35 to add 500 shared credits, regardless of the plan.

Ahrefs is the leading tool that tracks keyword performance and offers extensive capabilities to thoroughly analyze and optimize your SEO strategy. Its lots of features and user-friendly interface make it a top choice for anyone who wants to achieve and maintain high search engine rankings.

Tips for Effective Keyword Tracking

Effective keyword tracking is a crucial component of any successful SEO strategy. It allows you to understand the impact of your SEO efforts, refine your content to better meet the needs of your audience, and ultimately improve your search engine rankings.

Here are some essential tips to help you track keywords more effectively:

  1. Set Clear Objectives: Before tracking keywords, decide on your goals. Do you want to boost traffic, increase conversions, or improve rankings for certain keywords? Setting clear objectives helps you focus your tracking efforts and measure success more accurately.
  2. Use the Right Tools: As discussed earlier, tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Rank Tracker offer different capabilities that suit various tracking needs. Choose a tool that fits your budget, provides the features you need, and complements your existing workflow.
  3. Regularly Update Your Keyword List: Keyword relevance may vary due to shifts in market trends, consumer behavior, or competitive dynamics. Review and update your keyword list on a regular basis to match your current business goals and SEO strategy.
  4. Monitor Competitor Keywords: Monitoring your competitors’ keywords can provide valuable insights. Understanding which keywords they are targeting and performing well in can help you adjust your strategy to compete more effectively or identify gaps in their approach that you can exploit.
  5. Analyze Context and Not Just Rankings: While tracking the position of keywords is important, it’s equally crucial to understand the context around those rankings. Analyze the search intent behind your top-performing keywords, the type of content that ranks (e.g., blog posts, videos, product pages), and how these align with your user’s needs.
  6. Track and Analyze SERP Features: SERP features like featured snippets, local packs, or knowledge panels can significantly impact your visibility and traffic. Track your performance in these features and optimize your content to increase your chances of appearing.
  7. Leverage Analytics to Drive Decisions: Combine your keyword tracking data with website analytics to see how keyword performance correlates with other metrics like page views, bounce rates, and conversions. This holistic view can inform strategic decisions about content updates, UX improvements, and more.
  8. Stay Consistent and Patient: SEO and keyword tracking are long-term endeavors. Consistent tracking and gradual refinements based on data will yield the best results over time. Avoid making drastic changes based on short-term fluctuations—SEO success requires patience and persistence.

By implementing these useful tips, you can improve the effectiveness of your keyword tracking and, by extension, your overall SEO strategy. This proactive approach ensures that you not only keep pace with the changing landscape of search but also stay ahead of your competitors.

Wrapping Up

In this article, we have discussed the essential role of keyword tracking in optimizing your SEO efforts on Google. Using tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Rank Tracker equips you with the insights needed to improve your search rankings effectively. These strategies and tools help you to optimize content, monitor competitors, and improve search engine rankings.

Implement these strategies to refine your SEO tactics and boost your website’s visibility. Effective keyword tracking is key to staying competitive in search rankings, so apply these tips today for better results on Google.


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