The moment you realize you need to be tracking your ranks, you will no doubt start browsing the internet for a good SERP tracker, and soon enough you’ll come across the monthly plan. Each SEO tool on the market will offer several plans (most offer 3-5 different plans) to suit each client. But this is where it can get confusing. All plans seem similar, yet different, and the more expensive ones are certainly enticing. How do you decide which one to choose?
So, to help focus the picture, here’s our quick guide on what you need to figure out before you choose a monthly plan. As always, we will be addressing PRT’s monthly plans and features, but you will be able to apply this in your general search for a rank tracker.
Number of terms
The first and most fundamental question you should ask yourself is how many terms you will need to track. Every SERP tracker on the market offers an array of complimentary features and abilities, but the core ability is tracking your website’s search engine positions accurately, reliably, and with all the MANY necessary personalization-ranking filters that Google uses in check (we’ll get to that right away).
With each monthly plan, you’ll see a different quota for the number of terms you’ll be able to track. A term is a combo of [keyword + website + search engine with a defined personalization condition]. This might sound confusing, even for people adept at SEO, so the best way is to just show you! For example, here are 4 possible terms for the keyword “bathroom rug” for the website bathroomrugs4us.com:
[bathroom rug] + [bathroomrugs4us.com] + [Google.com, device type: desktop, location: New York, UI language: English]
[bathroom rug] + [bathroomrugs4us.com] + [Google.com, device type: mobile, mobile OS: iPhone, location: New York, UI language: English]
[bathroom rug] + [bathroomrugs4us.com] + [Yahoo.com]
[bathroom rug] + [bathroomrugs4us.com] + [Bing.com]
Total cost: 4 terms.
As we can see, a single keyword can cost more than one term for the user, so it’s not about how many keywords you need to track. The ranking factors that you see above for Google represent the most basic approach. Google actually uses 4 main personalization filters: The user’s geo-targeted location, the device type that they use for the search (desktop or mobile), the OS type of their mobile device, and their Google UI language. These add up to tens of thousands of unique SERP variations for a single search query!
Each ranking factor means a unique term, so depending on the combo you need, a single keyword can add up to many terms in size. Personalization filters must be applied for every keyword that you track on Google, and a SERP tracker that doesn’t support this is offering you an imaginary rank that doesn’t exist anymore. PRT is currently the only rank tracker on the market that offers full support for all of these ranking factors.
The bathroom rug business in the example targets New York, so he chose it as a tracking location for desktop and mobile. A more thorough approach is to choose several locations to get a better picture of how you rank in different locations at once.
A single, basic SEO campaign that consists of 20 different keywords, each with these ranking factors applied to it, can easily mean a requirement of 40–100 terms for tracking Google alone, which is something that you need to take into account.
So having said all that, for every keyword that you plan on tracking, you need at least 2 terms (mobile and desktop ranks) for a single geo-targeted location on Google. (You could need more, depending on how many locations and ranking factors you plan to target). And, of course, you’ll need to add 2 more terms if you plan on tracking additional search engines such as Yahoo! and Bing (this is true for most businesses). It is our warm recommendation that after figuring out the number of terms you need, add 20% to that quota, so you will have some breathing room to grow and experiment. Plus, you never know when you might want to add more keywords, locations or personalization factors into the mix.
PRT has monthly plans for every business size. We have users that range from small website owners doing some basic SEO for their website and tracking 30 terms to huge e-commerce juggernauts tracking tens of thousands of terms. Also, you can always upgrade on a need basis, and that the upgrade is prorated.
And if you’re still not certain, here are 3 articles to help you determine which ranking factors are best suitable for your keywords and business:
|What Google isn’t telling us about their current (and future) mobile ranking algorithm
How to win at rank tracking multiple-region/language URLs following Google’s update
Google airport ranks and the new levels of local SEO rank tracking in 2018
Smart budget management is one of the key elements of being financially responsible. This is true for businesses of all sizes, but it’s especially true for smaller SEO freelancers or website owners doing their own SEO, where the difference between a $19 monthly plan and a $99 one makes a huge difference: one adds up to $228 a year and the other $1,188.
You can end up choosing a monthly plan that will cost you thousands of dollars a year just because you didn’t do proper market research. If you’re a small business, you need to get a small and affordable monthly plan that will suit your budget and do some thorough market research. You will quickly find that not many SERP trackers have entry-level monthly plans, and many start at $79 or more. Worse still, many follow the practice of taking your credit card for a “free” trial and then auto renewing your plan to suddenly knock your bank account for a hefty sum.
The best way to calculate the value of a monthly plan and see what you’ll be getting for each term you track is the price-per-term parameter. Basically, it’s the monthly sum divided by the term quota. So, for example, $99 a month for a 1,000-term quota is $0.099 per tracked term.
You don’t have to “settle” for a $79 plan just because it’s the entry level plan at some rank tracker. There are really affordable options if you search enough.
We are the only ones on the market that offer small monthly plans suitable for beginners and small businesses, starting from $19 a month and $0.06 per tracked term. We would rather you spend the money you save on developing your business and then upgrade when you feel it’s right for you. Also, we don’t auto renew our free trial, even though we have the most affordable entry-level plans on the market.
Last week we shared an article about how not all $99 monthly plans on the market are the same. The differences can be huge, and believe it or not, some $99 plans on the market offer the same quota as our $39 entry-level monthly plan! Give it a read while you’re at it:
|Why some rank trackers are more expensive than they might appear|
Type of business
Other than the obvious SEO agency, there are many other types of businesses that do direct SEO. We’ll cover some of the more common business types and what rank-tracking capabilities they need to make sure the tool offers.
- E-commerce businesses and brands – These will need to make sure the tool offers Amazon rank tracking as well as the most exact geo-targeted Google ranks they can get, because often it’s very important to know how strong their organic presence is in several specific countries and areas.
- Websites with international page versions – They need a rank tracker that can track Google’s exact geo-targeted locations as well as the UI language, and it needs to show which exact webpage is being ranked for every language. This is because Google doesn’t always follow the guidelines the website owners set up!
- Video marketers – These need a SERP tracker that can track YouTube ranks (completely unique and separate from Google ranks) and Google’s inner video carousel SERP element.
- SEO experts and agencies that specialize in Yahoo! and Bing – They need a rank tracker that can track not only the main US versions of Yahoo! and Bing, but also differentiate between ranks for the international versions of these websites. Ranks on Bing (US) are NOT the same as the ranks that users on Bing (FR) see!
- Websites of businesses with physical locations (such as restaurants, for example) – These need to check their organic physical Google map visibility. So, they need a SERP tracker that can track Snack Pack and the extended top100 Google map results.
- SEO experts that have Russian clients – They need to track Yandex.com and Yandex.ru because their Russian-speaking audience uses Yandex A LOT (not just Google).
- News websites and blogs – They need a SERP tracker that can get them their instant Google ranks on demand. Google has been known to crawl frequently updated websites as often as once every few seconds! If a keyword that you deal with suddenly becomes viral, you need to get instant updates on your ranks and not wait until the next day to see how you rank because a lot can change during that time. PRT offers up to 3 instant updates on demand.
- SEO agencies with their own SEO tool – They will need a tool that offers API access. Some choose the path of developing their own tool for their clients and just need the raw, unadulterated ranking data fed directly to their tool. PRT offers all the ranking data that we gather, also with full API support.
Clients of your own
Most SEO agencies and experts have clients of their own. To grow and preserve your brand, you need to make sure the SERP tracker in question offers white label solutions. Most rank trackers offer white label solutions in varying degrees, but only PRT is 100% white label. Everything with PRT’s logo can potentially be replaced with your logo. Basically, it’s a way to appear established and have our technology power your brand. Here is what 100% white label means:
- All SEO ranking reports that you send to your clients with PRT can have your logo, your company details, and any other details you want to include in them.
- Reports are sent through YOUR email address.
- Shared Reports are live reports that are shared online with your clients and colleagues. They are generated on a special link that can be masked with your domain. This webpage will have your logo in it and can even be encrypted with a password. In fact, we have one ready for you to examine RIGHT HERE. The password is “shared”.
- MyRanks is a completely white label mobile app your clients can download and use to view their specific ranking data live from the convenience of their phone. Best of all, the app looks like it’s yours with your logo and has an ‘About’ tab with your company details!
- PRT’s entire rank tracker can be branded with your logo using our Sub-Accounts feature.
To read more about how white label can make you appear more established and give you an amazing psychological edge, you can read the full story here:
|Businesses use this psychological principle to influence customer impressions|
So now you know what to consider before deciding on a SERP tracker. And hopefully, this will make the search and selection process much easier than before. PRT naturally has all the features and capabilities mentioned throughout the article.
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PRT offers the widest variety of monthly plans on the market, including the best entry-level plan at just $19 a month! We made sure that what we offer will suit just about any SEO and rank-tracking need, no matter what size your business is. We are also the ONLY SERP tracker on the market that offers FULL Google personalization tracking coverage for SEO, which includes the tens of thousands of Google’s ranking factors. You might find a rank tracker that offers part of what we can give you, but no one comes even close to our full scope!
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