Rankwatch Review: A Simple and Affordable SEO Tool?

Rankwatch Review A Simple and Affordable SEO Tool?

Why you need to optimize your blog for organic search

Blogging is a very competitive industry, regardless of your niche.

Your blog is one of the thousands, if not millions, vying for the attention of users for clicks and views.

Since there are so much blog content and so little time, your audience will only read content that is easily available to them.

Granted, there are many ways to reach out to your audience, but some of those avenues require you to shell out cash. For some, paid ads are not an option given their lack of funds.

Therefore, savvy bloggers harness the power of SEO on their blog.

By optimizing their content for specific keywords, they can target their audience looking for information published on the blog and lead them to that page from search engines.

SEO is a technical practice and requires your time and patience to fully grasp its concepts. However, SEO can be simplified into these main tasks:

  • Keyword research – finding the best keywords to rank for your blog content
  • Competitive analysis – finding sites who are ranking higher than you on search results for your target keywords
  • On-page optimization – observing the best on-page optimization practices to increase the chances of your content to rank on search engines
  • Link Building – getting authoritative sites to link to your blog content and increase your rankings

By doing these tasks properly, you will be able to rank on top of search results for your chosen keywords.

Higher rankings for target keyword means higher chances of increase traffic!Click To Tweet

Why Rankwatch is a tool that you should use for your SEO needs

Rankwatch homepage

Rankwatch is an SEO tool that will guide in your process of developing a formidable SEO strategy for your blog.

It is similar to tools like AWR Cloud, Moz, and others in that they help you track your keyword rankings and conduct research against your competitors and the keywords they are ranking for.

However, through my extensive use of Rankwatch, it is comparable to its more popular counterparts, especially for bloggers with little to no experience in SEO.

Keyword research

Rankwatch’s Hidden Opportunities feature allows you to determine keywords that your blog is ranking for but you are not tracking on your dashboard.

From the list, you can also see your page ranking to help you determine whether you should track it or not.

You need to figure out if the actual keyword is worth tracking as well. You will have to understand the nuances among the different keywords to optimize your blog content for the right keywords and get the most traffic.

The Keyword Suggestion feature lets you brainstorm for phrases and search queries that you can optimize for in your content.

rank-watch-keyword-suggestion

From the search bar, type your head term here to unearth more ideas that you can use.

rank-watch-keyword-suggestion-for-kw-freelance-writing

You will then see the list of related keywords you can choose to optimize for. You want to target keywords with the most search volume. The keyword results are organized from most searches to the least so it is best to choose from the very top.

Competitive analysis

The best way to find keywords and backlinks is to spy on competitors ranking on keywords you may want to optimize for.

On the Competitors page, you can see domain who are competing for the same keywords as you.

rankwatch-competitors

Once you have chosen the sites that you want to compare your site with, you will see the rankings of your site and the chosen ones for your target keyword.

rankwatch-compare-competitors

Based on the chart above, KISSmetrics has the most keywords rankings on the 1st to 3rd position on search results for my target keywords. I can conclude that KISSmetrics is my competitor and I should track his SEO performance to remain competitive in the rankings.

On-page optimization

The Website Analyzer is a free Rankwatch tool that lets you diagnose your site based on the most relevant on-page SEO factors.

You can use the findings here to work on the areas of your site that need improvement.

website-review-tool-free-seo-analysis-and-site-audit-tool-rankwatch

For example, analyzing your site or a competitor’s will reveal to your an overview of its SEO performance.

website-review-tool-free-seo-analysis-and-site-audit-tool-rankwatch

If you are analyzing your site, you can see the SEO areas you are weak at and plan a way to improve them.

If you are analyzing your competitor’s, you can compare which SEO areas they are performing better than you and emulate them.

The Website Analyzer is also a great lead generation tool if you are offering SEO services through your blog. If a potential client sent his site for you to analyze, you can send a white label SEO report to him.

You must first set up a template that will be included in the report.

website-review-tool-free-seo-analysis-and-site-audit-tool-rankwatch-white-label

From the template, you can mention how you can improve their site based on the SEO factors presented in the report. Doing this allows you to engage with your leads looking for SEO services and turn them into customers.

The Page Score is another on-page SEO tool that lets you analyze specific blog pages based on different on-page factors.

rankwatch-project-dashboard

You can only check the pages in your blog that are ranking for your target keywords so you can boost them on search results.

Rankwatch Page Score sample

This feature is similar to the Yoast SEO plugin so you might find this tool redundant. Nonetheless, it is good to get a second opinion on how to improve the SEO of your blog pages.

Link building

As mentioned, building a link profile is a great way to hike up search rankings for your target keywords. Rankwatch offers you the opportunity to track your backlinks and see which pages are getting the love from other sites.

The Link Center feature lets you view a report of your backlinks your blog has acquired over time.

rankwatch-link-center-chart

Browsing down the page, you can see the “strongest” pages on your blog or those with the most backlinks.

If you click on the number of links from one of your strongest pages, you will see the list of sites and pages that link back to your content.

rankwatch-link-center-cjb

From the table, you will see that the domains are ordered starting with sites that have the most “bad factors.” The idea here is for you to check these sites out and consider getting your link removed from their page.

In SEO, it is not about the volume of backlinks you get but the quality of the sites linking back to you. So you want to take a look at these sites and see which backlinks you should consider removing from your profile.

You will also see the top linking domains to your blog.

rankwatch-link-center-top-domain-links

You can take this opportunity to see which sites have linked back to yours. This is important if you want to leverage the backlinks as a way to connect with the site owners and build relationships with them.

 

Tips on using Rankwatch to boost your blog’s SEO performance

I have described the features of Rankwatch and have shared some of the ways on how you can improve your blog’s SEO performance. But below are additional and more advanced ways that you can use this tool to further boost your SEO campaign.

Use Hidden Opportunities to optimize old content

Check out the Hidden Opportunities page to see “low-hanging fruits” from your blog.

rank-watch-low-hanging-fruits

From the example below, Rankwatch says that my page is ranking on the 24th page for keywords “content repurposing” and “repurposing blog.”

The first thing I could do is  to start tracking these keywords into my dashboard.

Next thing to do is type the keywords I’m ranking for on search engines to find out the page on my blog that shows on search engines.

Once I have confirmed the page, I can apply the best SEO practices to further improve its search ranking.

Note: If you do search for these keywords and no results show from my domain, it is because Hidden Opportunities only show data from the first time you signed up. At one point, I had to cancel my account and resubscribed, but strangely enough, the Hidden Opportunities did not refresh. I had to confirm with their customer support regarding this issue, and they do not support refreshing of search rankings for Hidden Opportunities.

My suggestion, therefore, is to make sure that you track the most relevant keywords and apply the best SEO practices on all ranking pages once you registered for an account.

Determine competitors

Going back to the Competitors page, you can select which among the sites are ranking for the keywords you are targeting.

Once you have the list, you can head over to Google and search for the pages they are ranking for your keyword.

Check their pages and see what makes their pages rank higher than yours.

To make your life easier, you can run the page using the Website Analyzer to view its score based on different SEO factors.

website-review-tool-free-seo-analysis-and-site-audit-tool-guest-blog-opportunities

One of the drawbacks of Rankwatch is the inability to view the backlinks of pages you are not tracking, especially your competitor’s. Since backlinks are the big SEO factor, you need to use a separate tool to check out the link profile of the pages outranking yours on search results.

You have two options: head on to Open Site Explorer and enter the page on the search bar to find backlinks.

open-site-explorer-link-research-backlink-checker-mozYou can also sign up and log in to an SEMrush account to view the backlinks of the competitor page.

backlinks-analytics

Once you have the list of pages with backlinks to your competitors, you can devise a way to poach their backlinks and increase your search rankings.

The pros and cons of this SEO tool

Now that we have detailed the organic SEO features of Rankwatch that bloggers need to be aware of, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of the tool.

Pro: Low price point

Compared to other SEO tools, Rankwatch is one of the cheapest in the market, if not the cheapest.

Rankwatch pricing

For $29USD a month, you can track 250 keywords on your blog on all locations.

If you have a small blog where you only want to track specific landing pages to increase your conversion without having to worry about other SEO features, then this is a perfect price for you!

This factor may be crucial to bloggers who have limited knowledge to SEO and wish for an SEO tool with a low barrier to entry that will introduce them to optimizing content for search engines!

Not to mention, Rankwatch offers a 14-day trial period. If you do not like the tool, then you can always bail out within the 14-day period at no costs to you!

 

The only comparable SEO tool that offers similar pricing is Advanced Web Ranking with $49 a month for almost the same features but for 2,000 keywords. While AWR lets you track more keywords, it does not offer the low prices of Rankwatch.

Con: Insufficient keyword research features

Searching for keywords using Rankwatch will not provide you with valuable insights normally found on paid tools.

The Hidden Opportunities, while useful, does not refresh after you create a project for your blog. You may be forced to delete your current project and create a new one so you can refresh low-hanging fruits. This is an inconvenience that no users should be able to deal with.

Also, the results you see on the Keyword Research feature is no different than the ones you see on Google Keyword Planner, a free tool. Ubersuggest provides even better keyword suggestions, which is also a free tool.

Suggestion: A simple tweak that lets you refresh your Hidden Opportunities over time will go a long way. This will help users unearth keywords that their blog is ranking but are not tracking. Also providing a way to determine a keyword’s difficult will immensely help users target the right keywords for their blog.

Pro: Simplified insights for beginners

I consider Rankwatch as a great tool for bloggers without SEO knowledge.Click To Tweet

Aside from Hidden Opportunities, the Website Analyzer is a simple way to see your blog’s SEO performance. The factors are organized according to categories that make it easy for users to understand. The aggregated score also provides a good overview of your blog’s overall SEO status.

Lastly, the Website Analyzer allows you to provide SEO services on your blog if the opportunity opens up. You can generate leads who are looking for someone to track their keyword rankings and improve their SEO by sending them a report using the Analyzer.

Also, you can generate an Analytics report to be sent periodically to your clients, which makes managing your clients a breeze!

Con: Lackadaisical backlink data

The Link Center feature is adequate enough for you as a blogger to view your link profile.

However, the biggest culprit is its inability to conduct appropriate competitor analysis, which is a crucial part of your SEO strategy.

While the Competitors feature will show you the sites ranking for your keywords, Rankwatch does not show the competitor page that is actually ranking! You will have to go to the search engine, type the keyword, and look for the page.

Also, you will have to use another SEO tool to track the backlinks of your competitor pages.

Therefore, instead of using Rankwatch for all your SEO needs, you will have resort to using other tools that Rankwatch can’t do, especially when it comes to link building.

Suggestion: Beefing up Rankwatch with a more useful competitive analysis features would do wonders for its users. The ability to track competitor backlinks and view real-time SERPs for your target keywords allow users a better use of Rankwatch and prevent them from looking for other SEO tools.

My personal take on Rankwatch and whether or not you should buy it

Personally, Rankwatch delivers for being a simple and affordable SEO tool.

Simple, because it is easy enough for non-SEO bloggers to understand the tool without the esoteric terms associated in this practice.

At the same thing, Rankwatch’s simplicity is also its downfall. The lack of more advanced features prevents it from being a truly useful tool. Once users become more adept in SEO and begin looking for more specific data for their campaigns, they might unsubscribe from Rankwatch and use more comprehensive tools.

However, one thing going for Rankwatch is its price. The low price point will attract users with little SEO knowledge to try out an SEO tool. Also, the ability to help you generate leads through the Website Analyzer is perfect for bloggers who are also offering digital marketing service.

To be fair, this review only limits Rankwatch as a keyword tracking and backlink monitoring tool, both of which are important for bloggers looking to raise their traffic. The tool has other features that will attract SEO specialists such as SEO reporting and PPC analysis.

So, do I recommend Rankwatch for bloggers?

Despite its flaws, my answer is YES, but only if you use the tool as a way to track your keyword rankings and use the Hidden Opportunities feature to improve your blog pages.

That said, I implore Rankwatch to further its competitive analysis features so they can keep users subscribed to their services and not force them to leave for another SEO tool.

Rankwatch

$29
Rankwatch
7.3

Keyword Research

6/10

    Competitive Analysis

    5/10

      On-Page Optimization

      8/10

        Link Building

        8/10

          Price

          10/10

            Pros

            • Low price point
            • Simplified insights for beginners

            Cons

            • Insufficient keyword features
            • Lackadaisical backlink data

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            Christopher Jan Benitez

            Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time. Hire me to write your content!