Welcome to our SE Ranking review.
We’ve made no secret of the fact that we’re big fans of SE Ranking here at Startup Bonsai.
SE Ranking ranked #1 in our comparison of the best SEO software tools. And in this post, you’ll find out why.
From here on out, we’re going to be exploring everything you can do with SE Ranking in detail. We’ll be taking a close look at each of its features, exploring its pros and cons, and discussing pricing.
By the end of this review, you’ll understand why we think SE Ranking is the best SEO solution on the market right now. And you’ll have a better idea of whether or not it’s the right SEO toolkit for your needs.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What is SE Ranking?
SE Ranking is a leading all-in-one SEO solution that comes with every analysis and marketing tool that SEO professionals need in one place.
You can use it to do all the important stuff you need to do to improve your visibility in the search engine results pages and track your progress. That includes tasks like keyword research, site auditing, competitive research, on-page optimization, traffic analysis, etc.
There are lots of other all-in-one SEO platforms out there that can do similar things (Semrush and Ahrefs are two of the best known). However, a couple of things make SE Ranking stand out from its competitors.
First off, it provides incredible value for money, especially considering the quality of data you get access to.
SE Ranking also has one of the best rank tracking tools on the market and a huge database of links & keywords. In fact, in most of our tests, it found more backlinks and keywords than other leading SEO platforms.
For the money, there’s no better solution.
What features does SE Ranking offer?
When you first sign up to SE Ranking, you’ll be brought to the Admin Dashboard. From here, you can use the top navigation bar to access all the core SEO tools:
We’ll explore what you can do with each of these SEO tools and show you how they work next. But first, let’s click the Create a project button to complete the onboarding process and get everything set up correctly.
First, you’ll be prompted to connect your domain so that SE Ranking can start tracking your ranking positions in real-time. You can also choose to enable/disable weekly email reports and website audits.
Click Next to move through the project setup wizard. You’ll then be prompted to add the keywords and competitors you want to track and the search engines you’re interested in.
Then, connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console account to finish setting up your first project. Once you’ve done all that, your dashboard will have had an update:
It should now display some general information about the websites you’ve connected and the progress made on your projects.
The graph at the top shows you your average ranking position over time for any target keywords you’ve added to your project. You can switch between tabs to view similar graphs for your traffic, search visibility, etc.
Below that, you’ll find a table filled with metrics and KPIs about your project, such as your average ranking position, Domain Trust score, backlinks, audit status, etc.
From your new-and-improved dashboard, you can start using all the SEO tools that SE Ranking has to offer. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
SE Ranking offers best-in-class rank tracking functionality. The Rankings module enables you to keep an eye on your keyword performance in search engines like Google (including Maps), YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.
It shows you your average ranking position for any target keyword (and how that has changed over time), plus a wealth of other valuable data, including monthly keyword search volumes, traffic forecasts, SERP competitors, etc.
To use the rank tracker, just click the Rankings tab from the Projects sidebar on the left. Then, click Add Keywords to choose the search terms you want to track.
You can add keywords manually or import them from the keywords suggestion box in one click. In the suggestion box, you’ll find a list of all your most valuable keywords that you’re already ranking for, alongside their search volumes
Ranking position data is updated daily, every 3 days, or weekly, depending on which plan you sign up for. You can also recheck rankings and search volumes manually in real-time by clicking the Recheck Data button at the top of the page.
There are lots of neat visualizations on the Summary page that make it easy to get an idea of your performance at a glance.
For example, one chart shows you the distribution of your top competitors based on their total number of ranking keywords.
Another graph shows you how many of your tracked keywords have improved, declined, or stayed the same, so you can get an idea of whether you’re moving in the right direction.
If you need to track your rankings at the local level, you can do so. Just click the settings icon and open up your Project settings, then navigate to the Search engines section.
From there, you can select a city or postal code to get accurate ranking data for that exact location. If you don’t specify a specific location, you’ll get average ranking positions across the country.
Aside from organic rankings, you can also track paid rankings by toggling the Track Google Ads rankings option on.
SE Ranking also offers a powerful Keyword Research tool, which you can access from the top navigation bar.
You can use it to analyze core keyword parameters, discover new keyword ideas, see which websites are already ranking or running ads for your target keywords, and more.
First, enter a keyword you want to analyze or generate ideas from, choose a country, then hit Analyze. You should be brought straight to the Overview page, where you can see a summary of all the important stuff.
At the top of the page, you’ll see a few core keyword parameters. The Difficulty score gives you an idea of how competitive the keyword is and how hard you’ll find it to rank for. You can also see its monthly search volume and CPC.
Below that, you’ll find a brief overview of Keyword Suggestions, Organic Results, SERP History, and Ad History for your search. You can open up a detailed report for each of these sections if you want to dig deeper into the data.
SE Ranking has an extensive database which is used to generate your Keyword Suggestions report. Here you’ll find thousands of similar and related keyword ideas pulled from SE Ranking’s extensive database.
Alongside each suggested keyword, you’ll find the usual metrics: search volume, competition score, difficulty score, and CPC. Plus the SERP features box, which shows you which SERP features are displayed in the results for the analyzed keywords (e.g. carousels, videos, local packs, etc.). This should come in useful if you’re hoping to rank in Rich Snippets and Blocks.
We also really like the Low Search Volume tab. It lists keywords that don’t have as high a monthly search volume but typically have very clear search intent. These are the terms your competitors probably aren’t targeting but still convert like crazy—so they can be valuable keywords for low-authority sites to target.
If you see a keyword you want to keep an eye on, you can add it to Keyword Manager in one click. SE Ranking will then monitor rankings and other metrics automatically so you can see how they change over time. This kind of seamless integration between different SE Ranking tools is one of the reasons it’s such a great platform.
In the Organic Results report, you can see all the sites that are ranking for the analyzed keyword, alongside their average position, traffic, traffic cost, etc.
From the Organic SERP History report, you can view SERP results for previous months, with historical data going back to early 2020.
And in the Ads History report, you can uncover your competitors’ paid search strategies and gather insights into ads they’ve run for the analyzed keyword over the past months.
SE Ranking’s Competitor Research module gives you access to tons of insights about rival websites.
You can use it to carry out an in-depth competitor analysis, discover what keywords they’re targeting, view their website traffic data, and reverse-engineer their entire organic and paid search strategies.
They have one of the largest keyword databases of any tool we’ve tested.
To get started, click Competitive Research in the top navigation bar, enter your competitor’s domain or page URL, and click Analyze.
On the Overview page, you’ll immediately see an overwhelming amount of data.
At the top, you can see the site’s Domain Trust and Page Trust rating—two proprietary metrics by SE Ranking that give you an idea of how authoritative a site is based on its backlink profile.
Next to that, you’ll see the site’s average monthly organic and paid traffic, keywords, and traffic cost. Plus, the total number of backlinks and referring domains that point to the site.
You can scroll down to find a ton of further insights, including an overview of your target domain’s traffic distribution by country, top-performing keywords and pages, ranking distribution, organic competitors, SERP features, and more.
For even deeper insights, you can open up detailed reports on all of the above.
For example, in the Pages report, you can see a complete list of your competitors’ website pages alongside metrics like traffic share, total traffic, traffic cost, and ranked keywords.
You can sort these pages by traffic share in order to quickly find out which ones drive the most traffic and gather intel for your content strategy.
SE Ranking’s Backlink Checker module lets you analyze the backlink profile of any domain, including your competitors.
It’s one of the most powerful backlink analysis tools we’ve seen and has everything you need to build a winning, data-driven link-building strategy.
In a couple of clicks, you can uncover every backlink any website has, with parameter data to help you evaluate the quality of each of those links.
And in our tests, SE Ranking was able to find more backlinks than its competitors. This is no doubt thanks to its huge database of over 2.7 trillion backlinks.
To get started, click Backlink Checker in the top navigation bar, then enter the domain or exact URL you want to analyze. This will generate a detailed report:
SE Ranking offers a lot of data in the report.
In the Overview section, you’ll find a ton of numbers, lists, and graphs. You can view things like the target site’s authority metrics, total referring domains, and backlinks, dofollow/nofollow ratio, top anchor text, backlink TLD distribution, etc.
In the Backlinks section, you’ll find a list of all the pages that link out to the analyzed site. Alongside each page, you can see the DT and PT of the referring domain, the anchor text the link is placed on, and other parameters.
Any backlink you discover in the Backlink Checker can be added to the Backlink Monitor tool in one click (more of that seamless integration we were talking about). Once you do that, SE Ranking will automatically track its status every day and let you know if anything changes.
You can use SE Ranking’s Website Audit tool to run a detailed technical SEO report of your whole site, either manually or automatically at set intervals.
It crawls all the pages on your website to check them for problems that may be preventing you from reaching your ranking potential and then shows you how to fix them.
Again, there’s a lot we could say about this module, and we don’t have time to cover everything. But fortunately, we’ve already written a dedicated review of SE Ranking’s Website Audit tool here.
On-page SEO checker
The On-page SEO Checker is another useful module. It can help you to optimize your content around on-page ranking factors. You can access it from the Tools dropdown menu in the top navigation bar.
It works a lot like the website audit, but instead of checking your entire site, it checks just one page—and in much more detail. And it focuses on on-page ranking factors, rather than technical SEO factors.
So for example, it’ll check things like your meta description to ensure it’s the right length and that it contains your target keywords, and your keyword density to ensure it’s in a similar range to your top-5 competitors.
It’ll also check your title tag, URL, text content, header tags, page experience, usability, media files, internal/external links, etc. to make sure all these elements are fully optimized.
If it finds optimization opportunities, it’ll let you know what SEO tasks you can do to improve the page. These tasks are organized into three categories based on how much of an impact they’ll have on your Page Quality Score: high priority, medium priority, and low priority.
You can also open up the Competitive Comparison section of the report for a detailed breakdown of how your content parameters and on-page metrics compare to other pages ranking in the SERPs for the same keyword.
More useful SE Ranking features
We’ve covered the core SEO tools SE Ranking has to offer—but that’s not all…
SE Ranking also has a bunch of extra features that we don’t have time to explore in detail, but they’re definitely still worth mentioning. Here are some of the highlights:
- Traffic Analytics. You can connect SE Ranking to your Google Search Console and Google Analytics account, and then use the Analytics & Traffic module to analyze your website traffic and audience.
- Marketing Plan. This tool provides you with an end-to-end SEO strategy, complete with a comprehensive to-do list of all the SEO tasks you need to complete in order to reach your goals. You can also find and submit your business to trusted directories and catalogs from this module to improve your off-site SEO and grab some easy backlinks
- Social Media Marketing. SE Ranking isn’t just for search marketing—it also doubles up as a social media management solution. From the Social Media module, you can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, then auto-post updates to your profile and monitor your social analytics without ever leaving the SE Ranking dashboard.
- Backlink Monitoring tool. We touched on this module briefly already when we looked at the Backlink Checker. It lets you monitor your website’s most valuable backlinks so that if the status changes or the link gets removed, you’ll be notified straight away. This enables you to act quickly to recover the lost link. You can also use it to create Disavow lists.
- Report Builder. SE Ranking offers excellent reporting functionality. You can build reports from pre-made templates or create one from scratch by dragging data modules into the builder. Once you’re done, you can export your reports in various file formats or send them out by email.
- Search Engine Autocomplete. In addition to the core Keyword Research module, SE Ranking offers a couple of other supplementary keyword research tools. The Search Engine Autocomplete tool is one of them. It generates thousands of keyword suggestions using data pulled from Google autocomplete.
- Keyword Grouper. The keyword grouper tool is another supplementary keyword research tool. It allows you to bucket similar keywords into clusters based on their SERP results. If multiple keywords bring up the same pages in the SERPs, they’re added to the same group. This is useful for planning your SEO content strategy as you can create content that targets keyword buckets, rather than individual search terms. And in doing so, you can rank for more queries with less effort.
SE Ranking review: Pros and cons
Now we’ve had a chance to explore all of SE Ranking’s features, here’s what we think are its biggest pros and cons.
SE Ranking pros
Incredible Value. SE Ranking can’t be beaten when it comes to value for money. It provides an excellent price to performance ratio, with plans starting at less than a third of the cost of its main competitors. This makes it affordable for beginners and thanks to the way it prices projects, it’s also incredibly affordable for agencies.
Scalable and flexible. Because SE Ranking lets you choose your ranking check frequency and how many keywords you want to track, you don’t end up overpaying for data you don’t need. This means you can keep costs low initially and scale up your plan as your business grows and you need to track more keywords.
High-quality data. We found SE Ranking’s data to be more reliable than industry-leading competitors in our tests. It was able to find more backlinks and keywords than other similar platforms and provided more accurate data.
Broad feature set. SE Ranking is a true all-in-one platform. It offers every tool SEO marketers need, plus a few unique features that other all-in-one solutions lack, like the Marketing Plan module.
Project workflows. We liked how SE Ranking lets you organize your SEO tasks into projects. Once you’ve set everything up, it’ll track your rankings for you, run audits, and give you all the information you need automatically.
SE Ranking cons
Missing backlink metrics. SE Ranking offers a lot of backlink metrics out of the box, but it’s missing a couple of important ones, like Spam Score. And if you want to check the status of your backlinks in real-time and unlock all parameters such as Google index, Follow/NoFollow, and UGC/Sponsored, you need to pay an extra fee.
Cluttered UI. There’s a lot of data crammed into most of the reports, and lots of navigation options, which can make it feel overwhelming at first. You’ll get used to it but there’s definitely an initial learning curve.
SE Ranking pricing
SE Ranking offers several different plans and uses a flexible pricing system.
Instead of having a set rate for each plan, the cost of each plan is calculated based on your project needs. The more keywords you need to track, and the more frequently you need to check rankings, the more you’ll pay.
SE Ranking has three main packages available. These are:
The Essential plan includes up to 10 projects and 5 competitors per project. It includes one user seat and all the core SEO tools (backlink checker and monitoring, website audit, competitive and keyword research, etc).
However, it lacks some premium features such as page change monitoring, keyword database expansion, and organic SERP history.
It also doesn’t come with any historical data on keywords and domains, and usage caps are significantly lower than on other plans.
Prices for this plan start from as little as $23.52/month but increase based on the number of keywords and rankings you choose to track. Usage caps also increase depending on the number of keywords and rankings you choose when signing up for the plan.
The Pro plan comes with an unlimited number of projects and 10 competitors per project.
It gives you access to all the same tools as the Essential plan, plus unlocks premium features like Page changes monitoring, keyword database expansion, white label functionality, etc.
Pro users also get access to three months of historical data and organic SERP history.
Usage caps are significantly higher than on the Essential plan but again, it depends on how many keywords and ranking checks you sign up for.
Prices for this plan start at $52.32/month.
The Business plan comes with everything in the Pro plan, plus 20 competitors per project, 10 user seats, and API access.
The biggest difference, though, is the increase in usage caps. You’ll be able to run a lot more backlink checks, reports, and page audits than you would on the Pro or Essential plan.
Prices for the Business plan start at $114.72/month.
On the surface, SE Rankings’ pricing structure can seem a little complicated. However, it’s actually quite well thought out, as you only pay for data you’ll actually use.
SE Ranking review: Final thoughts
SE Ranking is by far the best value all-in-one SEO tool on the market that we’ve tested. It not only offers extremely affordable pricing plans but also top-quality data that can help you to fully optimize all areas of your site.
In comparison to other industry-leading competitors, SE Ranking is hands down the best choice. We particularly like the breadth and quality of data that it offers. It has a super expansive database of links and keywords that really can’t be beaten.
To top it all off, SE Ranking is fairly easy to use once you get the hang of it and has a very broad feature set—it’s a true all-in-one tool. Not only that, but its flexible pricing structure makes it suitable for any sized business.
But as always, you don’t have to take my word for it. I highly recommend you check out SE Ranking for yourself to see what you think.
SE Ranking offers a 14-day free trial that gives you the opportunity to try out all of its features before you buy. Click the button below to get started.
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