Table of Contents
Here is a quick summary of pros and cons:
- A cheaper solution than most SEO tools
- Accurate real-time rankings from many countries at the same time
- No extra cost for extra seats
- Precise backlink report
- Missing some advanced SEO functionalities such as the TF-IDF tool. March 2022 update: SE Ranking has launched the TF-IDF tool in beta.
- Difficult to compare competitors like-for-like
- No Keywords gap tool
What is SE Ranking?
SE Ranking, in a nutshell, is a tool that assists you in optimizing your website for search engines.
It was founded in 2013 by Valery Kurilov and now has a relatively big user base — over 500,000 users, according to the business — and is one of the most popular SEO tools accessible today.
SE Ranking works by providing you with a volume of information that you may use to:
- Discover what others are looking for on the internet
- Produce fresh online content that is likely to generate traffic
- Discover chances for link-building
- Improve the technical components of your website’s content in order to get a higher search ranking
SE Ranking, for example, may provide keyword ideas based on terms you provide, which can be used as the basis for producing blog articles that are likely to do well in search results.
It may also inform you how tough certain search queries will be to rank for.
It also allows you to run an SEO audit on your website to see if there are any technical adjustments you can make to boost your search results.
And this is just the beginning! There are many other functionalities that SE Ranking offers to improve your website rankings on search engines.
I have been using SE Ranking for the past 10 months now and I can definitely share my experience.
I’ll start this review with the Competitive Research tool.
What tasks can you accomplish?
As you can see from these few words I have written, the problem SE Ranking helps to solve is mostly optimizing your website for search engines. This includes keywords research, technical audits, content optimisation, and lots of research.
SE Ranking provides data about search engines, including keywords, competitors, tech issues with your website and content.
What you do with this data is up to you.
The tool compares these data sources with custom-made metrics and attributes to determine the most influential ones for your SEO campaigns.
Research and comparison are not enough, to succeed in SEO you need to have a perfect when it comes to technical implementations.
Errors such as 404, redirect loops, broken links and images provide a bad user experience which is reflected in bad search engines results.
You can find out which websites link to your website and your competitors’ websites too. You can then use this data for backlinks gap analysis and outreach.
Discover new opportunities
Surprise yourself and discover more keywords you didn’t think about, more backlinks you need to acquire and more traffic is awaiting for you.
When starting a new SEO project, the first thing you normally do is checking the quality of a website. You can check either your own website or someone’s else website and see how it’s performing on search engines.
For example, you could analyse a website when you think about approaching it for guest posting. This is because backlinks, or links from another website, are one of the most important search engines ranking factors.
it’s extremely easy to perform a website check with SE Ranking: you just enter the domain URL in the Competitive Research search bar and you suddenly spot the traffic trend.
Competitive research dashboard
- Domain Trust
- Page Trust
- Organic Traffic – estimated clicks per month
- Total Traffic Cost – estimated cost of traffic
- Paid Traffic clicks per month
- Referring Domains
- Referring backlinks
From all of these metrics, the best one that gives you a quick understanding of the domain quality is the “Domain Trust”.
SE Ranking defines domain trust as:
Domain Trust is an aggregate domain quality score developed by SE Ranking. It is calculated based on multiple factors including the number and the quality of a website’s referring domain and backlink profile.
Now, one thing you need to be aware of, is that Domain Trust metric, and all of the metrics about Domains that also other SEO tools provide, are not 100% accurate. This is because they are based on estimated traffic and number and quality of backlinks.
In my experience I have found this to always be the case. And this is easy for me to say because I have compared some websites I have access to in Google Analytics with the Domain Trust data provided, and I have always found discrepancies.
SE Ranking never claimed to be 100% accurate for traffic figures so it’s fair to say that these metrics are just an indication of a domain popularity, and an indication of how stats would probably be if you had access to their analytics systems.
One of the other dashboards that is worth mentioning is the “Organic Competitor Semantic Comparison” which let you compare how many keywords a particular domain has in common with direct competitors in the same market. It also let you compare how many keywords the site is missing that competitors are ranking for.
semantic comparison seranking review
I love this graph because it allows me to build the domain SEO strategy within seconds. In fact, by clicking to the purple area, you have a list of keywords that Wikipedia and Amazon have in common (which makes them relevant for the market) and Nytimes is missing.
I can use the missing keywords comparison to uncover new keywords for targeting
I can use this insight to build my own keywords list and inform the content team to produce content on those missing topics and target missing keywords, which helps in generating more traffic for the site.
The ability to break things down by country is also very helpful, as it helps you to understand quickly how well in the world the domain is performing.
Choose from a list of 95 countries
One thing I didn’t find, and that other competitors like SEMrush have, is the global traffic estimate. With SE Ranking it’s impossible to have a quick overview of how much organic traffic the domain generates from all countries together.
Overall, the competitive research overview is extremely useful to get a quick first impression of a website organic performance, which also includes some estimates of paid traffic too.
Pros of SE Ranking Competitive Research:
- Extremely detailed competitive research with a nice group of useful metrics
- Great analysis of the competitors’ keywords overlap and quick spot of keywords gap
- Possibility to change currency and see how much the traffic is worth in 95 different countries
- Easy overview of keywords and backlinks numbers
- Impossible to find the global overview, it’s only split by countries
- Estimates are not reliable, but to be fair, this is a problem with every single SEO tool I have used, Semrush, Moz and Ahrefs.
Keywords Research Features in SE Ranking
In general, keyword research is about :
- Determining how many people are looking for a specific keyword
- Determining how tough it is to rank for that keyword
- Seeing who is currently ranking for that phrase
- Receiving suggestions for others
With Seranking is very easy to determine all of the above.
Discovering basic keywords data
To find the basic keywords data in Seranking, you need to go to the Keywords Research tool and insert your keyword.
The data returned is for these metrics:
- Number of searches per month for Google and Yandex (the Russian search engine)
- Keyword difficulty score
- Keywords suggestions and ideas
- Organic results for your chosen keyword
- Cost per click
You can do this for each country and this is included in your basic plan.
You can also search historic rankings from previous months, but this is not included and charged extra.
Keyword overview in Seranking
One of the cool features that is unique to SE Ranking only, is the ability to update two metrics: the keyword difficulty score and the search volume.
This is extremely useful in cases keywords show volumes variations due to recent events, for example Covid-19 gave a boost to covid-related keywords and the volumes change regularly.
One of the most important metrics from this report is the Keywords Difficulty Score. SE Ranking calculates it according to the number of backlinks the top 10 results show.
This metric assesses how difficult it will be to get this search query ranked in the top 10 search results. To calculate this metric, the system analyzes the quality of the top 10 organic search results and the quality of their link profiles. The higher the score, the more difficult the promotion will be.
Keywords difficult scores in Seranking
It’s great to have the difficulty score and to know that it’s calculated, involving the number and the quality of the backlink profiles. However, after checking the SERP report, there is no way you can find the number of backlinks for each result.
Search results report in Seranking
There is room for improvement. Here are a couple of things I would add:
- It would be better if Seranking would be more specific about the number of backlinks for each result.
- Also, if they could give you more recommendations on what to do in order to compete for a keyword, that would be great
In addition to the keyword difficulty check, Seranking provides a variety of other options to split keyword ideas, including language, the amount of searches per month, the cost of each keyword, characters, competition and how closely keyword recommendations should match your given term.
When used appropriately, this feature allows you to zero down on the keywords that will work best for your project.
Keywords research filters in Seranking
Pros of the Keywords research tool:
- CPC keywords cost per country in different currencies
- Search volumes with visual trend of past 6 months
- Great choice of related keywords and low volume keywords
- Huge amount of filters to make in-depth keywords analysis
- No way to find out how many backlinks results have, since it counts against the difficulty score
- Missing recommendations on how to rank for a keyword based on difficulty
- There is no data from the Bing which is also a popular search engine.
Backlinks are one of the top 3 ranking factors for all search engines.
There are two ways to look at backlinks in SE Ranking. The first one is to look at the total number of links, which is a very top-level report. The second one is to analyse the backlinks in more details and there is a monthly limit on how many times you can run it.
Let’s start with the first report, which doesn’t use any of your thresholds and can be run unlimited times for a quick review.
This report only counts the total number of linking domains and backlinks:
Backlinks report SE Ranking
Of course, the accuracy of SE Ranking’s backlink analysis is determined by the quantity and quality of its link database. At the time of writing, Seranking claims to have 2.7 trillion URLs in its link database, which, if true, is still far away is compared against Ahrefs (3.1 trillion), Majestic SEO (10 trillion), Semrush (6.7 trillion) and Moz (40.7 trillion).
If these figures are correct, the database is one of the smallest, even tough they claim is one of the largest on the market:
Seranking Backlinks database claim
I was curious to test the backlinks number in a real world test. So I compared the number of backlinks for the same website (www.nytimes.com) compared in 4 different SEO tools.
I have to say that the number of backlinks for each tool was similar, but of course my test was very small and statistically not significant.
I have used the nytimes.com domain to check the number of its backlinks and this is what each SEO tool reported at the time of writing (October 2021):
- SE Ranking: 2,083,855
- Semrush: 1,393,719
- Moz: 2,099,340
- Ahrefs: 71,256
While this was a small test and I wouldn’t drive any conclusion from it, the data shows that SE Ranking and Moz show almost the same amount of referral backlinks, while Semrush is very far away from it. Ahrefs surprisingly scored really at the far end with just 71K backlinks discovered.
Despite the fact that Ahrefs claims to have a 3.1 trillion database of backlinks, it clearly missed the mark in my small test and SE Ranking actually seems to have reported the most accurate number. In fact, it’s hard to think that the NYTimes just has 71K links.
Backlinks are very important but generating them is very hard work even for the most seasoned SEO professional. That’s why SE Ranking provides a very detailed report of your precious backlinks, so you don’t miss any data.
These are the backlinks metrics that SE Ranking is tracking:
- Domain and Page Trust
- Number of anchor texts
- Follow vs No-follow links
- Links from various ccTLDs
- Number of referring domains and unique backlinks
- New and Lost backlinks and referring domains
- Top referring and backlinks anchors
- Distribution map on links by countries
All of the details are extremely clear, and the data allows you to see when a domain has acquired or lost backlinks, as well as the worth of the links in question.
This information may be used to better your own SEO efforts or to obtain insight into a competitor.
The tool also gives you information about which of your analysed pages has a link from another website and how many links in total.
Because the quality of links is as important – or even more – as the quantity, Seranking provides data on Domain and Page Trust of the links coming your way.
One tool SE Ranking doesn’t offer, which is offered by Moz and Semrush, is the link toxicity or spam scores. Not that I believe they are any useful to be fair, but a top level indication of what is the quality of your backlinks would be maybe useful.
Pros of the backlinks monitor:
- The tool seems to have some of the most accurate data on the market when it comes to backlinks and this is what SE Ranking is claiming as well
- Lots of details on your links, including new vs lost, follow vs no-follow, date added, page and domain trust of the coming links and much more
- IP address of the backlinks
- No way to determine the backlink quality, without performing the analysis yourself, which can be time consuming
- SE Ranking doesn’t offer a tool for link building, which would be super helpful
SE Ranking’s Website Audit has a wide choice of features for both SEO pros and individuals with any SEO knowledge.
The software can scan any size website in minutes and produce a thorough report on its technical status.
During a site audit, SE Ranking will check for problems that might be affecting your search ranking, such as:
- SSL problems
- Robots txt problems
- Slow loading pages
- 404 errors
- Redirects and redirect loops
- Crawl errors
- Duplicated content
…and many more.
It examines every page of the website against 130 SEO-related factors and offers a checklist on how to resolve each discovered issue.
Site Audit Overview
I definitely appreciate SE Ranking’s on-page SEO analyser, which examines your whole website and provides practical optimisation suggestions for each page (in order of priority).
These can include advice on:
- which keywords to include to make a page appear as a Google ‘featured snippet’
- ways to enhance your meta descriptions and body copy
- which websites should be approached for backlinks
- internal linking methods
Another excellent benefit of SE Ranking’s site auditing capabilities is that it not only informs you what to do, but also why you must do it.
Each advice is accompanied by a ‘Issue description’ and ‘How to fix it’ links, which, when clicked, explains the logic behind each recommendation in plain English.
Contextual Explanation Seranking
Ease of use
The interface of SE Ranking is comparable to those of competitors such as Semrush, Moz and Ahrefs, with a list of options on the left that you utilise to access functions.
The menu choices are organised into helpful areas such as competitive research, keyword research, link building, rank tracking, on-page SEO, and reporting.
There is a lot of information to deal with – it may feel daunting at first, but you will quickly grow used to it (and the point of tools like SE Ranking is, of course, to provide you with a lot of useful data).
Furthermore, the data visualisation offered by SE Ranking aids in overcoming this sensation of data overload – most of the indicators provided are charted in ways that would make the information much easier to grasp.
However, it would be nice if SE Ranking interface could be improved to work better with smartphones — as it stands, it is not ‘responsive,’ which means that if you log into SE Ranking on a mobile device, you will see the standard desktop interface, which means very small text and a lot of pinching and zooming.
Using on a smartphone requires lots of zooming and moving.
Luckily they provide a mobile app that is compatible with all smartphones and on the first look it seems to be perfect. It eliminates the issues with zooming and pinching.
But in my test, it didn’t show the keywords ranking stats, which look like 0.
SE Ranking app doesn’t show keywords rankings
Ultimately, SE Ranking’s UI is well-designed and simple to use — but you’ll need to use a desktop computer rather than a mobile device to get the most out of it.
Pricing and value for money
SE Ranking is not expensive when compared to other forms of ‘SaaS’ (software as a service) software such as Moz and Semrush.
That’s surprising, given that you’re not only paying for functionality, but also for access to massive amounts of data, including a wealth of competition information.
But of course, SE Ranking doesn’t want to be your general marketing tool, just your specialised SEO partner, which means the functionalities are laser-focused on SEO.
Other SEO tools offer also PPC and general marketing tools (which you end up not using if you only do SEO), so that’s why their prices are higher.
SE Ranking has three major price plans:
- Essential starting at £18/month ($25 USD)
- Pro starting at £42/month ($55 USD)
- Business starting at £89/month ($105 USD)
There’s also a ‘Custom’ variant of the platform to consider, which allows corporate clients to design their own customised plans (with more generous limits on reports and queries, more user accounts etc.).
It’s worth noting that a free trial of SE Ranking is available if you want to try it out before committing to a premium plan. The normal version lasts 14 days without providing credit card details.
The best aspect of SE Ranking’s price structure is that each plan contains a different number of users seats. You start with the £18/month with 1 seat.
If you want more than one individual in your organisation to have access to SE Ranking, you need to purchase the Pro Plan for £42/month and have 3 seats. The last Business option allows up to 10 users.
This contrasts with all of SE Ranking’s main rivals, who do not raise the number of seats as you move up the price ladder (or charge more for extra seats within the same plan).
It is crucial to note that certain SE Ranking capabilities may only be utilised on domains that have been designated as ‘projects.’
Site audits, backlink audits, on-page SEO testing, and position tracking are examples of key features in projects.
The number of projects you are allowed at the same time is determined by your SE Ranking plan; the entry level plan, which costs $25 per month, allows for 10 projects, which in my opinion is extremely generous.
These limits may not necessarily be a deal-breaker for every organisation — but if you have a lot of sites that you need to handle SEO for at the same time, or perform a lot of competition analysis, it is something to be aware of.
Because SEO tools like SE Ranking are fairly sophisticated, the availability and structure of customer assistance is an important factor for target buyers.
The best part is that SE Ranking provides two lines of customer support: email and chat. This stands in stark contrast to rival programmes, none of which provide chat assistance (Semrush charges extra for enterprise customers who need priority support and a dedicated Account Manager).
And, unlike some other SaaS solutions, SE Ranking makes its contact information readily available – a help chatbox is visible at the bottom of each page.
The help is immediate and there isn’t any “Read these documents first, before contacting our customer support” non-sense. You can quickly chat with someone and they’ll reply within minutes.
SE Ranking Review Conclusion
SE Ranking is a fantastic SEO tool that provides you with all of the critical data you’ll need for a successful SEO job.
Its link building and site auditing tools are outstanding advantages for me – the former provides an amazing amount of data easily digestible and the latter provides a super-easy checklist of methods to enhance your technical and on-page SEO.
What are the biggest drawbacks? Well, it only supplies data for Google and Yandex and is only split by country, it doesn’t show data for a website globally.
It’s also disappointing that SERP results do not provide information about backlinks, since it’s a key ranking factor.
However, like with all of the software we review, we recommend that you check the tool out for yourself before purchasing – a 14-days free trial is available here.
Alternatives to SE Ranking
The main competitors of SE Ranking are probably Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic; I haven’t reviewed all of them yet, but I do have a review of SEMrush here. I have also compared the 14 Top SEO tools here.
If you are looking specifically to build links, I have compared and reviewed 13 link building tools.
Based on my prior experience with Moz, Ahrefs and Semrush, I’d say that what distinguishes SE Ranking the most from its competitors is the extremely low starting price — this, in my opinion, is the major advantage of utilising SE Ranking over them and it can be a deal-breaker for thousands of small businesses, bloggers and freelancers that need a cheap but high-quality and reliable SEO tool.
However, the other solutions described above are more generous with functionalities – if you want to make more in-depth analyses and want extra tools like backlink builders, TF-IDF and semantic optimisation then SE Ranking might not be the right alternative.