Raven provides three different keyword rankings tools: SERP Tracker, Google Search Analytics, and Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools, while providing similar data, provide two very different types of keywords rankings. While SERP Tracker provides exact positioning, Search Analytics and Webmaster Tools provide average rank.
SERP Tracker obtains exact search engine ranking positions (SERPs) by sending a robot to search for your website's appearance in a given keyword and returning a numeric position. This search can be manipulated to search as particular device type or in a specific locale. SERPs can also be returned for websites that you do not administer, including competitors.
Search Analytics and Webmaster Tools don't provide exact keyword ranking positions. Instead, they provide average rank. Average rank is calculated by taking all of the impressions that your website made in real searches of a given keyword Google and Bing, finding the highest position that your website appeared in those searches, and finding the average of those positions.
Which is Better?
Although this data is similar, which is more valuable to your clients depends entirely on what their needs are. There are pros and cons to both metrics, and we recommend keeping an eye on both for the best holistic view of your search engine performance.
SERPs can tell you highly specific information about how your website performs in particular versions of a search engine against specific competitors. Because average rank comes from sources that require verification of ownership, competitor data isn't available from those sources. However, SERPs can only tell you your ranking—it can't give insight about the number of actual searchers of that keyword or how much traffic is being driven by it.
Average Rank comes from tools provided by Google and Bing themselves, which means that you're getting keyword data straight from the search engine firehose. Although this data isn't highly specific or capable of competitive reporting, it does provide insights on the number of people searching a keyword and how many people are clicking your search results.