It is a well known principle of continual improvement that measurement is a vital component of any improvement program. This adage is very relevant to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The most important measure of website performance is the Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) or some number based on the overall site SERP values for the major search engines.

If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it

W. Edwards Deming

CTA Ranking Performance and Competitor Monitoring is a plugin for WordPress that monitors the ranking of a site (domain) for a number of search terms. The ranking is based on the search position reported by the major search engines (like Google and Bing). The plugin monitors the ranking performance for up to 2 competitors (specified by the site owner) and the top 5 highest ranking contenders. Contenders are the highest ranking sites for a key phrase and these may not be the same as the competitors specified by the site owner.

Knowledge of the site performance allows the site owner to know when to react if the site ranking decreases or to celebrate when the ranking improves. CTA Ranking Performance also advises on performance relative to a set of primary competitors and provides a list of sites, for comparison, that are sufficiently well optimised to have achieved the highest ranking for the specified search terms.

CTA Ranking Performance is designed and developed with flexibility and ease of use in mind. It is easy to install using the WordPress interface and is intuitive enough to be configured in minutes without the need for any instructions.

Ranking results are provided in a number tables and are easy to interpret. These results are included in the admin dashboard on WordPress by default but can be displayed on a web page using a short code if the site owner would like to share the performance results for her/his site. An demo of the CTA Ranking Performance plugin output is included on the CreatorSEO™ website.

This is the first version of the plugin to be released. While the results are clear and easy to read, we are working on an improved interface that presents the results graphically and includes time based performance tracking.

Find the CTA Ranking Performance Plugin on the WordPress Plugin Repository

Install this plugin in the usual way and activate the plugin

Once the Plugin is activated, you will find a new menu item under the Tools menu on the left, labelled Performance Ranking

Click this and you will see the screen below

Ranking Performance Plugin - register screen

This is a new screen and there is no performance data to view at this stage

Click ‘Get API License Key’ to activate your copy of the plugin. The screen will change as follows:

Form after an API key has been retrieved

The domain name is the domain for your site and the license is an API license used to activate the plugin

Enter up to 5 search phrases and up to 2 competitor URL’s (leave fields blank if these are not needed)

Completed ranking form for the Performance Plugin

Press ‘Save Changes’


The ranking results will take a while to update . These are updated through a CRON job and you should allow up to an hour for the first set of results to be updated. Thereafter the results will remain up to date.

Once the results have updated these will be visible below the input form (in Dashboard > Tools > Performance Ranking).

Admin display of page ranking results

A list of the Top Contenders for each search term is listed.

Top site contenders for each key phrase

If social media links are contending for the search term this also will be listed in a separate table

Social Media Contenders Results Table

The Ranking Results table, Contenders list and Social Contenders lists can also be included on site pages using shortcodes.

On-page Ranking results inserted using a shortcode

There is much more that you can do with this plugin, and more to come in the near future as we transition other tools to our WordPress plugin. I hope that you find that this plugin is useful for your SERP improvement projects.

Will this Plugin be compatible with any theme?

Yes, the plugin is theme independent.

Can the ranking tables be styled to fit the theme?

Yes, the shortcodes allow a number of parameters including user defined style classes that allow styling to be changed.

How often if the Ranking updated?

The Plugin will update the ranking every 3 days. More frequent updates are not necessary as changes in SERP are gradual.

Can the ranking performance be configured for a defined region?

Yes, there is a selection of 5 distinct regions in this version. The site owner can select one primary region only.

Can more than 5 search terms be set up?

The current version allows only 5 search terms and 2 competitors. This will be extended in a future version.

What happens if a search term of competitor is changed after the software has been used for some time?

Any data form the old search term and / or competitor will be lost when the change is made.

Is the API license required?

Yes, the software will not operate properly without registering the API.

Is there any charge for the API licence?

The API licence will always be provided free of charge.

What is the purpose of the API license?

The API license provides a unique 5 character (case sensitive) id on the site that allows every registered domain to be uniquely identified. Our server uses this domain / api combination to communicate with your site in order to capture ranking trend data. Ranking trends will be available in a future version of the plugin.

Does the API licence capture any Personal data?

No, there is no personal information sent when the API is registered. No personal information is captured by any of the plugin processes. The Plugin is fully GDPR compliant.

Can this plugin be used to track ranking on a different site?

Once installed on a WordPress site, ranking is tracked for the site domain and for 2 competitor domains. It can be installed on any number of sites, but the core tracking is always for the domain of the site that it is installed on.

Can this plugin be installed on other content management systems?

This plugin is only available for WordPress sites.

If the specified competitors are not on WordPress CMS will the plugin still work?

Yes, the plugin does not care whether the competitor sites are static or operate on a different CMS. The only requirement is that ths plugin is installed on WordPress.


There are 3 Main Shortcodes available for this plugin that allow the site owner to publish information to the site front-end. It would not be usual for site owners to publish this information because Ranking and Competitor Tracking information is really intended for site improvement and not for general display to visitors.

If you feel that you would like this information to be visible on the front-end, then we recommend that you password protect the page or make it visible only to logged in users.

Ranking results table

Description: Present a table of performance (ranking) results for the main site and the defined competitors (rivals)

Shortcode: [hub_ract_display_rank_table]

Attributes available:

  • wrapper – class name for a class that you would like to use for the section including headers table etc.
  • class – class name for the table (default is hub-ract-table)
  • title – title for display above the table (default is Ranking Results)
  • engine – engine for which to display results, options are google, bing, all (default is all)
  • link – link type for URL’s displayed on the table options are none, follow, nofollow (default is none)
  • rest – display or hide the link to the REST data on your site Options are show, hide (default is hide)


  1. [hub_ract_display_rank_table]
  2. [hub_ract_display_rank_table class="mycss" title="Results" ]

Contender tables

Description: Present a table of the top performing sites for each search phrase entered (contenders) or display any social sites contending for the search phrase

Shortcode: [hub_ract_display_contender_table]

Attributes available:

  • wrapper – class name for a class that you would like to use for the section including headers table etc.
  • class – class name for the table (default is hub-ract-table)
  • title – title for display above the table (default is Ranking Results)
  • engine – engine for which to display results, options are google, bing, all (default is all)
  • type – either display top contenders (site) or contending social sites (social) (default is site)
  • link – link type for URL’s displayed on the table options are none, follow, nofollow (default is none)


  1. [hub_ract_display_contender_table]
  2. [hub_ract_display_contender_table class="mycss" title="Sites to keep an eye on"]
  3. [hub_ract_display_contender_table table type='social' link='nofollow' title='Social Media Contenders']

Cron Jobs

Description: Display a list of all the CRON jobs running for your site with the schedule, next run and hook name. The hook for this plugin is ract_cron_hook (very original, I know!)

Shortcode: [hub_ract_view_cron_settings]

Attributes available:

  • None