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If you’re familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you know how ever-changing and evolving the industry is. While anyone in this field needs to stay up on the latest industry trends, the most important part of the job is tracking and strategizing your SEO plan. Trying to do this without an SEO tool is a fool’s errand.
This comparison looks at the leading SEO software options and distinguishes what sets them apart from one another. You’ll notice that these solutions have free trials, but after that, there is a monthly fee involved. While there are free SEO tools out there, any experienced online marketer knows that to find a quality solution, you’re going to have to pay for it.
- 5 Factors To Consider In A SEO Tool
- Best SEO Tools
- SEO Tool Reviews (A – Z)
- SEO Tools Overview (Video)
- What About Keyword Research And Trends?
It’s important to keep in mind what you’re looking for in your SEO marketing before choosing a tool.
- Are you the webmaster for one website?
- Are you an SEO service provider with dozens of clients?
- Do you just need a keyword tracker or extensive competitor analysis?
- How about an easier way to do keyword research?
- Or maybe you have a great keyword strategy and just need to focus on backlinks.
There are different tools for different goals and some tools that try to combine every possible SEO strategy.
We’ve chosen three SEO tools that set themselves apart from the competition based on what they’re best for.
It’s always a concern when it seems like one product is trying to do too many things at once. This was my hesitation when I first learned about Semrush years ago. But after a few years of daily use, I’m comfortable saying that Semrush does a little bit of everything, and does it all well.
The backbone of Semrush is the Analytics Reports. From this tool, you can research search data with the largest keyword database on the market, traffic, and competitors for a domain or a keyword. If you are into paid advertising, you can get a deep look into what keywords your competitors are bidding on and how much traffic they are generating from their efforts.
Piggybacking on all of this research is Semrush’s backlink analysis, including an analysis of toxic backlinks. We are customers of Semrush and use most features of the service in our SEO marketing.
Semrush is constantly adding new features. Some of its latest additions include:
- Traffic Jet — an AI-powered tool that fully automates traffic acquisition and gives you instant access to hundreds of premium traffic sources including Google Search & Display, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Quora, Reddit, and hundreds of other advertising platforms
- Social Media Ads Tool — allows you to create, launch, manage and optimize ads on Facebook and Instagram
- Improved level of accuracy in Traffic Analytics
- In-depth Custom Market Analysis reports
- Content Marketing Platform — tools to help you create and optimize your content
Here is an overview of Semrush’s interface:
Semrush offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all plans. The following prices are monthly. You can save up to 17% if you pay annually.
|Price Per Month||$129.95||$249.95||$499.95||Contact|
|Number of Users*||1||1||1||Contact|
|Results Per Report||10,000||30,000||50,000||Contact|
*Each plan gets one power user and additional users can be added for $45-100 per month.
AuthorityLabs is your go-to tool for daily search engine ranking tracking. The local tracking feature (you can filter by country, city, or zip code), is a great tool for those targeting local areas. Other features include competitor tracking and mobile rankings.
Another unique feature is the “Now Provided” report. By linking your account with Google Analytics, you’ll be able to easily see what terms you are ranking for and can implement those terms into AuthorityLabs with one click. If you have multiple domains covering the same topic, you can save time with domain groups — a unique feature in our findings. We have used AuthorityLabs in the past to track keywords by monetary value.
New additions to AuthorityLabs include:
- Data API is newly redesigned for user-friendliness
- Ability to collect custom data points about specific SERP features
- Can track product rankings on Amazon, Walmart, Targets, and more
Here’s a look at the AuthorityLabs Interface:
AuthorityLabs offers a 30-day free trial.
|Price Per Month||$49||$99||$225||$450 (Starting)|
Ahrefs offers among the best backlink analysis available among all SEO tools. Not only is its backlink database massive compared to other tools, but Ahrefs’ competitor analysis is also among the best.
Another top feature is its Content Explorer, which searches the web for the most popular content for any keyword or topic. Other key features include SERP overview and position history, related keyword ideas and the difficulty level. Ahrefs takes some time to learn, but its results are worth the learning curve.
New additions to Ahrefs include:
- Easy tracking for ‘rel=UGC’ and ‘rel=sponsored’ links
- Total monthly organic traffic in API
- Improved user-friendly dashboard
- Combined projects manager for their Dashboard, Rank Tracker and Site Audit tools
- See the paid search history for any keyword
- 3 new ways to group search results in Content Explorer: by authors, websites and languages
- Access the Organic keywords report for massive sites like YouTube or Amazon
Here is a look at Ahref’s interface:
Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7 for its Lite and Standard plans. You can save 20% off the following prices if you pay annually.
|Price Per Month||$99||$199||$399||$999|
|Number of Users*||1||1||1||1|
|Results Per Report||2,500||30,000||75,000||150,000|
*Each plan comes with one prepaid power user that can use Ahrefs tools on a credit system covering 500 credits a month free. Additional users can be added for $20-50 per month or $200 to $500 per year.
SEO Tool Reviews (A – Z)
Now without further ado, here are our reviews of the remaining SEO Tools candidates requested by our readers. And while these services didn’t crack our “best of” awards, they are all worthy of a look if you are serious about search engine optimization.
BuzzSumo is a marketing analytics software that can help you discover and analyze what’s trending online and on social media. Simply enter a keyword or domain, and it provides insight into what content is working and why, and which influencers can help boost your brand or campaign. This tool is great at helping you generate relevant content ideas and identifies high-traffic keywords you’ll want to include. If you’re big into social media engagement, you’ll want to check out BuzzSumo.
Here’s a look at BuzzSumo’s interface:
BuzzSumo offers a 7-day free trial on any plan and you can save 20% if you pay annually.
|Basic||Content Creation||PR & Comms||Large||Enterprise|
|Price Per Month||$119||$249||$249||$399||$999|
|# of Users||1||5||5||10||30|
|Historical Data Years||2||3||3||5||5|
SE Ranking’s main strength is keyword rank tracking, but it also includes website and on-page SEO auditing. With SE Ranking, you can see how your competitor’s keywords rank compared to yours. It’s an affordable alternative to Authority Labs, our #1 pick for keyword tracking, but it’s not quite as powerful. Still, SE Ranking gets excellent user reviews for its ease of use, accuracy, and features and is a great option for small businesses.
Here’s a look at SE Ranking’s interface:
SE Ranking offers a 14-day free trial. The following prices are for daily ranking updates paid monthly. You can save 20% by subscribing to an annual plan. You can also customize the following plans based on the number of keywords you want to track.
|Price Per Month||$49||$109||$239|
|# of Keywords||250||1,000||2,500|
|# of Websites||10||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SEO Checker Pages/Month||20||30||100|
IMPORTANT NOTE: This SEO service is currently closed to new members, and there’s no pricing information. We are unclear on whether this product is still for sale or supported. We do not recommend signing up at this time.
SEOBook, owned and operated by SEO guru Aaron Wall, is slightly different than all of the other offerings in this comparison. Wall’s business started in 2003 with one of the most successful SEO books in history and then transitioned his efforts into an online SEO course.
The course is geared towards novice marketers — it claims that you are hiring your own personal SEO expert when you pay for its service. At $300 a month, the cost isn’t cheap, but if you’ve made it this far in the article and you’re completely overwhelmed by the content, a personal SEO expert might not be a bad move.
Once you join, you get personal interaction, but SEOBook also has its own proprietary tools like a keyword suggestion tool, keyword list generator, keyword ranker, and competitive analysis.
Here is a look at one of the SEOBooks’ tools:
SEOBook does not have a free trial, but it does offer prorated refunds.
SEO PowerSuite is a bundle of some powerful, professional SEO tools: Rank Tracker, SEO SpyGlass, WebSite Auditor and LinkAssistant. It offers a free version that has a ton of features, but you can’t save any of your projects.
To get the most out of SEO PowerSuite, you must first pay a one-time fee for the software license and then pay a monthly fee for Search Algo updates — these keep your software in line with search engines’ changing algorithms and let you store projects in the Link-Assistant Cloud.
Here is a look at the Link-Assistant interface:
All editions include unlimited websites and keywords. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on any license.
- Professional Edition: $299/year
- Enterprise Edition: $499/year
Keyword.com (formerly SerpBook) is a keyword rank tracker that has a similar approach to that of AuthorityLabs in that it focuses on keyword rank checking. They provide local and global rank tracking of the top 100 results for Google Mobile, Google Desktop, Google Local Maps, and YouTube. You can choose a plan (number of trackable keywords) for either bi-hourly updates or daily updates (these happen automatically) and get a discount with an annual subscription.
We use them in addition to Semrush (our primary SEO platform) for quick alerts when one of our top terms has a significant ranking change. They have an API you can use to really leverage the power of the platform.
Pro Tip: Track Google Mobile To Cover Desktop Rankings Also
Keyword.com gives you the option to track both Google Mobile and Google Desktop results. But since Google recently announced a mobile first index (rankings for both desktop and mobile results are based on the mobile index now, not the desktop index), you really only need to track Google Mobile, regardless of which traffic source is the primary driver behind visitors to your site. This saves you from using 2 credits to track each keyword.
Here’s a look at Keyword.com’s dashboard:
Keyword.com offers a 7-day free trial and a 14-day money back guarantee on all plans. You can save 20% by paying annually.
|On-Demand Keyword Updates/Day||50||100||200||1,000|
Long Tail Pro’s core areas are keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank checking, but its main strength is as a keyword ranking tool. Long Tail Pro pulls keywords from Google’s Keyword Planner and uses a unique Keyword Competitiveness algorithm to calculate each keyword’s ranking potential (on a 1-100 scale).
This tool can save you a ton of time by quickly analyzing the top 10 results in Google for each of your keywords. It also checks SERP data points in your meta tags, domain and page authority, and much more. Its new Rank Value tool gives you an estimated monetary value, including income from AdWords and Amazon Affiliates, of ranking in the #1 spot for any given keyword.
Here is a screenshot of Long Tail Pro:
Long Tail Pro offers a 7-day free trial, a 60-day money back guarantee and save 25% if you pay annually.
|Price Per Month||$59.99||$89.99||$299.99|
|Daily Keyword Lookups||800||2,500||6,000|
Majestic (formally MajesticSEO) is laser-focused as a leading backlink history checker. As you probably expect, with this tool you can track referring domains and backlinks to any URL. Where does Majestic start to differentiate itself? The detailed reporting of new and lost backlinks and anchor text reports. We are customers of Majestic and use it as our primary backlink tracker.
The feature we are most impressed by is Majestic’s custom Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores. Trust flow is a method of looking at a site’s link profile and comparing that profile to other websites with a similar profile. If those sites are quality, the Trust Flow is higher. If those sites are not quality, the Trust Flow is lower. Citation flow looks at the number of links and the quality of them and assigns a score.
In 2019, Majestic launched Link Context, a new tool that gives you insights into what content surrounds every backlink you check, including text, other internal and external links, images, whether the main link is an editorial or directory link and much more.
Here’s a look at Majestic’s interface:
All plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee.
|Price Per Month||$49.99||$99.99||$399.99|
|Number of Users||1||1||5|
|Analyzable Links||1 Million||20 Million||100 Million|
Mangools is one of the most affordable, high-quality suites of SEO tools you can find, making it ideal for bloggers and small businesses. You also get all of its features with every plan, unlike some other premium tools. Its 5-tool suite includes KWFinder, LinkMiner, SiteProfiler, SERPChecker, and SERPWatcher.
Its strongest tool is the KWFinder, which helps you find your ideal long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty and high search volume. For every keyword, you get details about trends, SERP results, search volume, difficulty, and cost per click. You can also enter any competitor’s domain or URL to see the best keywords they rank for. Their database is 1.6 billion strong and growing by 20 million every month.
Mangools SERPChecker is also a powerhouse tool. You can select from metrics by Mangools, Moz, or Majestic to determine the website authority of your competitors and discover ways to outrank them. SERPWatcher lets you track your rankings daily in any location and on any device.
Here’s a look at Mangools’ interface:
Mangools has a 10-day free trial and a 48-hour money-back guarantee on all plans. They also offer a 35% discount on the following pricing if you pay annually.
|Price Per Month||$29.90||$44.90||$89.90|
Moz is a known leader in the SEO world. Its blog is consistently one of the best resources for online marketers. There are a handful of Moz products available, but we’re focusing on its most popular product, Moz Pro.
The core competency of Moz Pro is tracking keyword rankings, but you also get access to Moz’s Link Explorer — a powerful link profile analysis. Another fantastic feature is a site crawl that identifies possible SEO issues, similar to Semrush’s Site Audit.
Here is a look at Moz Pro’s keyword tracking interface:
Moz Pro offers a 30-day free trial. You can also save 20% off the following monthly prices if you pay annually.
|Price Per Month||$99||$179||$299||$599|
Raven Tools’ main focus is on custom reporting, so if you are an agency that represents a lot of clients, this could be a good fit. Raven started as an agency more than 10 years ago and couldn’t find an online marketing solution that had everything it needed, so it created its own.
Its drag-and-drop reporting allows you to provide an all-encompassing report for whatever your client desires. Raven Tools has a site auditor, keyword ranking reporting, and a link checker. You can create white-label reports with performance metrics from Google Analytics, Search Console, AdWords, Facebook, Bing Ads, and more.
Here’s a look at Raven’s site auditor:
Raven Tools offer a 7-day free trial. You can save up to 30% if you pay annually. All plans offer unlimited branded reports.
|Price Per Month||$39||$79||$139||$249||$399|
SpyFu’s focus is competitive research for SEO and PPC. You can find out what your competitors are doing by seeing which keywords they buy, which ads they run, and which organic keywords they rank for. What stands out? Not only do you see this competitive information now, but there’s a 12-year history provided. SpyFu also offers keyword tracking on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Here is a look at SpyFu’s research tool:
All SpyFu plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Price Per Month||$39||$79||$299|
|Weekly Tracked Keyword Rankings||5,000||15,000||40,000|
|Sales Leads & Domain Contacts||250||500||2,000|
|Historical Data||6 months||10+ years||10+ years|
|Custom Brand Reports|
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool led by internet guru Neil Patel. It’s an easy-to-use way to find keywords you won’t get from Google’s Keyword Planner. This site also gives you access to a free SEO analyzer report and a free A/B testing significance calculator. You can also schedule a consultation with Neil Patel.
Here’s a look at Ubersuggest in action:
All plans come with a 7-day free trial and you can save up to 90% with a lifetime plan.
|Price Per Month||$29||$49||$99|
|Number of Websites||1||2-7||8-15|
|Reports Per Day||150||300||900|
|Pages Crawled Weekly||1,000||5,000||10,000|
Not seeing the company you’re looking for in our review? Let us know in the comments.
SEO Tools Overview (Video)
View this video for a quick visual recap of SEO tools and how they can help your business.
What About Keyword Research And Trends?
Now that you have SEO software to track your results, you first need to get your top terms up there. Learn about keyword research and trend analysis, to find out which of your terms may experience growth, which are merely seasonal, and which are expected to decline. Then take a look at our keyword tracker reviews so you can keep track of them all and set alerts.
After all, why optimize on a term that won’t be searched for in a few years? Conversely, optimize now on a low-competition term that’s barely searched for, with the insight that it’s going to blow up in the near future to get a nice leg up on your competition. If you want to dive deeper, read our guides on the best tools for backlink checking and SEO audits.Tagged With: Comparison, SEO 101