How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
|Best Overall SEO Tool|
|Best Keyword Tracker|
|Best Backlink Tracker|
If you are 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 own SEO plan. Trying to do this without a 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 will know that in order to find a quality solution, you are going to have to pay for it.
It’s important to keep in mind what you are looking for in your SEO marketing before choosing a tool. Are you the webmaster for one website? Are you a SEO service provider with dozens of clients? Do you just need a keyword tracker? 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.
Best SEO Tools
We’ve chosen three SEO tools that have separated themselves from the competition. We haven’t ranked ranked them #1, #2, #3 like we have with many other services on this website, but instead have separated each tool into the SEO category in which it excels.
It is always a concern when it seems like one product is trying to do too many things at once. This was my hesitation when I was first introduced to SEMRush years ago. After a few years of daily use though, 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, 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. We are customers of SEMRush and use most features of the service in our SEO marketing.
Here is an overview of SEMrush’s interface:
SEMrush offers a 7-day money back guarantee on all plans.
- Pro – 3,000 Reports per day, 5 Projects, 500 Keywords, 5 PDF Reports – $69.95/month or $699.40/year
- Guru – 5,000 Reports per day, 50 Projects, 1,500 Keywords, 20 PDF Reports – $149.95/month or $1,499.40/year
- Business – 10,000 Reports per day, Unlimited Projects, 6,000 Keywords, 50 PDF Reports – $549.95/month or $5,499.40/year
SEMrush also provides custom plans if there isn’t a stock product that works perfectly for you. For example, if you just want to add another session (simultaneous login) or user, you can pay for this a la carte.
View this video for a quick visual rundown on SEMrush:
Authority Labs 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 Authority Labs with one click. If you have multiple domains covering the same topic, you are able to save time with domain groups – a unique feature in our findings. We are customers of Authority Labs and use the service to track keyword groups by monetary value.
Here’s a look at the Authority Labs Interface:
AuthorityLabs offers a 30-day free trial.
- Plus $49/month – 250 keywords and 50 domains
- Pro $99/month – 1,000 keywords and 100 domains
- Enterprise $450/month (starting) – 5,000+ keywords and unlimited domains
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 Majestic starts to differentiate itself are the detailed reporting of new and lost backlinks and anchor text reports. 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 sites link profile and comparing that profile to other sites 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. We are customers of Majestic and use it as our primary backlink tracker.
Here’s a look at Majestic’s interface:
All plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- Silver – 1 User, 60 detailed reports per month, 5 million analyzable backlinks – $78.99/month or $499.90/year
- Gold – 5 Users, 300 detailed reports per month, 25 million analyzable backlinks – $169.99/month or $1,699.90/year
- Platinum – 15 Users, 950 detailed reports per month, 100 million analyzable backlinks, API access – $399.99/month or $3,999.90/year
Other SEO Tool Reviews
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.
Moz is a known leader in the SEO world. Their blog is consistently one of the best resources for online marketers. There are a handful of Moz products available, but we are going to focus on their most popular product, Moz Pro. The core competency of Moz Pro is tracking keyword rankings, but you also get access to Moz’s Open Site Explorer – a powerful link profile analysis. One other feature is a site crawl that will identify 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.
- Standard – 5 Campaigns & 300 Keywords – $79/month or $950/year
- Medium – 10 Campaigns & 750 Keywords – $119/month or $1,430/year
- Premium – 100 Campaigns & 7,500 Keywords – $479/month or $5,750/year
Raven Tools is really focused on their custom reporting, so if you are an agency who represents a lot of clients, this could be a good fit. Raven started as an agency 10 years ago and couldn’t find an online marketing solution that had everything they needed, so they created their own. Their drag and drop reporting allows you to provide an all encompassing report for whatever your client desires. Ravel Tools has a site auditor, keyword ranking reporting and a link checker.
Here’s a look at Raven’s site auditor:
Raven Tools offer a 30 day free trial. Both paid versions offer the site auditor crawl for up to 10,000 pages per site and unlimited branded reports.
- Pro – 4 Users – $99/month
- Agency – Unlimited users – $249/month
SEO Book is slightly different than all of the other offerings in this comparison. It is run and operated by SEO guru Aaron Wall. His business started in 2003 with one of the most successful SEO books in history, but since print quickly becomes outdated, he has transitioned his efforts into an online SEO course. The overall feeling I get is that the course is geared towards novice marketers. In fact, when you pay for their service, they claim that you are hiring your own personal SEO expert. At $300 a month, the cost is not cheap, but if you’ve made it this far in the article and you are completely overwhelmed by the content, a personal SEO expert might not be a bad move. Once you join, you get personal interaction, but SEO Book also has its own proprietary tools like a keyword suggestion tool, keyword list generator, keyword ranker and competitive analysis.
SerpBook is a SEO checker that has a similar approach to that of Authority Labs, it focuses on automatic keyword rank checking. Google is updated every few hours, while Bing and Yahoo are updated daily. SerpBook also automatically updates PageRank, Backlinks and Alexa ranks daily. Other unique tracking features include YouTube tracking and Google Mobile ranking. We are customers of Serpbook and use it to be alerted quickly when one of our top terms has a significant rankings change.
This is a look at SerpBook’s rank tracker:
SerpBook offers a 14-Day Free Trial on all plans
- Basic – 50 Keywords/Domains – $9.95/month
- Essential – 100 Keywords/Domains – $19.97/month
- Extreme – 500 Keywords/Domains – $44.97/month
- Enterprise – 2,000 Keywords/Domains – $159.95/month
Spyfu’s focus is competitive research. It is an interesting approach: find out what your competitor is doing (what keywords are they buying, what ads they are running and what organic keywords are they ranking for). What really stands out is not only do you see this competitive information now, there is a nine year history provided! SpyFu also offers keyword tracking.
Here is a look at SpyFu’s research tool:
All SpyFu plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
- Basic – Track Ad Placement and Ranking for 5,000 keywords, 1-2 In-Depth SEO Reports – $79/month or $599/year
- Professional – Track Ad Placement and Ranking for 15,000 keywords, 4-5 In-Depth SEO Reports and API Data – $139/month or $769/year
- Agency – Track Ad Placement and Ranking for Unlimited keywords, Unlimited In-Depth SEO Reports and API Data – $999/month or $9,995/year
What SEO software is best for you?
Hopefully you kept your SEO goals in mind while reading about the best SEO tools and we have provided the information you need to make the best SEO software solution for your situation.
What SEO software have you tried?