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Best SEO Tools: SpyFu vs Semrush vs Moz vs Raven vs Majestic

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Best Overall SEO Tool
SEMrush logo
Best Keyword Tracker
Best Backlink Tracker
Majestic logo

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.

Best Overall SEO Tool: Semrush Review

Semrush logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Site Audit tool shows overall website health and what issues need to be addressed
  • Position Tracking tool provides historical data and can target different devices and locations
  • SEO Ideas tool looks at your content and compares it to your competitors’ to give you ideas
  • Brand Monitoring tool allows you to easily monitor your brand reputation online
  • While we appreciate SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty tool, we’ve found it places to much emphasis on total Google results, perhaps making some keywords less difficult than their rating provides

Here is an overview of SEMrush’s interface:

SEMrush Screenshot

Pricing

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:

Best Keyword Tracker: Authority Labs Review

Authority Labs logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • See your daily rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing
  • Now Provided Report gives you access to keywords you rank for that you may not be aware of
  • Shows all URLs you are ranking for if you rank for multiple URLs with the same term
  • Keywords are sorted by default alphabetically and no way to change this setting

Here’s a look at the Authority Labs Interface:

Authority Labs Screenshot

Pricing

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

Best Backlink Tracker: Majestic Review

Majestic logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • All in one backlink checker
  • Unique Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics
  • Exporting reports can be tedious – lots of columns presented all at once

Here’s a look at Majestic’s interface:

Majestic Screenshot

Pricing

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 | Raven | SEO Book | SerpBook | SpyFu

Moz Review

Moz logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Search Visibility Score shows overall rankings performance
  • Moz Page and Domain Authority provide unique metrics
  • Tracks keywords weekly instead of daily

Here is a look at Moz Pro’s keyword tracking interface:

Moz Pro Screenshot

 

Pricing

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 Review

Raven logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Users report that Raven is willing to add features based on customer feedback
  • Custom, drag and drop reporting of any combination of Raven features
  • Limited product information on website, really push for you to sign up for a free trial to learn all of the features

Here’s a look at Raven’s site auditor:

Raven Tools Screenshot

Pricing

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 Review

SEO Book logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Personal interaction
  • Community forums to ask questions
  • Free tools for anyone to use – we found they keyword density tool to be very useful
  • Expensive
  • Tools are not as advanced as other services

Pricing

SEO Book does not have a free trial, but they do offer prorated refunds.

  • $300/month

Serpbook Review

Serpbook logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Rankings update more frequently (hourly) than Google’s Webmaster Tools (48 hours)
  • Unlimited tracking of keyword rankings history (WM Tools is only 90 days)
  • Easy to create new categories and share only those specific categories
  • Note tracking so you can annotate internal changes to your sites
  • Easy to understand charts to see your rankings on specific days
  • In our experience, the historical numbers are not that accurate nor up to date
  • If you rank for the same term across multiple URL’s, SerpBook only shows the top URL

This is a look at SerpBook’s rank tracker:
SerpBook Screenshot

Pricing

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 Review

SpyFu logo

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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.

Pros

Cons

  • Researching your competitors historic ads gives you a great opportunity to tweak your own ad copy
  • Member discounts with other services (including AuthorityLabs)
  • No local data

Here is a look at SpyFu’s research tool:

SpyFu Screenshot

Pricing

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?


About Jeff Butler
Whether it is setting up a home entertainment system controlled by a PC or geeking out on one of his many iDevice's, Jeff loves all things tech. He does not leave home without his iPad or his golf clubs. You never know when a good day might turn into a great one with the help of one (or both) of these trusty tools.
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3 Comments on "Best SEO Tools: SpyFu vs Semrush vs Moz vs Raven vs Majestic"

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George Coem
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George Coem

I’m using SERPstat after I switched from LTP. SEMrush has long been my plan B, albeit it’s pricier. I’ve grown to learn that there’s no way I’m buying a keyword research tool without API.

7even
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7even

Hey George, would you mind explaning why you wouldn’t want one without API access? Thanks.

Guest
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I am very impressed by your detailed review. I’m looking for tools that can help me manage my company’s SEO and it seems while there are dozens of free products out there, you definitely pay for what you get. I’ve also found that some tools are really good at one particular thing but then you can’t afford to buy multiple services (yet alone keep up with them all). Based on your experience it seems like SEMRush is the way to go as far as a one stop shop. Will do the free trail and check it out, thanks!

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