When looking for the best SEO tool for your business, there are several considerations to make. The tool needs to be reasonably easy to grasp, especially if the business is run by a new user who has not had much experience of SEO tools previously. Some of the tools do run their own training or help guides which can be useful at the start. Each of the tools will have its own unique strengths and weaknesses but the following are good overall SEO tools.
The industry is constantly evolving and changing so anyone in the field will need to keep themselves updated with the latest trends to aid strategizing their SEO plans. Without an SEO tool to assist you with this, it is unlikely to bring forth much success.
As with most things, there are plenty of free SEO tools out there but, as with most decent solutions online, it is more than likely true that paying for such a tool will bring a more reliable and better quality solution to the table.
The Ahrefs platform offers an amazingly good backlink analysis, possibly the best of all the SEO tools. With a huge database compared to others its competitor analysis features among the very best. Link Building has been hailed as one of the most important items to need to be ranked on Google, and Ahrefs was originally launched to be a tool which could analyze backlinks, which was such a game changer. This was when it first started but it is now, following a period of evolution, a complete SEO tool helping with website auditing, keyword tracking and, of course, still carrying out backlink analysis.
Ahrefs offers a $7 7-day trial but only for its Lite and Standard plans. There is the possibility of saving 20% if choosing to pay in full, annually. Ahrefs also offers limited free API access but the API integration could be improved upon. There are also no mobile apps available at this time.
While it has some great features such as its Content Explorer (searching the web for keywords, topics and content) and SERP overview, related keyword search ideas and position history, Ahrefs has also added some new features which include:
- Total organic traffic in API on a monthly basis.
- Combined projects manager for the Site Audit, Rank Tracker and Dashboard tools.
- Ability to see the paid search history for any of its keywords.
- New ways to group search results in its Content Explorer – these can be grouped by websites, languages and also authors.
- Access to the Organic report for keywords for the bigger sites such as Amazon.
The main downside to Ahrefs product is lack of local keywords included in search; keyword suggestions do not feature a relevancy score and only the two top plans will provide updates on a daily basis. If relying upon these features, it, therefore, might seem to be less robust than some of the other tools on the market.
In general, Semrush is a product which covers a little bit of everything, SEO tool-wise, and appears to do it very well. It is considered to be among the top SEO tools in the industry. It was formerly launched as a research service to help with online marketing but eventually became a complete marketing toolkit and is often the first choice for digital marketers worldwide. Its strongest feature is its Analytics Report from which you can glean data about searches, keywords, competitors and even delve into the keywords your competitors are using in order to generate traffic to their own sites. Site Audit is another of its tools and this allows you to view any potential or actual issues and timely solutions on how they need to be addressed. The product often adds new features and some of the more recent additions include:
- Traffic Jet – a tool which is AI powered and which automates the traffic to your site from hundreds of sources and platforms.
- Custom Market Analysis – full in-depth reports.
- Content Marketing Platform – Allowing you the option to create and optimize your content through these new tools on offer.
- Social Media tool – this one allows the user to manage, launch and optimize the ads they have created on both Instagram and Facebook.
- Accuracy – Its Traffic Analytics have had the level of accuracy heavily improved.
Semrush offers a 7-day money back guarantee on all of its value-for-money plans and there is the option to save 17% if paying in full annually and upfront. There is also a free trial option which is a valuable addition and tech support is provided for this tool which is highly rated.
There is a downside to this product in that there is a lot to be learned in order to enjoy and reap the benefits of its huge number of features and initially complicated-looking interface which does require some degree of technical ability and knowledge and, even then, it does take a little time to get to grips with this tool. Some of its terminology is way above that required for the beginner who might choose an easier option when they are starting out.
Moz is generally known as the leader of the Search Engine Optimisation world.There are a few products available with Moz but here we are looking mostly at Moz Pro. One of Moz Pro’s biggest and best features is tracking keyword rankings but it also features an almost-as-powerful link profile analysis tool. Moz Pro also has Site Crawl which is an amazing feature which can be used to identify issues with SEO and reporting and which allows for prompt fixing of any resultant issues. This feature is similar to, but not the same as, Semrush’s Site Audit tool.
Moz Pro offers potential clients a free 30-day trial and there are options to save 20% off the monthly costs if you pay in full and upfront annually. There is also limited free API access. Moz is less advanced than some of the other tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush and does not offer the same content marketing capabilities that Ahrefs and Semrush (for example) offer through their own tools.
There are a couple of smaller downsides to Moz and one is that it tracks the keywords weekly as opposed to daily and the other being that its user interface is a little confusing to one who doesn’t know how to navigate it. Moz offers fewer features than (for example) Semrush, for a similar priced option and the MozLocal option is only sold separately. MozPro’s cheapest subscription is still rather pricey.
Formerly known as MajesticSEO, this is a product which is a leading backlink history checker. It backlinks to any URL and its detailed reporting of both new and lost backlinks are where it begins to stand out from the crowd. One of its most impressive features has to be its Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores. Trust Flow is higher when a site is considered to be better quality and lower if the opposite is the case. Citation Flow looks at links and their quality and assigns them a score accordingly.
Despite its array of options, understanding some of the more advanced functions of Majestic SEO tools could take time and so the discerning might opt for an easier-to-use option to allow them to get their SEO strategies up and running faster.
The main focus of SpyFu is research; competitive research for SEO and also Pay Per Click (PPC). Focusing on the keywords that your competitors purchase and finding out which ads that they are running and how their ranking is affected by organic keywords are all great opportunities to be explored when using SpyFu. It also offers in-depth analysis and discounts on other services such as AuthorityLabs. SpyFu is easy to use and is competitively priced – all of SpyFu’s plans are offered with a 30-day full money back guarantee and there are several different levels of plan on offer and with it being priced below most of its competitors, and the ability to customize the tool, it could provide all that is needed for someone who is not a complete beginner.
However, the only real downside to SpyFu is the lack of local data and the tool being a little difficult for beginners to grasp due to having so many advanced tools that may not be necessary to a beginner who might opt for something more straightforward, at least when they are starting out on their SEO strategy journey.
This tool is largely the better option for tracking the site and page rankings in daily search engines and the local feature (which can be filtered by area using postal codes/zip codes and city, for example) is great for local access. It does sport other features which include mobile rankings and the ability to track its competitors.
One of its most unique features is the reported entitled ‘Now Provided’ and, if the account is linked to Google Analytics, it is possible to see the reasons why you are ranked where you are ranked and what terms you are being ranked for and it can subsequently allow you to implement those into AuthorityLabs at the click of a button.
AuthorityLabs has some new additions to its tool which are:
- DataAPI – this has been made more user-friendly with a completely new interface design.
- Custom Data Points – the ability to collect data points about SERP features.
- Product Rankings – Can track rankings on sites such as Amazon, Walmart and Target, for example.
The interface is more straightforward than some of its competitors and it offers a free 30-day trial of its tools, offering different packages and plans with add-ons such as Keywords and Domains being available at a cost.
AuthorityLabs does feature free tools and allows you to have unlimited users but the main downside to this tool is that it sorts keywords alphabetically by default and there is no way, at this time, to change the setting. It has also been reported that data loads slowly so there have been complaints of this nature.
Moz and SpyFu both appear to be two of the better options for the much smaller businesses and for individuals who are beginners to SEO Strategizing which is largely because of their cheaper pricing plans and the product being easier to use than some of the other products on the market. Moz is probably easier to use than SpyFu so might be more suited to the absolute beginner user.
Ahrefs and Semrush appear to be the giants of SEO at this time and they both appear to cater for all client types but some of their plans do lack customisation options which may put some business off opting for these tools. Ahrefs and Semrush are the two biggest pioneers of the SEO industry and offer everything that could possibly be needed to get your pages ranked. It would make a large indent into a website owner’s budget to use both Ahrefs and Semrush tools so ultimately it could all come down to selecting from these two most popular tools, even though there are several others available.
As mentioned at the start, there are also many free SEO tools available and, although limited and far less advanced than the paid counterparts, being free to use they might be better for the complete beginner to give them a feel for what SEO tools can offer them. Once they know what kind of things the various tools can offer, they can begin to make decisions on which of the paid options to go for. New users can spend some time on the free tools to help them to evaluate their requirements. It might also be a good idea to opt for tools where there are beginner-friendly lessons or tutorials.