Search engine optimization (SEO) software helps you build a strategy for earning organic traffic to your website. Whether you’re a blogger or own an e-commerce business, SEO plays a crucial role in spreading the news about your organization and what you have to offer. 

This type of software goes hand-in-hand with website analytics and tools like Google Search Console. Get started with our list of the best SEO software.

What is the Best SEO Software?

SEO software is a tool that helps you monitor data, analyze information and organize next steps to grow and improve website traffic and performance. The data available in such a tool can vary from keyword suggestions and rankings to backlinks and link-building tools.

You’ll be able to see both how your website is currently performing and how to take it to the next level. With these insights, you can prioritize your website work and content development to take advantage of fast wins and the most impactful actions.

The best SEO reporting software provides a holistic view of your website status and next steps in growing and improving your website. The more tools available in 1 platform, the more time you’ll save flipping back and forth between different tools while you build out your strategy.

Don’t get overwhelmed with the vast feature offering available in these software tools. But do consider how you might consolidate your tools with one powerhouse SEO platform.

What to Look for in an SEO Software?

SEO success lies in 3 main areas: site code and technical structure, onsite content and offsite factors (backlinks, business listings, guest posts). To beat out your competitors, look for software that provides insights into all 3 areas of your site.

Avoid tools and services that promise a fast fix, such as automatic backlinks to hundreds of websites. Some of these services invite bot visitors or use spam websites to achieve increases in traffic or backlinks. 

What you want is effective long-term reach that results in new leads, valuable readers and customers. The only way to do that is with ongoing SEO strategy work powered by insights from SEO tools.

Focus on SEO software that can offer:

Keyword Exploring 

You might think you have a good grasp on the main search terms related to your product or service. And while that might be true, there can also be dozens of other keywords and ways of searching for what you offer that you hadn’t considered.

Keyword exploring shows you related keywords alongside monthly search volume. A monthly search volume is how often people use that keyword. But you’ll also see how difficult it is to rank for that keyword based on the competition. 

Highly competitive keywords have many websites working hard to rank for them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try for those keywords as well, but you might be better served focusing on lower difficulty keywords to start building traffic to your website.

Reporting 

Get clear insights into changes in your website’s ranking status. Website errors can come out of nowhere or with the simple addition of a new photo on your website. Fast and effective reporting can make you aware of such changes to fix things quickly.

Notifications the moment there is an error on your website or a broken link can help you minimize the impact of such changes.

Reports give you insights into what’s working well and what still needs work. The best SEO rank tracking software displays how you rank over time so check areas of opportunity and review the quality of backlinks on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis – you choose the reporting timing that works for your team.

Cost 

The price of the software does not indicate its quality. Don’t get lulled into buying the most expensive SEO monitoring service on the market assuming it will get you results. That isn’t always the case.

Take time to review the features and interface of multiple programs. Test out a few free accounts to see which one you like the best and provides reporting and information in a pleasing format that you can work with. 

However, know that some of the really cheap SEO services lack depth to really get you where you need to be to see results. It’s best to ignore price until you have a shortlist of the best tools on the market today.

Usability 

Using your new SEO software should be simple and easy. You shouldn’t need to take tons of online training sessions to learn how to set up your website or read reports. 

Some interfaces are more challenging to navigate and understand than others. Look for a tool that you’re comfortable using.

Customer Support 

If you’re just starting out on your SEO journey, it’s a good idea to pick a tool with robust customer support. Beginners might need assistance connecting their website and analytics to the platform or help to understand the impacts of some of the information the software presents. 

You never know when you might encounter a technical issue that you’ll need help with, so it’s a good idea to review the customer support for a tool before signing up.

Best SEO Software

With so many SEO software services on the market today, the options can feel overwhelming. We’ve pulled together the very best to help you evaluate your options.

1. Best for Intermediate Users: SEMRush

SEMRush is one of the best SEO ranking software systems on the market today because of its robust toolset. The competitor analysis tools are especially helpful for businesses entering a crowded marketplace. 

And you’ll be amazed at the depth and insights the reports showcase. The main setback to the system is that it’s somewhat technical and full of jargon for beginners. It’s best to have at least a base of SEO knowledge if you’re choosing SEMRush.

Pricing: Plans start at $119.95 per month, but you can test out the platform with a free trial or save some money with an annual plan. Before choosing your pricing tier, review the full plan comparison to make sure you understand what tools are excluded from the lower level plans.

Bundles: The best way to save and get the most value out of an SEMRush account is to subscribe to an annual plan for 16% savings over monthly billing.

2. Best for Newcomers: MOZ Pro

MOZ Pro is an excellent all-in-one SEO tool for beginners. It has helpful definitions and insights to guide first-timers in understanding terminology and impacts of various elements of an SEO strategy. 

The community of MOZ users is also very willing to offer help to those who are new to the software. An account also comes with a one-on-one walkthrough to help familiarize you with the platform.

Pricing: Pricing starts at $99 per month, but the platform also offers a host of free tools you can use monthly to see keyword rankings, backlinks and more. Consider testing these free tools to get a feel for the platform and user interface before signing up for an account.

Bundles: MOZ Pro is strictly an SEO service, so there aren’t any additional services it can bundle. However, signing up for an annual plan can save you 20% annually. 

3. Best for Low Budgets: SpyFu

While the interface lacks depth in some features, SpyFu is an outstanding option if you’re on a budget. SEO software can eat up a large chunk of your marketing allocation if you aren’t careful. If you have the time to learn and grow with SpyFu, it’s a great way to get started in monitoring and analyzing your SEO. 

Pricing: Pricing plans start at $39 per month. The upper tiers are more for SEO agencies or those looking to monitor multiple websites with many pages. Get started with a 7-day free trial. 

Bundles: Take some time to evaluate the full features and comparison chart before choosing a pricing tier. Make sure that lower tiers will accommodate your website and reporting needs. 

Annual plans can help you save up to $100 per month on your plan. Consider signing up for a free trial to see if you like the interface and then committing to a year-long plan.

4. Best for Content Marketers: Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a sophisticated tool with in-depth insights and reports. One of its unique features is the ability to research content ideas and discover content gaps in existing copy. That’s why it’s a great tool for content marketers and bloggers. 

But in addition to content tools, it also has the in-depth keyword research and analysis tools you need alongside technical SEO insights and deep backlinking reports. 

Pricing: Monthly plans start at $99 per month. You can test out the platform for $7 for 7 days. 

Bundles: An advantage Ahrefs has over its competitors is more account customization. You can add additional users for $30 per month and additional projects for $10 per month. Other platforms make you get the next tier to increase these areas of your account.

5. Best for Keyword Research: Majestic

Spy on your competitors’ backlinks using Majestic. But you’ll also get the full SEO toolset you need to improve your rankings and target the right keywords. It’s a powerful tool for seeing how you rank compared to your competitors and what you can do to increase your current rankings. 

The platform features many technical integrations that other SEO software systems do not. That’s what makes it great for technical teams.

Pricing: Plans start at $49.99 per month. However, you can run some reports for free. 

You’ll be able to see how trustworthy your site is and view any referring domains that have backlinks to your site. The free tools also give you a feel for what the user interface is like.

Bundles: Subscribe to an annual plan for large savings on the per-month cost of the platform. 

6. Best for Site Audits: Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog offers a full suite of tools to help with your digital marketing, but its strongest and well-known feature is site audits. There’s nothing fancy about the Screaming Frog interface or its reports. But you’ll get an in-depth look at errors on your website that are causing your website to not rank well. This tool is best used in conjunction with a developer or technical asset as you’ll likely see many technical errors on your website.

Pricing: plans are extremely affordable for Screaming Frog. Pricing starts at $207 a year for the site audit tools. Other services are sold separately. 

Bundles: Screaming Frog does not bundle its services, but be sure to learn about its social media, paid search, link building, content marketing and more. 

Which SEO Software Should You Avoid?

Be wary of services and SEO professionals who promise fast and impressive SEO results. SEO is a long-game, meaning it takes time to see changes and you’ll need to work at your strategy regularly. 

Watch out for these SEO services:

  • Cheap link building services
  • Traffic services (these are generally bots and not real people)
  • Content marketing services that use keyword stuffing

Cheap and spammy SEO tactics can be very challenging to overcome once you’ve engaged in them. It’s best to use tools that provide keyword insights and analytics you can work with.

Avoid software that’s too technical for your skills, no matter the results the platform boasts. And don’t pay for the most-expensive service thinking that’s the best way to go. Choose your SEO software wisely. 

Find Your SEO Software Now

Start working your way to increased organic website traffic and valuable new website leads. The best SEO software provides the insights and analysis you need to increase your competitive rankings and help you capture market share.

Get started with a few free trials to learn more about how these tools work and see which is best for you.

Recommended lecture: AHREFS VS. SEMRUSH