To run a successful agency, you need to go beyond simply understanding the basics of SEO. You need to master the tools of the trade.
With the right SEO software, you can streamline your workflows, get insights to come up with an SEO strategy, and optimize your clients’ websites and content. With that said, how do you choose the right tools to help you succeed?
In this guide, I’ll be sharing a few of the best SEO agency software, along with tips and tricks for making the most of them.
What should you look for in your agency’s SEO software?
Finding the right tool stack that works for your agency can be difficult. After all, there are many things to consider: What features do you need? What platforms will it work on? How much should it cost?
You also need to keep the scope in mind: do you need to perform an on-page SEO analysis, launch an SEO campaign to generate backlinks, or will you perform a technical SEO audit?
While there’s no SEO powersuite that does everything, I can offer advice about the features that those building an SEO agency with SPP in the back-end typically look for in their tools:
Automation: Automation features can help you save time by automating tasks like reporting, data collection, and keyword research. As you scale, you’ll be surprised by the cost saving potential.
Integrations: Make sure the software you choose integrates with the other tools you use, such as your agency client portal, CRM, project management software, etc. This will make it easier to manage data and workflows between all of your tools.
White labeling: As a client-facing agency, you need to be able to put your brand on everything you give to your clients. Look for customizable white label SEO management platforms so you can put your agency’s logo and colors on reports, dashboards, and communications.
Multi-user management: You’ll need to be able to add and manage multiple users within your account, as well as set different permissions (e.g., some users can only view data, while others can edit and manage campaigns).
Related: marketing automation for agencies
We’ll talk more about the SEO-specific features you should look for in your software a bit later. For now, let’s move on to some of the best SEO platforms agencies use.
To give this list a bit of structure, I’ve broken the software recommendations down into seven categories.
As you read through the list, think about gaps in your current software stack. You might find that one tool covers multiple needs, or that you need to mix and match a few different tools to get all the features you want.
Here are the categories:
All-in-one SEO software: These platforms offer a suite of SEO tools that cover most (or all) of the categories I’ll cover.
Keyword research software: These tools help you find promising keywords to include in your content strategy.
Content optimization software: These tools help you optimize your content to rank for certain keywords.
Link building software: These tools help you with link building, outreach, and link tracking.
Competitor analysis software: These tools help you research and analyze your competitors to find out what’s working for them.
SEO Reporting and analytics software: These tools help you track your progress and results over time.
Technical SEO Software: These tools help you with technical SEO tasks like auditing websites and diagnosing crawl issues.
Let’s look at each category in detail.
1. All-in-one SEO software
SE Ranking is one of the most comprehensive all-in-one SEO platforms on the market, which makes it popular among digital marketers. It offers a suite of tools that help with a ton of agency tasks at affordable prices, including:
One of the things I love about SE Ranking is that it’s very user-friendly—even if you’re not an SEO expert, you’ll be able to quickly get the hang of the platform and start seeing results.
Plus, it’s fully white label, so you can brand reports and dashboards with your agency’s logo and colors.
Ahrefs is another popular all-in-one SEO platform that offers a suite of tools for keyword research, rank tracking, site auditing, competitor research, reporting and more.
Like SE Ranking, Ahrefs is also very user-friendly. It isn’t white label, though. To generate white label reports, you’ll need to take advantage of one of Ahrefs’ many integrations to connect the platform to a white label reporting tool (more on those later).
It’s quite expensive, but many SEO agencies and freelancers still find it incredibly valuable.
Grow your industry knowledge
Join thousands of agency owners and get our best agency growth content in your inbox, one email per month 👇️
2. Keyword research software
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
I know I just covered Ahrefs in the section above, but Ahrefs Keyword Explorer also happens to have one of the best keyword databases out there.
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you find low-competition keywords that you can rank for, Ahrefs is a great option. You can sort suggestions by a number of criteria, including:
organic click-through rate (CTR)
The only caveat here is that Keywords Explorer isn’t a standalone product. It’s part of the Ahrefs platform, so you’ll need to pay for an Ahrefs account to use it.
If you’re looking for a standalone keyword research tool that’s affordable and easy to use, Mangools KWFinder is a great option.
KWFinder has a modern UI that’s much cleaner (and some would say easier to use) than a lot of other tools on the market. Plus, it gives you access to a ton of reliable data, including:
search volume trends
The metrics you have access to are nowhere near as comprehensive as what you get with Ahrefs, but Mangools KWFinder is still a solid keyword research tool for quick, accurate research. And it’s a lot more affordable.
Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension from the creators of Surfer SEO. The tool shows you estimated search volume, CPC, competition data, and content data (e.g., word counts for top results) for any keyword you enter into Google.
It’s a great way to quickly get an idea of the viability of a keyword without having to sign up for any paid tools. And since it’s a Chrome extension, it’s super simple to use—just type a keyword into Google’s search bar and hit the enter key.
Data will be displayed along with your Google search results, so you can take it in with full context. You can generate free content outlines with Surfer SEO based on the keyword in question—but that feature deserves its own section.
3. Content optimization software
Surfer SEO is content optimization software that analyzes the top-ranking pages for any given keyword and provides recommendations on how to optimize your own content to rank higher.
You can use the platform to improve your content in many different ways, but one of my favorites is the Content Outline feature. This feature takes all the data Surfer SEO has collected on the top-ranking pages and generates a list of topics and subtopics that you can use as a guide for your own content.
Surfer SEO also offers a Content Editor feature that allows you to optimize your content directly within the platform. You can use this feature to collaborate with team members and track changes. The free tier sadly has very limited features, so you’ll most likely need to spend at least $49 per month for one of the paid plans.
Clearscope is another great piece of content optimization software that’s specifically designed to help you write better, more targeted content.
The platform uses machine learning to analyze the top ranking pages for your target keyword. It then provides advice about how to optimize your content, including:
what primary and secondary keywords to target
what questions to answer
what word count to aim for
what reading level to write for
It also features a handy “Content Score” that grades the overall quality of your content. This is a great way to track your progress over time and see how your optimization efforts are paying off.
The catch? It’s pretty expensive and based on the number of content reports you need. This can be an issue for SEO writing agencies that publish 20+ pieces of content a month.
4. Link building software
BuzzStream is a tool that’s specifically designed to help you with link building.
It helps you manage your relationships with influencers, track your outreach progress, and find new link building opportunities. You can enter any relevant keyword into BuzzStream’s search bar and automatically generate and qualify massive lists of prospects.
Plus, BuzzStream makes it easy to automate the outreach process with customizable templates and scheduled follow-ups. All of this saves you a ton of time—and makes it more likely that your outreach efforts will be successful. Prices start at around $24 per month, but most link building agencies will likely need opt for its more expensive plans.
Also read: how you can make use of white label link building services
Hunter.io is a freemium tool that simplifies the link building outreach process by helping you find contact details of prospects.
To get started, enter a domain name into Hunter’s search bar, and it will scour the internet to find every email address that’s associated with that domain. You can then export this list of email addresses and use it for your outreach efforts.
To make sure that the emails are indeed correct, I recommend checking them with ZeroBounce, which has a nice bulk upload feature, and reasonably priced pay-as-you-go rates.
5. Competitor analysis software
Ahrefs Site Explorer
Ahrefs is making another appearance on this list with their Site Explorer tool, which is popular among SEO professionals.
This time, we’re using it for competitor analysis. Just enter any competitor’s domain into Site Explorer, and you’ll get tons of valuable data, including:
an overview of their organic traffic
a list of their most popular pages
their top organic keywords
their backlink profile
This data will give you a good idea of what’s working well for your clients’ competitors—and how you can replicate their success.
SpyFu is a standalone competitive analysis tool suite with a focus on helping you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your clients’ competitors’ online marketing strategies.
By entering any domain into SpyFu, you can see all the keywords that they’re bidding on in Google Ads and the estimated dollar amount they’re spending on each keyword. You can also see which of these keywords they rank for organically.
This data will give you a good idea of which keywords are worth targeting—and how much you’ll need to spend to outbid your competition. Prices start at around $33 per month.
6. Reporting and analytics software
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio is a free, white label reporting tool that allows you to combine data from multiple sources into one visually appealing report.
This is a great way to consolidate all your clients’ data into one place—and make it easy for them to digest.
Embed Google Data Studio reports in your client portal.
View all our integrations
Plus, you can use the Google Data Studio integration to give your clients 24/7 access to their data. All you need is the URL of the report you’d like to display in your client’s portal—SPP handles the rest!
Also read: analytics tools for agencies
Databox is a paid tool that offers pre-built dashboards for popular marketing metrics, including SEO, social media, web traffic, and sales.
You can also use Databox to create custom dashboards for any metric you want. And, if you’re using multiple data sources, you can use Databox’s Query Builder tool to combine them into one dashboard.
It’s a great tool for quickly and easily creating visually appealing reports that your clients will love. There’s a free tier, but the paid plans of this reporting software start at around $75 per month.
Build an SEO software stack that works for your agency
No two agencies are the same—so there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” SEO software stack.
The best way to figure out which SEO software is right for your agency is to experiment and see what works best—so take advantage of free trials!
And wherever possible, prioritize SEO software that meshes well with the other kinds of software you use. With SPP, it’s easy to integrate your client portal with 5,000+ apps ranging from CRMs to reporting tools to marketing automation solutions.
- Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Level: Beginner through to advanced. ...
- Clearscope. Level: All levels. ...
- Semrush. Level: Intermediate through to advanced. ...
- Ahrefs. Level: Advanced. ...
- Moz. Level: Beginner through to intermediate. ...
- Surfer SEO. Level: All levels. ...
- SE Ranking. Level: All levels. ...
- Rank Math Plugin. Rank Math is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your website content. ...
- Yoast SEO Plugin. ...
- Google Trends. ...
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator. ...
- Google Search Console. ...
- Bing Webmaster Tools. ...
- Google Analytics. ...
- Ahrefs Backlink Checker.
What Are SEO Tools? SEO tools provide data and alerts about the overall health and success of your website. They help uncover areas of opportunity and identify weaknesses or issues that may prevent you from ranking and earning visibility in the SERPs.Is Google Analytics a SEO tool? ›
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.What are the 4 types of SEO? ›
- On-page SEO (on-site SEO) ...
- Off-page SEO (off-site SEO) ...
- Technical SEO. ...
- Local SEO.
1. Brian Dean. As a top SEO expert, Brian Dean has been dubbed an "SEO genius" by Entrepreneur.com and a "brilliant entrepreneur" by Inc Magazine. Brian's award-winning blog, Backlinko.com, has been listed by Forbes as a top "blog to follow".Can I do SEO on my own? ›
If you've wondered, “Can I do SEO myself?” the answer is definitely. You don't need to hire an outside agency to improve your SEO, and this guide gives you some basic SEO tips to get started.How to choose SEO tools? ›
- The monthly search volume of the keyword on Google.
- The cost-per-click for the keyword on Google Adwords.
- The SEO competition for the keyword in Google's organic search engine rankings.
Experts say it usually takes one to three months to learn the foundations of SEO and a year or more to master the practice fully. The length of time it takes to learn the basics of SEO depends upon several factors.What are 3 main areas of SEO? ›
- On-page SEO – Anything on your web pages – Blogs, product copy, web copy.
- Off-page SEO – Anything which happens away from your website that helps with your SEO Strategy- Backlinks.
- Technical SEO – Anything technical undertaken to improve Search Rankings – site indexing to help bot crawling.
Google's SEO tools are a great place to start.
Since the search engine currently accounts for 70% of all searches, their SEO tools harness the most accurate and comprehensive source of data. The best part of using these tools is that they're absolutely free and generally unlimited.
Python is all about automating repetitive tasks, leaving more time for your other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Not many SEOs use Python for their problem-solving, even though it could save you a lot of time and effort. Python, for example, can be used for the following tasks: Data extraction.What is the golden rule of SEO? ›
Well-written content engages the reader, increases search engine rankings and traffic, and increases the likelihood of quality links from other sites.What are the 7 C's of digital marketing? ›
In contrast to other marketing models, the 7 Cs Compass Model considers both the marketing strategies as well as the segment to which the strategies are being targeted. The seven Cs are Corporation, Commodity, Cost, Communication, Channel, Consumer and Circumstances.Which SEO technique should be avoided? ›
- Don't over-prioritize keywords. Keyword research has long been considered a cornerstone of SEO. ...
- Don't create a landing page per keyword variation. ...
- Don't publish too much content. ...
- Don't use lazy link acquisition techniques. ...
- Don't accept poor quality guest blogging.
Hiring an experienced SEO freelancer or agency by the hour typically costs anywhere between $50-$150 per hour. Of course, you can find people that charge significantly less or more than this hourly rate. For example, this SEO hourly rate breakdown found that 6% of SEO providers charge over $200/hour.Who is the godfather of SEO? ›
To say that Rand Fishkin is the 'Godfather' of the SEO industry may not be technically true, but it kind of feels that way.Who is the coolest guy in SEO? ›
Kris Reid is known online as the coolest guy in SEO.How much should I pay for SEO services? ›
Most businesses have budgets that range from $500/month to $10,000/month. Large SEO projects cost an average of $1,500-$5,000 per month. Average hourly SEO services costs $100-$300 per hour. For small businesses, spend at least $500 per month on SEO to see results.How many hours does it take to learn SEO? ›
#4: How much time you have to learn SEO
If you can learn SEO for a couple of hours every day, then you can master the basics of SEO within 4-8 weeks and land your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full-time, then you can master the basics even within 1-2 weeks.
While freshers can earn around Rs. 1.8-2.8 LPA, professionals with over 5-8 years of SEO experience can make around Rs. 3.5-6.6 LPA. As for senior-level SEO salary in India (for job roles that demand over ten years of experience), the annual remuneration is even higher, ranging between Rs.What are your top 5 SEO recommendations? ›
- Structured data matters. The short explanation of why structured data is helpful is that it tells crawlers what there is within your page. ...
- Page freshness. ...
- Internal linking (still matters) ...
- Title tags. ...
- Obtain backlinks.
- WordPress, to create a mobile-friendly, optimized website.
- PageSpeed Insights by Google.
- GT Metrix, for website testing and monitoring.
- Xenu Link Sleuth, to identify 404 errors and missing tags.
- CognitiveSEO Toolset, to help with the structure of your website.
Average Rs 37,249 per month.Is SEO still relevant in 2022? ›
The fact that SEO works perfectly fine even in 2022 as a method of delivering improved commercial outcomes for business websites and their owners, combined with the need for ongoing research into what works, makes it still relevant as a digital marketing method, but even more so as a valuable service and a rewarding ...How many hours per week does SEO take? ›
On-Site Optimization: Ongoing Monitoring and Troubleshooting
These things don't take much time, unless a problem emerges that you'll need to solve. Estimated Time: About three to 12 hours a week, depending on the size of your site and whether any problems arise.
The Golden Triangle is a distinct area of intense eye scan activity that is shown in the diagram below. It's important to understand that the Golden Triangle pattern is seen in first time visits to a results page. I find it easiest to think of it as a storm map. The darker the area (Red) the higher the eye traffic.What is the most difficult part of SEO? ›
- Finding Trusted Information. ...
- Taking a Comprehensive Approach. ...
- Convincing Others that SEO Matters. ...
- Paving the SEO Road. ...
- The Importance of a Great SEO Strategy.
- Create quality content. ...
- Leverage ethical link-building practices. ...
- Optimize all images. ...
- Improve the user experience. ...
- Repurpose your content.
- Learn from your competitors.
- Prioritize low-difficulty topics.
- Update old content.
- Fill content gaps.
- Create content hubs.
- Get more backlinks.
- Optimize internal links.
- Fix broken links.
- Target Relevant Primary and Secondary Keywords. ...
- Write Quality Original Content. ...
- Format Your Content for Search Engines & Target Featured Snippets. ...
- Optimize Your Page Title and Meta Description. ...
- Use Short, Descriptive URLs.
SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories: White Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design. Black Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.What is the most important SEO factor? ›
1. High-quality Content. You may have heard the old SEO saying, “content is king.” And in the case of Google ranking factors, the quality of your content has a huge impact. If you can create content that's unique, fresh, and helpful for users, then Google will rank it higher on its search engine results page (SERPs).What are the five ingredients SEO? ›
- Technical SEO.
- On-Page SEO.
- Off-Page SEO. Conclusion.
- Keywords. Keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO strategy. ...
- Meta tags. Meta tags still play a vital role in SEO. ...
- Content. It's true, content is king. ...
- Backlinks. If content is king, then backlinks are queen. ...
- Social media. The algorithms have truly changed since social media first emerged. ...
- Product images.
- Publish Relevant, Authoritative Content. ...
- Update Your Content Regularly. ...
- Metadata. ...
- Have a link-worthy site. ...
- Use alt tags.
As the name suggests advanced SEO is way more ahead than basic SEO and takes into account many more variables than the latter thus, improving both on-page and off-page factors with more power and efficiency.Does Google SEO cost money? ›
Technically, SEO is free. You're not paying money for SERP placement. Google ranks content based on a number of factors including the E-A-T trio: Expertise, Authority, and Trust. They're going to highly rank those who are seen as valuable resources for users.How can I improve my SEO without paying? ›
- Find better keywords. ...
- Delete duplicate content. ...
- Fix 404 errors. ...
- Write a unique title tag for every page. ...
- Write a compelling meta description for every page. ...
- Clean up your URL structure. ...
- Update your blog often. ...
- Include H1, H2, H3, etc.
SEO is not that hard to learn, but it can be confusing and overwhelming to get started. Learning SEO means learning about a long list of individual digital marketing strategies, which can feel a bit like adding new weapons to your arsenal as you learn how to wield them.
- Ahrefs: SEO Keyword Tool.
- Google Search Console: Top SEO Tool.
- SEMRush: Marketing SEO Tools.
- KWFinder: SEO Keyword Tool.
- Moz Pro: SEO Software.
- Ubersuggest: Keyword Tracking Tool.
- Answer The Public: Free SEO Tools.
- SpyFu: Free SEO Tools.
- Python. When it comes to working with data and improving your overall data analysis, Python is the main language you will want to consider learning. ...
- PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor. ...
- Go (Golang) ...
- C. ...
- C++ ...
- C# ...
- R – A Programming Language for Statistical and Data Analysis.
The short answer is: no, SEO typically doesn't require much (or any) hands-on coding. You can absolutely do a fine job of SEO without touching code. But the longer answer is that yes, a good sense of how programming works, or even an ability to do a bit of coding yourself, is always a useful skill to have.Is SEO good for Realtors? ›
The main benefit of a strong SEO strategy that includes quality content is that it can improve your incoming traffic. Not only does it increase your traffic, but if you are publishing relevant content and keywords, you are also attracting more of the right audience with greater chances of becoming clients.Is WordPress still the best for SEO? ›
WordPress Focuses on User Experience
Visitors enjoy the experience they get on a WordPress site. They stay longer, decreasing your overall site bounce rate. If you're looking to improve your site's SEO ranking, this is excellent news for you. Google wants to reward websites that provide a great user experience.
- Choose the right keywords. ...
- Optimize your site for mobile devices. ...
- Make quality a top priority. ...
- Work on your backlink catalog. ...
- Localize your efforts. ...
- Register your site in the right places. ...
- Start and maintain a real estate blog.
On average, quality SEO should cost $3,000+/month, at an average hourly rate of $150+. SEO campaigns can cost anywhere from $5,000/mo to $100,000+/month depending on the vertical. Local SEO can be slightly lower. On average, quality SEO should cost $3,000+/month, at an average hourly rate of $150+.What are the 3 C's of SEO? ›
Simply put, the fundamentals of SEO can be boiled down to The 3 Cs: content, code and credibility.How much should a beginner SEO cost? ›
Average SEO costs are $100-$250 an hour for US SEO agencies. SEO costs often range from $2,500 – $10,000 per month for US agencies. The average SEO plan costs $2819 per month (per Ahrefs) Overseas SEO companies may charge $10-$50 an hour.Is WordPress outdated 2022? ›
When it comes to websites in 2022, WordPress continues to be the number one choice for content management solutions. According to HubSpot, “WordPress is used by 65.2% of all websites using a CMS”.
WordPress is still a slow platform due to all the added plugins, oversaturated databases, and codebases. However, those are not the only things that can slow down your website. Large images, a lot of wording on a page, and unreliable hosting can impact your website speed. Page speed is crucial to your website.Do professionals use WordPress? ›
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) used to build websites. A 2022 study by W3 Techs indicates that 43 percent of all websites on the internet use WordPress . Although the software is free, many people hire professional WordPress developers for high-quality website design and development.