Author: Elena Sevastopoulos, SEO Specialist
Graphic: Jenn Chow
The SEO tools currently on the market are better than ever at helping businesses and agencies diagnose, improve, and manage SEO. However, choosing among them to find the best solution for your client or business can make even the experienced SEO professional’s head spin.
We put together an SEO Tool comparison matrix that shows the capabilities that many SEO tools possess or lack. We researched 13 tools total through trials, website descriptions, demos and one-on-one phone calls with company representatives. Pricing structure for these tools range from flat fees like SEOmoz’s $99/month service, to more complex pricing like SyCara’s, which depends on number of URLs, keywords, search engines, locations, and frequency of reports. Therefore the “$” in the matrix is relative and dependent on your requirements and usage. The deployment rating is based on the perceived difficulty to set up and quality of the user interface.
The matrix also demonstrates what we, as SEO professionals, wanted to know about each tool’s features. This is not to say that these tools are limited to these features – many of these do what’s in the matrix and more. SyCara for example can report on keyword rankings by zip code, while seoClarity can produce daily, automated reports. Rather, these are the features that are core to what we look for in an SEO tool.
Questions we asked:
1. Keyword Research: Can we track keyword ranking over time, determine the search traffic for keywords and find suggestions and synonyms for keywords we’re already using? Can we see how these keywords rank in universal search results i.e. images, shopping, places and news?
2. Monetization: How will our optimization efforts translate into dollars?
3. Backlink Features: Can we see which sites are linking back to our site(s), manage those backlinks and get recommendations for sites we should request links from or build links on?
4. Competitor Monitoring: Can we see link metrics and ranking for competitor sites and manage and monitor competitor data?
5. Integration: Does the tool integrate with Google Analytics and Social Media APIs like Facebook and Twitter?
6. Page Ranking: How is page strength gauged – through a page/domain score and/or Google Pagerank?
Tools we evaluated:
Click here to download a hi-res version of the matrix.