The best SEO tools for agencies

February 6, 2023
20 minutes
Sam Underwood

To stand out as an SEO firm, you need skilled digital marketers. But to dominate, invest in multiple SEO software solutions. Strategic digital marketers use this trick to stay competitive as the industry grows at a rate of 19.6% per year. We’ve researched the market and found nine solutions favored by global firms. But before we explore them, let’s clarify the fundamental role of SEO tools in digital marketing firms.

The benefits of agency SEO tools

SEO tools offer a plethora of benefits for agencies. With Google’s extensive database and complex ranking factors, it’s essential to have a reliable system to provide actionable insights for SEO projects. This is where SEO tools come in, retrieving search engine data, generating intel, and monitoring projects with automated trackers.

These tools give your agency a significant competitive advantage, allowing you to swiftly audit on-page and off-page SEO indicators, track competitors, and set up data-backed search engine marketing plans. With satisfied clients, you can expect an increase in recommendation and retention rates, expanding your clientele base and revenue.

But it’s not just about the revenue growth. SEO automation and data analytics can streamline workflows, boost employee productivity, and reduce operating costs, leading to significant time and cost savings. Ultimately, SEO tools are critical to raising your firm’s bottom line and increasing profitability.

So, don’t miss out on the benefits of SEO tools. Check out our breakdown of the best agency SEO tools and take your business to the next level.

Semrush Screenshot

1. Best all-in-one: SEMrush

At the top of the list is Semrush, an all-in-one digital marketing tool suite for individuals, professionals, and agencies. It specializes in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media campaigns, advertising, and digital market research. This is the platform for tracking multi-channel projects from a centralized dashboard.

The dashboard is exhaustive on the SEO front, with tools for keyword research, rank tracking, competitive intelligence, site audit, backlink analysis, and content optimization.

Sem Rush Overview

But that’s not all. What sets Semrush apart from other all-in-one SEO platforms is the comprehensive analytics provided by its built-in tools.

For instance, you can draw in-depth insights from seed terms, key phrases, and URLs when conducting keyword research. The resulting reports provide:

  • Traffic analytics for each keyword
  • Keyword difficulty scores
  • Links to the best ranking pages for each keyword
  • Alternative keyword suggestions

These analytics work in tandem with Semrush’s rank tracker, allowing you to monitor how your clients’ sites perform across various search keywords.

Sem Rush Keyword Research

Link builders will appreciate the domain profile analytics provided by Semrush’s backlink analytics tool. Meanwhile, site auditors can use it to identify issues such as slow-loading pages, missing headers, SSL problems, and duplicate content.

Key features

  • Site auditing 
  • Rank tracking
  • Organic traffic insights
  • Organic keyword research 
  • On-page SEO analysis
  • Log file analyzer
  • Link building analytics
  • Domain overview
  • Bulk analysis
  • Backlink analytics
  • SEO content writing assistant
  • Readability checker
  • PPC keyword analysis
  • Client portal

Pricing

Some argue that Semrush is one of the best free SEO tools since it can support a single project at no cost. However, marketing agencies must pay for a premium package based on the number of projects they intend to run simultaneously.

If you opt for monthly billing, Semrush’s Pro option allows up to 5 projects for $119.95 per month, Guru allows up to 15 projects for $229.95 per month, and Business requires payment of $449.95 per month.

Sem Rush Pricing

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Great design and UXIt has a relatively steep learning curve
Free plan availableThe SEO audits are only performed occasionally
Impressive rate of improvement and addition of new toolsThe analytics are restricted to Google Search
One-stop solution for organic SEO researchIt doesn’t support any other search engines
Covers mobile & desktop searchesIt doesn’t cover Google Search across all the countries
Generates SEO analytics on any URL Each premium plan supports a limited number of projects, keywords, and URLs
Displays historical trendsThe free plan cannot support agencies
Identifies market opportunitiesIt can be cumbersome to use on mobile
Generates well-performing topic ideas
Monitors brand mentions
Identifies broken links
KD score shows the level of competition
Alternative keyword suggestions
Compares keywords by search intent
Recommendations for fixing technical errors
Ahrefs Screenshot

2. Close runner-up: Ahrefs

Ahrefs started as a backlink index, but it has since grown to become one of the best SEO tool suites available. It is even competing with Semrush for the title of the ultimate all-in-one platform.

Ahrefs’ success lies in its structured system as a multifaceted SEO platform. It includes automated tools for researching content ideas, tracking search rankings, auditing websites, exploring keyword ideas, and analyzing backlinks – everything you need to grow.

The tools on Ahrefs load quickly, providing an excellent user experience with a well-designed interface that never feels overwhelming. Additionally, each tool is feature-rich and has unique elements not seen in competing solutions. For instance, their site auditor has features such as the structure explorer, segmentation, and internal link opportunities report, all of which are unique and excellently crafted. You almost forget it is part of an all-in-one tool.

Ahrefs Overview

However, Ahrefs’ suite of tools is less comprehensive than that of Semrush. Upon logging into its dashboard, you’ll notice that Ahrefs provides fewer SEO tools. For instance, Semrush offers content briefing, writing assistants, post tracking, social inboxes, and local SEO tools, none of which Ahrefs does.

For experienced digital marketers and full-service agencies, the range of tools Semrush offers may be a better investment if the above tools are helpful.

Ahrefs is incredibly powerful, which makes it easy to justify the compromise of a smaller selection of tools. A third-party study found Ahrefsbot to be the second most active bot after Googlebot.

Ahrefs stands out from other SEO tools by offering keyword research data from various search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Daum, Yandex, YouTube, Amazon, Seznam, and Naver. In contrast, Semrush is limited to Google.

Ahrefs Backlink Profile

Agencies that prioritize data over a wide range of tools will find Ahrefs to be an ideal SEO tool. Ahrefs provides valuable insights from its massive database, which includes over 19 billion keywords, 10 billion content posts, 509 million search queries, 384 billion web pages, 3.4 trillion backlinks, and 26.5 trillion internal links.

One of Ahrefs’ most attractive features is its massive data, which is showcased on its big data page.

Key features

  • Rank tracker
  • Content explorer
  • Keywords explorer
  • Competitor intelligence
  • Site audit
  • Backlink checker
  • Broken link checker 
  • Batch analysis
  • Organic traffic analysis
  • Content gap analysis

Pricing

While Ahrefs offers a brilliant free tier, agencies may feel restricted by its limitations. Upgrading to one of its premium plans is recommended to unlock more features. For instance, the Lite package is available for $99 a month, while the Standard package, which includes bulk analysis, is priced at $199 a month. The Advanced plan, priced at $399 monthly, offers even more advanced features. However, the Enterprise plan comes at a higher cost of $999 a month.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
All-in-one SEO tool suiteFree option not for SEO agencies
Offers some free toolsLimited methods for traffic analytics compared to Semrush
Keyword & backlink databaseFewer app integrations due to a previously limiting API
Site auditor with recommendationsNo search intent data in keyword research
Keyword difficulty scoreNo built-in workflow for SEO outreach campaigns
Brilliant for competitor analysis
Rank tracking across multiple search engines
Backlink profile insights & domain authority tracking
Regular updates
Content share tracking
Contentking Screenshot

3. For site monitoring: ContentKing

Once you have boosted your clients’ sites with the help of Semrush and Ahrefs, consider using ContentKing to monitor any new developments that might negatively affect their status quo.

ContentKing runs continuously in the background, unlike regular site audit tools that run on a schedule. Its alert system can message you via Slack or email, making it easy to recognize its benefits.

You’ll get insights on technical on-page issues that could compromise your project site’s rankings. These include missing headings, meta description changes, incorrect canonical links, non-indexable pages, and broken links, among others.

In addition, ContentKing has a log file integration that confirms the last time Google crawled each of your client’s websites.

Contentking Overview

Key features

  • Real-time dashboards
  • Segmentation
  • Log file analysis
  • Custom extraction
  • SEO change tracking
  • Website change tracking
  • SEO error flagging
  • Technical SEO audits
  • Easy to use API
  • Data studio integration

Pricing

Pricing here varies according to your selected user plan and the number of web pages you intend to monitor. 

Basic, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise are the four plans on offer, and they all allow you to define your web page quota. You may end up paying anything from $33 to over $550 monthly. 

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Identifies technical and on-page SEO issuesNo free tier  
Real-time SEO auditingDoesn’t track changes in performance after you’ve fixed SEO issues
Complete on-page SEO coveragePricing information is only provided after you’ve registered.
Monitors core web vitals
JavaScript rendering support
Google crawl frequency tracking
Alerts for site changes
Log file analysis
Keyword Insights Screenshot

4. For keyword grouping: Keyword Insights

Keyword Insights is ranked fourth on our list of the best SEO tools for agencies. This platform takes keyword research to a new level with the help of AI.

The AI analyzes search data to generate multiple keyword ideas and then groups them based on similarity. This helps you prioritize your SEO strategy.

You can discover the best keywords for your target niche, cluster them on your website, and structure your content appropriately.

For example, if you have a particular keyword in mind, you can start with the Keyword Discovery section. Keyword Insights will review your seed term and expand it into thousands of related terms.

If your agency has already developed a list of keywords, you can use the Keyword Clustering feature to separate them into groups of terms that go well together. This allows you to determine which keywords should be targeted on the same page and which need a dedicated page to rank.

Key features

  • AI-driven keyword clustering
  • Data-backed content briefs
  • Search intent prediction
  • Keyword cannibalization avoidance
  • Generation of related keywords

Pricing

The Keyword Insights platform is available in pay-as-go and subscription-based packages. 

The pay-as-go option allows users to define their keyword cluster limits, starting at $0.80 for 50 credits. 

Most agencies, however, would probably be more interested in the long-term subscription plans – which start at $49 per month for 6,000 credits. 

Pros and cons

ProsCons
AI-generated keyword ideasIts main focus area is the keyword research process (this is also a pro as it does it very well!) 
Groups up to 2.5 million keywordsDoesn’t audit keywords and content directly on your site
Pay-as-go & subscription packagesIt only helps with content planning.
Keyword context & search intent
Content brief with keywords, intent, & questions
Main & secondary keywords highlighted
Free Serp Explorer & SERP Similarity Tool
Clustering report for keyword page usage
Overlap identification between keywords
Botify Screenshot

5. For auditing: Botify

Botify is a digital marketing tool that excels at auditing large, dynamic websites at an enterprise scale with high accuracy. This makes it an ideal SEO audit tool for agencies; however, if you’re not an agency or large company, it’s highly likely Botify won’t be suitable (mostly due to price).

Botify’s SEO audit tool suite includes a super-fast cloud-based site crawler that can crawl up to 250 URLs per second. However, it’s important to check with your server infrastructure team first.

Botify can also render JavaScript, making it suitable for single-page applications (SPAs). Additionally, it provides log files that show how search engine crawlers view your sites.

By crawling your website, Botify provides comprehensive data on over 1,000 metrics to help you audit your site. This data can help you identify all possible issues across each stage of the organic search funnel, from indexing to conversion.

However, running these audits can be costly for high-volume agencies, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly.

Key features

  • Log analyzer
  • Site crawler
  • Engagement analytics
  • Recommendations for fixing SEO problems
  • 1,000+ metrics from every phase of search – crawl, render, index, rank, and convert
  • SERP rank tracking
  • Keyword research
  • Content analytics
  • Custom reports

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Crawls up to 250 URLs per secondIt has a steep learning curve
Log file analysis of search engine crawlsPricing information is not readily available  
Metrics on over 1,000 parametersHas a steep learning curve
Analyzes the entire organic search journeyTakes time to tweak its many filters
Custom report setup
Structured data audit & monitoring
Analyzes JavaScript & non-JavaScript pages
Analyzes the entire organic search journey
Desktop & mobile site version analysis
Tracks site changes
Keyword research & content optimization insights
SERP rank tracking
Accuranker Screenshot

6. For rank tracking: Accuranker

Just as Botify is painstakingly thorough with SEO auditing, so is AccuRanker regarding rank tracking. 

AccuRanker is a powerful tool leading digital marketing agencies use to analyze their keyword rankings, ranking history, and competitors’ rankings. You can use it to track SERPs on both Google Search and Bing. It provides the keyword rankings by location, language, and device.

The tool also shows the top competitors for each keyword and the corresponding competitor landscape changes. It further utilizes its proprietary AI model to estimate the CTR of SERP placements. This helps calculate the amount of organic traffic the clients’ sites can attract.

AccuRanker also calculates the value of organic traffic in dollars, tracks competitor landscape changes through data cubing and facilitates dynamic filtering of ranking keywords. It uses the Share of Voice (SoV) indicator as an aggregate KPI of the overall SERP performance.

Key features

  • Pixel tracking
  • Daily and on-demand keyword rankings update
  • Dynamic tagging
  • Organic traffic value analytics 
  • Share of Voice (SoV) indicator
  • SERP CTR prediction
  • Tracking of both desktop and mobile search rankings
  • Historical SERP insights
  • Competitor index intelligence
  • Segmentation and data cubing
  • Google Grump

Pricing

Accuranker will cost anything from $116 to over $2,700 per month – based on the number of keywords you’ll be tracking.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Supports unlimited usersIt can get pretty costly for high-volume SEO agencies—But that’s true of rank tracking in general
Real-time ranking updates
Custom report building
Organic search performance of landing pages
Monitors keyword rankings
Share of Voice indicator of SERP performance
Desktop & mobile SERP coverage
24 billion keyword database
CTR estimates for keywords
Ranking analytics for various locations
Competitor keyword distribution analysis
Tracks SERP positions of the site & competitors
Supermetrics Screenshot 1

7. For APIs: Supermetrics

Research shows that marketing agencies typically use multiple data-driven tools for their client’s projects. This can be overwhelming to manage.

Fortunately, Supermetrics provides an automated solution. Its API aggregates data from over 100 platforms and channels it to external analytics, reporting, and data visualization tools

Connect Supermetrics to the top SEO tools in your agency and configure it to import and combine their marketing data. Supermetircs will send this combined data to your chosen third-party reporting and analytics tools.

Marketing agencies use Supermetrics to send their centralized SEO data to spreadsheets like Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, data integration platforms like Snowflake and Google BigQuery, and business intelligence tools like Power BI and Tableau.

Key features

  • Connect your data sources in minutes
  • Integrates data from 100+ platforms
  • Templates and charts
  • Channel your marketing data into multiple destinations
  • Custom reports and automations

Pricing

What you end up paying here depends on the type of destinations in your agency’s data workflow. 

If, for instance, you intend to aggregate data to Google Sheets, the pricing starts at €99 per month.   

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Consolidates 100+ marketing data sourcesCost increases significantly with new data destinations
Provides report templatesExpensive for small SEO agencies
Exports data to reporting/analytics toolsMany limitations for lower-tier plans, despite the relatively high price
Builds custom reports and automations
Updates data regularly
Marketing Miner Screenshot

8. For bulk data: Marketing Miner

Marketing Miner is a powerful tool for managing large volumes of data. Unlike Supermetrics, it has made it to the list of the best agency SEO tools due to its bulk analysis capabilities. It is an all-inclusive SEO suite with over 40 cloud-based tools, capable of simultaneously analyzing up to 100,000 keywords, URLs, and domains.

The SERP analysis tool of Marketing Miner allows you to paste a list of up to 100,000 keywords. The system then provides organic search insights, such as the top 10 sites ranking for each keyword, their meta descriptions, page titles, and structured data.

Marketing Miner’s bulk analysis can benefit SEO Agencies while reviewing SERPs ads, backlinks, rankings, keyword difficulty, broken links, indexing status, search volume, landing pages, and loading speeds. There is even more to explore!

Marketing Miner is a great addition to your agency’s toolbelt. It allows you to access and analyze bulk data in a spreadsheet, allowing you to create something unique.

Screenshots

Key features

  • Easy to use REST API
  • Simultaneous analysis of up to 100,000 keywords, domains, or URLs
  • Indexing status checker
  • SERP position tracker
  • Over 10 endpoints for extracting data
  • Monthly search volume analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Discover link building opportunities
  • Projects API
  • Page speed analysis

Pricing

Marketing Miner offers a free package with up to 1,000 credits per month. However, this option is only suitable for individuals, not marketing firms. Agencies often need premium packages.

Miner is the cheapest package, costing $29 monthly for 100k credits. Digger costs $59 a month for 1 million credits. Machine charges $99 for 2 million credits. The custom plan can provide up to 10 million credits for $233 a month.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Analyzes up to 100,000 URLs, domains, or keywords at onceThe UX can take a bit of getting used to
Offers a permanently free package
Great API
Extracts data from 10+ endpoints (Ahrefs, Majestic, etc.)
Performs all-rounded SEO analysis (search volume, rankings, backlinks, PPC, etc.)
Audits page speed, indexability, HTML, HTTP status, structured data
Generates 2,500 keyword suggestions from seed keywords
Includes Plagiarism Checker and Broken Link Checker
Provides keyword difficulty insights
Generates great data visualizations
Agencyanalytics Screenshot

9. For reporting: AgencyAnalytics

Clients appreciate receiving reports, but they can be time-consuming for agencies to create. As your agency grows and serves more clients, this challenge can increase. An effective reporting solution should inform clients about their website’s progress, the return on investment from each campaign, and what to anticipate in the future. The chosen tool should also use automation as much as possible to minimize time wastage.

Agency Analytics has developed an automated cloud-based reporting solution that streamlines the reporting process for both parties. The solution offers customizable report dashboards that integrate your agency’s SEO tools and import the combined analytics.

Clients can log into the tool and view real-time reports of their projects from the account dashboard.

Features

  • White-labeled reporting
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Drag-and-drop report builder
  • Dashboard widgets
  • Over 70 marketing integrations and growing
  • Fully automated data handling
  • Client-facing portals
  • Track staff workflows
  • Data visualization

Pricing

Freelancers can get the cheapest pricing plan for $12 a month per client campaign, with a minimum of 5 campaigns per account.

SEO agencies should consider the recommended package, which costs $18 a month per client campaign, with a minimum of 10 campaigns per account.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
It draws data from over 70 marketing platformsAll packages are premium
Includes a drag-and-drop editor for custom visualizationsCost increases with each new client campaign
Provides over 350 customizable dashboard and report templatesRank tracking and site auditing addons significantly increase pricing
White labeling feature for custom branding
Includes client and staff management tools
Agencies can exchange messages with clients
Set and track marketing goals
Agency plan accommodates unlimited users
Analysis and reporting fully automated
Reports on all important SEO metrics – keyword rankings, site audits, backlink analytics, etc
Sistrix Screenshot

10. Worthy mention: Sistrix

Sistrix is an ideal tool for SEO agencies. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, data-driven insights, and ease of use.

It provides a robust keyword analysis tool that helps SEO professionals identify high-potential keywords, track rankings over time, and understand the competitive landscape. This information is vital for creating targeted content strategies and improving organic search performance.

The Visibility Index is a standout feature of Sistrix. It measures a website’s search performance across a large database of keywords, some refreshed daily, others weekly. You can annotate the visibility index chart with your own custom events, which is useful for noting noteworthy updates to a site. The visibility index lets agencies monitor the effectiveness of their efforts, compare their clients’ progress against competitors, and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Features

  • Keyword analysis
  • Visibility Index
  • Backlink analysis
  • On-page SEO audit
  • Mobile SEO
  • International SEO
  • Social signals
  • Competitor analysis
  • Rank tracking
  • API access

How we’ve reviewed

Our team of experts conducted thorough research and evaluation of the top SEO tools for agencies. We tested each tool based on data accuracy, user interface, features, pricing, and customer support. We also considered the needs of agencies, such as managing multiple clients and projects.

We evaluated each tool through hands-on testing and research of user feedback and reviews from industry experts. We compiled all our findings into this comprehensive review to help agencies choose an SEO tool that suits their needs.

Why trust us?

Our team of three experts has a combined 12 years of experience in a large agency with over 200 people. We take pride in our reputation for being trustworthy and reliable, and our goal is to provide our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

FAQs

We have identified the best SEO tools for marketing firms. Now, let’s address the common questions when comparing the solutions.

Can both small and large agencies use these tools?

Yes. All nine SEO tools featured here can accommodate small and large marketing firms. They offer packages for various needs. Small agencies can start with the lowest tier and upgrade as their marketing needs grow.

Are there any free SEO tools for agencies?

Some free SEO tools can fit into an agency’s workflow. But, they may not be enough for large-scale campaigns. For example, Looker Studio is a free SEO tool for agencies that want to consolidate and visualize data from Google’s platforms. You’ll need to pay for connectors to integrate third-party marketing platforms to access full-scale SEO reporting.

Are there any SEO tools that specialize in specific industries or niches?

Yes. Some SEO tools focus exclusively on specific industries or niches. Perpetua is an SEO tool for Amazon-based storefronts. Some research platforms can generate niche-specific insights if you configure their research tools accordingly.

How can agencies ensure they use the most effective SEO tools for their clients?

Agencies should test and validate the tools to find the best ones for their client’s projects. Identify tools that align with your client’s campaign objectives and test them separately. Compare the results from the SERPs to determine the best SEO tools based on accuracy, performance, and ROI. Run trials on ranking trackers and compare them based on accuracy, completeness of analytics, and sensitivity to changes in rankings.

Final Thoughts

Having the right SEO software for agencies gives you an edge over other digital marketing firms. But remember, these tools can’t do the marketing for you. Your success depends on how you use the insights they provide, how you manage project workflows, your analysis of the client’s needs, and the skills and experience of your digital marketing team. The best SEO tools are only meant to lay the groundwork – what you do with it is up to you.


Sam Underwood

Sam is an international Ecommerce SEO Consultant with experience implementing enterprise-level SEO strategies.
@SamUnderwoodUK
@SamUnderwoodUK
Technical SEO, SEO strategy, Content strategy

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