John Lincoln

SEO Software, The Highest Rated SEO Tools

The most highly ranked SEO software tools right now
The most highly ranked SEO software tools right now
There are lots of options out there when it comes to SEO software. Here are the ten best from my perspective and what makes them so great.

1. SEM Rush

SEMRush gets consistently high ratings from digital marketers for good reason. SEMRush makes it easier for you to see what works and doesn’t work for your competitors. Whether it’s banner ads, organic search, or paid search, that’s getting them their traffic, SEMRush will give you that insight. It also features a site audit tool, backlink analysis, video advertising research, and keyword research including a phrase match tool. Overall it’s one of the best tools to use for those who are seriously committed to building and keeping an advantage in the online marketplace.
SEMRush software in action
SEMRush software in action

2. Advanced Web Ranking

Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) offers detailed SEO/keyword ranking reports for desktop, mobile and local searches. What sets AWR apart is that it allows you to conduct granular, daily keyword analysis; you can analyze historic data for specific keywords to see how changes to Google’s algorithm updates are affecting your strategies. AWR does not allow you to add or delete links but it does show you your backlinks and their metrics. AWR’s website auditor tool is one of it’s best features, which will warn you about broken links and errors; AWR also has a web crawler tool which crawls all of your site’s pages for technical information so you can see if pages are blocked, indexed, etc.

3. Raven Tools

Raven Tools allows you to manage and optimize your PPC, social media marketing, email campaigns, and content marketing by keeping data from each campaign for all of your clients in one place. Raven Tools integrates with many third party tools so you can use lots of data; for example you can use Basecamp, Constant Contact, Facebook, Google (Analytics, AdWords, and Webmaster Tools), Majestic, WordPress, Moz, Wufoo, Twitter, Youtube, and others for analytics. Raven Tools also provides more then 30 SEO tools including Site Finder, Site Auditor, Website Directory, Link Manager, Backlink Explorer, Keyword Ranking, and Google Webmaster Tools. Raven Tools also offers the Report Builder tool that lets you use social, analytics, SEO, marketing data, and other custom information to create customized, branded, interactive, comprehensive reports.

4. Moz

The Moz suite of tools offers tons of metrics you can use in lots of ways. Open Site Explorer lets you assess backlink equity based on page authority and domain authority. The Keyword Analysis Tool offers a snapshot of keyword competition based on the competition levels for the top ten ranked pages of the keyword phrase in question. The Moz Rank Tracking Tool tracks your keywords and automatically updates weekly. The On Page Optimization Tool will assess your on-page SEO based on a few different factors, although it’s no substitute for actual SEO strategy. The Social Media Monitoring Tool watches your social media feeds for your keywords. The SEO Web Crawler tells you how your site looks to bots to ferret out problems. Use the Competitive Link Research Tool to compare other sites to yours. Generate graphical representations of your metrics using the Linkscape Visualization and Comparison tool. The Link Acquisition Assistant generates a list of possible partner sites for link-building based on your criteria. The Historic Pagerank Checker lets you see how a given page’s rank changes over time. The Term Extractor tool reverse engineers the on-page SEO of any URL you give it, providing you with the probable keywords for the page.
How a Moz page optimization score looks
How a Moz page optimization score looks

5. Brightedge

The BrightEdge SEO analytics tool offers deep information on backlinks, competitors, conversions, daily rankings, devices, geographies, keywords, local search results, traffic, and more. BrightEdge reports are in-depth and are frequently tested by industry experts so you can rely on them to be relevant and up-to-date. The Story Builder function allows you to create visuals based on your own choice of data and metrics. The Anomaly Detection tool provides real time notifications about significant changes in keyword ranks. And the Share of Voice tool is another unique tool in this software that gives you insight into who your actual competitors are based on the data.

6. Conductor

The Conductor SEO tool is excellent for use at the enterprise level because it can handle many keywords at once with ease and produce reports that are easy to digest. The custom reporting dashboard is even better, which allows you to track thousands of keywords for any given site. Conductor also offers competitive insights such as the top five keywords being used by your competitors. Finally, the reputation management features in Conductor allow you to track page rank and category market share based on specific reputation management keywords; this lets you respond with positive or rebuttal content as appropriate and in a timely way.

7. SpyFu

SpyFu is ideal for conducting research on your competitors. You can use SpyFu to see what any site’s SEO strategy looks like, and how their organic traffic looks as well as their PPC movement. You can also see which keywords they’re paying for, how much they’re costing day by day, and what their organic rank is on their various keywords. The ad history tool is also very useful, especially as you work to create your own ad strategy. Not every SpyFu tool is powerful enough to be a stand alone solo tool; their backlink tool, for example, isn’t the best one out there. However, the rest of the tools are so useful that even the less stellar ones are worthwhile as accessories.
SpyFu dashboard
SpyFu dashboard

8. Rio SEO

Rio SEO is actually an SEO automation software, perfect for an IT team who isn’t adept with implementing SEO strategies or your third-party powered website. Rio SEO basically works by creating a proxy for your website so that the real optimization can happen there. Then you use the Website Optimizer to add content to pages, add pages, rewrite URLs, and do all of those other on-page SEO tasks you need to do through the Rio dashboard. Typically you’ll also need to disallow bots and redirect them to your proxy. In other words, the automation does not remove the need for actual SEO work and strategy! But for larger companies with established domain authority, this can be a useful tool placed in capable hands.

9. Searchmetrics

The Searchmetrics suite offers some great benefits and connects with your Google Analytics account to make your life easier. The “keyword suggest” feature tells you where your website ranks for particular keywords. Searchmetrics lets you track and compare data with your top competitors and its historical traffic analysis tool lets you analyze traffic ranging back a full two years. Searchmetrics also shows you any keyword’s top 50 rankings for the week, giving you up to date information on your latest competitors and optimization needs.

10. AuthorityLabs

AuthorityLabs lets you see graphically how keywords rank over time. You can also see how your keywords have done in context next to competitor sites which is particularly useful if you have a sense of what their strategies are. AuthorityLabs also lets you manage by tagging keywords, so you can group your keywords based on which earn more for you, which produce the most traffic, which are most brand-centric, high priority keywords, whatever makes sense to you. The tool is simple, quick, and accurate.

11. iSpionage

iSpionage is one of many SEO tools that enables you to spy on your competitors. Use it to find out which PPC and organic keywords they’re using.The good news is that iSpionage is easy to use. The bad news is that it works with a limited data set. Though it doesn’t come with as robust solutions, it is excellent for competitor research and “spywork.”

12. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is SEO software that will crawl your website to identify optimization issues. Unlike some other solutions, though, it’s a tool that you’ll have to install on your PC. It doesn’t run in the cloud. That’s really the only drawback, though. Countless SEO professionals rely on Screaming Frog all the time to identify on-site problems.

Honorable Mentions SEO Software

People ask me so many questions about SEO software, so I wanted to expand this list somewhat beyond the top ten. Here are my honorable mentions in the SEO software world (in no particular order) since there are so many options out there that really do offer excellent functionality.


Ahrefs allows you get a detailed backlink profile for any website including which websites link to it, how strong the backlinks are, and which keyword anchors they use. It also lets you track the keyword use of your competitors as well as their backlink and anchor performance. Use the content explorer tool to assess the performance of content on your site and tailor your outreach. Get daily rank information with the position tracker, and use the crawl report and Ahrefs alerts to fix issues that arise.

IOCheck SEO Tools

These SEO tools are specifically designed for use in ecommerce settings. Use IOCheck to run through a massive list of searched keywords for your category, competitors, and region. As you run competitor sites you’ll discover fresh keyword options and analyze your competitors’ business strategies, generating tips for improving your own content strategy.


The intelligent (and mostly free) algorithms of the OnPage SEO software are designed to improve your entire SEO strategy in real time. Use OnPage to optimize your page down to the source code, generate strong keywords, monitor competitors, and fix broken links. Even the free plan features more than 160 features.


SISTRIX is really a combined SEO software toolbox with 6 independent blocks: Ads, Links, Optimizer, SEO, Social, and Universal. Part of its appeal is that you can subscribe to only one block if you don’t need them all, so you pay only for what you need. The Ads block is a whole set of tools designed for analysis of AdWords and banner campaigns. The Links block offers rich insight into your backlink profile. The Optimizer block works to create keyword sets that are unique. The Social module integrates social signals from Facebook, Google+ +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. The SEO block itself includes SEO analyzers and SEO optimization software. Finally, the Universal block analyzes universal search integrations within news, photos, videos, and other content.


WooRank instantly reviews your website in several areas and generates a report: Marketing Checklist (the most critical actions you should take to improve your optimization), Local (listings in local directories), Mobile (mobile optimizations related to SEO), SEO (analysis and comparison to SEO best practices), Social (the popularity of your website on social networks), Technologies (various SEO technical features), Usability (an assessment of how user-friendly your website is), and Visitors (site popularity based on traffic estimates).

Website Grader

Website Grader allows you to enter your URL on the webpage and your email address and get a personalized score between 1-100 within a few seconds and a report. The score reflects your website’s overall performance against each of four key criteria: mobile readiness, performance, security, and SEO. The report also provides recommendations to improve your site’s performance which are tied to the score.


Web CEO is a great option that includes an array of SEO tools almost any business can use. Its keyword optimization tools and link building and analysis tools are rich and varied. The Web CEO full-scale competitor analysis is a particularly useful feature, allowing you to compare your key metrics to your competition’s. Its one major downfall: it isn’t compatible with the Mac OS.

SEO Site Checkup

SEO Site Checkup is a tool you can use on your own website as well as competitor sites. You can scan any sites you like and you’ll be getting 45 checks in 6 areas; your summary report will cover: common SEO issues; suggested mobile usability enhancements; necessary server and security improvements; possible speed optimizations; semantic web and structured data usage tips; and social media engagement issues.

Site Analyzer

Site Analyzer is a fairly comprehensive SEO tool, covering 71 data points in five areas. It’ll give you a global score and insights into each of the five main areas: accessibility (your website’s overall performance); design (the implementation of your site’s HTML/CSS elements); multimedia (frames, icons, and images); networking (issues with your indexation, integration with social media, and internal links); and text-related data.

Google Tools

Never forget to utilize your Google Webmaster Tools to better understand what the Google search engine thinks about your site. In addition, I mention these other tools by Google since they sometimes get overlooked from an SEO perspective. Google Trends allows you to watch your search query volume and see how it changes. The Google Keyword Planner lets you search queries for your keywords and tweak your strategies. And of course Google Analytics is a must for your ongoing SEO work.


Lipperhey is one of the lesser-used options, but especially for one of the URL analyzers it provides comparatively good results. Each report it generates includes a basic numeric score and a five point assessment: design concerns standard design elements and mobile device appearance; hosting analyzes your hosting infrastructure; indexability provides insight into your site’s searchability for engines; on-page SEO concerns how your website’s HTML elements and optimization; and visitors is about traffic to your site.

SEO PowerSuite

SEO PowerSuite is actually the four best SEO products from Link Assistant altogether: LinkAssistant, Rank Tracker, SEO SpyGlass, and WebSite Auditor. Together this suite of SEO tracking software is a pretty complete package, allowing you to easily manage everything in one place and with one central interface. It features tools for managing your SEO program’s most important components, including analyzing your competition, building links, optimizing keywords, and looking at your results with detailed reports.

SEO Toolkit

SEO Toolkit is a good but basic resource which pulls keyword information from a range of sources from the past 12 months to assess the success of your keywords and then rank them and predict how competitively they’ll perform on your site. It can also generate reports on keyword ranking information, links, and search engine rankings, and create a graph of how your ranking has changed over time. The major flaw of this tool is that it does not include any competitive analysis, and that its link building tools are comparatively weak.

SEO Suite Professional

SEO Suite Professional is a complete SEO package that includes tools for keyword optimization, link building, and rankings comparisons against competitors. Its keyword suggestion tool lets you choose from an unlimited number of keywords and keyword phrases and the keyword optimization feature in SEO Suite Professional is unique in its ability to filter keywords by general phrase or exact match. You can build and manage links, and source both your own links and those of competitor sites. You can also use the software’s link journal which is a useful feature. One flaw of this package is the lack of an automatic email submission form for submitting your site to multiple search engines and directories.


UpCity is actually an inbound marketing software and service plan that will analyze your website’s SEO and provide you with a numerical score in several areas: current indexing is how your website is indexed in search engines right now; link building is how well your backlink profile is built; on-site analysis focuses on how well targeted keyword are used in title and body tags; rank analysis is an assessment of your site’s ranking for targeted keywords; trust metrics is how well established your site is; and website accessibility has to do with your homepage’s performance. Obviously this isn’t a DIY tool but it can provide useful insights.


Remove’em is a good service for getting rid of unnatural links. If you don’t have the time or inclination to work on this yourself, this SEO service will examine your backlink profile, identify unnatural links, and provide you with a list of contacts for all bad links and domains. It then helps you reach out to the contacts and manage your campaign. You still need to track down administrators and work on getting the links removed, but it takes some of the work out of this process for you.

SEO Audit Tool by Found

The SEO Audit Tool by Found allows you to enter your URL and receive an SEO audit based on keyword competition. You will receive a report centered on the following issues: content issues related to keywords and metadata; external links and their quality and quantity; and technical features, such as canonicalization and XML sitemaps. This is a basic, straightforward tool. That’s my top ten highest rated SEO software tools. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments.

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About the Author

John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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