If you’re asking yourself, “How do I identify competitive keywords?” you’ve come to the right place. To fully dive into this topic, we’ll need to
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.
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.
Pricing for SEM Rush ranges from $119.95 to $449.95 a month, depending on the plan chosen.
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.
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 its best features, which will warn you about broken links and errors; AWR also has a web crawler tool that crawls all of your site’s pages for technical information so you can see if pages are blocked, indexed, etc.
Pricing for AWR starts at $49 a month.
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 than 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.
Pricing for Raven Tools ranges from $0 to $399 a month.
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 them weekly.
The On-Page Optimization Tool will assess your on-page SEO based on a few different factors, although it’s no substitute for an 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.
Pricing for Moz ranges from $99 to $599 a month.
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.
Pricing for Brightedge starts at $4,000 a month.
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.
Pricing for Conductor starts at $1,995 a month.
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.
Pricing for SpyFu ranges from $79 to $999 a month.
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.
Pricing for Rio SEO is customized per location.
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.
Pricing for Searchmetrics starts at $397 per month per feature.
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 are 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.
Pricing for AuthorityLabs ranges from $49 per month per feature to $450 per month for an enterprise option.
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.
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.”
Pricing for iSionage starts at $59 a month.
Screaming Frog is an 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.
Screaming Frog offers a free monthly account. Their paid version starts at $198.70 per year.
Ahrefs allows you to 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 the 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.
Pricing for Ahrefs ranges from $99 to $999 a month. They also offer a 7-day trial for $7 and a free account for any website owner.
The intelligent (and mostly free) algorithms of the Ryte SEO software are designed to improve your entire SEO strategy in real-time. Use Ryte 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.
Pricing for Ryte starts at $130 a month.
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.
Pricing for Sistrix starts at $130 a month.
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).
Pricing for WooRank starts at $49 per month per feature.
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.
Website Grader is a free tool offered through HubSpot.
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. It’s one major downfall: it isn’t compatible with the Mac OS.
Pricing for Web CEO starts at $99 per month.
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.
Pricing for SEO Site Checkup ranges from $29.95 to $89.95 per month.
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.
Pricing for Site Analyzer ranges from $29 to $359 a month.
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.
Google Search Console is free.
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.
As of the date of this publication, Lipperhey is undergoing a restructuring and new prices will be announced soon.
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.
Pricing for SEO PowerSuite ranges from $299 to $499 per year. They also offer a free option for occasional users.
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 an 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.
Pricing for SEO Suite Professional ranges from $119.95 to $299.95 per month. They also offer a free trial.
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.
Pricing for Remove’em ranges from $99 to $899 per month.
Rank Math is an SEO tool that integrates into WordPress to provide SEO analysis. It offers backlink monitoring and keyword rank tracking. This tool supports theme builders such as Divi and Elementor, as well as the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Rank Math will also automatically update your sitemap so it can be properly indexed by Google.
Pricing for Rank Math ranges from $59 to $499 per year.
KeyClusters is a good automation tool that makes keyword research easier. It works with major SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to cluster their keywords into topical groups. In minutes, KeyClusters removes the heavy lifting and creates a cluster analysis that you can use to improve your site’s SEO. Its insights can be trusted because they are generated by real-time Google data. This tool is great for freelancers and small or midsized businesses.
Pricing for KeyClusers ranges between $19 and $149 per month or you can pay-as-you-go and purchase credits for $9.99 per 1,000 keywords.
The SEO Checker from Seobility offers a website analysis and gives you tips on how to improve your website. Its free website audit reviews your meta information, page quality, page and link structure, server configuration, and all external factors.
This tool is free for up to 1,000 subpages.
That’s my top ten highest-rated SEO software tools. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments.
If you want to see success in the digital space, it is important to get your content in front of the right audience. SEO software tools will automate that process for you and make it easier to be sure that you’re using the right keywords and tactics to achieve your goals.
Your budget depends on your SEO goals and the size of your organization. A freelancer can usually get by using some of the free SEO tools mentioned above whereas a larger corporation should budget a few thousand dollars a month.
Deciding on which SEO software tool works best for you is going to take some trial and error. What one marketer loves, another might hate. Take a look at this list and see which tool looks like it may fit your needs and try it out. If you find that you aren’t happy with it, move on to the next tool on the list. There’s no harm in trying out multiple tools until you find the one that works best for you.
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If you’re asking yourself, “How do I identify competitive keywords?” you’ve come to the right place. To fully dive into this topic, we’ll need to