SEO presents small businesses a double-bind. On the one hand, it’s indispensable. Your business won’t make it to the end of the year if you disregard the value of SEO. At the same time, it’s expensive because so many services still cater to enterprise solutions out of the average SME’s budget.
Fortunately, developers and marketers recognize the segment of the population left behind and worked together to carve out a niche for businesses like yours.
We put together a list of the best SEO software for small business, whether you’re an SEO wizard or just getting started in the standards of optimization. Check out these seven SEO tools to see if they might be right for you.
How We Chose the Best SEO Software for Small Business
SEO is for kings of industry and newcomers alike, but the software you use needs to reflect that.
We put together a list of our favorite pieces of SEO software that reflect the demanding nature of small business. We considered them from the perspective of a startup, solo-prenuer, and growing team by asking questions like:
Best SEO Software for Small Business: Our Top Seven
On the hunt for SEO software capable of solving all your business needs? We reviewed seven SEO tools on your behalf to help get you started on your search.
Serpstat offers what Ahrefs and SEMRush promise but on a smaller budget. If you spend your time pinching pennies, you can’t afford to use spare cash on search costs. Serpstat caters to that market.
Serpstat works well for small businesses, digital entrepreneurs, and freelancers because it allows you to set up projects for each website in your portfolio. Keeping every site separate but accessible makes tracking far easier.
The platform claims to be an all-in-one experience. To that end, it offers:
We like how simple Serpstat tends to operate without eliminating essential options. For example, starting a site audit is as simple as clicking “Start Audit.” You then set the number of pages you want audited and the speed. The settings speed through hundreds of website pages with the touch of a button.
However, the features vary according to the plan you choose.
Serpstat offers personal and business plans. The personal plan comes in two formats, Plan A and Plan B, and there are significant differences between the two that extend beyond price. Plan A offers 300 queries per day, but an upgrade to Plan B offers 4,000 daily queries along with missing keywords, related keywords, and access to API.
All in all, Serpstats plans offer a cheap option for those who need SEO but don’t focus on it and a value-packed plan for growing companies. The plans combined with the multi-site platform make scaling easy.
Ahrefs is an SEO management and keyword tool with an attractive, data-driven dashboard. It offers an all-in-one SaaS tool that tracks as much as information as you can handle including:
Ahrefs’ key selling point is its backlinks database. You’ll struggle to find a tool that offers a database of this scale or accuracy.
We also love the Content Explorer tool. It deep dives into both articles and keywords to pull out all the juicy data. You can learn as much as you want about virtually any item on the web.
In our opinion, Ahrefs is the choice of SEO professionals, so if you have a strong understanding of the subject, then you’ll find Ahrefs delivers. Ahrefs pricing reflects its professionalism. The price plans outpace other professional tools, but if you intend to work with high-level SEO, then it may be worth the investment.
Current clients include Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Shopify, Adobe, and LinkedIn.
Not sure if it's for you? Ahrefs offers all new users a $7 seven-day trial.
Ask DIY SEO-ers, and they’ll tell you Google Analytics is the only SEO analytics tool required.
Google Analytics is free, and it comes to you from the people you want to please most: Google itself. Some of the things you can do with Google Analytics on its own include:
Google Analytics tells you things other sites won’t. It talks bounce rates, organic traffic, and internal site search.
We think Google Analytics is the gold standard, and because it’s free, choosing not to use it should be criminal. However, we recommend pairing it with another tool. While you can get everything you want from Google Analytics, the learning curve is steeper. Other tools feature neon signs saying “Get You Data Here,” but Google Analytics requires more inference.
SEMRush is a big player in SEO, and a quick rundown of its baseline features tells you why.
Available in 118 countries and offering more than 20 tools, SEMRush is a comprehensive tool for keyword research and domain analytics. It balances all the moving parts to provide small businesses an optimization platform. Using the software, you can:
We like that it offers a project-based campaign structure rather than forcing you to guess. We also want the SEO Ideas feature, which uses data to provide actionable insights that could give you an edge.
If there’s one part of SEMRush we don’t like, it is the lack of keyword list management tools. If you run a small marketing department, are a solo-preneur, or new to marketing, keyword management is more than helpful — you can’t live without it.
SEMRush’s subscription options also feel limited. The plans start at $99.95 for those with a “limited budget,” and SMBs and small agencies pay double that without getting double the service in some cases.
Authority Labs provides automated SERP tracking that helps you respond to changes in your site and pages’ ranking in real time. The trackers regularly refresh to give insight into your ranking across Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
The primary features include:
Authority Labs tracks every website you find an interest in at the same time. We like it because it scales seamlessly across multiple sites.
We also like that Authority Labs hands over the keys for a 30-day test drive—for free. Thirty days gives you enough time to fully explore the site and gain some proficiency before taking the plunge and ordering a subscription.
Botify is a premium product that understands small- and medium-sized business needs. Its primary product is a crawler tool for optimizing complex websites because just because your businesses is small doesn’t mean your website is simple.
There are several real pros of Botify.
First, it is incredibly powerful. It provides as close an insight as you can get to Googlebot log data compared to compliant URLs. The crawler also provides insights into differences between the crawls to keep track of changes made to your site, so your data is always fresh.
We like that Botify is customizable. You can use settings to control how deep Botify’s dive into your site is and how fast you prefer it to run. It’s also possible to optimize the crawler to focus solely on indicated sections of your site.
You can also use Botify to crawl competitor sites for greater insight into your SEO.
Overall, it’s one of the most useful tools for fully understanding your rankings and what they mean for your SEO game plan—and how to optimize to beat your competition.
Botify also offers tiered pricing for SMBs and freelancers. You’ll find subscriptions for single users for half the price of a monthly latte-budget. They charge enterprises the big bucks to fund the subsidies for the small guys.
Majestic is another all-in-one SEO tool, but compared to others, the claim doesn’t stand up.
Majestic is a go-to tool for backlinks, but it doesn’t offer things like content creation tool or traffic data. It provides an alternative to Ahrefs, which is otherwise expensive. However, it gives support to other means rather than standing on its own as Ahrefs would.
For example, you might use Majestic SEO with SEMRush, which minimizes backlinks but provides all the other portions missing from Majestic.
Think it might provide all you need? It’s possible. Majestic SEO’s features include:
Still, Majestic is one of the most expensive options on the list. Even committing to an annual plan won’t save you much cash, and both the Lite and Pro plans include only a single user. Additionally, you need to invest in the Pro plan for the tool to be worthwhile, so it’s best for those who are serious about link building and want to avoid Ahrefs.
SEO Software Buyer’s Guide
Whether you’re new to SEO or you want to grow your capacity to something more advanced, you’ll find the number of SEO tools is more substantial than you remember. With so many pieces of software available, it’s hard to tell what one offers features you’ll need today and tomorrow.
Although we listed our seven favorite tools in the previous section, we also understand that not all those tools work for your business.
To help you decide upon the tool to run with, we put together a buyer’s guide. We’ll cover:
Vital Characteristics to Look For in an SEO Tool
Even with a long list of features, the SEO tool you have your eye on might not be helpful.
Before allowing the tools to sweep you off your feet, do some research on the validity of the data provided.
Data accuracy is critical in the success of SEO software. If it offers out-of-date or inaccurate data, then the software is relatively worthless. Sites like Ahrefs are known for total accuracy, which makes them worth the purchase price.
Comprehensiveness is another essential characteristic. As you check in regularly, you’ll want a complete audit of every word of every page. Comprehensive tools mean you can use just one, and you can rely on the data it provides rather than trying to patch together data from multiple tools.
Scalability is also incredibly helpful. As you grow, so too does your need for comprehensive planning and tracking. A centralized, scalable system separates the free plug-ins from the professional tools.
Finally, check in on the reporting functions. Data presentation makes a significant difference in the way you use data. Look out for the level of automation in the report compared to the allowances for customization. You’ll also want report sharing to be as painless as possible.
Must-Have SEO Features
Small businesses don’t have the time or money to spend moving between five different tools. Finding an all-in-one resource eliminates that, but what features do you need for the software to function as a one-stop-shop for SEO?
You’ll want these features at a minimum:
Any tool missing one or more of these pieces will likely require you to hunt down a secondary tool. These features are the cornerstones of a successful SEO plan, an
Packages and Pricing
Your SEO tool is an essential part of your marketing strategy. You don’t want to price yourself out your best-loved software inadvertently.
SEO tools generally come within three price ranges:
Avoid any tools that use a cost-per-search model in favor of packages that include fixed pricing.
Additionally, take care in choosing your purchase plan. SEO moves like the wind, and the cheapest plans tend to limit your use to a debilitating extent. Choose a plan that offers value rather than focusing on price.
The above article was researched and written by the editorial staff at WomensWealth.Money.