SEO Software TrustMap
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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of growing traffic from organic search results. Free results on search engines like Google or Bing make up the core of SEO. The approach improves a website’s ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
SEO activities to improve ranking include:
Optimizing website structure to make it accessible and clearly understandable to search engine crawlers like Googlebot
Providing original and relevant content for end-users
Showing value with inbound links from other authoritative websites
Google’s ever-changing search algorithms are designed to improve the relevance of search results for end-users. This can make the SEO process complex. SEO is an area of marketing often outsourced to marketing agencies, consulting groups, and freelancers.
What are SEO Tools?
SEO software helps companies improve and track their SEO progress. A common feature is keyword and content analysis. This ensures that a site uses relevant language and content. The more relevant the content is to a target audience, the better the SEO ranking.
In other words, SEO helps a website speak the ‘language of the web’. This helps sites remain discoverable by search engine crawlers and accessible to visitors. Most SEO solutions will provide an overview of keywords the website is currently ranking for, competitive keyword analysis, and keyword tracking for target keywords. Some tools may also offer a historical view of keyword rankings and related search volume.
SEO Software Features
There are a wide range of SEO platforms available in the market. Below are features that are typically common across different tools:
Keywords are the phrases that represent the content of your website. They are the search terms a user might use to find your website. SEO tools track, recommend, and optimize keywords for your website. The tools find the most relevant keywords given your niche and target audience.
Backlinks are URL listings on other websites linking to your site. These show search engines that your website is valuable and a trusted source of information. Backlinks are crucial in site rankings and reputation. Backlink acquisition, tracking, and analysis is an essential element of SEO software. Many tools will help users identify new backlink opportunities and keep track of existing backlinks.
Crawl Diagnostics/Site Audits
Some SEO software tools can also perform site auditing. Audits assess website structure to suggest improvements. Some solutions will automate the improvement process for you. SEO tools vary in the quantity and quality of SEO audits. Certain tools provide generic best practices, while others have more innovative suggestions.
Reporting & Analytics
Most SEO tools create reports and offer analytics for overall website and keyword rankings. These can include:
SERPs ranking tracking
Role-specific dashboards (CMO, CEO, etc.)
Share of voice analysis
Mobile optimization has become a key part of SEO. Websites that don’t function on mobile devices will not rank as well on SERPs. They are also less likely to engage mobile visitors. This has become more important as mobile traffic continues to increase. Many companies have now adopted a ‘mobile-first’ approach to web design, ensuring content renders correctly on mobile before making any changes to the website.
Social signals act as an indication of content quality. They have become a key element in search engine algorithms. Likes and shares are social endorsements of your content’s relevance and overall brand. Many SEO products offer social signal tracking and measurement. Some products will also offer integrations with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for better social engagement and impressions tracking.
Local SEO optimizes a business website for a specific geographic location. Search engines are collecting more information about their users’ locations. The goal is to provide more specific and relevant results. Focusing on local SEO can mean less competition.
SEO vs. SEM Approaches
SEO is closely related to Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM is sometimes called PPC (pay-per-click) or paid search marketing. An SEM strategy is focused on gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines, while an SEO strategy focuses on maximizing organic (i.e. non-paid) search results by optimizing website structure and content.
Many companies use both SEO and SEM in their overall marketing strategy - using the same tools in the process. Combining SEO and SEM approaches together is called search marketing. The end goal is to grow website traffic, both organic and paid, from search engines.
SEO Software ComparisonThere are many SEO software products available today. Consider these two key factors as you evaluate different SEO tools to help find the best product for your business:
Do you need a comprehensive SEO platform that includes a range of keyword, backlink, and website auditing analysis capabilities? Or would your business be better served trying out a free tool (or two) first? SEO products like Google Trends, Google Search Console, Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator, and Hunter are all free to use. Though they may only focus on one of the feature areas defined above, or have limited functionality. Paid SEO tools are a better choice if your business is looking to adopt an SEO or search marketing strategy.
Would it be more efficient for your business to handle SEO and search marketing in-house, or outsource this work to a marketing agency? If you plan on keeping SEO activities in-house, along with a team of SEO experts, your business will also likely need to invest in at least one paid SEO tool (if not more). However, this makes it easier and faster to communicate with your SEO team and ensure that they are 100% focused on your business’s SEO growth potential. Conversely, working with a marketing agency can help free up time and resources so that your marketing team can focus on other initiatives.
Some Search Engine Optimization tools are completely free, while others may offer a free version or free trial. Top free examples include Google Trends and Moz Link Explorer. Both offer specific functions, like keyword and backlink research.
Paid SEO platforms usually start at $99/mo. for the ‘pro’ level. Enterprise-level tools can run up to hundreds of dollars per month.
Conductor is designed to generate customer intent insights that lead to compelling content, increased traffic, and higher organic marketing ROI. Conductor's technology enables marketers to understand their prospective customers' intent by revealing the trends and topics they…
SEMRush is a relatively popular search engine optimization tool set from the company of the same name based in Pennsylvania and founded in 2008. Largely the platforms relies on competitive intelligence, and features SEO staples like backlink checking, keyword analysis to refine SEO…
MozPro , from Moz in Seattle, Washington, is an SEO platforms for tracking the performance of all inbound marketing efforts comprehensively. It reveals how content is being shared through social channels and how that drives traffic to a website, and features a broad toolset for search…
BrightEdge is an enterprise-level SEO (Search Engine Optimization) platform from the company of the same name in San Mateo, California. It includes customizable dashboards, reporting, forecasting, SEO recommendations, backlink management and competitive analysis. It covers local,…
Ahrefs is an SEO tool providers. Ahrefs Site Explorer provides a suite of tools including a component for backlink & on-page SEO analysis, online brand mentions tracking, and domain comparison tool for competitor analysis, etc. They refer to themselves as “the largest index of live…
Yoast Wordpress SEO Plugins are a set of tools developed by Joost de Valk and team, founder of yoast.com and Wordpress enthusiast. These tools are designed to help content rank higher and are subsumed under the Yoast Complete pack, which includes Video SEO for rank climbing with…
SpyFu is the eponymous SEO and PPC research platform from the company in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on "spying" on competitors, or basically using their behaviors to refine your own through keyword and content analysis, and backlink poaching. This positional search engine optimization…
Google Search Console is a search engine optimization software solution offered by Google.
Raven Tools from the Tennessee company of the same name is Internet or search engine marketing optimization software consisting of popular tools targeted at SEO specialists who need research automation. To that end it contains the familiar set of website research and auditing, competitor…
Majestic surveys and maps the Internet and has created a large commercial Link Intelligence database. This Internet map is used by SEOs, New Media Specialists, Affiliate Managers and online Marketing experts for a variety of uses surrounding online prominence including Link Building,…
Web CEO is a SaaS-based, enterprise-level SEO platform targeting digital agencies. It has a language wiki that the vendor reports is actively used by 200,000 users to keep the interface multilingual (available in English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinise, Danish, Dutch,…
Buzzstream is the eponymous SEO and influencer marketing platform from the Austin-based company of the same name.
ContentKing is an Enterprise-grade cloud platform for Real-time SEO Auditing™ and Content Change Tracking™. With search engines visiting websites numerous times per day, each unintended change is a liability. Thanks to 24/7 Monitoring™ and Alerting™ users can improve and maintain…
Agency Analytics is an all-in-one reporting platform for marketing agencies. This platform is designed to make it easy for users to integrate all their marketing channels in one simple dashboard. Users can white label the dashboard from top to bottom to create what the vendor refers…
Crownpeak Digital Quality Manager (DQM) is a digital governance and web content management and monitoring solution designed to support excellent customer experience across all digital touchpoints, supporting web accessibility needs, error catching, SEO best practice, brand compliance,…
SE Ranking is a website optimization solution. Some key features include: Local Rank Tracking, Automatic Daily Updates and Monitoring of Competitors.
Serpstat is an All-in-one SEO platform which provides more than 20 tools: Competitor Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Site Audit and Rank Tracker and many more. Serpstat is the fastest-growing SEO tool on the market that provides comprehensive search analytics data…
Frequently Asked Questions
Using search engine optimization software and following SEO best practices, businesses can make a few important changes to help grow their organic traffic:
- optimizing your website structure and content to make it more ‘readable’ for search engine crawlers like Googlebot
- enhancing the content on your website to make sure it’s authoritative, informative, and relevant content for end-users
- signaling that your website is a trusted source of information by earning inbound links (backlinks) from other highly-authoritative websites
Based on third-party ratings and review data from TrustRadius, the Top Rated SEO software products are:
- Google Search Console
- Conductor Searchlight
- Screaming Frog
- Yoast Wordpress SEO Plugins
To learn more about other available SEO solutions, visit the TrustRadius SEO Software category page.
There are a number of free SEO tools available in the market, including some tools that have both free and paid versions. Popular free SEO tools include:
Most free tools focus on a narrow set of SEO capabilities, such as keyword research, rank tracking, backlinks, analytics, or webpage optimization recommendations. Paid tools will cover all of these areas and provide additional capabilities like competitive keyword analysis.