Running an SEO agency means that you need to stay on top of countless metrics, KPIs, and industry updates.
There are many different SEO software tools and platforms to help run your marketing agency, although finding the right one(s) to best serve your clients is often a challenging task.
In this guide, we’ve put together the best SEO agency tools to grow and manage your agency, including the pros, cons, and features of each one.
To help you navigate the list, we’ve broken the tools into two main sections:
SEO Software: This section includes a complete list of tools that will help you deliver the results your clients are looking for.
Agency & Client Management: This section includes tools that help you run your business and manage clients effectively.
1. SEO Software
Before we get into tools that help you manage the business itself, let’s first look at the SEO platforms for agencies that will help you deliver results.
All-in-One SEO Platforms
While there’s generally no single SEO software for agencies that can all your needs, these all-in-one SEO platforms are about as close as you’re going to get. So if you’re someone who only wants to use a single platform, these SEO tools are for you.
With 800+ reviews on Capterra, there’s no question that SEMrush is one of the most widely used platforms by SEO agencies. SEMrush includes a comprehensive suite of tools for SEO, market research, content and PR, paid traffic, and social media.
A few of the main tools that SEO agencies use from SEMrush include:
Competitive Research: The Competitive Research Toolkit is designed to help you analyze your competition to make informed decisions. Ranked by SEO professionals as the top competitive analysis tool, this toolkit includes features like Traffic Analytics, Market Explorer, Organic Research, Backlink Analytics, and more.
Keyword Research: SEMrush has several keyword research tools including the Keyword Difficulty feature, which helps you find keywords with less competition and instantly estimate the difficulty to rank for it.
Analytics Reports: The Analytics Reports feature of SEMrush provides insights into paid traffic, organic search, and link building.
Pricing for SEMrush starts at $99.95 per month per user and there is a free trial available.
Ranked at 4.8/5 stars on Capterra, Ahrefs is a close second when it comes to the popularity of all-in-one SEO solutions. Similar to SEMrush and Moz, Ahrefs offers tools that can handle pretty much all of your SEO-related tasks.
A few of their most widely used tools include:
Site Explorer: The Site Explorer tool combines three SEO tools into one interface for organic traffic research, backlink research, and paid traffic research for any website of your choosing.
Keywords Explorer: The Keywords Explorer tool lets you discover keyword ideas, analyze their difficulty, and calculate their traffic potential.
Site Audit: The Site Audit tool lets you analyze your website's on-page SEO in order to identify any issues that may be holding back the site from ranking.
A few other notable tools from Ahrefs include their Rank Tracker, Content Explorer, and the SEO Toolbar.
Pricing for Ahrefs starts at $99 per user and there’s a 7-day trial available for $7.
Another widely used all-in-one SEO platform is Moz, which is split into two main products:
Moz Pro: Moz Pro is their core all-in-one website SEO product that has all the typical tools including keyword research, SERP rank tracking, site audits, and more.
Moz Local: We’ll cover local search tools in more detail later, but the Moz Local product includes features for location data management, review management, and more.
Pricing for Moz Pro starts at $99 per month with a free trial available and pricing for Moz Local starts at $129 per year.
As you probably know, keyword research is one of the first steps in SEO. From search volume to keyword difficulty, these tools will help you start your next SEO campaign the right way.
As part of the Google Ads PPC platform, Google Keyword Planner is an incredibly valuable tool for both paid and organic keyword research. One of the main benefits of Google Keyword Planner is the accuracy of the data since it’s pulling information from their own servers.
While the tool doesn’t provide insight into things like traffic analysis or backlinks, a few of the core features of Google Keyword Planner include:
- Average monthly searches
- Keyword competition
- Bid estimates for both top & bottom of page one
Similar to other Google tools, Keyword Planner is free to use.
Keyword Tool is another valuable tool that helps you find keywords using Google Autocomplete. As the company says, the Google Autocomplete feature is a great way to find popular and relevant keywords that may be hidden in other tools.
The free version of the platform lets you generate up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term and the pro version starts at $48 per month.
Created by the SEO company Mangools, one of their core products is KWFinder. This tool has a comprehensive list of features for keyword research, a few of which include:
- Trends: The search volume trend in the last 12 months
- Search: The average monthly search volume in the last 12 months
- CPC: The average cost per click in Google Ads
- PPC: The level of competition in Google Ads
- Keyword Difficulty: Find out how hard it is to rank based on the Link Profile Strength (LPS) of URLs on the first page of Google
Here’s what the founder of the SEO agency Cureight had to say about Mongools:
Today many SEO tools are complicated and offer too many features that are not used. We love to use Mangools SEO tools for the simple reason it is a simple tool that has amazing U/X and all of the features that an SEO expert needs - ranking watcher, keyword finder, SEO site profiler and backlink checker. It is also, most importantly, an affordable tool that gives you great limits with your daily and monthly use.
Pricing for Mangools (including KWFinder) starts at $29 per month with a 10-day free trial available.
Monitoring the search terms that drive traffic for your clients is an extremely valuable KPI for SEO agencies. While these SERP rank tracking tools are similar in their capabilities, one of the most important aspects is being able to effectively communicate these results to your clients in either a report or dashboard.
AgencyAnalytics is an all-in-one reporting platform and one of the core features that SEO agencies use is the Rank Tracker. The rank tracking tool is updated daily and provides accurate rank tracking for both local and global keywords.
In particular, a few of the core features of the AgencyAnalytics Rank Tracker include:
- Monitor both desktop and mobile rankings
- Monitor different locations and languages
- Track Google Maps rankings over time
- Group rankings by custom tag
- Monitor historical ranking performance for each SEO campaign
- Analyze and monitor what your client’s competitors are ranking for
One of the main benefits of the AgencyAnalytics Rank Tracker is that not only can you use the tool internally, but you can also provide your client access to a fully white-labeled dashboard and schedule automated rank tracking reports.
Pricing for AgencyAnalytics starts at $49 and there’s a 14-day free trial available.
We mentioned Ahrefs in the all-in-one SEO platform section, although one of the core features is their Rank Tracker.
A few of the core features of Ahrefs Rank Tracker include:
Visualization: The ability to visualize your SEO progress including average position, traffic, and position distribution.
Competitor Research: You can also use Ahrefs to see how you stack up against your competitors over time.
As mentioned, Ahrefs Rank Tracker certainly does provide useful information, although the fact that you have to create a separate report or dashboard to send it to clients does add a bit more work for your agency.
After you’ve created valuable content, whether it’s for your blog or individual website pages, the next step is to make sure search engines like Google and Bing can find and index it. Technical search engine optimization can often seem difficult as it includes everything from meta tags, sitemaps, internal linking, etc., although the following tools will help you master it for you and your clients.
If you’re looking to improve your technical SEO, Google Search Console is generally the best place to start. This tool has several features including:
- Optimize content with Search Analytics, which tells you which queries are bringing users to your site
- Submit sitemaps and individual URLs to the Google crawler
- Email alerts when Google identifies issues on your site
- The URL Inspection tool provides information about the crawl, index, and serving information for your pages
Similar to other tools in the Google suite, Search Console is completely free to use.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is another tool used by many SEO agencies, which allows you to crawl web pages and analyze technical and onsite SEO.
In particular, a few of the core features of the platform include:
- Find broken links (404s) and server errors
- Analyze page titles and meta descriptions
- Find temporary and permanent redirects
- Discover duplicate content
Here’s what the CEO of BetterProposals (mentioned below) had to say about Screaming Frog:
Screaming Frog is perhaps one of the best tools for agencies that do SEO. It’s essentially a scraping tool that indexes an entire website, complete with content, meta descriptions, images, alt tags and everything that is relevant for SEO. It then shows the data in a neat report in the form of a sheet.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider offers a free version for up to 500 URL crawls as well as a paid version starting at £149.00 per year.
Sitebulb is another website crawling tool used for technical SEO. One of the main differentiators of this platform is that it provides intuitive data visualization alongside the audits to help you understand what the data actually means.
A few of the core features of this tool include:
- Ready-made recommendations based on the technical SEO audit
- Data visualization to make auditing more intuitive
- PDF reporting for any section of the audit
- Audit comparison, which allows you to track historical trends and changes over time
Pricing for SiteBulb starts at £10 per month for the Lite version and £25 per month for the Pro version.
Another one of features built into the AgencyAnalytics platform is the Site Audit tool, which helps you quickly identify and resolve on-site SEO issues.
In particular, the technical SEO audits allow you to:
- Automatically crawl multiple client sites at once to find and resolve over 40 on-page technical SEO issues
- Continuously monitor on-page SEO by scheduling weekly or monthly site audits
- Categorize the severity of SEO issues so that you know what to prioritize
- Run automated usability testing scans to fix issues before visitors see them
As with all the SEO tools built into the platform, your technical SEO reports can be completely white-labeled with your digital marketing agency’s logo and branding. On top of just reports, you can also create a site audit dashboard to display real-time results 24/7.
If you want to get started with the Site Audit tool, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial here.
Content Planning & Optimization
As many SEOs like to say, content is king. As you probably know though, creating great content is no easy task. Luckily there are tools to help, here are a few of the top SEO tools for content planning and optimization.
Clearscope is an AI-powered platform that helps you get more out of the content you’re already producing. The focus of the platform is to make your content more relevant to both the reader and search engines. In particular, the tool uses natural language processing to process real-time search data and make content recommendations.
Here’s what the SEO agency Floor500 had to say about Clearscope:
The new software I'm loving is Clearscope.io. Using IBM's Watson and Google NLP, they compare your content to what is ranking in the top 10 for a given search query. Their comparison includes things like average word count and reading level, but more importantly, it includes suggested terms and phrases that Google is expecting to see from a top-ranking page.
Pricing for Clearscope starts at $350 per month.
MarketMuse is another AI-powered platform for “Content Intelligence and Strategy”. The process for creating content with MarketMuse is as follows:
Personalized Difficulty Score: This is a determination of your advantage or disadvantage when it comes to ranking for a particular topic.
Content Briefs: A content brief is then created using machine learning by analyzing existing content about a subject and comparing it against a corpus of data.
First Draft NLG: Their natural language generation (NLG) engine then reconstructs existing information on a subject into a first draft of original long-form content.
Pricing for MarketMuse starts at $399 per month.
Dashword is a more affordable alternative to Clearscope and MarketMuse to help with your content research.
Their unlimited plan allows users to do create more reports and optimize their content for more keywords, which becomes handy when writing long-form articles targeting multiple long-tail keywords.
Pricing for Dashword is $99 per month.
Textmetrics is a platform that helps you create consistent content across an entire organization. The platform uses algorithms to support anyone creating written content with real-time suggestions based on your defined voice and KPIs.
Textmetrics is an enterprise platform and pricing is available upon request.
Outreach & Link Building
Now that you’ve created great content, one of the best ways to have it rank well in search engines is with cold outreach and link building.
BuzzSumo is an incredibly useful tool for not only finding content that is already performing well, but also to identify influencers to collaborate with.
If you type “Content Marketing” into BuzzSumo you get insights into existing articles with high social engagement so that you can find the most popular content in the niche.
With the Pro version of the site you can then find influencers who are active in the niche and reach out to them to share your content.
Here’s what an SEO professional from Best Response Media had to say about BuzzSumo:
I can’t imagine doing link building without BuzzSumo, it’s such a time-saver. With BuzzSumo we are monitoring unlinked mentions for clients. Every day you just get an email with the mentions and you can decide if it is worth it or not in a few minutes.
Pricing for BuzzSumo starts at $99 per month although you can get four searches per day with the free version.
After you’ve found influencers in your niche to reach out to, the next step is to find their email address. Hunter is a tool that lets you type in a company's domain name and find email addresses of the people that work there.
Hunter gives you 50 free searches per month and the paid version starts at $49 per month.
Another cold email outreach tool to use in your SEO strategy is Mailshake. The platform is used for link building, PR outreach, recruiting, and sales engagement and has the following features:
- Personalized mail merges and automatic follow-ups
- Integrated phone dialer from within your browser
- Improve sales by engaging prospects on social media
Pricing for Mailshake starts at $59 per month for the email outreach tool and $99 per month for their sales engagement package.
Ninja Outreach is another tool that helps with influencer marketing and outreach. In particular, the tool lets you find business profiles, influencers, and emails by filtering through millions of people to find the right ones for your target audience.
Pricing for Ninja Outreach starts at $120 per month.
If your clients have physical locations one of the best ways to market them online is with local SEO. The following are several of the top local SEO tools to help you with citations, review generation, and more.
Whitespace is an all-in-one local SEO platform that helps you build citations, earn reviews, and track your rankings. A few of the tools in this platform include:
- Local Citation Finder
- Local Rank Finder
- Reputation Builder
- Review Checker
- Review Handout Generator
- Google Review Link Generator
Plans for Whitespark vary based on the tools chosen and there is a free version with 3 searches per day available.
BrightLocal is another local SEO platform that has several solutions including:
Reputation Manager: This tool allows you to grow, monitor and respond to customer reviews across various websites.
Citation Builder: This tool provides fast, accurate local citation and data aggregator submissions.
Pricing for BrightLocal starts at $29 per month with a free trial available.
BirdEye is an online review management platform that helps businesses collect customer feedback from visitors. On top of customer reviews, the platform offers solutions for surveys, webchat, ticketing, and more.
Pricing for BirdEye is available upon request.
Grade.us is another highly rated review management platform that can be white-labeled to match your agency or client’s branding. The platform lets you automate the review generating process on sites like Facebook, Google, and other industry-specific review sites.
2. Agency & Client Management
Now that we’ve covered a list of tools that will help you get the SEO results your clients are looking for, let’s review the software that can help you run the business including reporting tools, project management, and more.
Reporting & Analytics Software
SEO reporting software allows you to keep track of various data sources, visualize the data with insightful graphs and charts, and either send periodic reports or provide 24/7 access to a client dashboard.
AgencyAnalytics is an all-in-one reporting software that can save you time by automating your entire reporting process. On top of SEO tools, the platform offers integrations for PPC, social media, email marketing, reviews, and call tracking.
A few of the core features of AgencyAnalytics include:
Automated Marketing Reports: Keep your clients up-to-date with daily, weekly, or monthly reports delivered to their inbox.
30+ Marketing Integrations: This gives you insights and lets you build dashboards from all your client’s marketing channels in one app.
Custom Marketing Dashboards: You can either choose from existing dashboard and report templates or customize them with a variety of drag-and-drop widgets.
Fully Branded for your Agency: You can also completely white-label your dashboards and reports by uploading your logo, color scheme, and even your own domain hosting.
SEO Tools: A few of the SEO tools built-in to the platform include rank tracking, site audits, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, and more.
Agency Management: As you scale your agency you can streamline your agency workflow by creating staff accounts, assigning them to clients, and also assigning tasks.
Here's what Kellen Kautzman, the owner of the marketing agency Send it Rising, had to say about AgencyAnalytics:
My favorite SEO tool is AgencyAnalytics because it ties together all the relevant client reports we need into one convenient dashboard including rankings, call tracking, reviews, directories, social media, email and Google Analytics. As our company has grown, the value of seeing a client's overall internet marketing health in less than a minute has increased exponentially. If I need to take a call with 5 minutes of prep, I need to know how rankings have changed, the impact of our social strategy, the number of phone calls generated and overarching traffic data now. AgencyAnalytics solves these problems.
Pricing for AgencyAnalytics starts at $49 per month and there’s a 14 day free trial available.
Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 platform and allows you to connect to various data sources and then turn it into interactive dashboards and reports. While this is certainly a powerful tool, the drawbacks of the platform are that you can’t automate reporting and it only supports a single data source.
Similar to other Google tools, Data Studio is completely free to use.
As your SEO agency starts to grow and you’re building a team, one of the most crucial factors of managing business operations is project management.
Teamwork is a popular project management platform for digital marketing agencies, SEO agencies included. The two guys who founded Teamwork actually ran a digital marketing agency. They grew tired of the limited capabilities of other project management tools on the market, so they created Teamwork. With this in mind, the platform is very agency focused and is ideal for managing SEO projects at agencies or for in-house marketing teams. There is a free option with limited projects, but the Pro version will set you back $10 per month per user. They allow unlimited client users for free, which is another bonus for agencies.
Trello is one of the most popular solutions used by agencies for project management. The software includes boards, lists, and cards to help you prioritize and keep track of various projects.
Trello is completely free to use and there’s also a premium version for businesses starting at $9.99 per user per month.
Asana is another project management platform that is used by marketing, sales, operations, and product development teams.
Asana is free for individuals or small teams with a premium version starting at $10.99 per user per month.
Monday describes itself as a Work Operating System that powers teams to run projects and workflows. The product can be integrated with your existing tools and can be for any process, department, or industry.
Monday offers a free version and the premium version starts at $49 per month.
As you know, the reality is that an effective SEO campaign takes time to work. That’s why client communication for agencies is so important. From video conferencing to sending automated reports, these tools will help stay on top of client communication.
Slack's goal is to "replace email inside your company" and is one of the most widely used tools for both client and internal communication. The tool lets you create dedicated channels for individual clients, projects, or teams so that you can bring all your work communication into one place.
Slack is completely free for small teams and their paid plans start at $6.67 per month.
HubSpot is another powerful software for client communication that includes CRM tools for sales, marketing, and customer service. In particular, a few of HubSpot's core products include:
- HubSpot CRM: This is one of the most widely used CRM's to keep all your contact's in one centralized database
- HubSpot Marketing Automation: This is a suite of tools for inbound marketing automation including lead flows, forms, and analytics.
- HubSpot Service Hub: This is a customer service software that includes tools for live chat, automatic replies, and your help desk.
HubSpot offers free sales, marketing, and CRM tools and their paid plans start at $50 per month.
If you’re looking for a consistent enterprise video software, Zoom is one of the most popular options. A few of their solutions include:
- Online meetings
- Video webinars
- Video conference rooms
- Enterprise phone system
- Cross-platform messaging
Zoom offers a free version of their software with certain restrictions and the premium version starts at $20 per month.
As you probably know, one of the most time-consuming aspects of the agency sales process is creating and sending proposals. These tools can help simplify and speed up the client proposal process.
Proposify is one of the highest-rated proposal softwares on Capterra that lets you create customized proposals faster. The software helps sales teams create, send, track, and e-sign proposals, contracts, and agreements.
Pricing for Proposify starts at $19 per user per month.
Better Proposals is another tool that helps you create professional proposals faster and win the contract faster with digital signatures. The software also lets you know when your proposals are opened, forwarded and downloaded so that you can follow up at the right time.
Pricing for Better Proposals also starts at $19 per month.
As you can probably agree, one of the most important parts of running an SEO agency is being able to process payments. It might sound obvious, but late-paying clients are all too common and can have serious consequences on your agency. The following payment processing software enables both small businesses and enterprise companies to process credit card payments online and traditional point of sale (POS) interfaces.
PayPal is definitely the most widely used payment process solution that can do everything from recurring billing to POS transactions and payments can be made on desktop, mobile, or in person.
Stripe is a close second when it comes to payment processing solutions. Pricing for payments processed through the platform starts at 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge and there’s also custom enterprise pricing available.
Knowledge Management Software
Knowledge Management software allows you to optimize your agency’s processes by capturing the intellectual capital of your team.
Zendesk is often used as a customer service and sales CRM, although they also have a solution called Zendesk Guide. The advantage of using this software for your knowledge base is that it’s seamlessly integrated with the help desk software.
Pricing for Zendesk Guide starts at $15 per agent per month and it’s also included with Zendesk Support.
Helpjuice is another knowledge base software that is designed for reducing support and sharing knowledge internally. The product is also fully customizable and can be branded to match your agency.
Pricing for Helpjuice starts at $120 per month for up to 4 users.
As you’re growing your agency and team, employee onboarding software can help automate the workflow of getting a new hire up and running within the company.
With the highest number of reviews on Capterra, ApplicantStack is a widely used onboarding software that has a new hire portal with all the relevant employee information. This software helps you monitor onboarding tasks and address bottlenecks in the process.
Pricing for ApplicantStack starts at $95 per month with a free trial available.
BambooHR is another highly rated onboarding software that includes tools for applicant tracking, new hires, and employee transitions. The software includes features such as e-signatures, time-off tracking, performance management, and reporting.
Pricing for BambooHR is available on request and there’s a free trial available.
That’s it for our complete guide to SEO agency software.