Increasing your website traffic in 2019 is an obvious goal for most, as that can be one quick way to see a surge in your overall sales.  Seeing that goal thru doesn’t have to take a lot of effort when you use the right tools. Think about it this way; you’re camping in the woods and you need to start a fire before dark. Is it easier if you have matches or flint?  Absolutely! And the same holds true with SEO. You have to have the right tools.

But, where do you start? Today there are a plethora of SEO tools on the market and unless you have a personal connection to someone who refers you to a specific tool, it can be quite daunting figuring out which one will work for you. We’ll help streamline the process for you. In this article, we will explore 3 popular SEO tools to see which one will service your growth trajectory this year?


SEO tools

SEMrush – All in One Marketing Tool

SEMrush  is by far the most popular and well known tool for SEO. It is an everyday tool to help with everyday tasks and dives deep into the analysis to position your brand higher in search engine rankings. If you want to leverage your competition, SEMrush is a complete tool suite starting at $99.00 per month. Users generally have positive things to say about SEMrush and the features it provides. It can really be a game changer for your business.

Overview of the SEMRush Reporting dashboard below.


SEMrush provides:

  • Keyword research
  • Competitor domain analysis
  • Backlink breakdown
  • Organic research
  • Website audits
  • Social Media Tracker

If you want a balanced platform with innovative features, SEMrush will be your best friend. It can really do about anything you can dream of plus has some additional bells and whistles. Please note, some users may have a learning curve, especially if they are new to how SEO works. Plus this tool is jam packed with features it can be overwhelming.


Ahrefs – Tools to Grow Your Search Traffic

Ahref s      prides itself on being the industry leader for marketing tools and is the backlink analysis tool of choice for our SEO team because they find the tool very easy to use and have rows and rows of data to sift through and formulate strategic plans with. The comprehensive exploration of the strength of a particular backlink, in addition revealing which content is trending can be yours when you subscribe to the Ahrefs tool at about $99.00 per month.

Pronounced as A Hrefs this tool is adding and upgrading new features all the time and has recently announced plans to become a search engine that rewards content creators, a bold move but one they may just be able to pull off.

You will notice in the overview example below the difference in the presentation of data than the other dashboards. There is a strong focus on backlinks and domain referrals with a nice clean overview snapshot of the metrics that matter most under the search bar.

Below is what the overview report dashboard looks like in Ahrefs.


Ahrefs Feature Overview: 

  • One screen will show you all the important data. So there’s no guessing where to go.
  • It provides an endless number of keyword suggestions.
  • Is generally for small to medium businesses but serves enterprise businesses alike.
  • Other tools don’t compare in relation to the backlink analysis.
  • Data is updated every 15 minutes.

Although Ahrefs is a dominate force in backlink analysis, SEO Specialists generally want a tool that can provide a better comprehensive experience as it relates to keyword management and SEO reporting especially for client side work and campaign tracking. If you want a platform that primarily focuses on content marketing and SEO it may be the way to go or if you want to focus only on building high quality backlinks then the leader in the industry is Ahrefs and we have a feeling Tim, Joshua and the marketing team there are far at the peak of showcasing Ahrefs with more big things lined up.



Moz – All in One SEO Toolset

Besides having a cool name, Moz  truly tries to help you understand SEO and even allows you to use some of their tools for free (bonus!) Although they don’t have some of the advanced features like SEMrush, Moz is very competitive with their pricing plans, which range from $99-$600 per month.

The tool suite took a hit when it was revealed to have limited datasets and out of date indexes, but the team has taken a good hard look at the way that the toolkit was processing data and decided to revamp the entire platform with better data analysis engines and fresher index to provide users with data that they can actually use.

They have even revamped the DA metric “Domain Authority” is a Moz metric used to score a domain authority points with Google.

The Moz overview dashboard report is shown below.

When it comes to Moz, you must know that:

  • SEO beginners can gain so much from their knowledge base and their   beginners guide to SEO.
  • MozBar is a free browser extension that provides more than just DA scores.
  • Many have noted that the user experience isn’t as friendly as other tools so that could be an immediate turn off.
  • It will not get your   Pay-per-click ad research.
  • Although it provides a great deal of data it will not get into the nitty gritty like other SEO tools do. If you are an advanced SEO Specialist, SEMrush might be a better fit.
  • The data is only updated weekly, so unlike other tools, you aren’t getting real time data.

Overall Moz may not provide all of the extras but with a 30 day trial it’s worth a look.


moz domain analytics dashboard review


SE Ranking Great Value Multi Function Tool

This tool is a jack of all trades being able to help manage the overall marketing campaign. We have found it to be useful for plotting out newer websites with its built in ability to provide results beyond position 100. Get SE Ranking yourself.

Recently (July 2020) they refreshed the UI of the dashboard making it more user friendly. I find the new interface very appealing to use. You will see below this new look creates a much more insightful experience.

SE Ranking NEW UI


Building a marking plan can help shape the campaign by defining key points or milestones. The extra functions are really helpful and especially the SMM social media marketing features. SEO and social media do go hand in hand. 

I do find the keyword research tool to be very helpful when exploring topics and opportunities for clients. You have several options to explore the topic how you want. This is a great way to dive deeper into a keyword topic and pick out the best suited terms.

SE Ranking keyword research tool


While we do not use SE Ranking as our main tool for managing client SEO campaigns we do have it as a third data source between SEMrush & Ahrefs. The SE Ranking platform will continue to grow and evolve and we really feel in the next 12-18 months this tool.

Give SE Ranking a go here.


 Who Gets Our Vote for Tool of Choice?

SEMrush best suits our Digital agency needs by having an in-depth organic, pay per click and content set of analysis tools. We can also setup per project research & monitoring where we can’t really have this per project control with Ahrefs or Moz.

Congratulations to SEMrush for providing a wide enough range of tools that we can run a successful agency and provide in-depth research and analysis to make the right choices at the right time for all things search.


Other Worthy Mentions:

We use DashThis at Be Media for client reporting and monitoring of campaigns, it provides clients with their own login to review campaigns and reports and allows monitoring of multiple campaigns across a wide range of platforms and it can integrate into most platforms.

  1. Cognitive SEO platform – A marketing campaign monitoring tool for the technical people, covers a wide range of marketing activities and measures the things that matter.
  2. Raven Tools – The next best thing to Agency Analytics for digital marketing agencies, very well rounded toolkit monitoring SEO, PPC and Social Media Ads.
  3. SpyFu – Mainly PPC competitive spy platform has solid SEO measurement tools as well.
  4. Woorank – Made for digital marketing agencies to effectively manage client campaigns very well rounded.
  5. SerpStat – A newcomer that’s gaining traction due to ever-expanding features and data collection can be an affordable Ahrefs alternative option.
  6. SE Ranking – Another new platform that’s gained momentum is SE Ranking a very solid marketing campaigns monitoring and analysis platform. We  like the  various features built in as it allows more of an overview of “all of the things”.


Take the time to research the various SEO products for your business before committing to a contract. Each business is unique; determine what is most important to you. Review the features each platform provides, in addition to the budget, skill levels of staff members, your company size, etc. Zero in on the tool that meets most or all of your requirements. Each system mentioned above is worth investigating and has their own unique advantage.

Every search campaign needs to allow the best insights of the campaign performance. We know what we measure but for  you should have  the right SEO tool in your back pocket to keep up with SEO’s emerging strategies.  Imagine a chef not having measuring cups, mixing bowls and the appropriate cooking utensils. That’s ludicrous! Gaining additional insight into your competitors and understanding your company’s online ranking will position you in a much better spot . We love the functionality of these platforms, they will give your company some serious edge.  Let’s discuss your SEO plan. 

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