The Best SEO Software for Your Agency (13+ Options)
When building an SEO agency, you need to go beyond simply understanding the basics of SEO. You need to master the tools of the trade.
With the right SEO software, you can streamline your workflows, get insights to come up with an SEO strategy, and optimize your clients’ websites and content. With that said, how do you choose the right tools to help you succeed?
In this guide, I’ll be sharing a few of the best SEO agency software, along with tips and tricks for making the most of them.
What should you look for in your agency’s SEO software?
Finding the right tool stack that works for your agency can be difficult. After all, there are many things to consider: What features do you need? What platforms will it work on? How much should it cost?
You also need to keep the scope in mind: do you need to perform an on-page SEO analysis, launch an SEO campaign to generate backlinks, or will you perform a technical SEO audit?
While there’s no SEO powersuite that does everything, I can offer advice about the features agency owners who use SPP in the back-end typically look for in their tools:
Automation: Automation features can help you save time by automating tasks like reporting, data collection, and keyword research. For instance, if you might want to send the data from your SEO intake form and build an automation based on the submitted form.
Integrations: Make sure the software you choose integrates with the other tools you use, such as your agency client portal, CRM, project management software, etc. This will make it easier to manage data and workflows between all of your tools.
White labeling: As a client-facing agency, you need to be able to put your brand on everything you give to your clients. Look for customizable white label SEO management platforms so you can put your agency’s logo and colors on reports, dashboards, and communications.
Multi-user management: You’ll need to be able to add and manage multiple users within your account, as well as set different permissions (e.g., some users can only view data, while others can edit and manage campaigns).
We’ll talk more about the SEO-specific features you should look for in your software a bit later. For now, let’s move on to some of the best SEO platforms agencies use.
The 13 best SEO agency tools
To give this list a bit of structure, I’ve broken the software recommendations down into seven categories.
As you read through the list, think about gaps in your current software stack. You might find that one tool covers multiple needs, or that you need to mix and match a few different tools to get all the features you want.
Here are the categories:
All-in-one SEO software: These platforms offer a suite of SEO tools that cover most (or all) of the categories I’ll cover.
Keyword research software: These tools help you find promising keywords to include in your content strategy.
Content optimization software: These tools help you optimize your content to rank for certain keywords.
Link building software: These tools help you with link building, outreach, and link tracking.
Competitor analysis software: These tools help you research and analyze your competitors to find out what’s working for them.
SEO reporting tools: They help you track your progress and results over time.
Technical SEO Software: These tools help you with technical SEO tasks like auditing websites and diagnosing crawl issues.
Let’s look at each category in detail.
1. All-in-one SEO software
SE Ranking is one of the most comprehensive all-in-one SEO platforms on the market, which makes it popular among digital marketers. It offers a suite of tools that help with a ton of agency tasks at affordable prices, including:
One of the things I love about SE Ranking is that it’s very user-friendly—even if you’re not an SEO expert, you’ll be able to quickly get the hang of the platform and start seeing results.
Plus, it’s fully white label, so you can brand reports and dashboards with your agency’s logo and colors.
Ahrefs is another popular all-in-one SEO platform that offers a suite of tools for keyword research, rank tracking, site auditing, competitor research, reporting and more.
Like SE Ranking, Ahrefs is also very user-friendly. It isn’t white label, though. To generate white label reports, you’ll need to take advantage of one of Ahrefs’ many integrations to connect the platform to a white label reporting tool (more on those later).
Grow your industry knowledge
It’s quite expensive, but many SEO agencies and freelancers still find it incredibly valuable.
2. Keyword research software
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
I know I just covered Ahrefs in the section above, but Ahrefs Keyword Explorer also happens to have one of the best keyword databases out there.
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you find low-competition keywords that you can rank for, Ahrefs is a great option. You can sort suggestions by a number of criteria, including:
organic click-through rate (CTR)
The only caveat here is that Keywords Explorer isn’t a standalone product. It’s part of the Ahrefs platform, so you’ll need to pay for an Ahrefs account to use it.
If you’re looking for a standalone keyword research tool that’s affordable and easy to use, Mangools KWFinder is a great option.
KWFinder has a modern UI that’s much cleaner (and some would say easier to use) than a lot of other tools on the market. Plus, it gives you access to a ton of reliable data, including:
search volume trends
The metrics you have access to are nowhere near as comprehensive as what you get with Ahrefs, but Mangools KWFinder is still a solid keyword research tool for quick, accurate research. And it’s a lot more affordable.
Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension from the creators of Surfer SEO. The tool shows you estimated search volume, CPC, competition data, and content data (e.g., word counts for top results) for any keyword you enter into Google.
It’s a great way to quickly get an idea of the viability of a keyword without having to sign up for any paid tools. And since it’s a Chrome extension, it’s super simple to use—just type a keyword into Google’s search bar and hit the enter key.
Data will be displayed along with your Google search results, so you can take it in with full context. You can generate free content outlines with Surfer SEO based on the keyword in question—but that feature deserves its own section.
3. Content optimization software
Surfer SEO is content optimization software that analyzes the top-ranking pages for any given keyword and provides recommendations on how to optimize your own content to rank higher.
You can use the platform to improve your content in many different ways, but one of my favorites is the Content Outline feature. This feature takes all the data Surfer SEO has collected on the top-ranking pages and generates a list of topics and subtopics that you can use as a guide for your own content.
Surfer SEO also offers a Content Editor feature that allows you to optimize your content directly within the platform. You can use this feature to collaborate with team members and track changes. The free tier sadly has very limited features, so you’ll most likely need to spend at least $49 per month for one of the paid plans.
Clearscope is another great piece of content optimization software that’s specifically designed to help you write better, more targeted content.
The platform uses machine learning to analyze the top ranking pages for your target keyword. It then provides advice about how to optimize your content, including:
what primary and secondary keywords to target
what questions to answer
what word count to aim for
what reading level to write for
It also features a handy “Content Score” that grades the overall quality of your content. This is a great way to track your progress over time and see how your optimization efforts are paying off.
The catch? It’s pretty expensive and based on the number of content reports you need. This can be an issue for SEO writing agencies that publish 20+ pieces of content a month.
4. Link building software
BuzzStream is a tool that’s specifically designed to help you with link building.
It helps you manage your relationships with influencers, track your outreach progress, and find new link building opportunities. You can enter any relevant keyword into BuzzStream’s search bar and automatically generate and qualify massive lists of prospects.
Plus, BuzzStream makes it easy to automate the outreach process with customizable templates and scheduled follow-ups. All of this saves you a ton of time—and makes it more likely that your outreach efforts will be successful. Prices start at around $24 per month, but most link building agencies will likely need opt for its more expensive plans.
Hunter.io is a freemium tool that simplifies the link building outreach process by helping you find contact details of prospects.
To get started, enter a domain name into Hunter’s search bar, and it will scour the internet to find every email address that’s associated with that domain. You can then export this list of email addresses and use it for your outreach efforts.
To make sure that the emails are indeed correct, I recommend checking them with ZeroBounce, which has a nice bulk upload feature, and reasonably priced pay-as-you-go rates.
5. Competitor analysis software
Ahrefs Site Explorer
Ahrefs is making another appearance on this list with their Site Explorer tool, which is popular among SEO professionals.
This time, we’re using it for competitor analysis. Just enter any competitor’s domain into Site Explorer, and you’ll get tons of valuable data, including:
an overview of their organic traffic
a list of their most popular pages
their top organic keywords
their backlink profile
This data will give you a good idea of what’s working well for your clients’ competitors—and how you can replicate their success.
SpyFu is a standalone competitive analysis tool suite with a focus on helping you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your clients’ competitors’ online marketing strategies.
By entering any domain into SpyFu, you can see all the keywords that they’re bidding on in Google Ads and the estimated dollar amount they’re spending on each keyword. You can also see which of these keywords they rank for organically.
This data will give you a good idea of which keywords are worth targeting—and how much you’ll need to spend to outbid your competition. Prices start at around $33 per month.
6. Reporting and analytics software
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio is a free, white label reporting tool that allows you to combine data from multiple sources into one visually appealing report.
This is a great way to consolidate all your clients’ data into one place—and make it easy for them to digest.
Plus, you can use the Google Data Studio integration to give your clients 24/7 access to their data. All you need is the URL of the report you’d like to display in your client’s portal—SPP handles the rest!
Databox is a paid tool that offers pre-built dashboards for popular marketing metrics, including SEO, social media, web traffic, and sales.
You can also use Databox to create custom dashboards for any metric you want. And, if you’re using multiple data sources, you can use Databox’s Query Builder tool to combine them into one dashboard.
It’s a great tool for quickly and easily creating visually appealing reports that your clients will love. There’s a free tier, but the paid plans of this reporting software start at around $75 per month.
SEO software for agencies FAQ
What SEO tools do agencies use?
There are many SEO tools digital agencies can make use of, but it’s not easy to say which one is the best SEO software for agencies in 2023. Since SEO software tools can have many different features, you should look at all available solutions, from SE Ranking to Clearscope and Databox.
What is the best SEO tool for an agency?
In the top SEO tools for agencies list, you’ll usually find SE Ranking and Ahrefs because both are all-in-one software that cover most aspects of your needs. However, if you’re looking for a solution that covers specific needs, there are better solutions.
What is the most effective tool for SEO?
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two free tools that are very effective in defining and analyzing your SEO strategy. On their own, they are not as powerful, though, and are best combined with other SEO tools, such as Semrush for keyword research and Clearscope for optimizing copy.
Build an SEO software stack that works for your agency
No two agencies are the same—so there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” SEO software stack.
The best way to figure out which SEO software is right for your agency is to experiment and see what works best—so take advantage of free trials!
And wherever possible, prioritize SEO software that meshes well with the other kinds of software you use. With SPP, it’s easy to integrate your client portal with 5,000+ apps ranging from CRMs to reporting tools to marketing automation solutions.