Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving sustainable growth for agencies and their clients. But with so many SEO tools out there, how do you know which ones to use?
We analyzed over 1000+ SEO software tools and picked the top 10 must-haves for agencies in 2023. These SEO agency tools provide the core capabilities you need to conduct SEO audits, content marketing, track keywords, monitor ranks, build links and more.
1. Ahrefs – Best for Keyword Research
Ahrefs should be the backbone of your SEO stack with robust keyword research and tracking. Key features include:
- Keyword Explorer for high volume and low competition keywords
- Rank Tracker to monitor keyword positions
- Site Audit to identify technical SEO issues
- Content Explorer for inspiration and gaps
- Competitive research on audiences and backlinks
Ahrefs provides the richest keyword data and is easy to use for all technical levels.
2. SEMrush – Best for All-in-One SEO
SEMrush is the leading all-in-one SEO and digital marketing platform. For agencies, it centralizes all your SEO tasks into one dashboard. Capabilities include:
- Keyword research
- Rank and site tracking
- In-depth audits
- Backlink analysis
- SEO and content strategy builders
- Competitor research
With robust features and custom agency reporting, SEMrush is one of the top SEO software picks for agencies.
3. Moz – Best for Link Building
Moz makes scalable link building achievable through their industry-leading suite of link-focused tools. Standouts include:
- Link Explorer to find link building prospects
- MozBar to analyze links on any site
- Link Intersect to find sites linking to competitors but not you
- Campaigns for outreach tracking
- Metric benchmarking
For agencies, Moz makes link building more data-driven and repeatable across clients.
4. SpyFu – Best for PPC Research
SpyFu specializes in insights related to pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO competitors. Useful intel includes:
- Competitor keywords and conversions
- PPC budget and impression share
- Landing page optimization scores
- Automated weekly competitor reporting
SpyFu pays for itself by enabling you to mimic and outperform the PPC campaigns of competitors.
5. Screaming Frog – Best for Technical SEO Audits
When you need comprehensive technical SEO audits, Screaming Frog crawls every aspect of a website to identify issues including:
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Page speed
- Security problems
- Indexation errors
- Accessibility flaws
The detailed crawl data lets you prioritize technical fixes for the biggest SEO gains.
6. Surfer SEO – Best for ON-Page Optimization
Surfer SEO takes on-page optimization to the next level with assistants for improving:
- Page speed
- Mobile optimization
- Schema markup
- Site navigation
- Readability and content
The step-by-step guidance gives you a content roadmap for boosting rankings.
7. Rank Ranger – Best for Rank Tracking
For monitoring keyword rankings, Rank Ranger stands out with features like:
- Rankings for 70+ search engines
- Local pack tracking
- Rank distribution graphs
- Customizable reporting
- Ranking alerts
The wide range of location and device tracking provides comprehensive rank data.
8. Ahrefs – Best for Backlink Analysis
In addition to robust keyword research, Ahrefs enable agencies to grow and protect their backlink profiles with tools like:
- Backlink Explorer identifying link building opportunities
- Alerts to monitor new links pointing to your site
- Metrics benchmarking your site against competitors
Ahrefs should be in every agency’s SEO stack for custom reporting and world class link building capabilities.
9. UberSuggest – Best Free Keyword Tool
Ubersuggest is the leading free alternative to paid tools with useful keyword features like:
- Volume and competition metrics
- Related keywords
- SEO content ideas
- Top pages ranking for keywords
- Google Ads keyword data
The free version provides enough keyword research for many small agencies.
10. Google Analytics – Best Free SEO Overlay
While not technically an SEO tool, Google Analytics provides robust SEO data when paired with a plugin like Simple Analytics. You get insights like:
- Pages and conversion ranks
- Organic traffic metrics segmented by keyword
- Site content gaps based on search queries
- Page optimization opportunities
Together, Google Analytics and Simple Analytics give agencies enterprise-level SEO analytics for free.
The Key Criteria for Choosing SEO Agency Tools
As an agency, you need SEO tools that are affordable, easy-to-use, and provide robust data. Choosing the right tools comes down to:
Comprehensive features: The tool needs to cover all your core SEO tasks from audits to ranks to links.
Accurate data: The underlying data should be robust, reliable and frequently updated.
Automation: Optimize for tools with workflows, alerts, reporting and integrations to save time.
Customer support: Look for responsive technical support and onboarding.
Price: Aim for tools fitting your budget now with room to scale.
Usability: The UI should be intuitive with customizable dashboards.
By picking SEO software aligned to these criteria, your agency will gain the technical capabilities needed to deliver exceptional SEO results. The tools above are proven to provide the best SEO analytics and workflows to support agencies of all sizes and specialties in 2023.