What makes this tool great for agencies? Setting up a reporting process. For agencies who do SEO, good reporting is critical. If you have not already set up a reporting process, it is highly recommended that you do so. This process can save you in the case of an issue with website changeovers when GSC accounts can be wiped out. If it is wiped out, it is possible to then go back to all of your GSC data because you have been saving it for all these months. Agency applications can also include utilizing the API for interfacing with other data usage as well. This list will feature only all-purpose SEO tools, meaning tools which include all of the following five essential capabilities:

       Keyword research

       Competitive research

       Backlink analysis

       Technical SEO audit

       Position tracking

The list will not feature tools like Buzzsumo, Ninja Outreach, and Google’s very own Keyword Planner. While these tools are uniquely useful, they are not all-purpose SEO tools. For instance, a Keyword Planner is just that, a keyword analysis tool within Google Ads. You cannot perform an SEO site audit with Keyword Planner. Similarly, Buzzsumo is an excellent content marketing and influencer outreach tool. You cannot use it for backlink audit or position tracking. As such, the tools that are featured below perform all functions of SEO and provide actionable reports — from SEO site audit to competition analysis to rank tracking. By using any of these tools, you can improve the overall SEO of your clients’ websites and expect them to rank higher in search results. If you’re able to find a tool within your current budget and one which can perform all the key SEO functionalities reasonably well, then you’d have arrived at your go-to SEO tool. I hope you’ll be able to find one such tool in the list below. So without further ado, here are the 5 best SEO tools you can consider to scale your agency business.

1. SEMrush

Use it if your top priority is keyword research, competition analysis, and site audit.

Price: Starts at $99.95/month

SEMrush is the world's leading competitive research service for online marketing and one of the most popular SEO tools in the market. SEMrush is primarily known for its keyword research and competitive intelligence capabilities. If your client is relatively new in the market or operates in a space with lots of competitors, then it’s not going to be easy to rank for high volume, high competition keywords. In such cases, your best bet would be to start targeting low competition keywords with high traffic potential. You can use SEMrush’s Keyword Magic tool to identify the best keywords to focus on for your clients’ websites. You can find both head terms and long-tail keywords for your campaign, but if you’re targeting long-tail keywords with high traffic potential, look for keywords that have low-to-medium search volume, low competition, and low keyword difficulty. The SEMrush toolkit also features one of the most advanced SEO audit tools on the market. With the SEMrush Site Audit tool, you’ll be able to quickly identify and fix all the critical errors on your clients’ websites.

2. HubSpot

Use it if your top priority is optimizing your clients’ conversion rates.

Price: Starts at $560/month

HubSpot provides a whole suite of SEO and content tools to build your search authority and skyrocket conversions. HubSpot’s SEO tools are integrated with HubSpot’s content strategy tool, a tool which allows you to easily discover and rank for the topics that matter to you and your clients. This integration can be really helpful when you’re researching potential keywords in your clients’ niche to create content on. Since HubSpot’s SEO tools are also paired with other Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tools such as landing pages, A/B testing, conversational bots, and calls-to-action, you can really focus on maximizing the conversion rates for your clients, both macro conversions (visitors buying their product/service) and micro conversions (visitors signing up for their newsletter, watching a promotional video, etc.) Now let’s talk about the main drawback with HubSpot’s SEO suite: the cost. In order to access HubSpot’s SEO tools, you’ll need to upgrade to HubSpot Marketing Hub’s Professional plan which is $560/month. That’s a steep price to pay for a marketing software. As such, I’d suggest you consider this option only if you’d like to use premium CRO tools and to access your entire marketing software suite in one place. In other words, if conversions are your main goal, then you should probably go for HubSpot. HubSpot also boasts of an extensive SEO resource library and their free SEO courses are remarkable for marketers and business owners who’d like to hone their SEO stills. You can sign up for the following free courses below:

3. Ahref

Use it if your top priority is backlink analysis.

Price: Starts at $99/month

When it comes to backlink analysis, there’s no tool better than Ahrefs. It’s the preferred backlink analysis tool of leading experts in marketing and SEO because of its massive index size and the accuracy with which it presents the data. Ahrefs boasts of having the world’s biggest index of live backlinks (16 trillion links) and its crawler processes up to 5 billion webpages a day. It also has a user-friendly interface which further bolsters its reputation as a top-notch SEO tool. Over the last few years, Ahrefs has evolved into a complete marketing toolkit, offering separate tools for keyword research, site audit, and content. But Ahrefs continues to be known for Site Explorer, a backlink checker and organic research tool which offers an in-depth look at the organic search traffic and backlink profile of any website or URL. With Site Explorer, you can see which websites link to your clients’ websites and their competitors’ sites and gauge the quality of their backlink profiles. You can also analyze the keywords the competitors are ranking for and see which pages bring the most search engine traffic. Then there is Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker which is one of the most frequently used tools in SEO. With Rank Tracker, you can monitor your clients’ search rankings over time and chart their performance against that of their competitors’. You can also get scheduled reports delivered straight to your inbox.

4. SerpSquirrel

Use it if you’ve a limited budget but would still like a reliable SEO tool.

Price: Starts at $10/mo

If you’re operating on a shoestring budget but would still like to invest in a tool that helps you with day-to-day SEO, then SerpSquirrel is your best best as it’s the most economical tool in this list. The rank generated via this tool is accurate or comprehensive as other tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, but it’s still a reliable SEO tool. And considering the fact that SerpSquirrel plans start at a modest $10/month, it’s well worth the investment.


5. Mangools

Use it for its phenomenal keyword research capabilities.

Price: Starts at $29.90/mo (when paid annually)

Last but not least, we have the Mangools suite of SEO tools. Launched in 2014, Mangools includes five SEO tools — KWFinder for keyword research, SERPChecker for SERP analysis, LinkMiner for backlink analysis, SERPWatcher for rank tracking, and SiteProfiler for website analysis. Mangools is perhaps best known for its flagship tool KWFinder  — a cloud-based keyword research tool that helps you generate the perfect keyword ideas that you can use on everything from blog posts, website content, landing pages, and copy on PPC ads. But the other SEO tools in the suite are just as useful and available at a fairly affordable price.


So these are the five SEO tools I’d recommend to digital marketing agencies. Based on your top priority and budget, you can choose any of these 5 SEO tools:

SEMrush – Use it if your top priority is optimizing your clients’ conversion rates. Pricing starts at $99.95/mo.

HubSpot – Use it if your top priority is optimizing your clients’ conversion rates. Pricing starts at $560/mo.

Ahrefs – Use it if your top priority is backlink analysis. Pricing starts at $99/mo.

Serpstat – Use it if you’ve a limited budget but would still like a reliable SEO tool. Pricing starts at $19/mo.

Mangools – Use it for its phenomenal keyword research capabilities. Pricing starts at $29.90/mo.

Author Bio


Iftekhar is the founder of BusyBlogies, a content marketing strategy expert. He is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. @iftekhar_ash