The Best SEO Software of 2023
You can’t have effective SEO without software that helps you understand data and make more informed decisions. See the top SEO tools available for content marketers in 2023.
|SEO Software||Best For||Starting Price||Best Features|
|Best overall||$99.95 per month paid annually|
|Best for experienced users||$83 per month paid annually|
|Best white-label reports||$14.25 per month paid annually|
|Best for keyword research||$29.90 per month paid annually|
|Best for WordPress||Free version available, premium starts at $99 per year|
|Best user review scores||$18.20 per month paid every three years|
|Best customer service||Custom pricing|
|Google Search Console|
|Best free SEO tool||Free|
|Best open-source option||Free (on-premises), starting at $25 per month for cloud deployments|
|Best for link building||$483.25 per month paid annually|
If you want to attract organic leads to your website, you need to be visible on search engines like Google. SEO-driven marketing is no longer the field of global corporations and expert bloggers — like a website builder, it’s a necessity for businesses of all sizes. In fact, on-page SEO is the No. 1 factor in ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), which is why SEO software is vital to have.
I looked closely at some of the most popular SEO software providers of 2023 to determine which ones offer a strong value for content marketers. The most important criteria are functionality, ease of use, price, and customer support, but I also considered other unique traits of each service.
Although this is a ranked list, every option comes with its own pros and cons, depending on your needs. You may also be interested in working with an SEO companyif you’re looking for a marketing partnership rather than standalone software.
About Digital.com’s expert reviewer, Amy Nichol Smith:
Amy is an experienced journalist, tech expert, and content director. She covers various topics and industries, including retail, tech, and marketing. You’ll see her featured in the L.A. Times, Forbes, Tom’s Guide, and Reader’s Digest.
When it comes to SEO software, everyone is looking for something different. With that in mind, I balanced my evaluation by taking a variety of factors into account.
If you’re looking for SEO software, you probably have a core set of tools in mind. These features are crucial for almost any website, so they were a natural starting point for my evaluation:
In 2023, it’s either difficult or impossible to build a strong SEO presence without each element in place — backlinks are effective for SEO, but so is quality content (there are hundreds of thousands of articles about it). Semrush is my top choice because of its effective performance with respect to all of those factors. That said, I included some applications due to narrow strengths, even if they were relatively weak in other areas.
The features above are shared by most leading SEO tools. At the same time, some providers differentiate themselves by offering features that are hard to find anywhere else. The “Value-Add” criterion covers these unique benefits that make particular platforms stand out.
For example, you may want Google to re-crawl your site after fixing errors or making major updates. You can directly request new crawls in Google Search Console, which makes the Search Console worthwhile for almost any website owner.
Similarly, SEOptimer provides white-label reports that are perfect for SEO agencies to show clients and leads. Even though SEOptimer is limited in scope, I still felt it was worth including due to its strong value in this specific use case.
Offering valuable data and insights is one thing; making them easy to interpret is another. SEO is an incredibly complicated field, and it’s even more difficult if you have to spend time figuring out how your SEO tool works.
Ease of use includes the application’s visual design as well as how simple it is to find what you’re looking for. Basic tutorials can also help you get oriented with a new platform, particularly if you don’t have much experience with SEO software. For example, Ahrefs provides impressive functionality, but its learning curve makes it less practical for inexperienced users.
SEO providers vary wildly in terms of customer support. This can have a big impact on your experience, both when you’re starting out and when you encounter any technical issues. Proactive customer support can also help you gain a deeper understanding of the product and take full advantage of its capabilities.
Conductor offers the best customer support of any SEO service, with webinars, guides, and even marketing professionals to supplement your in-house team. However, Conductor is targeting larger businesses than some of the other providers listed, and there are more affordable options that still offer solid customer service.
Price isn’t everything, but it makes a big difference for small businesses. My goal was to provide varied recommendations, so you’ll find everything from free software to enterprise-level services. The most important thing was to confirm that each platform offers sufficient functionality and value to be worth the cost.
Along with the raw cost per month, I also considered other factors such as commitment length, trial periods, and the options available to users with different needs. If you don’t want to spend money, I recommend looking at Yoast SEO and Google Search Console. SEO Panel is also technically free, but you will need to do a little more legwork to get the free (on-premises) version up and running.