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What makes an SEO reporting tool the perfect fit for your business?
Many SEO reporting tools can be complex and require time to learn to use effectively. Balancing the cost of these tools with the value they provide can be another challenge, along with ensuring that your chosen software can scale with your needs and integrate with the systems you’re already using.
See? There are so many factors to be considered when choosing how you’re going to monitor and report on your SEO efforts. To make this complex task easier for you, we’ve done extensive research that included over a hundred marketing professionals around the globe.
After consolidating their recommendations and our own experience from a list of dozens of apps and platforms, we’ve chosen the top 10 SEO tools that can serve different types of businesses and industries.
Check out each tool’s pros and cons, pricing, and key features to help make the best choice for your needs.
Before we dive into individual tools, a few details on our research. The survey considered responses by 110 respondents in total. Over 80% of them have 50 employees or less.
The most common primary SEO tool is Ahrefs (for about 40% of the respondents). SEMRush is in second place (the primary SEO tool for about 35% of the respondents). Most companies use GA4 and Google Webmaster Tools & Search Console (over 60% each).
When it comes to rating different aspects of their primary SEO reporting tool, respondents mostly rate their tools as “in the middle – very few far exceed expectations and very few are below expectations.
Also, most companies use multiple SEO reporting tools. They stick to “usual” primary ones and then opt for different “additional” ones.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is an analytics tool that allows professionals to measure traffic and engagement across their web pages through metrics such as: Users, Views, Sessions, Bounce Rate, Conversions, Events, and more.
In the context of SEO, this tool is particularly valuable for comprehensive user behavior analytics, cross-platform and cross-device insights, conversion tracking, page and content performance analytics, audience segmentation for better SEO targeting, handling data privacy, and more.
The use of Google Analytics 4 is free of charge for businesses of all sizes.
Respondents who marked GA4 as their primary SEO reporting tool marked the following aspects as those where GA4 exceeds their expectations (according to the majority):
According to Gail Kingswell Trueman of 1LG Digital, “GA4 is essential for understanding website traffic and user behavior.” Kingswell Trueman explains why: “It offers in-depth insights into how users interact with a website, helping us optimize for a better user experience and higher conversion rates. Its real-time data and user privacy features make it an indispensable tool for modern digital marketing.”
However, George Yang of Oxygenark believes other, more specialized tools can provide better insight into historical data.
“While Google Analytics can indeed handle historical data, the depth of that analysis in specific areas may not be as exhaustive as what specialized tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can provide. And this is the reason we use multiple tools,” shares Yang.
Marketing professionals highlight enhanced data security as one of the top advantages of GA4.
“Data privacy can’t be neglected in today’s world, and thankfully, there are tools like Google Analytics 4 that can handle it very well,” confirms Jason Tebeau of Da Vinci Medical.
“With SEO tools, there’s usually a need to share data and reports, which can result in data breaches over time. Being in the health profession, privacy has always been a must-value for me, and that’s the one main feature I seek from the SEO tool as well. This makes sure the customers are in safe hands and can also increase the SEO company’s customer retention rate. So it goes hand in hand for both,” explains Tebeau and reveals what’s in his go-to SEO toolkit.
“Personally, we use Matomo and Google Analytics 4. Matomo comes with additional features like on-premise self-hosting and heatmaps that Google does not provide. Hence, we use one tool for accuracy and another for additional functions that the first cannot provide. This way, we have all the information we need to create a future plan.”
Google Analytics 4 is best for marketing agencies that also use other SEO tools, as well as for businesses in industries like finance, tech, and retail.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is another tool coming from Google that allows you to monitor your website traffic and identify issues in performance and their root so that you can boost your rankings and clicks in Google search results.
This makes GSC a valuable tool to support your SEO reporting, as it offers information on core web vitals, keywords, indexing status, and more.
Just like GA4, Google Search Console is free of charge.
Respondents who marked Google Search Console as their primary SEO reporting tool selected the following aspects as those where GSC exceeds their expectations (according to the majority):
Google Search Console seems to be the go-to performance monitoring tool for many marketing professionals.
Tony Mariotti of RubyHome says that “Google Search Console provides essential data on search performance, indexing, and click-through rates. It helps us monitor the health of our website in Google’s index and identify crawl errors.”
One of the major advantages of Google Search Console is that it’s a native tool, which means it provides authentic data from Google.
“Google Search Console has a lot of overlap with SEMRush,” says Jeff Lush from Rock Bound Marketing. “The key difference is Google Search Console is Google’s data and when they’re crawling your website, so it is the most authentic organic data for your website available.”
When combined with other, more specialized tools, GSC becomes even more powerful.
“Google Search Console gives us insights directly from Google about our website’s performance, indexing issues, and search queries. Moz provides detailed keyword ranking reports and on-page optimization suggestions, complementing GSC’s more general data,” shares Radhika Gupta of One Digital Land.
Google Search Console is best for SEO agencies or specialists who want to access deep insights about their SEO performance.
To optimize your website for organic search, you probably use Google Search Console to learn which pages receive the most impressions and clicks, and which queries are driving them. Now you can quickly assess your SEO performance in a single dashboard that monitors fundamental metrics, including:
Now you can benefit from the experience of our Google Search Console experts, who have put together a great Databox template showing the most important KPIs for monitoring organic search performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up this Google Search Console Dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Google Search Console account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO-specialized tool widely used by digital marketers, SEO professionals, and website owners to analyze and improve their online presence. It can perform thorough site audits, backlink analysis, keyword research, competitor analysis, and more, providing in-depth data that helps you optimize your entire website, from technical aspects to content.
Ahrefs comes with a variety of pricing plans suitable for businesses and professionals with different budgets at their disposal: the most affordable package is called “Lite” and costs $99 per month. Other available plans are Standard ($199 monthly), Advanced ($399 monthly), and Enterprise ($999 monthly). If you opt for an annual payment, you get two months for free.
Respondents who marked Ahrefs as their primary SEO reporting tool marked the following aspects as those where Ahrefs exceeds their expectations (according to the majority):
Generally, users are satisfied with Ahrefs in all aspects.
For some marketers, Ahrefs is the best SEO reporting tool—and the only one they need.
“I use Ahrefs as my all-in-one SEO toolkit for backlink analysis, keyword research, competitor research and analysis, and site audit. It may offer almost every feature that an SEO specialist needs, but what I find the most helpful and convenient is the competitor research and analysis,” Jono Thornely of Absolute SEO comments.
Excellent backlink analysis features are what makes the difference between Ahrefs and other SEO tools, marketers confirm.
“Ahrefs excels in backlink analysis, making it a powerful tool for evaluating our link-building efforts,” says Dmitrii Kustov of RegexSEO. “It provides a substantial link index, and its user interface simplifies the process of identifying valuable backlinks.”
Michael Chien from HaroSeoBoost agrees: Ahrefs’s backlink analysis capabilities are unparalleled, “offering an extensive database of backlinks and allowing for in-depth competitor backlink research. It provides a unique metric called “Domain Rating” (DR) that assesses the overall authority of a website based on its backlink profile.”
Other features available in Ahrefs that deserve honorable mentions are:
Ahrefs is best for backlink analysis and marketing agencies that need a robust SEO toolkit with detailed insights into their SEO efforts.
Google Search Central, previously known as Google Webmasters, is a platform designed to assist individuals in optimizing their websites for better visibility on Google Search. This resource offers tools and guidance to help you make your content more discoverable, ensuring that your website is effectively presented to the right audience on Google.
If you’re new to SEO, Google Search Central provides a quick-start guide to understanding and implementing key strategies for improving your website’s performance in Google Search results.
This “SEO playground” is free to use.
Google Search Central is suitable for business owners and marketers, developers, and SEO specialists. Here, they can gain the tools and resources required to optimize their website for better search visibility and user engagement, as well as understand how Google explores websites, especially if they join the community where they can share their experiences and ask questions.
Google Search Central is best for SEO recommendations based on your user profile.
Screaming Frog is a UK-based SEO agency that offers a range of SEO tools designed to crawl websites and gather essential data to aid in comprehensive SEO reporting. However, its functionality extends beyond a typical website crawler, with a wide array of features that contribute to a detailed analysis of a website’s SEO health.
This SEO reporting tool called SEO Spider features internal and external link analysis, on-page SEO analysis, site architecture insights, duplicate content identification, and more.
Screaming Frog offers a limited free plan (crawl limit set at 500 URLs) and a paid plan of $259 per user per year. There may also be several discounts available, so you can get multiple user licenses at a lower price.
Many marketing professionals praise this SEO reporting tool for website crawling and technical SEO capabilities.
“Screaming Frog helps us dive deep into website crawling and technical SEO, pinpointing issues like broken links and duplicate content,” Sweta Siddu of RGC Digital Marketing says. “By combining [Screaming Frog with other] tools, we harness a holistic SEO strategy that leaves no stone unturned, ensuring our digital marketing efforts are both effective and efficient.”
Antonio Tinoco from Kinsta shares that he uses Screaming Frog to “extract and locate data that he needs to perform optimization analysis.”
Screaming Frog is the best free SEO reporting tool for technical SEO and smaller websites that have no more than 500 URLs.
SEMRush is an all-encompassing digital marketing toolkit designed to empower businesses and individuals to achieve SEO excellence. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools and features that offer valuable insights into various aspects of online visibility, competitive analysis, and digital marketing strategies.
Some of the key features available in SEMRush include keyword research capabilities, which help you discover high-value keywords and assess their competitiveness, on-page optimization with recommendations for optimal content and meta tags, and rank tracking, enabling you to track how you rank for your target keywords over time.
SEMRush offers a discount for annual payments for each of its plans: Pro ($129.95 per month), Guru ($249.95 per month), and Business ($499.95 per month). Free trials are available for Pro and Guru plans. Customization options are available for the Business plan.
Respondents who marked SEMRush as their primary SEO reporting tool marked the following aspects as those where Semrush exceeds their expectations (according to the majority):
Interestingly, the majority of those who use SEMRush as their primary SEO tool marked more aspects as “exceeds expectations” compared to those who use Ahrefs as their primary tool.
SEMRush’s reporting capabilities are highly appreciated by marketing professionals. For Sami Ahmad of UppercutSEO, Semrush is one of the key SEO tools, as it’s “renowned for its competitive analysis. It provides insights into competitors’ top organic and paid keywords, backlink strategies, and display advertising activities.”
“Semrush provides a reporting feature that is available with all of its paid plans. It integrates with Google, and my favorite feature is the drag-and-drop function for its dozens of widgets,” explains Ketih Vislay of Red Egg Marketing and adds: “This makes building reports incredibly user-friendly and gives an astounding ability to customize the types of data included in each report. It’s a bold claim to call a reporting tool perfect, but My Reports from Semrush comes close.”
There’s just one remark Vislay has about this tool: “The only area for improvement is more reliability when autogenerating reports. There are times when reports fail to generate during the scheduled period, but since manually generating the report only involves a couple of clicks, it’s tough to dock many points from the tool’s overall grade.”
Comprehensive competitor analysis capabilities are a favorite among marketers, too.
“With SEMrush, I can easily compare my website’s performance to my competitors. This allows me to identify areas where I may be falling behind or content gap opportunities for improvement. The tool provides detailed data on competitor keywords, backlinks, and traffic sources, which helps me understand their strategies and adjust my own accordingly,” shares Eric Melillo of Eric Melillo Ventures.
Nate Mahali of Clove Digital uses this feature often as well. “We operate in a highly competitive market, and SEMrush allows us to actively monitor our competitors’ SEO strategies, at least to a certain degree. It gives us critical data on our competitors’ organic search rankings and paid advertising strategies. By leveraging the data from SEMrush we are able to identify potential opportunities for the use of certain keywords, as well as finding gaps within our keywords,” elaborates Mahali.
Another feature by SEMRush that deserves to be mentioned is Position Tracking, which is often overlooked, according to Jeremy Mauboussin from PlagiaShield.com. “This tool provides insights into your website’s keyword rankings, not just on Google but across various search engines. Monitoring your ranking performance on different platforms can help you tailor your SEO strategy effectively.”
“Many focus solely on Google, but this feature ensures that you don’t miss out on opportunities from other search engines, ultimately expanding your reach and boosting your online visibility. In the dynamic world of SEO, the Position Tracking feature in SEMrush offers a comprehensive and underrated advantage for digital marketers and SEO professionals,” concludes Mauboussin.
SEMRush is the best SEO reporting tool for established businesses and agencies with decent SEO budgets and SEO experts who want a well-integrated, all-in-one tool.
Looker Studio is a data visualization tool suitable for SEO reporting, as it helps you bring your data to life with beautiful and informative reports and dashboards. It’s easy to use, even if you don’t have any coding experience, and it connects to a wide variety of data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and marketing platforms.
With Looker Studio, you can create interactive dashboards that let you explore your data and get insights at a glance, build custom reports that summarize your data and tell a story, and share your reports and dashboards with others so they can see the same insights, and more.
Looker Studio is a free tool that’s available to anyone with a Google account.
Professionals typically use this tool to visualize the data they’ve pulled from other SEO tools. It’s particularly useful for presentations to audiences that don’t have deep analytics knowledge, and you want to simplify the takeaways.
“To consolidate and analyze the data from these diverse tools, I use Looker Studio. This platform allows me to generate comprehensive reports, making it easier to compare metrics and make informed decisions,” shares Agata Gruszka of WhitePress.
Thanks to the fact that it pulls data from various sources, Looker Studio’s reporting allows you to tell a complete story about your performance.
“Looker Studio is utilized for its advanced data exploration capabilities, allowing us to integrate data from more than one tool for a broader view of their market position, delve deep into SEO data, and extract meaningful insights. It’s particularly beneficial for creating customized reports and dashboards that relate directly to our client’s specific goals and KPIs, offering a tailored view of both our clients’ performance of their competitors especially useful for PPC positioning reports,” Gail Kingswell Trueman of 1LG Digital explains.
Looker Studio is the best SEO reporting tool for simple data visualizations on a budget since the platform is free of charge.
Moz Pro is an all-in-one SEO software suite that helps businesses improve their search engine rankings, drive traffic to their websites, and increase their online visibility. It is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises.
Moz Pro offers a variety of features, including tools for keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, rank tracking, local SEO, and more. It can also generate reports on your website’s SEO performance, which is why it’s among the most popular SEO reporting tools.
If you choose to pay for Moz Pro on an annual basis, you can save up to 20% on their available plans. These plans include Standard ($99 per month), Medium ($179 per month), Large ($299 per month), and Premium ($599 per month). Moz Enterprise offers customizable packages for large businesses and agencies.
Moz Pro has proven to be useful as a technical SEO tool.
“We use Moz Pro in site audits and technical SEO analysis,” says Ian Sells of Million Dollar Sellers. “It helps us identify and address technical issues that could affect our search rankings, ensuring our website is well-optimized for search engines.”
However, it’s typically used in combination with other SEO software, like in the case of RubyHome. Tony Mariotti says his team uses a “mix of SEO reporting tools to gain a holistic view of their website’s performance.”
“Moz Pro complements our SEO reporting with site audits and technical SEO analysis. It helps us identify and address technical issues that could impact our search rankings, ensuring our website is search engine-friendly.”
“Each tool brings unique strengths to our SEO reporting efforts,” concludes Mariotti. “By using a combination of these tools, we gain a comprehensive understanding of our website’s performance and can make data-driven decisions to improve our online presence.”
UppercutSEO’s Sami Ahmad’s team relies on unique Moz metrics such as Page Authority to get “an estimation of how well a domain or page might rank on search engine result pages.”
Moz Pro is best for mid-sized to large businesses with a decent budget, especially if they want to complement an already existing SEO toolkit.
Surfer SEO is a cloud-based content optimization platform that helps businesses create and optimize content that is more likely to rank high in SERPs. It uses a variety of factors to generate recommendations for on-page optimization, including keyword research, content density, and overall content structure.
Surfer SEO’s key feature revolves around on-page content optimization, helping you increase website traffic and gain better insights into your website’s performance.
Surfer SEO offers a free trial and four pricing packages, with several ways to save money depending on how you choose to pay and whether you want AI to be included in your plan. Prices start at $89 per month for the Essential plan if you’re paying monthly, $179 for the Advanced plan, and $299 per month for the Max plan with full features. There’s also a customizable Enterprise plan that’s tailored to your needs.
Although Surfer SEO isn’t your typical SEO analytics reporting tool, it can immensely improve the quality of your content in terms of delivering the right content to the right audience by catering to the search intent for your target keyword. It also helps research relevant keywords and analyze SERPs so you can make sure your content outperforms your competitors.
Surfer SEO is best for on-page optimization and content editing.
Databox is a cloud-based business analytics platform that helps businesses track and analyze their performance data, from any tool and any device.
It connects to a wide variety of data sources, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, Ahrefs, Salesforce, HubSpot, Mixpanel, and social media platforms, allowing users to create custom dashboards to visualize their data.
Databox also provides a number of other features, such as goal setting, reporting, and alerting.
Databox is a popular choice for over 20,000 businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. It is easy to use and offers a variety of features that can help businesses improve their performance.
Here are some of the key features of Databox:
Databox fosters a collaborative approach to growth, so the company launched Benchmark Groups, which help businesses across industries measure their performance against other companies of similar size, completely anonymously and for free.
Databox offers several pricing plans for different types of users:
There are free trials available for all plans except for Premium, and a variety of paid add-ons for you to choose from.
Databox is among the most popular SEO reporting tools for a good reason: it helps connect your data sources into a story and present it in a simplified way. With Databox, businesses can really understand what drives their performance and what can be improved, saving their resources in the process.
“Although keyword research is fruitful for generating the best SEO-optimized content, it’s paramount to track the performance of keywords. Here, Databox plays an integral role. It integrates with Google Analytics 4 and delivers the performance reports of the keywords we incorporate or implement. We can access them on any platform we desire,” confirms Danielle Matthews of Reborn Renovations.
“Our primary SEO tool is SEMrush. We rely on that product heavily for our work,” says Christopher Cooksey of Simple Machines Marketing. “However, Databox and Google Analytics are the real sources of truth for how our client websites actually perform.”
Databox is best for a wide range of users who are looking for the best way to track their performance and make their reporting process more efficient.
Building a reliable SEO tech stack is key to tracking and understanding how your campaigns are paying off. In most cases, one tool won’t do, but a well-integrated toolkit can help you cover all the aspects of an efficient SEO strategy.
But if you work with multiple tools, won’t it take too much of your time to log in and out of every tool and put together all that data in an effective, straightforward report?
Luckily—you won’t have to answer this question because Databox is here to help connect the dots.
Don’t waste your time building incomprehensible reports that take hours to decipher. Sign up for a free Databox account today and start your journey toward a better understanding of your performance at a glance.
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