The best SaaS for SEO: What do you need to know?

Whether you work in marketing, engage in work with a digital agency or are new to marketing altogether, if you haven’t already experienced it, you’ll be quick to find out how vastly the industry evolves. With these changes come a number of different phraseologies that are used to describe the many different tools and platforms available.

If you are exposed to search engine marketing, Software as a Service (or SaaS) is just one of the many terms you’ll want to understand. That’s not to suggest SaaS is a new addition to the arsenal of available marketing tools, but with the growth and increasing reliance on marketing automation and intelligence it’s one you ought to know. You might catch people talking about Moz, AhRefs, Majestic, SEMrush and many more, and that is just a selection that are available for search marketing.

SaaS can be applied to customer relationship management (CRM), project management and many other areas. The most recognisable and one of the first is probably Basecamp, one of the many platforms we use at Strawberrysoup to help effectively and efficiently manage our projects.

As an agency that works across a number of different software applications to deliver different streams or work, we thought we’d try to debunk some of the SaaS platforms available to use for SEO. That’s why we’ve decided to give you an overview of our favourite SEO and how you might find them useful when driving visibility for your website, old or new.

What is Saas?

Before we get started, we thought it would be good to give you a solid description of what a SaaS platform actually is, and to save reinventing the wheel, we’ve taken a snippet from Salesforce that best describes SaaS:

“Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management.

SaaS applications are sometimes called Web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. Whatever the name, SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider’s servers. The provider manages access to the application, including security, availability, and performance.”

Now that you have a brief understanding, we’ve decided to share our favourite SaaS platforms for SEO, and what makes them unique. Think we’ve forgotten one? Let us know!

What is the Best SaaS for keyword research?

Semrush

SEMrush was found in 2008, and has since evolved into one of the most recognisable search engine research tools available. It is always evolving with new tools and reporting functionalities but some of the most useful and our favourite features include:

Analytics reports – Organic keyword research, paid traffic competitor analysis, display advertising reports and more recently video and shopping feed intelligence.

Tools – Keyword difficulty tool, allowing you to effectively gain market share from competitors or discover less competitive opportunity. They also have a domain vs domain metric comparison tool and a handy charts feature with key visibility indicators.

Projects – Lastly, they also offer a plethora of helpful project based tools to monitor the performance of specific campaigns, brand reputation management and SEO ideas.

Although they present a great deal of tools, we use SEMrush for the depth of keyword research on offer and the competitor analysis features, helping to make educated data-backed decisions. If you want to join the SEMrush community, every Wednesday at 4pm (GMT) SEMrush host a great Twitter chat. Just use the #SEMrushchat to get involved.

What is the Best SaaS for opportunity finding?

MOZ

Looking to boost your SEO efforts? Then look no further than Moz Pro. A comprehensive SEO toolset, designed to give you a complete picture of your websites performance. Moz also has one of the liveliest communities of SEO experts to boot. Website errors? Competitive research? SEO opportunities? Moz Pro software gives you actionable insights. You can sync your analytics data, track errors, track keywords and other key metrics, some pioneered by Moz.

Why do we love Moz?

Insights – The insights section of Moz Pro gives you an overview of your tracked keywords and provides actionable ideas to not only fix, but boost your on page SEO.

Page optimisation – Score and optimise a page for a specific keyword or phrase. You can enter a keyword and page URL. Add the combination to Track & Monitor to get optimisation advice and track progress. The Discover tab also shows you other pages you can optimise to improve your rankings, and there is a new related topics feature,

On-Page grader – The On-Page Grader Tool measures how well a page is optimised for a keyword. It will crawl the page and provide opportunity recommendations, as well as a helpful checklist detailing the importance and priority of each.

As part of our SEO service, we use Moz Pro to track campaign performance over time and to help monitor key metrics that impact your site performance. Interested to find out more? Moz’s resident SEO expert and respected industry professional Rand Fishkin shares his SEO thoughts during Whiteboard Friday, yes you guessed it, every Friday.

What is the Best SaaS for backlink data?

ahrefs

With the growing significance of Google’s Penguin update, ahrefs is a great platform to safeguard and grow your site. It is a popular platform thanks to the vast depth and trustworthiness of backlink information. Links certainly have a tarnished past, but with the help of this platform, webmasters are able to take control of backlinks new and old.

Some key features are:

Site explorer – Get an in-depth look at the backlink profile of any domain, sub-domain or page. This is great for competitor analysis, backlink audits and lost backlink identification.

Content explorer – Find the most shared content for any topic! By entering a key phrase, you can see an overview of backlinks to a deeper page and content shares by platform to identify what may resonate with your audience.

ahrefs SEO toolbar – Do you invest time in white-hat link building? Turn your web browser into an SEO tool and get instant access to the all important metrics that’ll help you to streamline your prospecting.

We’ve been using ahrefs for many years, and it is great for gathering that all important link metric information to make decisions on the reliability and relevance of your backlinks.

What is the Best SaaS for content ideation?

LinkdexFocusing on ‘consumer moments’, Linkdex is a platform aiming to connect content creators with influencers. Helping to position marketers at the optimum point to achieve great success from marketing efforts, and the features are great:

Author discovery – Include the authors that rank in your outreach plans with Entity Search, discover top authors by keyword and supercharge your outreach with trusted sources. This is great for planning ahead with your content.

Content Strategy – Plan, publish and manage content that ranks and is linked to and shared. Create SEO landing pages, benchmark content performance and drive content that inspires linking and sharing. These tools have been thoroughly thought about for concerning marketers that link (excuse the pun) SEO together with social media and PR in a joined up approach.

SEO Forecasting – Using this tool, you can audit opportunity, prioritise the most lucrative phrases and make smart investments of your valuable time. This will also help to chose which content themes to focus on for the best possible return of visibility.

We also recommend you take a look at ‘momentology‘, a great source of new and advice for modern day marketers, wanting to truly connect with their audience.

To round up…

No matter where you are at with your search marketing efforts, we hope this has given you an insight into some of the great SEO SaaS technologies that are available to marketers and agencies alike. Whether they are used to help make great decisions and provide accountability for SEO work, to benchmark important data and information or simply to better identify opportunity, these great tools are all useful in many ways.

We’ll be at Brighton SEO on April 22nd, will you? Tweet us @Strawberrysoup – we’d love to join you for a coffee! If you can’t make it but you’d like to talk marketing, you can email us for more information.