Best SEO Tools for SEO Agencies | The 8 Tools for Client Success

SEO agencies need to have a proper tool stack so they can take care of:

- Reporting

- Auditing

- Researching

In this guide, we'll walk you through both free and paid SEO tools that we are using at our SEO agency at PATTRNS to drive organic growth to our clients.

Best Free Tools for SEO Agencies

It's easy to spend SEO budget when you have it.

But if you don't have that much budget to work with, you learn to appreciate the free SEO tools released to the world.

Here are the best free SEO tools that we are currently using:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console can be used for:

  • Indexation reports
  • Technical SEO insights
  • Tracking of keyword performance and page performance

GSC is probably the tool I'm personally using the most from the free ones, where I'd look at the performance of our client's pages, and also to see if there are any pages that are not indexed.

Inside the platform, you could also find pages that are indexed but not should be, such as parameterized URLs.

2. Google Keyword Planner

Originally built for Google Ads, this tool can actually be used for SEO if you have a Google Ads account.

Google's Keyword Planner can be used for:

  • Finding short-tail and long-tail keywords
  • Studying the keywords of your competitors
  • Evaluating approximate keyword difficulty

The tool provides a free alternative to existing keyword research tools that cost money for similar insights.

3. GTMetrix

When the whole world is using Google PageSpeed Insights, our agencies chose to use GTMetrix for its advanced and in-depth analysis.

GTMetrix can be used for:

  • In-depth page speed analysis
  • Insights into how your site code affects your user experience
  • Waterflow analysis of your rendering and loading

The tool proves to be useful when comparing page speed across different locales (e.g., from the UK and the US) and testing our international SEO clients' Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).

4. AlsoAsked

As an alternative to AnswerThePublic, AlsoAsked has been gaining recent popularity in the SEO space for its depth of keyword data available for free.

AlsoAsked can be used for:

  • Long-tail keyword research
  • Question-based keyword research
  • Filling a page with FAQs

We use AlsoAsked for finding secondary keywords to go after in the content we produce for our clients, and to also expand on the topics at hand to build topical authority.

5. Detailed SEO Extension

The Detailed SEO Extension can be used for:

  • Analysing the On-Page SEO of a page - From title to canonicals
  • Analysing the heading structure of a page
  • Finding leftover code from your developers¬†

I personally use it for the sole reason of finding leftover code from developers, or whether they have messed up their heading structure with H1s or H2s. 

All you have to do is to open it, and then see if the headers from the code do not match from the headers on the page.

Best Paid Tools for SEO Agencies

Quality SEO is not cheap.

You have to invest in quality software if you want to get niche insights.

Paid SEO software generally offers better reporting features, and your stakeholders would be pleased with the depth of your analysis.

There are also hidden gems of information that you can find inside some of these tools, including Content Gap and Backlink Gap analysis.

Here are the 3 paid SEO tools that we use and are significantly improving the performance of our accounts:

  1. Semrush

The industry’s golden standard: Semrush, our best value-for-money all-in-one SEO software choice.

The tool excels at:

  • Vast amount of keyword data
  • Good for comparing domains and doing competitor research
  • The best keyword position tracker out there

Apart from that, we're not very big fans of its keyword difficulty metric, and the tool can get quite expensive, especially for SEO agencies.

We'd recommend starting with 1 seat and then scaling up.

2. ScreamingFrog (Paid version)

ScreamingFrog is our pound-for-pound best Tech SEO tool out there.

The software is usually useful for:

  • Large-scale technical SEO audits
  • Crawling websites that rely on JavaScript
  • Custom extractions and analysis
  • Integrations with Google Search Console for bonus data

The only issue we have with ScreamingFrog is that it's not very good at crawling websites with 100,000+ pages, but there's a high chance that your client's websites are not that big.

3. LowFruits

LowFruits is my personal favorite SEO tool due to its simplicity and relative cheapness.

The tool can help you with:

  • Advanced keyword analysis by analyzing the SERPs
  • Analyzing your competitors' keywords by extracting them
  • Tapping into a large database of weak domains with high traffic that you can study

LowFruits' keyword tracking may not be as advanced as of the other tools, but it is definitely a stronger option for keyword SERP analysis than other popular tools.

Conclusion & Key Takeaways

You don't need to pay for every tool that you use out there as an SEO agency - there are plenty of free SEO tools and alternatives to the ones listed above.

But if you want to truly scale your SEO clients' accounts, you need to consider seriously investing in some software.

We've only scratched the surface when it comes to these free and paid SEO tools. I recommend you to look at each of them and see their value for yourself.

And don't forget - quality SEO is not cheap.


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