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A SEO Software Guide for Small Business Owners

It isn’t difficult to find SEO tools. A quick search will come up with several candidates, all promising to improve your traffic with a host of slick tools and features.

The REAL challenge in finding a SEO software or program solution is finding one that best meets the needs of your business.

You may be a startup or you may be an established business trying to grow. Either way, it’s clear that you’re both not going to need the same resources. Additionally, some tools require more technical understanding while others will be simpler.

It’s important that you find a few programs that offer exactly what you need to get the job done and then make the best choice. The challenge here, though, is you can’t make the right decision if you don’t have all the information you need.

The purpose of this review is to examine a few of the bigger and lesser known names in SEO to help give you an idea of the questions you should be asking to help you figure out which one is right for you.

Questions like:

• Is the software user-friendly?

• Does the investment make sense for your business?

• What tools do you actually need to grow your business online?

Just because a company offers more tools doesn’t make it a better choice than a more basic service. Bells and whistles made to serve the masses may not help YOU in the way that YOU need.

Hopefully, this review will give you the information you need to answer these important questions.

Website Rocket 

For the startup, local business or SEO beginner who is a little intimidated by the very concept of SEO, Website Rocket is an option you might explore. Website Rocket breaks website promotion tasks up into smaller, actionable steps which require less time and know how — nothing too flashy. That doesn’t mean the software is so basic that it won’t do the job, it just eliminates much of the unnecessarily confusing industry jargon that can leave the uninitiated user completely lost.

As a newcomer, you will probably find a basic package more than sufficient to meet your needs. You’ll get help optimizing an unlimited number of pages, plus the added blogging and social media coaching. When setting up your account, it even has a localized option to help ensure your signing up for Google My Business and other important business directories.

The mid-tier package is for more ambitious consultants or small marketing companies who are ready to add SEO to their list of services. With this plan, you can manage multiple sites with this package, as well as enjoy all of the benefits found in the basic plan.

For small business owners who wear a lot of hats, have a limited budget and are willing to get their hands dirty, Website Rocket might be an option for you. The ease of use is tailor-made for small business people so, if that’s you, check it out and then compare it to other similar tools.

MOZ

One of the more established brands in the SEO industry, Moz has done an effective job of applying its own tools to expand its influence. When you type the terms ‘SEO’ or ‘search engine optimization’ into a search engine, Moz is always near the top of the page — that would seem to be a good enough indication of the company’s acumen. However, there is more to Moz than how high it ranks in organic search. Its tools are effective, and considering the depth and capabilities, reasonably priced.

MOZ offers two packages; ‘Local’ and ‘Pro.’ The ‘Local’ package has some intriguing features including the ability to easily manage all of your business listings by distributing updated company data to major databases and directories. The value of this when it comes to local SEO and local marketing is beneficial for the most part.

‘Pro’ boasts eight user-friendly tools that cover just about every aspect of SEO you can think of. If you are a data junkie, the analytics alone are worth the investment. It’s particularly handy to have everything from audience growth tracking to keyword research available in one easy-to-use program.

Moz is the SEO industry’s example of the classic ‘heavy hitter’ that might pack a punch to the pocketbook for a company that is just starting out. However, making the sacrifice in an effort to take things to the next level could play to your advantage in the long run.

SheerSEO 

Being a well-kept secret in the world of SEO isn’t usually a ringing endorsement. Unlike Moz, which dominates the landscape, SheerSEO isn’t a name that immediately comes to mind when you think of SEO companies. That doesn’t necessarily make it a poor choice — it is definitely worthy of consideration.

Time management is one of SheerSEO’s claims to fame — its tools can help you to automate many of your SEO activities including directory submission and blogger outreach.

An ample supply of data awaits you! Ease of use coupled with power is another main selling point for SheerSEO. From tracking to keyword research, novices and pros alike should have no trouble finding valuable data, analytics and reporting features with this software.

A newer features allows you to also monitor your website’s Facebook and Twitter activity. Being notified when a tweet, share or like hits can help you more easily monitor, modify and improve your social media marketing strategies.

SheerSEO also offers a two-month free trial wherein you can spend time using, testing and becoming comfortable with its program. And, with that unmatched free trial, it’s certainly worth giving it a try.

Searchmetrics Suite 

Searchmetrics is another big name in the world of SEO resources and has been for a while. As you might expect, it comes with a price tag to match but you are definitely paying for more than just the name.

Included with your membership account are enough high-quality tools to justify the cost. So even though some of you small business owners might be leery, it would prove to be a cost-effective resource for most mid to large sized business.

The first word that springs to mind when it comes to SearchMetrics Suite is comprehensive. The package includes almost every SEO feature you can think of including cool keyword features and historical traffic analysis. You also get some nifty project management tools and some awesome visualization in your reporting.

Again, you have to consider the needs of your business when weighing the advantages of Searchmetrics Suite. No matter what business you are in, SearchMetrics Suite can likely meet the specific needs of your industry, especially after refining the system using a great deal of user feedback.

Your Turn!

What questions did you ask when trying to find an SEO solution for your business? What SEO software, program or tool do YOU use? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

About the author

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Jeff Millett

Jeff Millett is an independent SEO consultant. His company TheSEOWhiz.com serves small to mid-sized businesses all across the U.S.

13 Comments

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  • I am also the small business owner and i read this full article. So many things are very important for us. Thanks for sharing a great article really helpful.

  • Since we are a small company I am now looking at Website Rocket and SheerSEO. SheerSEO is nice just because they have that free trial which I am going to take but right now Website Rocket seems like the better choice overall. I’m trying both of them and will decide afterwards.

    • They both have free trials.

      That’s a great strategy though – sign-up for both and test them out!

      Like I mentioned in my article – it’s REALLY all about finding the best fit for YOU.

      Good luck!

  • Which one would you choose between MOZ and Searchmetrics Suite? I work for an almost medium sized company and we are looking into creating an account with a reputable SEO organization. Both fit this criteria so we’re kind of stuck and would appreciate any pointers.

  • Great information for someone who thinks about investing in SEO for the first time. Free trial from SheerSEO sounds compelling. Two months seem like enough time to see if that tool is a good fit for your organization, though it may be hard to measure the impact you made with it.

    • Hi Peter –

      Most of these guys offer free trials. It’d be crazy of them not too!

      Also, you speak of being able to “measure the impact” in a short amount of time. The way I see it – if a program is teaching you ethical SEO, and I believe all of these companies are, that you’ll get results. I believe the REAL determining factor is the user. Are they putting in the time necessary to make these tools truly effective? That’s the real question.

      Thanks for your input!

  • I work with MOZ for some time and I’ve always been happy with what they offer. They keep their ear to the ground so whenever something happens they release updates for their tools. I don’t know if they are the best out there but I’m certain they must be in the top 5.

  • Funny you should write about SEO tools. I recently received a comment back from a prospective employer about my apparent lack of technical aptitude when it came to using tools, yet here I am ranked our country’s #1 for SEO services since 2013 – that’s 3 years straight! My point is simply: Tools are great, but they don’t ever replace common sense and plain old logic. I’ve tried several tools over the last 3 years and found almost all have some sort of bias or issue that makes them not reflect how Google’s algorithm really works. My advice? Play with tools if you wish, but never forget to pay attention to Google’s data and crunch that as much as you can. Here’s my feedback on some tools I use.