Google works in mysterious ways, we all know this and a result, there are several major players each trying to best give you an insight into what Google is thinking about your website or other websites that you might be thinking of buying or getting links from. There are several major players in the game that each shine in their own ways and a few similar features that they each try to do as well.
I work for an SEO Agency in Melbourne, Australia and have been in the game for 10 years. Over the years I’ve changed my allegiances on which is my go-to tool a few times over the years, but ultimately, I love them all. Here are the features I like best from each tool out of Moz, SEMRush, Majestic, Ahrefs and Screaming Frog. I know these tools are expensive, but I don’t think I could honestly do my job too well without access to at least 4 of the big 5.
Moz was my favourite for a long time, living in Australia and working for a giant enterprise size website with millions of pages and monthly visitors, I loved Moz for its keyword tracking tool a few years ago because it seemed far more accurate for Australian websites. Whilst I don’t actively subscribe to this anymore, I still love its toolbar when it works. I’ve found the Moz toolbar to be incredibly buggy in 2020, but when it works and stays logged in the DA tool, Spam Score and Link Highlighter tools have been all great.
When talking about the quality of a website at the highest level, DA (Domain Authority) is the go-to statistic used most widely within the SEO industry. Whilst it is certainly a good indication of the quality of a website, there’s a lot more to the quality and health of a site than just this metric. This why our agency subscribes to multiple tools to get more detail.
This is probably my favourite SEO Tool overall. In the last few years, its graphs for total estimated keywords have come a long way. It used to be terrible for Australians, especially for large websites with very, very specific longtail pages, such as those for every address in the country. There have been numerous large database updates for SEMRush keywords in Australia, giving us much better data than we’ve ever had access to.
SEMRush is great for identifying when something went wrong for a website resulting in fewer clicks or lost rankings. This is good for both monitoring your own site as well as competitors and prospective link opportunities. I also find their Magic Keyword Tool to be the best to use over the other free alternatives such as UberSuggest and Answer The Public. SEMRush is definitely my favourite keyword-related tool.
This has been one of my favourite SEO tools lately. I’ve been closely tracking the outcome of link building where the Topical Trust Flow is closely related and found it yields much better results. This level of data is only available with the paid version of the tool. Link building based on DA alone is not nearly as effective. Whilst Majestic offers many tools, this is my favourite part of it.
This is my favourite tool for tracking the number of links. This tool is great for identifying new links faster than the others and for displaying data in an easy to digest way. It’s also a great way for spying on the links of competitors and for getting ideas for links. It’s also good for tracking the anchors used in your outreach.
Similarly to Moz, it has its own metrics for Domain Rank (DR) which is like Moz’s Domain Authority as well as URL Rating (UR) which is like Moz’s Page Authority. Whilst I think Ahref’s data might be better than Moz’s, it’s always the Moz data we default to in everyday talk.
Unlike the previous tools which are all cloud-based, Screaming Frog runs off your computer. Whilst some of the other tools mentioned have their own auditing tools, I like to use Screaming Frog to crawl client websites to find and correct missing or bad title tags, meta descriptions, redirect chains, heading errors and lots more. The main problem I find with it is that if the website is too large, it can use up all your RAM, so it’s good to try and only crawl certain parts of the website or gather samples of the site. It’s best to use a computer with 16GB of RAM or more.
So, Which is Best?
For me, if I could only subscribe to one of these tools, it would be SEMRush. I just find the variety of tools it offers to be the best, based on how I currently do things. It’s great for several other functions as well, such as its disavow tool. I’d want to continue using the Moz toolbar and Screaming Frog in a free capacity, as well. However, I’m still very happy to have licenses to Majestic and Ahrefs, and would certainly miss them.