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SharpSpring

SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solution. SharpSpring... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Act-On

Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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KIZEN

Kizen offers a cloud-based suite of marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and sales tools suitable for small and midsize businesses in a range of industries. Features include contact and lead management, form automation,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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ActiveDEMAND

ActiveDEMAND is a cloud-based marketing automation solution that caters to marketing agencies and helps them to create and manage their marketing campaigns. The solution includes marketing automation functionalities for small businesses,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Conductor Searchlight

Conductor is a content marketing solution that utilizes organic marketing technology along with digital strategic services to help businesses maximize SEO and content ROI with enterprise-level results. Conductor's integrated technology,... Read more

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Wix

Wix is a cloud-based landing page solution that helps users create and manage websites. The solution provides multiple templates with video backgrounds, fonts and animation. It allows users to customize the website with their own logo... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides integrated solutions that allow businesses to better track leads, automate field service, drive sales and improve operations using mobile, enterprise-ready business apps from the cloud. The system's... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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SEMrushFrontRunners 2020

SEMrush is a marketing solution designed to help enterprises streamline processes related to keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising campaigns, brand monitoring and more. Professionals can monitor domains' generated... Read more

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ContentStudio

ContentStudio is an integrated cloud-based social media management and content marketing solution that caters to small to midsize businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Key features include automated publishing, content management, multi-account... Read more

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Canto Digital Asset Management

Canto Digital Asset Management is a content management solution that allows users to create, share and collaborate using digital media files. The product is available both in cloud-based and on-premise deployment options and caters... Read more

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Omnisend

Omnisend is an omnichannel marketing automation platform for growth-focused ecommerce businesses. Omnisend allows you to add several channels to the same automation workflow for seamless communication via email, SMS, web push notifications,... Read more

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Agile CRM

Agile CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for small and midsize businesses. It offers contact management, telephony tools, appointment scheduling, marketing automation, project management,... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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Brandfolder

Brandfolder is a cloud-based asset management solution that provides various processes to organize, store and retrieve media assets and manage digital rights and permissions. The solution can be customized for businesses in industries... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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MailerLite

MailerLite is a cloud-based email marketing solution. Key features include campaign reporting, email automation, subscriber list management and result tracking. The solution helps users to design email campaigns in the form of newsletters.... Read more

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Moz ProFrontRunners 2020

Moz Pro is a web-based, all-in-one SEO application that notifies organizations, on a weekly basis, regarding the status and overall health of the organization's website and its content. Keyword search and ranking can be monitored and... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a part of Salesforce.com family that offers robust social marketing solution to help businesses create and manage the social presence on a variety of social media sites. The solution offers multiple functionalities... Read more

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Lucidpress

LucidPress is a cloud-based web-to-print solution that helps small to large enterprises improve sales processes via brochure printing, digital asset management and more. It enables users to design marketing materials using customizable... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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AhrefsFrontRunners 2020

Ahrefs is a suite of SEO tools that familiarizes users with the ins and outs of content marketing. It helps users do competitor research to determine high-ranking PPC keywords, backlink approach and more. The provided overview of competitor’s... Read more

Platforms: Win
Deployments: Cloud
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Yotpo

Yotpo is a cloud-based content marketing platform for e-commerce businesses that enables users to collect user-generated content and use the content to build a brand and manage the customer experience. The integrated solution lets... Read more

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Google AdsFrontRunners 2020

Google Ads is an online advertising solution that helps businesses promote products and services on Google Search, YouTube and other websites. It allows organizations to create, add and edit advertisements, set a monthly advertising... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: August 2, 2020

Like a tree falling in the woods, if you create a website, and none of its pages are on the first page of Google's search results, does anyone see it? With more than half of all website vistors arriving through search engines—many of whom don't look past the first or second result—the answer is: "not as much as you'd like."

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a vital practice for any marketing department that wants potential customers to land on their business's website. While SEO is increasingly important, it's also become more difficult to carry out. Between unexpected search engine algorithm updates and increasing competition for high-value keywords, it is requiring more resources than ever before to do SEO well.

If SEO is an important facet of your company's online marketing strategy, you should consider investing in an SEO platform: software designed to help businesses track, manage and achieve better results with their SEO efforts.

In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about SEO platforms to help you choose the right system for your needs.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Are SEO Platforms?
Common SEO Platform Functionality
How Much Do SEO Platforms Cost?
5 Important Questions to Ask SEO Platform Vendors
Additional SEO Platform Resources

What Are SEO Platforms?

SEO platforms are software systems designed to help companies improve the results from their SEO efforts and track the search engine performance of their websites over time.

If you're currently using multiple tools and spreadsheets to monitor search engine rankings, do keyword research or perform SEO audits on your website, an SEO platform can consolidate all of these important functions into one centralized system.

Competitor analysis in the SEO platform of HubSpot Marketing Hub

SEO competitor analysis in HubSpot Marketing Hub

SEO platforms can be purchased to stand alone or as a functionality set within a larger, more comprehensive marketing software suite. These suites also provide applications for functions such as content marketing, social media management and more.

Common SEO Platform Functionality

There are a variety of SEO platforms out there, ranging from simple keyword tools for freelance bloggers all the way up to enterprise-level systems for multinational marketing departments. In general though, SEO platforms all tend to have the following five functions:

SEO tracking Tracks search engine rankings and related traffic metrics for various web pages.
SEO auditing Analyzes whole websites and individual web pages, recommending areas for SEO improvement.
Keyword research Recommends relevant keyword targets. Users can search keywords to discover different SEO metrics about them.
Backlink analysis Monitors overall backlink quality. Performs a scan looking for broken or low-quality backlinks to web pages.
Reporting Generates standard or customizable reports for key SEO metrics, which are sent to stakeholders on a regular basis.

Another function that is often requested but is less common than these five is competitor research: tools that allow users to track important SEO metrics for the other businesses in their industry.

Finally, though most systems focus solely on organic SEO, some SEO platforms also have tools to support search engine marketing (SEM) (i.e., paid search). These include: campaign management, bid optimization, ad copy A/B testing, budget tracking and more. If managing the SEO and SEM arms of your marketing department in one system is important to you, there are systems out there that support this. SEMrush is just one example.

How Much Do SEO Platforms Cost?

Most SEO software vendors charge a flat monthly fee ranging from $20 at the low end all the way up to $1,000+ for more robust systems. Oftentimes, you'll find that vendors offer a tiered pricing structure where paying more money per month gets you more functionality, more user seats, more pages you can track, more keywords you can research etc.

Tiered pricing for Moz Pro

Tiered pricing for Moz Pro

Because a lot of systems offer similar functionality at a relatively affordable cost compared to other types of software, these limits on users, keywords, campaigns and otherwise can end up being the most significant factor in your purchase decision. Make sure you choose a system that can not only accommodate your needs today, but can also handle growth in the near future.

5 Important Questions to Ask SEO Platform Vendors

The most important thing to keep in mind when talking to different software vendors is due diligence. Don't skimp on research, and definitely don't be afraid to ask a million questions. Otherwise, you may pay for a system that's not as good a fit as you thought.

With that in mind, here are five important questions you should ask every SEO platform vendor on your shortlist:

  1. How are your proprietary metrics calculated? Make sure you understand all of the components that go into any proprietary SEO scores or rankings that vendors have created for their system.
  2.   
  3. Does your platform support international search? Some systems only focus on U.S. search engines and metrics, which isn't ideal if you're an international business.
  4.   
  5. How do you calculate search volume? Also, how up-to-date are the search volume numbers? Often, there's a couple months delay between the search numbers you see in your system and the search numbers that are happening in real time.
  6.   
  7. How customizable are the reports? Ask stakeholders the types of metrics they want to see (and the format in which they want to see them) ahead of time to ensure that vendors allow for that type of reporting.
  8.   
  9. What kind of support do you offer? Local support available 24/7 by phone or email is ideal. Also ask if they have SEO experts on staff to help with things like staying on top of search engine algorithm changes.

Additional SEO Platform Resources

Whether you're an SEO pro or a new kid on the content marketing block, it's important to stay on top of trends in this ever-changing field. Here are some additional resources to help you with your SEO needs:

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top SEO Platforms Software, June 2020

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated SEO Platforms products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: June 2020