Our guide for the best valued SEO tools with free trials
You can’t afford to subscribe to the right one unless you’re an SEO agency or large company.
It’s good that most SEO software developers have let us try their tools before deciding.
This is not to suggest that there aren’t lousy SEO tools.
It’s not that there aren’t any SEO tools that are as mature as the market, and each big player seems to have developed subtle specialties that might be best suited for specific cases.
The goal of a free trial to locate the tool that matches your SEO goals is to provide a free test.
If there isn’t a budget, the goal might be to use the free trial for as much SEO as possible and bail.
That works, too.
No matter what your case may be, these are my top SEO tools that you can use before you purchase:
All-in-one SEO software that has the most extensive backlink index.
Ahrefs has been voted the best SEO tool on the market.
This SEO tool is chock-full of all the necessary features to optimize websites.
It’s also one of the few SEO tools that use its data to analyze websites.
Ahrefs scans the web using its SEO crawlers.
It claims to possess the largest commercially available backlink database and the essential keyword database on the market.
Although no SEO tool can see the whole web, Ahrefs may be the closest thing to it.
Ahrefs has added more and more features over the years to make search optimization easier for people just getting started.
This tool best suits intermediate or advanced users such as SEO freelancers and agencies.
Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free SEO package, but it provides a free trial plan that is nearly free.
You can choose from the Standard or Lite subscription plans for $7.
Credit card information is required. Beware of recurring charges.
Ahrefs offers four subscriptions: Standard, Advanced, Lite, and Agency. They cost $99, $179, $399, and $999 per month, respectively.
A comprehensive SEO tool that focuses on user experience.
SEMrush, a direct competitor to Ahrefs, is often used in conjunction.
However, if I had the choice, I would vote for SEMrush because it strikes a better balance of comprehensiveness and user experience.
SEMrush makes it easier than Ahrefs and more intuitive than many other SEO tools.
This color-coded interface has a logical workflow, tab position, and professional-looking SEO reports. There are many templates to choose from.
SEMrush can help create an excellent presentation to share your results with clients or colleagues.
There seems to be a consensus within the SEO community about SEMrush’s keyword research abilities.
If keyword research is your main concern, then SEMrush may be a better option.
SEMrush offers seven-day free SEO plans on its Pro or Guru subscription plans but not on its higher-end Business plans.
Plans are available at $99 to $199 and $399, respectively. However, features such as competitive analysis or additional users will cost an extra $200 per month.
An easy-to-learn tool for entry-level SEO professionals.
Moz Pro is another all-rounder that offers many of the most popular features for website optimization, including site audit, keyword research, rank tracking, and rank tracking.
Moz Pro is easier to use than SEMrush or Ahrefs but offers more SEO analytics.
The most striking thing about Moz Pro? Its use of intelligent metrics.
Keyword research is done to determine the difficulty, opportunity, and importance of each keyword.
While using so many metrics can be overwhelming, it is still enjoyable to play with.
Crawler alert prioritization is another example of an intelligent feature.
You can automate website crawls with Moz Pro and get alerts prioritized according to page importance and issue types.
The 30-day free SEO plan can be used for Medium subscription plans only. It’s not available for other plans, so it can help you decide if you want to continue with a subscription.
Moz Pro has four subscription plans. Standard, Medium, and Large are priced at $99 and $179, respectively. $249 and $599 each month.
A well-designed SEO tool that excels at data visualization.
SE Ranking, another universal website analysis tool, offers a wide range of website optimization features.
It feels a bit haphazard how the features are connected. The elements make an effort to visualize data, a significant improvement over the spreadsheet-like format used by other SEO tools.
The layout of competitor research reports is what I love the most about SE Ranking.
To get a report, you must open the relevant tool, enter any domain and receive a complete competitor profile in seconds.
The report contains over a dozen visual snapshots that show metrics like organic and paid traffic and ranking keywords, top pages, and competitors.
Every snapshot can be turned into a detailed report on any given metric with a click.
SE Ranking offers a 14-day free SEO plan. However, some features are limited in functionality during the trial period.
Most tables, such as those containing data, don’t go beyond the first ten rows. You can do a page-by-page audit but not at scale.
SE Ranking offers highly customizable subscription plans. These are the factors that will determine the final price:
- How frequently do you need your SERP rankings to be checked?
- How many keywords would you like to track?
- Which search engines would you like to see?
- And so forth.
The cheapest plan starts from $18 per month, but depending on your chosen features, it could go up to $900 per month.
An SEO tool that uses data from multiple sources.
Raven Tools picks its data sources and powers its SEO insights using data from Majestic, Moz, and other free analytics tools.
White-label reporting is a feature that One Raven Tools users unanimously love.
Select a template and add your logo. Drag and drop as many widgets as you like, and then choose whether to email, download, or publish the report.
The reports can be automatically updated every day, week, and month.
Raven Tools also offers multiple integrations with third-party apps.
Raven Tools can be connected to your social media accounts, and it will pull important social metrics.
You can also use Campaign Monitor and MailChimp integrations to manage email automation.
Raven Tools can be used for free for seven days. You don’t need to provide credit card information.
Raven Tools is available in four subscription plans at $199, $199, and $299 per month.
An SEO tool that is both intuitive and fun to use.
SpyFu has been a favorite layout, workflow logic, and aesthetics tool.
Each page is eye-catching and has every feature you would expect.
My only complaint with SpyFu’s reports is their tendency to be too form-over-function. They are beautiful to look at but challenging to understand and extract insight into.
SpyFu was historically more of an SEO tool than a PPC tool. However, it has added enough SEO features to make it both.
SpyFu offers top-quality competitive research from a technical standpoint. It includes detailed metrics, a list with organic keywords the competitor has ranked for over the past ten years, and an extensive list of those keywords.
SpyFu offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee but not a free trial.
Choose any plan, pay the initial fees, use it up to 30 times, then cancel by email, phone, live chat, or Twitter.
You can also create an account to continue using the tool’s limited functionality.
SpyFu is available in three subscription options: Basic, Professional, and Team at $39, $78, and $199, respectively.
A unique SEO tool that focuses on keyword research and position tracking.
Rank Tracker is one of four tools in the SEO PowerSuite toolbox. Each tool focuses on a particular area of website optimization.
An assortment of tools is better than one all-inclusive tool. You can install them all as a bundle or choose the best means to suit your current SEO needs.
This saves money but makes navigation easier.
Rank Tracker provides enough keyword research tools that you can set yourself up for success. You can:
- Any domain can pull ranking keywords.
- Find the keyword gap between your company and your competitors.
- Use Google Search Console or Keyword Planner.
- Search for long-tail keywords using several semantic discovery tools.
If you have too many keywords to choose from, which is likely, there are lots of sorting and filtering options that can help you find the keywords that will bring you the most traffic.
You can choose keywords by difficulty or organic traffic cost per Click. Or you can use negative keywords to get rid of irrelevant results.
Rank tracker offers a free 7-day trial of its paid plans when you open the tool for the first time.
A credit card is not required. The trial will revert to a free plan after the weekends.
While the free plan is limited in storage and reporting, keyword research and rank-checking tools can be easily used.
Enterprise and Pro subscription plans cost $124 and $299, respectively.
Most of the tools in this list can be used for many types of SEO uses. However, there are subtle differences between them that make them better suited for particular cases.
There is no right or wrong choice; it all boils down to your SEO needs and sometimes your personal preferences.
If unsure, you can always take a free trial to get your head around.