tools2.jpg

The votes have been counted, the decisions are in:
Over 1,200 votes were cast, they’ve been counted & checked…

I now have the pleasure to announce the results of probably the biggest SEO tool survey of 2015!

Back in 2014 I asked a question on twitter: “which are your top 3 favourite SEO tools?”.  Last year ScreamingFrog won a hard fought battle to be #1…

This year, we’ve gone one better though by asking you more details about your life in SEO, how you spend your time & money, and which tools are your favorites in 2015:

 

The results:

Value for Money

SEO tool manufacturers of the world rejoice – you can start putting those prices up (Please don’t though!).  In the value for money category a paltry 9% of users balked at the pricing.

This either means they are too cheap, or the people answering the survey weren’t paying the bill!

 

How Many Tools do you Use?

We all use lots of SEO tools on a weekly basis.  OK, thats not strictly accurate, 94% of us use more than one tool.  Still, surprisingly perhaps the most popular answer was more than 6, with a third of all votes cast.

Goes to show that we’ve become a more sophisticated group of marketers, but could also mean there’s high fragmentation in the market right now, with no clear “toolset collection” (like Moz, SearchMetrics, Linkdex etc.) winning the battle.

 

What do SEO’s actually do all day?

I’m guessing non-SEO marketers around the world ask themselves this, seeing FaceBook or Twitter on our screens roughly two thirds of the day… Perhaps I’m generalizing a bit, but its a fair question, so I posed it to you.

Unsurprisingly, around half of us do the basics all the time; on-site, off-site, analytics and so on, but surprisingly very few of the respondents commit to spending any time on workflow management, being the least likely task we perform.

Another surprise is that less than a quarter of us confess to “regularly creating content”, I’d have guessed this would be another column in the 50% category but it seems more of us than I’d guessed are pure technical SEO’s.

 

Enough Already, What about the Tools?

Great question, but before we get into the really good stuff, a quick word about the scoring and classification systems:

Scoring
I asked you each to answer which were your top 3 SEO tools, in order.  To keep things as fair as possible, I assigned scoring based on the position you scored each tool, with full, half & third points on offer depending on each tool’s position.

To add some complexity a lot of you answered all three, but many of you didn’t – instead answering one or two.

Classification
I used the following categories:

  • Tool Suite (where a single tool crosses multiple other categories)
  • On-Site
  • Analytics
  • Backlink Analysis
  • Rank Checking
  • Outreach (aka Linkbuilding)
  • Keyword Research
  • Local SEO
  • Miscellaneous

Now, its fair to say that not everyone will agree with where I classified each tool.  If you feel aggrieved by my decisions you should probably get out more, but you’re also welcome to shout out in the comments section below.

 

Distribution of Votes by Category

Compared to last year, there were far more entrants in the Tool Suite category (defined as tools which cross classification into multiple other categories).  This category also received easily the highest total score:

 

Best Backlink Analysis Tools 2015

Unsurprisingly, this category was crushed by the category killer: Majestic (formerly known as MajesticSEO).  They provide arguably the most robust backlink intelligence data available to us, and had an equally good showing this year.

Well done Majestic, winner: Best Backink Analysis Software 2015!

A point of note however, the core competition for Majestic (OpenSiteExplorer, part of Moz Tools & aHrefs) are more diverse products, therefore qualify to appear in the Tool Suite category.  This doesn’t take anything away from Majestic however, who clearly deserved to win the category, with a dataset that is second to none, and pricing that’s better than any others, why wouldn’t you use Majestic?

Would they have won had the others remained in the backlink analysis category?  Well, you can see for yourself what the result would have been in the full roundup at the end of the post.

 

Best On-Site Analysis Tools 2015

A heavy hitting category, that received the second most amount of votes.

Well done Screaming Frog, winner: Best On-Site Analysis Software 2015!

Screaming Frog won the voting outright back in 2014, and put in another incredibly strong showing in 2015 demonstrating not only the recognition the tool has across the industry, but also that they’ve managed to stay current by releasing new features.

 

Best SEO Tool Suite 2015

The biggest, most important category of the year was also the hardest fought.  The winners in this category are the undisputed “big ones” in SEO tools, and deservedly so.

Well done SEMrush, winner: Best SEO Tool Suite 2015!

For the second year running, SEMrush are the category winners, this time however they have stretched their lead considerably compared to 2014.  Interestingly as well, the category is much more diverse this year, and despite consolidating the scores on the Moz platform they somehow attracted a lower share of voice.

SEMrush are obviously offering the best blend of functionality, ease of use & competitive price point to gain maximum market share, & if you haven’t yet used the product you really need to ask yourself why you haven’t taken a look yet!

 

The Grand Prix: BEST SEO TOOL 2015

Enough with the category analysis – its time for the big list!

If you disagree with any of my classifications you can compare each tool’s overall score in this table:

Well done Screaming Frog, winner: Overall BEST SEO TOOL 2015!

 

Yes, for the second year in a row, the overall prize goes to none other than Screaming Frog!  Mixing incredible flexibility with a great price point, not to mention its “swiss army knife” level of utility, its perhaps not surprising that SF won the overall prize.

Some other tools made significant progress this year, the uber-handy URLprofiler for instance received a handful of votes last year, to go on to be a top 10 tool this year, congratulations to them for the fantastic breakout year.

Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress was the most popular miscellaneous tool, further demonstrating both wordpress and Yoast becoming further engrained as household names in the world of SEO.

I was surprised at a few results being as low as they were, Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools for Excel is a great example of one of my favorite tools which I’d assumed would be higher ranked – I didnt vote personally, but it would have been a top 3 tool for me – if you don’t currently use it, then I suggest you take a look.

 

I’d love to hear from you either in the comments section below, or on twitter (heck, even in your own blog posts!) as to your take on the state of the SEO tool industry, and whether you’re surprised at any of the results!

 

Notes:

  • If I couldn’t find the tool you were talking about in Google, it didnt get included in the list, sorry.
  • If the tool was voted for once, in first place, and you look like you own the tool, it’s also not on the list.
  • There were another 20 or so voted for that I couldnt find, those have been removed.
  • If any tool had <1 point, for graphing purposes they got the full point.

MartinMacdonald

Founder of WebMarketingSchool.com and a career professional in SEO and web marketing. Experienced in travel, gambling & entertainment niches. Former head of SEO for Omnicom UK, Inbound Marketing Director at Expedia & current Senior Director for SEO at Orbitz Worldwide.

MartinMacdonald

@searchmartin

Head of SEO & Content for @orbitz & @cheaptickets. Blogs @forbes, @huffpost 40+ global conferences & keynotes

@ingobousa @Andrew_Isidoro yup. - 12 hours ago

Categories: Tools, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

19 Responses

  • Erica Donaldson

    I’ve found the major SEO tools listed above to face challenges with my company’s website that uses AngularJS. ScreamingFrog says that it should be able to provide info, under the AJAX tab, but we haven’t had any success yet. We’re investigating on our end. In the meantime the online SEO tool that has accurately read our site is SEOSitecheckup.com. I enjoyed the free trial, and continue to use the free services. Definitely a contender when we reevaluate our tool options.

    June 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • MartinMacdonald

    Hey Erica, have you tried reaching out to Screaming Frog on twitter? When I’ve had problems in the past their support has been top notch!

    June 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  • Grant Simmons

    Great stuff, and with some irreverent English humour.

    I’d add keyword tool.io IMO it’s übersuggest plus

    Surprising to me the dearth of ‘Enterprise’ tools beyond Searchmetrics (great tool) and BrightEdge there’s not much else in the list, although it’s a busy space; Conductor, Ginzametrics, SEO Clarity etc.

    Cheers

    June 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      Hey Grant – thanks for commenting!

      I had the same thoughts, using SEOclarity for work it was interesting at its lack of votes (its a perfectly good platform, so should have had some coverage). I can only infer a few things:

      1) enterprise SEO tools installed userbase is relatively low, especially compared to the much, MUCH “better value” tools like SEMrush, Moz et al, so have a much lower likelihood of getting votes.

      2) I’m really starting to think that MOST SEO’s that work in big co’s aren’t as involved in the overall industry as we think, therefore simply wouldnt have seen the survey in the first place.

      While a lot of people did take the time to fill in the results, the addressable market that did were purely through twitter and facebook, and both starting with my accounts – so it is pre-selected a bit unfortunately.

      I guess I could have improved the coverage with a bit of advertising, but then this isn’t a commercial blog, so Im not really down with that ?

      cheers!
      Martin

      June 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm
  • Dan Sharp

    Hey Martin,

    Thanks for your message earlier. Really shocked to hear we had won, but equally very cool.

    I am sure there is a slight UK, and perhaps advanced level skillset bias in the survey due to your following, which is perhaps more our core users. But v happy to hear! 🙂

    I just wanted to also say hello to Erica as well! Would it be possible for you to pop through your site to our support (http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/support/) so we can advise Erica? We are generally very quick at responding! Or you can reach me on Twitter, just @screamingfrog.

    Cheers.

    Dan

    June 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      Hey Dan!

      First off, congrats for the overall win 🙂

      As I was mentioning in reply to Grant’s comment as well, I’m confident there is an element of pre-selection of the survey group by virtue of them mainly coming from my twitter followers, and they are slightly weighted towards the UK in numbers, and heavily weighted in interaction.

      Also, typically, my followers are probably made up of people learning SEO rather than working in big corporations that might use BrightEdge et al, so that skews the count a bit.

      All of that notwithstanding however: I see more chat about ScreamingFrog than ANY OTHER SEO TOOL in my channels, so while the test group might not be representative of the wider industry, I don’t disagree with you guys being #1!!

      Cheers
      M

      June 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm
  • Andrew Cole

    Why cant you right click on your site? Nor did you link to the tools… Which would of been ideal since I would like to check out some of them.

    June 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      Errrr…. on the Right Click stuff, well.
      Hmmmmm….
      Thats by design, but because of something I’ve not made public yet, but will be doing next week.

      Regarding links to the Tools – I TOTALLY should have done that, my bad, sorry!

      June 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm
  • Felix

    Hi Martin,

    It would have been nice to feature https://monitorbacklinks.com as well

    July 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      Hey Felix,

      check the notes at the bottom of the post, there were a few criteria where I didnt include tools, but the main one being, at least two people voted for every tool that was left on the list.

      cheers!
      Martin

      July 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm
  • Adam Rowles

    Great list Martin.

    Due to the price of enterprise software many don’t get a chance to test them.

    I’d like to see Moz pick up its game though.

    Keep up the good work.

    July 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm
  • Uday

    Hey martin,

    Good to see the list of tools being rated based on their services. BTW, I Want to introduce mondovo.com – working in beta stage, hopefully next year will make one place in your chart list.

    Thanks

    July 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm
  • Jeric

    The screamingfrog i use is just a free version, but it really help me a lot! And since this tool won as a best SEO tool for this year, I think i must give it it a try to avail the license. 🙂

    July 14, 2015 at 3:16 am
  • Owain

    Well done Screaming Frog, a fabulous tool! Fantastic to see ourselves (Decibel Insight) listed in the poll after just a year in operation, especially as Decibel Insight isn’t an SEO platform per se. What Decibel Insight does provide however is insights into user behavior, working as an extension to Google Analytics. With the stronger alignment between the need for SEO to compliment UX and vice versa (Mobilegeddon) – it’s still an invaluable tool for the SEO industry. Hope to see us move onwards and upwards in future years with all of your support. Help yourselves to a free trial to test on your website, available from the packages area of our website 🙂

    July 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm
  • Tom Gregan

    Great post Martin, although I’m surprised that considering Excel made the roster we don’t see Google Sheets.
    With some basic hacks like the importJson function by the Fast Fedora team (http://blog.fastfedora.com/projects/import-json#ImportJSON) or the trusty importxml function, I’m using Sheets to build quick and dirty API pulls to the likes of Alchemy and Majestic and further pulling data from data sources all over the shop for analysis and content marketing.

    July 21, 2015 at 5:33 pm
  • Doc Sheldon

    Great information, Martin – thanks for taking the time to put it together again. Congrats to the folks at Screaming Frog for the win, and to several others for making a good showing. For my part, if I could only have 2 tools, they’d be SF and Majestic.

    August 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm
  • MINDKC

    Hello. We can offer you to try our new SEO tool – Key Collector key-collector.com. It’s perfect for keywords collecting and organizing. You can request a free licence promo-code in replies!

    August 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm
  • Ina

    Very useful list Martin. I would like to add a SEO tool called webtexttool.com. This tool is easy to use and helps me optimalize my content ‘SEO wise’. Maybe for your next list! 🙂

    August 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm