Whether it’s for an enterprise doing $1B MRR or a four-person startup that just rolled out its MVP, SaaS SEO isn’t possible without the right tools.
This article tells you everything you need to know about which are the best and how to work them into your overall strategy.
Types of SEO Tools for SaaS
You can break search engine optimization (SEO) tools into five categories. There is some overlap between them (and most fit into multiple categories), so we’ve placed them into the category that encompasses either their main or strongest feature.
You can take your business further than you think with free SEO tools. Most of them aren’t as sophisticated or comprehensive as the paid ones, but they do offer a lot of value for a small investment in time.
Plus, you can get an idea of how much SEO you need to do and where your site stands against competitors without having to pay anything.
All-in-one SEO tools are exactly what they sound like: they combine multiple SEO functions into one package. They’re great for SaaS businesses because they can cover everything from keyword research and link building to analytics, competitor analysis, and performance visualizations.
For companies that have holistic SEO strategies with several moving parts, using an all-in-one SEO tool is more cost-effective and efficient than purchasing each tool separately.
SEO content tools help you write optimized content for search engines. They can flag keyword stuffing, suggest better keywords and phrases to use, and make sure you’re writing plagiarism-free articles.
These are especially important for SaaS companies because they need to generate top-notch content to keep customers interested in their product or service offering.
There are numerous tools specifically designed to help companies with SaaS keyword research. They provide detailed insight into keywords’ search volume and competitiveness, giving you a better understanding of which would be most beneficial for your SEO strategy.
Some keyword tools help SaaS companies spy on their competitors, too. They can show you which keywords they’re targeting, which can help you identify keyword gaps (i.e., windows of opportunity for search engine domination).
Technical SEO and Audits
Technical SEO is a tricky beast to tame, especially if you don’t have a background in coding. That’s why technical SEO tools are so helpful for SaaS companies that don’t have the budget to hire an expensive developer.
Technical SEO tools can help you optimize your website with structured data, check for broken links and crawling errors, run comprehensive audits of your site structure, and more.
What Should SaaS Companies Look For in SEO Tools?
There are three main criteria an SEO tool should meet for it to be viable for your SaaS business:
- Scalability (it needs to shift gears and grow with your team)
- Automation (it has to make your life easier)
- Affordability (it can’t put unnecessary strain on an already-tight budget)
The best SaaS SEO tools are scalable.
SaaS companies pivot all the time, especially in the early stages. Switching tools will become increasingly difficult as you close funding rounds, expand your workforce, and enter new markets.
You need software to switch gears as you grow your subscriber base, add more services, and build your website content.
Whether you’re an SEO wizard or a complete newbie, you definitely don’t have time to deal with manual processes.
Automation is key to getting the most out of your SEO tool, especially if you don’t have an in-house team of experts.
Think about the most cumbersome tasks involved with SEO (keyword optimization and finding technical issues, anyone?) and look for tools that make them easier for you.
That way, you can focus on higher-level tasks without worrying about the details.
The good news is: In this day and age, most software is fairly affordable. Knowing where your site stands and what your competitors are up to won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
But expensive tools exist, and overspending on SEO software while your company is in its infancy is a huge no-no.
Realistically, plenty of SaaS companies can get by spending less than $500 per month on SEO software. Even companies with heavier content needs can usually get by for under $1,000.
Free SaaS SEO Tools
When you create a company website, Google Analytics comes standard. It’s absolutely free and provides invaluable insights into your customer base, their location, how they interact with your site, and other helpful information.
In Google’s new version of Analytics, GA4, SaaS businesses are no longer restrained to historical data when it comes to SEO goals. GA4 also allows companies to leverage machine learning and predictive analytics to forecast future user behavior (which, by extension, guides your SEO strategy and improves performance on upcoming content).
You can even set up custom alerts to let you know when certain metrics are off or if there’s a sudden spike in website traffic—very useful for SaaS companies who need to adjust their content on the fly.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides detailed reports on your website’s visibility and performance in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), including any errors that may pop up.
You can use Google Search Console to track your site’s indexing status, submit a sitemap (which helps search engines find your content faster), and analyze your mobile-friendliness score—all for free.
It also provides data on your performance in different countries and devices, as well as which search terms brought users to your site.
Out of more than 200 ranking factors, page loading speed has always been one of the most essential. Think of it this way: If your website is too slow, users won’t stick around to read your content.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a free SEO tool that allows you to analyze pages on your site and make recommendations for improving their speed.
Even better, the tool gives you detailed suggestions for optimizing your code, images, and other page elements. It separates your page speed report into mobile and desktop performance, so you know exactly where the problem is.
SEO Scout can help improve your website’s ranking by comparing the content on each page to the keywords you currently rank for.
It’s a paid platform, but it offers several free tools, including:
- Free keyword research tool
- SERP simulator
- Schema generator
- Keyword grouping
- Keyword intent categorize
- Keyword density tool
- SEO content analysis
Its biggest time-saving implication is its free code generators. Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, creating titles, meta tags, and schema is frustrating for busy SaaS marketers.
SEO Scout automates the process entirely by helping you generate custom code in a matter of minutes.
All-In-One SEO Platforms
Semrush is the cream of the crop when it comes to all-in-one SEO tools. Its claim to fame is its keyword research function, but it also offers a powerful backlink analysis tool that lets you spy on your competition’s link building campaigns, and its Site Audit feature identifies technical SEO issues that are sabotaging your rank in SERPs.
Beyond the basics, Semrush offers several online marketing features:
- Social media management
- Professional content marketing solutions
- Local SEO optimization
- Trends analyses
- Ad campaign analytics
- Marketing calendar
Some of these features are add-ons, but thousands of SaaS businesses use them to centralize their data and manage their online marketing from one place.
At its core, Ahrefs is similar to Semrush, but with a few distinctive features. It doensn’t have some of the additional features that Semrush does, but it’s the best at what it does (that is, its SEO functions).
Its powerful backlink analysis tool is an industry favorite—it indexes billions of webpages daily and can generate detailed info on who’s linking to your site and how they’re doing it.
The main advantage Ahrefs has over Semrush is that it gives users data from more search engines than just Google. In fact, AhrefsBot is the most active web crawler in the world, aside from GoogleBot and BingBot.
It’s because of Ahrefs’s superior data accuracy that we’ve yet to see another metric like its Traffic Potential feature, which helps you estimate the organic traffic your content can get from a #1 ranking.
Like Ahrefs and Semrush, Moz is an SEO and data management suite. It gives users detailed insights into their search engine visibility and where they rank for certain keywords, as well as tips on how to improve them.
Moz has a lot in common with Ahrefs, but it’s the best at monitoring your search engine rankings by device and region.
For instance, if you’re targeting users in a certain part of the country, Moz gives you the exact rankings of your keywords in that location.
Software companies with lots of location-specific content use Moz for the best audience targeting features.
SERPStat is less expensive than the three above, but that comes with a few downsides.
- Daily query limits make it frustrating for users who want to track lots of keywords and research competitors in detail.
- SEO audits are often highly technical with no real explanation of what you should do to improve your website.
- Keyword difficulty reporting is sometimes inaccurate.
- Site audits take longer for larger sites.
That said, it’s impressive for its price point. SERPStat is great for small businesses and startups who want to track their SEO progress without breaking the bank.
SERPed.net is also less expensive than the three most popular tools, but it is a bit clunky. It performs basic functions fine, but the platform as a whole has a steeper learning curve.
SERPed.net is designed primarily for SEO agencies managing multiple clients. A perfect example of this is its agency-oriented tools like Site Manager, Review Badges, Mobile Prospector, and Social Exchanger.
Although the company advertises itself as suitable for single-site owners (like SaaS businesses) you’ll probably find yourself paying for tools you don’t need.
SaaS SEO Tools for Content Creation
Out of all the content optimization tools out there, SurferSEO is the best all-around.
Most importantly, it’s granular (in every sense of the word). You can use SurferSEO to:
- Audit your existing content based on specific keywords
- Compare your content to other pages ranking for the same term(s)
- Audit your content for readability and engagement
- Get recommendations on how to optimize your content and improve rankings
- See exactly how many times you should use headings, photos, paragraphs, and certain words in your article
- Know when you’re overstuffing your article with nonsense keywords and phrases
As you write, Surfer grades your content out of 100 for your chosen keyword (or cluster of keywords) and breaks down your score into four sections: Structure, Headings, Terms, and NLP.
Frase is a SaaS SEO tool designed for content marketing. It lets users identify and classify content opportunities by analyzing search results right in the app.
With Frase, you can plan and enhance your content strategy for SEO purposes. Then, you can have it suggest blog post topics and create titles, headings, briefs, and outlines (it can even write unique content for you).
AI content generators have their limitations (namely, that they are completely based on data and cannot come up with new ideas), but Frase can help you and your writers be more efficient and productive.
Dashword is a content optimization tool SaaS companies can use create optimized titles, headlines, descriptions, tags, and entire paragraphs for your blog posts and other pieces of content.
The software has many of the same features as SurferSEO, but its interface is more similar to Clearscope.
One feature that we love about Dashword is that it automatically highlights words as they’re used throughout the content. That way, you can visually see how well you’re covering them throughout the article.
Dashword’s letter grading system is less descriptive than Surfer’s X-out-of-100 evaluation metric, but it is still an accurate way to assess the quality of your content.
GrowthBar is an all-in-one AI writing tool. It analyzes hundreds of search engine results with just one click. Then, it creates a well-optimized outline for your website or blog, including optimal headings, keywords, word counts, internal links, and other essential features.
With one more click, the AI writing assistant of GrowthBar can help you write your blog post. If you don’t fall into the trap of letting AI do all the work for you, GrowthBar can help you write better content faster.
Keyword Research Tools
Keywords Everywhere is a Chrome and Firefox plugin we can’t live without here at Linkflow. It’s affordable, easy to use, and incredibly accurate.
It shows you the search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and competition metrics for multiple websites.
To use it, all you need to do is install the plugin and start looking at curated keyword lists without even leaving Google search results.
WordStream is a SaaS SEO tool you can use to grade the performance of your Google Ads. Its free keyword analysis function includes related keywords, search volume, competition metrics, and more.
It also has a website grader, Google Ads performance grader, and Facebook Ads performance grader, which includes actionable tips on how to improve your grade.
SpyFu is helpful for keyword research and competitive intelligence (i.e., your competitors’ organic keywords, backlinks, and other SEO and PPC data).
The best thing about it is it gives you insight into the profitability of their paid and organic keywords, so you can tell what’s hitting and what isn’t.
Technical and Auditing Tools for SaaS SEO
The free version of Screaming Frog SEO Spider is helpful for SaaS companies with basic website optimization requirements. The paid (but affordable) version allows you access to all of its advanced features.
Screaming Frog crawls your entire site (up to 500 pages with the free edition) and helps you identify technical SEO issues that could hurt your ranking, such as broken links, duplicate content, and pages without meta descriptions (which Google penalizes).
It also audits page titles and meta descriptions, so you can see if they match the content on the page, and identifies any broken links or other issues that can affect your search engine visibility.
SEO veterans like us have a special attachment to Screaming Frog, but its interface is outdated.
Sitebulb is prettier, newer Screaming Frog. Its Pro version is about double the price of Screaming Frog, but it comes with helpful website improvement recommendations, better data visualizations (downloadable in PDF format), granular scoring metrics, and integration with GA4 and Google Search Console.
If you aren’t a pro, WooRank is a great way to get an initial audit of your website. It’s similar to Google’s PageSpeed Insights but provides much more data and action items.
In addition to page speed improvements, WooRank checks for accessibility, usability, mobile-friendliness, technical SEO issues like duplicate titles and meta descriptions, and other factors that impact your website’s search engine visibility.
The Best SaaS SEO Tool: An Agency
Search engine success requires more than just SEO tools. You’ll need a solid strategy and ongoing effort to make your website visible in search engine results.
The reality is: You probably don’t need (or have the budget for) an SEO team, but you also don’t have the time to manage everything yourself.
The best SaaS SEO tool is a reputable SaaS SEO agency. We’ll help get more leads from organic search, lower your CAC, and boost your conversion rate. And you can keep the focus on what makes your product great.
Building an SEO strategy takes time and skill. We do it every day. Let us help.