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You eat, sleep and breathe SEO. Your agency lives to make sure that the websites of your clients are getting the highest SEO ranking possible. You’re like a doctor who is diagnosing and analyzing your patient. And, just like any good physician, you are constantly searching for illnesses and injury. A healthy and happy patient is your goal after all. So let’s take a look at the tool or tools you should have in your back pocket and why they belong there.

Ahrefs

Born in 2011, the Singapore headquartered Ahrefs (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the HTML link tag) uses functionality and convenience as guiding principles that has enabled their team to build some high quality analysis, reporting and SEO tools.

Pros
Ahrefs products have been praised for their intuitive design. The user-friendly interfaces allows you to navigate the tools quickly without having to guess what is the function of a button, tab or toggle. With components like Site Explorer, which allows you to discover linkbuilding and outreach opportunities, and Content Explorer (find content that is currently trending), Ahrefs offers a whole suite of products that tackle multiple opportunities to drive traffic.

Considered by many to be the best off-site SEO tool, Ahrefs has made a name for itself by providing a comprehensive tool that has both backlink and site info built into the tool itself. For an SEO agency the ability to monitor the progress of a multiple campaigns makes tracking the health of a client’s site so much more easier.

Cons
Money talks and for some agencies, especially ones that are just getting their feet under them, the cost for Ahrefs powerful suite of products may be a bit too much. At times, Ahrefs solutions can be as much as 25% more than their closest competition. This pill may be a bit too much for some and has so far been the major complaint in the marketplace.

Unsurprisingly, the efficacy of Ahrefs is so great that many agencies and SEO auditors have flocked to its services. But, major websites have begun to take notice. Some sites have slowly started to block Ahrefs from harvesting information from their sites. This is of course a normal occurrence in the industry. It has happened with Ahrefs predecssors, contemporaries and will most likely happen to its successor as well. The good news is the number of sites that have blocked it are few and far between. The likelihood that a blanket block of Ahrefs will be implemented across the entire net is near impossible.

SEMrush

When a small band of SEO and IT professionals were united by the need to for fairness and transparency in the online marketplace, they formed SEMrush and would become, in their own words, “the world’s leading competitive research service for online marketing.” A bold statement for a company that started in 2008, but a closer look at their offerings reveals that the SEMrush team can not only talk the talk, but walk it as well.

Pros
SEMrush products are known to be lean and mean. The interface is easy to navigate. There are no frills, no fancy bells or whistles, no bloat. Just the tools you need to get things done and produce high quality results. Users love the consumable yet highly informative data produced by the tool through its detailed breakdowns of research data. Finally, SEMrush has a ridiculously large keyword database with almost 107 million keywords and growing. Try to find a keyword that’s not on that list, we dare you.

Cons
In general, SEMrush’s reporting features are up there with the best of the best. However, their lack of white label reports (reports that are not marked with any branding whatsoever) are rubbing some SEO agencies the wrong way. It’s tough to present data to a client that you supposedly, painstakingly harvested when another companies branding is slapped all over it.

SEMrush is known for being lean, but for some it may be a bit too lean. It lacks some features that are standard practice with most of its competitors. Most notably, it lacks a personal tracker that many agencies find useful in noting changes and insights for campaign management.

Then there’s the actual data. SEMrush is great at delivering figures and values across a whole host of data points. However, some users feel that the figures are more like estimates and not solid values. This is understandable as the SEO environment is dynamic and constantly changing. However, when figures can sometimes be off up to 40% from the actual then a bit of the tools accuracy must be questioned.

Link-Assistant

The team at Link-Assistant claims that they are the “home of the best internet marketing tools.” But are they really? Amazon, Disney, GE, Audi, HP and Microsoft seem to think so.

Pros
Link-Assistant’s bread and butter has always been their ability to provide excellent competitive link research, link building opportunities and link management. The ability to do all these key functions through a single tool save agencies time and resources.

Better yet, since Link-Assistant is a standalone software (and not cloud-based like many of its competitors), it is compatible across Mac OS, Windows and Linux. This means that for most agencies it doesn’t matter how many OS platforms they are running in their environment, Link-Assistant can work on all of them.

Link-Assistant employs a product model similar to that of Adobe or Microsoft. It has components such as Rank Tracker, Website Auditor and SEO Spyglass. These can be purchased separately, but they also offer a bundled price that offers a hefty discount for purchasing everything at once.

Cons
Having a standalone software is great for installing it across multiple platforms. However, this means that the software will only run as good as the system it is installed on. If the system is slow, then the software runs slow. This can be a hassle if your agency is running older devices.

MySiteAuditor

Conceived in Chicago in 2013, MySiteAuditor is the new-er kid on the block. The team paid close attention to the complaints that users had about their competitors and made sure to address them in their products.

Pros
MySiteAuditor invented the embeddable, lead generation tool that is integral to the success of their website audit tool and that few of its competitors can match. The important part for most agencies is that this tool is easily white-labeled.

They have also implemented a nine-page audit that is constantly evolving in accordance with Googles algorithms.

Cons
It may be due to its age, but MySiteAuditor does not have as many features as its competitors. However, it is brilliant at what it does best.