General SEO

Best Enterprise SEO Tools & Why You Should Choose Ahrefs

Patrick Stox
Patrick Stox is a Product Advisor, Technical SEO, & Brand Ambassador at Ahrefs. He was the lead author for the SEO chapter of the 2021 Web Almanac and a reviewer for the 2022 SEO chapter. He also co-wrote the SEO Book For Beginners by Ahrefs and was the Technical Review Editor for The Art of SEO 4th Edition. He’s an organizer for several groups including the Raleigh SEO Meetup (the most successful SEO Meetup in the US), the Beer and SEO Meetup, the Raleigh SEO Conference, runs a Technical SEO Slack group, and is a moderator for /r/TechSEO on Reddit.
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    Enterprise SEO tools are software platforms that help large, enterprise companies manage their search engine optimization programs.

    Some popular enterprise SEO tools include:

    ProductReviewsPricingCustomers
    AhrefsStarts at $833 / m50,000+
    ConductorNo public pricing450+
    seoClarity
    • Starts at $3000 / m
      (1 domain)
    • Starts at $4500 / m
      (multiple domains)
    3,500+
    BotifyNo public pricing500+
    BrightEdgeNo public pricing1,700+

    With so many different tools and so many different needs, how do you know what’s right for you?

    Website Organic Search Traffic - 2.5M
    Website Organic Traffic Value - $2.2M
    Branded Search Traffic - 313K
    Backlinks - 4.2M
    Referring Domains - 83.8K

    Ahrefs homepage screenshot

    This is obviously our top pick, but it deserves to be. Don’t just take our word for it. Ask around and see who comes up as the platform of choice for SEOs. See who real users favor.

    We’re more popular than the other enterprise SEO platforms.

    Competitor map showing organic traffic and traffic value for ahrefs, conductor, botify, brightedge, and seoclarity

    How Ahrefs describes themselves:

    Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset for growing search traffic and optimizing websites.

    We crawl the entire web, collect and process petabytes of data every day, then give this information context and make it accessible via a simple user interface.

    Our crawler processes up to 8 billion pages a day, and we update our index with the freshest backlinks on the web every few minutes.

    I’m biased because I work here, but I work here because I’m a fan and I strongly believe in the product, the data, and the company.

    Unique selling proposition of Ahrefs: Data. We have more of it than anyone else, over 440 PBs of data.

    Ahrefs features:

    • Keyword research
    • Backlink analysis
    • Rank tracking
    • Link building
    • Competitor analysis
    • Site audits
    • SEO alerting
    • SEO change tracking
    • and many more. Basically everything.

    Pros of Ahrefs according to Reddit users:

    • Comprehensive SEO Tools: Ahrefs is known for its wide range of SEO tools, including keyword research, backlink analysis, site auditing, and more, making it a one-stop solution for many SEO needs.
    • Accurate Data: Users have praised Ahrefs for its accurate and up-to-date data, particularly in terms of backlinks and keyword rankings.
    • Competitor Analysis: Ahrefs offers robust competitor analysis tools, allowing users to gain insights into their competitors’ strategies and performance.
    • User-Friendly Interface: Many users find Ahrefs’ interface intuitive and user-friendly, which can be particularly helpful for those new to SEO.
    • Regular Updates and Improvements: Ahrefs is known for continuous updates and improvements to its tools and features, staying relevant in the ever-evolving field of SEO.
    • Customer Support: Users have reported positive experiences with Ahrefs’ customer support, noting quick response times and helpful assistance.

    Cons of Ahrefs according to Reddit users:

    • Learning Curve: While many users appreciate the user-friendly interface, others find that Ahrefs has a learning curve, especially for beginners who may be overwhelmed by the tool’s depth and complexity.
    • Limited Local SEO Data: Ahrefs’ local SEO capabilities, while present, may not be as robust as some other specialized local SEO tools.
    • No phone support: Ahrefs does not offer phone support.

    Ahrefs has over 50,000 subscribers including many of the world’s top enterprise companies like:

    • Adobe
    • eBay
    • IBM
    • Zoom
    • LinkedIn
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Pinterest
    • Dell
    • Capital One
    • Accenture
    • Tripadvisor
    • Hubspot
    • SurveyMonkey
    • Shopify
    • Expedia

    Be sure to watch our how to use Ahrefs videos!

    Why Ahrefs is the right choice

    We’re the favorite tool for SEO teams. We epitomize big data

    We crawl faster than any other SEO tool, according to Cloudflare Radar. 

    Image showing AhrefsBot as the fourth-fastest crawler on the web, according to Cloudflare Radar

    We’re the best backlink checker, according to Matthew Woodward’s test of 1 million domains. We’re the only SEO tool that will pick up links added with JavaScript for our backlink index because we’re the only one that renders pages while crawling the web.

    We have the largest keyword database for U.S. keywords and the most accurate traffic estimates, according to Authority Hacker. For keywords where we have enough data, we use individually modeled click-through rate (CTR) curves rather than a single generic model for the curves.

    Getting data into your own systems with Ahrefs is easy using our API. We give you the request needed based on the report you’re in and the filters you have set.

    By clicking the API button, you get the full curl response needed for an API request

    You can also get data out of the platform with our Looker Studio connector (formerly Google Data Studio).

    For Site Audit, we only charge for internal HTML pages that return a 200 HTTP status code.

    There are also our industry-leading articles, videos, and courses. These resources will educate you on SEO and show you how to make the best use of the platform.

    Website Organic Search Traffic - 78.9K
    Website Organic Traffic Value - $77.2K
    Backlinks - 49.6K
    Referring Domains - 6.3K

    Conductor homepage screenshotHow Conductor describes themselves:

    We are a platform and a partner for customer-first marketing.

    Conductor is a technology company with a passion for helping you help your customers. Marketers use our software and services to create and optimize valuable content so that it gets found, answers questions, and solves problems for real people.

    Conductor is on a buying spree. They’ve acquired ContentKing to boost their technical SEO capabilities and they also had good content around technical SEO. I’m actually featured in a lot of that content and I helped with the reviews on much of it. They also acquired Searchmetrics, which was another enterprise platform. It looks like both of their websites are redirected now.

    Conductor has had a wild ride with funding, acquisitions, buying themselves back, more funding, acquiring other companies, etc. 

    Unique Selling Proposition of Content King: Constant Crawling and alerting

    Conductor features:

    • Researching keywords and competitors
    • Content creation
    • Optimizing site health
    • Tracking keyword rankings
    • Measuring performance and sharing

    Pros of Conductor according to Reddit users:

    • It has a clean interface
    • It’s easy to do bulk updates for pairs of keywords and preferred landing pages

    Cons of Conductor according to Reddit users:

    • Expensive for what you get

    Conductor doesn’t seem to give a number for the customers on the website, but it looks like they mentioned 450 as the number when raising funds in 2021. These include:

    • LG
    • Zoom
    • Audible
    • Microsoft
    • Epic Games
    • Siemens
    • PNC
    • Kroger
    • Wyndham
    • Gannett

    See the Conductor product tour.

    Website Organic Search Traffic - 23.8K
    Website Organic Traffic Value - $35.2K
    Branded Search Traffic - 1K
    Backlinks - 14.8K
    Referring Domains - 3.2K

    seoClarity homepage screenshot

    How seoClarity describes themselves:

    Providing the Best [Search] Experience in Enterprise SEO

    We are all about the experience around here—for our clients and our team. Together, we work hard to drive success, tackle challenges, and grow our business.

    That’s why, as an AI-driven organic search and content optimization platform, we focus on the user search experience for enterprise brands. Our approach centers on the person conducting the search - not search engine algorithms.

    Our approach in building a platform and supporting our clients is what sets us apart from other solutions.

    seoClarity features:

    • Ranking Analysis
    • Keyword Research
    • Content Marketing
    • Technical SEO Analysis
    • SEO Analytics + Reporting
    • SEO Execution

    Pros of seoClarity according to Reddit users:

    • Centralized features from multiple tools
    • A helpful customer service team
    • The Rank Intelligence feature for tracking and analyzing rankings

    Cons of seoClarity according to Reddit users:

    • A learning curve
    • Intimidating data for some users
    • A UI that’s not as flashy as other tools

    seoClarity has 3500+ brand and enterprise subscribers including:

    • Orbitz
    • Samsung
    • Autotrader
    • Expedia
    • Overstock.com

    Watch the seoClarity demo.

    Website Organic Search Traffic - 15.4K
    Website Organic Traffic Value - $62.3K
    Branded Search Traffic - 7.8K
    Backlinks - 13.5K
    Referring Domains - 2.4K

    Botify homepage screenshot

    What Botify says about themselves:

    Founded in 2012, Botify built the interface and methodology that connects the largest, most complex sites with all the major search engines to drive more traffic and revenue from organic search.

    Our full-funnel methodology and unified data model ensures that we have the broadest view of your website, while our machine-learning algorithm prescribes the actions that will drive the greatest impact and automates time-consuming SEO processes.

    I’m not sure I’d ever personally use Botify. I hear great things from other technical SEOs, but I had a bad personal experience with their sales team. Worth checking out, but you may end up having to block them in multiple places like I did.

    Unique Selling Proposition of Botify: they’re all in on technical SEO.

    Botify features:

    • SEO auditing and monitoring
    • SEO reporting
    • Log file analysis

    Pros of Botify according to Reddit users:

    • Technical SEO
    • Log File Analysis

    Cons of Botify according to Reddit users:

    • Expensive
    • Aggressive sales team

    Botify has over 500 customers including:

    • The New York Times
    • Macy’s
    • Farfetch
    • Levi’s
    • Clarins
    • Expedia
    • Marks & Spencer
    • Crate & Barrel
    • L’Oréal
    • Fnac Darty

    Website Organic Search Traffic - 58.2K
    Website Organic Traffic Value - $117K
    Branded Search Traffic - 9.4K
    Backlinks - 114K
    Referring Domains - 14.4K

    BrightEdge homepage screenshot

    What BrightEdge says about themselves:

    BrightEdge is an enterprise SEO marketing company that transforms online content into tangible business results, like traffic, engagement, and revenue. BrightEdge’s SEO platform is powered by a sophisticated AI and machine learning engine. Because it crawls the web and collects first-party data, it is the only enterprise SEO company capable of web-wide, real-time measurement of digital content engagement across all digital channels, including search, social, and mobile.

    Last year marketers spent over $135 billion creating digital marketing content, however, this content has limited value unless it’s found and connected to ROI. With BrightEdge Content Performance Marketing, brands for the first time can predictably plan, optimize, and measure campaigns based on actual content performance.

    BrightEdge acquired Oncrawl which should help them be better for technical SEO, because their old ContentIQ system was not the best in my opinion. I haven’t used them in years, but I’ll say when I did it was a bit frustrating. The platform was slow and the insights provided we pretty meh. They might help someone very new to SEO, but they’ll also have you do a lot of things that waste time because they have no impact.

    I also had some issues with Data Cube that may still exist, but I can’t confirm if they do or not. I used to put in relevant terms like “ai” and I would get irrelevant results back like “gmail”. You also had to be careful not to inflate the opportunities because multiple terms that were plurals or misspellings would show with the same volume as the main term.

    BrightEdge created some SEO industry drama over patent trolling another company, Searchmetrics, about a decade ago. 

    BrightEdge features:

    • Customizable Dashboards, Reporting, & Forecasting
    • Content Performance Recommendations
    • Backlink Management
    • Content Centric Marketing
    • Social Content Performance
    • Local, Global, and Mobile Content Performance
    • Competitive Analysis
    • Universal Search
    • Integrations
    • Project Management

    Pros of BrightEdge according to Reddit users:

    • Dedicated account reps
    • Good user support

    Cons of BrightEdge according to Reddit users:

    • High price
    • Difficult setup
    • Difficult to organize keyword tracking
    • Most companies only use it for rank tracking
    • Overpromises on capabilities

    BrightEdge has over 1700 customers including:

    • L’Oréal
    • Adobe
    • UC Davis
    • Workday
    • Twilio
    • Cleveland Clinic
    • Microsoft
    • Marriott

    Choosing a tool can be complicated. Let’s look at what is involved in the decision making process.

    Enterprise SEO tool features

    Enterprises usually have the highest demands for data. They also need high limits and easy access through APIs so they can get quick insights and report on progress.

    Enterprise SEO tools typically need to support more users and have controls and permissions for what different user groups can access. Companies need the user interface to cover many languages so teams all over the world can use the tools.

    Some of the common features of enterprise SEO tools include:

    • Keyword research
    • Content creation
    • Competitor research
    • Link building
    • Rank tracking
    • Reporting
    • Site auditing
    • International SEO
    • SEO Forecasting

    Best Enterprise SEO tools by Category

    • Best Overall: Ahrefs
    • Best all-in-one platform: Ahrefs
    • Best for rank tracking: Nozzle or Stat are great point solutions if rank tracking is your only need. I especially like the flexible rank tracking option in Nozzle.
    • Best for link building - Ahrefs. The others don’t even have their own web crawlers to gather this data.
    • Best for keyword research: Ahrefs, especially if you’re in the US since we have by far the largest US keyword database.
    • Best for content creation: Clearscope or MarketMuse are great point solutions for this.
    • Best for reporting: Ahrefs if you want to get the data out. There’s an integration with Looker Studio and an API button that gives you the request to re-build charts in your own systems. If you want to pull other data into a system that you don’t control, then look at Conductor or BrightEdge.
    • Best for technical SEO audits: Ahrefs, but I would say there are a lot of good options here like ContentKing, Botify, Lumar (formerly DeepCrawl), Oncrawl, or even more point solutions like Screaming Frog and Sitebulb.
    • Best tools from search engines: Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

    Shopping for an enterprise SEO tool

    When choosing an enterprise SEO tool, you can consider things like your team needs, business needs, how to get support from leadership, and your budget.

    The process for shopping and onboarding an enterprise SEO tool is similar for most companies. 

    Figure out your company and team needs

    What are your goals and your success criteria? 

    This is likely to be different based on your SEO maturity. You may want visibility into rankings. Or you may have specific goals like increasing the number of keywords ranking in the top three positions or increasing traffic by x% YoY. 

    Your goals may even be related to the organization, such as bringing SEO in-house or increasing SEO awareness in your organization. Thinking about where your company is in its SEO maturity can help you figure out your needs.

    An image describing the different levels of SEO maturity that most companies go through

    Who will use the tool? What will they use it for? What data is needed? This brainstorming session usually turns into a wish list of features. You’ll probably end up adding more to this list as you see some things in particular tools that you want to add. 

    Demos and trials of the tools

    This is the fun part. Companies will usually run you through how to use their tools, show you cool use cases, and give you access so you can play around with the tools to make sure they fit your needs.

    Deciding which tool is right for you

    I’ve seen many companies evaluate tools based on how well they fit their needs. They usually score features and tally up the totals to narrow down their choices.

    I recommend using the scores as a guide, but don’t base your decisions solely on the scoring. Talk to your team about what they like in different tools, check if the tools have the data they need, and make sure the tool is easy to use and they actually want to use it. A tool is only valuable if it is used effectively by your team. 

    Making a business case

    You will have to make a business case and get buy-in from leadership in order to secure funding for a tool.

    This step may also come earlier in the process, but I personally think this is where it belongs. You’ve done the legwork needed to answer all the right questions about why a tool is needed. And now, you know what tool(s) you want and the cost of it (them).

    With this information, you can make a much stronger business case and present your options.

    The pricing for enterprise SEO tools is often custom and determined by factors such as:

    • Number of users
    • Number of websites or projects
    • Number of tracked keywords
    • Number of crawled pages
    • Number of API credits
    • Hours of professional services included

    Tool vendor onboarding

    There’s no easy way to say this. Vendor onboarding is typically a painful process for everyone involved.

    This can easily be the longest part of the process, as it usually involves a lot of people for sign-offs, budgeting, procurement, legal, and security. It’s the redlining process where things are marked out of terms, conditions can be intense, and the information that companies ask for can be extremely specific.

    Don’t panic! It’s never fun, but lots of companies have been through this before. Just take deep breaths, and you’ll survive this part of the process.

    Lessons learned when shopping for Enterprise SEO tools

    I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve been through this process. I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve talked to many others about their experiences as well. Here are some things I’d suggest looking into more.

    Jack of all trades, master of none

    Some tools seem to build features to check all the boxes on the shopping lists we talked about earlier. They may look great on paper. But when you go to use them, you realize that many of those tools may be mediocre and contain questionable data.

    For example, as a technical SEO, I’ve found some tools to have things in their audit that they flag as issues—even though Google has said many times said things are not issues.

    The platforms often become reporting platforms rather than being used to help people do their jobs better. This can be because of long update frequencies. Or in some cases, you have to submit a request to get data, which slows down the process.

    You may encounter features that sound great on paper, such as automated insights. But more often than not, those insights have questionable value. They cause people to waste a lot of time doing things that don’t have an impact.

    Ahrefs is generally the preferred tool for people who work in SEO. SEOs trust our data and find our tool full-featured and easy to use. We also have so much educational material that SEOs can rely on to be accurate and help guide them through almost any subject.

    Sidenote.
    Check out our guide: How to Succeed in Enterprise SEO.

    We also have real SEO experts on staff who use the platform daily and help shape its future.

    Obscured pricing

    A lot of companies in this space require you to contact them for pricing. They will build a “custom” package for you after asking about your budget—because they want to know what you’re willing or able to pay.

    One company may be paying 20X more than another company for the exact same package. This part of the process can be far from transparent.

    At Ahrefs, all of our prices are listed along with the limits and the cost of all add-ons.

    Check the cancellation process

    I personally think this can tell you a lot about any company. Some companies may make this difficult. You may have to contact them to cancel or have a meeting before you’re able to cancel.

    Read your contract very carefully. Some companies require a written notice several months in advance if you want to cancel. Of course, they’re not going to remind you of this when your contract is about to be due.

    At Ahrefs, we send you a reminder before your renewal date.

    https://twitter.com/randfish/status/1578963601939136514

    Aggressive sales teams

    I have nightmares about being contacted by a person from a certain company after being overwhelmed by him a few years ago. I still remember his name to this day, and I’m pretty bad with names in general.

    That company isn’t the only one known for aggressive salespeople, though. Some will call you, email you, email your personal email, call your personal cell phone, and message you on every social platform you’re on.

    When that doesn’t work, they start doing the same to coworkers, your boss, your boss’s boss. They may even email your boss and tell them how bad of a job you’re doing because you don’t use their platform. Yes, it’s really a thing, and it’s ridiculous.

    They also tend to overpromise. They’ll tell you things like the tool is all you need and can replace an SEO team. This is never true.

    I’d recommend searching a few platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit for the names of the companies so you can see some of the stories and what people think about some of the enterprise SEO tools. You should hear the stories and experiences of others before signing a contract. You’ll find that many of the enterprise tools do not have the best reputation with SEOs.

    At Ahrefs, we have a small accounts team to help teams assess whether Ahrefs is a good fit for their organization. After an initial discovery call, our team will develop a custom demo, guide the evaluation process by bringing all the stakeholders on the same page, and help navigate any red tape. Transparency is core to the process. To avoid surprises, Ahrefs lets customers test-drive the product before purchasing.

    Once a customer decides to work with us, the Ahrefs team will provide custom training sessions specific to the use cases they need, help them learn how to use Ahrefs quickly, and ultimately reduce the time it takes to reach their goals.

    Services

    This can be a positive or a negative, to be honest. It’s kind of a fine line that tool companies have to walk when also providing services. I’ve seen some vendors step over this line and try to steal work from agency partners—even those who had recommended their tool to the company.

    If you need services, check what they offer and see if you can find some people who work with them so you can ask some questions. Some of the consultants at companies do good work, and others will provide work at about the same level as a junior SEO. I’ve seen services pitched as SEO consulting when all they really did was use the hours to help set up the tool.

    Your reps will likely vary in their skill sets a lot, and some of the companies have high employee turnover. In many cases, you may be better off with an agency partner.

    Ahrefs does not offer client service work.

    Lack of innovation

    Just like at some enterprise companies, some of these tool companies can be slow-moving. You will hear typical excuses like it’s on the roadmap or it’s coming soon. But in many cases, the features just never show up. In some cases, they may acquire other tools to try to make up for the lack of innovation, but they may kill whatever made the previous tool worth acquiring.

    We do roundups of all of our product updates every month or two. You can see the kind of progress we make and the innovative features we launch.

    Biased comparisons and studies

    Lots of these tools will show you cherry-picked comparisons that make them look awesome and studies they have run where they declare themselves the winner. Take all of this with a grain of salt.

    Don’t just take any tool’s word that it’s the best. Ask around. See who comes up as the platform of choice. See who real users favor.

    Final thoughts

    Onboarding an enterprise SEO tool can be a long and difficult process. Getting rid of a bad tool once it’s integrated into your systems can be even harder. Make sure you do your homework and select the right solution for you. 

    As we’ve built out our enterprise offering, we’ve added a lot of features that enterprise companies need to be successful and all the pieces they need to meet compliance guidelines. If you have a feature you want to see us add, message me on Twitter.

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