SEO Tools Comparison: Raven Tools, Moz Analytics, BuzzStream & More

Update July 2014 – Due to the ongoing popularity of this report and changes to a number of the tools we’ve previously covered we have made minor update again in July 2014. We plan a full update in September 2014. In an effort to reign in the ever expanding word count and make the report easier to navigate we have moved reviews of the individual tools onto separate pages. The main updates in this revision are to SEOmoz which has rebranded as Moz and launched their new Moz Analytics product – this replaces the previous SEOmoz Web App part of this report. Please keep the comments coming!

Whether you’re an agency, in-house or DIY SEO having the right tools for the job can make your life easier and your campaigns more effective. But as SEO becomes bigger business, the more tools we see released onto the market. The range is massive as well from freebies to big $500/ month subscriptions.

In this review I’m going to take a look at 6 of the most popular and talked about SEO tools on the market at the moment-

This isn’t exactly a like for like comparison as these tools each serve slightly different purposes and cater for different users but if you’re weighing up introducing these tools into your SEO process I hope this will give you some pointers as too what each tool can do and how their individual features compare.

At a glance

In a hurry? We’ve summarised the highlights of the SEO tools we’ve reviewed in this post in the table below, but please read on for the full reviews!

ToolPriceBuy it forRecommended forSign UpOur review
Image$99-$249/ monthHuge range of tools under one roofSmall to medium sized agenciesSign UpRaven Tools Review
Image$99-$499/ monthOpen Site ExplorerIn-house SEO'sSign UpMoz Analytics Review
Image$29-$249/ monthLarge scale link management capabilitiesSerious link buildersSign UpBuzzstream Review
Image$160-$4000/ month*Enterprise level campaign managementMid to large agenciesSign UpAnalyticsSEO Review
Image$69-$299/ monthSimple, fast tools, customer collaborationIndependant SEO's and small agenciesSign UpWebCEO Review
Image$99-$1499/ one-offDesktop solution with great rank checking featuresIn-house SEO's & large sitesSign UpAWR Review

*Approx price converted from GBP for the sake of comparison

Our conclusions & the state of SEO tools in 2013

Please do read through each of the tool reviews to find out which tool is right for you. Since the first version of this report nearly 3 years ago each of the tools we’ve looked at have undergone constant changes and improvements. In all Raven tools remains our favourite SEO tool. It has the most features and offers the most complete toolset. In addition to the range of SEO tools which you get with Raven there’s also other useful tools for managing PPC campaigns, email marketing, social media and reporting. Its good to see other tools taking a different direction however. For example Buzzstream has resisted the temptation to become anything other than a link building tool and as a result is by far the best solution on the market for serious link builders. AnalyticsSEO have developed probably the most enterprise ready SEO tool with powerful reporting features making it a good option for larger SEO agencies.

Although we weren’t blown away by the first release of Moz Analytics the direction its going in which is to move away from pure SEO metrics and towards a more all encompassing reporting tool for inbound marketing channels seems sensible. WebCEO’s online version has also made significant steps forward since we first looked at it and AWR is now more relevant than ever as a tool, given Google’s recent moves to remove all SEO keyword data from Analytics reporting, having a clear picture of your search engine rankings is going to be more important than ever.

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82 Comments
  1. Appreciate the mention! Just want to clear up one thing here, competitor rankings do not count towards account allotments within Raven. Thanks again for the great review, we always appreciate that.

    • Hi Alison – thanks for the comment and feedback. Noted – I’ll add that into the article very shortly to make sure that’s clear.
      Daniel

  2. Thanks for including BuzzStream in your review! As you mentioned, we’re strongest in the areas of link development, particularly at scale (customers like HomeAway, Coca Cola, Cheapflights, Fathom, etc.).

    FYI, our pricing model is changing later this month…all our plans will include a much larger number of links.

    Cheers,

    Paul May
    BuzzStream founder

  3. We have been looking top change providers for our reporting and I stumbled on your write up at the right time – thanks.

    • Glad the report was useful – timing was planned of course ;-)

  4. Daniel, thanks for taking the time to write this – I’ve been comparing SEOmoz and Raven Tools, and you’ve succinctly settled the issue for me. Much appreciated.

    • Really glad you found the report helpful – thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Let me know how you get on with the tool you’ve chosen.
      Daniel

  5. A fantastic write-up and perfect timing for us as we look to choose a supplier. You’ll probably be earning some affiliate commission from us shortly! :)

    • Commission or not, many thanks for the feedback and taking the time to leave a comment. Let me know how you get on with the tool.

      Daniel

  6. Thank you for the article. I’ve been playing with the trial version of Raven all week and spending a good deal of time playing with all that I can find for free at SEOMOZ trying to decide which one to go with. As far as community and articles I have to Say SEOMOZ is heads and shoulders above Raven but as far as the tools themselves I have not yet decided. Thank you for the heads up on Buzzstream. I am not familiar with them but will take a peek.

    • Thanks for your comments – I agree that the SEOMOZ community is great and very active. Let us know how you get on with the tools.

      Daniel

  7. Hi! Any comparison between Raven Tools and SEO Powersuite?

    Thanks!

  8. Great list of reviews here, I’ve been a member of both raven and seomoz pro for some time now, however looking into managing link builders who do work in isolation, buzzstream looks fantastic, thanks for bringing this all to light, I will test and see if it compares to Raven.

    Best post I’ve read in a while when it comes to the management of your seo campaigns. :)

    • Hi Nick – Thanks for the feedback, let us know how you get on please.

      Thanks

      Daniel

  9. Nice article. See from the Twitter feed that you are requesting suggestions on other tools to feature. Totally biased I know but Searchmetrics would be a good one. Happy to arrange a web demonstration of the tool at your convenience.

    Cheers
    Steve

    • Be happy to add it in – can I get a login to try things out for a short period?

  10. I have to agree, very nice writeup on the best tools out there…

    • Thanks – appreciate the feedback!

      Daniel

  11. Great article, we used to be members of SEOmoz but turned out to be quite expensive for what we was using it for, Think we’ll be checking out Raven Tools, as it seems a bit more cost effective.

  12. Daniel

    This looks like a decent, honest review of a few of the most popular SEO tools available. However I think it would be worthwhile looking at other tools that are also very popular inc.:

    *Ontolo (high end link research)
    *Market Samurai (aimed at affiliates, bloggers, people like particularly their keyword research tools)
    *Analytics SEO (fully automated suite of SEO tools ***DISCLAIMER: I work here:-)***
    *Majestic SEO (probably the worlds best link data / competitive link analysis)
    *Search Metrics (a suite of SEO tools including a huge amount of visibility data)
    *Web CEO (full suite of desktop tools, decent keyword research, does some other things really well too like keyword targeting)

    As an experienced SEO I know the best guys in the industry tend to have a lot of licenses and many of my peers use literally everything! I went out for drinks with 3 of the worlds top agencies recently who use all the above, trial everything and build there own tools too!

    I believe you could trial all of the above, although you may need to contact us at Analytics SEO for one as I believe we have recently stopped doing free trials unless they are requested.

    Regards

    Steve

  13. Thank you for your discussion. I would definitely like to agree with a former poster who wanted a comparison of these tools with the SEO PowerSuite that is offered, as a one time fee.

    The toolset seems pretty useful, albeit a desktop tool, it updates continuously through downloads (much like Market Samurai).

    If one is not looking for “advice” but rather the raw power of tools, it might be a valuable option. It seems to me like it would rule out the ‘community cost’ and just give you powertools. Now, I do not work with them but am rather just bringing up a further discussion.

  14. SEO PowerSuite is not just a one-time fee. It also requires a subscription for access to its data after a limited trial period. (In my opinion, they hide this a bit to make their service look cheaper than it is.)

  15. Hello. Do you have an idea what is the “5 websites” included on plan $29 on buzzstream? thanks

    • I’ll double check and get clarification on this point….

      Thanks

      Daniel

  16. Hi Daniel!

    Thanks so much for reviewing our products again, we always appreciate it. Since the original post was written a while ago, I wanted to make sure to update a few improvements that we’re excited about with SEOmoz PRO:
    - We collect rankings for up to 3 competitors. All you have to do is select a specific search engine filter and voila you’ll see the competitive rankings for that search engine. Woot!
    - We’re super happy to say that when you set up your keywords when creating a campaign, you’ll now get those rankings back within an hour.
    - Also, it now only takes about an hour for us to crawl smaller sites (under 250 pages) after creating a campaign.

    Once again, thanks so much for your review and if anyone has any questions, we’re more than happy to answer. You can email me directly at jen at seomoz.org.

    Thanks!

    Jen Sable Lopez
    Community Manager – SEOmoz

    • Hi Jen

      Many thanks for the positive feedback and clarification. Great to see SEOMoz has such a good community/social media policy and approach.

      Thanks

      Daniel

  17. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks again for taking another look at BuzzStream and updating the review! This is a great resource for the SEO community.

    …wanted to also let you know about some things that have been added to the product since your review (and some things that are on the way):

    - the “clever” email tracking capability recently got more clever. :) We now provide IMAP integration as an option, which means you don’t have to bcc or forward to your BuzzBox address. All emails between you and your prospects/partners are automatically added to the contact records.
    - We added a prospecting tool…basically, you enter in search terms, BuzzStream pulls back prospects and automatically looks for contact information, collects metrics, shows the RSS feed, etc.
    -We’ve made major improvements to the backlink monitoring capabilities, including improved reporting and discovery of existing backlinks when you add a project.

    Next up is a complete revamp of the user interface, followed by major updates to prospecting and outreach…lots to keep us busy. :)

    Thanks again!

    Paul May
    BuzzStream co-founder

  18. Great post. We have just started using Analytics SEO at our company and its great its probably my most used tool. It does have some small issues like the amount it crawls your site at the moment it is putting a lot of pressure on the server. But the guys there are very keen to help and listen to any ideas you might have.

    One tool you have missed is Link Research Tools. This is superb and uses data from SEOMoz and Majestic its worth looking at.

  19. I have heard about SEOmoz and WEB CEO. Rest of the tools is unknown for me. But I will try these tools. Why Analytics SEO is so expensive software? Did they have some extra features from other software.

  20. Really appreciate the mention and kind words!

    Please drop me a line any time and I can let you know new features etc. we are working on. We have worked really hard and spent a majority of our resources on developing the tool.

    Its fantastic to get reviewed alongside such popular tools :-)

  21. Thanks for this sweet article! I’m now trying out Raven Tools. Cheers

  22. Thanks for taking the time to update the review. Web CEO moved onto the cloud in 2011.

    As Oscar Wilde said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about,” so we at Web CEO are glad for both the kudos and the constructive criticism on specific navigability issues.

    We implemented a major upgrade in late November that dealt with some of the issues mentioned above and other functions and navigability improvements that our large SEO agency customers & large enterprise SEO managers wanted.

    The biggest Thanksgiving change was where we combined the Site Auditor tool with the “SEO Analyzer” tool (that checks how well a site is optimized for specific keywords) and significantly increased the number of HTML mistakes and other issues a site can be checked for.

    We’ve added tag features and quick keyword set implementations outside of the Keyword Tool. Another big update will come on the 20th of December and we’ll be working between Christmas and New Year’s so other reviewers may rate us better for the large SEO agency and professional crowd we normally serve.

    • Hi Allen

      Many thanks for your feedback – we’ll be updating the review again in the new year so we’ll re-visit Web CEO again then. I think your willingness to engage and feedback demonstrates a great commitment to customer service.

      Thanks again and we look forward to checking out the new features.

      Daniel

  23. Daniel – Nice writeup. Have you looked at Linkdex too? Right now I’m deciding between Raven, Analytics SEO and Linkdex. I love Linkdex’s categorizing of links…

    • Its not we’ve played with yet. It’ll go on the list for the next version. Can you let us know a little more about it? Thanks. Daniel

  24. EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks man, you really made it easy to go with Raven….

  25. I’d sure love to see you compare BrightEdge. My company is considering contracting with BrightEdge. Raven Tools can track the progress of key phrases in relation to how your website is doing overall – but it cannot track your specific web pages (urls) in relation to key phrases. Our website has over a million web pages. We often see several of our pages ranking in the top 10 for the same key phrase. It is important for us to be able to track the progress and SERP changes of specific pages in relation to key phrases. BrightEdge also has very comprehensive backlink analysis and tracking, competitive analysis, prioritization based on ROI, and social media tracking and strategy prioritization. You name it….

  26. Cool review – im looking at starting my own consultancy firm, its nice to know what the cool kids use. If you do this comparison again, can you include a segment for Local Marketing (Google Places and Bings version)

  27. BrightLocal Search Ranking Tool Reviews? Opinions on local search engine rankings tools? dock29 

  28. Tjhanks for helping  people like me , according to me SEOmoz tools are must have for all search engine optimizers. Seomoz tools detailed information and extensive reports  to help seo Professionals.

  29. This was definitely has been the most comprehensive review of the SEO tools. If so many details, it was an amazing reading, but I felt that you didn’t compare as much as you should, because well, our time is limited and what we want to know is which service should we sign, whether we are a small blog whether we are a huge agency.

  30. Well, first thank you very very much for such a comprehensive post. As a small agancy with limited financial ressources, we always try to opt for tools that offer best value for money.
    We use MarketSamurai (another good tool) and we were thinking about getting a Raven subscription, after reading your post I agree that it’s too expensive on the long run and we will probably go for AWR at least as a starting point.

  31. About WebCeo Desktop Edition and Link building :
    I found that you can add potential partners urls manually in WebCeo Desktop Edition :
    Under the Partners tab > Manage correspondance > Personal correspondance > Add sites manually or Import from.
    I think this is critical for link building, and you reported this doesn’t appear to exist in the online version (which I don’t use so I can’t check).
    Cheers.

  32. Very fair review of http://raventools.com, did a great job of evaluating all of the aspects of our toolset vs the competitors. 

  33. A very good review, although I would like to have seen a section in the review for Keyword Research. I know Raven integrates Wordtracker, Google Webmaster Tools and SEMRush but to me these feel “dumbed down” compared to a real Wordtracker account.

  34. Its a great review.Its really a great list of SEO tools, you have shared such great tools.Thanks for sharing nice tools.

  35. EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I like it…….. and thanks for provide this facility………….

  36. This was indeed very helpful!

  37. A very good and informative article!
    As you requested for more similar services, take a look at Cuutio (www.cuutio.com). It has a quite similar approach to things but it takes localization and competitive situation a bit further and is targeted to the end-users more than professionals.

  38. Very helpful list! I think ColibriTool deserves to be mentioned. I’m using free trial now and i think it’s great tool, especially with Google Analytics integrated with. Also pricing is very good.

  39. very helpfull information for the moment i m using seomoz 30 day trial and i m very happy.

  40. This was one of the most informative and objective reviews I’ve seen for a long time…Very good!

    I’d love to see an update where you include “SEO Profiler” and “gShift Labs”. It seems SEOProfiler is similar to Analytics SEO and SEOmoz and what’s interesting about gShift Labs is the team collaboration features.

    Do you take the challenge?

    Thank U

  41. Great review. Ive been using moz, but i’ve always been wondering if there was something better. Thanks so much for the indpeth review, much appreciated.

  42. I am using Linkody to monitor and analyse my backlinks and am very happy with it. They have a free plan.

  43. Hi, this post was really useful. I’ve been considering a bunch of tools for ages and so glad I bumped into this. I think the first of all I’m going to go for is the AWR tool and the $19 buzzstream tool. After that I think there is space for one more weapon in the Arsenal, so either SEOmoz, Raven or AnalyticsSEO

    Btw, just had a quick look at Raven and they have literally within the last month released a site auditor (must have been released on the back of your last update). This is one reason why I liked the idea of SEOmoz and AnalyticsSEO. Will have to have a play with all to make sure I choose the right one

    Again, many thanks for an excellent review

  44. Regarding team collaboration, Web CEO Online has, for the past two years, allowed the owner of an account to specify who (by email address) can logon for a free account at http://www.webceo.com but get full access to certain projects of the other account owner.

    On the 21st of March, 2013, we turned this into White Label Collaboration. That means you specify the email addresses of would-be collaborators and they can logon from your OWN website, such as seo.yoursite.com to have access to certain projects where you can limit the amount of scanning they can do and whether or not they can create new projects, etc.

    Agencies have told us that they don’t want employees to learn how to use brand-name SEO tools and then leave to start their own agencies. So they asked us to make the Web CEO Online collaboration features fully white label so their employees believe they are using in-house SEO software.

    White Label Collaboration is something I’m not sure other SEO tool producers have other than Web CEO. But it’s a great thing for agencies. Your customers and colleagues can do SEO with you on one sub-domain of yours and/or they can view read-only reports on another domain such as reports.yoursite.com

  45. Reporb is an awesome SEO reporting tool which creates backlink reports for your clients.

    & they just added the ability to report your client rankings.

    Can you do a comparison with the other seo tools?

    - Tommy Dan

  46. A bit weird to see AWR here and no mention of Rank Tracker (http://www.link-assistant.com/rank-tracker/). This is also a well-known desktop rank checking tool (even more popular than AWR imo), but from personal experience I can say that it is much faster, and – which is really important – much more ACCURATE.

    And regarding March 2013 update: why don’t you add new tools to the comparison like myseoTools or WebMeUp? They’re really cool and seems like they’ll leave SEOMoz and Raven far behind pretty soon.

  47. I’m now checking http://www.webmeup.com and it is very familiar to me regarding UI, as I used Link-Assistant.com tools in the past. Do they have something in common?

  48. This is an amazing review! I have been testing both Moz and Raven Tools… With the site crawl auditor that they just added, it pushed me over the edge to go with Raven for now.

    Hope to see you keep updating this post as things go on.

  49. just wanted to share that old SheerSEO got a new backlink checker (www.SheerExplorer.com)

  50. Great review Daniel, I was looking into SEOMOZ but after reading this I might go with Raven. I noticed your March update but wondered if you have taken a look at SEOMoz since the rebrand to Moz? And does that effect your review?

    • We haven’t done a review since then, but on initial inspection the re-brand doesn’t change the tools. We’ll update this report in the next month or so again as well. Thanks

  51. This is too good but for more ideas on better SEO click on http://geeks9.com/how-to-use-google-disavow-links-tool-for-better-seo/

  52. Good article thanks, I currently use SEM Rush, SEO Powersuite and MOZ, any reason why you have not included SEM Rush & SEO Powersuite?

    • Rob,
      One of the SEO Platforms that was mentioned in the review was Analytics SEO and they are actually integrated with SEMrush. They aggregate SEMrush data with Majestic SEO, Google Analytics and WMT. It gives a well-rounded view of the data. You should definitely check it out.

  53. Go East, Go west, Moz is the best than the rest.

  54. I’ve been back and forth between MOZ and Raven as a paying customer for quite awhile, currently ready to bail out of my MOZ subscription and head back to Raven for good. Raven is just more intuitive/easy to use, the branded reports are a big plus.

  55. Nice post Daniel. I don’t like any of these paid ‘seo tools’ personally as I prefer to do everything manually but some of my clients have really expressed their love for Raven tools despite it’s cost. I noticed Raventools makes SEO quite easy (for beginners) because of it’s easy to use interface.

  56. I am looking specifically at useful reporting tools for my clients. I do not plan to do the work for them but give them the analysis and reccomendations for them to follow up. I am torn between Web CEO and SEO Power Suite Enterprise. Can anyone offer some advice or suggestions?