Article updated September 2020
Introducing SEO Powersuite
As its name would suggest, SEO Powersuite is a “suite” of 4 SEO tools, each with a different job:
- LinkAssistant– for backlink analysis, outreach and management
- Rank Tracker– a keyword research and rank checking tool
- SEO SpyGlass– a competitor backlink analysis and link auditing tool
- Website Auditor– an on-page optimisation tool
Each tool in the suite works as a standalone desktop program that can run on any operating system, including Windows, Mac and Linux. In this SEO tool review, we’ll look at each of Powersuite’s tools individually, before rounding off with pricing info and our overall conclusions about SEO Powersuite.
If you’d like to try a free, basic version of SEO Powersuite, download the program here and start installing while you read this article.
We’re now going to go through each of the four SEO Powersuite tools, one-by-one.
Rank Tracker in SEO Powersuite is a fully-featured keyword rank checking tool which runs on your desktop. Having a desktop tool for rank tracking makes a lot of sense, because this will enable you to get your data fast. And Rank Tracker is very fast. It powers through large lists of keywords with ease and returns your results as quickly as any rank checking tool we’ve used. What’s more, running it without using a proxy we didn’t experience any issues with Google throwing up spam protection warnings which are common with other desktop tools. This was on a small keyword set though, and if you’re monitoring a lot of keywords we would definitely recommend using proxies to ensure reliable results.
These benefits of desktop-based rank tracking are increasingly hard-to-come-by, especially since the excellent Advanced Web Ranking made the switch from desktop program to a web app.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having a desktop Rank Tracker like SEO Powersuite’s is that you can track as many keywords as you want, as often as you want, and on pretty much every search engine known to man, without incurring the additional costs or limitations you would get with hosted tools like Moz or AnalyticsSEO. The way we like to use rank tracking on large sites is to run daily results on hundreds or thousands of keywords to get a broad, day-by-day picture of the visibility trend for a site. This means a tool like Powersuite is going to be running pretty much constantly in the background, so it needs to be reliable.
In July 2019, SEO Powersuite announced a raft of important updates to Rank Tracker’s capabilities. Crucially, it can now find ranking domains for any URL, rather than just for domains. This will be a big help for marketers who want to assess the impact of their SEO work on a specific landing page.
Another key addition is the Keyword Gap tool, which finds keywords that competitors’ websites rank for, but the user’s site does not. We expect this will come in very handy for finding keyword opportunities that are currently being missed. We’ll mention one final addition (although there are several others), in the form of the ‘People Also Ask’ research tool. This is simply a handy way of pulling ‘People Also Ask’ results from Google into the tool. If you look at these results in your SEO work, this feature could save you some time.
LinkAssistant & SEO SpyGlass
We’re going to look at these two tools from the SEO Powersuite toolset in one section of this review because in our opinion they occupy much the same area of SEO work.
SEO Spyglass is a tool that discovers link-building opportunities based on competitors’ link profiles, and analyses the backlinks discovered for potential spam signals. LinkAssistant helps with managing attempts to link-build with the sites SEO Spyglass uncovers. With this in mind, why not make SEO Spyglass and LinkAssistant into one tool? Anyway, there’s the option to import from Spyglass into LinkAssistant if you want to.
SEO Spyglass’ primary function is to research the backlinks pointing to a competitor’s domain, choose the best ones and try and copy them. This is a well-used-and-abused link-building tactic which obviously still has its place in certain SEO campaigns – but we must add that this should not be the only type of link building you’re doing. The right way to think about SEO Spyglass is as a tool that gives you info on the best successes in competitors’ link profiles to emulate; the wrong way to think about it is as a tool to help you replicate competitors’ link profiles as exactly as possible.
SEO Spyglass uses a number of data sources to uncover links to your own site and your competitors’, and you can choose which sources the tool uses in the advanced settings when you run a new project. Most of the link data seem to me to come from Powersuite’s own database of links rather than third-party sources. This approach does seem to find plenty of link opportunities, but I would have some reservations about being reliant on this data if I was doing a very large link building project. Serious link builders may prefer to plug into multiple data sources like Majestic, Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs rather than using the data sources available through SEO Spyglass.
Data sources aside, SEO Spyglass does what it says on the tin and it does it well. Collecting link data from as many sites as you like and, as with the Rank Tracker tool, doing it in double-quick speed – no hanging around for hours for reports to run like you might find with some hosted tools. Spyglass became even handier in summer 2019, thanks to the addition of a bulk website comparison feature that enables as many as 200 domains to be scanned simultaneously for link-building opportunities.
While SEO Spyglass does a great job, the LinkAssistant tool is not so impressive. It reminds us too much of the bad old days when an SEO campaign meant spending countless hours scouring the web for reciprocal link arrangements and free web directories. If you’re doing proper link outreach, a tool link BuzzStream or Raven is far better suited to modern link building. For us, LinkAssistant is stuck in 2008 and encourages a type of link building which is likely to land you in trouble with Google. That’s not to say you couldn’t use it for proper link outreach; it’s just that there are far better alternatives for doing this work these days.
Website Auditor is an SEO Crawler or “spidering” tool which scans your site in a similar way to a search engine crawler and helps you identify potential issues or opportunities to improve your on-page optimisation. As with Rank Tracker, it makes a lot of sense having a desktop tool to do this sort of work rather than a hosted solution like you get with Raven or Moz because it gives you near real-time results rather than waiting in a queue for your reports to run.
We scanned around 2,400 pages in a little under 10 minutes, which is pretty reasonable, especially considering the fact we were running the program on a fairly old laptop. Once your scan of a domain is done, you’ll have a bunch of page-level SEO data to play with. You’ll get all the main ranking factors you’d expect to see here like HTTP error data, information on page titles and metadata, and link stats at a page level, which will be useful for analysing large sites with lots of links. It’s good to see the tool has been kept up to date with options to analyse things like canonical tags and “mobile-friendliness” (if you’re connected to Google Webmaster Tools).
We’ve got to say this is one of the most comprehensive and practical SEO crawlers we’ve used. It would be ideal for a mid-level SEO analyst with a basic understanding of technical SEO concepts, but who will benefit from a checklist approach to dealing with on-page issues. The tool’s user interface, however, is not the most accessible, and there are a few slight issues that make navigating website data tricky, such as the high sensitivity of the scroll bar within the Site Structure dataset. This might put off relatively inexperienced users, but shouldn’t be a big problem for experienced SEO analysts.
You can get a free trial copy of SEO Powersuite to test its functionality, but this is really only a review copy to check out the features as you can’t save or export anything from the software. With some recent price drops this tool became a whole lot more affordable and competitive/ Paid licences come at two tiers: Professional at £249/year, and Enterprise at £609/year. The Professional edition is going to be fine for most in-house SEO’s who work on just one or a few websites. Agencies are likely to need the Enterprise edition with its beefed-up competitor analysis and capability to produce reports without an SEO Powersuite watermark. The latter feature will be key if you want to generate nice-looking PDF reports to send to clients or prospective clients.
Desktop tools like SEO Powersuite tend to work out more economically than hosted tools like Raven and Moz with their recurring subscriptions, and Powersuite is particularly attractive in terms of price, since there is no ongoing support agreement like you’d find with other tools, and you get free upgrades for life as part of the cost of the software.
One downside to Powersuite is that it only offers single-user licences, which means that if you have a whole team of SEO’s who need access to the tool, you’ll need to buy multiple licences. That said, even if you’re buying multiple licences for a relatively large team, you will probably still find that making an upfront investment in SEO Powersuite will work out cheaper than many of the hosted tools featured in our SEO tools comparison.
SEO Powersuite is a powerful and comprehensive set of tools which provides most of the features a light- to middle-weight SEO analyst would need on a daily basis. There are areas where more specialist tools will certainly trump it – for example, Link Research Tools is a better tool for highly detailed link research, BuzzStream is better for Link Management, and AWR is slightly better for Rank Tracking in our opinion. However, as an everything-under-one-roof solution for common SEO tasks at a very reasonable price it comes highly recommended, although I’d personally rather have a single application to cover all my SEO tasks rather than the 4 separate pieces of software which make up SEO Powersuite. Serious link builders should swerve the Spyglass and Link Assist tools in favour of more robust alternatives, but for onpage analysis the Auditor tool is top notch, and the Rank Tracker does what it says on the tin.
Go back to SEO tools comparison report