SEO Powersuite Review

 

Introducing the tool

We’ve reviewed SEO Powersuite as a single tool for the purposes of our SEO tools comparison, although in actual fact SEO Powersuite is a “suite” of 4 desktop SEO tools each with a different job;

Each tool in the suite works as a standalone desktop program and each runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. We’ve looked at each tool inside Powersuite in the review below with our conclusions and pricing at the end.

Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker in SEO Powersuite is a fully featured keyword rank checking tool which runs on your desktop. As we mentioned in the Advanced Web Ranking review, desktop tools for rank tracking make a lot of sense because you can 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 I’ve used. What’s more running it without using a proxy I 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, if you’re monitoring a lot of keywords I’d definitely recommend using proxies to ensure reliable results.

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As with AWR the biggest advantage of a desktop tool link SEO Powersuite 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 additional costs or limitations as you get with hosted tools like Moz or AnalyticsSEO. The way I 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.

LinkAssistant & SEO SpyGlass

I’ve looked at these 2 tools within the SEO Powersuite toolset in one section because for me its strange to see these as 2 separate tools, they would make much more sense to me as a single tool (in fact I’d prefer to have the option of the whole of the Powersuite under a single application). SEO Spyglass is a tool to help discover link building opportunities from competitors and analyse those backlinks for potential spam signals. LinkAssist helps you with managing the attempts to link build with those sites. So why not make them 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 competitors domain, choose the best ones and try and copy them. It’s a well used and abused link building tactic which obviously still has its place in certain SEO campaigns but this should not be the only type of link building you’re doing.

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SEO Spyglass uses a number of data sources to uncover links to your own site and your competitors and you can choose what sources the tool uses in the advanced settings when you run a new project. Most of the link data seems to me to come from Powersuite’s own database of links rather than third party sources. That’s fine and it 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.

The LinkAssistant tool I didn’t particularly like. It reminded me too much of the bad old days when an SEO campaign meant spending countless hours souring 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 more suited to modern link building. For me 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, its just there’s much, much better alternatives for doing this work these days.

Website Auditor

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 onpage 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.

websiteauditor

I scanned around 250 pages in a little under 10 minutes which is pretty reasonable. Once your scan of a site has completed you 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 broken links, information on page titles and meta data and you can also see link stats at a page level which is useful for analysing large sites with lots of links. Its 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).

I’ve got to say this is one of the most comprehensive and practical SEO crawlers I’ve used and 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 onpage issues.

Price

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. Paid licences come in 2 editions, Professional at £229 and Enterprise at £549. The professional edition is going to be fine for most in-house SEO’s with 1 or a few sites which they work on. Agencies are likely to need the Enterprise edition with its additional features for exporting client reports. There aren’t many other differences between the 2 editions but this is probably going to be a key feature if you’re an agency and want to generate nice looking PDF reports to send to clients or prospective clients.

Desktop tools like SEO Powersuite and Advanced Web Ranking do tend to work out more economical than hosted tools like Raven and Moz with their recurring subscriptions and Powersuite is particularly attractive price wise as there is no ongoing support agreement cost like you have with AWR, so you get free upgrades for life as part of the cost of the software.

Something to consider for agencies however is that SEO Powersuite offers single user licences meaning if you have a whole team of SEO’s who need access to the tool you’ll need to buy multiple licences, in this case you can check out some of the multi-user discounts they offer. Even for a relatively large team you’ll still probably find making an upfront investment in SEO Powersuite will work out cheaper than many of the hosted tools we’ve reviewed within 6-12 months.

You an also buy any of the 4 tools within SEO Powersuite for £94.75 for a professional licence and £229.75 for an enterprise licence if you just want the rank tracker or the Auditor for example.

Conclusion

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. 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 and does it well, although I’ll be sticking with Advanced Web Ranking as my rank checking tool of choice.

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