A comprehensive review of SEO tools

SEO tools are essential to improve ranking in organic search results and are a vital component of a business’s online marketing strategies. Many tools can be used for keyword research and position tracking, website audits, competitor analysis, automated reporting, and many more.

Here at Embryo, we have all the SEO tools you could need. As a top SEO agency in Manchester, we have access to a wide range of software that helps us create innovative SEO strategies for our clients.

Within this guide, we will showcase a range of SEO tools and compare them based on things such as qualities, benefits, and price. The tools we will be comparing include:

  • Semrush
  • Surfer
  • Ahrefs
  • Clearscope
  • SEOptimer

Let’s get started and show you some of the best SEO tools available at the moment!

Best SEO tools in 2024

semrush logo

Semrush is a rank tracker whose features are robust and scalable enough to handle virtually all performance monitoring needs for SMBs and enterprises. Most of its function caters to keywords, SERP analysis, and page ranking metrics.

It has a highly detailed dashboard with customisable widgets, which give a thorough overview of how well a tracked domain is performing in terms of metrics like authority, backlinks, traffic, organic keywords, and average time on site.

claire navy

One of our SEO account managers, Claire Wilder, adds:

SEMRush is one of my favourite tools for competitor analysis, their Keyword Gap tool allows you to add several competitors and see which keyword you’re missing or not ranking too well against key competitors. This is great to look at where you need to expand your content.’

‘I am relatively new to using Ahrefs and I wonder where it has been all my life. The organic keyword report shows you clearly what keywords you are ranking for and you can filter this in so many ways such as by page, by position, and by keyword difficulty. I also love their backline by anchor text which allows you to audit your anchor text to ensure it’s highly optimised.’


  • It is a massive suite of high-end ranking and keyword-tracking tools
  • It has a customisable dashboard
  • It has an enterprise-level functionality


  • It offers premium pricing
  • It’s not quite as feature-rich as some other all-in-one tools

Pricing: £102 per month.


keyword surfer tool

Surfer is primarily an SEO auditing tool, but its depth of insights makes it very useful for keyword research, too. It offers a simple suite of five tools including keyword research, a content editor, an audit, a domain planner, and a SERP analyser. Surfer makes these more actionable by integrating AI. 

Surfer offers real-time structure ratings, related term suggestions, and content scoring so that you can amend with on-page SEO strategies as you go. There is also a handy outline tab that suggests questions and heading ideas.


  • It includes simple AI integrations
  • It offers unique SEO insights
  • It exports content directly to WordPress


  • It can be fairly expensive
  • It requires credits that don’t roll over
  • The Surfer AI feature is charged by the article

Pricing: Essential deals start from £70 per month.



Ahrefs is a premium rank tracker with slightly cheaper subscription options, great for competitor analysis. It actually has a lot of similar features to Semrush, but it has some appealing bonus features like Web Explorer which shows you ranking statistics for pages across the web for given keywords.

It offers a Content Gap tool that shows detailed comparisons of keywords that specific competitors are ranking for, as well as which SERP features they are winning. It also has a Link Intersect tool which shows you which pages are linking to your competitors.


  • It shows accurate, timely ranking data
  • It offers detailed keyword analytics
  • It is less expensive than other tools


  • It has limited reporting tools
  • The tool suite tool is limited to analysis and monitoring

Pricing: Starts at £78 a month.


Clearscope is an SEO tool that is dedicated almost exclusively to content optimisation, and it can be said that its primary asset is reports. You start by feeding a keyword into a report, which brings up the content optimization interface.

Within that space, you can load a template, start writing, drop in the text from an existing post, or extract content from a URL. From there, you instantly get an overall content grade, readability rating, and an extensive list of related keywords.

Clearscope rates each of these options by relevance and how often they appear in posts that rank for your target keyword.


  • It has highly detailed content insights
  • It has a keyword discovery tool
  • It offers page performance tracking


  • It is a very limited suite tool
  • It comes at a premium price
  • It has a monthly credit allotment

Pricing: Starts at £134 a month.


The final tool we will be looking at is SEOptimer, which specialises in diagnosing SEO-related performance issues with a website or individual webpage and comes with a few basic tools for helping to address them.

SEOptimer gives you a snapshot of where your page might be losing traffic based on page SEO indicators, backlinks, user experience, overall performance, and social media connectivity. It also offers a performance score that shows detailed load speed insights.


  • It is a simple and effective SEO tool
  • It offers a wide range of tools for testing specific SEO elements
  • It is reasonably priced


  • There is a limited suite of tools to fix issues
  • Many of the tools aren’t particularly complex

Pricing: starts from as little as £14.99 a month!

In need of SEO tools? Get in touch with the experts!

In conclusion, finding the ‘best’ SEO tool isn’t entirely possible, especially as there are so many different classes of SEO software to choose from. Hopefully, this guide has showcased some of the standout features of each individual tool and has helped you to pick the right product based on your needs.

If you still want some more insight into the world of SEO tools or digital marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Or, you can check out some of our similar pieces below.

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