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Choose Your Weapon: The 13 Best SEO Content Marketing Tools Compared

Walking into a kitchen store, I always feel a bit overwhelmed.

It’s the same feeling I get scrolling through content marketing tool reviews.

There are hundreds of different tools that do thousands of different tasks, all with one singular goal: To make something delicious.

The problem I have is this: How do I know which tools I truly need to create good food—or good content, for that matter?

Something similar can happen when it comes to SEO content marketing tools. There are hundreds of different websites and companies that promote hundreds of different products, all with the goal of creating interesting, shareable content that ranks well in search engines.

But, unless you’re working with an unlimited budget (which I’m guessing you’re not), you’ll need to pick and choose just a limited number out of those options.

And even with unlimited money, having 20 different tools becomes tiring and confusing.

So, how can you know which tools you truly need to get the job done?

Today, we’re going to compare 13 of the market’s top SEO content marketing tools, many of which you might already be a little familiar with.

We’ll dive into each one, comparing their features, ease of use and pricing.

Finally, you’ll know exactly which SEO content marketing tools you need to succeed!

Choose Your Weapon: The 13 Best SEO Content Marketing Tools Compared

SEO Tracking

keyword-research-tools-monitor-backlinksMonitor Backlinks

The comprehensive Monitor Backlinks tool is a great option when you’re looking to see SEO metrics for your website or a competitor’s website.

First things first, this tool is all about backlinks. That’s its specialty. It does backlink research and reporting with extreme precision. With Monitor Backlinks, you can get full, in-depth reports about the backlinks that are coming to your website and your competition’s sites.

Despite being so strongly focused on backlinks, this tool also offers keyword rank tracking—along with heaps of great SEO metrics for those keywords, like organic traffic volume and difficulty—and will display how your competition is faring for each entered keyword.

Go ahead and give Monitor Backlinks a try with its 30-day free trial. It gives you ample time to see how well it can work for you!


SEMrush offers excellent features in the area of SEO tracking.

Some of its tools include a powerful keyword research tool, a keyword ranking tracker, which shows you and your competition’s positioning for certain keywords and keyword analysis—showing you CPC (cost per click), traffic volume, ranking difficulty and more valuable information.

Apart from that, there’s a pretty solid backlink research tool included.

seo-content-marketing-tools-1Mangools SERPChecker/SERPWatcher

These two SEO tools work in tandem and come in the same package with KWFinder, which we will talk more about below.

The SERPChecker analyzes over 45 different types of SEO metrics, while providing the information in an easy-to-read format.

Use this along with the SERPWatcher, which allows you to track these metrics for up to a year. You can then easily see which keywords are performing well for you and which ones aren’t.

keyword-research-tools-moz-2Moz Pro

Another well-known SEO set of tools, Moz Pro is full of goodies for content marketers. Included in this package is the Moz Rank Tracking tool, as well as a tool for backlink research.

With these, you can see where you rank and find issues that need attention in order to improve your rank.

You can also check the backlinks of your own website, or that of your competition.

How They Compare: Features

All four of these great tools allow you to check your search engine ranking for specific keywords.

SEMrush, SERPChecker and Moz Pro all give you the ability to:

  • Narrow rank search to locations such as within a country, or as narrow as a city (especially useful for content marketers working with local businesses)
  • See your SEO rank depending on the device used (for mobile rank check)

Comparing yourself to the competition is a great way to improve. SEMrush definitely stands out here, allowing you to see your site’s SEO ranking details side-by-side with up to 10 of your competitors.

Monitor Backlinks also offers a side-by-side comparison to show you how you’re ranking and how your competitors are ranking at a glance. Plus, you’ll get updates every time there’s a change in your rankings!

SERPChecker has the ability to provide you with a very in-depth competitor analysis, but it doesn’t give you a side-by-side comparison.

SEMrush, Monitor Backlinks and Moz Pro allow you to:

  • Do backlink research for your own website or that of your competition
  • See specific link metrics
  • Analyze link anchor text
  • See nofollow/dofollow attributes on inbound links to your site
  • Monitor broken links

These three tools also show you:

  • The authority of your inbound links
  • Which of your pages are most valuable in regards to inbound links
  • How your backlinks compare to the competition’s
  • How to clean up spammy inbound links that could be dangerous

One nice plus for Moz Pro is that it helps you find new backlinking opportunities through unlinked mentions.

How They Compare: Ease of Use

Monitor Backlinks is set up for ease of use. It’s the perfect option for those who want their site rank and backlinks monitored but don’t want to spend too much time checking on those metrics.

Monitor Backlinks allows you to see the information you need at a glance with its intuitive dashboard, full of charts and graphs that help you understand what’s going on with your backlinks.

With Monitor Backlinks, you can have daily or weekly updates sent to your email, letting you know of any changes in your rankings and whether any backlinks have been added—for you or your competitors.

SERPChecker and SERPWatcher are also set up for ease of use, but not quite to the same extent. Both of these tools allow you to see all of the metrics you need in one easy-to-understand page. The dashboard is visually appealing and compresses the data into something that’s far easier to understand compared to raw numbers.

SEMrush and Moz Pro both take advantage of charts and graphs in order to make the information less complex. You won’t find all the information you need on one page, but between the different tools that are included in these programs, the information is definitely all there.

How They Compare: Pricing

Monitor Backlinks has different prices depending on how many domains you want to track, how many competitor domains you want to track, how many keywords you want to track and how many users you want to set up within the program.

Prices range from $24.90 to $89.91 per month. It’s also possible to create a custom plan by communicating your specific needs to Monitor Backlinks.

SEMrush hits the higher end of most content marketing teams’ budgets, with a starting price of $99.95 per month and a top price of $399.95 per month. However, don’t forget that purchasing SEMrush gives you access to over 25 other tools that are great for SEO and content marketing. Whether or not this price is worthwhile for you and your team depends greatly on how many of SEMrush’s features you’ll be using.

SERPChecker and SERPWatcher from Mangools are included in the same package as KWFinder, ranging in price from $29 to $79 per month. With the higher price, you can do more SERP searches per 24 hours and you can track more keywords.

Lastly, Moz Pro has four options, ranging from $79 to $479 per month. It’s worth mentioning that Moz Pro, like SEMrush, offers many different SEO content marketing tools, including keyword research, site crawling and page optimization, as well as customizable, in-depth reporting.

Keyword Research

google-search-console-seoGoogle Keyword Planner

This tool is part of Google AdWords. While it’s geared towards keyword research for PPC advertising, this tool can give you a lot of insights into the current and long-term popularity of certain keywords.

Best of all, the Google Keyword Planner is free to use!

All you need is an AdWords account, which is free to set up.

keyword-research-tools-monitor-backlinksMonitor Backlinks

That’s right, the Monitor Backlinks tool does much more than just watch your website’s backlinks.

It also includes a great keyword tracking tool that watches your rank (as well as your competition’s) for certain keywords.

See how competitors are doing for your chosen keywords will help you research and better plan future keyword choices.

Mangools KWFinderseo-content-marketing-tools-1

The comprehensive KWFinder keyword research tool comes from the team at Mangools, along with SERPChecker and SERPWatcher.

It focuses on finding longtail keywords that are easier to rank highly for while still pulling in your target audience.


There are three different tools included in the SEMrush package that will help you see which keywords are trending, which big names are using those keywords and which keywords are easier to rank for.

How They Compare: Features

All of these tools give you the ability to:

  • See search volume for individual keywords and related keywords
  • See search trends and CPC
  • Narrow searches to locations (even as narrow as cities) and languages
  • Find related keywords simply by typing in one keyword
  • Save your favorite keywords in a list (SEMrush allows you to have 50 exportable keyword lists)

With the Google Keyword Planner, you can even type in your website name and it will suggest keywords based on what it finds there.

However, one setback of Google Keyword Planner is that, unless you run a campaign with Google AdWords, you can’t see exact search volume, only an average range.

With Monitor Backlinks, you can watch exactly where your content is ranking for certain keywords on a week to week basis. You’ll also see where your competition is ranking, and get insights on how to rank above them.

Only KWFinder and SEMrush allow you to see the SEO difficulty of individual keywords. KWFinder will also show you a list of websites who rank at the top for that keyword, while SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty tool will only show you the highest-ranking page for that keyword.

KWFinder can also create a list of question keywords based on one keyword search. These types of longtail keywords are often very easy to rank for and can fit naturally into your content.

How They Compare: Ease of Use

Out of the three, I would have to say that KWFinder is the most straightforward. All you have to do is type in a keyword, and you have a list of related, longtail keywords, as well as their search volume and difficulty. Everything is done from one single page, and the design is visually appealing.

Google Keyword Planner, while not as pretty as KWFinder, is also relatively easy to use. While it isn’t as detailed as the other two options, the absolutely necessary information is presented in an easy-to-understand way.

SEMrush in general isn’t the easiest tool to use. As I mentioned above, there are three tools within the SEMrush system that are made for keyword research.

This means that if you’re looking for keyword search volume, related longtail keywords, and keyword difficulty, you’ll need to bounce around to different pages to get all of the information you need.

How They Compare: Pricing

Obviously, Google Keywords Planner wins this section because it’s the only one of these tools that’s free!

KWFinder is available from $29 to $79 per month, depending on how many searches you want to do per day and how many related keywords you want to see per search. Don’t forget, this same price also gives you access to the two SEO tracking tools we mentioned above.

KWFinder does offer a free account, but it only allows you 3 searches within 24 hours. While this probably isn’t viable for most content marketing teams in the long-term, it does allow you to try the tool before purchasing, which is a nice bonus.

Monitor Backlinks, as we mentioned above, ranges from $24.90 to $89.91 per month.

As we mentioned above, SEMrush ranges from $99.95 to $399.95 per month and includes more than 25 incredibly useful tools for SEO and content marketing.

Website Analytics

google-search-console-seoGoogle Analytics

This well-used tool is perfect if you want to see exactly how your website is working.

Google Analytics is one of the most comprehensive web analytics tools available online.

But it gets better: You can use Google Analytics for free! Then, connect this to more advanced tools on the list to get deeper SEO analysis and reporting.


Using real-time analytics of your website, the great tool lets you see exactly how people are finding your content, and each step they take afterward.

This can be done on a very large scale.

How They Compare: Features

For anyone who has seen Google Analytics, there couldn’t be many more features. Its real-time reporting features show you exactly how each minuscule part of the larger picture of your website is working.

You can see:

  • Funnel analysis
  • User flow reporting
  • Detailed audience demographics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Anomaly detection
  • and so much more allows you to see your audience’s actions and engagement in real-time. You can see exactly how many people are reading your content, what they’re reading and when they’re sharing.

On the dashboard, you’ll also get a list of the most popular posts for today and can compare today’s activity with past activity. You can also see data such as:

  • Long-term engagement on individual articles
  • Where people came to your website from
  • What device they’re using to read
  • Whether these readers are returning viewers or a new audience
  • Which of your authors have the best-performing articles

How They Compare: Ease of Use

Google Analytics gives you information in the form of pivot tables, data tables, pie charts, bar charts and more. You can also create and customize your own personal dashboard, picking your own widgets and data tables for the home screen.

While there’s an overwhelming amount of information in Google Analytics, there are also hundreds of articles and online courses, as well as resources directly from Google, that can help you understand how to use it.’s dashboard also seems relatively easy to use, translating big data into understandable charts and metrics.

How They Compare: Pricing

Google Analytics is, for the most part, free! For large-scale solutions, you can contact Google for pricing. However, the majority of content marketers should be satisfied with the numerous solutions offered in the free version. does not have pricing information on their website. Instead, you’re invited to contact their sales department, detailing your audience size and the solutions you need.

However, is geared for larger-scale websites and brands. It may not be the best choice for smaller content marketing teams.

Project Management


Asana is a powerhouse tool with features that far surpass its price tag.

This system is great for larger content marketing teams who need organization from start to finish, no matter where they are or what device they’re using.


With a happy dog as a mascot, this super-simple system is great for collaboration with your teams.

Its system is based on “boards,” becoming the technological version of the office cork board.

With in-depth customization, easy communication and mobile apps, Trello is really a fantastic option for content marketers looking to organize their teams.


Basecamp allows you to keep eyes on your entire team, and offers an open view of how each individual is working on each project. It works great for small or large teams and is fantastic for communication.

How They Compare: Features

All three systems allow you to:

  • Create customized projects
  • Add tasks to those projects
  • Assign individuals to these tasks
  • Add sub-tasks
  • Attach files
  • Converse with your team

In Trello, conversations can only be had at a task level, and individuals are notified of messages through a tagging system.

In Asana and Basecamp, conversations can be had with the entire team, with individuals involved a certain project, or at the task level. This allows for a better workflow, with specific places for the whole team to contribute to ideas. It also allows for private conversations, clearing up your team’s inboxes when only one or two individuals need to be involved in a conversation.

Asana and Basecamp also offer a calendar view, which is excellent for planning and executing content on time.

Asana has a few unique features that are great for content marketing teams. For example:

  • Guests can be added to projects in order to monitor goings-on, or update tasks. This is great for adding in clients, or for including freelance help in a project without adding them to the entire team view.
  • Team members are able to “like” tasks.
  • Members can update their status quickly by highlighting it in green, yellow or red.
  • Progress graphs give you quick overviews of how things are progressing.

While Basecamp’s setup is a bit different from Asana and Trello, it’s better designed for conversation and idea sharing. Along with what we mentioned above, it offers:

  • A message board for focused project-talk within each project
  • A separate, real-time chat for more casual conversation with the team
  • An automatic check-in feature, where each member of the team can quickly and easily post an update of their status on a task or project

How They Compare: Ease of Use

All three of these project management systems have user-friendly dashboards and visually appealing designs. However, Asana and Basecamp are better prepared for team collaboration and conversation. Basecamp really excels in this sense, as it allows many different points of contact between your team.

These two also allow for a simple view of progress, Asana with colored status tags, Basecamp with automatic check-ins and both with a simple calendar view.

How They Compare: Pricing

The free version of Trello is pretty much everything that a content marketing team would need, including unlimited members, boards, lists, etc.

The $9.99 per month upgrade offers a few advantages, such integrations with popular systems such as Dropbox, MailChimp and Evernote, as well as uploads of up to 250MB instead of 10MB. However, remember that this price is per user, per month.

Asana offers three different price tiers, the most interesting being the Premium for $9.99 per month, per user. This allows you unlimited members, tasks and so on, as well as the ability to create private projects, add start dates to tasks and have admin controls.

However, as with the paid version of Trello, keep in mind that this price is per user, per month, meaning a team of 10 would be paying $99.90 per month.

This is what makes Basecamp’s pricing so interesting. At first glance, its flat fee of $99 per month may seem more expensive than the rest. However, Basecamp’s per month price doesn’t increase per user. In short, this means that even if you have 20, 50 or 100 people on your content marketing team, you’ll still be paying $99 per month, whereas the paid versions of Trello and Asana would be increasing with every new user.

If you’re a content marketing team of 10 or more and you’re looking for more features than what the free version of Trello offers, I would definitely recommend Basecamp as the most comprehensive and financially beneficial choice for a project management system.

Content Optimization


The ever-incredible Buzzsumo social tool allows you to analyze your own content, your competition’s content or any content on any given topic all over the web.


The Hemingway website (or desktop app) allows you to see the readability and flow of your writing.

affiliate-plugin-yoast-seoYoast SEO Plugin

If you’re looking for SEO insights, Yoast is a fantastic WordPress plugin that allows you to fix SEO issues in your content during the writing process in the WordPress editor.

This means that from the moment your content is published, it’s perfectly optimized for SEO and readability. It also helps in the background to fix technical SEO issues on your website.

How They Compare: Features

Buzzsumo helps you analyze topics and competition before you create your content, as well as watching how it performs after it’s been published. Yoast SEO and Hemingway both focus on optimizing your content while it’s being created.

Buzzsumo offers the ability to:

  • View social shares of your content across the internet
  • Check the competition, and see which content is working for them
  • See the most popular content online for a certain topic
  • Compare the content performance of more than one competitor
  • Analyze the most popular questions your audience is asking on forums, Quora, etc. (with Plus plan)
  • See popularity of others’ or your own content by content format, content length or day published

Hemingway is one of the best tools for making your writing more easily understood. When using this tool, you can:

  • See a readability grade for your writing
  • Find and fix sentences that are hard to read, or that are too long
  • Remove weak adverbs or complex terms

Yoast SEO analyzes your content based on SEO features and readability. It allows you to see metrics on your content within the WordPress editor. With it, you can:

  • Optimize for up to five keywords per page/post
  • See how your page preview will look on Google, Facebook and Twitter
  • Check readability
  • Get suggestions on internal links
  • See the five words or phrases that are used the most within your content

How They Compare: Ease of Use

Users rave about how user-friendly Buzzsumo is. It has easy-to-read metrics presented in an understandable and visually appealing manner. While it may take time to get used to its many features, it’s generally easy to use.

Hemingway is a very easy-to-use tool, with color-coded highlighting that shows you where your writing can be adjusted for better flow and readability.

Yoast SEO appears right within your WordPress editor and honestly could not be simpler. You’ll get a lot of use right from the get-go with this plugin.

How They Compare: Pricing

Buzzsumo’s pricing ranges from $79 per month all the way up to $499+ per month for Enterprise solutions. At $139 per month, the Plus plan is probably the best choice for most content marketing teams.

Hemingway is free to use on the web. You can also buy the desktop app for $19.99, which allows you to work offline, export finished documents to Word or PDF, or even publish directly to Medium or WordPress with all of the HTML included!

Yoast SEO offers a free and a premium version, but at a one-time price of $89 per site, the premium version is absolutely worth it for content marketing teams.

How to Choose the Best SEO Content Marketing Tools for Your Team

We’ve just discussed 13 different SEO content marketing tools that are all well-known in the online community. We’ve pitted them against each other, and we’ve seen how each of them compare in features, ease of use and pricing.

So, which tools do you need?

Larger Teams with Bigger Budgets

SEMrush is a powerhouse SEO content marketing tool package and includes many things that you and your team need to get the job done. It’s an incredible system that’s worth the time it takes to get used to it. If you only need the most essential keyword and backlink tracking features, and can pass on all the other bells and whistles, you could opt for Monitor Backlinks and save a ton of money.

For content marketing teams with larger wallets who are looking for all-in-one tools, I highly recommend using Basecamp for project management ($99 per month) and the SEMrush Guru plan ($199.95 per month) or Monitor Backlinks for everything else.

Mid-sized Teams with a Mid-range Budget

For those content marketing teams who are in between rich and poor, I believe that the Monitor Backlinks Plus plan ($49.90 per month) is the best option to keep track of SEO and keyword ranking and research.

Hemingway ($19.99 for app) and Yoast SEO ($89 per site) will keep your content readable and optimized and Basecamp ($99 per month) will keep your team organized.

Smaller Teams with Smaller Budgets

For content marketing teams on a tighter budget, I recommend the Mangools Premium package with KWFinder, SERPChecker and SERPWatcher ($39.08 per month) for keyword research and SEO tracking or Monitor Backlinks Small Business ($21.67 per month) for basic keyword, competitor and backlink tracking.

I’d also throw in Google Analytics (free) for website analysis and the Yoast SEO plugin ($89 one-time fee) for content analysis.

Depending on the size of your team, you may be able to get by with Trello’s free version for project management. However, I still recommend Basecamp ($99 per month) as the ultimate project management tool.

Final Thoughts on SEO Content Marketing Tools

Obviously, the tools you choose will highly depend on the size, budget and scope of your content marketing team. So, the decision is up to you!

Hopefully, the world of SEO content marketing tools seems less overwhelming to you now than a kitchen store. With the above information, you’re fully prepared to make an informed decision about the tools that your team needs to make a success of content marketing.


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