Home — Seo Tips Is it time to switch to a new SEO tool?

Is it time to switch to a new SEO tool?

by Mary Sewell

30-second summary:

  • The needs of an SEO agency are dynamic and change as the business grows
  • From data accuracy to seamless functionality, the spectrum of SEO tools and their features is broad, but how do you decide?
  • Five telltale signs that it might be time to start prospecting for new SEO software to complete your technology stack

The SEO industry is constantly changing and evolving. Your SEO agency’s needs also change as your business grows. The tools you use will shape how you direct your growth. So it’s essential to stay up-to-date on what’s new in the space to decide whether adopting a new SEO tool would benefit your business. Yet, prioritizing what’s critical for your business requirements is always a question.


There are many factors at play here:

  • Some SEO platforms solve problems that you maybe didn’t even know existed – to identify these, you need to stay abreast of new advancements in the industry
  • Some solve a particular problem, which you’re already aware of – in these cases, it’s just about identifying which tool best fits your agency’s needs.
  • Some offer a seamless experience that helps you optimize your SEO workflows.
  • Some offer competitive advantages in terms of features or pricing

In our interviews with top SEO agencies from around the globe, we’ve gathered various insights into the factors that most influence the decision to test and even switch to a new core SEO tool. Here are some telltale signs that it might be time to start prospecting for new SEO software in your tool stack.

1. Your current tool isn’t giving you the correct data or functionalities

Accuracy and functionality are the most significant pain points. SEO professionals have their tools. Does your current solution give you enough data? Does it provide the correct information? If not, you may be unable to deliver on your SEO goals.

Unreliable or incomplete data

Some SEO platforms provide more data features than others, while others charge extra to view specific metrics, like:

  • Google’s “(not provided)” data
  • Brand/non-brand organic traffic segmentation
  • Mobile vs. desktop traffic

For example, mapping the traffic data from Google Analytics and matching it with the keyword data from Google Search Console to get what’s “(not provided)” means you can show clients the direct impact which SEO has on other business goals – like how increasing ranking for a keyword affects conversions. Having this data is invaluable for SEO professionals. But having to pay for it granularly can be a hugely limiting factor, particularly for smaller agencies.


SEO platforms that provide this type of data as a standard can give you an advantage in acquiring and retaining clients by highlighting the connection between SEO and business results. Or it can be an issue of unreliable metrics – misleading or opaque calculations, issues that pertain to technical changes and not your SEO performance, and so on. Think about the visibility metric. If it’s calculated as an average of positions for a set of keywords, then changes based on adding or deleting keywords on that list will be misleading, leaving you to figure out why the score fluctuates.

Paul Wood, Director of Indulge Media, points out that innovation in how an SEO tool calculates a key metric is a deciding factor. Even more so if it’s something the agency used to do with spreadsheets and many hours spent before finding out about such an efficient metric. “The more interesting scenario is when you suddenly become aware of a tool out there that does something your team didn’t even consider,” Wood said. “When you see it in a tool, that’s a moment when you change how you think about things and structure your work. And then you start to work differently.” This is how the right SEO tools should work – solving agency pain points, even the ones you might not have thought were possible to resolve.


Functionality issues

Speed is a massive factor in the SEO industry. Search professionals need access to accurate, up-to-date data to implement campaigns and track performance. Because when your software malfunctions, you need to get the problem solved fast. This is why it’s essential to consider the quality of support provided when selecting an SEO tool. Ideally, you should get access to a dedicated account manager who you can approach for quick resolution of issues on an as-needed basis, as well as regular support calls to review your agency’s needs.

When Paul Friend, Head of SEO, and Ben Foster, Managing Director from SEO Works, decided it was time to choose a different core SEO tool, they scored ongoing and ad-hoc support as one of the “hundreds of different relevant aspects when selecting the right tool.” As part of their decisional matrix, this point must match key functionalities like keyword features, including universal rankings, overall market visibility scores, content insights, forecasting, and reporting capabilities, link-building capabilities, competition insights, and many more. After all, when evaluating or considering upgrading your existing tech stack, you must see how well a solution performs based on your agency’s specific needs.

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