There is no shortage of SEO software out there, that’s for sure!
The options are bewildering and finding the best software for your project is a tricky process, especially given that not all SEO software is built to the same specification, and prices do vary considerably.
SheerSEO has been around since 2006 which actually makes it one of the first SEO tools available for the mass market.
It can be considered an ‘SEO suite’, meaning it has a wide focus and provides you with virtually everything you need for SEO as an individual site owner or small agency.
This differs from other SEO software that might focus on just one or two aspects of SEO in detail, e.g. competitive analysis, technical or on-page SEO, or keyword analysis.
SheerSEO covers pretty much all the SEO bases – it’s a comprehensive set of SEO multi-purpose tools.
SheerSEO is a cost-effective, trustworthy, comprehensive but altogether lesser-known SEO suite that is certainly well worth a look, so here’s a review on SheerSEO!
SheerSEO was created by Israeli software engineer Eyal Aldema. He’s a successful software designer that always had a penchant for SEO, and whilst aggrieved by the lack of SEO options back in 2006, he set out to build SheerSEO.
There’s no doubt that SheerSEO is a budget, utilitarian SEO software suite.
You can tell the site and tools themselves have been built pretty DIY by the guy himself. Some people will really enjoy the no-frills design and approach to SEO.
It’s important to bear in mind that you’re not dealing with million-dollar aesthetics here, but you are dealing with a very strong set of highly usable SEO tools that work effectively and at probably a quarter of the cost of main-brand SEO suites.
- Free: SheerSEO begins with a free-forever version that is expectedly limited. It lets you track 20 keywords and crawl 100 pages each month with a once-a-month site audit. Most other features are disallowed or greatly limited.
- Standard, $10/mo: The standard package is basically more of everything you get in the Free package. You’ll also get access to reports. You’re still lacking most features.
- Advanced, $15/mo: For just $5 more than Standard, the Advanced package comes with all features except the Competitor Analysis tool. That means you’ll get plenty of keyword tracking, site audits with decent page crawl limits, guarded backlink tools, a blog review, and outreach tool, the ability to re-poll rankings immediately, and integration with Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
- Professional Thin, $25/mo: For just $25/mo, you get the Professional Thin package. $25/mo is still extremely cheap compared to many equivalent SEO suites. You’ll get access to everything with generous budgets + the Competitor Analysis tool.
- Advanced, $40/mo: For agencies and teams, the Advanced package gives you everything, and you get very generous crawl budgets, keyword limits, etc.
Overall, the pricing here is more-than-fair. In fact, it’s actually pretty outstanding. SheerSEO wins over many users on pricing alone. You are limited until you reach the Advanced package, but at $15 it’s a steal.
SheerSEO is cheap but powerful, a winning combination!
Sign Up Process
Signing up to SheerSEO is easy.
All you’ll need is your domain name and email. By signing up you’ll automatically be put onto the Free version of the software, with limited functionality. It’s still decent though and is free forever – not a free trial, which is excellent.
During the sign-up process, the software will analyze your site and suggest keywords to track from your content.
This gets you started nice and quickly, but of course, you’ll probably want to add more keywords you’re targeting into SheerSEO.
Dashboard and Interface
SheerSEO has a pretty utilitarian interface. It certainly works, is easy to navigate, and seems robust, though perhaps a little lacking in the design department.
One of the first pages you’ll land on is the Dashboard.
The Dashboard area displays critical data and graphs.
- Your average Google rank
- The rank of various pages
- Keyword ranking changes
- Trust and Citation Flow
- Alexa rank (popularity rank)
Once you land on the dashboard, you should take note of the ‘Onboarding Tasks’ positioned at the bottom of the page. This provides you with a few tasks to complete so you can start to properly use the various tools on offer.
You can set up your local SEO here with ‘Localization’. This will allow you to track local rankings in the Rankings tab. You can also add your precious backlinks to the Guard Precious Backlinks tool. This is an alert system that will update you with any changes to your existing backlinks.
You can also Define Optimization Targets, which essentially allows you to single out a handful of keywords you really want to work on. You can then track these in greater detail, and the tool will also show methods to improve your ranking using SheerSEO features.
It could also be a good idea to head straight into an SEO Audit (also suggested by the onboarding). Checking your site’s existing pages for errors and actionable insights is always a good place to start when it comes to SEO.
Now, let’s move onto the features SheerSEO has to offer.
There are 16 tabs in total.
The first tool available for you down the left-hand side is the rank tracking tool, or ‘Rankings’. This is a rank tracker tool for analyzing and tracking movement in the SERPs.
Here, you’ll be able to track ranks for given keywords alongside various numerical and graphical data. Some of these keywords will be analyzed when you sign up – these are the only ones you’ll be able to track using the free version of SheerSEO.
For the paid versions, you’ll be able to add keywords from the Keyword Explorer tool, and will then be able to track their ranks from Rankings. Data can be imported from Google Search Console to display “visits” and “impressions”.
The Rankings tool has all your typical features including historical ranking graphs, search volume, estimated clicks per SERPs listing, and the numerical rank itself.
Current data can be compared to past data to track ranking changes over time.
Ranks can also be tracked locally or by country or region if you set this up in the localization settings. Filters can be set up to sort ranks if you have a lot of data there.
You can track rankings for Google, Google Local, Bing, and YouTube.
The next tab down is Competitors. This is only available for paid versions of the tool.
Competitors will be automatically generated from sites that relate to your keywords, but you can add others manually.
Competitors allow you to insert and track your competitor’s rankings by keyword. You’ll be able to track their local SEO performance, including how this changes throughout time
You’ll be able to directly compare rankings side-by-side.
It’s worth mentioning that there are other ways to track competitors in SheerSEO, namely the Keyword Gap and Site Backlink tabs.
Overall, a decent set of tools for tracking the movement of competitors in the SERPs alongside the keywords they’re ranking for.
As touched on earlier, the Optimization Targets feature helps you ascertain your highest priority keywords. These can be imported from Google Search Console.
This is pretty much just a more detailed version of the keyword tracker combined with ranking analysis. It provides suggestions of actions you can take to improve the ranking (e.g. securing backlinks or on-page SEO).
The Backlinks Explorer tool provides you with a detailed rundown of your backlink profile including:
- Citation Flow and Trust Flow
- Link/Anchor text
- Target URL
- Follow/No Follow status
- Discovery date
This tool is somewhat linked to the Backlink Checker tool where you can add your precious backlinks and set up alerts on any changes that occur to them.
The Backlink Explorer also lets you analyze competitor’s backlinks including the anchor text and source URL.
Moreover, you’ll be able to locate toxic links to your site, assess how bad they are/could be, and then generate disavow files for the Google Disavow Links tool.
The site audit will crawl your site and its pages to discover page errors such as redirects. It will also let you analyze how/if your pages are being crawled.
The Audit Issues tab here is probably more in-depth and will provide you with a breakdown of issues page-by-page alongside tips on how to fix any issues you encounter.
Site Audit is more of a technical SEO audit tool – On-Page SEO is more of a content audit.
The Organic Research tab identifies and analyzes competitors based on your keywords.
It’s designed to help point you towards sites you should investigate manually and with SheerSEO’s competitor analysis tools.
You’ll be able to find keyword information for each site and their ranked keywords as well as their CPC value (where applicable).
This is great for quickly building a snapshot of how your niche is featured on Google.
Keyword Gap is another competitor analysis tool. It would have been easier to group the tools together based on what they’re used for rather than scattering them out throughout the menu.
Keyword Gap analyzes competitors’ keywords to find out what they’re ranking for and what you don’t rank for. It’s simple to use – hunt down keywords from competitors and seek to build content around those gaps.
SheerSEO lets you track Twitter and Facebook and will discover shares, likes, and comments relating to your brand. Any mention of your site on Twitter or Facebook should appear here.
This is excellent and though simple in interface and design, this is a non-convoluted way to track branded social media mentions.
For many, this is one of the most important tools of any SEO suite. The On-Page SEO tool lets you analyze your pages for many types of optimization factors ranging from meta tags to keywords in heading, alt tags, and keyword density.
The optimization issues are all easily laid out and displayed alongside tips on how to fix them.
The Keyword Density tab provides a more complete breakdown of your page-by-page keywords so you can find out the kind of terms you’re including in your content already.
This is a simple tool for checking if/how many of your pages are indexed.
You can use it to track whether or not new content you’re adding to your site is being indexed.
We’ve covered this already – it allows you to allocate guarded backlinks that can be set up using alerts.
Now, this is an interesting one!
The Directory Submissions tab provides a semi-automated method of getting your site backlinked in directories.
Directories are sites that will take your link, often with a small bio or snippet of content, and place it on their site. They’re a quick-win backlink method that gets your site up and running with some backlinks.
In the long run, directories do not provide a great deal of ‘link juice’, but they’re generally inexpensive when you’re starting out.
To use this tool, you’ll have to create a directory profile. You choose directories and pay via the tool itself, and SheerSEO will take up the request with the directory.
If the request fails or the directory doesn’t respond, you’ll receive your money back.
Another nifty and quite original tool, the Blog Reviews tool lets you create blog profiles that you can then use to prospect blogs related to your niche for outreach purposes.
You simply add an Offer profile and then ask SheerSEO to display blogs related to your input keyword.
Like the Directory Submissions tool, this semi-automates the process of finding suitable blogs to contact for backlink purposes.
It’s pretty clever and works well, saving time on procuring blog submissions and other blog backlinks/guest posts manually.
The Reports tab lets you create reports and breakdowns of your SEO metrics and performance.
There’s plenty of options here and you can automate reports to send periodically.
SheerSEO Pros and Cons
Now we’ve overviewed the main features and tools, what’re the key pros and cons of SheerSEO?
- Outdated interface
- Lacks of Graphical Detail
SheerSEO is one of the cheapest SEO tools of its class. Whilst it might not be so flashy and high-end in appearance, it has the tools you need to succeed in SEO at almost any level.
SheerSEO is comprehensive with deep functionality and some clever tools. The Blog Review tool lets you send blog requests en-masse – a real time-saver.
The Directory Submissions tool is also effective and intelligently implemented. It takes the legwork out of directory submissions and makes them much easier to manage than if you were going through them manually by email.
Pro: Generally Easy-to-Use
While the interface might feel clumsy at first, it is easy to use. Once you’ve set the groundwork for your site, e.g. choosing keywords, setting competitors and setting up localization and blog profiles, etc, the whole experience runs pretty smoothly.
There’s no hiding SheerSEO’s clunky and slightly outdated interface. Whilst it works fine, it would be straightforward to group tools based on their general uses. For example, all the backlink tools should be placed side-by-side, the competitor analysis tools, outreach tools, etc.
Con: Lacks Graphical Detail
The interface lacks a splash of color and other graphical features to animate data and bring everything to life. Again, whilst the utilitarian vibe is broadly effective, it could benefit from some refining.
Who Should Use SheerSEO?
SheerSEO’s pricing angles it towards entry and novice-level SEOs, or small teams.
For single sites, it’s a superb tool that combines a wide range of quality tools with some nice innovative touches in the form of the Blog Review and Directory Submissions outreach tools.
DIY SEOs will enjoy the pricing and the scalability of the product. It just goes to show that if you’re a small business with a developing site that you run either part-time or even for hobby or non-profit purposes, there is an affordable SEO suite out there for you.
SheerSEO is welcomed in a market where SEO suites are still generally quite expensive.
SheerSEO is cheap and effective with plenty of tools. Many of the tools have enough depth for serious SEO – this is not a basic SEO suite by any stretch of the imagination.
Standout tools here include the Directory Submissions and Blog Review tools, both of which provide an innovative path to conducting outreach en-masse.
All of your standard SEO tools are well-represented, including content and technical SEO audits, ranking tracking and competitor analysis, etc.
Overall, whilst SheerSEO lacks some refinement or design prowess, it represents one of the most cost-effective SEO suites in the entire industry.
It lacks some of the advanced features you can get with similar SEO software but is also available at a much lower price point. Ideal for those just starting out or working on a lower budget.