Did you know that Google's SEO algorithms change up to twenty times every week? And that's not even considering the different algorithms of other search engines. It's impossible to memorize "rules of thumb" for SEO ranking, because the game is never the same.
So then how does anybody manage to keep their website consistently ranked?
The answer is with certain SEO management software tools. Since the impact of different keywords is constantly changing, programmers offer keyword tracking and research options that give you real-time updates on how your SEO landscape is changing.
Two of the most popular SEO software options are SEMRush and Moz. Both offer intensive keyword tracking and research, research on competitors, ongoing ranking analysis, and multiple analytics features to help you understand what action to take.
Both also have a base plan that's nearly the same price. So if you're ready to invest in better SEO management, how do you know which one is better? I've taken a look at the features and functionality to help you understand where you'll get the best return-on-investment.
Overview of SEMRush and Moz
Unique SEMRush Features
Unique Moz Features
Keyword Research Tools
The keyword research tool in SEMRush is called Keyword Magic. It offers several hundred keyword suggestions to target, but the algorithm incorporates pay-per-click advertising perspectives.
Keyword ideas are generated by using your seed keywords. From there, you can use filters like exact matches, phrase matches, broad matches, number of words, difficulty, questions or statements, and even the exact words that begin or end the keyword.
These advanced filtering options give you an easier means of compiling keyword lists that work with your content style.
The keyword research tool in Moz is the Keyword Explorer. It provides just as many suggestions for keywords related to a seed phrase as the other service's tool.
The filtration system in Moz is even more comprehensive. You can pull keyword suggestions based on parameters like:
This makes customizing your content even easier. But the one drawback of having such an advanced algorithm is that the results aren't always 100 percent accurate. Not all generated topics will be related specifically enough to your seed term.
The SEMRush tool gives you hundreds of keyword suggestions that are optimized for PPC usage. The software has more filters than most competitors offer, allowing for quicker compilations of keywords. And the filtering systems tend to return more accurate data than Moz's complicated algorithm.
One of the most unique aspects of SEMRush is the competitor insights the system offers. Every SEO management tool can analyze and improve your own SEO. But SEMRush has specific tools to research the marketing methods, keywords, SEO tricks, niches, and other important factors used by your competition.
The data updates on a daily basis and accurately reflects Google search rankings.
Competitive research tools are sorted into five main data categories: big picture snapshots, SEO analytics, advertising information, content and PR management, and social media campaigns.
Even if you only focus on 'big picture' and 'SEO' tools, the available reports include:
And generating these reports only takes a second.
By doing direct research on how your competition's keywords affect their rankings, you're given immediate actionable feedback for how to best them.
Moz doesn't focus on such comprehensive competitive research tools. Instead, keyword analysis is done by comparing your root domain's ranking keywords to one or two other competitors.
The software generates a Venn Diagram with information, which is ideal for visual thinkers. It will tell you where you and the competition rank for the same keywords, where you rank for keywords they don't, and where they rank for keywords you're not using.
There's no question about it: SEMRush's competition analysis gives you better insight than you'll get with a million search engine tracking algorithms. By providing a complete picture of the gaps in both your competition and your own SEO practices, you can strengthen your content immediately.
The SEO-specific suite of metrics includes:
The SERP feature analysis is helpful because it breaks down where keywords show up in Google's answered questions. If someone searches your keyword, SEMRush can tell you whether the SERP content is a local query, related question, featured snippet, answer box, or other piece of information.
Also available is SEO Idea Units, which is a software that generates ideas for actions that could increase a particular page's keyword ranking.
Moz also has SERP features analysis. In addition, several metrics are available with insights based on their unique algorithms.
The Domain and Page Authority tools tell you exactly how trustworthy your content is considered, especially when compared to your competitors. This lets you create more long-term plans for how to increase your market expert status.
Winner: SEMRush for Individual Keyword Solutions; Moz for Trust and Expertise Building
The SEMRush analytics features will tell you everything you need to know about how to improve your individual page rankings for your ideal keywords.
The big-picture analysis tools from Moz will let you determine how to create a more industry-trusted and relied-upon database of information.
Pros and Cons of SEMRush
Pros and Cons of Moz
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Both of these services are packed with high-quality, actionable insights to improve SEO rankings and increase keyword targeting accuracy. The base plans are around the same price, but SEMRush offers more features while Moz has more flexible plan limitations.
If you have an in-house marketing team with multiple members, or you're an SEO agency that needs to track data for multiple clients, then Moz is the best choice. That's because the different plan tiers allow for multiple users and multiple sites tracked.
If you're managing your SEO program alone, and you don't need multiple users or website tracking capabilities, then SEMRush has significantly better features and functionality. You get all the same basic tools and information found in Moz, but you also get additional integration and advanced keyword analysis.