Searchmetrics Review 2021: Features, Pricing & More

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I have actually known

Searchmetrics since before it launched. A German colleague once said to me, “You should try this excellent SEO tool a friend of mine is building.” To be honest, I didn’t pick it up at the time. Perhaps I should have bought a few shares in the company back then.

I did come back to the tool years later because I needed a robust keyword opportunity audit tool that spanned the world. The tool has evolved enormously since its launch. Initially a search-visibility, rank-checking, and technical SEO auditing tool, it has added a focus on the content dimension of SEO.

Picture of Searchmetrics founder, Marcus Tober (right), and the author of this article.

Recognized as a thought leader and a data wizard, the founder of Searchmetrics, Marcus Tober, regularly speaks at industry events.


Who is Searchmetrics for?

Searchmetrics was originally built for SEO agencies and quickly positioned itself as one of the few tools to cover both organic and paid search, SEO and PPC. By combining data from Google’s keyword planner for paid search, with rank monitoring in search engines, Searchmetrics built a visibility index allowing you to see your site’s evolution and relative performance at a glance:

The Searchmetrics killer view showing the evolution of paid and organic search for a site over time.

By combining data sets and providing a comprehensive search visibility overview for any site for free, Searchmetrics became a reference tool for search marketers. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Searchmetrics includes a site crawler and a backlinks tool, and it has expanded into the content marketing discipline. Today, it is primarily positioned as an SEO and content marketing tool for enterprise clients. It is a one-stop shop, or a suite, if you like. It belongs to a select group of outstanding tools for search marketing.

It provides all the basic features any SEO provider would need. SEO and content marketing agencies, as well as enterprise SEO operations, seem to be the best fit for Searchmetrics, but SMBs in Europe will find the more accessible Research Cloud useful in their search marketing auditing, monitoring and keyword research.


Searchmetrics’ features

Searchmetrics is composed of four main parts:

  • Search Experience (rank & competition)
  • Content Experience (on-page)
  • Site Experience (crawl and backlinks)
  • Research Cloud

One of the main reasons search marketers use the tool is the Searchmetrics SEO visibility feature, which is one of the reference benchmarks in the industry.

The range of features covers a much broader scope of solutions including site crawl, backlinks analysis, keyword tracking, and content analytics. The data is obtained through Searchmetrics’ proprietary data acquisition mechanisms and integrates with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.

The Searchmetrics Research Cloud is a strong reference tool to get an immediate overview of a site’s paid and organic search visibility. In the full Suite, the tool is equally strong on content and site architecture. The backlinks analysis is a very minor part of the tool making it less impactful for the authority dimension of SEO. The tool goes beyond most other tools in its content creation and workflow tools.

Search visibility in paid and organic

We’ve called it a killer view. It’s the screenshot an SEO agency will use in a pitch and it’s the slide the lead SEO will show their Digital Director when the trend goes up.

The Search visibility interface in Searchmetrics provides an at-a-glance overview of a site’s visibility in both organic and paid search results. It additionally shows the recent visibility history of a site, allowing you to see growth, drops, and incidents in relation with your paid and organic search marketing.

Screenshot of the search visibility indicators for a site.

The Searchmetrics visibility overview allows you to analyze and benchmark a site’s visibility in paid and organic search results. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Keyword research

The Searchmetrics Keyword Discovery tool is a fully-fledged keyword research tool allowing you to identify keywords on the basis of their relation to a seed keyword using the classic match types of Exact, Phrase, or Broad match.

For each keyword result, you’ll see the estimated search volumes and click prices for paid search. Searchmetrics adds a seasonality view to each keyword. Lists can be exported or added to a dashboard for monitoring.

The keyword discovery in Searchmetrics is similar to the Google keyword planner but adds information about the search results page and the seasonality of searches.

The keyword discovery in Searchmetrics is similar to the Google keyword planner but adds information about the search results page and the seasonality of searches. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Competitive benchmarks

With Research Cloud you can do competitor lookups and comparative views with your own site. The tool creates an overview of the entire competitive landscape and illustrates all of a sites’ SEO competitors in three dimensions: estimated traffic volume, number of ranking keywords per site, and average position for the ranking keywords.

Screenshot from Searchmetrics illustrating the competitive landscape for Fool.com.

The competitive benchmark in Searchmetrics is a data visualization showing estimated traffic from organic traffic, volume of ranking keywords, and average position of those keywords for competitors present in the keyword space you occupy. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Rank tracking

Searchmetrics monitors search results pages for a number of keywords on a continuing basis. It associates them with the websites that appear on those words, making it a lookup tool for a site. But it also has an explicit and configurable keyword monitoring feature where the user chooses the keywords and search engine views they are interested in. Searchmetrics excels in covering international search engines.

Screenshot showing the nine keywords we monitored across three search engine views.

Searchmetrics’ rank tool covers an impressive range of search engines and views for custom rank tracking. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Site crawl

Search engines crawl websites to extract content and create keyword indexes for ranking sites in search results pages. A common SEO technique is therefore to crawl your own site to analyze how search engines will perceive the site and identify obstacles. You attempt to see the site in the same way a search engine sees it. Searchmetrics has a site crawler built for this purpose.

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The site owner can configure it to crawl a site behind a login, can decide how and where the crawler shall proceed, and even decide how it should present itself.

View of the three configuration tabs for an SEO site crawl with Searchmetrics.

The Searchmetrics site crawler can be configured to crawl a subdomain, to crawl using a specific user agent, to exclude patterns, and even to crawl a site behind a login. Source: Searchmetrics software.

Topic Explorer

We were blown away by the content marketing features of Searchmetrics. The Topic Explorer takes a keyword and identifies semantic associations on a map. The explored topics can also be grouped according to semantic proximity, from a seasonality, competitive, and search intent angle.

Two views of the same data from the Topic Explorer in Searchmetrics.

The Topic Explorer provides you with a mapping of semantic associations between topics and can group them according to seasonality, competition, or intent. Source: Searchmetrics software.

SEO-guided content creation

Once a topic is identified, a content brief can be created. The brief can be transferred to a writer who can create content in the interface guided by the analytical dimension of the tool. It indicates which words should be used and provides ongoing content scoring.

Two views from the Searchmetrics Content Experience interface.

The Searchmetrics Content Experience tool provides guidance on which words to include in an article and scores the content while it is being written. Source: Searchmetrics software.


Searchmetrics’ ease of use

Searchmetrics is in the process of rolling out a new user interface including functionality not entirely finalized. The Research Cloud part of the tool offers a comprehensive overview which is easy to use.

In the new version, the tool has a “more info” button at the top right of the screen, which is a great initiative but feels insufficient, as the interface is not intuitive. In the Site Experience feature, we got stuck on Events and Custom tags, not knowing whether they were necessary for a project to run.

Screenshot of a popup indicating a credit state and announcing a delay in availability.

The system of credits used by Searchmetrics is detrimental to the user experience, creating “you lost me here” moments when a pop-up informs you about your credit situation, and announces that you won’t be able to make changes for 24 hours. Source: Searchmetrics software.

On some pages, information needs to be saved or applied in order to be taken into account. On others, not. The system of credit allowances also makes the user experience more complex than needed.


Searchmetrics’ pricing

Searchmetrics provides free access to a limited version of the Research Cloud search visibility overviews after you have registered and been approved, but not in the U.S. Whereas the Research Cloud, or Searchmetrics Essentials, as it used to be called, is not an entirely free keyword tool, it provides an overview of a site’s most important keywords and its aggregate visibility over time.

This is valuable to users, and one of the reasons Searchmetrics has become an important reference tool in the search marketing industry.

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Searchmetrics primarily sells as a suite comprising the full range of features. The pricing is variable and based on a system of credits. Our experience with the credit system created frustration and left us with a feeling of opacity in pricing. Access to the Searchmetrics Suite is reserved for enterprise clients and starts at several thousand dollars per month which will be prohibitive for small businesses.

An unbundled version of the suite exists in Europe, but not the U.S., providing standalone access to the Research Cloud. The Searchmetrics pricing for this access is in the higher price ranges.

The Research Cloud entry-level pricing is proposed at 89 euros for one country and 159 euros for a multicountry version. In the U.S., only the entire suite is available, unbundled plans are not. Other tools will often provide the combination of keyword research, competitive analysis, and backlinks review at a lower price point.


Searchmetrics’ support

Searchmetrics gives access to a Help Center with a glossary, a blog, and a contact form with telephone numbers for support. The Searchmetrics blog is informative and educational. We were positively surprised to have a telephone support option during a trial of the tool, but then we were negatively surprised to experience that none of the three numbers responded, which is usually not a good sign for a service organization.

Email support uses a ticketing system and our requests were responded to the same day. Enterprise level support includes dedicated support, training, and certification.


Benefits of Searchmetrics

The Searchmetrics Suite can be your one-stop tool for Search marketing. The Search Experience cloud allows you to monitor an ongoing SEO project from a ranking perspective. The Site Experience cloud covers a range of essential technical SEO insights.

And the Content Experience cloud allows subscribers of the Searchmetrics Suite to identify content opportunities and organize and optimize content for SEO ranking. Searchmetrics can be your enterprise SEO tool, your search auditing and pitching tool, and your technical optimization tool.

SMBs in Europe can benefit from the Research Cloud offering, which will allow them to audit sites’ search visibility, research keywords, review backlinks, analyze competition, and build a search marketing strategy.


One tool to rule them all

Most SEOs are proud to talk about their toolbox consisting of 5 to 10 different tools. To challenge that, Searchmetrics, along with a few other SEO software suites, is aiming to be a one-stop shop for advanced SEO teams. For content-driven SEO, the tool is a leader.

Its rank tracking is solid with one of the broadest scopes in the world of rank tools in terms of views, search engines and international coverage included. It aims to be the one-stop tool for enterprise clients, but its pricing is prohibitive for small businesses.

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