Serpstat Review Intro
Monthly SaaS payments add up. Especially with all-in-one SEO tools that typically start at $99 per month.
Serpstat is one of the newest player in this market. It is going up against Ahrefs, Moz Pro, and SEMrush. We’ve reviewed all these tools in-depth on this site so we know how it compares.
One of its differentiators is a low-priced entry point.
But does the quality stand up to our tests? That’s what our Serpstat review will find out.
We take an in-depth look into the Serpstat SEO tool and find the most important factors you need to know about. We’ve uncovered some interesting nuggets that you will want to know before you buy.
What is Serpstat?
Serpstat is a web-based SEO software in the so-called “all-in-one” category.
Serpstat helps plan and track your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. This includes planning future content, optimizing that content for SEO, and tracking the progress of the work.
Serpstat consists of 5 main sections:
- Website Analysis
- Keyword research
- Backlink Analysis
- Rank Tracker
- Site Audit
There are many sub sections under each of these sections.
Serpstat’s low starting price point of $19 per month gets your attention. Yes, that is a limited budget plan but it still offers a lot of value. The $69 per month plan is more in line with the starter plans of competitors. We discuss pricing in full later in our Serpstat review.
Serpstat is steadily increasing its backlink and keyword indices. At this point, it does not seem as robust as its competitors, yet it’s making a serious run. With time, it could meet or beat the more established players like Moz, SEMrush and Ahrefs.
Serpstat Features: What does Serpstat have?
Serpstat has most of the parts you would expect in an all-in-one SEO tool including:
- Backlink Index
- Keyword database
- Search and web traffic analytics
- Historical database of PPC (pay-per-click) ads
- Site Audit tool
- Reporting suite
- Website rankings
- Training documentation
One notable absence is no browser toolbar/Chrome extension (like MozBar).
Serpstat Benefits: Why use Serpstat?
You probably already know the benefits of a tool like this but if not…
You can use Serpstat to help improve SEO which can drive free traffic to your site and brand awareness.
In addition, the analytics that Serpstat features can help conduct competitive analysis.
The PPC ad information can help optimize your paid ad spend. Or even if you aren’t running ads, it can show what copy has worked which you can leverage in non-ad communications.
Pros of Serpstat
- Detailed analytics at the URL level (not only the domain level)
- Captures all top 100 search results so you can track your position changes as well as competitors
- Affordable pricing
- Serpstat finds all the keywords you rank for (not only those you ask it to check for like some tools)
- The ‘Missing Keywords’ feature shows all the keywords that competitors are ranking for but you are not. This can be conducted for URLs also!
- Clean interface design and quality visualizations
- Automatically determines competitors of domain or URL based on common keywords,
- Email alerts for position changes
- Shows monetary value of “free” organic traffic earned
- Top Pages report discovers most popular pages of any site
- “Content Marketing” tool shows popular search questions to write content around
- Chat support is responsive and thorough
- Serpstat has PPC ad data
- Technical SEO site audits are customizeable
Cons of Serpstat
- No SEO toolbar/Chrome extension
- No clickstream data for more accurate keyword statistics
- Backlink and keyword databases currently aren’t as large as competitors
- No integration with Google Search Console or Google Analytics
- No way to evaluate a group of keywords (keyword lists)
- No link intersect tool
- No Twitter share data
No keyword difficulty metric(June 2017 update: Serpstat launched a Keyword Difficulty Tool!)
- Slow at times
Who is Serpstat for?
Serpstat is affordable and user-friendly enough for most to use.
It could act as the main SEO tool of some digital marketers, entrepreneurs or DIY SEOs.
It may not be robust enough at this point to be the main tool of an SEO agency, SEO specialist or professional. But definitely could be one of the tools in their arsenal.
Related SEO tool reviews by MarTech Wiz
SEMrush Review: for deep PPC data, novel SEO metrics and Search Console integration
Ahrefs Review: for strong backlink profiles and content tools
Moz Pro Review: for superior Keyword analysis and SERP feature analysis
Majestic Review: for strong backlink index and visualizations
Usability: User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)
The design of the user interface is clean and inviting. The tables and graphs are easy to read. There is plenty of white space. It doesn’t feel cluttered even when a lot of information is shown.
The layout reminded us of SEMrush during our Serpstat review,
The user experience was simple and straight forward. You can navigate down the left sidebar and expand or collapse any section. Sometimes it gets confusing where things are on the menu but given there is so much data, only so much can be done.
Serpstat does a good job with tutorials and tool tips throughout the software. Terminology is clear.
The biggest downside of the UX was how slow Serpstat can be sometimes during keyword searches.
There were several typos and misspellings found during our Serpstat review process. At times, we couldn’t sort some table columns which would’ve been helpful.
How does Serpstat work? A walk-through of Serpstat
You can get started by going to Serpstat* and entering a keyword or URL. You don’t even need an account. But you get 30 free inquiries per day with an account. You may be able to get a free trial but one isn’t publicized.
After you have a login, have Serpstat crawl your site for a Technical SEO Site Audit. While you are waiting for that to finish, enter the keywords you want the Rank Tracker to check.
There are five main sections in Serpstat: Website Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Rank Tracker, and Site Audit.
There are several ways to search in the tool: by root domain, subdomain, URL, URL prefix, or keyword!
On almost every screen you can filter results, export data, and change the country of search engine.
Section 1: Website Analysis
Website Analysis is split up into Domain Analysis and URL analysis.
The first screen in the domain section is an overview and summary of the most pertinent stats:
The next section is SEO research.
1a) Website Analysis > Domain Analysis > SEO research
“Positions” shows all the keywords a domain ranks for in Google. This section is the only place to find all the keywords you rank for (or any site you’re researching). You probably rank for many keywords you don’t know about. You won’t find these keywords in the rank tracker section as you might expect. Rank Tracker only tracks keywords you tell it to. Positions is one of several screens that show SERP features. These are the extra information box that appear in Google results like knowledge graph or news articles.
“Competitors” shows all your competitors based on similar keywords you rank for in Google’s Top 20. A great feature is you can edit the list to delete any non-relevant sites or add any competitors missed.
“Domain vs. Domain” is a Venn Diagram that shows how many keywords a site shares with up to two competing domains. This Serpstat feature is similar to a link intersect tool but with keywords instead. It shows what keywords sites have in common and which keywords are unique.
“Top Pages” report is a helpful report that is common in all-in-one SEO tools. Serpstat sorts Top Pages by keywords the page ranks well for which is a different method than most tools. You can also sort by Facebook shares, Linkedin shares, Google+ shares, and Potential Traffic. Potential Traffic, by the way, is different from estimated traffic. It is the traffic you would receive if you ranked #1 for each keyword you rank for currently.
If you want to see top pages by backlinks, go the “Top Pages” section in the “Backlink Analysis” section.
“Tree View” is a Serpstat feature that we have not seen in any other SEO tools we reviewed. It’s a table that lists all a site’s URLs in alphabetical order and all the keywords that URL ranks for. It is a great way to see at a glance the variety of keywords that a site’s pages rank for.
Next up in our Serpstat review is PPC research.
1b) Website Analysis > Domain Analysis > PPC research
“Keywords” in the PPC section shows actual advertisements that a site is running. Search volume, CPC, and competition is also listed. For example, here are some ads for rollingstone.com:
“Competitors” shows all the domains that have competing ads for similar paid keywords.
“Domain vs. Domain” is a Venn diagram that shows the paid keywords of a site and two competitors. It clearly displays paid keywords that are common and that are unique to each site.
“Ad Examples” and “Ad Research” display more details around which paid keywords are associated with which ad.
1c) Website Analysis > Domain Analysis > Batch Analysis
At some point, most have to analyze a group of domains (not one-by-one). A bulk analysis tool like “Batch Analysis” is key here. Batch Analysis can analyze up to 200 domains. It can compare many different parameters including traffic, keywords, and ads. However, some parameters like Page Rank and backlinks are not options.
1d) Website Analysis > Domain Analysis > Infographics
This section displays several graphs and charts (that are not really infographics).
The URL analysis section of Serpstat is excellent. Most SEO tools provide significant data for domains but little to none for specific URLs. Serpstat, on the other hand, provides a similar level of data for specific URLs.
For example, say you want to analyze the URL: http://www.thebeatles.com/album/rubber-soul
1e) Website Analysis > URL Analysis > Overview
“Keywords” shows all the keywords the URL ranks for in Google’s top 100 results. It also shows which SERP features like “People also ask” or “video blocks” appear in the SERPs (search engine results page).
“Competitors” shows all the other URLs that rank organically for similar keywords as the URL you are researching. You can also find Facebook Shares here.
“URL vs. URL” is the same thing as Domain vs. Domain but for specific URLs. It shows a Venn Diagram of the keywords that up to 3 sites have (or don’t have) in common.
“Missing Keywords” provides a list of keywords that a URL’s competitors are ranking in the top 10 for but that URL is not ranking for at present.
A nice touch is it shows if any other URLs on the site are ranking for that keyword. If so, you may not want to cannibalize your current position by ranking a new URL.
Section 2: Keyword Research
The next main section of our Serpstat review is Keyword Research. This section of Serpstat consists of an Overview, SEO Research, PPC Research, Content Marketing, and SERP Analysis.
2a) Keyword Research > SEO Research
“Keyword Selection” provides keyword suggestions related to your main keyword. One unique data point here is Social Domains. The Social Domains metric shows if a social media site is in the top 100 of that keyword’s rankings in Google.
“Cluster Research” similarly provides semantic keywords suggestions which are basically synonyms. I don’t find these keywords to be any better than those in the above section. But there is a new metric, Connection Strength, which measures how many competitors are ranking in the top 20 for each keyword.
“Search Suggestions” provides more keyword suggestions based on autocomplete suggestions found in Google. This is a good place to find long tail keywords.
“Top Pages” in this section refers to the pages that rank for the most keywords (besides the keyword being researched).
“Competitors” lists the sites that rank best for the researched keyword and related semantic keywords.
2b) Keyword Research > PPC Research
“Keywords” and “Ad Examples” display actual ads for searches including the keyword. It also shows what SERP features are present, the position of the ad, and volume/CPC/competition %.
“Competitors” lists the top domains that are bidding for the paid keyword.
“Ad research” provides a unique view. Similar to Tree-View, it shows every URL that ad clicks are sent to and the paid keyword.
2c) Keyword Research > Content Marketing
“Content Marketing” provides questions that people search containing your keyword. These are great topics to create content marketing pieces around. This information is simply keyword suggestions that include when, why, how, and what.
2d) Keyword Research > SERP Analysis
“Top by Keyword” in SERP Analysis displays the top 100 Google results for the keyword. It also lists the PPC ads and SERP features that appear in the SERP.
The next three sections of our Serpstat review cover new sections: Backlink Analysis, Rank Tracker, and Site Audit.
Section 3: Backlink Analysis
“Backlink Dashboard” is an overview of backlink metrics such as referring pages, domains, and IPs. It displays how many links are from government or education websites. These links are harder to get and usually more impactful.
This screen is the first place we see the Serpstat Page Rank and Trust Rank metrics. Page Rank is a measure of the number and quality of backlinks to a page (like Moz Page Authority). Trust Rank shows how trustworthy the page is so you can decide whether you want a link from the site. These metrics are strangely not shown in either the domain or URL analysis sections.
Serpstat usually has less backlinks indexed then what is listed in their backlinks count. Meaning the number of backlinks (indexed pages) they know and have information on is less than humber of their backlinks count. For example, Serpstat says “thebeatles.com” has 442K backlinks but only 345K are indexed.
The reason is Serpstat gets its backlink data from two sources. The total backlink count comes from Majestic but the indexed pages (backlinks) are seemingly only those found by Serpstat’s own crawlers.
This screen has several graphs showing new and lost backlinks, cumulative backlinks and new referring domains.
“Referring Domains” lists the 10,000 referring domains with Alexa rank, Page Rank, and Trust Rank.
“Anchors” show the most used anchor text, the text that is displayed in the link. It is best to have diverse anchor text.
“Top Pages” in this section shows the top pages of the site you’re researching by the number of backlinks the site has. We were looking for this in the other “Top pages” and here it is.
Section 4: Rank Tracker
Serpstat has an outstanding Rank Tracker. It is one of the favorite tools we played with during our Serpstat review process. A major advantage of Serpstat is they track and store not just your position but all 100 top in the SERPs.
“Positions” shows the positions of all the keywords you are tracking. Note, this will only show you the keywords you are explicitly tracking. For all keywords you are ranking for, go to: Website Analysis > Domain Analysis > SEO research> Positions.
There are helpful charts and filtering options also. Plan B ($69/month plan) checks for positions daily which is more frequent than most tools at higher price points. There is a little trend line that shows the recent changes of each keyword. You can create groups of keywords if you want to track a subset of your keywords separately.
“History” shows the daily changes in the last 7 days or several other time periods. It is helpfully color-coded to demarcate between top 3, top 5, top 10, etc.
“Competitors” has some pretty interesting graphs. The first one is the “market share” of the competing domains for the keywords you are tracking. It shows in order your largest competitors in search.
“History” and “Competitor changes” show the positions of your competitors and how they have risen or fallen over the over. You can customize the time period to you liking. There are remarkable visualizations in this Serpstat feature.
Section 5: Site Audit
The last Serpstat section we reviewed is “Site Audit.” Here the technical SEO results from the crawl are shown. They cover the following areas:
- Audit Summary
- Pages Status Codes
- Meta Tags
- Accessibility & Indexation
- Server Parameters
- Loading Speed
- Custom Overview
The Audit Summary gives you an overall SDO (Serpstat Domain Optimization) score out of 100%. It also categorizes issues into low, medium, and high priority so you know what to tackle first:
One unique feature is the custom overview where you can customize what issues Serpstat should ignore. Certain issues they find may be of no concern to you. For example, I get errors for pages that don’t have a meta description but I don’t index those pages in Google so I don’t need meta descriptions.
Serpstat Pricing and Plans: How much does Serpstat Cost?
- Serpstat pricing plans range from $19 to $299 per month for “personal” plans and “business” plans go up to $2,500 per month.
- There is an annual discount of 20% on all Serpstat pricing plans and a 40% 3-year discount if paid upfront.
- Price comparison: The $19 plan includes most features but no access to API, Missing Keywords, or Cluster Research. The biggest limitation is you only get 100 results per report. So if a domain has 2,000 backlinks it will only show you 100. Still a great deal for the price Serpstat charges.
- The next Serpstat pricing level is $69 per month and has access to all Serpstat features and a much higher limit of 15,000 results per report. Serpstat’s pricing plans up from here provide even more queries, results, tracked keywords, etc.
- Refund/guarantee: 14-day money guarantee according to Serpstat support.
Here is a link to Serpstat’s pricing page
Is there a free trial and/or free plan option?
Free trial: A Serpstat free trial isn’t officially offered but you may be able to get one upon asking
Free plan: Yes, you can perform up to 30 queries on Serpstat’s free plan. Some of the results are cut off to only 10 results. You can also do a site audit for free on up to 100 pages.
CC required for free trial: no
The following are the most prevalent Serpstat competitors and alternatives:
Support/Training: How is Serpstat customer service and customer support?
Support options: Serpstat offers chat and email support for all plans (and phone for plans $299/month and up)
Training options: Plenty of documentation is available including manual, webinars, and Serpstat Academy
Our experience with the chat support has been outstanding.
Notably there are no Serpstat integrations with Google Search Console or Google Analytics. We didn’t come across any mention of other Serpsat integrations.
Conclusion: Serpstat Review
Our review found Serpstat to be a valuable all-in-one SEO tool. It provides a wide range of functionality. Many aspects of the data and visualizations are unique. The UI and visualizations are attractive. Pricing is more affordable than similar tools. While not robust as some competing products yet, Serpstat is continually expanding their databases which are currently solid. Serpstat is a comprehensive SEO tool that holds its own unique spot in the all-in-one SEO tool category.
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