As a small business owner, you likely already know you (perpetually) need to up your SEO game. But the time and budgetary commitments can be considerable when pursuing DIY or third-party solutions. Enter Seobase, the all-in-one SEO tool that gets you up and running within minutes.
Seobase promises a streamlined user-interface, powerful tracking, comprehensive reporting, and easy team management at a low price. If you’re thinking it all sounds too good to be true, we got you. Below, we dig into Seobase’s offering, reviewing what it does well and where it falls short.
What Seobase can do for your business
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at Seobase’s elevator pitch.
Seobase offers the easiest way to gain a holistic overview of your site’s search engine performance. Whereas many other SEO tools focus on comprehensiveness to the detriment of usability, simplicity is key with Seobase. The philosophy here is you’ll make the biggest performance gains with a tool that’s easy to use and approachable. If tracking is complicated and reporting arcane, you’re unlikely to reap the benefits of an expensive SEO service without hiring someone to interpret it all for you.
That isn’t to say Seobase is overly simplistic; indeed they strive to empower your analysis and decision-making with sophisticated tracking and reporting. Their intuitive, accessible webapp enables your team to coordinate efforts to out-muscle the competition–and allows you to set permissions to manage your team.
It’s free to try with no credit card necessary, and cheap to subscribe. On paper, Seobase is the silver bullet SMBs have been searching for in terms of utility, usability, and affordability.
Seobase key features
At the core of Seobase’s offering are a few critical features to kickstart and augment your SEO analysis.
Rank tracking and keyword management
The two go hand-in-hand to help you evaluate at a glance the organic performance of all the critical keywords your business hinges upon. This is where Seobase’s focus on simplicity really shines: it’s super-easy to input keywords and keyword phrases you want to track under a given domain thanks to a streamlined visual interface.
Paid users have the benefit of tracking multiple domains (useful for tracking competitors), but anyone can add or remove keywords on the fly without disrupting existing processes. Moreover, you can track both desktop and mobile traffic either together, or separately as needed. Seobase automatically cleans out duplicate keywords to keep your reports clean and easily legible.
Tracking occurs in real time by default, though Seobase also allows you to select dates in the past to gain insight into changes over various timeframes. There are numerous important metrics that will help you interpret the data collected by Seobase, but we’ll cover those in greater depth later on.
As your lists grow, you’ll make liberal use of color-coded tags. Create and assign tags to specific keywords as needed, then filter your lists to view pertinent metrics without having to manually sort through hundreds or thousands of items.
Restricted to the paid tiers, reporting is where the rubber meets the road with Seobase and provides a major incentive to upgrade. Users given admin privileges will be able to create a new report to track a given domain (whether desktop or mobile), then set the frequency to daily, weekly, or monthly. Choose whom to send these reports, then relax as Seobase does the rest.
This is critical not only for keeping an eye on your critical metrics, but keeping team members informed on a need-to-know basis. You can even share reports with your own clients to serve as proof of value.
Reports send out the moment after they’re created, and automatically renew according to your chosen timeframe without further admin input required. Of course, it is equally simple to delete a report with the click of a button with zero hassle.
Unless you’re a sole proprietorship, it’s critical to be able to coordinate your SEO strategy across your team. There are three user roles you can assign on an invite-basis:
- Admin – Full access to everything within Seobase, including subscriptions and billing, as well as user creation and deletion.
- Manager – Full privileges with regards to user management, dashboard access, and creating/editing/deleting trackings and keywords; but lacks the ability to create other Admin accounts or alter subscription settings.
- Viewer – The ideal permission for clients and lower-level employees. Allows viewing of Dashboard, trackings and keywords, but lacks the ability to edit anything.
The number of individual user roles you can assign is based on your subscription tier, but Seobase caps out at a generous 30 users which should suffice for the vast majority of SMBs’ SEO needs.
Now that we have an idea of what Seobase’s capabilities, we’ll have a look at how easy it is make use of its various features.
Seobase’s parent company Apilayer is well-known for its low-pressure approach to their products. They offer Seobase free of charge to get your feet wet, with an impressive amount of functionality out of the box.
Simply go to their home page, and click “Try seobase” at the top-right to get started. Fill out your email, pick the Free tier, then wait for your inbox to go “ding!” with the confirmation email. Once you confirm your account, you’re in.
There’s no high-pressure sales tactics to get you to convert to their services, and Apilayer never spams your account with promotions. This channel to your email inbox is used exclusively for account activity, which is a refreshing change of pace from most companies who are all-too eager to pester you with upsells. To wit, Seobase doesn’t even require you to put a credit card on file.
Creating your first tracking
Now that your account is created, you’ll land in the Seobase Dashboard. It won’t look like much to start with, but that’ll change soon enough! At the top-right, click “Create Tracking” to force a pop-up box to appear.
Specify whether you wish for this tracking to monitor mobile or desktop traffic, then type in your desired domain. Localize your SEO results base on location, which you can either choose from a drop-down list or type in manually. There are literally thousands of countries, states, and cities available from around the globe, so you can truly get as granular as you want.
Next, the good stuff: Keywords. Your free account limits you to three keywords or keyword phrases, but that limit becomes much more generous even in the basic paid tier. For now, input three keywords, hitting Enter or Tab after each. (Just for fun, try inputting the same keyword twice to see how promptly and effectively Seobase rejects duplicates.) Alternatively, you can import lists of keywords from a text file or spreadsheet.
Once that’s done, confirm all the data and watch as a handy tracking card populates instantly on your Dashboard. You’ll see two tabs for Desktop and Mobile, which allows you to toggle between datasets. You can also clone the tracking from one to the other at the click of a button, though once again this is restricted to paid users.
The tracking card will display the SEO location, number of keywords being tracked, as well as your domain’s visibility index. If you need to delete this card, simply hit the Kebab menu (three dots) to “Delete tracking”.
Understanding the Tracking Overview
After clicking on a tracking card for your domain, the predominating feature is the keywords list–aka the Keyword Ranking Table–on the left. You’ll see each keyword you’ve added so far, along with a color code that indicates which tags they’re associated with. The remaining columns are:
- Rank – The latest position on SERPs for a given keyword.
- Change – Tracks the flow of how far your rank has risen or fallen in the date range.
- Avg. – Your keyword’s average rank throughout the date range.
- Best – Denotes the high point of the keyword’s performance.
- Search – The overall search volume for this keyword over the past year.
- EV – Seobase’s calculated estimates for how many visits your keyword has garnered at its present rank to help determine momentum.
Beneath the Keyword Ranking Table is an easily-missed Manage Tags button. Clicking on it reveals a sidebar menu, where you can create tags by name and color coding, then assign them to the appropriate keywords or even entire keyword lists.
It’s a critical organizational feature that probably ought to be more visible in our reckoning.
Also somewhat inconspicuously tucked into the top-right corner of the Tracking Overview page, you’ll find a box which displays the timeframe through which tracking data is displayed. Clicking on the calendar icon (nothing will happen if you click the date itself) brings up a calendar, along with options for Today, Last 7 days, Last 30 days, Last 90 days, and Entire History. Selecting any of these will change the data presented, so you can compare keyword performance over time.
On either side of the date selector, you’ll see your tracking location to the left (which can’t be changed, you’d need to create a new tracking if you want to see results from elsewhere in the world), as well as an Add Keywords button. You’ll have the same options available for adding keywords as when you first created the tracking.
Visualizing tracking data
Below that are several boxes which visualize your keyword tracking performance. The first is the Visibility Index, scored from 0-100 with a score of 100 indicating that the keywords of your tracking occupy the first position in SERPs. Other visualizations include the aforementioned Estimated Visits and Keyword Position Flow. Finally, you’ll see Keyword Position Distribution, which lets you view your keyword winners and losers at a glance.
When you select multiple items from the Keyword Ranking Table, these boxes will change to show the average metrics for all selected keywords. Additionally, an Average Rank bubble will show up at the bottom of the list to the left of the Manage Tags button, displaying–you guessed it–the average rank of the keyword selection.
Analyzing individual keywords
Here’s another intuitive-once-you-know-it’s-there feature: Individual keyword visualizations. Clicking on any single item in the Keyword Ranking Table will change the boxes to the right to display pertinent information:
- Position History – Depending on the timeframe selected, this box displays the movement up or down of your keyword’s position in SERPs.
- Ranking URLs – Absolute gold for an SEO; shows which URLs are contributing to your domain’s keyword performance, so you can learn what kind of content generates results, then replicate it.
- Search Volume History – Offers context for your other metrics by showing the volume of searches for a given keyword.
At every tier, Seobase subscriptions offer ample functionality for their intended users. That said, there are some significant differences in tiers, so pay close attention so you can accurately gauge which will be serve your needs.
Before continuing, keep in mind that payments can be made monthly at the nominal rate, or yearly at a 20% discount. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time within account settings at the top-right of your Dashboard.
We’ve already pretty much covered this one, but to recap:
The Free tier offers full tracking for up to three keywords, though this is limited to a single domain under a single tracking. (Sadly, this means you have to choose to track either desktop or mobile, as they require separate trackings.) You’re also limited to a single user, and thus User Management isn’t open to you. The Reports feature is similarly absent.
On the plus side, no credit card is required to hold a free Seobase account. While customer service is somewhat limited, they’ll still answer your emails; you also have their outstanding Help Center knowledge base to pick through which should answer most questions you may have.
Basic – $7/month ($6 if paid yearly)
If the Free tier is showing you the door, the Basic tier invites you to walk on through. A modest investment nets you tracking for 50 keywords, 5 domains, and access to device-specific tracking of mobile and desktop. Additionally and critically, you unlock Reports at this tier and also gain room for an extra team member. This is an excellent choice for a startup or mom ’n pop with limited staff. The Basic tier is also where tag management becomes a more prominent feature as your Keyword Ranking List starts to fill up.
Premium – $27/month ($22 if paid yearly)
Much the same fare as the Basic tier, but significantly more of it. Extend your tracking to 50 websites and 500 keywords, allowing you to keep a close tab on both your domains as well as those of your competitors. Tag Management and Reports retain the same functionality, but are far more useful as they wrangle larger data sets. And as your business grows, Seobase allows you to create up to 5 user accounts to accommodate. Premium support is now available, which means world-class service agents will make your tickets a priority to resolve via the most expedient medium.
Billed as the “best value” subscription tier, this is likely the sweet spot for SMB budgets and needs.
Professional – $97/month ($78 if paid yearly)
Seobase shows its commitment to supporting your business’s growth with the Professional tier. Now, you’ve got room to track 300 domains and 3,000 keywords. Moreover, you can accommodate some serious SEO staff with up to 30 user accounts available.
Normally, Apilayer offers an unlimited tier with their products, but this is absent from Seobase. We suspect, however, that they would be willing to entertain custom subscription requests for truly massive tracking requirements on an enterprise level.
Seobase review – Verdict
Simplicity is the key to Seobase’s offering, and it shows. Signup is easy and pricing transparent, and they’ve done a great job of visualizing the data you need to get a leg up on your SEO game.
For our tastes, the UI is perhaps overly streamlined to the point of opaqueness for absolute beginners. However, after spending just a little bit of time within the interface and checking the Help Center, you’ll find Seobase seamless to use and indeed quite intuitive. It’s snappy, responsive, clean, and minimalist–foregrounding the most pertinent information with almost zero visual noise to distract or disorient.
While there are perhaps more robust SEO tools out there, they largely fill a different niche. Seobase is what we’d recommend for an SMB that doesn’t have time to mess with advanced settings, and just wants to get down and dirty with their keyword data with no hand-holding required. Moreover, Seobase is one of the most affordable offerings on the market–even at the Professional tier.
Seobase stands out with its tagging system, which becomes invaluable as you scale your SEO efforts. We found the reports clean, offering oversight by the numbers with little else needed to effect actionable analyses.
Throughout our testing phase for writing this review, we never ran into a single instance of downtime, and the interface remained snappy and lag-free as a rule. While this isn’t an empirical analysis of site performance, we can confidently recommend Seobase to anyone for whom 24/7 uptime is a must.
Overall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find greater value for money in an SEO tool. Seobase is the all-in-one keyword tracking solution you’ll actually use, with good user-friendliness for the beginner and robust functionality for the veteran SEO.