Product Name: SheerSEO
Price: Plans differ, but the best value seems to be $10/month (after a 90 day free trial)
Overall Grade: B-
Recommendation: This probably isn't the right product for most people, but it's worth using the trial to find out for sure.
SheerSEO is a very basic tool for staying on top of the SEO basics for your site. It tracks your site's search engine rankings, what other sites are linking back to you, and a few other important inbound marketing metrics. SheerSEO doesn't actually help you action, it just gives you information and lets you use decide what actions to take.
The best thing about SheerSEO is the price. For some reason, most software that helps with SEO is ridiculously overpriced. SheerSEO isn't exactly cheap (it ranges from $7 to $200/month) but it's an absolute steal relative to the other SEO software out there. They also give you a 90 day free trial which is awesome. I think that's the longest free trial I've ever experienced.
SheerSEO also does a decent job of focusing on only the most important SEO metrics. Other tools definitely offer a lot more functionality, but SheerSEO covers the essentials and all the features are easily accessible.
My main complaint about SheerSEO is the design. It seems like a lot of effort was put into collecting useful data, but the mechanism for displaying the data is underwhelming. The best pages are clunky and unattractive, and the worst pages are useless and confusing. Seriously, there are basically 12 pages linked to from the navigation bar, and one of them just shows the number of backlinks (and a whole lot of whitespace). There are a few other pages that are similarly sparse. The information SheerSEO provides is pretty useful, but they need to put some thought into how they display everything (a dashboard would be nice).
The writing on the site could also use a lot of work. From what I can tell, the company is based in Israel so it may have been written by a non-native English speaker. Either way, they should hire someone to re-write all the text. The entire application only has a dozen or so paragraphs, so it wouldn't be much work at all. As an example of the confusing writing, there is a page called "Guarded Backlinks". I don't know what guarded backlinks are so I read the instructions and this was the first sentence:
The "guarded backlinks" is a feature which enables you to guard your site's valuable backlinks.
So yeah, that wasn't too helpful. Most of the time I could figure out what was going on, but the product would be much more usable if they spent an hour re-writing all the text.
Finally, as I mentioned above, SheerSEO doesn't really help you take action. It doesn't recommend new keywords or suggest improvements you could make. Basically, they just give you some info and you have to figure out what to do with it. I still find the software really useful, but I don't think it would be good for SEO beginners.
I'm very conflicted about this one. SheerSEO is definitely useful, and the price is right, but I'm not really sure who it's meant for. It's not designed well enough to appeal to beginners, and it doesn't offer as many features as you'd want if you're serious about SEO. So I think it's a great tool for people that know and care about SEO but don't consider it a major priority. If you just want an affordable way to monitor your keyword rankings and backlinks, SheerSEO is probably a good choice. If you're still learning about SEO or you consider it an important part of your job, you should probably keep looking.
But remember, there's a 90 day free trial, so you might as well sign up (you don't need to give a credit card or anything) and try it for yourself.