Staying ahead of competitors in the search engines is tough enough without the mountain of data modern SEO professionals find themselves sifting through to keep pace.
While these tools are major time savers—they’re also time draws—with all that clicking and staring at screens being time that could be better spent elsewhere.
With us all increasingly reliant on the SEO data and insights provided by third-party tools, it’s worth looking at how much of your workflow can be automated via API—letting you consume the data needed to make decisions passively, rather than sifting through it manually.
The purpose of this article is to show how many of the products most of us already use offer an SEO API—with which it’s possible to automate processes and workflow, while retaining the same data sources and data insights—making APIs for SEO a no-brainer for anyone scaling-up their efforts.
I’m a big advocate of SEOs learning to code—especially when it comes to whole process and workflow automation. It’s not that difficult, and there are plenty of free resources for learning to code—and there are alternatives for those who don’t want to, like Zapier, which let you integrate with the API of many of these services using ready-made connectors.
To keep things transparent—many of the services listed include affiliate links, which I may make a commission from if you sign up to a particular product or service.
With the intro out of the way, let’s get into the meat of this article—here is my list of tools that offer an SEO API.
SEO tools with SEO API access
Each tool listed is grouped by it’s features and functionality. For anyone short on time or looking for a specific type of SEO API, use the links below to jump to the relevant section.
- Keyword research tools
- Keyword tracking tools
- Site audit tools
- Backlink audit tools
- Competitor analysis tools
- Content ideation tools
- AI content writing tools
- Web and SERP scraping tools
Like my SEO free trials article, if an SEO API offers multiple features, they’ll be included in each relevant category—rather than together, under a catch all “all-in-one” tool heading. I’ve also omitted tools which in my view are ridiculously overpriced—tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs which, while popular are widely used, charge way too much to access their data via API.
Keyword research tools APIs
Research relevant keywords and phrases, filtering and sorting by competition, difficulty, and search volume—making it easier to find the right opportunity keywords.
Keyword tracking tools APIs
Automatically monitor and report on progress made in the organic search results with data from keyword rankings tool APIs.
Site audit APIs
Run site audits to identify technical SEO issues on auto-pilot with technical SEO APIs and SEO review tools API solutions.
Backlink audit APIs
Monitor backlinks, referring domains, and review metrics and link data with backlink audit tool APIs.
Content ideation APIs
Tap into new content ideas with SEO content APIs—automate content research, review competitor content, and optimize existing pages.
AI content writing APIs
Automate and optimize your content production workflow, maximizing output with an AI writing assistant API.
Grammar checker APIs
SERP scraping APIs
Scrap pretty much anything you can see in the SERPs—organic positions, ads, featured snippets, Google shopping listing—you name it.
Web scraping APIs
Scrape the web, competitor sites, or creating your own SEO data sets and insights using web scraping API tools.
Who is this resource for?
If you’re looking to automate SEO processes, you’re probably not a complete novice—but besides complete newcomers, this resource is pretty much for anyone. From solo SEOs, to small teams and agencies—there’s hopefully something of value here for you.
You don’t need to know how to code either—there are third-party apps like Zapier with which you can easily integrate these services into another product or service, using ready-made connectors.
That said, it’s always better to integrate with an API directly, as you can more easily fully automate your workflow if you know some Python. This is because you’ll have more freedom and control over how data is processed and presented than you might otherwise.
This is a list of SEO tools offering an API—not reviews or recommendations
While I’ve used (and continue to use) many of the products included here, this resource isn’t a round-up of recommendations or reviews of the best APIs—far from it. It’s best thought of as a list of SEO APIs you could use, acting as a jumping off point to plan out your automation project.
This is the objective of this list—getting SEOs thinking about how they can automate routine tasks via API. As can be seen from the list, you can programmatically pull data for everything from keyword research and competitor analysis, to rank tracking data, content ideation, and almost anything else.
If you want online reviews, give the products a Google search—there’s no shortage of SEO tool reviews out there. Personally, I find it easiest to dive in—all these tools have a well-documented API, making them easier to assess than those limited to a one-size-fits-all interface.
Some SEO APIs even offer free trials or forever-free tiers, letting you integrate and use them before committing to a subscription—something that’s infinitely more useful than someone else’s opinion.
Why consume SEO data via API in the first place?
I’m often surprised by how few SEOs are technical—and by that, I mean have some proficiency or understanding of programming.
Personally, I’m a huge coding fan—as you’ll see from my blog—and I don’t know how it’ possible not to pick these skill up working in SEO, especially given that debating developers is a sizable part of the job.
Despite how analytical and data-driven modern SEO is, many SEOs remain pretty low-tech—spending hours clicking buttons and starting at screens to get the data they need, performing tasks that can be automated in a few lines of code with an API.
This is the benefit of SEO APIs—enabling you to consume data passively, getting the insights needed to make decisions efficiently, while reallocate your time to tasks that aren’t so easily replicated in code.
Productivity vs. procrastination in search engine optimization
Many of the daily tasks performed in SEO tread a fine line between productivity and procrastination. It can feel like you’re hard at it, clicking through tools staring at data on screens, when in reality you’re not really getting much done.
Keyword research is a great example of this. We spend heaps of time mulling through keyword suggestions and related keywords to come up with keyword ideas to optimize and create content for.
There’s also content itself—lots of time spent benchmarking pages against ranked competitors, comparing keyword density, word counts, headings, and other data—micro tasks that all add up and, for the most part, can be automated away via API.
Another time consuming, mundane task is reviewing link data—finding and reviewing backlink acquisition targets, checking their respective domain authority, referring root domains, and other data—an ideal candidate for automation.
SEO APIs offer a better alternative to accessing data, automating processes to give the actionable insights you need to make decisions without the busy work. They can also help ensure that you’re using the most up to date data—and not data that’s weeks old that’s been sitting in an exported CSV file in a local folder somewhere.
There are two rules I try to follow—if you can buy it, don’t build it—and don’t have people doing the work of computers. I think that these rules pair up nicely when it comes to this topic.
The worst thing to do when scaling up is to put more bums-on-seats. The additional burden and overhead of recruiting, managing, and paying humans to do the work of computers is always best avoided.
Is there any free SEO API worth looking at?
Yes, there are—unsurprisingly, the best SEO APIs available for free are from Google, specifically the Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights APIs.
These are a great place to start for anyone just starting to automate their SEO workflow—for the latter, I’ve published a PageSpeed Insights API example written in Node (and for the former, I’m currently working on a project that using the Google Search Console API, so watch this space!)
Most of Google’s product suite can be accessed by API for free, letting you easily integrate into Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Looker Studio (formerly “Google Data Studio”)—which is handy if these tools are already part of your existing workflow.
Beyond Google, there are several SERP API and web scraping solutions that offer forever-free tier access to their API, including the likes of SerpApi and Serpstack—all of which are fairly easy to get data out of and into Google Sheets.
These tools are fairly affordable anyway, and can be pretty powerful when utilized properly, letting you grab pretty much any data found on SERP pages.
You’ll likely pay a premium for SEO API access
One thing that irks me about SEO tool APIs is that they’re usually limited to top-tier accounts—and often with an additional premium on top.
This puts them beyond the reach of your average joe—I’m certainly not going paying $300-400 for a subscription level I don’t need just to get SEO API access.
It’s annoying—not just because it restricts who can use them—but because there aren’t any real additional costs to the vendor if a user chooses to consume data using an external API vs. an internal one through an interface.
Call me a cynic, but these restrictions and limitations exist because everyone has them, rather than for any real reason.
There are exceptions—in particular those that only have an API —like web scraping and SERP APIs. These are pretty accessible to everyone, and many have forever-free tiers that you can use to try before you buy.
While disappointing, I understand the commercial reasons—however, I’d prefer differing usage limits than making them unavailable to most users.
The key takeaway is that while most of the tools you already use have an API, you’ll likely pay a premium to access them.
Summing it up
Well there you have it—my list of SEO tool APIs. While you’ll likely have many of these products, you may not have access to their API—unless you’re a heavy-user with top-tier subscriptions.
These subscriptions can be expensive—so for smaller teams or solo SEOs, you’re best off starting with the free APIs from Google and/or taking advantage of those offering forever free-tiers. This is especially true for any heavy users of Google Sheets and other free Google products, as being able to get data in and out of these programmatically can really help to smooth out your existing processes.
For larger teams, there’s no reason not to utilize these APIs to scale-up and automate your SEO, maximizing your efforts without increasing headcount.
From tracking keyword rankings and reviewing backlinks data, to retrieving search volume and keyword data, running technical audits with an SEO review tools API, and finding broken links or duplicate content—you name it—almost all SEO tasks are replicable in code. This means less time clicking and staring at screens, and more on things that matter.
Beyond process automation, utilizing SEO API data is great when you need to deep dive into large, complex data sets that would otherwise be difficult to process.
This can provide SEO near-instantly, while simultaneously filtering out unnecessary data—giving you the relevant data you need to make better decisions, faster.
Don’t get intimidated—using SEO API tools is a lot simpler than it sounds. Any good REST API will offer straight-forward, easy integration and return data as a JSON format response in a few lines of code.
You don’t need to know how to code either. Services like Zapier have SEO tool connectors which can be used without any programming. While there are notable exceptions—the Ahrefs API and Moz API for instance—SEMrush, SE Ranking, Rank Ranger, Deepcrawl API and others, can be integrated this way.
I hope this post has shown the range of available APIs for SEO and that using them doesn’t have to be difficult. Most SEOs can benefit from some degree of workflow automation via API, even if they don’t have the budget to automate them from end-to-end. Some aspects like generating keyword suggestions or retrieving backlinks data are going to be easier enough to automate with an API, even for beginners.