When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of tools out there. But which ones can you trust?
That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up the best SEO tools available, so you don’t have to waste time searching for them.
The first tool on our list is Moz. Moz offers a ton of features that will help you optimize your website for search engines and social media platforms. They offer free tutorials and guides so that anyone can learn how to use their software, which is perfect for beginners who are just getting started in SEO!
Best Seo Tools
Why Use SEO Tools?
SEO tools save you from tedious keyword research and data analysis. With these tools, you’re able to see what’s working and which parts of your strategy could benefit from some tweaking. The best SEO tools also provide reports about how you measure up to competitors and where the greatest opportunities lie. What’s more, they allow you to measure search performance countries, regions, or languages.
It gets better. If you’re managing more than one website, SEO tools can help you assess each site’s performance on the fly. Many entrepreneurs with multiple websites end up putting a lot of data in spreadsheets and analyzing it manually. But that soon becomes overwhelming and raises the risk of the reports being inaccurate. Fortunately, you can use SEO software to save hours of effort and generate accurate reports at a click.
Best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools
- Ahrefs: SEO Keyword Tool
Ahref – SEO Keyword Tool
Ahrefs is one of the most recommended SEO tools online. It’s only second to Google when it comes to being the largest website crawlers. SEO experts can’t get enough of Ahrefs’ Site Audit feature as it’s the best SEO analysis tool around. The tool highlights what parts of your website need improvements to rank better in search engines. From a competitor analysis perspective, you’ll likely use Ahrefs to determine your competitor’s backlinks to use them as a starting point for your own brand. You can also use this SEO tool to find the most linked to content within your niche, check and fix broken links on your website,and get an overview of your best-performing pages (so you can see what information is drawing in the visitors).
Syed Irfan Ajmal
Syed Irfan Ajmal, a Growth Marketing Manager at Ridester, loves the SEO keyword tool Ahrefs. He shares, “Ahrefs is surely our most favorite tool when it comes to various facets of SEO such as keyword research, rank tracking, competitor research, SEO audit, viral content research and much more. We add our site and those of our competitors to it. The tool then shows us the sites which have backlinked to our competitors but not us. This helps us find great link opportunities. But this wouldn’t have been so easy if Ahrefs didn’t have the largest database of backlinks. Ahrefs has been instrumental in getting our site ranked for several major keywords, and getting us to 350,000 visitors per month.”
- Google Search Console: Top SEO Tool
Best seo tools
Offered for free to everyone with a website, Google Search Console lets you monitor and report on your website’s presence in Google SERP. All you need to do is verify your website by adding a code to your website or going through Google Analytics and you can submit your sitemap for indexing. Although you don’t need a Search Console account to appear in Google’s search results, you can control what gets indexed and how your website is represented with this account. As an SEO checker tool, Search Console can help you understand how Google and its users view your website and allow you to optimize for better performance in Google search results. It’s especially useful for new websites as it lets site owners submit web pages for search indexing.
- SEMRush: Marketing SEO Tools
SEMRush – Marketing SEO Tools
Marketing SEO tools like SEMRush tend to be fan favorites in the SEO community. Experts love that they let you easily assess your rankings as well as identify changes and new ranking opportunities. One of the most popular features of this SEO tool is the Domain Vs Domain analysis, which allows you to easily compare your website to your competitors. If you’re looking for analytics reports to help you better understand your website’s search data, traffic, or even your competitors, you’ll be able to compare keywords and domains. The On-Page SEO Checker tool allows you to easily monitor your rankings and find some recommendations on how to improve your website’s performance.
Liraz Postan – SEO Experts
Liraz Postan, Senior SEO & Content Manager at Outbrain, recommends SEMRush as one of the best SEO tools. She says, “My favorite SEO tool is SEMrush with the feature of “organic traffic insights”. This feature lets me see all my leading articles with one dashboard, along with related keywords, social shares and word count. This gives me a quick overview of what’s working and where to optimize. I generally use SEMrush on my daily work, love this tool, and love using its site audit to optimize our site health. We improved our site health by 100% more since we started using SEMrush, and we increased conversions by 15% more from our content pages.”
- KWFinder: SEO Keyword Tool
KWFinder – SEO Keyword Tool
An SEO keyword tool like KWFinder helps you find long-tail keywords that have a lower level of competition. The experts use this SEO tool to find the best keywords and run analysis reports on backlinks and SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Their Rank Tracker tool helps you easily determine your ranking while tracking your improvement based on one key metric. Plus, if that’s not enough, you’ll get a ton of new keyword ideas to help you rank your website even higher.
George PerryGeorge Perry, an SEM Specialist at Bandwidth, raves about KWFinder. “I like that not only does it show me information on the keyword that I was searching for, but pulls in good suggestions for related terms, and how they compare (volume, CPC, difficulty, etc.) to the term I originally looked at. I’ve been able to help my clients target not only those big, pie in the sky vanity terms, but to better target those terms that are lower in the funnel and more likely to convert, allowing me to target them through focused content that answers the questions they’re actually asking.”
- Moz Pro: SEO Software
Moz Pro SEO software
SEO software Moz Pro keeps popping up as one of the best SEO tools that experts actually use. Some specialists raved about how Moz was always up to date despite Google’s regular algorithm changes. Others praised Moz’s chat portal that allows them always to get an insightful response to every question asked. Whether you’re looking for keyword recommendations or a site crawl, Moz is a full-service powerhouse. You can get great insights into how your website is performing but also how to improve it. They also have a free MozBar toolbar that you can download to see your website’s metrics while browsing any page. If you’re looking to learn more about SEO, you should also consider checking out MozCon, their annual conference.
Keri Lindenmuth’s, Marketing Manager at Kyle David Group, go-to SEO tool is none other than Moz Pro. She says, “My favorite feature of the tool is its ‘page optimization feature.’ It tells you exactly what steps you can take to improve the SEO of every single page on your website. For example, it will tell you to ‘Include your keyword in this page title’ or ‘Add an image with a keyword alt tag.’ This tool has substantially improved our client’s business simply by the fact that it gives increased transparency. We can compare their site’s traffic and optimization to that of their competitors. We can see which pages and search terms their competitors perform well in and alter our web practices to compete against theirs. Without a tool like Moz, SEO really becomes a guessing game. You have no idea where you’re doing well and where you can use improvement.”
- Ubersuggest: Keyword Tracking Tool
Ubersuggest: Keyword Tracking Tool
Ubersuggest, developed by Neil Patel, is a free keyword finder tool that helps you identify keywords and also the search intent behind them by showing the top ranking SERPsFrom short to long-tail phrases, you can find the right terms to use on your website with hundreds of suggestions from this free great keyword tool. Metrics Ubersuggest includes in its reports are keyword volume, competition, CPC, and seasonal trends. Great for both organic SEO and paid PPC, this tool can help you determine if a keyword is worth targeting and how competitive it is.
- Answer The Public: Free SEO Tools
Answer The Public – Free SEO Tools
Free SEO tools like Answer The Public allow you to easily find topics to write about for your blog. I’ve used this tool in the past to create content around specific keywords to better rank online. Say you’re in the ‘fitness’ niche. You can use this free SEO tool to create content around keywords like fitness, yoga, running, Crossfit, exercise and cover the entire spectrum. It’s great for finding featured snippet opportunities. Say you hire a freelancer to create content for you, all you need to do is download this list and send it over to them. And it would only take you five minutes, making it one of the most efficient ways to come up with SEO topics for new websites.
Matt Jackson, Head of Content at Wild Shark, loves free SEO tools like AnswerThePublic. He shares, “One of my favorite tools when compiling SEO content for a site is AnswerThePublic.com. The best feature of the tool is that it presents a list of the questions that web users are asking about a particular keyword. If I’m running out of genuinely useful content ideas, or if I’m compiling an FAQ page, it provides invaluable guidance as to what, exactly, people are searching for. It is not only useful for SEO content, it means that our clients can answer questions on their site, minimizing the number of customer service calls they receive and giving greater authority to a page and the overall business. And here’s a quick tip: prevent neckache by hitting the Data button, rather than straining to read the question wheel.”
- SpyFu: Free SEO Tools
SpyFu – Free SEO Tools
While SpyFu has an amazing premium version, many of our experts raved about its free features. If you’re just starting out, you can easily grow into the paid features as you start succeeding. You can easily view the number of times a keyword gets searched each month while easily determining the ranking difficulty for that keyword. You can also do some research on your competitors to determine which keywords they use. Additionally, you can search your competitor’s, or your own, website to easily see how many organic keywords they have, how many monthly clicks they get, who their paid and organic competitors are, the campaigns they’re running with Google Ads, and more. It’s one of the most detailed SEO analysis tools on the market.
Adele Stewart, Senior Project Manager at Sparq Designs, can’t get enough of SEO software SpyFu. She shares, “I have used SEMrush and Agency Analytics in the past, but SpyFu has the one-up on my client’s competitors. All of SpyFu’s features are great, but my absolute favorite is the SEO Research feature. You’re able to plug in a competitor’s domain and pull up information on their own SEO strategy. You can see what keywords they pay for vs. their organic standings, review their core keywords, and even assess their keyword groups. Using SpyFu has been integral to my client’s SEO successes. There’s so much more to track and report on, plus I don’t have to put in as much effort in research as I did with other SEO software. SpyFu pulls the information I need and organizes reports in a way that is presentable and understandable to my clients. I’ve already seen increases in indexing and rank for keywords that we didn’t even think of.”
- Woorank: SEO Ranking Tool
woorank seo ranking tool
As a top SEO analysis tool, Woorank offers free and paid options to track and report your marketing data. You can plug in your competitors to discover which keywords they are targeting so you can overlap with theirs. Try understanding how keywords perform over time to optimize for users and search engines in the best way possible. And most importantly, understand the things your website is lacking from both a technical and content perspective. Woorank can help you identify duplicate content, downtime, and security issues and provide guidelines on how to fix them.
- Majestic: Marketing SEO Tools
Majestic: Marketing SEO Tools
Majestic is one of the best marketing SEO tools according to experts. It has countless useful features like The Majestic Million which lets you see the ranking of the top million websites. Did your website make the cut? The Site Explorer feature allows you to easily see a general overview of your site and the number of backlinks you have. It also works as an SEO keyword tool to find the best keywords to target while also having features geared to site comparisons and tracking your rank.
Ryan Scollon, SEO Consultant at RyanScollon.co.uk recommends the SEO tool Majestic. He says, “My favorite SEO tool is Majestic, with its main feature allowing you to check the backlinks of a website that you specify. My favorite feature is the ability to add your own client’s site and a bunch of competitors, allowing you to easily compare a variety of SEO metrics such as trust flow, referring domain count, and external backlinks count. Not only does it help us understand the [client’s optimization] weaknesses, but it also provides a simple table that we share with our clients, so they too can understand the problems and how they stack up to their competitors. We also use Majestic to audit competitors’ backlinks, as we can sometimes find a handful of easy opportunities to tackle before moving onto other link building tactics.”
- Google Trends: SEO Checker Tool
Google Trends Wireless Phone Charger
Google Trends has been around for years but has been underutilized. Not only does it give you information regarding a keyword but it offers great insight into trends around the topic, which can be invaluable at any stage of a business’s growth. Search for keywords in any country and receive information around it like top queries, rising queries, interest over time, and geographical locations depending on interest. If you are unsure which trends are the ones for you, this is the best SEO tool to use.
- SEOQuake: Free SEO Tools
SEOQuake – Free SEO Tools
SEOQuake is considered one of the best free SEO tools. This Chrome extension acts as an SEO checker tool that performs on-page site audits, assesses both your internal and external links, and also does website comparisons to determine how you perform against your competitors. Other features of this SEO analysis tool include keyword analysis such as keyword density, an easy to read SEO dashboard, and an export feature that allows you to easily download and send data to key people on your team.
Brin Chartier, an expert digital marketer, and SEO content creator, loves the free SEO tool SEOQuake. She says, “I love a good browser extension, and SEOquake is the best free SEO tool for instant SEO metrics on any website or SERP. I can instantly pull an on-page SEO audit for myself or competitors, and the SERP overlay feature is an awesome visualization of key page metrics that I can export to CSV & share with my team. This tool saves me hours of manual work that I can use to actually move the needle creating SEO optimized content instead.”
- Siteliner: SEO Analysis Tool
Siteliner – SEO Analysis Tool
Siteliner is an SEO checker tool that helps you find duplicate content on your website. What’s duplicate content? Identical content to other websites. And Google penalizes websites with it. With SEO tools like this one, you’ll be able to scan your entire website to find duplicate content, broken links, average page size and speed, the number of internal links per page, and more. It also compares your website to the average of websites checked with this tool to help you better understand where you stand.
Tieece Gordon, a Search Engine Marketer at Kumo Digital, recommends the SEO tool Siteliner. He shares, “Siteliner is one of my go-to SEO tools whenever I’m presented with a new site. Identifying and remedying potential problems almost automatically improves quality and value, reduces cannibalization, and adds more context to a specific page if done correctly, which is the whole reason for using this tool. For a free (paid version offering more available) tool to offer the ability to check duplicate levels, broken links, and reasons any pages were skipped (robots, no-index, etc.) though, there can be no complaints at all. The key feature here that Siteliner does better than any other I’ve come across is the Duplicate Content table. It simply and easily lays out URLs, match words, percentages, and pages. And because it’s smart enough to skip pages with no-index tags, it’s a safe bet that most showing a high percentage need to be dealt with. I’ve seen a lot of ecommerce sites relying on manufacturer descriptions, service sites that want to target multiple areas with the same text, and sites with simply thin pages – sometimes a combination of these, too. I’ve seen that adding valuable and unique content has seen rankings, and in turn, sessions and conversions jump up for clients. All of this has stemmed from Siteliner. It may not be the enterprise-level, all-singing, all-dancing software that promises the world, but its simplicity is perfect.”
- Fat Rank: SEO Tools
Fat Rank – SEO Tools
SEO Chrome extensions like Fat Rank allow you to easily analyze your website’s performance. This SEO keyword tool lets you know the ranking of your keywords. You can add keywords to your search to find out your rank per page for each keyword you optimized for. If you don’t rank for the top 100 results, it’ll tell you that you’re not ranking for that keyword. This information allows you to better optimize your website for that keyword so you can make adjustments as needed.
Blake Aylott’s, SEO expert at Project Build Construction, favorite free SEO tool is one no one ever really talks about. “The SEO tool is called Fatrank. It’s a Chrome extension, and it shows the rank for any search query you type in as for a URL as long as you’re on that URL. If I need to know how I am currently ranking for a keyword, I can simply type it in and see. It is extremely accurate and live. The tool is a lifesaver when clients want to know their current ranking for something, and I can tell them with 100% accuracy. Fat Rank is free and should be a part of every SEO’s arsenal of tools.”
- Keywords Everywhere: SEO Keyword Tool
keywords everywhere seo tool
Keywords Everywhere is another great SEO Chrome extension that aggregates data from various SEO tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Trends, and more to help you find the best keywords to rank for. Free SEO tools like these simplify the process of determining the best keywords for your website. So rather than going through several websites each day, you can use this one tool to save you a huge amount of time.
Eagan Heath, Owner of Get Found Madison, is a huge fan of the SEO tool Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension. He shares, “It allows both me and my clients to see monthly U.S. keyword search volume right on Google, which is great for brainstorming blog topic ideas. It also allows you to bulk upload lists of keywords and see the data, which Google now hides behind enormous ranges unless you pay for Google Ads. Unbelievable value for a free tool!”
- Screaming Frog: SEO Tools Online
Screaming Frog – SEO Tools Online
Ribbit, Ribbit. Screaming Frog is considered one of the best SEO tools online by experts. They love how much time they save by having this tool analyze your website super fast to perform site audits. In fact, every person we spoke to said that the speed at which Screaming Frog gives you insights was faster than most SEO tools online. This tool also informs you of duplicate content, errors to fix, bad redirections, and improvement areas for link building. Their SEO Spider tool was considered the best feature by top SEO experts.
Jon Hoffer, Director of Content at Fractl, loves the SEO tool Screaming Frog. He shares, “I wouldn’t be able to do my job without it. It lets me crawl client and competitor sites and get a broad overview of what’s going on. I can see if pages are returning 404 errors, find word counts, get a list of all title tags and H1s, and analytics data all in one place. Upon initial glance, I can find opportunities for quick fixes and see which pages are driving traffic. Maybe meta descriptions are missing, or title tags are duplicated across the site, or maybe somebody accidentally non indexed some pages – it’s all there. I also love the ability to extract certain data from pages. Recently, I was working on a directory and needed to find the number of listings that were on each page. I was able to pull that information with Screaming Frog and look at it next to analytics data. It’s great to know what competitors actually have on their sites. This is great for content ideas. Overall, Screaming Frog gives me the chance to run a quick audit and come away with an understanding of what’s going on. It reveals opportunities for easy wins and actionable insights. I can determine if site migrations went off without a hitch; they usually don’t. With the inclusion of traffic data, I’m also able to prioritize tasks.”
- Serpstat: All-in-one SEO platform
Serpstat is a growth-hacking platform for SEO, PPC, and content marketing goals. If you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one tool to solve SEO tasks, analyze competitors, and manage your team, Serpstat will be a great choice. Many experts are now switching to the tool, as it has collected keyword and competitor analysis data for all the Google regions in the world. Moreover, Serpstat is known for its awesome features. The most popular one is a Missing Keywords feature, which identifies the keywords that your competitors are ranking for in the top-10 search results, and you aren’t.
Dan Taylor, Senior Technical SEO Consultant & Account Director at SALT.agency, switched to Serpstat after trying other tools: “I’ve used a lot of keyword research and analysis tools in the years I’ve been working in digital marketing, and a lot of them have become really lossy and tried to diversify into different things, losing focus on what people primarily use the tool for. Serpstat is a great tool for research, doing some performance tracking, and monitoring multiple data points. It’s also user-friendly, and the fact it allows multi-user on the 3rd tier plan is a game-changer. To sum up, Serpstat is a great addition to the suite of tools that we use and is a very capable, cheaper, and less lossy alternative to other popular platforms.”
- Bonus Tool: Incognito
Switching to Incognito mode and performing Google searches will give you unbiased, ‘clean’ searches to understand what your user sees and the results they get when searching for keywords. Using the autofill options will give you suggestions of semantic keywords to use. As one of the free and best SEO tools, searching in Incognito is helpful as it shows where you truly rank on a results page for a certain term.
best seo tools for small businesses
Small businesses need to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to recent research from BrightLocal, an incredible 93% of online experiences begin with a search. Of those 93%, the vast majority (92%) start their search on Google.
Google is basically the doorway to the web’s content. When you think about what small business owners care about – leads, sales, conversions – all of these valuable actions start with website traffic.
For many small businesses, their success in generating leads and sales online is dependant on traffic landing on their website from a Google search. As we know from several industry studies into user behavior on Google, including this one from Sistrix, over half of all Google users click the first 3 results on Google (a combined 55.2% CTR).
Google SERP CTR
That’s why the position in search results is so important. The difference between ranking at the top of the 1st page (28.5% CTR) or at the bottom of the 1st page (2.5% CTR) can be a difference of hundreds or even thousands of clicks each month depending on the search volume around your keywords.
Table of Contents
Why do small businesses need SEO Software?
What are the benefits of SEO Software to small businesses?
What are the common features of SEO Software that small businesses need?
How should small businesses use SEO Software?
The Top 20 best SEO Software for Small Business
Google Search Console
Answer The Public
SEO Content Analysis
How to decide which SEO Tool is right for your business?
Why do small businesses need SEO Software?
If improving your position in search results is your goal, you absolutely need to invest energy, time and resources into SEO.
The practice of SEO encompasses several aspects including technical (on-page) SEO, content production and link building, SEO Software can help you with all of these. These tools help automate otherwise time-consuming or complex tasks and output reports, actions or insights. Few small businesses rely on just 1 SEO tool and generally need to curate their own stack of go-to SEO tools to help increase their SEO performance.
What are the benefits of SEO Software to small businesses?
This is probably the biggest benefit because your time = money. SEO isn’t easy and it’s not a short-term game. Instead, it’s a long term commitment with ongoing effort needed to continually improve search visibility and increase ranking position.
In most small businesses, it’s usually the founder or business owner who is also responsible for leads, sales or conversions. If this is you, it means you’d also be likely responsible for your organization’s SEO. There are just simply not enough hours in the day for you to be researching keywords, writing high-quality blog articles, building relationships with bloggers/press, performing link building outreach, etc.
Most of the SEO software we cover in our list can be absolutely replaced with manual work conducted by humans. It’s just that for some tasks, they are full-time jobs in and of themselves and require in-demand skill sets due to the complex and ever-evolving nature of SEO. So weighing up paying a salary of $4,000 per month vs $49 per month on a piece of software is a bit of a no-brainer.
Follow a process
The great thing with most of the all-in-one SEO Software Tools is that they provide a workflow process for you to guide you through the steps of setting up, identifying the ‘low hanging fruit’ and optimizing your activity.
Fill a knowledge gap
Most small businesses owners don’t know where to start when it comes to SEO and that’s perfectly normal. You should be focused on your core business. SEO tools can help small businesses with SEO issues they don’t even know about. When starting out, half the challenge is understanding the state of play and what steps you need to take to improve your search rankings.
The tangible business value of using SEO Software is to increase your search rankings which therefore increases your organic traffic and in turn increases your ability to generate more leads, sales or conversions. This point delivers on the ROI of your investment in the SEO software tools you use.
What are the common features of SEO Software that small businesses need?
A website audit is a fundamental activity that all site owners should do on a regular basis. A site audit helps you identify issues that hold your site back from ranking higher. These issues might be keyword related, or link related, or metadata related or site speed-related. A site audit should be thorough. Most site audits include over 50 different checks. The end result of a site audit is a report which illuminates any potential SEO issues and the steps to take to improve each one.
Rank tracking helps shine a light on your SEO performance. This is one of the more time-intensive jobs that SEO software can effectively automate for you for very low cost. Rank tracking runs searches on all your keywords in your target regions and shows your ranking position and how it changes over time. Once you go down the road of SEO, you need to track your ranking performance in order to assess how your efforts are affecting your search position on each target keyword.
Without keyword research (and keyword research tools) you’re in the dark about what keywords you should target in your content production efforts. There’s not much point in creating content to target keywords that no one is searching for or conversely target keywords that lots of people are searching for but are highly competitive. The sweet spot is in the ‘long tail’ of keywords that have decent search volume but low competition. Identifying the keywords in this so-called long tail is what keyword research tools help you do.
How should small businesses use SEO Software?
As alluded to previously, most small businesses use multiple SEO tools to help achieve different outcomes that are of most importance to the business. We recommend trialling as many tools as you can in order to gain an understanding of how they work so you can make an informed decision on whether the investment (in time and/or money) is worth the return.
The Top 20 best SEO Software for Small Business
Now that we know the value these tools provide and why you should use SEO software tools, let’s run through some of the best and most popular options utilized by small business owners around the world.
SEOptimer’s DIY Plan is designed for small businesses. It’s a swiss-army knife of SEO functionality and includes the following:
Website Audits: run audits on any page of your site to identify and fix any SEO issues that hold your site back from ranking
SEO Crawler: crawl every page of your website to find SEO issues in bulk
Task & Progress Management: track progress on all your SEO issues and access walkthroughs and guides for how to fix issues
Keyword Tracking: track your ranking position against your target keywords over time
SEO Toolbox: featuring over 50 individual SEO tools for running certain checks or
SEOptimer’s DIY plan is reasonably priced for SME’s at just $19 per month and comes with a 14-day free trial to let you dig into the features thoroughly before you commit.
SEOptimer DIY Plan
How to make the most of SEOptimer: Use the Website Audit and SEO Crawler to thoroughly assess your website as it stands today, then track all the SEO issues in the Task Management section. Use SEOptimer’s guides to fix these issues one by one and watch your search rankings improve with the Keyword Tracking tool.
- Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is a mandatory tool from Google that all website owners should be using. GSC let’s you see the performance of your content on Google including:
Search Impressions: total number of people who saw your website in search results when searching Google
Clicks: actual clicks on your website from search results
CTR: the Click Through Rate of impressions vs clicks for each keyword
Position in Search: the average position in search results for each keyword you rank for
GSC also lets you see coverage maps and identify any potential issues whereby the Googlebot hasn’t been able to crawl any of your pages. You can also submit new sitemaps and see your latest Core Web Vitals results.
Google Search Console
How to make the most of GSC: Apart from keeping your eye on Position, also track the relationship between Impressions and Clicks (CTR) for your target keywords.
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO Plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce. Once installed in WordPress, Yoast helps you ensure the content you write adheres to SEO best practices. It’s free for the majority of use cases but they also provide a Premium version which includes SEO courses, multiple language support, keyword research and integration with the popular WordPress page builder, Elementor.
How to make the most of Yoast: Once you’ve installed Yoast and configured all the settings, use the Yoast panel each time you create a new post. It acts as a checklist of sorts to ensure all your bases are covered in terms of keyword usage, metadata and other SEO best practices.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is another vital tool for every small business. Not only does GA track the behavior of organic search traffic to your site but it tracks ALL traffic to your site. GA has fast become the industry-standard website analytics tool with roughly 29 million websites relying on GA to provide their website traffic analytics.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of GA and introduces more robust cross-device tracking focusing on the user instead of the session. GA4 also features predictive analytics and modelling based on machine learning. It also includes new automated insights, new metrics and improved visualizations.
How to make the most of Google Analytics: Use GA to assess the quality of traffic from each traffic source. As a general statement, you will likely find that traffic from organic search converts at a higher rate than other sources but you should analyze your own results as this can fluctuate by industry.
- Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a ‘search listening tool for customer and content research’. The tool uses millions of Google searches to surface up insights about how people search when they mention keywords around your business, topic or target phrase.
The tool explores keyword ideas down 10 question paths. Each path then splits out to the top eight searches by volume. The tool also provides keyword ideas around comparison terms (like, vs, and, or), related searches and top adjacent words mentioned around your keyword sorted alphabetically.
Answer The Public
How to make the most of Answer The Public: Search for target keyword terms around your brand and competitor brands as well as your industry to gain insight into how potential customers think about your industry. These insights can help how you position your content in a way that answers questions that commonly get asked around your industry terms.
- Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is an SEO Spider software tool used to crawl websites to identify ranking issues. Unlike all other tools on this list, Screaming Frog does not run in the browser. Instead, it runs locally on your machine which means you need to download the software first and actually install it on your machine.
Once installed, Screaming Frog lets you analyse all your metadata, generate XML sitemaps, audit all your redirects, discover duplicate content and more. It can be a bit technical which makes it a better fit for businesses with more established marketing teams who can dive into the more technical aspects of SEO.
How to make the most of Screaming Frog: Good for larger websites with advanced tracking needs who need to be able to dive into the data itself.
- Site Speed Bot
Site Speed Bot
How to make the most of Site Speed Bot: Check your site speed after you make changes to content (especially images) or change the structure of pages. Make sure you are decreasing your load time, not increasing it. Faster loading sites generally rank higher in search results.
SpyFu’s Backlinks tool lists all the websites that link to your site. This is handy for ranking your most valuable backlinks. The more links from authoritative sources linking to your site, the better. These links tell Google your site is important and can help increase your position in search results. The Backlinks tool breaks down your backlinks by domain types and lets you sort by a number of criteria including clicks, domain strength (ie: domain authority) and ranked keywords.
How to make the most of SpyFu: Check your competitors’ backlinks too and try to find opportunities where you can reach out to sites that link to competitors, maybe you can negotiate a new link to your site?
QuestionDB is a useful keyword and question research tool that indexes 3rd party sites like Quora, Reddit, StackExchange etc. When you search for your target keyword, QuestionDB displays questions asked around your keyword. This can help inform content ideas especially in the early stages of brainstorming. You might have a target keyword in mind but struggle to structure your article around that keyword. QuestionDB can help ‘fill in the blanks’ based on crowd-sourced questions around your topic.
How to make the most of QuestionDB: Before you write an article, run your target keywords through QuestionDB to find interesting angles that you can incorporate into your content.
Wordtracker is a keyword research & market research tool combining Google search data, Google Ads keyword data and their own proprietary sources. Mixing paid and organic keyword data can be an interesting way to find new keywords to target. Wordtracker lets you perform a few free searches with paid plans starting at $27 per month.
How to make the most of Wordtracker: Find new keyword opportunities around your target keyword and ensure you settle on terms with decent search volume but low competition.
Surfer is a content planning tool that helps you identify pages and posts you’ve already published that could benefit from some optimization. Surfer’s Content Planner lets you sort your content by the lowest ‘content score’ (shown on the left). You can then put your efforts into refining or otherwise beefing up your lowest scored content so they can be more competitive in the search results page.
How to make the most of Surfer: Optimizing existing content (instead of starting from scratch with new content) is an effective short-term strategy to drive more value out of the content you already have. Work your way through Surfer’s list and monitor your results over time.
- Google Trends
Google Trends is Google’s own market research tool. Leveraging Google’s entire search database, Trends gives you an excellent view into macro-level search behavior in your target countries. Comparing search terms against each other can be a fascinating exercise and help inform seasonal content or identify increasing/decreasing interest in specific terms. The example below shows search interest in Merlot is significantly higher than Syrah – especially over Christmas.
How to make the most of Google Trends: Compare several of your key terms and discover if search interest is increasing or descreasing. Can you find longer-term trends or if there are certain times of the year that spike interest in your keyword terms?
Link building involves reaching out to site owners and bloggers and pitching them on why they should link to your articles. The common way to conduct this outreach is via email. Hunter is a tool that can help you discover the email addresses associated with a website. Hunter is easy to use, simply enter the company URL and it will reveal known email addresses at that same domain.
How to make the most of Hunter: Identify the key sites and blogs you want to partner with, then run the domains through Hunter to find the most common email pattern for each company (eg: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, etc). Use LinkedIn to find individuals who work at the company and reach out to them using the email pattern that matches their company.
INK is a desktop app that helps you author search optimized content on the fly. It does require you to download and install it rather than working directly in the browser. The concept behind INK is to optimize your content for search while you’re writing it, instead of doing it after the fact. The tool uses a scoring system based on existing articles on the web that contain the same keywords and makes suggestions to you while you’re writing to give you a competitive edge.
INK For All
How to make the most of INK: Use INK as you author articles and identify the patterns in your writing that increase your SEO score. Train yourself to incorporate more of these patterns into your writing so it becomes second-nature.
- Backlink Watch
Backlink Watch is a simple free tool for listing all the backlinks of any website. Although the interface is a bit old-school, it does the job of discovering all backlinks and also listing the number of outbound links (OBL) and whether the link has an associated nofollow tag.
How to make the most of Backlink Watch: Identify which pages on your site receive the most backlinks and understand how they are linked. When you perform your link building outreach, pitch these pages as they are more likely to be successful based on who already links to them.
Pitchbox is an outreach tool ideal if you have lots of high-value content and need to manage how you pitch and perform outreach to bloggers and publishers. Pitching your content can be time-consuming and laborious so Pitchbox have designed a complete workflow solution for managing and automating much of the process. You can use Pitchbox to prospect, run actual outreach and manage all your link building tasks in a CRM-like interface.
How to make the most of Pitchbox: Once you’ve built up lots of high-value content, use Pitchbox to accelerate your growth by prospecting high value backlinks.
HARO is an acronym that stands for Help A Reporter Out. The tool connects journalists/bloggers with sources. You can either register as a source or a journalist or both! We use HARO here at SEOptimer to find thought-leader sources who we can include and quote in our articles. This is great for adding external expertise to your content. You can also use HARO as a source and respond to content ‘call-outs’ from journalists and bloggers. These call-outs arrive in your inbox as a daily digest and you can simply reply to the ones that fit your content area best. If your submission is accepted by the journalist you can gain potentially valuable backlinks from authoritative sources.
How to make the most of HARO: Register as a source and respond to a few call-outs that fit your industry. Once you land a few backlinks, see if this helps build your Domain Authority and help increase your search position on your target keywords.
- Schema Generator
Schema.org Structured Data is a way for search engines to make sense of the content on your page. Structured Data contains categories that can potentially trigger different search features such as rich cards (often shown on the right side of search results). To enable Structured Data on your site you need to insert JSON-LD markup in your HTML source code. The Schema Generator tool is designed to help you generate the necessary category-specific JSON code for your site.
How to make the most of Schema Generator: Explore the different types of markup you can create in the Schema.org documentation. Then use the Schema Generator to generate the structured data relevant for your organization.
- SEO Content Analysis
SEO Content Analysis is part of SEO Review Tools suite and works in the browser, enabling you to craft content on the fly while the tool assesses the SEO score of the content against your focus (ie: target keyword). The tool also provides SEO optimization tips based on your writing and gives you a preview of how the page would look on Google. Another nice feature is the ability to download your article directly as a Microsoft Word file.
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