Webmasters are always on the lookout for the newest and most effective tools to help them build a better web. While there are many tools out there that can help with SEO, it’s important to know which ones are actually worth your time.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective and useful SEO tools for webmasters, along with information about why they work and how to use them.
Table of Contents
Seo Tools For Webmasters
1. Google Search Console
Search Console is your one-stop shop for SEO data in Google. It tells you how your site appears in the world of Google Search, and gives you tools to improve its ranking.
Search Console tells you what people are searching for when they find your site, how your content ranks for those queries, and how many people are actually click through. You can also monitor your site for any technical SEO issues and crawl your site to ensure Google can find every page. Within Search Console, we recommend nonprofits and small teams focus on the following 5 tools.
2. Search Analytics
Under Google Search Console, you can find Search Analytics to track what queries are bringing users to your site, and what pages appear from those searches. It is very important to track this information to ensure that you are…
- Ranking for keywords that are branded
- Ranking for keywords that are not branded but are relevant to your cause to reach new audiences
- Are not ranking for irrelevant keywords that would cause a bad user experience for the searcher
You can also use this information to find new ideas for content so you can rank higher in search.
3. Links to Your Site
One of the biggest questions we get during content marketing trainings is how organizations can track when other sites link back to them. Easily enough, these are also known as backlinks.
How can we easily determine if our partners are linking to us? Are they linking to us properly? Use the “Links to Your Site” section of Search Console in Google Webmaster Tools to see what domains are linking to you, what content they are linking, and what anchor text they’re using.
Anchor text is the copy that is hyperlinked, and it is a hint to the Google robots as to what the site that is linked is all about. Hyperlinking “click here” doesn’t add any SEO value to your site, because it is so vague. However, linking the text “Whole Whale” to our homepage makes it clear to Google that the landing page is relevant to the anchor text. So make sure your partners and backlinks are using the right anchor text so you can get that value.
Google Webmaster Tools for the Technical SEOs
4. Testing Tools
Beyond Search Console, most of Google Webmaster Tools aren’t especially useful for SEO. However, the Testing Tools are great for the more technically-savvy SEOs to dive deeper.
Check out the Structure Data Testing Tool and Structured Data Markup Helper to test out structured data. Structured data refers to adding some type of markup on a webpage, in order to provide additional detail around the page’s content so the search appears with rich snippets, rich cards, carousels, knowledge boxes, etc.
Test this out with your top 10 landing pages: Do you see an improvement in ranking and traffic? If yes, try adding it to those articles that are ranking in the #2-5 position of Google and see if data markup gives them an extra boost.
5. Security Issues
If there are any security issues with your site’s content, Google will tell you. Under Security Issues in Search Console, you can get a security checkup. If you ever think your site is hacked or there is a cybersecurity issue, you can use this page to get a (vital) second opinion.
6. HTML Improvements
Since this is all about the 80/20 rule: What are the easiest fixes to improve SEO? Fixing meta descriptions and title tags is a tedious, but easy and effective task. (A great one to assign to interns if you have them.)
This section of Search Console in Google Webmaster Tools will tell you where there are areas for improvement and what specific pages need to be improved. For tips on writing meta descriptions, check out our guide.
7. Crawl Errors
Can Google find all the pages on your site? Are the most up-to-date pages appearing in search? Use the Crawl Errors section of Search Console to ensure there are no server errors or 404 errors (Page Not Found).
These issues are bad for user experience, because searchers can’t get to the pages on your site they are looking for. And when something is bad for UX, it’s bad for SEO. Google wants searchers to get fast, relevant, and accurate results, so a “Page Not Found” issue is a big one. Refer to the Crawl Errors section regularly and set up 301 redirects for any 404 pages to send to a relevant new page or the updated URL.
Whether you’re a rookie, a curious content creator, or a technical SEO wizard, Google Webmaster Tools has something for you. Did we miss your favorite one? Share it with us and tweet @WholeWhale.
seo tools for websites
- Google Search Console
Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a collection of services you can use to figure out how Google views your website. This service provides you with a wide array of free SEO tools, covering many different aspects of optimization.
For example, Google Search Console enables you to check out any crawl errors that have occurred on your website so you can correct them right away. It can also point out when your site is affected by malware, what keyword phrases people are using to find your site, the backlinks you’ve received, and more.
The many features this service offers makes it a near necessity if you’re concerned about your organic presence. There’s a clear focus on Google results here, but don’t worry. If you can rank well on Google, the chances are high that you’ll also do OK in other search engines.
As far as actually using the service goes, Google Search Console is very simple to understand. It’s also easy to add your website and get started, so there are no reasons to avoid it.
Monitor how Google perceives your website.
Keep track of what keywords visitors are using to reach you.
Stay on top of any crawl, meta tag, or sitemap errors.
Update your robots.txt file.
Monitor your site’s backlinks.
Get alerts if your site is infected with malware.
Related: 13 Simple Ways to Boost SEO on Your WordPress Website
Semrush is a keyword research tool that enables you to get data about how many people are looking for specific terms. On top of that, it also provides you with information on similar keywords, related ads, product listings, and a lot more.
Along with being an excellent keyword tool, Semrush can also offer information about your competitors’ strategies. For example, it can tell you how much traffic they’re getting, how much of that comes from paid ads, and what their backlinks are.
If you’re the kind of person who loves doing keyword research, you need a tool like Semrush in your arsenal. With it, you’ll be able to figure out exactly what keywords will give you the best results for your efforts and check which terms your competitors are ranking for.
This service even enables you to peek into your competitors’ text and media ads, which can save you big money when it comes to testing. However, keep in mind that all this data means the learning curve with this service can be a bit steep.
Research the value of specific queries.
Check out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and how much traffic they’re getting.
Find information about other websites’ backlinks.
Look into your competitors’ text and media ads.
Price: You can get up to 10 results for free per day or sign up for a premium account. The good news? We’ve worked out a special 14-day trial with Semrush so you can see if they’re a good fit for your site!
BuzzStream offers you a collection of tools to help with domain research, email marketing, and project management. It’s a very all-in-one type of platform, and the sheer number of options it provides can be intimidating. With that in mind, let’s focus on how it can help you tackle your SEO needs.
When it comes to research, BuzzStream can help you collate lists of results for the keywords you look into. Then it provides you with information about each of those websites, including overall rankings, related social media accounts, domain age and authority, and more.
In practice, you can use these features to help you do a thorough SEO audit, researching who your competitors are and the content they’re publishing. Moreover, it can even help you create lists of their authors and what each one is up to, so you can keep an even closer eye on their strategies.
Research your competitors based on any keywords you want to target.
Collect data about domain age and authority for specific websites.
Find out what your competitors’ rankings are in the SERPs.
Locate the social media accounts for your competition’s sites.
Create lists of authors who write for competing websites and follow what they’re doing.
Price: BuzzStream plans start at $24 per month.
- DreamHost SEO Toolkit
Want to grow traffic without blowing your budget on enterprise-level tools or a private contractor? If you’re a DreamHost customer, you can take advantage of SEO Toolkit and become your own SEO pro.
With more than 100 automated checks and verifications, SEO Toolkit starts by auditing your site to find potential issues. Then, it creates a personalized SEO plan with a checklist of simple tasks you can tackle to start seeing ranking improvements. For example, SEO Toolkit analyzes your site’s pages and provides targeted recommendations on where to position keywords to optimize your content.
SEO Toolkit also makes it much easier to track competitors — we’ve talked before about the benefits to monitoring your online competition — so you can tweak your keyword strategy and land at the top of the SERPs.
Get a comprehensive website audit to identify potential SEO issues.
Generate a personalized SEO plan with tasks to improve your site’s search engine performance.
Stay up to date with weekly progress reports.
Take advantage of SEO toolkits on-page optimization tools to improve keyword placement.
Track up to 20 keywords and four competitors.
Price: SEO Toolkit costs just $4.99 per month. New DreamHost customers can add SEO Toolkit when signing up for a hosting plan. Existing customers can enable SEO Toolkit directly in their panel.
- Moz Pro
Moz Pro homepage.
Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools created to help you tackle optimization using a data-driven approach. To give you a quick overview, Moz Pro is somewhat similar to SEMrush, in that it enables you to research both specific long-tail keywords and other domains. You can use this information to avoid keywords with little potential and to improve on what your competitors are doing.
When you look into a keyword using Moz Pro, it will show you a difficulty score that illustrates how challenging it will likely be to rank for that term. You also get an overview of how many people are searching for that phrase, and you can even create lists of keywords for easy comparison. These are all features you’d expect from a reliable keyword research tool, but Moz Pro stands out thanks to a very intuitive interface.
As for what’s so unique about Moz Pro, the platform offers a Chrome extension you can use to get information on any domain you visit. Moreover, it can provide suggestions about on-page optimization and alert you about crawling errors, much like Google Search Console.
Research how competitive a keyword is, as well as its search volume.
Get suggestions on related keywords.
Investigate your competitors, including which keywords they’re targeting.
Use a Chrome extension to look into other domains without going to the Moz website.
Compare multiple keywords using custom lists.
Get on-page optimization suggestions and error alerts.
Price: A 30-day free trial is available for the Pro plan, while regular pricing starts at $99 per month.
Linkody is all about backlinks. This tool allows you to find out who’s linking to your website, learn what keywords they’re using, and even “disavow” links you don’t like. That last feature can be handy if you think someone is linking to your website as spam since you don’t want search engines thinking you’re trying to game the system.
While the main attraction here is the backlink reports, Linkody also offers a few notable extras. For example, it provides you with the option to generate reports that you can send to clients, monitor your site’s social shares, and connect to Google Analytics.
Overall, it’s a pretty niche tool, but quite useful if you need some help with link building. More importantly, it’s a lot cheaper than the massive do-it-all services we’ve talked about so far.
Analyze your website’s backlinks.
Disavow bad links that might affect your SEO.
Generate backlink reports for your clients.
Connect to Google Analytics to gain access to more data.
Monitor your site’s social shares.
Price: Linkody plans start at $14.90 per month for up to two domains, but you can also try it free for 30 days without a credit card.
Ontolo home page.
Ontolo is a research tool you can use to find marketing and SEO opportunities. It can also help you find backlinking and guest posting opportunities, which is not something you’d expect an automated tool to do so well.
The idea behind Ontolo is that it helps you find ways to grow your traffic beyond keyword research. If you want your website to become more authoritative, backlinks are essential, but finding the right opportunities can be daunting.
Ontolo helps you locate those opportunities, so all you have to do is pitch them (which sadly can’t be automated). It can pull prospects from over 80 sources, so chances are you’ll find excellent options regardless of what keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Look for guest posting and backlink opportunities.
Collect data from over 80 sources to find the best prospects.
Carry out research using simple-to-understand reports.
Export your prospects to share them with others.
Price: Ontolo plans start at $97 per month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- HubSpot’s Website Grader
HubSpot’s Website Grader tool.
HubSpot’s Website Grader is a lot more straightforward than the other SEO tools we’ve featured so far. To use it, all you have to do is enter a domain and wait for HubSpot to generate a report. When you get that report back, you’ll find separate scores for your site’s performance, mobile-friendliness, SEO, and security.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that performance, mobile-friendliness, and solid security practices directly impact your SEO. In a way, your entire report is one giant analysis of how your site is faring from an SEO perspective. Better yet, this tool breaks down each part of the report and provides you with tips on how to improve every element.
HubSpot’s Website Grader is incredibly simple to use, and it can help you improve your website quickly. Plus, it won’t cost you a thing, so this one definitely deserves your attention.
Analyze your website’s performance, mobile-friendliness, security, and SEO.
Receive separate scores for each aspect of your site.
Get recommendations for how to improve each score.
Related: The Top 11 SEO Best Practices for Domains
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one of the most comprehensive keyword research tools you can use. With it, you can look up keywords and get traffic estimates about them. More importantly, it can help you figure out how competitive keywords are based on their AdWords price.
To avoid overwhelming you with information, this tool lets you filter keywords out based on Cost-per-Click (CPC) or search volume. This way, you can get reports based only on the estimates you want to aim for.
Overall, the Keyword Planner offers much of the same functionality we’ve seen from other SEO tools on this list. The difference is that this one is part of the Google ecosystem, and you can get amazingly detailed reports for free.
Find out the search volume for any keyword you want.
Determine a keyword’s competitiveness from its CPC.
Get detailed reports for specific keywords.
WooRank website scoring tool.
WooRank is similar to HubSpot’s Website Grader in that you give it a link, and it provides you with a full report card. In this case, it gives you a single score for your entire website. After that, it launches into a list of everything you can do to improve its SEO and mobile-friendliness.
The main selling point, in this case, is that WooRank also provides you with tips to improve your site’s usability and performance. From our experience, its recommendations are solid. To top it all off, you also get an analysis of how well you’re doing from a backlink perspective.
Overall, this is an excellent tool if you want a quick rundown of what you’re doing right and wrong on your website, including when it comes to SEO.
Analyze your website’s overall status, including SEO, usability, performance, and backlinks.
Receive tips on how to improve your website and tackle SEO tasks.
Analyze your domain’s authority.
Price: Free, with premium options starting at $59.99 per month.
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