I think we can all agree on the fact that the world is a big place – especially if we look at it from a digital perspective. Of the 7.5 billion people in existence, nearly 51% have access to the internet. That amounts to around 4 billion people who – as a whole – conduct a whopping average of 1.2 trillion searches per year. In other words, competition for online traffic is FIERCE. Businesses are up against a huge pool of competitors and are therefore obliged to find innovative ways of winning over the attention of their target audience. One of the most popular ways of achieving this traffic is through the application of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools.
In fact, this article will provide you with an overview of the best SEO tools on the market. And to make it easier for you, we’ve divided the tools up into six different categories so you can choose a tool that fits your business goals.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is defined as a set of rules that are followed by website owners to optimise their websites for search engines and therefore improve their search rankings.
The benefits of SEO
Applying SEO techniques to your website(s) is beneficial in a number of different ways. We’ve listed a few of the top benefits below.
- Increased Traffic. Perhaps the most obvious is the fact that higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) can result in increased website traffic. This is done, for example, by using relevant keywords (in title tags and meta descriptions).
- Cost Effective. SEO is considered one of the most cost-effective strategies in marketing. This is because SEO (an inbound strategy) targets people who are (actively) searching for your services and products, whereas with an outbound strategy such as cold-calling, an employee must be paid to capture the audience’s attention.
- Improved Site Usability. Perhaps not most business’ first goal but rather an added bonus. While you are working to make your website easier for search engines to navigate, SEO also makes your website easier for visitors to both find and navigate.
- Increased Brand Awareness. The effect of having a high SERP ranking can also contribute to increased brand awareness. With such a position, the number of impressions your business reach will likely be much higher and therefore, boost exposure.
Social may be sexy, but search still pays the bills.Tom Pick, Webbiquity
Six Categories of SEO Tools
Here are the six different categories of SEO Tools:
- Link Building
- Keyword Research
- Content Optimisation
- Backlink Analysis
- Rank Tracking
- All-in-One SEO Tools
These categories and the SEO tools that fall under them are outlined in more detail below.
Having quality inbound links are a critical aspect of your website’s success. If you have lots of authoritative and relevant links to pages on your website, the chances of your website having higher search engine rankings are significantly greater. One technique in particular that is used in any good link building programme is reaching out to influencers (or websites with authority). Below are several link building tools that will help you do this.
AuthoritySpy is a great link building SEO tool that can be used to find influencers and authority blogs based on search terms. Users can divide searches up into projects, depending on which niche they are researching an expert all results to CSV. This tool makes it easy for users to contact an authority as well with direct links to social media profiles included.
BuzzStream is another link building SEO tool that enables users to gather influencers and contact them. This tool, however, gives users contact details, social profiles and site metrics. Once users have contacted an authority, their emails / tweets are saved in the system (with the option to set up reminders for follow-ups). All team members can work out of one centralised database as well as share notes and collaborate with one another.
Dibz is an easy-to-use SEO tool that lets users search and filter results for specific search terms from the industry’s top providers. Results are provided in a table and can be filtered on one or more metrics to help users gauge the quality of their prospects. This tool also includes a SPAM tool that allows users to filter out irrelevant results. Once you have your chosen link building prospects ready, you have the option to import them to PitchBox, which is an outreach platform with which you can set and track outreach campaigns.
GroupHigh is an advanced blogger outreach software with loads of features, including a blog search engine, website research, influencer CRM, blog & social content search, content & engagement reporting and much more. But don’t be overwhelmed by this long list of features. This software is actually quite easy to use. It’s just a matter of entering some keywords into the system and filtering by Domain Authority. The software will do all the work for you.
5. GuestPost Tracker
GuestPost Tracker is a essentially a massive database of over 1000 websites that accept guest posts. With this link building tool, users can track all sites that they’ve submitted posts to, when they were submitted, the anchor text they used and more. There are several criteria users can apply including Free or Paid, Domain Authority, Type of Link, Indexed in Google and several others.
Contentbird, formerly LinkBird, is a keyword research and link-building hybrid software. This tool helps users implement what they refer to as a ‘Content Success Methodology’. This is done by way of a workflow platform, conversion apps and managed content services. What’s great about this tool is that it can be connect to your daily browser activities which will show you data such as the amount of links from the opened website, amount of sources from the opened website and more.
In addition to link building, keyword research is one of the most important fundamentals of SEO. Essentially it is the practice of obtaining insight into which keywords are most popular (in your niche), how well those keywords rank and how to put your own business in a strong position to be found using those keywords. There are also several tools that offer a solution for finding long-tail keywords. Below are several hot SEO tools for keyword research.
FreshKey is a keyword research tool that scrapes keyword ideas from sites such as Amazon, Bing, Google Market and Ebay – all depending on your niche market. Not only does it give you new ideas for keywords, it also sorts all keywords based on popularity. All keyword results can be exported as a spreadsheet or be copied directly to your clipboard.
8. Google Keyword Planner
Perhaps one of the most well-known keyword research tools is Google Keyword Planner. With this tool, users can search for new keywords using either a phrase, website or category. They are also provided with insight into search volume data and trends. What’s special about this tool? Users can determine the likelihood that someone – who is searching for a particular keyword – will buy from you (based on ‘estimated bid’). Note: to use this tool you will need a Google Adwords account.
HitTail is a keyword research tool specialised in long-tail keywords. Interestingly enough, this tool generates results by analysing your existing website traffic. The keywords it recommends all have a high probability of use by targeted audiences. Additionally, HitTail can help optimise webpages of website and blogs for search engine indexing. And if you’re worried about past content, you can also use this tool to register faults and take its suggestions to improve them.
iSpionage is a competitive intelligence tool that more or less helps you spy on your business rivals. It looks at search keywords, advertisement content and landing pages that help these businesses attract customers and relays that data to you. Additionally the tool provides its users with access to PPC and SEO keyword data from Bing, Google and Yahoo, which includes nearly 92 million keywords!
Ubersuggest enables users to perform quick and easy keyword research, for free! The tool pulls data from Google suggest as well as from several other keyword suggestion services giving users pretty reliable results. While considered one of the easiest-to-use tools out there for this purpose, it unfortunately lacks some advanced keyword research functions such keyword rankings or competition.
This list wouldn’t be complete if we were to ignore one of the most important aspects of SEO, Content Optimisation. Perhaps the best way to explain this relationship is with the following quote, ‘SEO demands the requirements and Content Marketing fulfills them’. This basically means that you cannot have a good SEO strategy without considering your content tactics for your website. Here are some great content optimisation tools that will boost your SEO efforts. For a more extensive list, check out this article.
12. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is a more technical SEO tool that offers a really nice site auditor tool which shows you precisely what must be done to fix the existing SEO issues on your website. The Site Auditor also uses data from Moz, Majestic and SEMRush. Once set up with the tool, users (which are often digital marketing agencies) can create their first campaign in just a matter of minutes. Users can also manage link building, monitor social networks, and collaborate with team members within this tool.
13. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a well-known WordPress plugin that offers a number of great features, including keyword optimisation, readability check, page previews, duplicate content prevention, and other content insights. While this tool is very user-friendly, it does fall flat in some areas such as its strong emphasis on suggestions / recommendations. For example, a lot of times users are notified of suggestions that aren’t always accurate, e.g. the use of passive voice. But don’t be discouraged. For beginners this can be a great SEO tool for content optimisation.
Webtexttool is an SEO tool that provides support for both keyword research and content optimisation. Users can track & research keywords and (track) rankings as well as manage their content with this tool. While you are writing your text(s), Webtexttool provides you with optimisation tips in real-time so that you’re meeting the latest SEO rules.
BuzzSumo is an SEO tool geared towards social media analytics and analysing the best performing content (in a particular niche). It lets you analyse the content so that you understand why its performing well on social media channels. One of the coolest features BuzzSumo offers is its ‘View Sharers’ feature. This shows you who has shared content on Twitter that had a great outreach.
MarketMuse is an advanced content optimisation tool which essentially scans your content and compares it to similar content across the web. A nice feature of this tool is that it informs you when others mention a keyword that you haven’t used (called a ‘content gap’). In addition to keywords, this tool also supplies you with important subtopics, questions to answer and personas that are good to address in your content.
Backlink Analysis can be seen as a continuation of the piece on Link Building. However Backlink Analysis takes it one step further. Rather than focusing on obtaining backlinks, these tools aim to monitor the performance / success of coverage already gained. Many of these tools offer SEO audits, competitor research features, content crawling and more. Check out the top tools below.
Ahrefs is a nice backlink analysis tool with one of the world’s largest link indexes (which is updated daily). This SEO tools also includes a number of great features and capabilities including ongoing SEO monitoring, position tracking, ad-hoc keyword research and content-specific research. However, it does lack SEO reporting and keyword management features.
18. Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is a free SEO tool provided by Google. This backlink analysis tool allows users to monitor site performance, submit content for crawling, identify issues, monitor backlinks and much more. Users can see all backlinks in one place, with the domain, number of links and number of linked pages included. However, you have to crawl the links manually.
Kerboo (formerly Link Risk) is an SEO tool suite which offers various features such as backlink analysis, link prospecting, rank tracking and on-site SEO audits. Not only will it diagnose and repair link-related issues, it also monitors and tracks the success of links and coverage gained, as well as quickly gathers prospect contacts using website and keyword search.
As previously discussed, your SERP ranking plays a big role in the success of your website. A higher ranking = higher exposure. So how can you make sure your ranking high? Many rank tracking tools are great for helping your business find out how your competitors are ranking and therefore shed light on how to outrank them. Many of these tools also uncover simple content mistakes on your website. Here are several of the top rank tracking tools we suggest trying out.
20. Traffic Travis
Traffic Travis is an easy-to-use rank tracking tool that you can download to your computer (note: note available on Macs). With this SEO tool, users can create up to five projects and track nearly 500 keywords (for free). It also provides features such as backlink analysis, on-page analysis, competitor research and more.
RankWatch is a marketing suite which includes a rank tracking tool. The tool includes data from nearly 180 search engines such as Bing, Yahoo and of course Google. Users can review both location-based and global rankings in the dashboard as well as receive keyword suggestions. In addition to rank tracking, RankWatch offers a website auditing tool, backlink reports, a competitor locator and keyword research tools.
Wincher positions itself as a very easy-to-use rank tracking tool for SEO professionals. This SEO tool includes features such as daily ranking updates, ranking alerts, easy sharing, export data and auto reports, keyword grouping. This affordable tool allows users to rank 100 keywords per domain as well monitor and refresh keyword positions daily.
Looking for a more enterprise-level tool? Then SERPs might be a good option for you to consider. This powerful, web-based SEO tool offers a (free) rank tracking product which includes a built-in keyword research tool. The tool is capable of tracking both location-based and global rankings.
SERanking is a nice rank tracking tool with lots of nice bonus features such as keyword suggestions and website auditing. Users can track their keyword ranking in real-time with Bing, Google and Yahoo search engines. All of this in various countries, cities and languages on both desktop and mobile. Users can also add up to five competitor websites that will be monitored for their keyword positions.
25. Rank Ranger
Rank Ranger is an SEO software solution, which allows users to track their rankings on a custom bases (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly and even quarterly). Users can track their competition (top SERPs) as well compare their rankings on mobile and desktop. They can also make use of Advanced Local Rank Tracking which can provide users with rankings according to multiple and specific locations across the globe.
All-in-One SEO tools
In addition to the other categories, we’ve decided to incorporate a category with some of the more versatile tools, or all-in-one SEO tools. These are tools that we couldn’t quite place under just one category. They offer most if not all of the features in the categories listed above. Be sure to check these out!
Moz is one of the leading SEO tools on the market. Intended for all levels of marketers, this all-in-one tool uses both basic and advanced research tools – all catered towards helping you boost SEO. In addition to having the largest SEO community online, Moz offers tools such as on-page optimisation, competitive analysis, weekly website crawls (of your own website), keyword optimisation tools and much more. Moz also has several user tutorials that help those who are new to SEO or in the process of improving their SEO programme.
Similar to Moz, BrightLocal is also capable of integrating all of your SEO needs into one platform. It collects all SEO data you need such as search rankings, organic traffic, reports, on-site SEO, competitor benchmarks and more. It can be integrated with Google Analytics, Facebook and Twitter as well to give you an idea of where you are on the social media landscape. Not to mention it also offers local citation management.
28. Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is an all-in-one platform which offers a large link index database. Some of its top features include the Site Explorer (which lets users look into particular domains/URLs in great detail), Backlink History Checker (which provides insight into the number of backlinks detected), Search Explorer (for keyword research purposes) and the Link Intelligence API.
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool which offers features such as crawling, keyword research, backlink tracking, search position monitoring, rank checking, page analysis (e.g SEO Quake plugin) and much more. The dashboard is very easy to use with a navigation of five main tabs: Keyword Analytics, Domain Analytics, Project, Lead Generation and My Reports. It does however lack a keyword list management feature.
Reaching your full potential with SEO
Currently considered one of the most effective methods in online marketing, SEO is here to stay. So in order to stay relevant and ahead of your competitors, it’s important to (if you haven’t already) start thinking about which kinds of SEO tools might be best for your business. After all, having the right SEO tool in your marketing kit will make fine-tuning your SEO programme ten times easier.
We hope this overview of tools provides you with some inspiration in finding a suitable SEO tool. If you have any suggestions or know of other SEO tools, please feel free to put them in the comments below!
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