The amount of data required to analyze and research opportunities for SEO in today’s climate is getting more and more massive each day. Managing that data and combing through it to make decisions is important, and just as you should trust the tools in your garage to get the job done, we also rely on tools help us find ways we can improve our client’s position and help our students in our SEO training classes.
This post includes nearly a dozen paid and free tools for SEO that we use almost daily, especially for our SEO reviews. This is of course not all the best SEO tools that are out there and available, but we’re pretty happy with the following SEO tools.
Paid SEO Tools
This is slowly becoming one of the best SEO tools out there. Import links from Moz, Majestic, Search Console, or Bing Webmaster Tools and you’ll have a complete link profile of any domain. You’ll be able to get a better sense of unnatural, suspicious, and quality links and easily do something about it. Get competitive link analysis, ranking reports, social activity. They add more and more every few months.
This is a really robust piece of software that is incredibly powerful. Their AI is getting better too, and they are always adding new features.
Simply add a domain and get nearly instant account of backlinks. One of the trusted backlink tools many other SEO tools rely on. Even Cognitive SEO allows you to import links found in Majestic.
After we comb through bad links in Cognitive and disavow them, we use rmoov to help submit link removal requests. This tool helps automate most of the process, but you still might have to locate contact information for websites yourself. It also generates logs to Google Drive and decent reporting helps you understand what links have been successfully removed or not.
While originally a great keyword research tool, and it still is, I tend to enjoy SEM Rush’s Site Audit tool, which gives a detailed list of on-page errors and issues for sites. Whenever I want to do some ground-level grunt work to find those small little details, like missing alt text, missing meta descriptions, duplicate, etc., this is the tool I use.
But it’s much more than that. The tool also has it’s own backlink explorer, product listing ad research, display advertising research, and keyword ranking tools. I haven’t even had time to browse through all the features yet.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
This downloadable page crawler is an essential tool that does so much, so quickly. Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls any domain as if it were a crawler. It can extrapolate missing, duplicate, or invalid elements, https status, and many other pieces of information to help your on-page efforts.
I’ve been using this software since 2008, and continues to be one of the best entry-level keyword tools, not because of its pricing, but because of its interface. WordTracker is perfect for the newbie SEO. The keyword research tool is simple and easy to use, the definitions of their metrics are easy to understand, and adding filters to searches is helpful too.
Free SEO Tools
Pingdom also has a fantastic page speed test tool that I use to benchmark a website’s speed and performance. The tool shows you exactly how much time each HTTP request takes and why, as well as provide a glimpse into what you can do to reduce your page size, and effectively decrease your load times.
SEO Tools for Excel
I’m still learning the ins and outs of this Excel add-in, but SEO Tools for Excel is very helpful, although more complex processes will take-over your Excel program. This tool can help you scrape content (I hope for whitehat reasons), spider, integrates with popular tools, check page rank, and many, many other options. I suggest having a really powerful processor in case you have lots of data that needs to be run through this tool.
Google Analytics & Search Console
You just can’t write a blog post about SEO tools without these two services from Google.
Google Analytics is just the best at helping administrators, marketers, and business owners understand user behavior and marketing efforts. The fact that such a powerful tool continues to be free is just impressive. The amount of customization available is helpful for the incredibly curious, and clever marketing teams can extract some powerful information.
Search Console, formerly Webmaster Tools, is here to help administrators understand the health of a website’s on-page SEO, index status, and other errors through the eyes of Google. SEO should be looking at this data at least once a week.
Speed up your site, add tons of security, and save me bandwidth? For Free? Sign. Me. Up.
I’ve talked about CloudFlare as a CDN before, and their service is just incredible, and nearly any self-hosted website can use it. It’s as simple as changing your website’s domain name servers at your domain registrar, and CloudFlare will speed up your site within the half hour.
Find out how people are visiting your website and interacting with your content. Their free plan offers 100 recordings per month, but that might be just enough to get the information that you need.
SEO Tools Conclusion
You may have noticed we have a few SEO tools that do the same thing, or have similar features. That’s good. That means we have two ways to acquire and analyze data.
What SEO tools do you use in your day-to-day tasks? Is there anything I missed or you think I should be using?
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.