Search engine algorithms are always changing, so you need to have a smart approach to be able to adapt to those changes quickly. I know, it sounds like a lot of work. However, there are several SEO tools that can help you with this and with getting your site optimized.
Furthermore, paid SEO tools can be expensive and the free options may not have all the features you need. So when searching for the best SEO tools online, you have to not only think about your needs but your budget as well.
That’s why we took all these factors into consideration when putting the top SEO tools to the test. We found tools that will cover any need and many are budget-friendly or even free. From Ahrefs to Yoast, we bring you the best SEO tools to help scale and automate your SEO!
The term ‘SEO tools’ can be used to describe a rather broad set of software and services. Summed up, SEO tools are any tool that can assist with either your on-page and off-page SEO strategy.
You can use these SEO tools for a wide variety of purposes, including:
Most of these tools work by doing a few things — auditing your website’s SEO, analyzing competitors’ sites, and giving some advice for improving your strategy. To use these tools, you may need to download a bit of software, however many are available as web-hosted services.
Using the right keywords is a major part of a good SEO strategy, as they’re one of the factors Google uses in your SERP ranking. While it’s possible to figure out the best keywords to use by checking popular competitor sites, this isn’t exact and can be time-consuming. Fortunately, these tools can do the work for you. The following is a list of the best SEO tools to find proven keywords for your site.
Keyword.io is a web-hosted keyword research tool. It is used for finding SEO friendly keywords for a given topic.
To use it, simply type in your keyword or long-tail keyword into a textbox and press Enter.
Cost: Available to use for free through their website.
Available through Neil Patel’s website, Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool. This tool will search for any keyword or long-tail keyword phrase and give you loads of information. This includes the search volume (desktop and mobile), cost per click, other keyword ideas, and links to related competitor ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.
Using Ubersuggest is fairly standard, just type the keywords you’re interested in searching into a text box and click the search button.
Available through Google Ads, Keyword Planner is another online keyword research tool. This tool will tell you how often keywords are searched, how keyword searches change over time, bid estimates for keywords, and relevant keyword suggestions.
To use Google Keyword Planner, you’ll need to have your first campaign set in Google Ads. Once set, all you need to do is type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search and press enter.
Cost: Free to use as long as you have an active Google Ads campaign.
This is another keyword research tool made by Google. Google Trends analyzes the popularity, across time and regions, of any keyword or phrase that has been typed into the search engine. It will also give you some related topics and queries.
To use Google Trends, all you need to do is type your word or phrase into a text box.
Cost: Free to use and requires no account or personal information.
When tracking the success or failure of your SEO strategy, it’s hard to beat an analytics tool. Tools like Matomo and Google Analytics will tell you if all your hard work is actually paying off. It’ll let you know how many users visit your page, pages they click per session, their bounce rate, and other valuable metrics that can help guide your next SEO move.
Google Analytics is an online analytics tool. The service can be used to track and report on your website traffic. With Google Analytics, you’re able to stay on top of important metrics, such as pages per session, user location, bounce rate, active users, duration of session, and more.
To use this service, first, you’ll need to sign up through the Google Analytics website. When signing up, give them the URL to the website you want to be tracked. Now, you’re able to access the dashboard and check relevant metrics.
Matomo is an open-source web analytics service. You can use Matomo to track multiple websites simultaneously. It is used to track things like page views, page visits, revenue, and the evolution of a site.
To use Matomo, simply sign up for the service with your email address and the URL of the site you’d like tracked. You’ll also need to put a tracking code on your website when getting started.
Cost: Free with a 21-day trial period, after which, you’ll need to subscribe and pay a small monthly fee ($19/month for Essential and 29/month for Business).
As the name implies, Open Web Analytics (OWA) is open-source web analytics software. This software supports both WordPress and MediaWiki frameworks. You can install OWA and run it on your own host. Like other analytics tools, OWA can track page visits, new visitors, page views, and a number of other metrics.
To use OWA, first, you’ll need to download their software from www.openwebanalytics.com and run it on your machine.
Cost: Once set up, OWA can be used completely for free.
Clicky is another online web analytics service. You can use Clicky to track website metrics such as users, the number of actions taken, time spent, bounce rate, and more.
To use Clicky, you’ll start by signing up on their website and inputting the URL of the site you intend to track. Next, you’ll need to put a snippet of HTML code, provided by Clicky, into your site in order to track it.
Cost: Clicky can be used for free.
This browser extension can provide you access to Moz’s metrics while you surf the web. You can do things like compare link metrics across pages, create custom searches (by country, engine, etc.), expose page elements, and more.
To use MozBar, you’ll need to download the extension for Firefox or Chrome. The Mozo logo will then be embedded along the top of your browser. You can click it to expose different options or bring down the menu bar.
Cost: This software can be downloaded and used for free.
If you need to rank a local business in search engines like Google, you’re going to need a well thought out local SEO strategy. With a local SEO tool, you can rate your online presence and figure out where your business strategy could use some improvement.
The Moz Local Listing Score is a web-based tool that rates a company address’s online presence. It will rate your location data and the quality of its online presence.
Using Moz Local Listing Score only requires inputting a company name, address, and zip code into separate text boxes and clicking the Check Now button. Results are returned rather quickly.
Cost: Free to use.
Even if you’re not a very technical person, you’ll need to need to learn if you’re going to master SEO. Luckily, with technical SEO tools, you’ll have some help. These are some of the best SEO tools out there for analyzing the more technical aspects of your site. From your page’s speed to its size, these tests will tell you some of the more boring metrics behind your website so you can see where to improve.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool that’s used to optimize a website’s performance. The web-based tool tells you its Lighthouse Performance score, which is a weighted average of several different metrics. You’re also given some actionable diagnostic and opportunity information that can be used to optimize your site’s performance.
To use this tool, type the URL of the site you’d like analyzed into a text box and click the analyze button. The service will take a few seconds to analyze your site before delivering its report.
Cost: Free to use.
This web service can check a site’s indexing status and optimize its visibility. Offered by Google, Search Console allows you to check a site’s crawl rate, submit and check a sitemap, see a list of sites that connect to a page, check security issues, and more.
To use the tool, you’ll need to enter your site’s URL and verify ownership.
Cost: This service is offered by Google for free.
Pingdom is a website monitoring software that originates from Sweden. The tool is able to test your website’s performance from servers located across the globe. It is used to monitor a website’s latency, report if it’s down, rate its performance, and more.
To use the service, you simply need to type the URL of the site you want to be tested, and press enter.
Cost: This tool can be used for free.
This is another website performance testing tool. WebPageTest’s primary function is to give you a detailed view of your website’s performance. It tests things like a website’s security, first-byte time, compress transfer, compress images, and cache static content.
This tool is easy to use, just type the URL of the site you want to be tested into a text box, and wait about a minute while WebPageTest runs its scan.
GTmetrix is also used to check a site’s performance. The tool can quickly analyze your website and tell you its speed score, load time, size, and some recommendations to optimize it.
To use GTmetrix, you first need to copy and paste the site URL that you’re interested in analyzing, and wait a moment for the tool to test the site.
Just like the name implies, XML Sitemaps is an XML sitemap making tool. These sitemaps can then be submitted to search engines, like Google, to help them more effectively crawl your website.
This web-based tool can be used by inputting the URL of the site you want to be mapped into a text box. The whole process of creating the sitemap can take a while, especially for larger sites.
Cost: The good news is, this tool is free to use.
This is a Robots.txt generating tool. Robot.txt files are small text files that you place in your website’s home directory. When search engines spider your site, these text documents tell them which files and directories they’re not allowed to see.
To use this tool just type your website’s URL into a textbox and wait for your file to be generated.
SEO Site Checkup is a tool used for improving your website’s SEO. The tool runs an analysis on your site and gives it a score. It also gives you some recommendations for improving your website’s SEO.
This service simply requires you to input a website URL into a text box, and it’ll run its scan. The whole process takes under a minute to complete and is free to use.
This website crawler is used to help improve your site’s SEO. Screaming Frog SEO Spider does this by extracting your site’s data and checking it for any SEO issues. This tool can help with a number of issues, including finding broken links, generating an XML sitemap, discover duplicate content, and locating audit redirects.
To use this tool, first, you’ll have to download the SEO Spider software. Once installed, copy and paste the URL you want to spider and hit enter. This service comes as a free and a paid SEO tool.
Cost: There is a free version and a paid version for £149.00/year
This WordPress plugin offers your website 24/7 security, improves its performance, and helps with managing it. Jetpack does this you by blocking brute force attacks, decreasing load times, monitoring downtime, and optimizing your website.
In order to utilize Jetpack, you’ll need to log in as an admin to your WordPress hosted site, select ‘Plugins’ from the menu, and run a search for ‘Jetpack.’ Once you find it, click the ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ buttons. You’ll then need to create a WordPress account if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve finished, the Jetpack menu will be available from your dashboard. Jetpack is available in both free and paid plans.
Cost: There is a free plan, or it’s $3.50/month for a Personal plan, $9/month for a Premium plan, and $29/month for a Professional plan.
The team at Yoast offers one of the more popular SEO plugins for WordPress. This tool is great for keyword optimization, speeding up your indexing, keeping your site updated, and even checking the readability of your content.
To take advantage of this plugin, you’ll first need to install the software. Once set up, simply navigate to the Yoast SEO tab in your WordPress dashboard.
Cost: It is $89 for one site with the premium model. You get a discounted rate for each additional site.
Links are a vital ingredient for any site. Not only do they make it easier to navigate, but Google also takes these little shortcuts into consideration when assigning your SERP ranking. Whether you’re linking between pages on your site or trying to establish backlinks from others, these tools can help.
They’ll let you know which links are working, which aren’t, how many total links you have, and how many backlinks you’re connected with. This information can be used to help ensure everything on your site is working properly and to help find new potential backlink opportunities.
Ahrefs is a backlink checking tool that tells you the number of backlinks your website is connected with. Ahrefs has the best backlink database in the industry. It can be used for checking the number of referring pages, URL Rating, Domain Rating, and Ahrefs Rank.
To use Ahrefs, you’ll need to input the URL of the site you’d like checked into their textbox. Ahrefs will then run its report and quickly return with a detailed page laying out your website’s metrics. A basic version of this tool can be used for free but you’ll need to pay for the full version.
Cost: For the Lite version it’s $99/month, $179/month for the Standard version, $399/month for the Advanced version, and the Agency version is $999/month.
Another great tool from Moz, Link Explorer will deliver your website’s link data. Some of the information you’ll learn when using Link Explorer includes the spam score of your backlinks, your number of inbound links, if there are any broken links, your domain authority, and much more.
If you don’t have a Moz account, you’ll need to make one first before you can take advantage of this tool. Once your account is activated, you can input the URL of the website you’d like checked and get your Link Explorer report.
Linkminer is a browser extension used for finding broken links. When installed, the tool will instantly read the number of links on a page and tell you if any of them aren’t working.
All you need to do to use this tool is to download it, then navigate to the webpage that you want to analyze. The extension will automatically read the number of links on the page, and you can click the extension icon to get even more details.
Cost: This extension can be downloaded and used for free.
Majestic is an SEO tool that specializes in backlinks. This tool will give you a number of valuable metrics, such as citation flow, trust flow, and a domain’s total number of backlinks. This tool is great for optimizing your website or campaign.
To use Majestic for free, simply navigate to their website, and copy and paste the domain you’d like analyzed into the available text box. Doing this will give you some basic information (trust and citation flow). In order to fully take advantage of this service, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee.
Cost: Lite will cost you $49.99/month, Pro is $99.99/month, and API is $399.99/month.
On-page SEO is an area where you should be putting a lot of focus. While you can’t always control the things that affect your off-page SEO, with on-page SEO, you’re in the driver’s seat. The following tools can help guide your on-page SEO strategy by giving you useful metrics, valuable information, and relevant keywords.
Ahrefs SEO toolbar is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox. This toolbar gives you loads of SEO metrics as you browse. You can quickly access information such as keywords and search terms typed into Google. It will also give you SEO metrics for individual domains, such as search visitors and the number of keywords they rank for.
Ahrefs toolbar needs to be installed on your browser before you can use it. You also need to subscribe to their service. Once activated, it will automatically display the relevant metrics whenever you do a Google search. This service is only available with a paid monthly subscription plan.
Cost: Lite is $99/month, Standard will cost $179/month, Advanced is $399/month, and the Agency version is $999/month.
To use the Schema Creator, navigate to the web-based tool, fill out the necessary info for the markup you’re interested in creating, and add the generated code to your page.
Cost: You can use this tool for free.
Brought to you by Google, the Structured Data Testing Tool does exactly what it sounds like — tests your site’s structured data. It will let you know if it ran into any errors with your site, and it’ll display your data so you can look it over.
This tool is totally online and only requires you to input the URL of the page you want to be checked to run it.
Cost: This is a free service.
The following top SEO tools serve several different functions. But when it comes to perfecting your SEO strategy, the more tools you have in your toolbelt, the better. Whether you need to make sure your content is original, grade your SEO strategy, or come up with some new ideas to improve user experience, the following tools can help.
Copyscape is a popular online plagiarism checking service. It is used to check if your content is original, or if it exists somewhere else on the web.
You should use this tool when you’re having a writer create new SEO friendly content for your site to make sure it’s not copied from somewhere else. Original content tends to get a better SERP ranking. When you publish original content, it’s also more likely to be shared and linked to by other sites. Copyscape can be used once a month for free, but for unlimited scans, you’ll need to pay.
Cost: Prices start at 3¢ per search of up to 200 words, and 1¢ additional for every extra 100 words.
This is an excellent tool for quickly learning tons of SEO data about your website. A SEMrush report will include stuff like your web traffic information, the projected cost in Adwords, topic research, site audits, keywords, lead generation, and loads more.
SEMrush’s on-page SEO checker will help you generate SEO strategy ideas, technical SEO ideas, content ideas, and more. It’s also useful for off-page SEO and can help you with finding backlinks and generating social media shares.
Cost: There’s a free version, or $99.95/month for Pro, $199.95/month for Guru, and $399.95/month for Business.
For Moz’s amazing collection of SEO tools, check out Moz Pro. This tool can be used to track your rankings, learn about your site’s visitors, crawl and audit your site, and optimize your pages.
It’s ideal for on-page SEO purposes such as targeting the right keywords to help drive traffic to your site. You can also do some off-page SEO functions with the tool, such as help with managing backlinks and optimizing your page so it’s more likely to be shared. Moz Pro is available for a monthly subscription fee, although they do offer a 30-day free trial.
Cost: Moz Pro’s Standard version costs $99/month, Medium is $149/month, Large is $249/month, and Premium is $599/month
CognitiveSEO is a complete SEO toolkit. The tool will flag potential SEO issues on your website and offer suggestions on how to fix them. This can lead to a rapid increase in your site’s organic traffic and your SERP ranking.
CognitiveSEO’s OnPage website crawler is perfect for finding problems with your on-page SEO so they can be remedied. It can also help with off-page SEO through backlink analysis and tracking the competition. You’ll need to pay a monthly fee to use this service, but there is a 7-day free trial.
Cost: The Starter plan will cost you $129.99/month. There is a Business plan as well, but you’ll need to check their pricing calculator for details.
Raven Tools is an all-in-one SEO toolkit. This kit can be used for website auditing, competitor research, marketing reports, link building, and keyword research. The service can help you improve both on and off-page SEO and increase both your paid and organic traffic.
For on-page SEO, Raven Tools helps you find SEO issues with your website and gives you suggestions that’ll improve it’s SEO and SERP ranking. Their Keyword Rank Checker tool helps to ensure that you’re using the best possible keywords. For off-page SEO, the tool can help you find thousands of backlinking opportunities and with competitor research. Raven Tools can be used for free for 7-days, after which you’ll need to pay.
Cost: For a Small Business subscription, it’s $39/month, $79/month for a Start plan, $139/month for a Grow plan, $249/month for a Thrive plan, and $399/month for a Lead plan.
SEOQuake is an SEO toolkit browser extension for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. With it, you can run SEO audits and check key SEO metrics. The tool is ideal if you want to improve your website’s SEO strategy.
To use SEOQuake for on-site checks, first, you’ll need to add the extension to your browser. Once installed, navigate to the page you’d like checked and click the SEOQuake icon in your browser bar. This will display all the relevant metrics for the page you’re navigating.
Cost: It’s free to download and use SEOQuake.
SEO Web Page Analyzer will check your website’s SEO strategy, and tell you how it can be improved. It’ll check your meta titles and descriptions, heading structure, content, keywords, and hyperlinks for any errors.
To help with onsite checks, simply paste the URL of the website you want to be checked. SEO Web Analyzer will then tell you if it detected any problems and offer some suggested ways to remedy them.
Cost: This web-based tool is free to use.
This web-based tool will analyze your site’s SEO strategy and issue you a detailed report. The service will give you a list of SEO errors that you’ll need to fix if you hope to improve your ranking.
For on-site checks, simply input the domain you need to be checked into the text box provided. The report will come back nearly instantly with loads of information that can be used to optimize your page.
Cost: This tool is 100% free to use.
Hubspot’s Website Grader will give your website a grade, and offer some advice to help improve it. This tool runs a scan on your website and grades its performance, SEO, mobile, and security.
To use this tool for an on-site check, you’ll just need to input your email and the web address of the site you want to be graded. Hubspot will then check your site and let you know its strengths and weaknesses. You can use this info to help optimize your site and increase its ranking.
Cost: You can take advantage of this tool for free.
When managing your website or campaign, you need to hone your SEO strategy if you hope to succeed. One of the most reliable ways to stay on top of your website and ensure that your strategy is working is by using SEO tools software. With them, you can track your site through numerous metrics, guide your strategy with tailored suggestions, research the competition, and find relevant keywords with ease.
Without these tools, tracking and managing your site would nearly be impossible. Metrics like repeat visitors and bounce rates simply aren’t available without the use of basic tracking software. When using these tools in a campaign, you can easily gauge its success or failure. And if your campaign’s not doing well, these tools will help to narrow down the problem so you can make the necessary adjustments.
However, if you really need your campaign to succeed, it’s hard to beat a professional agency. Not only does Heroes of Digital have very own proprietary HeroSEO powersuite, we also have access to the best SEO tools, many of which are incredibly expensive for an average user. An agency also has the experience to know how to use and read these tools. So, while you may just see a confusing bunch of metrics, we will see a clear guide to maximizing your campaign’s success!
Contact us today to improve your website ranking and SEO strategy.
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