Implementing a solid SEO plan requires the right toolset. A good array of tools will help you with keyword research, understanding how your competitors are ranking and where you may be able to acquire new links for your site.
Take a look at these 10 tools you can start using today to get your SEO on track.
1 – Google Search Console
The Google Search Console (formerly named Google Webmaster Tools) is a free dashboard from Google that allows webmasters to see exactly how their SEO efforts perform. The dashboard shows performance metrics, internal and external links, issues with pages, crawl errors and more. It requires you install a tag in the header of all of the pages of a website or you can synch it with a Google Analytics account.
2 – Google Keyword Planner
The Keyword Planner is another free tool from Google you can use to understand the search volume of your target keywords. While it is a robust tool, it will only show search volume and related data for paid keywords (PPC) on Google. It’s great for getting started with any new SEO campaign.
3 – Screaming Frog
Arguably one of the best tools an SEO can use, Screaming Frog is a crawling tool that tries to mimic how Google spiders a site. The tool provides its users with core on-page factors like meta data, alt tags, canonicals, http responses, etc. Users can crawl up to 500 URLs on the free version (ideal for smaller websites), while the paid version is great for large website SEO.
4 – SEMRush
For paid search, SEO and content development, SEMRush is one of the most comprehensive research tools available today. Users can track keywords, find new keyword opportunities, research competitor information and dig through backlink data. SEMRush offers a free subscription, but it’s limited to daily queries.
5 – Ahrefs
Ahrefs.com is easily one of the best backlink research tools available. It offers in-depth link analysis, competitor link review and more than enough data to develop a link acquisition strategy right away.
6 – Copyscape.com
One of the go-to tools for web copywriters, Copyscape is a handy tool to verify copy is not duplicated anywhere else on the web. Specific to SEO, the tool helps ensure content is as unique as it possibly can be and not accidentally plagiarized anywhere.
7 – Structured Data Testing Tool
For more advanced SEO strategies that utilize Schema.org’s structured data, the Structured Data Testing Tool from Google is a must to have in your back pocket. This tool allows marketers to validate any structured data markup used on a site. You can quickly fix any rendering errors and have a good idea of what to expect in Google results.
8 – Siteliner
Taking cues from Copyscape, Siteliner takes duplicate content checking one step further by analyzing internal site duplication. If you have ever accidentally written the same article or published a duplicate product on an e-commerce store, this tool will show you where the duplication exists.
9 – PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is yet another free tool from Google that allows webmasters to check the speed of their pages for desktop and mobile devices. Because page speed is such an important factor to achieving great rankings, validating speed through this tool is a no brainer for SEOs. You will also find actionable things you and your developer can do to make pages faster.
10 – Answer the Public
Searching for long-tail keywords and content ideas is made easy with Answer the Public. This visual keyword research tool goes beyond what the Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush can offer by showing what users are currently searching in Google. If you have ever run into the issue of trying to find new keywords outside of one of the standard keyword research tools, stop by Answer the Public and check it out.
Here’s an example for the query digital cameras:
These are just ten of potentially hundreds of SEO tools you can use to optimize your keywords, content and link strategies. You may also prefer Moz for backlink research or keywordtool.io for keyword research. In any case, it’s important to have an arsenal of tools at your fingertips to validate all of the marketing decisions you make with well-informed data.
What other programs or services make your list of must-have SEO tools?