Regardless of how competitive your industry may be, if you use the best SEO tools, there are several ways to achieve distinction and take the lead in search engine visibility. With hundreds of top SEO tools available, the question is – how do you prioritize your time and pick the right tool for your needs? Which tools are accurate and excellent in their approach?
That is exactly what we’ll discuss in this guide.
Let’s consider first that there are several types of SEO tools, with a bit of overlap in their functions. These tools can help you to:
- Conduct competitor research (to find links and see which competitor pages are doing well),
- Determine levels of competition in a niche,
- Discover rising and falling trends,
- Write better content through keyword knowledge,
- Access higher quality links and partnerships,
- Conduct important core web vital & technical analysis of your websites.
Below we will share 20 of the best SEO tools in the market:
1. SEO and PR Access Pass from Sitetrail (Get it here)
This content marketing tool is perfect to build referral traffic, boost domain authority and boost SEO performance. Whether you are starting in SEO or managing a long list of customers, it is the one tool that can help you strike the perfect balance between PR and SEO content marketing. Beat the guest post marketplaces and manual outreach and use this as your shortcut to better results.
Use the SEO & PR pass if you want to skyrocket your link-building and off-site SEO efforts, or if you want to increase your agency profitability with a reliable scalable tool. Most customers retain this tool for at least 24 months – so clearly it’s providing abundant value.
2. SEMRush (Try it free here)
This started out as the ultimate tool in competitive intelligence, SEO research, and content planning. It now branched out to become an irreplaceable force in the market. It is also my favorite tool for conducting pay-per-click research, to know what competitors are spending on in their digital marketing campaigns (pay-per-click specifically). Without a tool like this, companies would be in the dark. The UX is incredibly simple and most digital marketers find the tool addictive – I’d call it a “cult-like” tool for sure – great for DIY and enterprise-level SEO alike.
3. Google Search Console (Try it here)
Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google which lets you understand your website’s ranking in search results. All you need to do is verify your website and submit a sitemap for indexing using our site checker tool. As an SEO checker, this tool can help new websites understand how Google and its users view them, giving them insight into how to optimize their performance.
Simply put – yes, the best things in life are free. You will struggle to run an online business without the use of the Google Search Console. It is part of the top 5 essential tools to have in your arsenal, period.
4. Page Speed Insights (Use free here)
If there is one thing you can tell from this SEO tool guide, is that we truly value speed and core web vitals. For that reason, page speed insights are a super reliable and important tool. Some other tools like “Pingdom” are addictive and cool – but honestly, Page Speed Insights will give you true and accurate information to act on. You might not like it – because of its brutal honesty and low scores, but most web developers and SEO experts will tell the DIY crowd to only use this tool as a true measure.
What people love about it most – is that it really helps with mobile SEO, given the accurate cross-device measurements.
5. Google My Business Profile (Get your free profile here)
It makes little sense to pay for your own branded keyword on PPC, yet I see so many clients spend in excess of $20K per month just on their own brand in order to fight off competition. Well, when you have a Google My Business Profile – it is one way of improving branded results. It is also a way to fight off the harmful scammy Trustpilot and use a more reliable review aggregator that can prevent fake reviews. This is crucial for both SEO and conversion optimization.
6. Convertio.io (Use it free here)
Every single adjustment you can make that will improve core web vitals and load speed will give you an SEO edge, as the importance of this as a ranking factor, is now exceedingly high. With convertio.io, you can quickly change whatever image you have, to WEBP. In most cases, Webp will save close to 50% on file size – and that makes a huge difference where content is king and images appear in high numbers.
Speed is the most crucial ranking factor when all other factors are equal – make the most of image optimization if you want your sites to rank well. You might need automation tools to convert files when working with a CMS, otherwise, Convertio is free and easy.
SEO Tools for WordPress – which ones matter the most? Every WordPress website needs to do as much as possible to speed up and win on core web vitals. That is exactly where WP-Rocket comes in. I once listened to the support team at Kinsta and removed WP-Rocket for a while, they suggested that it did not interact well with their server. They suggested we use autoptomizely – well, it broke our sites and caused havoc.
There is ONE industry leader when it comes to WordPress Speed – and that is WP-Rocket.
8. SEO Yoast
Of all the evils that befall WordPress website owners – you can bet that SEO Yoast is a different story. Remember that the majority of the websites in the world run on WordPress and you’ll need a decent tool to help with WordPress SEO. WordPress makes it easy to publish with clean standard compliant HTML. This is what makes it SEO-friendly out of the box, which is a huge perk for digital marketers.
The number of websites that are competing for top rankings makes it difficult for new and smaller companies to appear in search results. But don’t despair, Yoast can turn the tide a bit.
While WordPress plugin options can help you with these things, there are other aspects of a website’s functionality that are difficult for this platform to manage. That’s where SEO plugins come in. Some of the most important tasks like creating content, managing keywords, submitting sitemaps, and using webmaster tools, capitalize on SEOs strengths and eliminate the additional difficulties they may bring.
The great thing about Yoast SEO is that it offers countless features. It’ll help organize your website and simplify the process of compiling content. You have the option to add meta keywords, descriptions, duplicate content, XML sitemaps, social media integration, rich snippets, and more.
Here we have a tool worth trying. Perhaps not that easy to use compared to SEMRush, but still quite interesting. There are a lot of pitfalls you might encounter when you start checking for SEO errors via SEO software. One can get easily overwhelmed by the size of the Google index, but the solution is to install and run it locally. There’s one particular reason why Screaming Frog has opted out of offering it as a cloud-based tool. The company that created it doesn’t want its site to be overloaded with bots in search engines all around the world. Installation takes less than five minutes so it is not too complex to get started.
10. Keyword Hero
It’s become harder to optimize pages for higher rankings, leads, and sales with Google awarding more weight to how keywords help sites improve. Competing on search engines means that you need to unlock words that are not shown in Analytics. This is where Keyword Hero comes in, providing the missing keywords needed for optimization.
Once you’ve collected the data yourself, you don’t want anyone else getting it. But there are keyword tracking tools popping up with free services. However, all of them have one particular thing in common: Your competitors will get access to your data. KeywordHero is on a mission to solve this problem by providing add-ons that let you track your keywords and manage them from your Google Analytics account. Transforming your website into a keyword-rich content engine that attracts traffic? Well, that can be hard due to hyper-competition. Keyword-Hero can help you overcome this issue with its helpful statistics.
As a business, how do you decide which keywords to target when creating content? Keyword intent is one factor to consider. It’s important to understand what searchers are looking for as they search across the internet. An analysis of bounce rate, average time on page, and more can help you determine if certain keywords are better suited for your business in the long run.
Understand Google search algorithm updates: Found your search traffic suddenly dropped? Log into your Keyword Hero Google Analytics property, and see which keywords were affected and what the ranking changes could be. Adjust your SEO strategy accordingly to ensure you continue achieving success.
Overall, I think this tool is sufficiently unique for both beginner and advanced SEO managers to try out.
11. Google Data Studio (Free SEO Tool)
Google Data Studio is a tool that, when used correctly, can help you convert data from varying sources, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With just a few steps and visually-appealing layouts, you can create sharable visualizations.
If you’re just getting started with Data Studio, a decent beginner’s guide will help. Using the Data Studio tool to aggregate all of your SEO metrics and KPI data can be useful. It is a sure way to measure the success of your strategy. Most importantly, it’ll become an easy-to-use interface for connecting these projects to other tools such as Windsor.ai.
Let’s slip in SERPstat because they’ve done something right, which was to differentiate in a crowded market – simply by presenting data in a really cool way. SEO practitioners can actually use this tool to easily show important metrics to decision-makers.
Serpstat uses a wide array of SEO tools and is a good option for an SEO or Digital Marketing professional. It offers a solid learning experience for online marketing professionals. Overall, Serpstat is a strong choice for most users.
Why on EARTH do you suggest Canva as an SEO Tool? Well, it’s simple – because image & video SEO at scale can help any brand capture more attention on the web. If you’re not yet super hot on both these forms of SEO, you’ll need to scale it up a notch. I let my teams use Canva to pump out client image content at scale. Not only is it affordable, but it is also really easy to use. So here is a little secret if you’re going full throttle on diversified, multi-channel SEO: content is not just written text. Image and Video matter.
SE Ranking is an all-in-one tool for digital marketing and SEO. They have been featured in Fast Company, Zapier, and Trustpilot to name just a few, with 400K users as their customer base.
SE Ranking started out as a rank-tracking tool but has grown into a powerful set of tools for many different tasks. Among these are keyword research, competitor analysis, comprehensive site audits, and much more. With flexible pricing, you can select a plan based on your budget and needs. It’s also affordable for small businesses, solopreneurs, and SEO agencies. Additionally, it can scale to larger enterprises in the future with ease.
Overall, SE Ranking is a comprehensive SEO toolset worth checking out. Give it a go and let us hear your thoughts!
15. Growth Bar
I could not yet follow blindly when it comes to automated content, simply because I fear these mighty Google penalties. That said, and having tested it a few times, I am closer to neutral than negative these days. GrowthBar is one of the easiest-to-use SEO tools on the market. They enable users to see millions of keyword results, your competition’s backlinks, and Google Ads data with one click. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of options including the ability to write blog headlines and insert your website address into snippets.
GrowthBar is designed for speed and simplicity. With its OpenAI technology, you’ll get the best possible recommendations applicable to your business from us. As one customer said: “This is an amazing chrome extension that really helps you out a great deal with researching your keywords, coming up with titles, and naming your page all for top rankings! I gave this to my VA and she loved it! It was super easy to use and it even tracked the keywords she was working on”.
Because of its simple user interface and robust data sets, GrowthBar is becoming a favorite choice for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and freelancers. But it has customers like Minted, MagicJack, Square, Spekit, and Teepublic – it does make you wonder what they’re doing right!
16. SURFER SEO
Professional digital marketing tools like SurferSEO truly differentiate the market and test conventional theories. What if I get penalized for using an AI writer? This tool can provide unique, creative, and comprehensive data collection (scraping & analysis) services to businesses who want to elevate their online presence. It’s a reasonable content marketing tool, basically, an AI writer with a few tweaks.
Keyword intelligence not only makes keyword research ridiculously easy, it also gives users an overview of what competitors are using to rank on Google.
As a power user and marketer of online content, SurferSEO is an easy-to-use tool that saves you time and provides helpful insights. With its condensed plans, streamlined drag-and-drop interface, and fast turnaround time, the tool makes it effortless to start an SEO marketing campaign with your website.
I enjoyed using this tool. If you’re just starting, SpyFu has some amazing free features. With lots of different tools, like the keyword list, monthly search volume reports, and ranking difficulty analysis, you can easily start to rely on them. In addition, you’ll see which keywords people are searching for, and how many times per month your specific keyword is searched for and without it being “owned” by a competitor. You can also discover who your competitors are in organic and paid traffic. The tool also is one of the most detailed SEO analysis tools out there. The paid version is worth a try for sure.
18. Ubersugest (NeilPatel.com)
If you’re working on your website content, it’s often hard to know which keywords to target. With Ubersuggest, a keyword finder tool developed by Neil Patel, you can find the right terms to use on your website in less than 5 minutes. It includes reports with metrics like search volume, competition, cost per click, and seasonal trends. No need for complex analytics software or data science — Ubersuggest is simple and free for both organic and paid search. To access the main data though, you’d have to get the paid plan. It comes fairly close to AHRefs and SEMRush, great for DIY SEO – but perhaps not yet the ultimate tool for enterprise SEO.
19. Moz PRO
Many people use the free version of SEOMoz. Moz Pro is a powerful tool that allows you to make SEO easier and offers some valuable, helpful features. The Keyword Explorer and Link Explorer are great for beginners and DIY SEO enthusiasts, as is their educational content that still leads the market. The MozBar Chrome extension is an awesome addition as well. I doubt it beats SEMRush, the no.2 on our list, but it’s still a cool tool.
I will have to admit on being split between both SEMRush and AHRefs when it comes to competitor research. But AHRefs is not super simple to use and many of my colleagues and SEO clients agree that the data, especially on traffic, is not accurate. Still, I would not throw AHRefs away when it comes to competitor and trend research. Their data projection looks funky – enjoy visualizing competitor rank tracking with their tool. AHRefs have amazing reviews the world over. They are honest in sending you a reminder before your recurring payment is levied – and, yes, they are not cheap.
Now that you have a list of SEO tools to play with – the fact remains that you’ll discover data points to act on, and action will be needed to perform better. What I love most about competitor tools, is that they give us a clear view of the cost involved to compete in any industry, or picking other industries where we can actually afford to move the needle on SEO.
This article is written and maintained by Adriaan Brits (Connect here on Linkedin)