What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization never stops.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your site’s ranking so that you can bring the right people in from search engines.
When it comes to SEO, things are always changing. What worked today may not work tomorrow. And what works tomorrow is not likely to produce results a few years in the future.
As a webmaster, marketing professional, or business owner, it is only natural to devote plenty of time, money, and resources to SEO. Through the right approach, you can generate free, targeted, organic traffic to your website.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to SEO or have been dabbling in this world since the early days of Google, nothing changes the fact that you need a little help from time to time.
With nearly 60 percent of B2B marketers saying that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, it’s only natural for this strategy to attract a lot of attention.
Breaking Down the Types of SEO Tools
But how will you outrank the competition? How will you achieve success when so many others share the same goal?
In addition to implementing a strategy that fits within Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it’s important to take advantage of the best SEO tools and software that help:
- Link building
- Technical SEO
- Keyword research
- Rank tracking
- Content optimization
- Backlink analysis
Featured SEO Tool Reviews
Below is a review of the 40 best free and paid SEO tools and software, many of which can give your small business website the boost in search engines it desperately needs.
Maybe you want to learn more about your website. Maybe you want to spy on a competitor. SEMrush allows you to do both. Regardless of the website, this tools gives you a clear picture of its overall level of health.
While most people consider BuzzSumo a social media tool, remember this: SEO and social media go together hand in hand. Use this tool to analyze what type of content performs best for any keyword or website.
In the SEO game, it’s important to keep your competition close by. SpyFu allows you to do just that, as you can download your competitors’ most profitable keywords and ads. Subsequently, you can use their strategy to your advantage.
The Ahrefs tagline does all the talking:
“Track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and know what your competitors are doing.”
From an SEO perspective, all of these things are important.
With one of the largest link intelligence databases in the world, you can use this tool to learn more about inbound links, how your competition is performing, and much more. A simple domain, URL, or keyword search will get you started.
Are all your pages reachable within a few clicks from the homepage? When it comes to diagnosing on-page and technical issues, DeepCrawl is your best friend. Discover missed opportunities with your site structure, orphaned pages, and SEO effects on UX.
Yet another social media tool, this one also has a positive impact on your SEO performance. Use Buffer to optimize your social sharing and schedule updates for the future.
Are you worried about duplicate content? Copyscape will put your mind at ease, pointing this out and allowing you to remove it from your website or avoid posting it in the first place.
As a Chrome extension, you can use Domain Hunter Plus to find broken links and determine if the link points to a domain that is unregistered.
If you need help choosing target keywords or are ready for your next PPC campaign, this tool is a great place to start. Its tagline reads:
“Plan your Search Network campaigns, get performance insights, and see keyword ideas.”
11. Google Analytics
How can you make intelligent SEO decisions without the proper data? Google Analytics provides an in-depth look at everything from how visitors find your website to the most popular pages and much more.
Page speed is more important today than ever before, as a slow website can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings. Use this tool to improve your page speed.
Full of top notch diagnostic and health tools for website owners, you can learn a lot by keeping an eye on your Webmaster Tools account.
Do you want to find out about your new links now or later? This tool alerts you anytime someone links to your website, without delay.
You want to track changes in the SERPs, right? If Google is up to something you can be rest assured that MozCast will alert you.
As a website speed testing tool, you can see how your website stacks up to the competition. Remember, faster is always better.
A quick, efficient, and free way to check rankings (as long as you are using Firefox).
Do you have errors in your robots.txt files? Are these causing issues from a search engine perspective? Robots.txt Checker helps you avoid this trouble in the future.
Another must for Firefox users, this tool provides plenty of information as you search, including competitive research and backlinks.
More than a cool name, SEOQuake provides the type of data you need to make informed SEO decisions.
When your content is shared socially, it can help boost your search engine rankings. Use this tool to see how each piece of content is (or isn’t) being shared. Use it for your website. Use it to track your competitors.
When you copy and paste content between applications, you never know what will happen with the formatting. If you aren’t careful, this could have a negative impact on your rankings.
Keyword research is easier said than done. But with Ubersuggest, it’s just easy. Nothing more than that.
24. URI Valet
If technical SEO isn’t your thing, tools like URI Valet will come to your rescue. It can help with everything from analyzing redirect problems to learning more about canonical information.
Offering a variety of keyword tools, Wordstream is one brand you should rely on for your SEO needs. The Negative Keyword Tool is one of the most effective, as this is something you may have overlooked in the past.
With this tool, you can quickly and efficiently create an XML sitemap that can be submitted to Google, Bing, Yahoo and many other search engines.
If WordPress is your CMS of choice, this plugin is a must have. It is free, it is easy to use, and it will help you manage all the SEO elements of your website or blog. What more could you want?
28. Keyword Eye
In addition to basic keyword research, Keyword Eye takes things to the next level by providing visualizations of your ideas. This makes it easier to take action.
Here is the tagline:
“Download the MozBar to streamline your SEO. The MozBar provides easy access to the most powerful SEO tools and data while you surf the web.”
That’s pretty easy to understand, right?
With this tool, you can dig deeper into the finer details of your content. Thanks to a relevancy score and keyword suggestions, you can adjust your content to better suit what the search engines are looking for.
If you want to develop a high quality inbound link profile, you have found the tool that can guide you down the path towards success.
32. Screaming Frog
Not only is this a powerful website crawling tool, but it can be customized to suit the needs of you, your SEO strategy, and of course, your website.
By tracking the search visibility of your website, you can gain a better understanding of performance, what’s working, and what isn’t working.
Search engine rankings are in a constant state of flux. With this tool, you can track any website to see how it is ranking over the past 30 days.
If local SEO is on your mind, you know one thing to be true: getting local citations can work in your favor. With this tool, you can discover where to list your website to boost local search rankings.
A/B testing is made easy with this tool. Don’t do this the “old school” way. Instead, let Optimizely provide you with all the direction you need to succeed.
Raven offers a variety of SEO tools, including its popular website auditor. This is perfect for those times when you want to get a high level overview of your website.
Do you remember the days when it took hours on end to identify high performing keywords? Not anymore. Use Wordtracker to speed up the process and avoid mistakes.
Another A/B testing tool that can help you improve onsite performance, thus pushing your rankings to the top of the search engines.
40. Whois Lookup
For competitive intelligence, the Whois Lookup tool is a great place to start. You can learn more about any domain within a matter of seconds.
SEO in 2017 will not be the same as it was in the past. And guess what? The strategy you use next year will not be identical to what you are doing right now.
Fortunately, the majority of these tools and software programs will continue to provide you with the assistance you need to reach many of your online marketing related goals.
Do you have any favorite tools to add to this list?