For a small business to rank on top of Google search results, SEO tools play an important role.
There are multiple SEO activities like keyword research, competitor research, rank tracking, backlink monitoring, on-page optimization, on-site optimization, etc. that need to be performed on a day to day basis.
Doing manual work is not always possible and as a small business, you need to rely on the right SEO tools to save time and effort.
While SEO tools can’t guarantee success, they can definitely help you achieve, monitor and amplify your success.
Our evaluation criteria to find the best SEO tools for small business
Being a startup, we understand the SEO challenges of a small business.
Our evaluation of best SEO tools for small business is based on the way we do SEO for our own business, keeping the following factors in mind:-
- Pricing: Our evaluation list consists of SEO tools that are either free or are reasonably priced for small businesses.
- Scalability: While the SEO tool should support the needs of a small business, it should be scalable to meet your future SEO needs as well.
- Functional: We are suggesting you those software that cover the entire spectrum of SEO.
- Actionable: Our list of SEO tools will help you derive meaningful analysis of the reports and data, without getting overwhelmed.
- Small business needs: We understand that you may not be well versed in SEO. Therefore, we have excluded tools that need expert-level knowledge to derive meaningful analysis.
Top 10 small businesses SEO tools:-
1. OnPage Champ
Pricing: Free and Paid Plans
If you want to rank on top of Google for a particular keyword, your small business website needs to be optimized for on-page SEO.
However, you may not have enough expertise on how to write SEO optimized content and HTML elements.
That’s where OnPage Champ’s SERP Audit tool can be your savior.
It shows you how your top ranking competitors have structured their web pages.
Equipped with this information, you can optimize your web pages and build on top of their success.
OnPage Champ tracks, analyses and presents on-page elements of any web URL for more than 20+ on-page SEO parameters.
Not just that, you can also put your or a competitor’s web page for tracking using the “URL Tracking” feature of OnPage Champ.
OnPage Champ will notify you whenever there is a change in the rank or content of the page.
More about using Onpage Champ
- Simple Signup using just name and email ID (click here)
- No Credit Card required
- 14 days of free trial for paid plans
- Free plan available (sufficient for basic SEO needs of a small business)
- No installation or coding required
Yet to be announced
2. Yoast Plugin for WordPress
Pricing: Free and Paid Plan
Yoast plugin is an on-page SEO analysis tool for WordPress based websites.
Once you have framed your content within WordPress, you can use Yoast to key in a focus keyword and check how well the content is optimized for on-page SEO.
This plugin also provides suggestions on how to optimize content for a focus keyword.
Also, it provides you with readability analysis, i.e, how easy your content is to read. This feedback is very helpful to improve the user’s reading experience.
Thirdly, it provides you with a snippet review metric. In this, you can see how your web page appears in SERPs. It helps you to set the page title, web page URL and meta description.
While a green signal by Yoast doesn’t guarantee a first-page rank, it is a good enough indicator that the basic on-page SEO is in place.
You can use on-page SEO insights of your competitors from OnPage Champ and then optimize your page, and check using Yoast how well your content is optimized.
Not just content optimization, Yoast also gives you control across multiple on-site parameters like auto-generating XML sitemap, making a page no follow/no index, editing robots file, etc.
More about using Yoast Plugin
- Download the Yoast WordPress plugin here
- You need to create register before starting
USD 89 per website (one time)
3. Answer The Public
Pricing: Free and Paid Plans
AnswerThePublic is a smart web-based content marketing tool that can introduce you to a whole bunch of new ideas for your content strategy.
This tool fetches results related search queries from Google and Bing and categorizes them across how, when, what, where, etc.
In simple terms, it tells you how users are searching the internet for a particular keyword.
Powered with this information, you can produce content that your audience is actually searching for on the internet.
Using this SEO tool, you can gather new and refreshing content ideas for your small business.
Not only you gather fresh and refreshing content, but you also discover a new set of less competitive keywords which you can target for entirely a new set of audience.
More about using AnswerThePublic
- Limited free searches available
- No need to sign up for the free plan (click here to try)
- Free plan limited by the number of searches (per day) and data analyzed
Premium – USD 99/month
UberSuggest is a free multilingual keyword research tool by Neil Patel.
It helps you generate content ideas through extensive keyword research.
Just type in the keyword and location and UberSUggest will provide you with analysis of the target keyword across metrics like search volume, search difficulty score, paid difficulty score and cost per click.
It also shows you the related keyword ideas for the target keyword.
Along with this, you can also do competitor intelligence analysis.
Just enter any domain URL and it will show you the data around keywords for which the domain is ranking and the top-ranking pages for that domain.
You can use this data to get the content that drives traffic to your competitors and start working on something similar for your small business.
More about using Ubersuggest
- No SignUp required, just visit the website and start using the tool
- If you sign up, you get more keyword suggestions
Pricing: Paid Plans only
Once you outgrow Ubersuggest for your small business SEO needs, you can switch to Long Tail Pro for keyword research.
It is highly recommended for users who are just starting out or are targeting a highly competitive niche.
LonTailPro will help users find low competitive long-tail keywords in order to improve the rankings in SERPs and increase conversions.
Just need to enter the seed keyword and this SEO software will show you the related searches along with with search volume, keyword competitive score, words, rank value, and Google CPC data.
One of the most important features of this tool is Keyword Competitive Metric.
This metric makes you understand the competitive nature of the keywords, i.e, which keywords are easy to target and which keywords are out of your league.
More about using LongTailPro
- Visit here to use the tool
- Starter – USD 37/month
- Pro – USD 67/month
6. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool by Google that helps website owners monitor, track and analyze the site’s performance across Google search results.
You can track and analyze the performance of your website as a whole and also for each individual web page in terms of search rankings, keyword impressions and organic clicks generated.
You can also use Search Console to find keyword ideas for your future content pieces.
Many times, you will see your content ranking for keywords that you didn’t plan in the first place. Some of these keywords can become central ideas for your next content piece.
More about using Search Console
- You need to signup using your Gmail Account
- You then need to set up Search Console on your website
- Read the detailed instructions here to get started
Pingdom is a SaaS-based SEO tool that specializes in monitoring the technical performance of a website.
This tool comes with a lot of features like uptime monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction monitoring, page speed monitoring, reliable monitoring, root cause analysis, etc.
While there are multiple features available within Pingdom, I would suggest you use it at least for Page Speed Monitoring (which is an important ranking factor for Google).
You will get an analysis of your web page load time along with insights on how to take corrective actions at the earliest.
More about using Pingdom
- You can use page speed monitoring tool without any signup (click here).
- For other features, signup is required
- There is a free trial period of 14 days (credit card would be required to register)
- Standard – $42.12/month
- Advanced – $82.45/month
8. Google Speed insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is another web page speed analysis tool.
This tool analyses the web page (both for mobile and desktop platforms) and provides you with suggestions for improving the page load time.
This tool provides you with a score (on a range from 1-100)that indicates page load speed.
A score of less than 50 is considered slow, between 50 – 90 is moderate and above 90 is fast.
This tool provides you with lab data and field data for a web page. Lab data is collected in a controlled environment for debugging performance issues. Field data is for real-time analyses of a web page.
A faster responsive site reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates and is good for your SEO.
More about using Google Speed Insights
You can use page speed monitoring tool without any signup (click here).
9. Google Keyword Planner
Google keyword planner is a free Google tool. This tool is a part of Adwords PPC platform. This tool will help you find ‘related keywords’ for the focus keyword you entered. You need to enter either words, phrases or any URL.
[ FYI : You can enter upto 10 words or phrases at a time ]
For every suggestion(keyword research), you’ll see:
- Average monthly searches;
- Top of page bid(low range)
- Top of page bid(high range)
Average monthly searches will help you to understand which keywords you can target, competition metric refers here only Adwords competition and not SEO, and top of page bid metric shows you the amount you require to pay for ranking at the top for that keyword.
More about using Google Keyword Planner
You need to signup before you can start using Google Keyword Planner (click here).
10. Google analytics
Google analytics is a free tool by Google that analyse website traffic on your website.
With this, you can track all the sources of traffic on the website and also keep a tab on the sources that drive traffic to your website.
This tool shows data through 4 different tabs:
- Audience tab – This basically tells you about the users, i.e, their age, gender, and interests. It helps you better understand the user.
- Acquisition tab – This tab helps you track the sources from which the traffic is coming, i.e, direct, organic, social, referral, paid search, email, etc.
- Behavior tab – This tab tells you how the users are interacting with the website, i.e, how long users stay on a website, what is their first and last page on the website, etc.
- Conversions tab – It is basically related with how people convert on your website, thus it is important for improving conversion rates. You can set conversion goals in this metric.
More about using Google Analytics
- Signup here for Google Analytics
- You need to do a basic setup before Google starts tracking the traffic
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) around SEO
#1. What is SEO?
SEO/Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving site visibility on the internet by improving the quality and increasing the quantity of traffic for a website or a web page. All the activities related to SEO are done to improve organic traffic on the website and excludes any kind of paid results.
#2. Does my small business actually need SEO tools?
Plain answer is yes. SEO is a vast area, encompassing multiple activities. You need tools to track and monitor stuff and then take data-backed decisions. That’s why your small business needs SEO tools right from day 1.
#3. Does it make sense to go for paid SEO software for a small business?
Rather than the size of your business, this answer depends on the degree of your reliance on search engines. If the majority of your business is generated through Google searches (or that is what your intention is), then do buy SEO tools for in-depth exploration and analysis. If you are just exploring SEO, you should start with free SEO tools and later move to paid versions once you outgrow the existing features.
Keyword research is the starting step (and the most critical one) in your entire SEO journey. If you get your keyword wrong, your entire SEO campaign will fall flat. That’s why all serious SEOs do keyword research and the market is quite big for that.
If you talk about backlinks, they are still important for SEO but not as much as they used to be a couple of years back. Google has changed its algorithm to reward quality content, irrespective of the backlinks to the domain. However, most people are still stuck with the old philosophy and they place backlinks as their topmost priority.
We don’t agree with that thought process.
#5. Is on-page SEO actually relevant?
If you have done your keyword research right, then on-page SEO is what actually matters to capture the 1st position on Google.
On-page SEO is nothing but a fancy word for great user experience – in terms of browsing, readability, quality, clarity and meeting user expectations. That’s what Google rewards you for.
I have a website with a below-average backlink profile, under 15 Moz DA but very high-quality SEO optimized content, and that itself ranks it in the first 3 Google positions.
That’s what on-page SEO does to your web pages.