SEO is not as easy as it used to be 5 years back.
To master the game, you need the best SEO tools by your side.
While tool selection can be a daunting task, we have made it easy for you with our list of top tools.
Obviously, you don’t need all of these tools.
All you need is a better understanding of your need and then shortlist that SEO tool that happens to answer your problem.
Why do you need SEO Tools?
Like any other tool, SEO tools help you increase both your efficiency as well as effectiveness.
That means you can do more and better work in less time.
With the right SEO tool by your side, you not just save hours of effort but also stand to uncover interesting SEO insights and data points which may not be possible otherwise.
Hence, there is no doubt about the fact that you need SEO tools if you want to rank on top of Google results.
When is the right time to use SEO Tools?
Now, this is a great question to ask.
To start with, your use case defines the right SEO tool for your needs.
As you progress in your SEO journey, the nature and complexity of your use cases will change.
That means you then need better and sophisticated tools.
That also means that the tools used by an SEO beginner will substantially differ from that used by an SEO expert.
So don’t worry if you find a mention of a particular tool multiple times by SEO experts.
Just vet the tool against your needs/problems and then only decide whether you need it or not.
Top categories of SEO tools
SEO is a world in itself and there is no one tool that can fulfill all your needs.
If a tool claims to be a jack of all trades, it’s 100% sure that it’s a master of none.
And when it comes to winning the SEO game, you need tools that are masters in their field.
With this thought process in mind, we have shortlisted and categorized the best SEO tools in the industry that can help you with your SEO efforts.
Each tool mentioned below does one thing really well, and that’s why they find a mention in our list.
Best SEO Tools Worth Trying
A. Best technical SEO tools
Technical SEO or on-site SEO refers to the optimization of a website as a whole.
It mainly focuses on improving the indexing and crawling of your website by search engine bots.
Without optimizing for the on-site SEO parameters, both your on-page and off-page SEO efforts will perform below their true potential.
You cannot rule out technical SEO from your overall SEO campaign because if left unattended, it will impact your search rankings in a negative way.
Here’s a list of 7 best technical SEO tools we recommend:-
Google hates slow loading websites, and that’s where Pingdom comes to your rescue.
This tool is essential to identify the components that slow down your webpage so that you can take corrective action. Pingdom allows you to select a test location so that you know the latency of your web page across multiple search countries.
Pingdom also provides other features (like uptime monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction monitoring, root cause analysis, etc.) and you can decide for yourself which other functionalities you need.
Official Website: https://tools.pingdom.com/
This tool is very much like Pingdom, except that it is more detailed and exhaustive even in the free version.
It uses a combination of Google Page Speed Insights and YSlow Insights to churn out scores and speed improvement suggestions which are very practical and easy to follow.
The only shortcoming of GTMetrix is that it tests the website using a Canadian server. I hope they add more test servers for analysis.
Official Website: https://gtmetrix.com/
3. Google PageSpeed Insights
This page speed insights tool is from the stable of Google and should be the most reliable tool when it comes to running performance improvement tests.
Google Speed Insights tool provides a score from 1 to 100 and is an unofficial proxy of how Google bot sees the speed of your web page.
In my opinion, this tool is not too detailed so you should use it along with Pingdom or GTMetrix.
In any case, this is a must-have tool in your arsenal, irrespective of your experience and expertise level.
Official Website: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Cloudflare offers Content Delivery Network (CDN) services that speed up your website.
As part of its free CDN services, it creates a replica of your webpage elements (including heavy assets like images and videos) on its local servers and renders the files from there, thus saving on the transit time.
Not just that, Cloudflare also offers a free SSL, a must-have feature for your website.
Official Website: https://www.cloudflare.com/cdn/
5. 301 Redirect
Redirection is extremely important for your SEO.
There will be times when you unpublish a page or change your URL. You then need to suitably redirect your users (and the Google crawler) to the right page or the next best option.
301 Redirect plugin makes redirection a breeze for WordPress based websites. It reduces your manual labor and offers redirection at a click of a button.
Official Website: https://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/
6. W3 Total Cache
It fastens up your WordPress based websites, thus helping you gain rankings in search results.
Official Website: https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/
7. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog is a desktop tool that you need to download and install to run extensive technical SEO for your website.
In its free version, it crawls 500 URLs at a go and reports some of the most pressing technical issues (including site speed, URL structures, meta information, crawl depth, etc.)
This is a must-have tool if you want to do a static technical audit of your website. For dynamic audit, i.e. comparing with the competitors, we suggest you use OnPage Champ, as discussed below.
Official Website: https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/
B. Best keyword research tools
Keyword research refers to identifying the best keywords related to your niche.
Best keywords include those phrases which have significant search volume and lower competition.
In short, keywords are those search queries where you want your content to be ranked for.
Keywords help you understand the mindset of your target audience and the way they are searching the internet.
To summarize, keywords are and will remain an important part of your SEO strategy.
In fact, it is the first step in your SEO journey. Your content marketing, on-page SEO, outreach, and promotion depends on the initial keyword research that you do.
Here’s a list of the 8 best keyword research tools we recommend:-
8. Google Keyword Planner
This free keyword research tool by Google is part of their PPC platform.
Based on the keyword entered, Google Keyword Planner returns the search volume range of that keyword, along with its PPC difficulty and lower/upper range of the CPC bids.
Slowly, the relevance of this tool us dying because the search volume data is shown as a range (e.g. between 100 to 1k). Now that’s a variation of 10 times and it gets tough to base your decision on such volume data.
Nevertheless, it’s a good starting point to explore keyword ideas and understand the competition, before you execute a PPC campaign.
Official Website: https://ads.google.com/
A great tool for beginners, UberSuggest eases your keyword research process during the early stages of blogging.
As part of the reporting metrics, it shows you the keyword volume and search difficulty score for any keyword + location combination.
While I have found that the search volume data is not 100% accurate, the tool is still good to compare two keywords and deciding your target.
UberSuggest doesn’t provide deep analysis but is an awesome tool for budget marketers.
Official Website: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
Ahrefs is probably the most advanced keyword research, backlink monitoring and rank tracking tool available on the web.
Ahrefs claims itself to be the biggest 3rd party data source of search queries, clicks, and backlinks.
When it comes to backlinks, their database refreshes every 15-20 minutes. In fact, they have one of the most active web crawlers, next only to Google.
If you have the budget for a keyword research tool, Ahrefs should be a part of your consideration.
Official Website: https://ahrefs.com/
Once you outgrow the free keyword research tools (like UberSuggest), you ought to migrate to either Ahrefs or SEMRush.
Between the two, SEMRush is the older player and gives you a hell lot of data around keyword volume, rankings, and backlinks.
You can also run comparative analysis and also see the top pages that drive traffic to a website.
In all, a must-try tool for intermediate to advanced SEO marketers.
12. Moz Pro
Frankly, I haven’t used the paid version of Moz because of its steeper pricing.
Moz Pro is a powerhouse in itself offering multiple features like extensive keyword research, technical SEO insights, on-page recommendations, etc.
SEO experts can’t stop praising Moz for its updated index and the Chrome plugin which lets you do most of your work right on the website itself.
Official Website: https://moz.com/products/pro
I have used SpyFu to spy on my competitors’ PPC ads and understanding their success.
Not only it helps in keyword research but is also helpful to plan your marketing budget.
You get some gold worthy data including your competitors’ ad spends, ad copies, clicks, CPC, etc.
If you are PPC focussed, this is one tool I can’t stop recommending.
Official Website: https://www.spyfu.com/
14. LongTail Pro
LongTail Pro is a highly recommended keyword research tool for niche bloggers.
Not only it helps you discover long-tail keyword ideas for your seed word, but it also helps run competitor analysis and compare results.
LongTail Pro sources data from Google’s Keyword Planner tool and reduces your keyword research time.
Official website: https://longtailpro.com/
15. Keyword tool
The Keyword Tool uses Google Autocomplete to generate related keyword searches for a particular keyword. It will help you to analyze how and what people search for in Google.
It generates up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every keyword entered.
You could find related keywords for different platforms such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, eBay, PlayStore, Instagram and Twitter.
That means you can run keyword research for multiple platforms on this one single platform.
Official website: https://keywordtool.io/
C. Best LSI Keyword tools
LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords are those phrases that are contextually related to the main idea.
LSI keywords have become an important ranking signal for Google as they indicate the presence of natural and in-depth content.
But more than anything else, LSI keywords help Google understand the main idea better and match it to its search results.
E.g. if an article is talking about Honda, Hyundai, Tesla, their prices, their mileage per charge their pricing, etc., there is an increased probability that this article is on the best electric vehicles.
16. LSI Graph
If you are writing content keeping your user in mind, there is a high probability that you would have already included multiple LSI keywords.
Just to be double sure, you can refer LSI Graph and see the top LSI keywords for your focus keyword.
Only if you see an opportunity to mention more LSI keywords naturally in your content, go for it.
Official website: https://lsigraph.com/
17. Twinword ideas LSI graph
This is a unique LSI keyword research tool.
Instead of a boring list, it represents the semantic relationships between keywords, visually.
This tool shows you keyword data such as search volume, organic competition, paid and competition.
However, the best data point is the relevancy score which is an indication of how closely the suggested LSI keywords align with your focus keyword.
Official website: https://www.twinword.com/ideas/graph/
D. Best Website Analytics Tools
These tools help you understand how Google and your users are interacting with your website.
These tools will track, monitor and analyze your website to provide you with hidden opportunities that you may be unaware of.
While there are many analytics tools in marketing, I am mentioning the 2 which are free and which we also use at OnPage Champ.
18. Google Search Console
This is a free tool offered by Google and a must-have for all SEOs, irrespective of their experience and expertise.
Search Console is the go-to tool to understand how your web pages perform in search results, including the number of impressions, average position and CTR for each keyword.
Search Console generally opens surprises for you, highlighting the keywords where you rank even though you haven’t planned for that.
Some other uses cases include:-
- Submit sitemaps
- View internal and external link profile
- Keep a check on manual penalties
- Track broken links and 404 errors
Official website: https://search.google.com/search-console/
19. Google Analytics
Using Google Analytics, you can keep a tab on the traffic that lands on your website, including the traffic from search results.
Google Analytics also allows you to create and monitor funnels, thus understanding the traffic source that converts best on your website.
You can also connect the Google Analytics to Search console data and see a unified data.
Official website: https://www.google.com/analytics/
E. Best Link tracking Tools
“You are known by the company you keep.”
The same holds true for your off-page SEO.
Link building is a process of getting backlinks to your website from other websites, resulting in an inflow of both referral traffic and SEO value.
Quality backlinks not just increase your referral traffic but also build its domain authority.
Also, natural backlinks (that are relevant and contextual) are highly recommended because they indicate the trustworthiness of a website.
Linkody is dedicated to discovering, analyzing and building backlinks for your domain.
You can unveil your competitor’s backlink profile with this tool. That way, it helps you find new opportunities for your backlink strategy.
Linkody also allows you to remove bad backlinks to your website, without leaving the tool. You can connect Linkody with your Google Analytics account to get more backlink opportunities.
It comes with a 30 day free trial period.
Official Website: https://www.linkody.com/
Majestic is the most complete and extensive backlink analyzer and link building tool.
This tool monitors, analyze and showcases the backlink profile across many metrics, reports, and visualizations.
Majestic has one of the largest backlink index dating back to 2011.
It shows you metrics such as Citation flow (number of backlinks) and Trust Flow (quality of backlinks).
It also offers a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. You can use it to keep an eye on your competitors and find finding new backlink opportunities.
Official Website: https://majestic.com/
22. Disavow Tool
Google’s disavow tool helps the website owners disown any inbound link to their website. This functionality comes in very handy in case you observe spammy or low-quality websites linking to you.
Such links can hurt your SEO and the Disavow tool helps you cut them out.
Some of the common categories of bad backlinks are:
- Sites set up for only link building
- Spammy sites
- Links in spam comments
Official Website: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main
F. Best OnPage SEO Tools
On-page SEO refers to the process of optimizing a web page, both from content as well as HTML perspective.
Such optimization ensures that the right signals go to search engine bots, helping them set the right context of your web page.
Onpage SEO is not a one-time activity but needs multiple iterations, and is a must-have for ranking high in SERPs.
And just like technical SEO, you are in full control of your on-page elements. That means on-page SEO is a low hanging fruit and is a must-have before you start with link building or off-page SEO.
23. OnPage Champ
OnPage Champ helps you run competitor research and get the on-page SEO secrets of the top 10 pages on Google.
It helps you understand how these top-ranking pages have structured their content, HTML and technical SEO and identify winning patterns.
You can use these insights to optimize your web pages and build on top of your competitor’s success, in just under 30 seconds.
Using OnPage Champ, you can also track any web URL for on-page SEO changes and relate them it rank fluctuations.
In short, OnPage Champ is your productivity tool for on-page SEO.
Official website: https://onpagechamp.com
Yoast WordPress plugin has more than 5 mn active installations to date.
Yoast is a one-stop solution to run quick sanity checks and see if your page has the basic on-page SEO in place or not.
When used with OnPage Champ’s SERP Audit functionality, Yoast can help you with some heavy lifting across the following functionalities:-
- Setting HTML tags
- On-page SEO sanity check
- Readability analysis
- Managing XML sitemap
- Managing breadcrumbs
- Setting canonical tags
- Setting “no follow, no index” page-attributes, etc.
Official website: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/
Cora is a website application that measures more than 880 on-page SEO factors and provides you with a report of possible opportunities.
It runs a statistical analysis of top Google results to derive co-relations.
Its reports can be exhaustive and highly technical in nature and are meant only for SEO pros.
Official website: https://corasoftwarereview.com/
G. Content Idea Generation Tools
All the activities related to on-page and off-page SEO are done to optimize and promote content.
Content is the focal point around which the majority of your digital marketing and 100% of your SEO revolves.
The tools mentioned below will help you find content ideas around your focus keywords.
Not just that, they will help you understand what exactly the user is searching for and what type of content ranks for those searches.
This research is good enough to help you create the content that both the users and the search engine is expecting.
26. Answer The Public
Once you have identified your focus keyword, use this tool to know the exact questions that people are searching for on Google and Bing.
Results from this tool can be your goldmine in finding the next piece of content.
Answer The Public fetches related search queries data from Google and Bing and categorizes them across how, when, what, where, etc.
That means you can create content which the user is actually looking for.
Official website: https://answerthepublic.com/
Buzzsumo makes it a breeze to identify winning content on the web and social media.
It also gives you the power to draw out content analysis, identify trends that are going popular and run extensive content research.
One of the features helps you identify people who have shared a particular content on their social media feeds.
This feature can considerably reduce your research effort during content outreach.
Official website: https://buzzsumo.com/
I know this list is not exhaustive and you may have a suggestion or two about your favorite SEO tool.
Don’t keep it with yourself.
Share it with the community by leaving a comment below.