Best SEO Tools and Resources for Optimal Performance – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may not be the most explosive marketing channel, but there’s no denying its importance. Organic search is central to any brand. It drives sales and visibility. Unfortunately, the changing nature of Google and their constant updates means you need to stay on top of your SEO, like any marketing channel, effort pays dividends. The more you invest and the more aware you are of what’s happening in the organic search landscape the more likely you are to outrank your competitors and find success in the SERPs.
Fortunately for those investing in SEO there are a ton of tools and resources out there to help brands stay on top of the channel. From keyword finders that help you determine what content to write, to tools that help you track data, there are tools for all aspects of SEO. Of, course, the tools won’t automate SEO or do it for you, but they’ll get you started and make sure you’re in the best position to be position #1.
“It’s important to know what’s on your site. If you have 404s your customers are going to get frustrated and drop off. Screaming Frog will crawl your site and help you make sense of what you have. You’ll get a report of all the pages on your site and see if links are broken, as well as a list of pages that may be missing important information like title tags, H1s, and meta descriptions. This is also a great tool to crawl your competitors’ sites to see what they’re doing.” – Brandon Amoroso, Founder and CEO of electrIQ marketing
“Ahrefs is a great tool for getting an understanding of the keyword landscape. You can see how many monthly searches there are for a time and how hard it is to rank for it. Ahrefs will also show you the number of backlinks going to your site. Most importantly, you can run an audit of your site and the tool will flag any issues that arise. This is a great tool for a smaller marketing team looking for an all in one SEO tool. It’s easy to use and has a lot of capabilities. It’s an all in one SEO tool.” – Adelle Archer, CEO and Co-Founder of Eterneva
“SEO Minion is an easy to use plugin that will help you get a quick view of what’s happening on the page. It can help highlight all the links on a page, check for broken links and give you a lot at the onpage elements like H1s, title tags, canonicals, and so on. It’s a lot easier than looking at the source code of a website and trying to figure out what’s going on. Having a tool that gives a quick view of what’s happening on the SERPs and the site itself is invaluable. ” – Michel Mosse, Co-Founder and Head of Revenue of Hoist
“SEMRush is a great keyword tool. It’s been around for a long time and has great data. It’s perfect for checking out what your competitors are ranking for. It also has a great feature where you can do a content gap analysis, comparing your site against your competitors. After that you can create new content or focus on content you have that isn’t ranking well. SEMRush also offers position tracking, so you can see your rankings over time and see how successful your SEO efforts are. SEMRush also checks your content, comparing it against what’s currently ranking and making suggestions on keywords you should add.” – Shaun Price, Head of Customer Acquisition at MitoQ
Google Analytics and Search Console
“Google’s suite of tools is essential to our SEO efforts. Without Google Analytics we wouldn’t know where our customers are coming from and how they’re interacting with the site. Google Analytics lets us see which pages are doing well. This is great because we can determine what our customers want. We can also see where our users are coming from. With GA we can also track revenue and see which pages are making money. It’s key to understanding the value of SEO. Google’s Search Console also shows us which queries are driving users to our site. Again, we can see how users are finding us and what they want. GSC also gives us a view into what positions our keywords are ranking. ” – Sumeer Kaur, CEO of Lashkaraa
“Hotjar is a heat map tracking tool. With this installed we see how users are interacting with each page. We can see where they get lost on the site. Maybe they’re scrolling past our CTAs and not clicking on them. We can also see which elements of the sites are working and where users are spending their time. We can see those hiccups with Hotjar and correct them accordingly. ” – Daniel Sathyanesan, CEO and Founder of Winden
“With Optimizely we’re able to constantly run tests on our site. SEO can drive users but if they’re not sticking around or converting those users aren’t worth much. We test if buttons are converting, if copy is converting, if colors are converting. We test it all so users have the best experience on our site.” – Chris Bridges, CEO of VITAL Card
“Moz is one of the stalwarts of the SEO industry. They’re a great resource, staying up to date on industry trends and writing thoughtful, well researched articles. Additionally they make some great tools to help you with local SEO and track your DA. Their Beginners Guide to SEO is updated constantly and a great read for anybody curious about the ever changing landscape of SEO.” – Adam Shlomi, Founder of SoFlo Tutors
“Following some of the SEO industry leaders on Linkedin is a great way to stay on top of the trends. If Google releases an algorithm update they’re the first to mention it and ask if anybody has been impacted. You might also pick up some tips and tricks from people who are actively involved in the SEO industry and are living and breathing the algorithm. ” – Sarah Pirrie, Brand Director of Healist Naturals
“Local SEO is hugely important for brands with brick and mortar locations or lots of locations around the country. Bright Local helps build local citations to increase Name Address Phone (NAP) visibility across the web. This could be helping set up your Google Business Profile, Yelp pages and a number of other aggregators.” – Chris Vaughn, CEO of Emjay
“I like that not only does it show me information on the keyword that I was searching for, but pulls in good suggestions for related terms, and how they compare (volume, CPC, difficulty, etc.) to the term I originally looked at. I’ve been able to help my clients target not only those big, pie in the sky vanity terms, but to better target those terms that are lower in the funnel and more likely to convert, allowing me to target them through focused content that answers the questions they’re actually asking.” – George Perry, an SEM Specialist at Bandwidth
“I have used SEMrush and Agency Analytics in the past, but SpyFu has the one-up on my client’s competitors. All of SpyFu’s features are great, but my absolute favorite is the SEO Research feature. You’re able to plug in a competitor’s domain and pull up information on their own SEO strategy. You can see what keywords they pay for vs. their organic standings, review their core keywords, and even assess their keyword groups. Using SpyFu has been integral to my client’s SEO successes. There’s so much more to track and report on, plus I don’t have to put in as much effort in research as I did with other SEO software. SpyFu pulls the information I need and organizes reports in a way that is presentable and understandable to my clients. I’ve already seen increases in indexing and rank for keywords that we didn’t even think of.” – Adele Stewart, Senior Project Manager at Sparq Designs,
There are a ton of different tools out there to help monitor and grow SEO. Some of them may be similar, but they all have unique offerings. If you only have the budget for one or two tools, determine what stage your site is at and what’s going to make the most impact. Some tools will be more of an all in one tool than others. But all will help get you closer to the top spot.
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