The Best SEO Tools of All-Time:
21 Amazing Performing Search Engine Optimization Tools to Rank Higher and Increase Your Traffic.
Searching for the best SEO tools for your business?
Here’s a little secret: Data-driven decision making is at the heart of any successful SEO strategy.
And to make those data-driven decisions, you’ll need the right stack of SEO tools. Great SEO tools offer valuable insights into what makes your website tick. The right tools help you see opportunities, explain anomalies, and measure your success in ranking higher on Google.
Say you notice a sudden decline in page views for one of your top product pages. That’s a big problem! And the best SEO tools help you diagnose the problem and react more quickly.
A tool like Google Analytics, for example, alerts you to the traffic drop and helps you understand which pages are affected. Google Search Console helps you identify any technical issues that might be causing the drop. A backlink analysis tool like MOZ Link Explorer will reveal if lost links to the page are causing the decline. And a tool like SpyFu can help you determine if a competitor has suddenly leap-frogged you in search rankings.
In short, if you want to be success in SEO, you need to be using the best SEO tools. Which tools should you be using?
The Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO
Keywords are the lifeblood of any SEO strategy. Each page on your website should be targeting the right keywords to rank at the top of the search results. Research tools help you identify opportunities for each page, e.g. the most popular, the least competitive or any related keywords you should be targeting.
The best keyword research tools are on the following list:
#1: Google Keyword Planner – Cost: FREE
Google Keyword Planner is a simple-to-use SEO tool that provides deep insight into the keywords that people use in Google search. It’s a perfect tool for business owners and digital marketers looking for the keywords to target on their websites.
Let’s say you are a dentist looking for local keywords you should target on your homepage and blogs. With Keyword Planner, you can find the most searched terms and see how difficult they are to rank for.
Here’s an example of a search for keywords related to SEO tools in Keyword Planner:
You can see that “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) has the highest volume, and all the words are moderately difficult to rank for.
Use Keyword Planner for: Introductory keyword research. You can get suggestions for individual pages on your site, or type in keyword ideas and Google will generate a broad list. Google’s Keyword planner is one of our favorites, and the best, SEO tools that you could ever start with during your research of keywords - both short-tail and long-tail.
Pro SEO Tip: Sort your keywords by “Avg. Monthly Searches” and “Competition” to get the most useful words. You should target high-volume words that are low-to-medium in competition.
#2: Ubersuggest - Cost: FREE
Long-tail keywords are low-volume, very specific terms. And Ubersuggest is the perfect tool for finding long-tail words. This is an ideal tool for content marketers. You can use Ubersuggest to find long-tail terms and clusters of terms that are ideal for creating content.
Here’s how it works: Ubersuggest takes a search term, for example let’s say you were looking at like “SEO Tools.”
First, you would type it into the search bar:
Second, Ubersuggest provides long-tail related keywords:
The tool also provides a graph of monthly volumes (helpful for determining seasonality of a term):
This data above is a great secondary keyword research tool. You can take your list of terms of Keyword Planner and expand on them. In the process, you’ll identity new opportunities and keywords you might have missed, as well as great longer words to target with highly specific content.
Use Ubersuggest for: Expanding your list of keywords and fine-tuning your keyword strategy.
Pro SEO Tip: Pay close attention to each keyword’s SEO difficulty score. Ubersuggest provides more detailed information, so you can refine your Keyword Planner data and find the easiest words to rank for.
#3: Keyword.io - Cost: FREE
Keyword.io is another perfect tool for identifying long-tail keywords. The tool use Google autosuggest to generate words that you see at the bottom of the search results page.
To use this SEO tool, you just place a Seed keyword in the search bar:
Use Keyword.io for: Finding high-value long-tail keywords. This is the perfect tool for identifying longer, more detailed words that will help you build pages around user search intent.
Pro SEO Tip: This tool is great for finding keywords to target in blog content. Pay close attention to any keywords that are questions. You can combine these questions into long-form content that will be highly useful for your audience.
#4: KeywordsEverywhere.com - Cost: FREE
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that allows you to check search volume and competition for keywords. It’s ideal for marketers that want more detailed information for the keywords they’ve found in Keyword Planner.
First, to use “Keywords Everywhere,” you have to install on Chrome or Firefox:
In your searches on Google, Keywords Everywhere integrates search volumes and keyword suggestions:
BONUS: this keyword research tool has a bulk analysis feature for companies (and SEO agencies) who want to do more in-depth research with a higher quantity of keywords.
You can important 250 keywords into the tool and get more precise search volumes, competition and CPC data, and then export that data.
Use Keywords Everywhere for: Supplementary keyword research. Google only provides monthly averages; Keywords Everywhere can give you more precise volume data. Plus, the integrated data in search can be super helpful.
Pro SEO Tip: If you want more granular information about your Keyword Planner data, copy and paste keywords into the Keywords Everywhere tool. You’ll get more accurate search volumes and competition data.
The Best SEO Rank Tracking Tools
Are your SEO marketing efforts working every month? Simply: are you seeing better and higher organic rankings for your business?
A rank tracking tool answers that pretty quick. Essentially, these tools monitor your website’s position in search results, helping you see if you’re moving up or down.
Here are the best rank tracking tools for your SEO are on this list:
#1: Serpfox – Cost: Starting at $9.99/month
Serpfox is one of the most popular rank tracking tools. It allows you to follow your rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines. Essentially, you add in your keyword list, and the tool follows your daily movements within Google.
This is perfect for website owners and marketers that want to track their process.
To use the tool, you just have to sign up with an email:
And you can see daily tracking and updates for your website’s rank for particular keywords:
Use Serpfox for: Tracking your rankings for your most important keywords. Serpfox has plans for up 40,000 keywords. The 500-keyword plan (starting at $35 a month) is perfect for small businesses.
Pro SEO Tip: Serpfox makes local tracking easy. You can update your location, and track the ranking for a particular city.
#2: ProRankTracker – Cost: Starting from $19/month
A highly useful tool for tracking your SEO results and keyword rankings, ProRankTracker provides deep insights into where you rank and has a more robust feature set compared to Serpfox.
The tool is compatible with dozens of search engines, including Google, Amazon, YouTube and Bing. So if you want to track your video marketing efforts, or your rankings on Amazon, this is the tool for you. Plus, it provides granular data about your ranking in the Local Pack listings (top 3 results), as well as Local Finder listings (on-map listings in Google).
To use the tool, you have to create an account on the homepage:
You can also access the tool via a mobile app, which is super useful when you’re away from the office.
Use ProRankTracker for: Tracking local results. This tool gives a broad picture of your rankings, but it’s also highly useful for small businesses that target specific communities.
Pro SEO Tip: ProRankTracker is the perfect tool for tracking local SEO. If you target users in a particular city or region, turn on the Local Pack and Local Finder rankings to see how you do locally.
#3: Moz Pro Rank Tracker – Cost: Starting at $99/month
Moz Pro is actually an SEO platform; you subscribe and get access to a handful of useful SEO tools, including auditing, keyword research, and backlink analysis tools. The Rank Tracker, though, is one of the best tools in the suite, due to its competitor analysis tool.
Let’s say you want to see which competitors rank for the keywords you plan to target.
With Moz’s rank tracking tool, you can see how competitors rank in terms of SERP, fairly easily.
For one, it’s a robust competitor analysis tool. You can quickly identify which businesses rank for specific terms. Plus, the tool allows you to track rankings down to the neighborhood level.
Here’s a look at how results look in the MOZ keyword tracking tool:
Use Moz Rank Tracker for: Analyzing your competitors’ rankings. Find out where your competitors rank, identify areas where they’re missing out, and track your daily positions with this search engine optimization tool.
Pro SEO Tip: Make sure you have both desktop and mobile search rankings turned on. Lots of businesses neglect mobile rankings; this tool makes it easy to always stay on top of them.
The Best SEO Tools for Analytics & Performance
Analytics tools provides insights into who’s interacting with your site, where they’re coming from, and how your content/pages are performing. If you aren’t using analytics, you traffic is trapped in a black box; analytics tools give you a way to access and leverage this data.
The best SEO analytics tools that measure user engagement and performance are the following:
#1: Google Analytics – Cost: FREE
Google Analytics is super user friendly, and it’s full of rich insights. If there’s one SEO tool you should be using, it’s Google Analytics. With Analytics, you can discover who your visitors are, where they go on your website, and a whole lot more.
This is the perfect search engine tool for business owners, digital marketers, and brand managers that want to keep track on the traffic their websites are receiving.
There are tons of useful features. For starters, you can dive into your traffic sources, e.g. how people are finding you, the top-performing pages/content on your site, as well as which pages people draw the most first-time visitors.
Use Google Analytics for: Diving deep into your traffic. With Google Analytics, you can explore what’s working, what’s not, and use this data to optimize on the fly. You’ll find tons of invaluable data here.
Pro SEO Tip: There are tons of metrics to track, but a two of the most important to watch are page views (to see your growth over time) and bounce rate (the number of people that land on a single page and then leave). Use Google Analytics’ bounce rate to find pages that could be improved.
#2: Google Search Console – Cost: FREE
Google Search Console is a versatile SEO tool. You can use it to enhance performance and measure performance, example: if you’re having crawling errors on your site, the Google Search Console will show you how you can fix the issue, technically, so that your site will perform better.
You can use it to track your performance in on Google’s search results page, as well as to check backlinks to your site.
You can also use Google’s Search Console to check for broken links on your website.
What else can Google Search Console help you with:
Determine how your URL appears in search engine results (SERP).
Verify that the proper sitemap is uploaded so that Google can index your site.
Determine if your site is mobile-compliant and renders via mobile.
In general, the Google Search Console is one of the best on the market, and it’s a free resource!
For analytics help, though, you’ll want to focus on performance. This reports on the search terms people use to find your website, how often people click your pages when they appear and search, and
Use Google’s Search Console for: Tracking technical performance and measuring engagement. And for a quick technical SEO audit, the Google Search Console is also helpful.
Pro SEO Tip: Use Search Console to identify popular pages, and determine how they perform for particular search terms. You can see if people are clicking when your pages appear in search. If they don’t, you can optimize them to entice more people to click through.
#3: Bing Webmaster Tools – Cost: FREE
Bing Webmaster Tools is Bing’s version of Search Console. This tool allows you to track technical performance and identify errors, as well as measure your performance within Bing search results.
You just have to create an account on the Bing’s homepage:
Here are some instructions for installing it on your site. You’ll find tons of useful data and features. Start by exploring the terms people use to find your website, as well as examining the engagement on your top pages.
Use Bing Webmaster Tools for: Exploring your performance on Bing. You’ll find lots of highly valuable information, search analytics and more.
Pro SEO Tip: Take a look at the Bing trends report for a quick view of your keyword performance over time. We prefer the Google Search Console versus Microsoft’s Bing, but if you are a Bing user, go for it!
#4: Sprout Social – Cost: Starting from $99/month
Social media is a vital marketing tool for so many businesses. And although most social platforms have built-in SEO analytics tools, trying to analyze performance across every platform is a challenge. Sprout Social can help you with measuring your keyword performance, analytics, and metrics for your business.
Sprout Social is a social media engagement tool. You can use it to track and measure your audiences, for engagement tracking (which posts are performing best on social media), for social listening (exploring what people say about your brand), and for social analytics.
Use Sprout Social for: A deep dive into your business’ social media performance. You can build tracking for nearly every major social network, track the performance of your competitors’ pages, and examine engagement on every social post.
Whereas Google Search Console and Microsoft’s Bing Search Console are raw analytics on how your site is technically performing, SproutSocial is more for measuring your social media performance. So frankly, there’s room for all three in your quest for top search engine rankings.
Pro SEO Tip: You can produce tons of great reports. But the Twitter trends tool will give you insights on what content topics are getting the most engagement on the platform.
The Best Backlink Analysis Tools
Without organic backlinks, your website will struggle to rank. Backlinks are one of the top SEO ranking factors, after all. The problem is that most businesses don’t know how to analyze backlinks properly and find backlink opportunities. These backlink analysis tools can help. They’ll help you see which sites link to yours, if there are broken links pointing to your site, and find great link-building opportunities.
The best backlink checker tools are on the following list:
#1: Ahrefs – Cost: Starting at $99/month
Ahrefs is a robust SEO tool suite. It’s the complete, all-in-one package; there are seven SEO tools in the suite. The platform’s backlink tool is just a small part, but it’s one of the best in the industry.
To use the Ahrefs tool, you have to first create an account:
Using the Ahrefs backlinker tool, you can explore top referring domains, identify new links, as well as lost and broken links pointing to your site, and get an overview of the type of content that’s pointing traffic your way. If you want a well-rounded backlink profile, that’s something Ahrefs provides.
Use Ahrefs for: Exploring your site’s backlink profile and monitoring the links into your site. The Ahrefs is one of the best on the Web, and a very useful tool for analyzing and determining how many backlinks your website has, and how you can obtain more backlinks.
Pro SEO Tip: Take a look at the broken backlinks report for Ahrefs. Within the SEO platform, you can reach out to website owners with broken links for an easy backlink boost.
#2: Moz Link Explorer – Cost: 10 Free Tests Per Month
Moz produces some really high-quality SEO tools, but its Link Explorer is a favorite. Moz is the perfect tool for examining your competitors’ link profiles.
You can explore which websites link to theirs, the anchor texts of every link, and compare the link profiles of two or more websites.
Moz is a highly useful SEO tool for understanding how websites are earning backlinks and where they’re earning backlinks from. You can also track and monitor your own profile, as well.
Use Link Explorer for: Exploring the link profiles of competitors and identifying link-building strategies. This is also great for monitoring your sites’ backlinks.
Pro SEO Tip: Use Moz’s Link Explorer to track your link prospects. You can create a list of website you want to link to a particular page, and then track to see if they have yet linked to it.
#3: Citation Labs Link Prospector – Cost: Starting at $5/month
Looking for backlink opportunities? You need a tool like Citation Labs’ Link Prospector. This SEO tool is highly useful for developing outreach campaigns with bloggers, identifying guest posting opportunities, and finding link building opportunities.
Use Link Prospector for: Finding quality link-building opportunities and determining pages that will link to yours. There are tons of features, and you can find a wide array of link sources.
Pro SEO Tip: Link Prospector is a great tool for finding guest posting opportunities. Target your prospecting by guest post opportunities on blog, websites, and forum. Link Prospector will help you gain new backlinks, and thus improve your SERP rankings.
The Best SEO Website Audit Tools
Want a quick snapshot of how you’re doing on SEO? An SEO checker tool provides an easy solution. Essentially, these tools crawl your site (or an individual page) and cue you in on areas that need improvement for better SEO.
The best SEO tools to audit your website are the following list:
#1: Moz On-Page Grader – Cost: Starting at $99/month
Get an instant SEO report for any page on your website with Moz’s on-page grader tool. Moz has the best on-page grader to help you with your website audit and optimizations - for businesses of all sizes.
It’s simple: With Moz’s on-page grader, you add the URL for the page you want checked, as well as a target keyword, and the tool puts together a fast 30+ point SEO review.
You can quickly identify low-hanging fruit SEO strategies, like optimizing meta descriptions and page titles, as well as more advanced technical issues. If you want to quickly see if you’re doing OK, this is a tool you should be using.
Use On-Page Grader for: Testing the SEO quality of an individual page on your site. The tool checks a bunch of areas on the page for optimization and provides strategies you can do to better optimize your page.
Pro SEO Tip: Moz’s On-Page Grader is a great tool for keyword optimization. It will give you a count of the number of times you use a keyword on page, as well as areas where you might need a keyword like the title tag, meta description, or the body copy.
#2: Screaming Frog SEO Spider – Cost: FREE (with Premium Options)
Download the Screaming Frog SEO crawler for a deep dive into your site’s performance. The app crawls your site, and can help you identify duplicate content, broken links, and page titles/meta descriptions performance. It’s a handy tool for quickly diagnosing issues, as well as identifying optimization strategies.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is the perfect tool for conducting a content audit on your website pages.
Use Screaming Frog for: Identifying SEO problems and opportunities across your entire website. The Screaming Frog “free version” allows users to scan up to 500 URLs, with unlimited plans available.
Pro SEO Tip: The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is great for crawling your entire site. But the link crawling is perfect. Crawl your site, and then export a list of all the internal links on your site. Use this to make your pages more clickable, which will help keep people on the page.
#3: WooRank – Cost: Starting at $59.99/month
If you’re looking for a little more depth in a fast SEO analysis, you’ll find it with WooRank. The company provides quick SEO reviews in dozens of categories for individual pages. You can quickly determine SEO errors on your site, or individual pages, as well as areas where you’re hitting it out of the park.
In addition to the SEO checker, the site does offer a smaller suite of tools, including a rank tracker, SEO monitor, a keyword tool, and a site crawler (similar to Screaming Frog).
Use WooRank for: A deeper dive into SEO on your website. A simple scan can return dozens of points that need to improved, and along with other tools in the suite, you can go even further.
Pro SEO Tip: WooRank provides really insightful off-page SEO statistics. Take a look at these for opportunities for off-page SEO improvements.
The Best Competitor Analysis SEO Tools
It’s helpful to measure your website’s performance versus your competitors. For one, you can see what they’re ranking for. And it can help you design your own SEO strategy. By understanding what your competitors are ranking for, you can directly compete with them, or identify gaps in their SEO strategies where you can elbow your way in.
The best competitor keyword analysis SEO tools are on the following list:
#1: SpyFu – Starting at $33/month
SpyFu is one of the best and most affordable competitor keyword analysis tools for tracking your competitors’ keywords and PPC campaigns. Using SpyFu, you can see what keywords your competitors rank for, you can see what searches they’re buying ads on, and then use that information to inform you own keyword strategy.
SpyFu will help anyone who wants to do some keyword research, analyzing the top keywords of their competitors.
Use SpyFu for: Finding your competitors’ most valuable keywords and identifying opportunities where they aren’t ranking well. SpyFu is a great SEO tool to use alongside your keyword research tools.
Pro SEO Tip: Use SpyFu to find explore your competitor’s profitable keywords, the ones they’re spending the most on in PPC.
#2: SEMRush – Cost: Starting at $99.95/month
SEMRush is a powerful SEO toolkit. But it stands out in terms of its competitor research capabilities. The suite enables you to explore traffic estimates for your competitors, determine where they rank and for which keywords, and compare multiple URLs.
SEMRush is a great SEO tool for content marketers or anyone looking to optimize their webpage, and especially for companies who want to track their competitor keywords and PPC Campaigns.
Use SEMRush for: Exploring and comparing the keyword, backlink and traffic profiles of your competitors. You’ll be able to find their strengths, as well as areas you can outperform them right now.
Pro SEO Tip: Use the Keyword Gap function to find keyword opportunities. You can add three competitors, and SEMRush will determine keywords that your competitors aren’t targeting well. You can use these words to jumpstart your content marketing efforts.
The Best Technical SEO Tools
A website that is technically sound is an absolute must for ranking No. 1. If your pages load slowly, if your site isn’t secure, and if the user experience is bad, you’ll have trouble earning those Page 1 spots. Fortunately, these tools can help you diagnose technical issues quickly.
The best technical SEO tools are on the following list:
#1: Page Speed Insights – Cost: FREE
How quickly do your website’s pages load? Google’s Page Speed Insights tool can answer question in a flash. The tool quickly analyzes your site, and provides a score for both your desktop and mobile site. Along with the score, Page Speed Insights provides a list of strategies you can use to fix these problems and speed things up.
Google’s Page Speed Insights is a great tool for website developers who want to quick picture of how their sites are performing.
Use Page Speed Insights for: A quick analysis of your site’s page loading speeds, as well as ideas for strategies to improve performance.
Pro SEO Tip: Remember, this is just a general look at your site; all of the suggestions might not make huge differences in load speed. Pay particular attention into its minify/consolidation feedback.
#2: Google Search Console – Cost: FREE
Not only does Search Console provide insights into engagement, it’s also a robust technical SEO tool. Using Search Console, you can quickly identify problems within Google Search, e.g. crawling or indexing errors, as well as broken links, mobile errors and more.
To install Google’s Search Console, you can follow these handy instructions from Google.
For example, you can use Search Console’s Fetch Like Google tool to see how Googlebot renders your website. And you can also test your robots.txt file, upload a sitemap and to get notified when Search Console detects issues with your website.
Use Google’s Search Console for: Conducting a technical SEO audit of your website.
Pro SEO Tip: Set up notifications to emails any time Search Console detects an issue with your site. Also, keep close tabs on the Mobile Usability report, which will help you stay ahead of any issues with your mobile site.
Choosing the Best SEO Software Resources:
Most Important Considerations for Your Business Website.
Now, you’ve got a pretty good idea of some of the best SEO tools available.
But how should you go about choosing a “stack,” or all the tools you will use to measure results and optimize on the fly?
There are a few considerations that website owners need to make. Answering these questions will help you choose the best SEO tools that will help you be success.
Free SEO Tools vs. Paid Tools?
Free SEO tools are awesome! Why pay for something when you can get it for free, right? And the truth is there are tons of useful, no-cost SEO tools available to you.
The best free SEO tools include Google’s entire suite: Search Console, Analytics and Page Speed Insights. These are professional-quality platforms that provide deep insights into your website and its users. Additionally, free SEO tools like Ubersuggest and Keyword.io are also great choices, and there are also free rank tracking tools.
But remember: Free tools do have their limitations. Some don’t allow the same level of customization as you’d get from a premium version, and if you’ll be producing reports for clients, some tools don’t allow you to produce your own branded reports.
The paid SEO tools, on the other hand, often offer deeper insights, especially in the areas of backlink and competitor research.
Platforms vs. Single-Use SEO Tools
All-in-one SEO platforms are more useful for businesses (and individuals) because:
You pay a single fee for the use of numerous tools.
You only have to master a single tool.
You’ll have a suite of tools to put to use.
The only problem is that most platforms don’t provide pay-for-what-you-use pricing models. So, if you’re really interested in a platform’s backlink analysis tool, but not necessarily the auditing and rank tracking features, you’ll still pay for the entire suite.
Yet, platforms offer also additional benefits. Many of them provide demos and on-call support, and may provide customization or integration help. Not to mention all of your data will be in the same location, which makes analysis more efficient.
Sized for Your Business
Most platforms and tools provide introductory pricing plans for small businesses. You’ll pay for a single user account, which you can share access with across your team. But if you’ll need more than one account, most SEO tools offer enterprise plans, allowing you to add capacity, add users and add multiple licenses.
The key: The more licenses you need, the more expensive the SEO tool becomes to use. Keep that in mind as you shop. Determine who will need access to the tool, if a single account will suffice, and understand how a platform can be shared across your entire marketing department.
Similarly, you don’t want to overbuy and splurge on a platform that’s a little too robust for what you intend to do. Try to find something that matches your budget, your experience level, and that has all the necessary features you will need.
Does SEO Tool Integrate Integrate with Your Existing Process or Software?
Say you’re using Google Analytics to measure your traffic. And you’re getting tons of insightful data. Now, you want to plug that rich data into your new SEO tool, and… well, it’s not compatible.
The best SEO tools can integrate data from a variety of sources, organize that data, and fit into your existing SEO stack. As you shop for tools, be sure you’re thinking about integration and how a product can mesh with your data, tools, and marketing goals.
Now You’re Ready to Use These Great SEO Tools to Crush the Competition
SEO can be a challenge to learn, but when used correctly, it can supercharge your marketing efforts and bring you in tons and tons of high-value leads.
The key: You’ve got to find the right tools. You wouldn’t start a home remodeling project without the right tools, and the same could be said about SEO. The best SEO tools can help you make better decisions, faster.
At Vail Networks, we help businesses with SEO - search engine optimization, so be sure to learn how we can help yours too.
Two Last Things to Note…
We highly encourage you to continue your exploration and quest to best understand SEO and how websites can be optimized with the right tools and software. Continue learning about search engine optimization with a read of “The Official Guide to YouTube SEO” and be sure to share your knowledge about SEO with others!
If you want to learn how you can beat your competition and work with best-rated SEO services for business, contact Vail Networks today. We look forward to helping your company find and use the best SEO tools available so that you can rank #1 on every search engine.