o compete with SEO, it's essential to have the best tools at your fingertips enabling you to find new opportunities, save time and keep track of how your SEO can be boosted.
For me, there are six essential types of tools for managing SEO, so I thought it would be helpful to share my favorites in the categories below.
Keyword Analysis Tools
Free – Ubersuggest
A free keyword suggestion tool that uses a variety of different suggest services to create a detailed list of keywords for you.
Freemium – Term Explorer
Claiming to have the biggest data set of any Keyword Research tool, it allows you to expand keyword lists, collate search volumes, and understand your competitiveness data.
Paid – SEMrush
SEMrush, although technically a Freemium tool, offers far more insights and data using the paid version of the software. It allowing you to see the keywords your competitors are ranking for, the landing page for each keyword also the value of the keyword (should you be interested in PPC).
2. Rankings Tools
Knowing where your site currently ranks is also incredibly important. It allows you to track which of your online marketing strategies are working best, letting you to focus similar efforts across your campaigns, maximising ROI and seeing your traffic (hopefully) skyrocket through the roof.
Free tool - Google Search Console
Google’s very own suite of helpful tools to help users monitor the performance of their website. By using the “Search Traffic” tab then the "Search Analytics” tab, it will bring you up a list of keywords you’re currently ranking for. Following from this, sort by ranking position and target the keywords that are on page 2 of the search results, With a bit of a SEO magic, you should see them creep up onto page 1!
Freemium – SEMrush
As a freemium model SEMrush allows you limited access to the data, however fiddling with the filters will allow you to uncover a little more data. In short, it allows you to track any domain or Keywords from any geographical location, discovering local competitions and lets you target different devices too.
Paid – Authority Labs
Authority Labs is a rather handy tool, thanks to it’s ability to track and graph the keywords for your site. Performing daily check of the keywords you’ve highlighted, then turning the findings into a weekly report.
3. Content effectiveness tools
Free – Outdated Content Finder
The chaps over at Greenlane Search Marketing created a particularly useful tool if you’re struggling for content Ideas. Put in the search term you want to rank for, or just the general topic of content you want to write about. Put in the date parameters (I tend to look back about 3+ years) and have a read of some old content. See if you can jazz it up a bit and bring it into modern times, then get in touch with the webmaster and see if they’d be interested in posting the newer version.
Freemium – Yoast WordPress Plugin
This is an awesome wordpress plugin to ensure the content going on your site is “SEO Friendly”. It works on a bit of a traffic light signal basis, and basically keeps your content in check.
Paid – Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo is quite simply a very good tool. It has an incredibly easy to use interface and allows you to quickly identify what content is working well around a particular topic aswell as highlighting the major influencers.
4. Link Building Tools
Free - LinkMiner Plugin.
Link Miner is the perfect tool for the Broken Link Building tactic. It’s fast and very easy to use and understand. If you want to find a little more about broken link building check out the Broken Link Building Bible.
Freemium – Moz SEO Toolbar & Majestic Backlink Analyzer Extensions
An absolutely essential tool for checking whether a site is up to scratch. Both do a very similar job, showing instant vital SEO information about the site you’re currently on. I use both in conjunction with each other as find you get a better overall feel for the site using both as they look at slightly different indicators.
Paid - Buzzstream
Buzzstream is a tool which has many feathers in it’s cap. It’s superb for outreach management, generating/scraping prospects and finding hidden details, such as contact details. For all it is a fantastic tool, make sure you structure your account well, or you will end up despising it.
5. Link Removal Tools
Free – Disavow Tool
When Googles Disavow Tools was finally introduced, it was a long time coming. It basically highlights the sites to Google that you don’t want Linking to your site. Simple as that.
If you want to read a little more about this we did a post about the Disavow Tool
Paid – CognitiveSEO
Cognitive is a monster of a tool, it helps with rankings, competitor research, backlink analysis, content auditing and most predominantly Unnatural Link Detection and Link Removal. It really is a fantastic tool, which has a preview screen so you can check the sites, before deciding whether to add to a disavow file or leave them as a link. CognitiveSEO then creates a disavow file for you, which you can upload immediately to Google. Job done!
6. Technical SEO tools
Free - WooRank Plugin
I'm kind of cheating a little bit with this one, as technically it's a freemium product. However, I've found it offers enough information to be useful as it's free incarnation. It scrapes your site and tell you of any inefficiencies, even offering checklists to complete. A great tool to get an overview of your site and competitors.
Freemium – Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is superb at scraping a site, much like a search engine would. It runs it's rule over all links and pages of the website offering data on Status Codes, Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Robots Meta Data and put it all into a filterable spreadsheet.
Paid - DeepCrawl
Deepcrawl offers a similar service to Screamingfrog, however is a lot easier to use if you're new to Technical SEO. Instead of the spreadsheet you get from Screamingfrog, you get it in simple visual information in the form of graphs and charts. Another feather in it's cap is it's ability to Identify content, highlighting any missing titles, duplicate pages, the length of the content and much much more. This post could go on for a while due to the inordinate amount of features it has. So here's a little further reading for you.