There are hundreds of fantastic SEO tools out there, from highly expensive to completely free options, and each comes with a whole host of benefits. The question on many marketers’ lips is, “which tools are actually going to improve my SEO and make me more effective and efficient?”
We’ve rounded up the seven tools that we think would benefit any digital marketer’s SEO campaign.
Whether it’s Screaming Frog or one of the many other options on the market, every SEO needs access to a website crawler. Regular website health checks are essential, and Screaming Frog saves you hours when auditing your site. It can check for indexing issues, broken links and missing metadata like the best of them, but it’s the extra features that make this tool stand out from the crowd. Plugging into other SEO tools to feature additional metrics in site crawls, robots.txt testing, internal linking reviews and discovering orphaned pages are just a few of the incredible features that can boost an SEO campaign.
Price: £149 per year*
*Also available as a free tool, but the extra features are more than worth paying for.
Domain analysis, position tracking, keyword rankings, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, site comparisons, and paid search reviews - SEMrush is pretty comprehensive. It can just as easily show your site’s best keywords as give you an overview of your website’s SEO health. We think that this is vital to an SEO campaign; if you’re doing SEO without SEMrush, you’re doing SEO blind. Its only slight downfall is its keyword research tool - it’s not bad, there’s just better out there.
Price: From £78 per month
Your website isn’t doing much for you if it’s down, and that’s where Uptime Robot steps in. It monitors your site every five minutes and alerts you if it goes down. This service can be invaluable - not only for the live updates but for the monthly reviews of your website's downtime.
Price: £38 per month*
*A free version of this software is available
An essential tool for backlinking strategists, Ahrefs lets you review backlink profiles in minutes, providing visual analysis of the types of domains that are linking to a website and the anchor text being used. From this data, you can figure out the types of links and anchor texts required to strategically grow your backlink profile and increase your website's authority. It can also be used to monitor referring domains that have dropped off so you can approach the site and ask if they’d be happy to reinstate the link.
Price: £77 per month
Marketing relies on metrics. There’s no way of knowing whether your campaign is successful without them. It’s vital that you monitor KPIs - traffic and conversions tend to be the main two, but there are many others that are incredibly important in determining the health of your site, and Majestic provides a couple of them. Your websites’ trust flow and citation flow are valuable insights into how Google might regard your site. If you’re running an outreaching strategy, the topical trust flow provided by Majestic is vital to ensure that backlink opportunities are relevant.
Price: £79.99 per month*
* A cheaper option is available at £39.99 per month, but you get access to far fewer features
Content is vital to SEO success, that’s a certainty. What’s less certain is Google’s relationship with duplicate content (content that is the same or almost the same on separate websites.) We know that there’s no such thing as a duplicate content penalty, and we know that Google recognises that there are certain instances where it’s acceptable, however, we also know that it is much more difficult, almost impossible, to rank pages that contain duplicate content. And even more so if that content is copied from another website entirely. That’s where Copyscape steps in. Input your content, and it will scan the web for every site that contains the same or similar content, so you know which pages you need to rewrite.
Price: £0.02 per search for the first 200 words, £0.01 per additional 200 words
VPNs aren't just for companies working on international sites, they’re useful in other ways - mainly to avoid the ‘Google Bias’. The results you see when you search for a keyword are biased to your location and search history. An incognito window goes some way towards counteracting this, but using incognito in conjunction with a VPN is the closest thing to an unbiased search you could hope for - other than the SERP analysis tool available in Moz.
Price: £7.99 per month
Why Seven Tools?
Using seven different SEO tools might seem a little excessive, but there are a few reasons you need so many. Firstly, whilst there is some overlap in their offerings, they all offer at least one unique insight into SEO or your website’s health. Secondly, in many ways, it’s a case of hedging your bets. All of these tools are trying to emulate Google’s algorithms, and none of them are perfect at it. However, if you review and compare the metrics from a number of tools you’re going to get a pretty good idea of the direction your website is moving in, in Google’s eyes.