16 SEO Tools to Help You Increase Your Rankings and Organic Traffic
SEO is not easy. In fact, it can be outright difficult and frustrating. It takes a lot of time, a well designed strategy and flawless execution to reach (and stay at) the top of the organic search results.
While there is no magic set-it-and-forget-it SEO tool, there are many available that can help you improve your rankings, which translates into more traffic. I reached out to several SEO and online marketing experts to find out what SEO tools they were using in their campaigns.
Take a look at their suggestions below -- maybe you will be introduced to a new tool that you can use in your efforts, helping you to improve your overall SEO.
"Buzzsumo has so much functionality for anyone doing content marketing and link building in 2019 and beyond.
First off, the content analyzer tool allows you to see the top content for both your website and other competitor’s website. You can drill down to specific time periods if you want to see how certain content pieces have performed over certain time periods.
This is hugely valuable to us on a daily basis to look for both new content ideas and for continuing to track the performance of content from our website. Their backlink checker is also a great way to see who’s linking to your content and also a great way to spy on your competition for potential backlink opportunities for your website. Links are still valuable for SEO and Buzzsumo helps us track backlinks and look for potential linking opportunities." -- Matt Zajechowski, Digital Third Coast
"There's only one SEO tool that does everything you need it to and that tool is SEMrush. It handles:
- Keyword Research: Finding keywords that are worth shooting for is something that SEMRush makes easy. You can also find which featured snippets you and your competitors are ranking for and also new ones that you can go after.
- Competitor Research: Finding out which keywords your competitors are ranking for is another major feature of SEMRush. Not only can you see their keywords, but also their backlinks which will help you get new marketing and outreach ideas.
- Reporting: Being able to generate reports is one of the most important things when it comes to SEO. The new dashboard features help you determine how your keywords are performing and integrating Search Console and Google Analytics provides even better data." -- Peter Kim, Ready Artwork
"SEMrush gives a lot of different insight into various SEO ranking factors. It allows us to track each of our client's various keywords rankings on a daily basis. This allows us to determine which strategies we implement are most impactful. SEMrush also has a variety of other features that assist in SEO progress. We are able to audit each website to see which errors exist on each page.
This includes meta descriptions, alt tags, H1 tags, and many more. Another great feature is the backlink audit and builder. This gives us insight into potentially toxic backlinks that exist. We are able to find these links and remove them if necessary. SEMrush also gives us insight into other potential backlinks by comparing our clients' sites to their competitors." -- Colin Mosier, JSL Marketing & Web Design
"This go-to tool is used every day at our agency from tasks ranging from proposals, competitive analysis, keyword research, rank tracking, to fleshing out content topics for landing pages and posts.
As a competitive analysis tool, I truly believe SEMrush to be unmatched in the industry. Its Organic Research, Keyword Gap and Organic Insights are both insightful and actionable and can not only be utilized to set strategy, but also used to enhance proposals. If they could improve their backlink index and site audit capabilities, we would use it even more." -- Brian Jensen, Congruent Digital
3. Google Keyword Planner
"Google's Keyword Planner helps me plan out how to build out a page for a client accordingly. If a specific term has double the search volume of a similar term you're going to want to use the verbiage of the one that has higher search volume more often. It also lets you craft content specifically for those keywords, and Google generally rewards that. The biggest reason I use it is because Google is what most people are finding sites on, so if Google thinks a specific phrase or term is important then we should too." -- Dylan Myatt, Advice Media
4. Screaming Frog
"One of my favorite SEO tools, still used by our team, is Screaming Frog. This is the Swiss Army Knife of tools for websites of almost any size.
The main reason we utilize it so much is because there is nothing better when it comes to on page SEO analysis. As a crawler, it is pretty helpful in giving us a birds eye view of how everything is connected and how it works. Once we get a full crawl report, we are then able to see underlying issues that are not noticeable just by browsing a site.
Things like bad links, redundant redirects, missing title tags/META descriptions or poorly linked pages, etc. -- just the beginning of what we've used it for. It offers more advanced features that let us utilize it for finding specific scripts, good or bad, and lets us easily export everything into excel sheets so we can start strategizing on improving the site as a whole.
It's a bit pricey, but for what it can do, it is worth it and needs to be in every SEO agency's war chest." -- Mike Harris, CroatiaTech
"Ahrefs is my favorite SEO tool to use daily because it is so versatile and much easier to use than other tools I've tried. It's very user-friendly and easy to get a hang of from first use -- and when you're switching tools mid-project, there is no room to take the time and learn a new system. Ahrefs allows you to monitor backlinks, track keywords, and view organic reports like most other SEO tools, but I have found the data to be much more reliable.
It is closer to numbers I see on Google Analytics and Search Console and it also shows changes that makes sense to new SEO strategies I've implemented. It updates my accounts fairly recently, the longest I go without updated information is three days, which is perfectly fine because we all know SEO doesn't happen overnight. The site audits available through Ahrefs are very intuitive and packed with relevant insights and metrics, and goes as far as to map out broken internal links and backlinks, small elements that fly under the radar (like missing alt tags), and thin content pages.
It's a very intuitive tool that's always improving. For example, they just released a new Content Explorer that scours the internet for backlink opportunities and content based on the keywords you are searching for which can help with backlinking and content creation." -- Morgan Hennessey, Electric Enjin
"SerpBook is easy to use, provides real-time updates of search changes, and allows me to track how specific keywords are ranking in real-time by location and how much monthly search volume there is for each term. The platform highlights where there are Google ‘featured snippets’ opportunities, Google Local pack and Map pack opportunities, and which terms are ranking in Google Reviews.
It’s a great tool for keeping tabs on SEO performance by site and gives you immediate indicators when a piece of content is performing well or poorly. This tool acts as a good starting point for further optimizations and it provides valuable insight to see when algorithm changes, website updates, competitors, or other factors are impacting your search ranks." -- Colton De Vos, Resolute Technology Solutions
"It's an all-in-one platform that helps with things like position tracking, backlink analysis, automated site-wide audits, keyword research, and competitor research.
Serpstat helps us learn what content is ranking higher on our website, providing an indication of the general topical nature of our website and we adjust our content marketing campaigns toward an article that naturally rank higher. It also helps us find ways to rank article and pages of our website higher by analyzing URL that outrank us for certain long tail keywords.
The 'related keywords' tool helps with content writing and knowing what keywords to include on the webpage. It also shows us the estimated search volume of those keywords and their average cost-per-click (CPC) value." -- D'Vaughn Marqui Bell, Marqui Management
"It's the most useful SEO tool for me. I use it for keyword research and it also gives keywords suggestions -- the competition level and search volume.
You can compare your keywords with your competitors. I also use it for keyword tracking. I check on my clients' keyword rankings.
I run site audits to check if there are any technical issues with a website. Their system gives a detailed analysis of their on-page SEO and technical optimization.
I also use it for competitor analysis. I use this tool to monitor my competitors and clients." -- Oz Chowdhury, Powerphrase
"While my role at Anvil is primarily marketing and business development, I do utilize various tools when auditing prospective client websites. For years, I’ve found that Moz is the best overall one-stop shop for all things SEO. I particularly value the Link Explorer Domain Authority (DA) and Local SEO audit.
I’m able to quickly benchmark prospect website DA against competitors to gain insight into the potential opportunity size and scope for SEO engagements. I also like the Moz Local tool, which is particularly helpful when assessing multi-location retail clients (whether we sell in our local SEO services or not)." -- Kent Lewis, Anvil
9. Keywords Everywhere
"My favorite SEO tool is Keywords Everywhere, which is a free extension for both Chrome and Firefox.
Keywords Everywhere is my favorite SEO tool because it provides full functionality right within the results of a Google search page. Related keywords and terms people also search for are displayed, which is super helpful in providing new content ideas or other keywords to target within an existing blog post or webpage. You can also analyze a blog post or webpage, to see the distribution of keywords on a page and in what HTML tags they show up. This is a good check to see if your post or page could use more or less of a certain keyword. Lastly, you can save your keywords to a list for later searching, which is great if you're just doing some preliminary research that you want to come back to in more detail later." -- Amanda Luketa, We Love To Solve
"I use Ubersuggest on day to day basis for my all SEO projects. However, it is free by Neil Patel but the features it has, are tremendously helpful for my SEO projects. It helps you building long tail keywords, competitors' keywords and website organic traffic analysis which is almost relatable with google analytics for my clients.
It includes efficient tools like domain Overview, top SEO Pages, Keyword suggestion, Content Ideas. The best part about the tool is it gives SEO score for all the keywords to easily choose the good keywords with less efforts.
My all SEO audit reports now have an additional Excel sheet with the keywords that my client is already ranking for but need optimization to come first in SERPs. It also helps us in finding some low hanging keywords that my competitors are ranking for and generating traffic through that." -- Ankit Gupta, Dignitas Digital
"WooRank is a great tool to help you with your optimization. This tool provides white-label report capability as well. It gives you a website grade score and in one-click you can see all of your on-site details like meta keywords, description, headlines, etc. It can also help track your keywords and its SEO monitoring feature comes in handy as well." -- Tusshar Aggarwal, Digi Elephant
"While used primarily for tracking keyword rankings, describing SERPWoo as just a 'rank tracker' would be doing the tool a huge disservice. This tool gives you an overview of the entire search results for a particular keyword, tracking the positions of all websites currently ranking for that term. This data is invaluable, as you can see which strategies are successfully working for your competitors, giving you insights that you can factor into your own campaigns.
Day-to-day usage mainly consists of monitoring the positions and fluctuations for priority keywords, but SERPWoo is particularly useful for identifying emerging competitors, and when used with a link analysis tool, tying the results of any link acquisition activities to movements in the SERPs for both your clients and competitors. Every colleague and client who I've introduced to SERPWoo has been impressed with it, and the pricing is very reasonable compared to many of its competitors." -- Jamie Burgess, Cariad Marketing
"Hike allows us to create bespoke SEO strategies for our clients, helping us to get them to the top of search engine rankings. Many tools provide the user with valuable data and assume that we’ll know what to do with it, but Hike tells you exactly what to do with every bit of data, step-by-step, while explaining why it’s beneficial. It provides actions relevant only for the specific user and covers everything from choosing the right keyword strategy to blog post suggestions." -- Nick Rinylo, ASSISTED.
14. SE Ranking
"We've all used Moz and some of the other better-known tools, but SE Ranking has added an incredible amount of functionality over the past few years. I love their customer support team and customizable reports. We set up projects for each client, with reports branded as our agency that are sent out regularly. Not only does it help with our core SEO work, but they also have great tools we use for competitive research on ads and content marketing." -- Kurt Uhlir, Ethereal Innovations
"We've tried a variety of SEO tools, including Moz and Ahrefs. However, my favorite is SpyFu, which is less than half the cost of the other two but has a wealth of great functions that we use regularly both for ourselves and our clients.
We use it to surface keywords that competitors are ranking for that we can use in our keyword goals, then to track our success in the rankings over the coming months. We can also use SpyFu's outreach tool to identify relevant sites and influencers in a specific industry and secure backlinks." -- Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media
16. Project Supremacy
"My Favorite SEO tool is called Project Supremacy. It allows me to setup WordPress sites in a few clicks (clearing the default data and pages etc.) then lock it down so I can build all the Schema, JSON-LD and articles up without being crawled by the search engine spiders.
It helps me plan out the SEO data and even provides scoring and the ability to preview what the page will look like when crawled. It builds site maps and plugs into every page I build to make sure all the linking is set up correctly and the schema data is all there." -- Kaleb Ufton, EKOH Marketing