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Best SEO Tools

When we look back to earlier times, we see that the way the Internet works has changed drastically compared to today. Websites aren't just rudimentary information bulletins featuring a wonky, rough design as they were before. Today, all of them have a purpose.

And that purpose changes from website to website. However, the thing all websites have in common is some form of SEO which signifies Search Engine Optimization.

Google results don't come from arbitrary rules or the effectiveness of content; in fact, the websites that show up on Google's first page of search results rely on the correct usage of SEO. And to that end, they use SEO tools that help them get that top spot.

You see, if you want your website to rank high in Google (thus receiving the biggest influx of traffic to your website), you need to optimize it for search engines - specifically Google. There are other search engines but Google is the largest one and that's where the majority of traffic comes from.

A great SEO tool can make your web pages stand out to the SEO spider (Google's automated SEO checkers). This is incredibly important when it comes to website visibility and can make or break your website's growth.

Having said that, there is still a certain process you'll need to follow, whether it's regarding a particular keyword or using long-tail keywords. The SEO tool itself cannot do everything for you but it will make your job easier tenfold.

In this guide, I'll list the most popular and greatest SEO tools you can find. Among them, you'll also see a couple of free SEO tools that can be just as good as paid ones. Later, we'll go over some of the SEO optimization basics as well as frequently asked questions about keyword research tools and SEO tools in general.

Our SEO Tools Top Picks

Reviews of the Greatest SEO Tools from Our Research

Ahrefs

If you're looking to do some keyword research and find out just how well your link building is, look no further than Ahrefs. This handy keyword research tool has some of the best features on the market, including excellent keyword generation based on your queries, analysis of backlinks and how good they're doing, and more.

On top of that, the tool itself is able to provide you with results in record time. This means you'll be able to quickly analyze and understand what needs to be done and how. Ahrefs provides insight into which keywords are most used for a query; this drastically helps improve your own website's SEO.

Surprisingly, Ahrefs has a lightning-fast SEO spider - second only to Google's! Speed is imperative in keyword research, as well as accuracy, and Ahrefs has plenty of both. You won't wait too long to get the necessary info for content strategy creation.

Additionally, Ahrefs users can easily analyze their competitors' website traffic. Such a big advantage over those that don't use such tools cannot be understated. However, Ahrefs isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Somewhat bizarrely, Ahrefs doesn't offer a free trial; you'll actually have to pay $7 for a 7-day trial which is a somewhat baffling decision on their part. Nonetheless, it's still the best course of action if you're unsure whether or not Ahrefs is something you need.

Some final features that we haven't mentioned yet include backlink auditing, URL rankings, rank tracking, competitive analysis, outbound link analysis, and a content explorer within Ahrefs' own database. The database contains more than a billion web pages.

Features:

  • $7 for a 7-day trial ($99+/month after)
  • Backlink analysis
  • Keyword generation based on queries
  • Keyword ranking history
  • Outbound link reports
  • Automated keyword research

Pros:

  • Features the second-fastest SEO spider (web crawler) in the world, behind Google's
  • Exceptional keyword generation with millions of keywords per query
  • Users have insight into URL ratings which helps them see how their competitors are doing
  • Great tool for building a content strategy around it
  • Ability to analyze hundreds of thousands of websites per search query is incredible

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Agencies might have issues due to the lack of automated client reports

Answer the Public

Answer the Public homepage

Answer the Public is an exceptional keyword research tool but the drawback is that it does only one thing - help with topic ideas. It's the perfect SEO tool for blogs as it can remove writer's block by providing ideas, as well as improve SEO.

Improving SEO with this tool is as simple as entering the keyword you want a topic for. This way, you'll see how these topics are written and which keywords are used. The drawback of this tool is that it doesn't provide any direct keyword analysis.

It also doesn't have any other features. So now you might be wondering, why did I include it in this list? Why is it considered one of the best free SEO tools if it does just one thing? Well, the answer lies in its name - Answer the Public.

You see, when you input a keyword, it will search its topic database and provide you with the most relevant ones. Usually, it takes just a few seconds to a few minutes to complete. And once you've seen the results, you'll easily be able to conceptualize the content you're looking for.

Even if it's not nearly as advanced as other SEO tools, Answer the Public is still very helpful in specific situations. Because of this, it shouldn't be used as a standalone tool, except in cases where you're just looking for some topic ideas.

Lastly, Answer the Public is completely free! And as far as free SEO tools go, this one's pretty good.

Features:

  • Free
  • Keyword research
  • Large topic database
  • Available in multiple languages

Pros:

  • Completely free!
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Very fast
  • Write down any keyword and various topics will appear

Cons:

  • Very basic
  • Simple tool for researching topic-related keywords

SpyFu

SpyFu homepage

SpyFu is certainly a unique SEO tool that differs in function, as well as form, from all other SEO tools. This tool offers ways to research keywords based on information taken from competitors. This information is public so SpyFu isn't doing anything illegal.

Instead, it's purely gathering this data in one spot so users don't have to go through the trouble of doing it themselves. It's somewhat the same as others in this regard, but SpyFu doesn't focus on all kinds of websites related to a specific keyword; it focuses on your competitors.

With that out of the way, let's talk specifics. SpyFu costs $39/month for the cheapest plan. This plan offers users unlimited search results, unlimited data exporting, unlimited domain overview PDFs, 250 sales leads and domain contacts, 5,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings, and 10,000 top lists results.

This is a great deal and has everything a beginner or even semi-professional would need for SEO optimization. Search engines can be quite rigorous which makes SpyFu the perfect tool to analyze competitors' web pages.

On top of everything that was said, SpyFu comes with even more features including PPC/CPC comparisons, backlink tracking as well as website monitoring, a keyword advisor that suggests keywords based on competitor marketing campaigns, keyword grouping, and more.

The downsides of SpyFu are that it doesn't have a web-wide crawler which can hinder the research progress if you're not specifically interested in your competitors. Accuracy is sometimes, albeit rarely, a problem. Lastly, the tool isn't quite beginner-friendly and it'll take time getting used to the complex interface.

Features:

  • Basic plan costs $39/month, Professional plan costs $39/1st month ($78/month after that), Team plan costs $299/month (or $199/month billed annually)
  • PPC tracking of ad ranking
  • Ability to group keywords
  • Competitor PPC analysis
  • Keyword advisor
  • 'Spying' on competitor keywords and content strategy

Pros:

  • Large number of management and keyword research features and tools
  • Backlink tracking and ongoing site overview & monitoring
  • Fairly affordable
  • Ability to find out as much as possible about competitor keywords and strategies
  • Keyword advisor makes useful and effective keyword suggestions
  • Various analyses and reports including PPC/CPC comparisons, paid advertising data and metrics, and more

Cons:

  • Lack of web-wide SEO crawlers
  • Complicated and sometimes confusing interface
  • Isn't as accurate as other SEO tools

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

One great aspect of Google is that they offer a wide variety of SEO tools for all website owners. And the amazing part? They're free tools! The Google Search Console is one of them and arguably, one of the most impressive in terms of features.

Now, it's worth noting that all of Google's SEO tools still don't have everything you'd need for SEO. As such, if you're planning big things, it's best to use them together, as well as have another specialized SEO tool on the side.

With that said though, the Google Search Console is still very useful and provides detailed information about a couple of things. Once your website is up-and-running, you can verify your website by adding a code snippet to your site.

After that, all you need to do is access the Google Search Console and start looking at various Google trends and SEO analyses. Features include measuring organic traffic on your site, indexing your website, and error reporting & fixing suggestions on existing SEO issues.

Being a free tool, it doesn't come with everything. You won't be able to compare your site's performance with competitors' because the Google Search Console doesn't have competitor analysis. On top of that, the warnings and suggestions that the Google Search Console shows are sometimes incorrectly explained which can lead to confusion.

Even so, for a free tool with even some security monitoring capabilities, the Google Search Console is a must for every website owner. Not just for the insight, but for the ability to see how Google itself deals with ranking your website through on-page SEO.

Features:

  • Free
  • Error analysis
  • Various webmaster tools
  • XML site map monitoring
  • Ability to export data into various analytics tools including Google Analytics

Pros:

  • Completely free for anyone with a website
  • Excellent analysis of keyword performance
  • Organic traffic and audience monitoring
  • Security monitoring is a big plus
  • Data export allows for seamless integration with analysis tools

Cons:

  • Suggestions and warnings are sometimes incorrectly explained
  • No competitor analysis
  • Limited to displaying only the top 1,000 backlinks and best 1,000 organic keywords

Moz

Moz homepage

Moz is arguably the most expansive and featureful SEO software out there. It's filled to the brim with various tools and features, many of which are usually spread across multiple SEO tools. Essentially, you could say it's an All-in-One type of SEO tool.

However, this comes at a price. The Standard plan will set you back $99 each month, but you won't have all the features. This plan is mainly oriented towards beginners but when you consider the price - it may be a bit too much.

On top of that, the tool's metrics and databases are only available for the US which means most of the world simply cannot use it. Additionally, its keyword database isn't quite up to par with other SEO tools (although it is detailed), and it might get confusing to use due to a somewhat weird user interface.

Nonetheless, Moz is an exceptional SEO tool. Some of its features include the analysis of backlinks, rank tracking, ability to audit your website (which will then show any errors that are present on your site including broken links, meta tags, improper keyword use, and more), and competitor research.

Additionally, you can get a 30-day free trial to test it out which is more than enough time - especially compared to some SEO tools (looking at you Ahrefs with your $7, 7-day trial). Again, some features might be locked but this trial should provide an accurate representation of what the software can do.

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that there are extensions and improvements to Moz in the form of Moz Pro. You can also get the MozBar browser extension that enables on-the-fly SEO analysis. In short, Moz is the definitive industry leader in versatility and data reporting.

Features:

  • 30-day free trial
  • $99/month for the Standard plan, $179/month for the Medium plan, $249/month for the Large plan, and $599 for the Premium plan
  • Rank tracking
  • Competitor research & keyword analysis
  • Backlink analysis
  • Website audits (broken links, improper use of meta tags, etc.)

Pros:

  • The month-long free trial is exceptional for testing out the tool
  • Loads of useful features such as rank tracking, competitor analysis, etc.
  • Website audits are great for finding errors and other issues such as broken links
  • Ideal for understanding and boosting website traffic
  • Incredible data reporting and metrics
  • May have the most features out of all SEO tools

Cons:

  • Metrics and databases are only available for the US
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Doesn't have a large keyword database
  • Can get overwhelming to use due to the sheer number of features

Google Analytics

Google Analytics dashboard (random website taken as example)

Google Analytics is part of Google's suite of SEO tools. It works exceptionally well with other Google tools such as the Google Search Console. However, it isn't as powerful when used by itself. You can use it and look at various important metrics, but other than that - it isn't as packed as others.

Even so, many business and website owners use Google Analytics to provide them with insight related to incoming and outgoing traffic, audience analysis, analysis of internal and external links, and basic keyword research.

The keyword research part is done manually but the tool itself provides you with some useful features to make the research seamless. It also contains information about Google trends that should help out in preparing the most engaging and relevant content on your website.

There's only one version of Google Analytics - the free version. As long as you have a website that has been verified and approved, you'll be able to use it. Remember that the Google Search Console offers the ability to export data into Google Analytics which is definitely a useful feature to have.

Finally, this tool has some of the best data analysis available today, as far as SEO is concerned. You can expect plenty of graphs and metrics that are inherently relevant to your website. And, if you've done proper link building, it'll show up in the dashboard.

However, Google Analytics isn't a proper SEO tool; instead, imagine it as an aid of sorts. Sure it might offer lots of insight regarding specific things, but it doesn't have any advanced SEO features that are found elsewhere. On top of that, the features it does have are somewhat limited.

Nonetheless, by being free, Google Analytics is an inviting and helpful piece of SEO software that will surely provide you with enough information to create valuable and effective content strategies.

Features:

  • Free
  • Various forms of analytics, including Audience analysis, internal links analysis, etc.
  • SEO monitoring
  • Basic keyword research
  • Google trends information

Pros:

  • Completely free for anyone with a website
  • Simple and easy to use
  • The number of data analyses available is great
  • Google trends information is helpful for improving SEO

Cons:

  • Fairly basic
  • Limited features
  • Not a true SEO tool (just an aid)

WooRank

WooRank homepage

WooRank is the perfect SEO tool if you're into marketing and sales. Although these might seem like irrelevant things considering we're talking about SEO, just remember that marketing nowadays can be very, very effective.

As such, proper in-depth research is necessary to maximize a marketing campaign's efficiency. And that's where WooRank shines. First off, you can use their 14-day free trial to test out the software. This is ample time to understand what WooRank offers and what you can expect from it.

On top of that, there are three plans for you to choose from - Pro, Premium, and Enterprise. Each is more expensive than the last but comes with more features and functionalities. One interesting aspect of WooRank is that it's an automatic website review software - no input is necessary from the user side.

Some consider WooRank to be an integral piece of the webmaster tools assortment. This is because of how its features have been conceptualized. Speaking of features, you can expect to find ones such as keyword ranking and analysis, website crawling for identifying and fixing website errors and security issues (including broken links), and an SEO overview of your sites.

However, what really makes WooRank stand out is the Sales suite. This selection of tools is used to create sales pitches, various reports, and sales PDFs. Technically, you get a powerful SEO tool and Sales tool both in one piece of software.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, WooRank is ideal for marketers and webmasters but not so much for regular SEO analysis. Its Premium and Enterprise plans are quite expensive and don't offer too much to justify the price.

Overall though, if you're looking for a way to plan out your marketing strategy and analyze the current situation regarding SEO and marketing - WooRank is the way to go. And, if you're just starting out, the Pro plan has more than enough features for your needs.

Features:

  • 14-day free trial
  • $59.99/month for the Pro plan, $179.99 for the Premium plan, and $249.99 for the Enterprise plan
  • Keyword analyzing and ranking
  • Website crawler available for fixing website errors, security holes, and more
  • SEO overview of your websites
  • Sales suite available

Pros:

  • Impressive Pro plan features
  • WooRank free browser extension is useful for analyzing websites
  • The sales suite is perfect for marketing and creating engaging sales pitches, reports, etc.
  • The free trial is nice and lasts just long enough to figure out if you want to use WooRank or not
  • Site crawler is accurate and useful in eliminating issues

Cons:

  • The Premium and Enterprise plans are expensive
  • Predominantly oriented towards marketing and sales

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog homepage

If you're looking for a quick way to audit your websites with little to no trouble - the Screaming Frog SEO tool is a perfect choice. Although not as rich in features as other SEO tools, Screaming Frog absolutely excels at auditing and error-fixing.

Auditing is meant to help you find and fix various errors and issues that might appear during website creation and management. And once your website goes live, you'll need to work fast to make the necessary changes. This is why the Screaming Frog SEO tool is held in such high regard.

It is surprisingly quick at assessing website metrics. All it takes for it to start working is inputting the desired website URL into Screaming Frog and it'll get down to business very fast. You can expect results in a minute or two, sometimes even quicker.

Keep in mind, however, that even though the tool is free to use, it has certain limitations which may ultimately skew your decision. For starters, you get audits for up to 500 URLs and some features are locked behind the paid version (nothing too crazy though).

Even so, Screaming Frog is exceptional at what it does. Features that can be expected are duplicate content checking, metadata analysis, XML sitemap creation (easy and quick to do), detailed website auditing, and identifying redirect chains (permanent or temporary).

All in all, Screaming Frog is a pretty hefty SEO tool that is perfect when it comes to getting your website error-free.

Features:

  • Free (up to 500 URLs)
  • Paid version costs £149/year
  • Audit redirects for identifying permanent and temporary redirect chains
  • Metadata analysis
  • Duplicate content checker
  • XML sitemap creation

Pros:

  • Auditing helps with various issues including fixing broken links and identifying redirect chains
  • Analyzing metadata provides valuable insight into how your site is operating
  • Quick and simple XML sitemap generation
  • Ability to check if there's duplicate content is very useful
  • Completely free!
  • Accurate error reporting and website URL fixing

Cons:

  • No API (meaning no integration elsewhere)
  • Free version is quite limited in features

Google Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is the simplest and most basic SEO tool of the bunch within this article. Its main goal is to provide relevant information to users so they can understand how search volumes work and which keywords are doing good.

The displayed data is pulled from Google itself which makes the Google Keyword Planner a very accurate and precise piece of software.

You can also expect help in the form of a 'related terms' assistant; a program that makes term and keyword suggestions based on your queries. This is very helpful when you're unsure whether or not to include certain keywords.

Additionally, the Google Keyword Planner can be integrated and used with other Google SEO tools which improve their overall performance. Together, all of Google's SEO tools are very powerful. Unfortunately, that's about it regarding the features.

As said before, this tool isn't meant to be jam-packed with stuff. Instead, it's a beginner-friendly piece of SEO software that is meant to help with specific issues and provide necessary SEO information. This tool is pretty basic and it also requires the running of Ad Campaigns in order to show certain metrics.

Features:

  • Free
  • A few important metrics are analyzed
  • 'Related terms' assistant
  • Integration with other Google SEO tools

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Valuable keyword feedback
  • Monthly search volume insight is very valuable
  • You get suggestions related to the keyword that can be used to boost SEO

Cons:

  • Requires running of Ad campaigns to see the exact search volume numbers
  • Very basic

Buyer's Guide for SEO Tools

Although SEO tools offer dozens of possibilities and features, there are key differences and aspects to consider when making your choice.

You want to avoid a situation where your chosen keyword tool costs money to use but you end up not using half of its features. This is why proper SEO tool research is required; to help you in making the best choice.

It's also important to remember that all SEO tools have the same purpose - search engine optimization. The ability to influence, for example, Google's search results by making your website fully relevant to the topic you've chosen.

As such, there are five metrics that you need to look at when comparing the numerous Search Engine Optimization tools.

Type of SEO Tool

Most SEO tools have a few features that are the same across all of them. Almost all of these tools monitor and help with keywords. However, some are specialized in other areas of SEO such as rank tracking, organic keywords, technical SEO analysis, and interpretation of various SEO data forms.

It is best if you make it clear to yourself right away about what you are looking for in an SEO tool. Some even provide keyword ideas and help you understand how to improve search volume. Also, don't forget that certain features can only be found in paid SEO tools; very rarely in free ones.

In any case, that brings us to the next section which is the cost of using an SEO tool.

Price

This is generally the main talking point regarding SEO tools. The issue here is that prices can vary drastically between this software. Some free tools are exceptional in one or two categories, whilst paid ones generally do a great all-around job.

The best free SEO tools usually provide a bit more than less complex, single-goal software. In any case, the prices range from free to a few hundred dollars per month, depending on the SEO tool itself and the chosen plan.

Now, if you're just starting out with SEO and are looking to build your own site, getting a free SEO tool or the free version of a paid tool might be the best course of action. This way, you won't spend a dime and you'll slowly get acquainted with how SEO tools work.

Alternatively, you could always go for a free trial of an SEO tool, depending on if it's available or not. Just keep your budget in mind when making a decision because you don't want to rush things but at the same time don't want a tool that will become obsolete fairly quickly. Be mindful!

Ease of Use

SEO knowledge can take a while to build so most tools aren't as easy to use as expected. However, once you get the basics down, it becomes easier.

In any case, SEO software is usually beginner-friendly, apart from the most advanced ones. You should still look at ease of use as an important metric in determining which SEO tool to go for. Advanced SEO tools can have loads of data that might be overwhelming at first, so don't dive too deep once you start.

Take it step by step and learn on the go!

Accuracy

Accuracy pertains to the ability of SEO tools to interpret content in a meaningful and correct way. Essentially, it needs to display the correct data interpretations of various metrics such as page speed, technical SEO issues, monthly search volume, keyword suggestions, and more.

An SEO tool that isn't accurate may cause your own SEO strategy to suffer due to inaccurate or incorrect information. This is why accuracy is held in such high regard and why it's been the main focus of the developers.

Compared to some 10 years ago, SEO tools nowadays are much more precise and accurate and as such, there are minimal doubts about the information and data. A powerful SEO analysis tool completely eliminates the need to double-check and verify given information.

Unfortunately, the usual case is that the more expensive an SEO tool is, the more accurate it is. Make sure if you can handle a middle-ground which would be the ideal choice - somewhat more pricey than usual but with excellent accuracy.

Features

The features of a keyword research tool and SEO software are what define them. These are the meaty bits of each SEO analysis tool. It's safe to say that each SEO tool specializes in a specific part of SEO with some being used as a backlink analysis tool, advanced keyword tool, and more.

You should go over all the features carefully and make sure to understand exactly what the tool is equipped with. The necessity to perfect each website and improve its' search engine rankings has provided us with plenty of such tools.

After all, improving page SEO is imperative no matter what content is on each website page. Ideally, you'd want multiple SEO tools that specialize in different areas to maximize their efficiency. And in most cases, using them in tandem is much better than standalone.

Frequently Asked Questions About SEO Tools

What are SEO tools?

SEO Tools are pieces of software that aid users in optimizing their website for search engines. They can have a lot of features including rank tracking, keyword analysis, backlink analysis, keyword suggestions, and various other SEO metrics.

Everything that SEO tools provide can be done manually; however, this process can get confusing and time-consuming which is why SEO tools exist. All SEO insights are part of SEO strategy and are meant to help you identify key areas for improvement.

How long does it take for your website to appear in search engine results?

There are plenty of factors that contribute to when a website appears in search results. However, no one knows the formula for this and as such, we can only guess. In most cases though, it can take between a few days to a month or two.

By some accounts, heavy keyword usage on large websites can take longer than websites with less content. Keep this in mind when you're planning your SEO strategy and keep your data and information up to date.

What are keywords?

Keywords are words that signify relevance to a certain topic. For example, this guide revolves around SEO and SEO tools - you may have noticed a couple of word clusters that repeat a few times throughout the article.

These are the specific keywords that Google will possibly be looking for when analyzing our website. As such, using them in the proper way (not too much, not too little) provides search engines with insight into this guide's relevance to the topic.

Websites that are created around a certain topic, but don't feature the correct keywords, have terrible SEO performance and may not appear for a couple of pages of search results. This is why the use of keywords is of utmost importance but remember - they need to be relevant to the topic at hand.

How many keywords should you use in a blog post?

There are major differences between keyword usage on blogs depending on the topics. If your website is specifically about a single topic - then most of your keywords will be related to that. If it's a long article or blog post, you can end up using simple, broad keywords more than 40 times!

In contrast to that, a short article's ideal amount of keywords used would be 10-15 times (per keyword per article).

However, that's not all. Long-tail keywords are essentially word clusters that are more complex than simple keywords. The keyword 'Google search results' is a type of long-tail keyword - very few people search for this keyword by literally typing it out - yet we're using it here. Why?

It's because it is massively relevant to our article and can be rewritten in a few ways, providing even more relevance. It's all about optimization which is why some SEO tools will tell you how many repeating keywords you should use throughout the content you post on your website.

How useful are SEO tools?

SEO tools have transformed the world of Internet content and search engine results. They have the ability to provide crucial advice and insight, whether it's keyword analysis, specific keywords analysis, technical SEO insights, link building, keyword difficulty insight, and much more.

Without them, you'd have a tougher time researching all of this by yourself. It's not impossible; just time-consuming and tedious. SEO software of all kinds speeds up all of your SEO efforts and guides you down the path towards achieving organic search traffic.

Final Thoughts

Keyword research, search engine rankings, page speed, page SEO, link building, Google trends... The list goes on. These are all segments of what SEO is.

Without SEO, we would have a much tougher time both breaking into the main search engine results pages (specifically the first page), as well as finding information relevant to our search queries. On top of that, things like Google AdWords can boost your online presence in the form of paid ads.

These are independent of search engines (in this case Google) and appear as one of the first results. However, Google usually displays just one or two paid top results. You'll still need to work on improving on-page SEO to be at the top.

In any case, whether you're looking for the best free SEO tools or paid ones, you'll find a perfect one from our list, depending on your needs.

Lastly, it must be said that some keyword research tools are exceptional in providing keyword ideas and other valuable info.

Good luck in your search for the best SEO tool and remember - no matter what, your content must be relevant to the topic you're discussing. This is at the core of all SEO-optimized web pages and if you make the content too broad, the search engine bots will know.

Ultimately this might hurt your website's traffic so it's best to avoid that!

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