It would be the height of silliness to think we could list every single useful SEO tool on the market, but that won’t stop us from trying. Let’s phrase it another way. We might have omitted your fave tool on the list below. We’re human and everyone has different opinions. What we can promise is that you will find enough SEO power hiding amongst these 40 tools to rule the SERP universe – or at least your own little corner of it.
As the self-proclaimed “Swiss-Army-Knife-for-SEO,” Scrapebox was originally birthed into this world as a black hat tool for webmasters and marketers who didn’t mind playing fast and loose with Google’s SEO rules. The good news is that Scrapebox is a great tool for implementing white hat strategies as well. You may find it a worthy way to find contact information, keyword research, and more. If you can imagine a task, this software can probably help you achieve yet. URL harvester from 30 different search engines? Check. Lightning fast keyword scraper? Check. Going strong since 2009.
SEO professionals sometimes forget that there is another search engine in the corner over there begging for attention. Just kidding. PROFITABLE campaigns are running right now that have been entirely optimized around the Bing search engine. Sure, Google commands 75 percent of global search traffic, but Bing comes in second at 8 percent. If you work with Bing day in and day out, Bing Webmaster Tools are a great way to get things done. The keyword research feature is more robust than expected and seems to bring back phrases that Google doesn’t even think of. That alone might be worth the cost of admission – oh, by the way, it’s free.
The eternal search for new keywords never stops. That’s why it’s eternal. This Dan Zambonini creation is so easy to use, well, you know the rest about the caveman. If you’ve ever wanted to see a mashup of keywords, visit this dead simple and graphically uninteresting website and start dropping your keywords like a microphone – boom, boom, boom! Here’s how it works. You get three boxes at the top to populate with lists of keywords. Hit “Generate Permutations” and guess what? It generates permutations. Lots of them. This is a great way to generate new ideas when other tools, including your brain, have hit the wall. Oh yeah. Free.
With hardcore SEO it’s often a goal to put yourself in the mind of the searcher. Where as other tools attack the goal of providing keyword inputs, Answer the Public (ATP) focuses on the questions they type into a search engine. Easy to use. Just drop a keyword into the ATP dashboard. The software combines a question scraper with the power of Google’s autosuggest feature to yield exactly which questions contained your keyword. How is this helpful? Only you can decide that but, on the surface, it’s a different vantage point from which to analyze SEO, and that’s never a bad thing. No charge to use this baby.
Of course, SEO lifers want all their tools to come at one price – free. FreshKey is available for a one-time fee of $49 (which is better than the subscription model employed by most that charge), but it’s a doozy of a keyword researcher. One of the better ones we’ve played with. FreshKey scrapes every website and service worth scraping, it seems like: Amazon, Google, eBay, Bing, Google Market, and plenty of other places. The results should be pleasing and of high quality as well. Use it for 30 days and ask for refund if you don’t like it.
If it comes from Google there’s a good chance it might help you optimize for – well, you know – Google. But this little known keyword research program is actually a nifty addition to your cache of SEO tools. What it does is let you know which terms tend to be searched for together. We all know searchers don’t operate in a single-minded vacuum. They may start with one term but quickly drift off into modifier land. This is how to find those modifiers.
Clever SEO sorts are starting to realize that Google likes infographics because they enhance that most primary of qualities – user experience. If Google likes it – here’s a tip – do it! A good infographic presents the perfect amount of information in a visually pleasing manner that keeps searchers coming back for more. The bad news is that, unless you’re a graphic designing savant, creating a good infographic takes forever! Unless, of course, you head over to Easel.ly. Choose from thousands of free templates, then drag-and-drop to your heart’s content.
This one got popular in a hurry, especially for those interested in implementing the skyscraper technique. Where BuzzSumo shines is in letting you know when a particular piece of content is shared on Twitter. In the Internet marketing game, that kind of information is like money in your pocket. Set up alerts to let you know when a keyword or phrase is mentioned somewhere on the web. This is a great way to hone in on what works for a competitor, so you can figure out how to replicate and improve upon it. The aforementioned skyscraper approach taps into this feature perfectly. As freemium software, you can do some stuff with BuzzSumo for free, but it costs to tap into the full potential. That’s capitalism for you!
If you have a little money to spend starting off ($75 – $375 monthly) this SEO platform could get your optimization efforts pointed in the right direction quickly. Is the term “world class” overrated? Maybe, but that’s what WebCEO feels like when you take it for a spin. Tap into the power of a suite of effective tools and strategies covering both your website and mobile platforms. Newbies shouldn’t be intimidated by the sophistication of WebCEO. The DIY SEO Guide feature leads beginners step-by-step through the process of improving the search engine rankings for their website.
SEO specialists have known for a while that YouTube is a major marketing channel, perhaps second only to Google on the whole interwebs. But people search a bit differently on this traffic monster and YTCockpit is the best tool out there for YouTube keyword research. Some of the metrics you can uncover: average video length, views, likes, comments, and subscribers for videos that rank on the first page. If you want to be a YouTube millionaire, this is a good place to start.
SEO fundamentalists have been familiar with the name Wordtracker for a while now as a wannabe competitor to the Google AdWords research tool. Scout is a Chrome browser extension that analyzes on-screen content for keyword ideas. Especially helpful when used in conjunction with a competitor’s website. So easy to deploy – just click on the W after installation and it goes to work on whatever web page is currently open in the browser. It’s nice not to have to copy and paste, etc. Keep your workflow and brain processes intact by letting Scout extract plenty of competitive intelligence with a single click.
Well, we sort of put the cart before the horse with this one. Wordtracker, parent of Scout, was one of the early keyword research tools. Whereas Scout is free, Wordtracker thinks enough of its value (as it should) to charge a monthly subscription beginning at $27. What do you get for that? A lot of the same stuff you get with Google when it comes to root keywords. Where Wordtracker shines in keeping its own internal database that it can easily cross reference when you want to dig deeper for long-tail keywords. Just keep clicking and it will keep expanding the search deeper and deeper.
This mashup of a content optimization and keyword research tool offers a free account with access to the basic features. Of course, premium versions are available for a monthly fee. In addition to coaching you in real-time on content writing best practices, WebTextTool incorporates the “Overall” feature which reveals at a glance which keywords have a good mixture of high search volume and low competition. This particular combination is gold for SEO specialists and Internet marketers.
This tool was one of the first to realize that there was a gold mine of SEO information to be found in Google’s autocomplete feature. A quick way to dig for keywords without going through the cumbersome process that is Google AdWords. UberSuggest has always been free to use. You’re familiar with autocomplete, right? That’s when you type the first few letters or words into the Google search box and, like magic, a list of complete phrases pops up, making it ever so easy to highlight and click “Enter” without having to complete the cumbersome task of typing an entire phrase.
This one usually ranks near the top of SEO tools. The cutting edge combination of link-management and keyword research is second to none. Whether you’re looking for basic or advanced tools, this is your one-stop shop for all things SEO. A bonus other services have had a hard time matching is the true-believer community that has grown up around Moz. People love the product and don’t mind helping others who get stuck. The only possible downside is that Moz does limit how many keywords you can track in a single campaign. Overall, though, an excellent SEO tool.
Raven doesn’t have as much street cred as Moz – yet – but it’s still relatively early in the game. Performs virtually every function related to tracking, researching, and optimizing your SEO campaigns that you could ask for. With tools and tutorials angled for beginners, you have less chance to get confused whilst dallying in the information overload that is modern SEO. As with Moz, Raven doesn’t allow a user to go as deep into keyword research that they might want in a perfect world.
A sort of Johnny-come-lately that is making a big splash in the SEO scene. SEMRush bills itself as more than just a keyword tool, and we agree with them. Available completely through the cloud with no extra software to download and install, you can login from any Internet-enabled device. Shines in keyword research and linking capabilities but falls somewhat short when it comes to tracking and managing campaigns. One cool feature allows you to uncover profitable long-tail keywords through phrase-matching.
This suite of online SEO tools targets the small business crowd, specifically those companies who are in a state of good growth but not ready to hire an entire outside SEO team to manage their web marketing. UpCity is a great tool to start your website optimization efforts on your own and build them to a certain level. A helpful feature is the task list UpCity provides the first time you login. This allows an SEO newbie to see exactly what needs to be done and in what order to establish an initial optimized web presence.
The powerful SEO tool with the endearing name taps right into the power of Google research while allowing you to operate outside the monolithic search engine’s ecosystem. Why would you want to do that? According to some people, Google’s dashboard and AdWords interface are the opposite of intuitive and can be frustrating at times. Like UpCity, Traffic Travis is a great place for one-person operations or small businesses to take their first steps in the world of SEO. Consider this one solid but basic, lacking somewhat in campaign management features.
This standalone keyword research tool is a popular item available from the Internet marketing company Noble Samurai. As a keyword researcher, the software is strong, strong, strong. Where it falls short is in the areas of competition analysis and link-building. Buy it for life for a one-time payment of $149 right now, though the powers-that-be seem to always be threatening to raise the price. If you have other ways to deal with links and competitors, Market Samurai could be a very nice addition to your SEO efforts.
First birthed into this world as a classic PPC tool, SpyFu has been updated into a formidable SEO tool as well. Rumor has it the keyword competition feature is one of the best around. It’s a long-held truism of the SEO industry that one of the best ways to improve your own SEO is to take a look at what your competitors are doing that works. And check out the “Keyword Kombat,” which, all video game references aside, allows you to jump in and rank for keywords your competitors likely haven’t found yet. Assuming you have similar page authority, it should be no big deal to ninja your way past them on the SERPs.
This is another handy SEO tool that comes to us courtesy of the Chrome extension universe. Have you ever wanted a slip-on-a-banana-peel fast way to get an overview of a page’s social shares, Google keyword rankings, and backlinks all at once? ShareMetric does all that. A caveat: backlink analysis requires access to an API like SEMRush or Moz. There have also been recent complaints that Facebook and Twitter shares don’t show, thanks to API changes at both companies. Might want to get the latest lowdown on those issues before jumping feet first into ShareMetric.
So many of today’s SEO tools have migrated to the web that it’s not as common to have a suite installed on your desktop. SEO PowerSuite is the exception to the rule of cloud supremacy. This collection of quality tools includes rank checking, backlink analysis, site auditor, and a keyword research tool. Harken back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when we used to install programs on computers that stayed in one place! Take it for a test run at no charge. Do anything you want but you can’t save projects with history. A pro license incurs a one-time $300 fee.
There are plenty of backlink analysis tools out there but Ahrefs is the best of the lot, by a long shot. How many links do you keep track of? Ahrefs has an index of more than one trillion and updates them at least once daily. While that number pales in comparison to the national deficit, it’s more than any other backlink specialist we could find. So easy to figure out, your mother could do it. Monthly subscriptions start at $99, though that drops to $82 if you pay for a year in advance. If you’re serious about excellent SEO results, that means finding quality backlinks. And that also means you need an excellent tool.
Google’s continual insistence that websites offer targeted, quality content means that you need to get in front of the trending topics in your niche and ride them hard before the competition even knows it’s a thing. TrendSpottr tracks content trending on Twitter and delivers it to you in a nice, neat little instant package. If part of your SEO strategy includes newsjacking, this could be an invaluable ally.
With more content than ever being accessed via mobile devices, it becomes incumbent upon a serious SEO specialist to know how fast a page loads across a variety of devices. That’s where Google PageSpeed comes in. All you have to do is enter an URL and let this nifty doodad test load time and responsiveness for desktop and mobile platforms. The really cool part is that it makes suggestions on improvements based on the results – and even tells you “Good job!” when it’s deserved. Keep in mind that mobile responsiveness is a big, BIG deal that you can’t afford to ignore.
This mega-tool from Google tracks pretty much anything that moves on your website. Where it really shines is in providing intelligence like which keywords brought a person to your website, which pages they visited and for how long, and how they left. This friends, is SEO gold. When it comes to optimizing, you want to know which keywords terms or phrases draw traffic and which don’t. That allows you to drop the underperformers and and spend more time on the superstars. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make money online.
The natural question arises the moment you finish a piece of content: Is this SEO-friendly enough? If you’re using a WordPress CMS, this plugin could be a very nice addition to your arsenal. The bottom line is you want to know quickly whether that stuff you just wrote treads the careful line between human and SEO readability. Squirrly automatically analyzes your title, content, and other factors to let you know how you did. If it’s over-optimized, Squirrly lets you know. A neat feature is the keyword researcher that you can access inside the WordPress editor.
No SEO tool discussion would be complete without mentioning the granddaddy of them all, the Google Keyword Planner. Intended to be used in conjunction with an AdWords campaign, this is the from-the-source access to Google’s keyword brain. Enter keywords singly or in groups and sit back for the avalanche of related information that arrives, powered by Google’s search results. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the keyword research industry starts and ends here.
This fairly new bit of SEO toolage is sort of like BuzzSumo only completely different. That makes sense, right? Where BuzzSumo reflects short-term keyword popularity based on likes and shares, Impactana takes a more long-term view by analyzing backlinks and comments. Only time will tell if Impactana is here to stay, but for now, there’s no law against using both of them. Be aware that, as with all new releases, this one has been known to have a few bugs. We’re sure that will be ironed out before long.
It’s the question that buzzes around inside your head the moment you stop to ponder a new keyword. Can I rank for it? Maybe you can and maybe you can’t. Perhaps the more useful question is how likely would it be? Can I Rank was created to show you the numbers – or, money, as Jerry Macguire might say. This tool breaks down your page metrics as compared to the first page competition for the same keyword. You’ll know at a glance which area(s) need work. It might be domain authority, page authority, backlink quality, and other on-page SEO metrics. While you can open a free account to try out Can I rank, the functions are pretty limited. More than likely, you’ll need to bump up to the $50 monthly to get real use out of it.
This SEO tool has taken a lot of the frustration out of making tweaks to parts of a web page and then evaluating whether or not it helped. By using the “Tests” feature, it’s easy to make a change, say, in the title. A week later SERPs remembers to go out and check the page to see if it’s in better or worse shape than before. Before SERPs it was a crapshoot to try and remember all the SEO tweaks you had made and to go see if they mattered. Like any self respecting piece of SEO software, SERPs comes with a pretty good research tool also. Prices start at $41 per month, but you can try it out for 30 days at no charge.
There is much to be learned by analyzing the performance of a competitor’s website in comparison to yours. SimilarWeb makes its living in the trenches of comparativity. It sounds so simple: compare traffic between two websites. The reality is more complicated and highly useful. For example, SimilarWeb tells you how much direct traffic came to the two websites and how much from referrals, how much from search engines, and how much from social media. Compare what percentage completed the shopping cart process and what percentage abandoned the sales process at some point. The exact price is apparently a state secret but you can sign up for a free live demo.
Too many in the SEO industry neglect to get a good XML sitemap uploaded to their website. A sitemap may not seem like it matters a hill of beans to the average visitor but the Google (and other search engine) crawlers place a great deal of importance on it. A sitemap lets the crawler know what pages are included on your website and how they are organized. Including a sitemap for visitors and search engines alike is seen as an SEO best practice. WordPress users can find a free plugin.
Pulling suggestions from the autocomplete feature of a website is not necessarily a leap forward in SEO thinking, but Soovle pushes the boundaries a bit by going beyond Google to scrape other websites with the autocomplete feature like Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia. These sites pull major traffic alone and collectively. All this and Soovle is free too, which ain’t a bad thing.
When it comes to an SEO tool being able to stand out in the crowd, it’s often because of a single cool feature that some enterprising software designer decided to include. So it is with SERPStat. While other services approach keyword expansion from various angles, this one encourages creative brainstorming by offering up lists of questions people tend to ask centered around your topic. Cool, right? We thought so too. Plan pricing starts at around $15 monthly for modest usage, and goes up to, well, you don’t want to know.
Seed Keywords employs a novel approach in beginning your search for profitable terms and phrases. First, ask yourself how you start off a regular keyword hunt. You normally just sit down and wing it, hoping there’s enough brainpower in your head to kick things into high gear eventually. Seed Keywords starts with a scenario in which you type a question into the software, maybe something like, “Where can I find a cheap hotel in Key West?” In the real world, that’s how search queries often start. The engine goes out and returns with a list of associated keywords that can easily be exported into .CSV format.
Ever wanted to see your website like a search engine sees it? Probably not, but it might give you critical insight on how to create a properly SEO’d website from the ground up. That’s where Browseo comes in. Enter your URL on the Browseo website. What comes back is what it looks like with nothing but the guts showing. All the pretty, shiny things have been removed. What’s left is the basic hierarchy you have created. This could be quite an eye-opening experience that might include a few, “Oh, crap!” moments. The good news? It’s free.
Sometimes hired gun writers or website owners are – shall we say – less than original when it comes to submitting content. In other words, they flat out stole content from a page they saw online and never thought it would be detected. Thanks to wholesale thievery during the early days of the Internet Age, services like Copyscape came into existence. It’s easy to use. Enter the URL of the page that contains copy you want to dupe check. Copyscape compares it to everything on the Internet, a pretty impressive task in itself, and comes back in a few minutes with the good news that it is original or the bad news that it’s not. A great way to keep online writers honest.
Left to their own devices, a search engine crawler examines a website in its entirety, which isn’t always a good thing. Maybe you have half-constructed pages or pages with spammy-type content you haven’t fixed yet. You don’t want Google to find that stuff and penalize you. SEO Book can automatically generate a robots.txt file which is nothing more than instructions to search engines on how to handle certain pages. Mainly, you tell them what parts of the website to ignore. It used to be that you had to be an HTML whiz to accomplish this, but services like SEO Book make it very simple.
If you twisted our arm and forced us to choose one keyword research tool to rule them all, this would probably be it. Like every other keyword tool, it can take a seed and spit out a thousands of permutations, but SE Cockpit goes even deeper. Looking for low competition keywords? This program gives them to you with the associated AdWords CPC. That saves a step or two right there. SE Cockpit also lets you know which first page keyword listings land YouTube, Amazon, and Ebay in high positions. Have you ever longed for a software that scraped info from the “Searches similar to…” at the bottom of Google results? Fret no longer. SE Cockpit has it.
The most important part of SEO is keyword research, it effectively defines your strategy. Trying to think like you prospect is hard, KeywordTool tries to make it simple. As long as you know the core of what your potential customers might be searching for, than KeywordTool fills in the blanks by showing you automated recommendations Google makes. If you enter a seed keyword like “entrepreneur” into KeywordTool, it shows you all of the variations of searches people might be typing, that often show up as Google auto-complete recommendations. Keywords like “entrepreneur ideas” or “entrepreneur books”. It’s a gold nugget for turning a small keyword list into a massive one, turning that couple week plan into your SEO plan for a year.
Yet another SEO analyzer you might think, but this one is honestly pretty damn awesome. Not only is is quite thorough, and allows you to compare up to 4 pages or sites, but it’s also totally free. It’s not as thorough as a tool like WooRank, but it gives you just enough information to take action when you’re in competitor analysis mode.
Your backlink profile is becoming more and more important as Google rolls out new updates. One of the more recent updates was around guest post link quality and effected millions of sites. SEOJet is a platform to help you leverage the backlink structure of the most trafficked sites on the internet. It will generate you a link map so you have the perfect plan to dominate your market.
There you go. Our semi-exhaustive (let’s just call it winded) look at the best SEO tools to be found today. Got a favorite that we missed? Don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments. We promise not to mock you publicly and might even say, “Gee, how did we miss that?!”