The 5 Best SEO Tools You Should be Using

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2018

The best SEO tools help you spy on your competitors, find the right keywords to rank for on Google and analyse existing content in your niche to identify fresh and successful ideas. In this blog post, we look at the five best SEO tools that you can use to drive traffic to your website in 2018.

Before a builder lays foundations for a house, or a surgeon performs an operation, they first make sure they have the tools they need. Why? Because, without the right tools, mistakes are bound to happen. The job is compromised and success is thwarted.

If you’re an internet marketer, small business owner, freelancer or blogger looking to boost your business and earn traffic from search engines, you still need to use the right tools. While neglecting this step will not end in building foundations falling or a surgery going wrong, the results can be just as devastating. If you don’t use the tools at your disposal to earn website visitors, you won’t be able to convert traffic, which could mean your business fails entirely.

1. Keywords Everywhere (Free)

When it comes to search engine optimisation, picking the right keywords is crucial. The keywords you target in your web copy, blog posts and content marketing efforts determines the search terms you’ll rank for. For your marketing campaign to be a success, you need to know what keywords your ideal audience is searching for. But how do you find them?

Keywords Everywhere is a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that pulls search data that you can use to determine the best keywords for your campaign. It’s important to bear in mind that no tool will ever give you completely accurate data, but this free tool is a good start. Google’s Keyword Planner once gave SEOs everything they needed to pull accurate search data, but, now, it’s only effective if you’re running live Google Ads. For business owners on a budget or looking for a free alternative, Keywords Everywhere gives you search data for your keyword research, including the average monthly search volume, competition and CPC (cost per click — the amount businesses are willing to spend to advertise for the term).

The extension also integrates seamlessly with multiple platforms and websites, including Google Search. Search for a keyword in Google and the extension will display a handy box at the right hand side of the SERPs that provides a list of related keywords, along with search volume, CPC and competition, making it the perfect tool to find additional keywords you might have missed in your initial research.

2. SEMrush (Free and Paid)

SEMrush is a complete SEO tool that lets you do keyword research, track your ranking, spy on your competitors’ SEO and PPC strategies, conduct backlink analysis, compare domains and audit your own site’s SEO performance.

While SEMrush offers a free plan, you’ll be limited to conducting one query per day and tracking just 10 keywords. For businesses serious about dominating the online space, it’s worth investing in a paid plan. SEMrush puts a goldmine of data at your disposal. When looking up a competitor, you’ll want to further explore the keywords they’re targeting to determine if they’re valuable targets for your business. With a paid plan, you’ll be able to identify opportunities that could have a huge impact on your business’s online visibility.

3. Moz.com (Free and Paid)

Moz was founded by Rand Fishkin. As famous as an SEO wizard as he is for his beardliness, he grew Moz from a small startup to the biggest SEO company in the world. Last year, it generated over $45 million in revenue from its SEO tools.

Moz offers a range of free and paid tools, ranging from local SEO tools to check your presence on some of the largest business directories, to keyword research and backlink analysis tools. Its Link Explorer, formerly Open Site Explorer (OSE), lets users analyse inbound links and audit potential link-building opportunities based on a website’s spam score and Moz DA (Domain Authority) — a metric you can use to determine a website’s authority. When identifying guest posting opportunities, looking at its backlink profile is vital. If a website has a healthy DA, but, when you take a closer look, it appears to be built solely for link-building purposes, it’s far better to exercise caution and, instead, look to build links that will benefit your business over the long-term.

Similar to SEMrush, Moz allows you to conduct a limited number of searches per day, so, if you’re looking to audit a lot of websites during the publication research phase of your campaign, you might want to consider the Pro version.

4. Majestic SEO (Paid)

Majestic SEO is one of the most best SEO tools on the market. While it requires a monthly paid subscription, its comprehensive range of features is well worth it. Majestic’s Site Explorer boasts the ability to check any URL, keyword or domain and it delivers a wealth of information, including backlinks, anchor text and the topical relevance of a website. If guest posting is part of your content marketing and SEO strategy — and if it’s not, it really should be — using Majestic can help you audit your publication research and find the most relevant websites — look for publications that are topically relevant to your niche: if you’re a fashion brand considering contributing content to a website that otherwise looks sound, but publishes a lot of content on construction topics, stay away (unless, of course, you sell stylish hi-vis jackets…)

Majestic SEO gives marketers two of the most reliable metrics available: Trust Flow and Citation Flow. The more trustworthy your website, typically, the higher Google will rank your website for your keywords. Citation Flow refers to the number of links pointing to your website (or a publication’s website, depending on the nature of the search). A website with a high Citation Flow, but low Trust Flow, indicates that links are low-quality and spammy, and that there’s a lot of them. While it’s rare that a website will ever have a Trust Flow higher than it’s Citation Flow, you want the numbers to be as evenly matched as possible.

5. Buzzsumo (Paid)

Undoubtedly, content is key to the success of any SEO strategy. So widely held is this notion that it’s led to every marketer and their dog proclaiming that “content is king”. Buzzsumo lets you find the most popular articles in your industry. Simple to use, all you need to do is type in a competitor, other website or keyword and it’ll show you the content that has earned the most shares across social media.

You can even use it to test how viable your content ideas are. Perhaps you’re a B2B brand that utilises LinkedIn as part of your content strategy, and much of your traffic comes from this platform. You have a great idea for a piece of content, but, by looking at similar content using Buzzsumo, you find that it’s only getting traction on Facebook. This presents you with a choice: shift some of your focus onto Facebook to determine if you’re missing out on a huge chunk of traffic and conversions, or nix the idea and focus on creating something that will resonate with your existing audience.

You can also use Buzzsumo to spy on your competitors. Type in their URL and see what kind of content they’re producing and, crucially, what kind of content is performing well. Then, go one better and create a piece of content that is updated, more comprehensive and, overall, 10x better!

To get the most of out of Buzzsumo, you’ll need the paid version, which lets you conduct unlimited searches and get historical data. The free version will let you conduct a small number of searches per day, but you won’t have access to the full list of results. It’s the leading tool of its type and well worth the investment, but if you’re not sure, you can test it for yourself for 30 days.

Do you need help using the best SEO tools to improve your website content, inform your SEO strategy and grow your traffic and business? Sign up to our digital marketing training courses today and learn how to dominate your competitors online.

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