How many articles about the tools to be used if you’re into SEO have you read so far? Probably so many that the subject is familiar and also annoying to you. What I want to do is to give you a list of really useful SEO tools to audit your site, the ones you really can consider for your company and not necessarily spending a fortune for purchasing them. Some of these tools are actually free and, for a lot of things, they’re even better than the premium one. The list is divided between Free and Premium tools and only includes tools I’ve used or I still use. Most of these tools are useful for an audit of your site but also to create content and optimize page although there are better tools when it comes to keywords’ research and I’ll show all of them in a different post. You will probably see familiar names but if they’re familiar there must a reason!
Free SEO Tools
If you’re in the SEO business for a long time, you’re surely familiar with Screaming Frog probably one of the best SEO freemium tool on the market. With Screaming Frog you can audit a website to receive a huge amount of data regarding duplicate content, errors, tags and everything you need for a complete analysis of your site from an SEO point of view. The free version allows you to analyze a limited number of URLs while the Premium one will give you unlimited searches.
Google Search Console & Analytics
Although the guys at Google are basically in charge of how we do our SEO stuff, they’re also able to give us free tools to analyze the sites we need to work on. With Search Console you can really perform an accurate analysis of your site looking for technical problems and eventually ask Google to reconsider your site fetching it. Analytics is the basis and, if well played, it gives you not only details on your readers/customers but also informations about keywords and keyphrases together with a quite good analysis of the UX of your site performed displaying the journey of your customers into your site. The Google tools are everything but easy to use and they require a good knowledge of the product otherwise they will always remain on the surface!
Easy, web based and definitely to try if you’re a beginner or you want to audit yourself by yourself. Just insert your URL into the search box and wait for the results. Nothing really in depth but a good starting point before moving to the next level.
If you use Firefox then SEO Quake must be in your list of the add-ons as it gives you a good number of statistics in just one click and while you’re visiting a site. Useful for an impromptu analysis or to show your potential customers some of the problems on their sites.
After the registration you can use MySiteAuditor for free for up to 10 days before moving to the paid version. This tool gives you information on speed, healthiness of your URL and allows you to perform analysis on specific key phrases
PAID SEO Tools
Majestic is one of the best known paid tool for SEO marketers and even if the newbies think it’s too complicated because of the amount of data it gives you back it’s certainly this amount of data that makes this tool a great addiction to your SEO strategy. Simply register yourself and after having paid you can analyze your site in depth and get an endless list of data from the keywords to the trust of the site based on the citation flow without forgetting the backlinks. Ideal if you need to analyze your competitors.
Moz would not be so famous if it wasn’t so useful and easy to be used. With this tool you can get a full technical audit of your site checking the errors but also having a look at all the opportunities you’re missing from an SEO point of view. Not to forget the rankings and the reputation on the social media. OpenSite is a pretty cool and free tool Moz offers as well!
I’ve always used SEMRush mostly to perform competitors’ analysis and I think this is probably the best paid tool on the market. Really easy to use, it gives you back tons of data about you and your competitors allowing to create an almost perfect strategy to beat them or to find a different niche. Probably one of the best feature is the real time ranking for a proper overview of your website.
Searchmetrics is one of the most used SEO tools all over the world and it’s always one of the first choices for big companies. It gives you access to a lot of data and features, providing historical data for up to the last 7 years and giving access to SEO, PPC, Backlink and Social data for a large amount of domains all over the world. What usually happens is that once you’ve chosen your plan any extra has to be paid separately so you can end up spending lots of money just for having the basics.
Very similar to SearchMetrics but a little more younger, BrightEdge is completely focused on organic SEO and giver detailed information to take measures both on on-page and off-page SEO. You can also choose to view the Blended Rank of your keywords and not just the the Classic Rank but the Recommendations have to be paid separately so if you don’t a have a proper team of experts in place and money to invest you will not appreciate what the tool can offer.
If you see SpyFu just as a tool for keywords’ research you’re probably missing a big part of this powerful tool. What it does it’s allowing you to check the performance of a keyword over time (9 years!) also taking into consideration your paid choices to measure their effectiveness over time and their impact on SEO. The freemium version gives limited data regarding to a site, the premium one gives a different number of information according to the plan you’ve purchased.
If checking your competitors’ backlinks is your primary mission then Ahrefs is the perfect solution as it gives you information on how many referring domains a site has, how many of these are coming from the same IP and how much and how natural a site has got backlinks over time. A perfect solution if you don’t want to dig too much into numbers and data. It can be used for 14 days for free.
Does it really make any sense to have all of these tools to audit a site or it makes much more sense just choosing a few and stick with them? I think every company or even freelancers should have their preferred paid tool to be used together with the basic free ones (Google, for example) especially because the paid tools most of the time cost so much that you have to spend time learning how to use them to get the most out of every single feature. Paying for more than one tools, unless it’s really necessary, can easily result in a waste of money and time. Then, let’ s be honest: how many of us has time to learn tons of tools if we can use just an amazing one, learn how to use it properly and get the most out of it and its support?
And never forget: any tool needs to have a skilled person who can make fire with it. There also needs to be a plan for its utilization and an overall SEO strategy otherwise even if you spend lots of money you won’t get any good result just using a software!
What’s your opinion on that? Any thought you want to share? Any tool I’m missing?