When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot to consider. How well do your pages rank? Which keywords work best? How much time should you dedicate to research and implementation? To help guide you in making the right decisions, reduce the amount of time spent analyzing both on-page and off-page SEO, and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with data, there are helpful SEO tools available.
Especially if you’re doing both on-page and off-page SEO, you will need to rely on some of these tools to become more efficient and gain a competitive advantage. You'll need tools for keyword research and the technical aspects of SEO. You’ll need tools for off-page SEO, including backlink monitoring and analysis. You'll also need tools to help you track how keywords and pages are performing. Fortunately, there are plenty of useful SEO tools available.
Keyword Research Tools
One of the essential elements of SEO is relevant keywords. You want to find the right keywords that help you rank higher in search, so you'll need a tool that can enable you to:
- Find keywords with high search volume and low competition
- Get traffic forecasts for target keywords
- Generate a list of latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords
- Select primary and secondary keywords wisely
- Identify keywords competitors are using successfully
Google Trends is a free keyword research tool that shows you the volume and interest in keywords over time. You can also break down results by geographic region, find related queries, and search trending topics related to a keyword.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a paid keyword research tool that's available through Google Ads. With it, you can find new and related keywords, as well as their average monthly search volume over time. You can also see which keywords the competition is using to rank in search, as well as how much it costs if you decide to bid on specific keywords.
Other useful tools for keywords research include:
Technical SEO Tools
Technical SEO tools let you gain insight into how your website is performing. You'll see what could aid or prohibit your site from ranking, which is virtually impossible to do without tools. With them, you can find, fix, and optimize:
- Meta tag errors
- Internal redirects and duplicate pages
- Canonical page references
- Broken links and page crawl issues
You can also see what bots see. This includes your website's load time, any 404 errors or issues with server-side rendering, and server response times. You can also see whether bots are crawling on your site or a sitemap.
Moz is an all-in-one freemium platform that gives not only information about website issues but also ways to fix them and enhance rankings. In its Site Crawl Overview section, you can review what Moz’s bot sees. This includes issues like long URLs, redirect chains, duplicate content, missing descriptions, and no-index meta tags.
Screaming Frog is a paid tool that crawls your website and gives you a list of issues similar to Moz. It provides an in-depth analysis of every issue that could impact website performance, both from a user-side experience and ranking standpoint.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that offers similar feedback from Google’s bots. You can also use this tool to upload a sitemap to help Google find web pages quickly. The only requirement is that you must first verify your site.
Other paid technical SEO tools like Deep Crawl and WooRank can also provide insights to help you improve rankings. These tools do many of the same things, so you can decide which one you like best. A best practice, however, is to use two simultaneously to see whether they are identifying the same issues.
Backlink Monitoring and Analysis Tools
Backlinks, which are links from other websites that point to yours, are an essential part of off-page SEO. It's a good idea to keep an eye on whether these backlinks are spam or relevant to your website.
Backlink monitoring and analysis tools help you:
- Monitor website backlinks
- Analyze the most robust links to your site
- Perform competitor analysis
- Measure the ratio of referring domains to backlinks
- Identify and remove poor backlinks
- Measure citation and trust flow
- Check the ratio of link distribution
- Track the number of do-follow and nofollow links
Google Search Console
Google Search Console helps with backlink monitoring and analysis as well as technical SEO. This tool lets you see the number of external and internal links, top linking sites and anchor texts, and more. From an SEO perspective, it's crucial to have a nice balance of external and internal links, and Google Search Console is an excellent tool for this.
Moz also has many metrics that are important for off-page SEO. When you type a domain name in the Moz search bar, you can see the domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the more prominent search engines consider a website to be. Several factors determine this rating, but the number of quality backlinks is weighted heavily. Moz also shows top followed links and pages, what anchor text (keywords) backlinks are using, and the number of linking domains.
Majestic is a freemium tool that has all of the same metrics as the previous two, but it's mostly known for its citation and trust-flow metrics. Citation flow refers to link volume, while trust flow refers to link quality. It also has the added feature of going into languages.
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Rank Tracking Tools
The purpose of keyword research, technical SEO, and backlink analysis is to improve a website’s ranking. Rank-tracking tools let you:
- Track your website’s ranking to others
- Measure average clickthrough rates, or CTRs, and impressions
- Track keyword ranking for desktop and mobile platforms across locations
- Identify top-performing and low-performing keywords
Google Search Console
You can enter a URL into Google Search Console to see which queries were made where your site showed up (this is also known as impressions). Then you can see whether the URL was clicked and where it's positioned in the ranking. It breaks it down into pages, countries, and even devices. You can see changes over time and averages, as well.
Some other useful tools for keyword research include:
As you can see, there are plenty of tools available – both free and paid – that can help you with on-page and off-page SEO. Take some time to learn these platforms to decide which would work best for you.
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