[SEO tools] Which tools should you use?

Last updated: Sunday February 12th 2017
Reading time: 12 minutes

Top SEO tools

Do you dabble in a bit of SEO for your WordPress website? I would say I am addicted to SEO on this website and it certainly works for me. I am getting enquiries week after week and whenever I speak to a prospecting client they always say they found me via a Google search. This blog post looks at SEO tools that I love to use and I use them everyday. Do you have SEO tools that you use and you want to add them to this list? Let me know!

Keyword research tools

Here are the best tools for keyword research.

SEMRush

SEMRush is an awesome website research tool. You can check search engine or PPC stats on any website, see your rankings, or your competitors rankings. I love using it for keyword jacking.

Here are 2 ways you can use this tool in just a few min:

  1. Easy wins method: Put in your website URL. Under Organic Research on the left, click positions. See what you’re ranking for on page 2, re-optimise your pages or add links (internal or external) to boost your rank.
  2. Keyword jacking method: Get your competitors domains and run a keyword report on them. Sort the report by kw volume, jack their keywords and either add them to your existing pages or build out new pages. BOOM.

KWFinder

Quickest keyword tool ever! This will show strength values that come from majestic (TF & CF), & Unique linking IPs for the top 10 results, as well as PR. Awesome. You can use this in combination with all the keyword ideas you got from Semrush (item #1).

UberSuggest

This is basically a google suggest scraper. Find all kinds of long tails with this baby.

Answer The Public

Similar to Ubersuggest, but with even more! You can use this to find out what kinds of questions people are search for.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer 2.0

Ahrefs has come a long way and they just released their new keyword explorer. This has some interesting features that other tools don’t have like the “also rank for” feature.

KeywordTool.io

Another very popular keyword suggestion tool.

OnSite SEO tools

Here are the best tools for on-page SEO.

Yoast WordPress Plugin

Great tool for optimising your WordPress site.

Google Pagespeed Insights

See how fast your website loads and how you can improve it.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

See if Google considers your website mobile friendly.

Backlink Analysis Tools

You can check the backlinks of any site with these tools. I use them for all of the following:

  1. Overview of what’s going on with a site (any anomalies etc)
  2. Checking for over-optimisation
  3. Checking competitors to see if they have any good links or to replicate their links
  4. Doing general research on domains

That all being said, these 3 tools do about the same thing but each one has strengths & weaknesses. Here’s what I think about all 3:

Ahrefs

Best at catching backlinks. Most accurate checker.

Open Site Explorer

Most commonly used statistics for judging website power or strength, however DA & PA metrics scale with spam so you really need to look at the actual backlinks too.

Majestic

Best for determining websites trust / strength.

MOZ SEO Toolbar

This cool toolbar will automatically run stats for you on all the websites you visit and put an overlay in search results if you want. This is the quickest way to check stats as you’re browsing around.

Moz Bulk Domain Checker for Google Docs

Want to check a bulk group of domains? With this easy tool, you can throw a bunch of domains into a Google doc and quickly get the moz DA / PA for them.

Link building tools

Here are some great link building tools.

Ahrefs

I had to include this here because Ahrefs has stepped up so much in the last year. If I were to pick one tool, this might be it.

Guest Post Tracker

Need a huge list of guest post websites? This is it.

Ninja Outreach

Makes link outreach easy. You can search for influencers and reach out all in one tool.

Pitchbox

A very highly rated outreach tool. You can use this to score guest posts, submit to link roundups and more.

Point Blank Link Building Strategies

Not a tool, but an awesome resource with all kinds of link building strategies.

Ontolo

Awesome link prospecting tool.

SEO analytics & tracking

Here are the best tools for tracking.

Improvely

Use this to track all your campaigns and get a detailed look at what’s going on with your visitors.

Google Analytics

The grand standard. I just use it on all my money sites

Clicky

A Google Analytics alternative.

Fresh Metrix (Rank Tracking)

Easy rank tracking for national and down to the local level. You can start for free and they have plans all the way up to the thousands of keywords.

Serpfox (Rank Tracking)

Nice & easy tool for rank tracking. Just plop in your URL, keywords and location and it will do all the tracking for you. They have a free plan as well if you’re just getting started.

Serpbook (Rank Tracking)

Similar to serpfox but with nice white label and automated reporting.

Local specific tools

Here are the best tools for local SEO.

WhiteSpark Local Citation Finder

This is the industry standard tool and it’s awesome. Basically you can drop in your main kw and city, it will go out and find your competitors and see what citations they have, rank the citation sources by DA (Domain Authority) and show you which ones you are missing.

Local SEO Checklist

Nice and easy checklist to make sure you have the bases covered + more.

Rich Snippet Validator (Google)

Validate that rich snippets are working on your local site.

Schema Creator

Creates schema.org microdata for your local site.

Local SEO Quick Check (Moz)

Quickly check where you stand with citations, duplicates, errors etc.

Free Review Montioring

This will monitor your reviews, and you can track reviews of your competition.

Bluementhals Local Business Category Tool

Cool tool to get all the categories you should be in on Google Places.

My Call IQ.com

Call tracking for SEO & PPC + Call scoring

Call Fire

Call tracking, text messaging, voice response, and more.

Penalty Research

Here are the best tools for penalty research.

Panguin Tool

You can connect your Google Analytics account and it will display when google updates happened so you can see if drops in traffic match any Google updates.

Removeem Anchor Text Over Optimisation Checker

You can check to see if you’re over optimised for any of your anchors.

Link Research Tools

The industry standard in checking for toxic links. Be careful though, this tool likes to classify links as toxic even if they are not. Use this as a baseline but judge each link individually.

Social media

Here are the best tools for social media and expanding your presence.

Lock My Brand

Registers your brand name on the top social media websites in the world.

Onepress Social Locker

Use this tool to get more social shares on your blog.

Flare

This a cool social media share box.

Buffer

Schedule posts for your social media accounts.

Instagress

Automate your instagram marketing. Tweepi Automate twitter marketing.

About the author
Laurence

I am a 27-year-old WordPress web designer and SEO consultant based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. I have designed and maintained sites with over 20,000 pages on large corporate websites, smaller small business sites, and tiny personal websites and blogs. I provide freelance WordPress web design services in my evenings and weekends and also work full time at Toast Design in Banbury. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and on Google+.