While search engine optimization remains a goal for businesses around the globe, Google is making it harder and harder to rank organically thanks to algorithm updates and changes to their paid search layout.
This makes it all the more imperative for SEOs to have a robust toolkit with everything needed to keep a website ranking high in the SERPs.
All marketers have their personal favourites, but we’ve compiled a list of the tools we feel are the most helpful in achieving the SEO results you want.
Moz is the Swiss Army knife of SEO—a tool with tools. Moz’s suite of tools can do just about everything, including: pulling rankings, collecting traffic-related data, assist with content, branding, and linking, uncovering errors in your website, identifying missed SEO opportunities and helping you figure out what to do next, and exploring missed conversations.
There’s tons of free on Moz that you can use to your benefit, but if you’re serious about your SEO efforts spring for the Moz Pro plan that runs $99 a month. With the Pro plan you can track 300 keywords over five campaigns.
Rank Tracker by Link Assistant
Rank Tracker is an unparalleled tool for tracking rankings whether locally, globally, or both.
You can customize it to fit your campaign needs, and everything is unlimited regardless if you check 10 search results or 1,000, check once a month or 10 times daily.
You can check geo-specific rankings, use the integrated keyword search tool, and use the keyword analysis to choose the best keywords for your site and campaigns.
Majestic SEO for Backlink Auditing
Majestic SEO could not be any easier to use and gives you a peak into your competitor’s backlinks.
Although it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning, once you get used to how the data is delivered and understand how to interpret it, this SEO tool offers invaluable information.
A free version is available, but the paid version, which starts around $50 a month, is worth investing in if your SEO efforts are focused primarily on back link building. With the paid version, you’ll be able to see your competitor’s anchor text, keywords, citation flow, and link history, highlighting potential resources you have maybe overlooked.
This tool is ideal for auditing your own backlinks also, so you can remove any bad links you may have acquired over time.
SEMRush has a wealth of data collected from both Google and Bing and can show you your competitor’s ranking for almost 100 million different keywords.
More importantly, this site can provide you with live ranking updates for your own website and help you determine which keywords are performing successfully.
It’s also possible to see if other websites are trying to rank for the same keywords as you are.
This competitor research tool is also great for generating new content ideas that will engage your target audience. You can type in a keyword and read through the phrase match report and the related keywords report, which provide detailed volume information.
The keywords that show up will help you tailor content ideas to match the keywords, and provide you with additional keywords to research.
Essentially, you can research deeper and deeper until you’ve come up with a detailed list of keywords and content ideas.
SEMRush begins at $79.95 for 3,000 reports per day and 10,000 results per report.
Whitespark is a must-have tool for any SEO focused on optimizing for local search results and working to extend local brand reach. Whitespark pricing starts at $20 a month for up to 20 searches a day per project, up to five projects.
Within Whitespark you’ll find useful tools including the local citation finder, citation building, offline conversion trackers, review handout generator, link prospector, and local rank tracker.
If you’re unsure about whether or not Whitespark will help you find additional (and overlooked) citation opportunities, try the free trial.
We would be remiss to leave Google Analytics off this list.
First, Google Analytics is completely free to use, you just need to have an account login.
Second, it has everything you need to lay the foundation for a successful SEO campaign. With Google Analytics, you can find out how website visitors find your site. You can see which pages people spend the most time on and what links they click on the most. And you can segment your traffic by things like geographic location and new or returning users, all of which will help you better optimize your campaign.
“Alex has almost a decade of experience in online marketing. He founded Form Two Lanes, an SEO Agency based in Sydney, that offers market leading SEO solutions.”