Whether you are a marketing pro or an entrepreneur just starting to dig into the whole new world of digital marketing, SEO tools can offer you a wide range of options that will either make managing your marketing campaigns a piece of cake, or the distinction can be so confusing you will feel like a person trying to decipher a text in ancient Chinese. Here we have assembled 27 of the best and efficient tools, both paid and free that we have a firsthand experience in using. Read on and determine which one fits your marketing campaign to the t.
1. Moz Pro
What it is: An All-in-One Website SEO toolkit
What it does: Moz Pro provides keyword research, link building, site audits, and page optimization insights.
- Campaigns helps measure organic traffic and keyword rankings
- Open Site Explorer identifies opportunities for link building
- Fresh Web Explorer monitors the web for you
- Keyword & Rankings lets you explore new keywords and grades pages
- Crawl Test conducts site audit for up to 3,000 pages
- MozBar lets you access important SEO metrics
Pros: Moz Pro helps you improve your overall SEO performance in less time. Its OSE provides a clear overall picture on aspects like on-site issues, keyword hints, and competition monitoring
Cons: Open Site Explorer ranks poorly compared to competitors like Majestic.com and Ahrefs.com, as it doesn’t get as in-depth. If you’re looking to conduct a large-scale SEO audit, it isn’t the best tool to use.
Takeaway: While it doesn’t have the power of some other SEO tools, it’s still the best basic offering. It’s the complete tool for everything—a true golden medium.
Best for Website Overall
What it is: Think Moz Pro – OSE + PPC in one simplified toolkit.
What it does: SEMrush is an “all-in-one Marketing Toolkit,” providing four tools needed by any digital marketer:
- SEO: Complete workflow includes competitive intelligence, technical SEO Audit, and backlinks audit and analytics.
- Paid Traffic: Improve PPC efforts through keyword grouping and management, competition analytics, and ad keywords/creatives research.
- Social Media: Track audience and engagement, identify best-performing content, and compare to competitors.
- Content & PR: Collect brand mentions, find promotional opportunities, and identify most effective channels.
Pros: Trusted by eBay, Amazon.com, Disney, and HP means that SEMrush already has some major brownie points. You also get weekly SEO audits, track your rankings, and keep an eye on your competitors.
Cons: The extensive keyword database may leave you feeling overwhelmed. You also can’t cut the list down before exporting to and it doesn’t offer the capability to save searches.
Takeaway: SEMrush is ideal for digital marketing professionals (sorry, business owners) but may take some additional time in sorting through some of its expansive data compared to other SEO tools.
3. Google Search Console
What it is: In other words the Webmaster’s Tool a free service from Google that monitors and maintains your website’s presence in Google Search results.
What it does:
- Helps monitor and resolve malware and spam issues
- Ensures Google can access your website’s content
- Shows what sites link to your website
- Indicates your mobile website’s performance
- Insight into what queries moved most traffic to your site
Pros: View insight from on-site and off-site for any website you own or to which you have access. It’s basic enough to for business owners to use and in-depth enough for professional SEO marketers and Web Developers to find value.
Cons: Google Search Console is geared toward optimizing your website for Google’s searches, ignoring competitors search engines like Yahoo or Bing.
Takeaway: It’s a great tool that doesn’t take much time, but if you’re going to use it, consider using another tool that helps you maintain your search in competitor search engines (such as Bing’s Webmaster Tools).
4. Google Analytics
What it is: Free digital analytics tool that helps you understand customer experience on your website.
What it does: Provides comprehensive measurements and multiple capabilities:
- Overview of your site to evaluate content performance
- Proprietary audience data and machine learning capabilities
- Integrates with other Google tools
- Measure app impact
- Mobile access for viewing on the go
Pros: You’re able to monitor multiple sites (including social media), track users that view via mobile, and create custom goals and reports based on needs. It is ideal for both small business and enterprises.
Cons: Statistics don’t occur in real-time and there is limited support. Plus, you may not get the truest results, since visitors are able to opt out of being tracked.
Takeaway: If offers you a lot in terms of a free tool, but for some it will have a learning curve.
5. PageSpeed Insights by Google; Test With Google
What it is: PageSpeed Insights is one of the free online website speed testing SEO tools that measures page performance on mobile and desktop, providing a score from 0 to 100.
What it does: Plug in a webpage and it provides a ranking based on common performance best practices and provides suggestions for improving overall page score.
Pros: Get performance insights for both mobile and desktop versions with a multitude of suggestions. Plus, Google is always working on making this tool better so it will compare against the most up-to-date best practices.
Takeaway: A great, free tool that offers lots of insight and suggestions. Google notes that while these suggestions may improve speed, performance is dependent upon user’s connection.
6. Test My Site — Think with Google
What it is: A free online testing tool that tests a website’s mobile speed.
Pros: Tests mobile loading time, estimated visitor loss in percentage, and compares your website to top-performers in your industry. It can also provide top fixes to reduce your mobile loading time. Get all this information in a free, detailed report.
Cons: While the report Test My Site curates is free, you need to provide an email address so they can contact you in the future to sell their products and services.
Takeaway: Test My Site is a great guideline for optimizing your mobile website, as long as you don’t mind the occasional marketing email from Google.
7. Google Tag Manager
What it is: A free tool that lets you add or update website tags without needing to know coding.
Pros: Ideal for those who need help with schema markup to help search engines better understand what their website’s content means. It has an easy-to-use interface and has a flexible data layer.
Cons: Since Google Tag Manager is a free tool, there isn’t a lot of specialty or implementation assistance. You may also need a developer to conduct some initial setup, such as setting up the data layer.
Takeaway: May take some expert assistant to set up, but once that is done it is relatively easy to use.
8. Yoast SEO
What it is: Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin.
What it does: Helps you optimize keywords, preview page on different search engines, conduct readability checks and more.
Pros: Easy enough for even non-SEO experts to use. The Content & SEO Analysis tool in the plugin is based on a “stoplight” (Red, Yellow, Green) to indicate what is great and what needs work.
Cons: You won’t get as much out of this unless you have the Premium version, and while the color system of the Analysis tool is nice, it doesn’t do the best in explaining how to fix it, so extensive research may needed. If your website doesn’t utilize WordPress, you can’t use this tool.
Takeaway: A great plugin to install, even if it’s just the free version.
9. Agency Analytics
What it is: All-in-one reporting platform.
What it does: It is a cloud-based dashboard for SEO, PPC, social, and analytics, offering features like:
- SEO Rank Tracker: Tracker remains accurate, as it is updated daily.
- Backlink Monitor: Track backlink profile through different groupings and metrics.
- SEO Audit Tool: Track progress with weekly and monthly reports; identify website issues.
- Social Analytics: Monitor social media reports on one platform.
- PPC Analytics: Integrate multiple channels to build a customized PPC report.
- User Dashboard: Customize with widgets; mobile friendly.
- Reporting: Automatic reporting for SEO, PPC, and more.
Pros: New features of Agency Analytics are added all the time so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Its automated reporting is great for busy SEO professionals, so you’ll never forget to send reports to clients.
Cons: It’s not as in-depth as Moz Pro and is lacking a few integrations. For some, the amount of data will be overwhelming and timely to mine through.
Takeaway: Great alternative for tracking rankings and combining various data sources into one.
Best for Local SEO
10. N.A.P. Hunter (Chrome Extension)
What it is: A Chrome extension that speeds up manual citation auditing for local SEO
What it does: The N.A.P. Hunter (Name, Address, Phone Number) searches for combinations such as business name, address, and phone number so you can view the citation profile and download it.
Pros: This tool is simple and easy to use and encourages local SEO optimization. It’s great for discovering personal and competitor citations.
Cons: Since it’s a Chrome extension, N.A.P. Hunter may experience issues with new Chrome updates.
Takeaway: Must-have extension for anyone working with Local SEO.
What it is: A paid tool for local SEO
What it does: Yext gets your business listed online through PowerListings. Ensure that your business’ website profiles are updated with all relevant information.
Pros: Great for small business owners, as it reduces the time to update profiles and covers around 59 review websites like Yelp and Foursquare.
Cons: This service can be costly, and once you stop utilizing the service, the listings go back to the way they were. It also un-suppresses duplicate listings.
Takeaway: A good tool to use, if you’re willing to pay for the price of its convenience
What it is: A dashboard for local marketing that includes listings, reviews, and keyword ranking.
What it does:
- Analytics: Track your web rankings and more
- Crawl All Listings: Helps catch data inconsistencies across search engines.
- Instant-Sync: Sync data across platforms.
- Location Management: Manage one or multiple locations.
- Monitor Interactions: Get notified as soon as you get a review or social comment.
- Niche Specific: Manage sites specific to your industry.
- Respond: Respond to reviews directly in Synup.
- Widgets: Display location and reputation through the web.
Pros: Easily and quickly fix errors in your listings that could cost you business. Since this platform is simple to use, it’s great for small business owners.
Cons: Synup only submits to 42 sites and it’s also only available for the United States.
Takeaway: Easy to use and great for small business owners to agencies.
What it is: BrightLocal offers tools and citation builders for local SEO.
What it does: Provides local SEO reports for agencies, businesses, and freelancers. All-in-one toolkit offers:
- Option to build, audit, and clean citations
- White-label reporting
- Audit your NAP
- Track your search rankings
- Monitor reviews
- Get SEO sales and audit reports
Pros: Several price tiers for each type of business means you can get a plan most tailored to your needs. Submits your information to over 1,600 sites. Offers more features than similar services.
Cons: Doesn’t have the best customer service when it comes to reporting bugs or other issues. Some reports also include bugs as well.
Takeaway: Even with the occasional bug, BrightLocal is great for anyone looking to manage local SEO.
Best for Links
What it is: A search engine of links on the web.
What it does: Offers a variety of tools in three subscription plans: Free, Lite, and Pro. Tools include:
- Backlink History
- Clique Hunter
- Keyword Checker
- Search Explorer Alpha
- Standard and Advanced reports
Pros: Offers one of the largest indexes of links. Majestic is a great tool for back link analysis, penalty recoveries, competition analysis and link building.
Cons: Majestic states that its free account is meant to give users a “taste” of Majestic, but warns that users of free accounts will be hampered by its limitations.
Takeaway: A good investment for those who rely on an index of links.
What it is: A collection of tools to improve SEO results.
What it does: Get all the tools you need to improve your marketing and SEO, including competitive analysis; keyword, backlink, and content research; rank tracking; and web monitoring.
Pros: Ahrefs adds new tools and features each week so you will always be one step ahead. It also has a great blog with multiple case studies and helpful tips. Useful even if you don’t utilize their services.
Cons: Can be a bit pricey for larger organizations.
Takeaway: Ahrefs is a great toolbox for monitoring competitors and provides value for its cost.
What it is: A toolset to power digital marketing.
What it does: Helps improve organic visibility with tools like:
- Backlink Analysis
- Link Monitoring
- Manual Site Investigation
- Outreach & CRM
- Prospect Gathering
- Site Hunting
Pros: Integrates with Ahrefs, Majestic, Buzzsteam, and Pitchbox. Its monitoring tools can save you time and identify errors that can jeopardize your efforts.
Cons: Kerboo is more of a supplemental tool and should be used to complement—not replace—other digital marketing tools.
Takeaway: This toolset automates many processes so you can do your job more efficiently and is a perfect add-on to your current tools.
Best for SEO + Content Marketing
What it is: Pitchbox is an influencer outreach and content marketing platform.
What it does: Helps build links in the following ways:
- Finds influencers in your niche and industry
- Customizable/personalized outreach to targets
- Tracks outreach process and make decisions based on data
Pros: Clear-cut structuring, multiple options for personalization, and backlink analysis tool integration.
Cons: No browser plug-in to manage or inspect outside the Pitchbox workspace.
Takeaway: One of the best platforms for SEOs and publishers when it comes to content marketing.
What it is: A platform that connects Content Marketing and SEO.
What it does:
- Customize your dashboards, reports, and forecasts.
- Provides content performance recommendations.
- Manage website backlinks.
- BrightEdge ContentIQ, a site auditing solution.
- Understand performance for local, global, and mobile.
Pros: Multiple types of support—email, phone, training, and tickets—means you will always have somewhere to turn to when you need assistance. This tool is great for SEOs, content and digital marketers, and executives.
Cons: Those looking for something strictly SEO-based will find that BrightEdge offers more than they want.
Takeaway: A great enterprise solution that offers more than SEO capabilities
What it is: A search tool that finds best performing content.
What it does: Insert a topic (“search engine optimization”) or a competitor (“Capital One”) to discover content that is performing the best and identify key influencers. Solutions include content discovery, competitor research, content curation, and brand monitoring.
Pros: BuzzSumo is great for staying relevant by creating content based on trending topics. Also helps with idea generation.
Cons: Categories are limited and may not fit a particular niche, so you’ll have to do some digging to find results relevant to you.
Takeaway: Ideal for SEOs and writers looking to add more content with trending topics for their readers.
What it is: “Search engine” that offers consumer insights.
What it does: Helps you determine content to write about as well as keyword suggestions. You can search based on location (UK, USA, and more), and it provides results based on Questions, Prepositions, and Alphabetical. You can easily export your results to CSV.
Pros: Answerthepublic is a free tool that is useful for both SEO and Content teams, and it gives you better insight into exactly what your audience wants.
Cons: Lots of results means you’ll have to take some time finding what is most relevant to you.
Takeaway: Great inspiration and research tool for SEO keywords and content curation.
Best for On-Site
21. Screaming Frog
What it is: Spider tool and crawler software.
What it does: Crawls websites’ URLs and conducts analysis to optimize a website.
- Finds broken links
- Audits redirects
- Analyzes page titles and meta data
- Finds duplicate content
- Generate XML sitemaps
- Google Analytic integration
Pros: Beneficial for both large and small sites. The free version of the Screaming Frog offers enough features to optimize your site on a budget.
Cons: Desktop program that needs to be installed. Must pay for service if you need more than 500 URLs inspected and some additional features.
Takeaway: A great version to enjoy for free and a handy tool to conduct quick audits.
What it is: DeepCrawl helps search marketers make websites visible, accessible and effective.
What it does: Solve common SEO issues and challenges.
- Architecture: Optimize your website by viewing its architecture from multiple angles.
- Competitors: Gain an advantage over your competitors by learning about their strategy and website architecture.
- International: Make sure international audiences see the right page for them and fix broken hreflang links.
- Migration: Mitigate risk and maintain control when moving your website.
- Monitor: Schedule crawls and track website progress and ensure your website is always optimized.
- Panda: Improve or remove low-quality pages, pair analytics and crawl data, and detect duplicate information.
- Penguin: Audit, optimize, and benchmark backlinks.
- UX: Remove or fix broken pages, speed up your site, and beef up content.
Pros: This comprehensive tool lets you conduct large-scale SEO audits, keep an eye on your competitors, and ensure your website is optimized so it can be found.
Cons: It doesn’t offer much else for SEO purposes besides crawling your website. Novice SEO professionals may be overwhelmed by all the data it provides.
Takeaway: A great tool to utilize thanks to its large-scale auditing capabilities, but it can’t be your only tool.
Best for Keywords
What it is: Free keyword suggestion for multiple websites.
What it does: Type in a keyword and get results for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay or the App Store. It generates long tail keywords based on different search queries. All this information can be sorted and exported to CSV.
Pros: User friendly and simple interface plus a helpful customer support team means KeywordTool.io is great for even novice users.
Cons: The free account is limited to a certain number of suggestions (up to 750 for Google and 380 for Amazon).
Takeaway: Good to use as part of your keyword research, but if you want to utilize its full potential you need to get the premium version.
What it is: Enterprise SEO and content marketing platform.
What it does: The Searchmetrics Suite offers a variety of tools suitable for any professional.
- Content Performance
- Keyword Data
- Local, Global, and Mobile SEO
- Pay Per Click
- Research Cloud
- Social Media Optimization
Pros: Ideal for large-scale keyword tracking. Provides granular detail of SEO, keyword and competition analysis.
Cons: Its complexity may introduce a learning curve for some users. Must have credits to export keyword ranking data; these are limited by your subscription plan.
Takeaway: This enterprise tool is great for SEOs who rely on large-scale keyword tracking and is a worthy investment for any company.
What it is: A free Latent Semantic Indexing Keyword generator – LSIgraph.
What it does: Type in your keyword and it will provide a list of LSI Keywords, or keywords that are semantically related. By using your keywords in conjunction with LSI Keywords, you can better help your pages rank.
Pros: Straightforward and easy to use, offering 20+ results.
Takeaway: Useful for on the go and definitely a tool to keep in your bookmarks.
26. SEOTools for Excel
What it is: A set of tools that integrate with Microsoft Excel.
What it does: Functions include On- and Off-Page SEO, integrations with multiple services, Connectors, spider, and additional tools. It can bring all your SEO data directly into your spreadsheet, saving you time and manual labor.
Pros: Additional Connectors like AccuRanker and Moz means you can extend SeoTool’s functionality.
Cons: If you’re missing a capability, you can always build a Connector, but it may require some learning.
Takeaway: SEOTools for Excel allows for customization thanks to its multiple Connectors and ability to create new ones
27. Chrome’s Developer Tools
What it is: Chrome’s Devtools are a set of web authoring and debugging tools for Google Chrome.
What it does: Helps track and fix issues when developing websites. Developer Tools include:
- Device Mode
- Elements panel
- Console panel
- Sources panel
- Network panel
- Performance panel
- Memory panel
- Application panel
- Security panel
Cons: Since these tools are specifically for Chrome, you are limited to using this browser.
Takeaway: Good set of tools, even if you aren’t utilizing the rest of Google’s offerings like Analytics or PageSpeed Insights.