If you are serious about maximising the potential of your website then investing some time and money in a group of SEO tools that can really help you is essential. A couple of great SEO tools will allow you to analyse, research and take action more easily, plus they will cover all of the basics a professional SEO would cover in analysing your website and taking action on your behalf. Mastering these tools could mean less money spent on outsourcing.
In this blog post I'm going to tell you about the 5 SEO tools you cannot live without if you want to be successful in doing your own search engine optimisation.
- Moz Pro
A great all in one solution is the monthly paid subscription service from Moz. It is a suite of SEO and analysis tools that can really help you. Serious people will always invest in the most powerful tools, and Moz Pro fits into that category.
Moz Pro can give you a great insight in many ways, and help you to improve your website very quickly. There is a monthly subscription but considering the power of what it offers it is well worth the money.
It consists of the following elements:
- Open Site Explorer allows you to research back links and analyse pages, social activity and anchor text. Not just on your own website, but on competitors’ too.
- MozBar is a browser plugin that lets you perform keyword research and page analysis.
- Fresh Web Explorer helps you to discover new link building opportunities, as well as monitoring topics.
- Rank Tracker is a tool that gives you instant reports on webpages and page/domain rank for keywords.
- Keyword Difficulty helps you to find how easy or difficult it could be to rank for a specific search term.
- On-Page Grader analyses a webpage to give you insights and recommendations to help you rank more highly.
- Crawl Test will deliver you a site audit, allowing you to find bad links and get insights on to things that could be affecting the crawling of your website.
SEMRush is a comprehensive research and monitoring tool. It allows you to do competitive research, analyse keywords and check ranking position changes.
It's also great for paid advertising campaigns. It can analyse your competitors and their strategies and even potential budget and spend.
On top of that SEMRush can analyse your competitors keywords and ad copy. This is great because it allows you to see exactly what your competitors are targeting.
In terms of link research it can do much the same as Moz Pro can. It allows you to undertake deep link analysis, check backlink types, and better understand referring domain authority.
When you throw in the ability to analyse video advertising campaigns, keyword research, domain to domain analysis, site audit, social media tracking and rank tracking, and it is truly a comprehensive tool.
- Google Keyword Planner
To use the Google Keyword Planner you will need a Google adwords account. The good news is you don't need to have an active advertising campaign or pay any money, you just need the account to access the planner.
Based on the Google keyword tool, the new version is more targeted towards advertisers. So it's not quite as useful as it used to be in some ways, but it's still a great and completely free way to get insight into keyword potential in the Google search engine.
By entering your keyword you will get information and suggestions on other related keywords and also see average search information. This average search information is not listed by device any more so it will appear higher at times than it actually is.
Although it is a little basic in terms of its analysis compared to some of the other specialist tools out there, you can at least be sure it is information straight from Google. This is particularly good when the keyword planner rates keywords as high, medium or low competition in terms of advertising. It gives you an idea about how difficult it might be to rank your website for those keywords.
- Screaming Frog
Screaming frog is an SEO spidering tool. It allows you to crawl a website and obtain key on site elements to analyse further. This can be done by downloading the results into a spreadsheet.
Screaming frog allows you to:
- Find broken links on your website
- Analyse page titles
- Analyse meta data
- Generate an XML site map
- Identify redirects
- Spot duplicate content
- Review directives such as nofollow and noindex
- Connect to Google Analytics using an API
Although the data it extracts will take a bit of work to analyse and benefit from, when you consider that the basic version that does pretty much everything is completely free, it really is a fantastic SEO tool to use.
Scrapebox does exactly what it says it is. It allows you to scrape data from the Internet and websites and then use that data as the basis for for further analysis. It can really help you to dig into things in a way some of the other tools can't.
It's not a very well known tool and it is seen as “blackhat” by some people still because it originally started as a tool to scrape places to mass spam blog comment backlinks. You can still do that, but that's not the focus of what makes it a great SEO tool.
It has evolved massively and can now help you to do the following:
- Search engine scraper
- Keyword scraper
- Domain availability checker
- Meta data scraper
- RSS feed Creator and submitter
- Sitemap Creator
- Page authority checker, which uses MOZ api
- Anchor text checker
- URL alive checking tool
- Broken link checker
On top of those key tools there are also a lot of extra addons and plugins that I don't have space to mention here, all of which can do other useful tasks for you. It really is a comprehensive tool that allows you to check and scrape almost anything you would want.
Just like Screaming Frog and Google Keyword Planner, the real value in Scrapebox is how you analyse and use information that you gather, and that's where learning comes in.
The other tools, Moz Pro, and SEMRush are more beginner friendly and could be more than enough for what you need, but both of those tools come with a monthly subscription cost which some people may find prohibitive.