Becoming an expert in SEO takes time. If you are just starting to learn SEO, or are just trying to learn some SEO tips for your website, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start?
What are the best SEO tools to get you on the right track? Well I decided to put together a list of the 5 best SEO tools that will help you if you are just starting to try to build an SEO strategy, or if you already have some experience.
5 Best SEO Tools
1. Google Search Console
Setting up your website with Google Search Console is one of the first things that you should do when starting to work on SEO. This is a great tool that helps you analyze different aspects of your site such as indexing, mobile usability, and your link profile. It helps notify you when there are issues with your site that need to be addressed.
One important aspect about the Google Search Console is the Performance tab. This shows you the queries that are landing website visitors, along with the pages these website visitors are landing on. This is a great way to understand what is currently working for you, as well as what needs to be improved moving forward.
The Coverage section will make sure that all of your URLs are being indexed. If any of your URLs are not being indexed, that means that they will not show up in the search results. The Search Console will notify you when there are any indexing errors with any of your URLs.
The Mobile Usability tab works in a similar way. It analyzes your site and how it interacts with mobile devices. If they are able to identify any errors with the mobile usability of your site, you will be notified as to what is wrong.
The last useful section that I am going to go over is the Links section. This section is helpful because it shows you the different sites that are linking to your website along with what page they are linking to. This is a good way to determine the number of backlinks you have and if this is an area you need to improve in.
2. Screaming Frog
Almost every SEO uses Screaming Frog. It is a great tool that allows you to analyze your site in many different ways. Many SEO’s refer to Screaming Frog as the ultimate SEO audit tool. This program allows you to analyze more of the technical aspects of your site including duplicate content, broken links, and issues with titles and Meta information.
This tool finds all sorts of issues with your site that would otherwise take you a very long time to find. Having duplicate content on your site hurts your chances of ranking for a few different reasons. Google does not like to see duplicate content on your site. Also, when you have duplicate content on your site, that content is essentially ranking against each other which doesn’t help you.
Another way Screaming Frog can be beneficial for you is because it allows you to generate a sitemap. Sitemaps are important because they help search engines crawl your website. It basically puts your site into a format that search engines understand and can follow better.
Using Screaming Frog is a great way to run a technical audit on a website. This program will identify many issues with your site that need to be cleaned up.
3. Google Analytics
I don’t think many people realize how powerful Google Analytics is. If you have any amount of traffic coming to your site, Google analytics can be extremely helpful to determine how they are getting to your site as well as the exact type of people that are coming to your site. This can be a lot of help when you are trying to come up with strategies to get more visitors.
The main areas in Google Analytics are Real Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. These are all different areas that can be beneficial for you to analyze the traffic that is coming to your site.
Real Time shows you information about the visitors on your site as of right now. You can pull up different ways to view the information, but it will essentially show you all kinds of information about the type of people that are on your site, where they are located, and how they landed on your site.
Audience shows you information specific to the visitors themselves. This would include anything from the demographics, interests, and locations of these website visitors. It is extremely useful to be able to see this type of information. You can identify entirely new target markets based on the interests of your website visitors.
Another great way to view your data is to view the acquisition information about your website. This is referring to how you were able to get these website visitors. This gives you very specific information about exactly where your visitors are coming from. For example you can find out how many website visitors are coming from Facebook, and how many are coming from Google, along with the search query that brought them to your site.
The behavior area in Google Analytics gives you information about what happened when the users were on your website. It will show you what landing pages your visitors were brought to, along with their exit pages. This can help you determine if there were specific reasons that users may have left your website.
The last area I am going to go over is the conversions area. You can set up different goals in Google Analytics to determine exactly what a conversion is. Maybe a conversion for your website is getting someone to sign up to your newsletter. Google Analytics will give you steps to install code on your website so that whenever someone signs up for your newsletter, you will have a completed goal in Google Analytics. This is a great way to measure the success of your marketing campaigns.
I am going to try to keep this section as short as possible, but I cannot say enough about Ahrefs. If you are going to try to get by with using only one SEO tool, this is the tool that I would use. In my opinion, this is the best SEO tool out there. They have a great keyword research tool, they have a site explorer that allows you to analyze your own site, or competitors’ sites. A few other great things that Ahrefs provides are their Content Explorer and their Site Audit.
Ahref’s keyword explorer tool is an awesome tool that allows you to find out the search volume for keywords, how difficult it is to rank for those keyword, similar keyword suggestions, and the top websites currently ranking for those keywords. This tool gives you so much information. While this data is never going to be perfect, it gives you a great idea if specific keywords are worth targeting, or if you should focus on some other keywords.
The site explorer tool allows you to analyze any site you would like. It gives you valuable information about the keywords they rank for, their estimated organic traffic based on the keywords they are ranking for, and also their entire backlink profile. This is a big reason I see Ahrefs as one of the best SEO tools, because you can see all of this important information about yourself and your competitors.
With Ahref’s site explorer, you can also take a look at competitors’ SEO vs SEM strategy. You can see how much traffic they are getting organically, and also how much they are spending on their paid search strategy.
The content explorer allows you to find all different kinds of content based on the keyword that you provide. This tool allows you to also filter the data in many different ways to find the type of content you are looking for. I personally use this tool a lot to find topics to write blog posts about.
The site audit is relatively new for Ahrefs. It allows you to plug in a website, and it will give you some errors that need to be fixed on your site that are similar to the types of issues that Screaming Frog will show you. It shows you the priority of the issue as well. It will either show that it is something that needs to be fixed now, or it is something that maybe isn’t crucial, but would still be good to clean up.
5. Backlinko’s Google Ranking Factors
Ever since I found this article, I have looked back to reference it more times than I can count. Backlinko put together a list of what they believe covers all of the ranking factors Google uses in their algorithm. It is a list of 200 ranking factors and is a great resource to reference when trying to rank your website. Some of these ranking factors are more important than others, but they have all proven to have at least some significance in the rankings.
Although there are so many useful SEO tools, I think that these 5 are the best SEO tools for both beginners and experienced SEO’s:
- · The Google Search Console is a great way to be sure that there are no errors/issues with your site.
- · Screaming Frog is a good way to run on-page and technical audits for your site and be sure you do not have any issues such as duplicate content or broken links.
- · You can see some very interesting information about your website visitors and how they arrived to your site with Google analytics.
- · I think that Ahrefs is a good all-in-one tool that allows you to analyze your competitors and figure out exactly how to out-rank them.
- · Backlinko’s Google Rankings article is a great resource to reference when trying to rank your website.
- These 5 SEO tools should easily help you achieve your desired SEO results.
My name is Tyler Nalbach and I have been working in SEO for over a year now. I am the owner of SEO Align, with the goal of helping website owners increase their organic traffic. I have a blog where I mostly write about SEO and SEM strategies.