Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an essential part of any digital marketer’s toolkit. Using SEO, marketers can drive high-quality traffic to their websites, blogs, and other content—all via organic search engine results. This has obvious benefits for boosting your digital marketing campaigns. And such is the power of SEO that many agencies and companies dedicate themselves entirely to this one digital marketing activity.
Whether you’re an SEO agency or managing an in-house marketing team, there’s a boom right now in all-in-one SEO tools that can help. In this post, we explore some of the top SEO tools you should know about, which cover key tasks like keyword research and backlink checking to competitor analysis, and more. Ready to get the lowdown? Let’s dive in.
A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Semrush is primarily a keyword research tool offering features like on-page SEO checking, rank tracking, and detailed reporting functions with graphs and plots. Using Semrush, you can easily sort keywords by their competitiveness, search volume, and pay-per-click value (particularly useful if you’re running search engine marketing campaigns). Semrush’s free plan also has plenty of basic features to get you started. You will have to fork out for more features though. It’ll set you back $120 a month to expand beyond five projects or to track more than 500 keywords.
Another SEO platform aimed at digital marketers, Ahrefs has various SEO tools for keyword research, site SEO audits, rank tracking, and measuring your competitor’s organic keywords. It also has great features for helping identify the best backlink opportunities for your specific business or domain area. Beyond this, Ahrefs’ broader health check features are great if you want to check problems with your website or identify areas for improvement. An additional nice-to-have is its mention monitoring functionality, which allows you to keep track of your content’s impact on social media.
Conductor is a data-driven platform with tons of standout SEO tools. Its streaming feature is particularly slick, providing clear insights into how your website is faring against competitors by comparing the organic keywords you both rank for. It also includes excellent segmentation options, allowing you to break down and separate keywords, both cross-website and on individual pages. Assess the overall SEO health of your website, or drill down to see the performance of specific keywords, pages, and geographic locations. Undoubtedly, this granular level of data is one of Conductor’s unique selling points. Combined with its highly visual reporting, it’s great for measuring the impact and ROI of your SEO strategy.
A problem with some ‘do it all’ SEO tools is that the abundance of features makes them confusing to use. That’s not a problem with BrightEdge, whose team puts in lots of effort to ensure that users get the most from the platform. While it offers all the usual features you’d expect from an SEO suite—which includes rank tracking, on-page recommendations, link building, and content insights (to name a few)—what stands out is its customer support. The BrightEdge team is extremely hands-on, offering weekly meetings, demos, and webinars to get you up to speed. With the right pricing plan, they even provide a dedicated Success Manager to ensure you’re getting the best return on investment.
Who better to tell you how your website is ranking in the search results than the mother of all search engines, Google? Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is one of the company’s core digital marketing services. Check your website’s indexing status and optimize your pages accordingly. Monitor server errors, problems with site loading, security issues, or simply check that any site maintenance won’t negatively impact your search performance. It has a great visual user interface, too, as you’d expect from Google, and offers tips and suggestions you’ll no doubt find useful. Better yet, many of these services are completely free, making Google Search Console a must-use for any SEO marketer.
Next steps: Get started for free.
SE Ranking has a wide set of SEO tools for keyword research, position tracking, and grouping. It also allows you to carry out website audits, competitor analysis, backlink monitoring, and more. Easy to use, it has just enough in-built data to be useful without becoming so complex that it’s overwhelming. Plus, because the pricing plans are linked to the features you use, it’s suitable for larger enterprises and small businesses on a budget. The main benefit of this is that if the business grows or the company expands, you won’t need to abandon SE Ranking for another tool, because it’s perfectly suited to scaling up.
With such a heavy focus on keywords, it can be easy for marketers to overlook other factors that play a role in organic search. Another cloud-based platform, SiteImprove goes beyond mere keywords to identify general errors and problems that might impact your website’s search rankings. An integrated suite, SiteImprove offers the ability to fully control web content, create policies and improve accessibility against the latest web standards and guidelines. You can also carry out more basic (but no less important) functions such as checking spelling errors, broken links and managing personal user data, e.g. cookies. Few other SEO tools offer such comprehensive quality assurance and it’s a great option if you have a large portfolio of sites to manage.
One of the more popular SEO tools is Moz Pro, designed to streamline keyword research and save you from all those hours with your head buried in spreadsheets. The tool’s keyword explorer function neatly ties together various keyword metrics, including priority, click-through rates, and rank difficulty. Once you’ve chosen the keywords you want, Moz Pro will continue to track your rankings, crawl and audit your website, and optimize pages with custom suggestions. You can even check your competitor’s backlinks to find link-building opportunities. The only drawback is that with so much functionality you’ll probably need some technical SEO knowledge. Without it, the sheer amount of available data might become a little overwhelming.
Another well-known digital marketing tool, SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool for SEO and pay-per-click. Analyze any domain of your choice and quickly generate a highly visual report, which will include which keywords and content the website ranks for, including top keywords, shared keywords, ranking history, and in-bound links. You can also compare a domain’s top competitors, which Google Ads they’ve purchased, and more. With such a wide breadth of functionality focused on SEO and PPC, it can take some time to get used to SpyFu’s interface and rich insights. Once you’ve done so, though, you’ll find it’s a powerful SEO tool for your armory.
Feature-rich (with over 30 different tools included) Serpstat incorporates the usual suspects, as well as additional features like team management, text analytics, and ready-to-use checklists. Often, when SEO platforms have many features, one or two are stand-out, while the rest feel more like ‘add-ons’. This isn’t the case with Serpstat, which feels like a toolkit built from the ground up with a coherent vision in mind. It’s robust, easy to use, and boasts excellent reporting and graphing features which present data in a clear, digestible way. It also delivers pricing plans catering to everyone, from individual marketers to agencies and enterprise-level users, so why not check it out?
Last but not least, Silktide. Beyond expanding your digital marketing reach with keyword research, Silktide is similar to SiteImprove in offering all the diagnostics necessary for improving your website’s overall health. The full solution includes web accessibility tools, content optimization, third-party software integrations, and mobile accessibility across numerous devices. Being such a broad-ranging platform, it would be easy to miss out on Silktide’s full potential. However, with functionality separated for each type of user—digital marketing teams, designers, and developers—you can be sure that you’re leveraging its full functionality.
Wrap up and further reading
There are many SEO tools available out there. However, as our list shows, the market for all-in-one SEO solutions is currently booming. With a diversity of all-in-one platforms, you should be able to find one that suits your organization’s digital marketing needs.
While it may be tempting to find separate tools for individual SEO tasks, a single platform with everything you need in one place will save time in the long run. In turn, this will help you to focus on what’s important—producing top-notch creative SEO campaigns that get you to the top of the search results.
Ready to learn more about a career in digital marketing? Why not try out this free, 5-day short course? Then, check out the following introductory guides: