Are you looking to undertake search engine optimisation (SEO) on your business’ website? The task can often feel daunting, especially if you don’t work in marketing or web development.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. There are a plethora of tools you can use to make SEO easier. They can help you with a range of tasks, from keyword research to reporting to website optimisation.
But what are the best SEO tools to use?
1. Google Search Console
When you’re undertaking SEO, you can’t look past Google Search Console. Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console will help you to track the performance of your website. You’ll be able to see how many impressions your site receives, how many people click the website, the average click-through rate and average position.
Google Search Console doesn’t stop there. You’ll also be able to monitor if there are any coverage issues with your website if you have received any manual actions (such as a Google penalty) if there are any security issues and mobile usability issues.
Essentially, Google Search Console helps you to ensure your rankings continue to improve and helps you to avoid having a website full of technical problems. Best of all, Search Console is completely free to use.
SEMrush is one of the most popular SEO software tools. This has a long list of features which will help you improve your website and traffic flow.
SEMrush will give you a site audit, allowing you to see technical errors which you can fix with your website. Fixing these technical errors will allow for your site to load faster and give the customer a better experience, which will result in better rankings.
You’ll also be able to see your position tracking and compare this to the competition – this allows you to see if they’re improving their rankings while you’re not or vice versa. You can also monitor backlinks to your website and use the Google Disavow Tool for any toxic domains. You can even use SEMrush to get inspiration for keywords to use in PPC campaigns or even in your content.
You can monitor three campaigns at once for free, however, if you have more than three websites you may benefit from paying for SEMrush. However, most small businesses will be able to gain enough data and insights from the free version.
3. Moz Pro
Another SEO software option is Moz Pro. Moz is popular in the SEO community for consistently reporting on Google’s algorithm changes and it’s easy-to-understand MozCast. Moz also offers the MozBar, which gives you the page and domain authority for websites you visit.
Moz Pro offers a variety of SEO solutions, including site audits, rank tracking, backlink analysis, keyword research and more.
You can pay monthly or annually for Moz Pro, with prices ranging from $79 per month to $599 per month.
4. Google Keyword Planner
If you need keywords for your PPC campaign or need ideas for keywords to use within your content, don’t look past Google Keyword Planner.
You can find new keywords simply by typing in a certain keyword and Keyword Planner will generate a list of suggestions. You can even do this with your websites URL, and you’ll see a list of related keywords. If you are logged in to your Google Ads account, you can add these keywords straight to your ad campaigns.
5. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog has developed the Screaming Frog SEO Spider which is a website crawler that helps you improve your onsite SEO. The crawler will extract data and audit common problems. You can see problems such as broken links, page titles, metadata, audit redirects and duplicate content. You can even use this to generate XML Sitemaps and visualise the site structure. If you’re looking to make a new website or update your URLs and need a redirect map, this will be a useful tool.
There is a free version which allows you to download and crawl 500 URLs, which will be more than enough for most small business owners. Those who have multiple businesses or franchises may find they need to pay for this tool. £149 will get you a license to use the software for one year.
Does your website load slowly? Have no idea how quickly it loads? You need to start using GTMetrix.
GTMetrix analyses the page speed of your website and will give you a grade score from A to F, as well as a percentage from 100 to 1. The tool will list what technical problems you need to resolve in order to decrease your page load time.
You can make a free account and change where the test server location is – this is handy if you are located in one of the countries with a test server. There are no limits to how often you can test, so if you’re making changes to your website, you can continue to test and see what differences your updates are making.
7. Google Mobile-Friendly Test
In 2015, Google announced an algorithm update where mobile rankings would differ for mobile-friendly sites. This algorithm update came to be referred to as ‘Mobilegeddon’. Essentially, this meant business owners needed to make sure their websites were mobile-friendly.
One easy way to check if your website is mobile-friendly is through using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Just put the URL of your business in, and the tool will tell you whether or not the site is mobile friendly.
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool, coming with a range of features including competitor analysis, keyword explorer, content explorer, rank tracker and site audit tools. They even have the second-biggest website crawler – second only to Google.
No matter your experience level, Ahrefs is designed to be easy to use – you don’t have to worry about getting confused or overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to pay for this tool. If you’re unsure, you can start a 7-day trial for $7. Otherwise, there are prices which range from $99 per month to $999 per month. Small businesses will find the lowest price gives you more than enough features.
Want to have a better understanding of your website’s backlinks, keywords and competitors? You may wish to use Majestic.
One of their most popular features is the Majestic Million. This shows the top million domains they can find with the most referring subnets. You can see if your website makes the cut, or analyse your competitors’ websites.
You can also use the Site Explorer, which as the name suggests, allows you to explore your website’s data and gives you a thorough rundown of the backlinks associated with your website.
Plans for Majestic start at $41.67 per month and range to $399 per month.
10. Google Analytics
Is any SEO tool list complete without mentioning Google Analytics? This is the go-to SEO tool.
Much like Google Search Console, you can use analytics to track your website’s performance and see how much traffic your website is gaining. However, the data on Analytics goes much deeper. There are numerous metrics categories, including acquisition, engagement, monetisation, retention and conversions. You can even get data on your potential customers – how they got to your website, what country they’re in, what time they come to the website, and how well you retain the users, to name a few.
If you’re wanting to get the highest chance of having your customers convert, don’t look past Google Analytics.
These are just some of the long list of tools that are available to help make your SEO journey easier. Let us know if you think we missed any of your favourite tools!
If you are interested in SEO but don’t quite know where to start, contact Patch Agency’s SEO experts today.