What do good soldiers have in common? The ability to use the right weapons from their arsenal at right times! The same goes for SEO tools also. There are over hundred SEO tools, to help you with different activities like keyword planning, link building, managing content etc. But, finding the right SEO tool can be as hard as finding a needle in a haystack.
We decided to go straight to the source and asked this simple question – “What are your favorite SEO tools? ”. These experts have run several successful SEO campaigns and have tried & tested a number of SEO tools along the way. While some suggestions include popular and well-known tools like “Buzzsumo, Ahrefs, SEMRush, etc.”, you will also find a bunch of hidden SEO gems in like – Deep Crawl, Mass Planner, Squirrly, Ubersuggest – that you can really dig into.
Here are the recommendations from the experts:
1. Martijn Scheijbeler
@martijnsch - Director of Marketing at The Next Web
- SEMrush: Do I need to say more why? Their teams are awesome and support us in everything we need/ask for.
- Google Analytics 360, ever wanted to track literally everything users do on your site? Well Google Analytics 360 makes it possible for The Next Web by allowing us to track hundreds of millions of events on a monthly basis and still having a ‘relatively’ easy set-up.
- Yoast Plugins: Believe it or not but TNW is still running on WordPress. But building most of the technology on article pages for SEO is useless as the Yoast plugins provide this. With some tweaks to their plugin it works great for TNW.
- Our own Rankings Setup: I’m still a huge fan of tracking rankings, not to see what your ranking is for a specific keyword but to get more sense on what kind of trends you’re seeing across regions or for certain industries/groups you’re operating in. Our own set-up is extremely cheap and can handle tens of thousands of keywords.
- Google Tag Manager: Handling tracking for Google Analytics, Facebook, Intercom etc is mostly handled within The Next Web. We were able to live without a Tag Manager until a year ago. At some point when you have too many code bases, things get out of hand and this fixed it for us. We can trigger almost any code we want at any point.
2. Umar Khan
@mumar_khan - Founder at Khansmarketing
1. Moz Pro: A complete SEO solution for any website. From detailed on page analysis to backlinks checker, they provide useful insights that are essential for every SEO campaign. Other great features of Moz Pro are:
- Keyword Difficulty score
- Fresh Web explorer
- Moz Local
2. Buzz Sumo:
A must have tool for any content marketing campaign. It enables you to search most relevant and popular content and influencers in your specified niche .
3. Cognitive SEO:
If SEO audit is something you do on regular basis, then Cognitive SEO should be in your armory. It enables you to identify toxic links that can carry a potential threat for your website.
For running paid campaigns, SEMRush is a champ! And, I mean it. From keywords rank tracking to detailed analysis of your competitor paid marketing, it gives you a great edge!
One of my favorite backlink explorer
3. Brittany Berger
@bberg1010 - Content & PR at Mention
I like to keep things simple (and under budget, lol), so the SEO tools I use the most are Google Search Console and the Keyword Planner. Right now I’m really focused on improving and “re-optimizing” the content I’ve already created, so the stuff I find myself measuring the most is around what’s already ranking.
Seeing what something’s already ranking for before I make any changes, comparing what it’s optimized for with similar keywords, etc.
4. Takeshi Young
@takeshiyoung - SEO Manager at Optimizely
Here are some of the tools I use to manage SEO here at Optimizely:
- Google Analytics & Google Search Console – The standard tools for analytics and website analysis.
- Google Alerts & Mention.com – Good tool for seeing who is talking about our brand online, and for identifying opportunities to build links from unlinked brand mentions.
- Linkdex – Our SEO platform of choice, which we use to do everything from keyword tracking and backlink analysis to keyword discovery and on-page optimization.
- Übersuggest – A great way to generate LSI keywords for SEO articles that we create.
- Ahrefs – The best site for doing backlink analysis on competitors.
- Screaming Frog – A great crawler for conducting in-depth site analysis and for identifying potential structural issues.
- Optimizely – Of course we use Optimizely at Optimizely since there’s no point in getting SEO traffic that doesn’t convert. I use Optimizely to run A/B tests and personalization campaigns on key organic landing pages to increase conversions.
5. A.J. Ghergich
@seo from Ghergich & Co
The tools I use on a daily basis for SEO:
- Keywordtool.io – To find the questions any niche is asking.
- SERPS Keyword Research Database – To get quick and easy keyword data.
- Screaming Frog – To detect crawl issues and a million other things.
- Ahrefs – To analyze backlinks, get link alerts, and conduct keyword research.
- SEMrush – To analyze historical keyword changes and PPC keyword research.
- Buzzsumo – To find what content is working in any niche.
6. Larry Kim
@larrykim - Founder & CTO at WordStream, Inc.
Most of the time I’m using these tools
- Facebook Ads / Facebook Audience Manager / Facebook Insights.
- Twitter Ads / Twitter Analytics
- Google Analytics / Google Search Console
- Screencast-O-Matic (video recording)
7. Matthew Barby
@matthewbarby - Global Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot
I use a bunch of different tools, but my most used ones have to be:
- HubSpot CRM (http://www.hubspot.com/products/crm)
- Lumanu (https://lumanu.com/)
- Ahrefs (https://ahrefs.com/)
- Accuranker (https://www.accuranker.com/)
8. Venchito Tampon
@venchito14 - CEO and Co-Founder@ SharpRocket
Here are a few tools that I’m using consistently for our link building campaigns at SharpRocket.
- Ahrefs – for link prospecting, competitor backlink research, finding broken links and looking at the types of links other authority sites are acquiring for their webpages.
- Google – obviously our main tool when looking for relevant and high-quality websites that will fit in as good backlink prospects for our clients.
- Google Docs – helps in creating a list of backlink targets and monitoring of relationship status we’ve had with our outreach recipients.
- Monitor Backlinks – gives us an idea if links had been lived already (no need to waste time for manual monitoring).
- Gmail with MailTrack.io and RightInbox chrome extensions – schedule emails at the right time and easily manage outreach conversations by knowing which ones to prioritize as well as which bloggers need to be engaged further.
9. Dave Schneider
@selfmadebm - CEO at NinjaOutreach
The majority of the tools we use are here: https://ninjaoutreach.com/tools/
But the top three are probably Drip, Intercom, and NinjaOutreach.
10. David Hoos
@davidhoos - Content Marketing Strategist at The Good
I want to qualify my answer by noting that tools are only one piece of the puzzle and need to be part of an effective strategy. They need to suit the market and size of the company. That said, the tools we like to use regularly include, Ahrefs, Buffer, Adobe Illustrator, Drip, HARO, Wistia, and Google Analytics.
11. Aakar Anil Ghimire
@aakarpost - Sr. Marketing Technologist at CloudFactory
I think, SEO is more about the process than the tools itself! However, I use the following tools for SEO:
- Google Analytics
- Search Console
- Adwords Keyword Planner
- Google Spreadsheet
I think the best way to get great SEO returns is to continue investing in content. When you have to do SEO, think about the overall marketing and how it affects the SEO, Social, PPC, etc. SEO alone is dead, but if you can relate it to your Social and PPC strategy, it’d be super awesome!
12. Christopher Mills
@christopherm - Director at iMod Digital
Right now we’re using these tools:
- Screaming Frog & Xenu – Any SEO should have these in their toolkit.
- Serperture – A quick auditing tool that we actually built ourselves because we couldn’t find a quick and easy way to audit a website in a few minutes.
- Sometimes we use Moz, Ahrefs or Majestic but not too often.
- Google Analytics – Obviously, but we use some custom dashboards.
13. Dan Shure
@dan_shure from Evolving SEO
A tool I love is SEM Rush. Attached is a screenshot that shows how to find when forums rank on page #1 of Google, which means you could probably rank there instead or at least answer the question to get visibility on page one by piggybacking onto the forum thread.
14. David Gerhardt
@davegerhardt - Marketing Lead at Drift
The three tools I use the most are Ahrefs, BuzzSumo and Google Webmaster tools.
The thing that has paid off the most so far with SEO is looking for content that we’ve created that is ranking in the 10-20 spots in Google and then spend the time to try and boost those pages (make the content longer, more thorough, more relevant for that keyword, earn backlinks for that piece of content, link to our strongest pages, etc.)
As a result, we’ve been able to see big time boosts in a few key pieces of content.
For example, this post on Growth Marketing is in the #1 spot now and this post on Product Marketing is in the #3 spot and brings us ~1500 organic visitors/month to our blog — which is so key for an early stage startup that doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of visitors!
15. Kristi Kellogg
@kristikellogg - Content Strategist and Social Media Editor at Bruce Clay, Inc.
Keeping an eye on SEO means using tools before and after writing any content. Before I write an article, I research keywords using Google Trends, KeywordTool.io and the Keyword Planner. If it’s a money term for the site, I’ll also go the extra step of analyzing keyword use on the top competitor sites (which is easy to do with the Multi Page Analyzer in SEOToolSet). After writing an article, I run it through the SEOToolSet’s Single Page Analyzer to make sure I’ve used keywords appropriately.
16. Ksenia Dobreva
@massaraksh_ - Marketer at Amasty
The first tool I’d like to share is StoryBase. I haven’t seen any buzz about this tool yet, but I absolutely like it. It’s fairly simple: in short, it gives you a general idea of whether the particular topic is important for the audience. StoryBase collects the info that you can search for yourself, but in that case you need to log into various tools, which can be time consuming.
For general SEO tasks, I use Positionly. It has a great combination of tools, including positions and competitors tracking, analyzing backlinks and other typical SEO features. What I really love about this tool, is that it is very intuitive and easy to handle, what is more, the Positionly team is very friendly in communication.
Another small tool that I find useful is a Wappalyzer add-on for FireFox. It instantly shows the technologies that are used on websites, such as CMS, web server, analytics tools, and more.
Keywords Everywhere is a nice Chrome extension that shows search volumes on several websites, including Google Search. It saves your time, because you see the search volume right on the page and you don’t have to copy-paste the keywords into Keyword Planner to see the numbers.
17. Andrea Pernici
@andreapernici - CTO at Search On Media Group
I strongly believe there’s no tool that will save you (from a SEO perspective) if you don’t understand the basics of SEO and how a search engine thinks, elaborates, works.
Said that, after you will become confident enough with the Search Engine, some tools you can use for various purposes are:
– Visual SEO Studio http://visual-seo.com/
It will help you diagnose technical issues on the fly for small and big website.
– CognitiveSEO http://cognitiveseo.com/
It offers true link intelligence and combine the power of other tools vendors all in one place and with all the processing you need to make in-depth competitive analysis.
– Server Logs Analysis (Splunk, ELK Stack, Linux Shell, Sumologic…here [http://seoblog.giorgiotave.it/seo/tools#log-file-analysis] even if in Italian I create a collection of them)
Real time log analysis is one of the most powerful weapon you can have in your SEO arsenal, and it is not only useful for SEO purpose, but also to identify difficult user issues rapidly.
– API of any kind
Each tools in 2016 offers great API and you can use them in order to create you own toolset without spending time and money in reinventing the wheel. Organize and manipulate data to create your own SEO Insights.
Those are the main tips I can give in terms of tools, but the main suggestion I can give is to truly listen and understand your customers creating the perfect experience for them.
To make it happen the only thing you need is great Design, but keep in mind that when I say Design I’m not referring to Visual, but all the process that lead you to create a great Producto or Service.
18. Jason Acidre
@jasonacidre - CEO at Xight Interactive
19. Matt Antonino
@thestackhq - Marketing Consultant at MattAntonino.com
While I use a lot of the common SEO tools like ScreamingFrog, Ahrefs and Majestic, I think the most valuable tool in my set is SEO Tools for Excel. It’s definitely one I use every day and can help with a wide range of SEO tasks from tracking page titles and meta descriptions to creating full SEO dashboards with Analytics, Adwords, Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic data all in one place. SEO Tools for Excel is also the easiest way to check on the page status of your backlinks or see the latest cache date for your webpages. It’s by far the most useful and powerful tool I use regularly.
20. Elvis M.
@empteam - Growth Hacker at Kontist: Banking App for Freelancer
The main tools in my “toolbox are:
- Seoquake chrome extension
- And google docs 🙂
21. Erik Emanuelli
@erikemanuelli - ProBlogger, Freelance Writer and Internet Marketer at Erik Emanuelli
I use several tools, but my favorite ones are HootSuite, Genesis Framework and Trello.
For post and Twitter promotion, I use a combination of different tools, included JustRetweet, ViralContentBuzz and Triberr,
22. Tim Soulo
@timsoulo - Marketing at Ahrefs
I only use a single tool to help me with my marketing.
And that is Ahrefs. ( https://ahrefs.com/ )
I don’t need any other tools, because Ahrefs can do pretty much everything I may think of doing.
And here’s the fun part.
When I need something that Ahrefs can’t do – I just ping the team and we build that feature in a few weeks!
This is how our toolset has become one of the most feature-rich marketing toolsets in the industry.
We help you with link building, keyword research, content marketing, rank tracking, website audit, spying on your competitors, monitoring your brand, etc.
23. Nikhil Makwana
@nikhilhmakwana - Co-Founder of BforBlogging
I follow 3 major techniques to get better visibility and reach of my blog posts to the potential audience, which are:
1) In-Depth Keyword Analysis with the help of SERPSTAT
2) Creating Contextual Backlinks with Ahrefs
3) Social Sharing with the support of SocialPilot Tool
SERPSTAT is growth hacking tool for SEO, but I use this tool to find keywords opportunities to optimize my blog posts. This tool provides the similar information like Google Adwords Keyword Planner like Search Volume, CPC, Competition, a number of search results and more. But the best part of this tool, it provides a list of proven keywords which are profitable for my entire blog or a single blog post. Rank tracking is a fantastic feature that I love the most.
Ahrefs has been my most preferred tool for link research and link building. I have been using this tools more from last 3 years, and hopefully, I will continue to use this tool for a long time. Its feature of an index of live links shares the accurate data to understand the link status and links follows the guidelines set by major search engines. This is helpful and best practice to avoid a penalty by search engines, and we can stay safe and higher in SERPs. I recommend this tool to your audience.
Search engine started considering social sharing as a ranking signal, which is genuine and in fact, it works for me. Not only for search engine ranking, but I use to share my publishing on social media to build a network and reach to max numbers of an audience with the same interest. I use SocialPilot, social media automation tool to manage my publishing and analytics social shares. Why SocialPilot and not HootSuite or Buffer? The core reason is pricing and services they offer. Pricing start from $4.99 a month, which helps me to manage my 10 major social media profiles with 250 post scheduling at a time.
24. Pascal van Opzeeland
@spopzeeland - Marketing at Userlike
- Moz: for guiding our content creation efforts. We make especially heavy use of the keyword planner tool to target good but non-competitive keywords. Also a big fan of their whiteboard friday videos.
- Pocket: to save whatever interesting content I find for later reading.
- Growth bot: a FB Messenger chatbot that answers handy marketing related questions. Like what content on a certain topic or from a certain source is trending, or what tools a certain website uses.
- BuzzSumo: To identify trending topics and influencers within the industry.
- Google Trends: To see how topics and their searches are developing over time. We estimate whether it’s worth jumping on to the trend.
25. Benji Hyam
@benjihyam - Co-Founder of Grow and Convert
For SEO, we use Google Webmaster tools to identify keyword terms and pages that we’re starting to rank for, and then we use that information to double down on them. For example, we wrote an article about hiring writers, and once we started ranking for hiring blog writers, we created an ultimate guide that built on that keyword phrase – then promoted that. Since doing so, we started ranking for more of those long tail keyword terms on hiring writers and increased the amount of traffic that we receive for that one term.
26. Sanket Patel
Here are lots of SEO tools and we are using many of them, but here are few of them that we can not live without;
- Ahrefs.com ( Best tool for on the planet for backlink analysis)
- SEMrush.com ( All in one tool for best competitors research)
- Keywordtool.io ( Great tool for keywords research and ideas)
- Google Keyword Planner ( Best free keyword research tool from Google)
- Screaming Frog ( Best tool for everything about SEO and technical SEO)
- AccuRanker ( Fastest rank tracking tool in the market and very easy to use)
@blurbpoint – Co Founder of Blurbpoint at Blurbpoint Media
27. James Norquay
@connections8 - Consulting Director & Founder at Prosperity Media
Three tools worth using for clients and agencies.
- Ahrefs – Link analysis for clients sites, has a great fresh index for link analysis.
- SEMRush – Keyword analysis for websites is still a great tool to check online visibility.
- Screaming Frog – A great tool to crawl websites for technical SEO issues.
- BuzzSumo – Great tool for analysis of keywords and finding the most shared content online.
- Mention – Great tool for checking mentions online for your brand and acquiring links.
28. Robert Duckers
@magicrob - Consultant at BlueGreen Internet Marketing
The apps I use most frequently are:
SEMRush – for competitor analysis, keyword research, link acquisition. It’s very useful for PPC too, especially if I’m looking to find some probable high converting keywords for a new client quickly.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider – There is a diminishing number of on-site issues this tool can’t uncover. I guess maybe half of my time with Screaming Frog is spent working through site architecture issues, but there’s a lot to it – custom extraction for example.
URL Profiler – I believe that I’ve barely started with URL Profiler, despite using it for over a year and a half. This thing is handy whether you’re looking for granular SEO data or delivering reports to company directors.
29. Ed Leake
@edleake - Managing Director of Midas Media
People often become infatuated over single keywords, instead I group search terms into similar sets so I can track and target those ‘buckets’. This gives a better feel for the overall ranking of a page and blends keyword ranking movements, which can be a little whippy at times.
My first tool of choice is the little known, but potent Infinitesuggest by Sean Malseed. It quickly lets you create a list of keywords from Google suggested search. Combine those results with your own top-level keywords, then plumb them in to AdWords Keyword planner. You can clear out any zero volume or erroneous terms.
Download them and you have your starting block.
Next, another keyword tool, Longtailpro. This tool allows you to create projects, I use projects as containers to group the like-minded terms we found in the first step.Whilst it’s not perfect tool, it does show you quickly which terms have high competition based on the results around it.
Now we know what we’re targeting based on similar terms (Google loves semantics), search volumes and competition.Extract each bucket of terms, and ideally, use them to target specific content/pages on your site.
But how do I know who ranks for these terms already? This is where Ahrefs comes in. I use the “Content Explorer” to check each keyword in a group and make a note of the top 10 results, if I see the same pages come up again and again, then I make a note of those too.
Those pages are your target for further research but this time, your writing and content.
You can also put those pages in to AdWords keyword planner and Ahrefs “Site Explorer” to extract yet more keyword ideas.
Finally, I use SEMrush to ‘check my work’. Essentially to verify the finding above and highlight any additional terms I may have missed.
Furthermore SEMrush allows me to view the SERP – using the audit tool – to find patterns in the top 10 pages. It’s a simple tool but can highlight areas to optimise your own content against.
So that’s discovery phase, now it’s over to you – the application part where you create the content to fight for those search top spots!
30. Alex Birkett
@iamalexbirkett - Growth Marketer and Content Strategist at ConversionXL
- Google Analytics is free, robust, and actionable. No reason not to use GA.
- Amplitude Analytics is a good complement to GA. I like their interface. It’s easy to use, you can set up easy-to-consume dashboards, and their behavioral cohorting is great for teasing out correlative behaviors.
- Usabilla is another simple tool with many use cases. We use it to gather attitudinal data for our product and then analyze the attitudinal and consumption metrics to make decisions on our content strategy.
- Gotta have a tool for A/B testing. Optimizely makes it easy to set up, run, and analyze tests.
- For the rest of our qualitative conversion research, HotJar makes a lot of sense. It’s all in one, affordable, and easy to use.
- Trello is great for project management. We use it for pretty much everything from content calendar to product roadmapping. Then for our experimentation flow, we use Projects by GrowthHackers.
- And nobody’s toolkit is complete without Excel, of course.
31. Rachel Andrea Go
@rgo_go - Content Curator at Hubstaff
Here’s my toolkit as an SEO/content strategist (and here’s an article I wrote about what’s on my laptop as I travel/work)
- Yoast SEO (a WordPress SEO plugin)
- Moz’s PA/DA analyzer (to see which websites are trusted and better to use as sources/external links)
- Buzzsumo to check out which titles within a topic have done well on social
- Google’s keyword planner to research which is the best key phrase to use for an article
- Grammarly and Hemingway App to make sure my grammar and spelling is flawless, plus sentences aren’t too complicated
32. Ty Magnin
@tymagnin - Director of Content Marketing at Appcues
For blogging, we’ve been focused on promotion-driven posts for the first year. but now that we have some domain authority, we’re slowly transitioning to SEO focused posts for distribution. I think this makes sense because it’s really hard to rank for keywords when you’re new to the internet. Now i simply see search as another audience/distribution channel to focus individual posts.
To date, we’ve had some success in using the hub and spoke strategy. we’ve written a ton on user onboarding, and have put effort in building links back to The User Onboarding Academy, which is a hub page/index for our other pages.
I’m pretty ordinary in determining what keywords to go after. I keep a list of short tail keywords that serve as categories relevant to the Appcues problem/solution space. These short tail keywords are future hub pages, so once I decide which is next, I use Adwords Keyword Planner Tool to figure out what keywords might rank well under each hub post. So for user onboarding we might find that user onboarding best practices gets a bunch of searches, so we’ll write that post.
As we continue to invest more in organic, we’re exploring tools. Moz, SEOmonitor, Ahrefs are all on my short list.
33. Pratik Dholakiya
@DholakiyaPratik - Founder of Growfusely
Here are the tools I use very frequently –
Ahrefs – I love their ‘site explorer’ feature. I usually prefer using it to do backlink analysis and check overall positive & improvement areas for any website I’m looking at.
BuzzSumo – This is my go-to tool to get ‘alerts’ and perform research for content topic ideas. I also use it to filter best performing posts of our blog and use them to acquire more links to them.
Advanced Web Ranking – Name says it all. We use this to track ranking and schedule reports for most of our projects.
Open Site Explorer – This is one of the tools I use multiple times every day. I really like their ‘Just Discovered’ feature and it helps in many ways.
34. Shounak Gupte
@shounakgupte - Digital Marketing Specialist at ShounakGupte.com
These are the three SEO hidden treasures I use every day.
Screaming Frog is an awesome desktop tool to crawl websites and do quick audits of things that can be very time consuming when done manually. The tool has the ability to export reports to csv which makes life very easy. Screaming Frog can also be used to pull information from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
SEO Tools for Excel is a tool which runs as an add-on to Microsoft Excel and features functions which are extremely useful for everyday SEO tasks. It allows you to grab onpage and offpage information from websites, quickly and without even leaving Excel.
SEO Wizard is a FREE SEO extension which displays all onpage and offpage SEO information to help you make your website better. The extension grabs things like meta information, headings, body tags, keyword density, image information, word count, highlighting internal and external links, broken links etc. It has an option to alert users through push notifications about any critical SEO errors on the website.
35. Abbas Rajani
@abbas_rajani - Inbound and SEO Strategist at Pac and Copy Plus
The tools that I’m using at the moment are:
With Google Analytics, one can easily collect, manage and consolidate the users’ data of their website. You can overview the overall traffic data conveniently and track the conversions within a single platform and a single click. In short, all the users’ tracking can be monitored using Google Analytics.
Google Webmaster can help you enhancing your websites health and help it appear well-optimized. It ensures that your website is technically perfect and free from any bug. It allows you to view the in-depth keywords’ data, monitor your backlinks profile, aware from site issues and penalties, recovery of website using the link disavow feature and recognize website’s crawl errors
It is an amazing tool in order to audit any website. It lists down all the website’s bugs and technical issues. It gives you an in depth analysis of your website that needs to be fixed in order to form an SEO-friendly website
I’m personally using its pro-version and I recommend all industry folks to give it a shot as well. It’s an all-rounder thing that offers you a dashboard where you can view and manage all your backlinks data, organic keywords ranking, paid search data, competitor backlinks analysis, keywords analysis, content explorer and link disavow feature.
It’s a content marketing tool that I personally recommend to people around the globe. Its features include providing valuable content insights, listing out the best performing content, advanced filtration for various content forms, finding influencers of your niche, content curation and notifying on content alerts.
SEMrush is mainly known for its keywords research intelligence. Its pro account allows you to perform the organic research, advertising research, display advertising, backlink analysis, video advertising research, keyword research and product listing ads. Besides these functionalities it also allows its users to find already ranked keywords for a particular domain, position tracking, site audit, brand monitoring and other SEO core functions.
36. Patrick Hathaway
@hathawayp - Director at URL Profiler
Ok, so I might be bit biased on this one, but I deliberately take on technical SEO audit work so that I continue being an active user of our product (rather than just a ‘product guy). In terms of technical SEO, I tend to use it to check the health of sitemaps (Robots and HTTP status), to find out if specific pages are indexed or not, and to check mobile-friendly and PageSpeed scores.
You can’t be a serious SEO without a proper backlink tool. Majestic trumps Ahrefs for me, mainly because their metrics are much better – Citation Flow and Trust Flow have become the link metrics I trust.
SEMrush is absolutely brilliant for competitor research, but also useful for audits. If you want to understand why a site lost traffic 2 years ago, I don’t know a better way than to dig back through SEMrush traffic and rankings data, and looking at how the actual SERPs themselves changed – the SERP screenshot feature is gold-dust.
37. Nick Eubanks
@nick_eubanks - Owner at SEO auv
My toolset that runs my everyday SEO leans heavily on data sources, so TermExplorer and Lumanu for data gathering and competitive research, Sentinel for discovering new opportunities and prioritizing my SEO campaigns, and then Trello and Slack to manage all the team communications. More than anything I’ve been stressing the importance of being realistic with SEO (this is why I created Sentinel, so people could discover their rank potential before spending time, money, and frustration trying to rank for keywords they will never rank for). In addition I think it’s important for modern SEO’s to understand parasite SEO and the impact this can have on gaining qualified traffic faster while you work on ranking your owned assets in the background.
38. Yael Kochman
@yaelkochman - Head of Content Marketing International at Teradata Marketing Applications
As a content marketing person, I believe that the core of SEO should be about creating high quality content. One of the key metrics search engines use to determine which content is of higher quality, is the level of engagement: How long people stay on your website? Do they bounce right out after reading one page, or are they clicking through to read more content?
So as a marketer, your job is to make sure your content is engaging enough to make people really interested in it, and if people are happy, Google will to.
That said, you still need to get the content initially discovered by search engines, and therefore you need to optimize it. A cool tool that I ran into lately is called Squirlly. It is a wordpress plugin that allows you to optimize the content of your articles from within the wordpress post itself, and even see afterword how your content is ranked:
39. Lolly Spindler
@lollyspindler - Content Marketer at Crea Content Marketing
- I use the following on a daily basis:
- Trello for content management
- HubSpot for marketing
- Slack for team communication
- GCal for editorial calendar
40. AJ Kohn
@ajkohn - Owner, Blind Five Year Old
There are really two tools that I find useful: my brain and Chrome Developer Tools. I did a write up of the latter recently, which you can read here: http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/my-favorite-seo-tool
Overall, I think there’s a propensity to lean on tools as a replacement for insight. Tools often give the what, but not the why. And it’s the latter that is really want can transform a run-of-the-mill search campaign into something successful.
41. Tom Gorski
@tomgorski - Founder and CEO at SaasGenius
Like most marketers, I use a number of tools on a regular basis, including Buffer, GetResponse and LiveChat. However, the tool I use every single day is a social listening app called Brand24. I usually start my workday by going through emails and analyzing my brand and personal mentions gathered with Brand24. I check what people are saying about my business, as well as look into who these people are. I use that knowledge while devising our marketing strategy and creating our communication. Another application of social listening I personally use is finding prospective customers who talk about SaaS tools on the Web, which proves to be cheaper and more effective than some lead generation tactics I’ve tested so far.
42. Jason Diller
@jasondiller - SVP, Marketing Director at The DSM Group
43. Casey Armstrong
@caseya - Founder at Full Stack Marketer
For SEO, more tools does not equal better results.
Don’t forget that. It will help you prioritize your time, which is your most important asset.
I start with the tools that Google provides, especially since Google is who rewards you if you do things well. Also, their tools are free and most people haven’t even come close to tapping into the low-hanging fruit these tools provide. I think that’s because it requires work, like all things that prelude success.
These tools include:
- Google Search Console: The most neglected SEO tool that provides immense value.
- Google Analytics
- Google Keyword Planner
- Adwords: If you are running Adwords, obviously dive into the queries that are driving engagement, signups, or revenue, depending on your KPIs.
After that, tools like ScreamingFrog and Ahrefs.
Pro Tip: If I am ever starting up an ecommerce site from scratch or replatforming from another solution, I always recommend BigCommerce. Their built-in SEO structure and knowledge is invaluable, especially as you scale your business.
44. Joe Robison
@josephrobison Founder of Green Flag Digital
One tool I’m extremely excited about that I just discovered recently is the Keywords Everywhere extension from Keyword Keg for Chrome and Firefox. I’ve used it the last month or so and it’s literally changed how I do keyword research and analytics on a daily basis. I log into Search Console and right there in my search analytics section is keyword volume and CPC data added to the page by the plugin. It used to be that you would have to download all of your Search Console queries data and then research the volumes and CPC data with Google’s Keyword planner, but this tool does it all for you.
My secret trick to using this tool is that when you’re viewing all of your data in Search Console, instead of using the download button, you just copy and paste the whole table directly from the page. If you use the download button, all the volume and CPC data won’t be copied since it’s just inserted onto the page with the Chrome/Firefox extension (see attached). You can also configure the tool to highlight certain keyword that meet your volume and CPC thresholds. This tool is not the one tool to solve all of your problems, but is great for the initial brainstorming phrase when you’re first digging through keyword possibilities.
This also provides data on other websites such as Google Analytics, Ubersuggest, Answer The Public, Majestic Anchors, Moz OSE, and more. Definitely a super hand, lightweight keyword tool that I couldn’t live without. Best of all – it’s free!
45. Zoe J. Summers
@zoesummers_j - Marketing Manager at MassPlanner
The first tool I use daily is of course Mass Planner. It helps me get a lot more out of each blog post that I write as each one has the chance of becoming viral. It happened with a few of them and the traffic was amazing. It’s decent enough even when it doesn’t go viral and it’s mostly on auto-pilot. I have a campaign set up that will share each of my blog posts on a couple hundred relevant Facebook groups, a couple hundred Google+ communities, a dozen or so Pinterest and Twitter accounts. As everybody probably noticed having a lot of social signals helps not only with the traffic but also with better ranking in the search engines.
The next tool I would recommend is Ninja Outreach, it’s a great tool if you want to get in touch with the influencers in your industry or find leads for your business. It comes packed with a lot of features that help you do everything you need within the software, you don’t need to keep separate track of who you contact and how it went. I’ve noticed many people are scared of doing this, not sure why as it can yield amazing results, you can help each other and after you try this a couple of times you will see that many people are eager to give it a go if you propose a good deal.
One last recommendation would be Fivver. It’s not actually a tool but rather a resource. Granted, there are many bad services and offers there, that’s why I was a little reluctant to mention it. However, if you know how and what to look for you can find many gems there from guest posts on great authority blogs to small services like logo creation, design, accounts of all sorts and more. Actually, the small video presentation we have on the homepage of Mass Planner was bought from there.
46. Andrew Akesson
@andrewakesson - Head of Digital at Venn Digital
My favorite tool by an absolute mile in DeepCrawl. There is nothing out there quite like it. Although it is like Screaming Frog in that it can spider your website in many different ways, DeepCrawl provides a handy historical graph that you can use to instantly see improvement or regression. So visually, I feel it’s easier to digest the data it provides.
It is also handy, in that it can be white labelled which means that we can send clients/other agencies working on the same project, a status report on where the site currently is, whilst keeping it on brand.
I also love Ahrefs for its versatility, backlink analysis, content ideas, influencer finding and content measurement. It is as good as anything out there for each of those areas, only you can use them all in the same tool. I think this Ahrefs holds the same measure within the industry, that Moz did five years ago, which is very impressive in itself.
47. Renz Joe David
@renzjoedavid - SEO Analyst at Logical Steps Interactive Solutions
48. Chris Hornak
@bloghandsseo - Entrepreneur at Blog Hands
The SEO tools I use on a regular basis…
- Google Webmaster Tools – Knowing the ins and outs of Webmaster Tools is essential to an SEO professional. This is your direct line to Google. A strong SEO expert keeps WMT in top shape by limiting errors, submitting sitemaps, ensuring pages indexed is correct and following any other recommendations that Google has provided. You should also use the “Search Console” to uncover your Google SEO performance. What landing pages are showing up most frequently and how can those pages be improved upon?
- SEMRush – I use SEMRush a few times a week to see what organic keywords I have gained or lost. You can also use it to further improve the SEO of a landing page by looking at what keywords that page ranks for and possibly incorporating that keyword if it doesn’t have an exact match on the page.
- Open Link Profiler – I review this tool a few times a week to review new backlinks… for free.
- My ‘Secret’ Trick – Quuu Promote has been a very effective way to get my content out there very cheaply. For $30 or less you can have your blog content shared by hundreds to thousands of social media users.
49. Benjamin Beck
@ben_beck - Online Marketer at Benjamin Beck
This is my go to tool for research for any client.
One of my favorite uses is finding which pages are close to ranking for important terms. Maybe some small tweaks could move them to the top for that keyword. I usually filter their results for positions 5 – 15 to find what pages and keywords have the best chance.
This tool is great at scaling outreach. It helps you find opportunities, gather contact information, send and follow up with email. It is truly an amazing tool.
50. Francois Mathieu
@francoismat - CEO at Bay Street Intelligence
Moz & Ahrefs for SEO.
51. Olga Rabo
@olgarabo - Content Marketer at Styla
Let’s face it: you don’t need to do much of SEO to be successful at content marketing — having a good, solid foundation is everything, and consistently following even the most basic of tips can still get you great results. At Styla, for example, we increased our organic traffic over 30% this summer using only these two tools (yes, no more!)
Yoast: Good old Yoast is our must-have when it comes to SEO. And there are three things I love about Yoast: First, it’s extremely easy to add all the necessary meta data there, from slugs to titles to meta descriptions. Second, I love the fact that Yoast actually walks you through your content, giving you hints on where exactly you might need to improve on the SEO front. And finally, Yoast comes with integrated XML site mapping feature, so there’s really no need to worry if Google will index your article anymore. Because it ALWAYS does.
Google Keywords: Another no-brainer. I use it for many of my blog posts — but not, however, for keyword research. I use it to see through which particular keywords people discover content published by my competitors (or “more successful friends”, as I choose to call them) — all I need to do it just type their landing page in “Your landing page” in the keyword planner. Et voila! Now the only thing I need to do is write something better on the same topic!
52. Jo Shaer
@joshaer - Blogging Boss at Lollipop Local
My favourite Local SEO tool is Bright Local – I’ve been using it for several years. It gives me rank checking, citation tracking and building and a local wizard that compares the businesses that are ranking in Google maps.
To stay up to date with industry news, I also regularly read Linda Buquet’s Local Search Forum. The guys over there have a hotline into what’s happening with Google Local http://www.localsearchforum.com/
As a company, we organise ourselves using Trello and communicate with Slack.
Best tool for managing our company’s growth? The EOS System. Reading Get A Grip by Gino Wickman and then Traction has made an amazing difference to the way we run our business. It really helps to cut through all the stuff that can hold you back – which allows you to achieve your goals. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Get-Grip-Everything-Entrepreneurial-Business/dp/1939529824
53. Vanhishikha Bhargava
@VanhishikhaB - Content Marketing Manager at Exit Bee
I swear by SEMRush for SEO. It is a great way to understand how healthy a website is, it’s organic approach towards gaining traffic, inbound and outbound links to establish the rank it has. A great way to strategise your own SEO approach I say! 🙂
Email outreach: I find influencers on NinjaOutreach and emails on https://findthat.email/
54. Peter Attia
@peterattia - Founder at Dicey Goblin
At Modernize we use quite a few different tools on the marketing team. One of my personal favorites is Heap Analytics. It allows you to set events, create elaborate funnels, and look at single session data with little to no dev involvement. It’s been a huge relief to our dev team and gives us more flexible analytics. It also stores historical data, so even if we forgot to tag an event (and then tag/create it in the future), it’s able to show historical data for that event. It’s allowed us to get much more insight into how users use features on our site.
Another tool we use pretty often on the SEO team, is SEMRush. It’s able to keep a good record of our visibility in search engines and has a flexible bucketing system, so we can look at our improvement for specific trades or groups of trades. It also has really robust competitor analysis, which helps us get insight into what our competitors are doing in the SEO space.
Lastly, a tool that’s helped our outreach team is the Clearbit Gmail extension. It’s a lightweight and simple extension that allows us to hunt down emails for specific people in companies. We’ve tried several tools that do something similar, but Clearbit has been the most accurate tool we’ve used so far and has become an integral part of our outreach process.
55. Nicole Pereira
@nicca619 - Chief Marketing Technologist at Business on Market St.
Here are a few for ya. I call this the budget SEO list 😉
Screaming Frog – This helps us to see the bones of a website and organize a lot of data easily
Google Search Console – Built for an era when “webmasters” were the first SEOs, this platform is still an amazing tool. It offers the ability to identify issues as well as delivers data you cannot see in your analytics. On top of that, for the non-coders, you can map out your rich text.
Pro Rank Tracker – For the price this tool is amazing. It give you access to robust keyword ranking reports as well as spits out reports that impress clients.
KW Finder – This is a simple keyword tool but it allows you to save lists of keywords as well as helping you discover other keyword opportunities that may exist.
SEO Quake Browser Extension – Quickly analyze any page you are on to see on page issues as well as view general important seo stats for the site.
Website Grader – Analyze your website and get a diverse report about the marketability of your website
Google PageSpeed Insights – This tool is great for figuring out what is holding back your load time.
SpyFu – Spy on the search results of your competition!
What I have learned is that good seo requires a variety of skills. You both need to be a persuasive copywriter, an analyst, and a technical guru. If you lack any one of these skills (I’m not good with copy), find a resource to help. Your results will be so much better than if you attempt to be the jack of all trades.
56. Alex Chaidaroglou
@achaidaroglou - B2B SaaS Growth Marketer at WeeklyGrowth
Here are some great tools that I use regularly:
One easy tip to replicate is tracking competitors’ backlinks (homepage and other pages that rank higher than you) and trying to find domains that don’t link to you.
Then try to get a backlinks from them, usually through a guest post or other means.
57. Steven Coufal
@thecoufal -Senior Media Relations Specialist at GetApp
We’ve looked at a very wide variety of SEO tools and we’re always evaluating how companies are using them to accomplish a variety of different business objectives. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s important to review and evaluate many options before making a purchase. One of the best ways to determine what products and vendors will best match your needs, is to look at reviews from your peers. We looked at some of the SEO tools that have high marks and over 10 reviews on our site, and found 3 that rise above the rest.
Woo Rank: This is a great tool for SEO audits of your site. It comes with a scoring system and lets you generate actionable reports for yourself or clients.
Google Adwords: An essential tool if you want to do any PPC or SEM through the world’s biggest search engine, but Adwords also has some great tools that can be used for SEO, like Keyword Planner.
Moz Pro: A diverse and trusted tool in the industry, Moz Pro can analyze your backlink profile and compare it to the profile of your competitors. It’s also used as an auditing tool to help determine spam scores, social shares and many other important factors in SEO.
58. Madhav Bhandari
@themadbhandari from Madhavb
So the top tools I use are Google webmaster tools, yoast wordpress plugin, keysearch, moz bar, check my links chrome extension & google sheets. We use a lot of google sheets for analyzing data and running our SEM processes.
I’ve seen a lot of success with keeping a rank tracking sheet. The sheet basically tracks all important keywords that drive traffic for us or keywords that we could focus on in the future. Now while we’re tracking these keywords each month, we objectively try to find our cornerstone keywords (the articles that are ranking for very high traffic keywords) and then double down on them. So let’s say I’m ranking on page 2 for a popular keyword like “project management software”, I label that as my cornerstone content and then build internal/external links to it.
Why this works is because sometimes you may want a post to rank for a specific keyword, but a similar post of yours starts ranking for that keyword instead. So instead of working harder to build more links on the post you want to rank for, you can just make the post that’s ranking right now better and more relevant for that keyword. That’s much simpler and will give you greater returns.
59. Amanda Chiu
@atomic_reach - Marketing Coordinator at Atomic Reach
On a regular basis I use the Atomic Reach Platform. This tool uses machine learning and data analytics to write for the right audience, in the right format, published at the right time. The platform is broken down into 3 modules- Insights, Writer, and Scheduler. It shows me how I should edit my content for my audience and when I should share for better engagement.
Tools that I use include
- Yoast plugin in WordPress
- Post Planner for other social media tasks
- Giphy for gifs in our Twitter chat or even just responding to people on Twitter
- Canva for quick image creation
- Record.it and Screenshot-o-matic for gif creation and screen captures
@im_kane - Founder at YardYum
A lesser-known tool that I love to use is https://contentmarketer.io. You can search for influencers in your industry, contact them in bulk, and share articles you’ve written, or ask for feedback on something, or just reach out to them in general. A great way to get HIGH QUALITY backlinks and exposure. And it’s completely white-hat.
61. Herman Maes
@dailybits - SEO & Hubspot guy at Intracto
My daily SEO toolkit:
It’s a combination of different tools that I’m almost using every day:
- Screaming frog as daily crawler for all sorts of tasks
- Google docs (importxml + xpath ftw in order to create a scraper tool to extract information and combine it with other other data)
- Google serps itself. You can really find so much information within it.
- I love the new http://www.infinitesuggest.com/ keywordtool
- VPN (using my own vpn server on Amazon cloud) to check and experiment with the serp’s in the US
- Supermetrics for monthly reporting.
- Google Tag Manager in order to inject SEO markup tags in sites I don’t have development access to.
One of the best tips for every junior SEO is to get more technical. Learn how to use Amazon AWS, GitHub, SSH, settings up DNS records,… Learn how everything is technical working in order to understand what the bigger technical picture is.
62. Bill Achola
@billachola - Business Writer at BillAcholla.com
For SEO I only use one tool which is Semrush.com
SemRush.com is one of my absolutely best online tools among online marketing professionals; SemRush gives me all of the tools that I need to track my backlinks and keywords. Furthermore, it gives me an inside look at what my competitors are doing and how they’re getting their links.
Every time I want to write an article or a guest post, I’ve to use SemRush because I enjoy the quality of keywords and topics it generates.
Lastly, SemRush is a great tool that can educate your audience about the value of gaining quality links and generating keywords that can drive traffic to your site.
63. Adam Rogers
@adamrogersuk - Content Marketing at Kayako
64. Emory Rowland
@emoryrowland - Founder at Leverable SEO
Three of my all time faves are:
Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool
No Screaming Frog. No SEO. This is the starting point for onsite SEO giving you fast visibility into what kind of shape the various SEO elements are in. After running Screaming Frog, you’ll quickly know if an SEO strategy in place. It’s also great for diagnostics like finding stray pages that need to have code added or removed.
Servers can mess up SEO in a really invisible sort of way. Being able to see the exact order of server status codes that are returned
Great developer shaming tool that lets you see what Googlebot sees in headers. This tool is starting to wear because it doesn’t support https. Rex, help!
It’s simple. A Chrome extension that lets you draw a draw a box with your mouse across any number of links on a web page, then paste the URLs into a file. Great for ecommerce sites with tons of links that you need to examine.
65. Derric Haynie
@SixPeppers - Head of Growth, Rebrandly.com
66. Masha Karan
@mashakaran - Digital Marketing Strategist at AlphaGamma
Digital Marketing Strategist at AlphaGamma – http://www.alphagamma.eu/
Here’s the list of SEO tools I use on regular basis with a brief description:
Yoast SEO WordPress plugin: This tool is very helpful. Not only it will help you with SEO optimization, it also simplifies many other aspects of the technical side of SEO, like social media integration, connecting to webmaster tools , creating an XML sitemap, and robots.txt editing. Of course, I would not recommend relying only on the tool itself, you have to do your work.
Übersuggest: Keyword research and keyword suggestion useful for content creation.
Google Keyword Planner: data-driven keyword research straight from Google, keyword search volume, and long tail keyword ideas.
Google Trends: Discover what’s trending: topics and searches.
Wordstream Free keyword tools: WordStream’s free keyword tools are an actionable suite providing: keyword suggestion, keyword grouping, keyword analysis, long-tail keyword research and negative keyword discovery.
SEMrush: competitive intelligence, keyword analysis and data on keyword rankings.
Open Site Explorer: Link building opportunities, research backlinks, discover top pages and social activity.
BuzzSumo: I use Buzzsumo for content marketing data. With Buzzsumo I can easily find highly engaging topics within our niche.
SEO Profiler: Great SEO tools which follow the Google Search Engine optimization guidelines. SEO Profiler offers many features that other tools don’t.
SEOptimer: Running SEO audits. Checks the most important SEO factors of any website.
67. Ramin Assemi
@ramin - Marketing at Close.io
No magic here:
- Google Keyword planner
- Screaming Frog
- Google Search Console + Google Analytics
For super easy SEO wins: Look at search queries in Google Search Console that are currently driving traffic. Particularly the ones that are getting a high number of impressions AND rank low in the SERPs. Optimize existing content to for those keywords to improve your ranking (or create new content specifically optimized for these) and you can often see a good lift in search traffic for these.
68. Christopher Gimmer
@cgimmer - Co-Founder at Snappa
SEO tools I use are AHREFs and SEMRush. I use them to track rankings, find backlink opportunities, and research content ideas
69. Gábor Imre
@aionhill - Digital Marketing Manager at AionHill Ltd.
We using Ahrefs for SEO (backlink analysis, link opportunities checking, keyword tracking)
We choosed BuzzSumo for content analysis
Commun.it for Twitter follower organizing/a>
70. Slava Rybalka
@slavarybalka - Founder at Athena SEO LLC
Some of the tools I use on a regular basis these days include Screaming Frog in combination with Xenu Link Sleuth (for a fast assessment of on-site SEO/issues), MOZ (to keep all the sites in one place and monitor their performance), Google Search Console (to cover both the potential technical issues of a website and find the keywords the website is found for), etc. I am not using any particular link building tool these days, but if I would, that would be either CognitiveSEO or ahrefs.
As for the keywords/content creation I like to use SimpleMind app on Mac to build the mind maps of topics and subtopics.
There are 2 extensions for Chrome that I use a lot, Check my Links (to find broken links on a page) and Data Miner (to scrape data from web pages).
71. Szymon Klimczak
@sklimczak - CMO at LiveChat
There are several SEO tools I use. Most often I look into Google Search Console, which is a goldmine in terms of information it provides on the ways people get to our website. The other tool I commonly use is SEMrush, which is good for the basic research on keywords, competitors and search volumes.
SEOmonitor is a more advanced tool, good especially for pro users and SEO agencies – it requires additional knowledge from users and beginners will find it rather confusing than useful. Set of tools from Moz and ahrefs provide additional information on backlinks and search marketing, allowing us to boost the online visibility and keep ahead of competitors. Every once in a while I also use onpage for some technical SEO checks and on-page SEO analysis.
72. Adam Vowles
@atvowles - Head of Digital Marketing at Kumo
I use a lot of tools to help reduce time when working on a SEO campaign. However it is vitally important to remember that that tools are just tools. When people start SEO I often see them very reliant on their tool set without ever fully understanding them. Tools just allow us to get to the information we need faster – it is how you interpret that data that is the key point. The best advice I can give is something I see a lot of people doing wrong and that is on site SEO.
So many people focus on off site SEO when they could improve their positions dramatically if they put more care into their technical SEO. These are easy wins that people are ignoring and can have a big difference.
Focus on how the search engines crawl and index your site.
Are they indexing junk pages?
Do they understand the purpose of your pages?
Are you targeting the same keywords across multiple pages?
How fast is your website?
The main tools i use on a daily bases (my weekly list is a lot longer than this):
Deep Crawl – https://www.deepcrawl.com/ – Hands down the best techncial SEO tool available at the moment, great for doing in-depth audits.
Screaming Frog – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/ – A essential tool for any online marketeer.
Chrome Scraper – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/scraper/mbigbapnjcgaffohmbkdlecaccepngjd?hl=en – This plugin saves me hours of time every week by scraping data to a excel file or Google Doc.
Scrapebox – http://www.scrapebox.com/ – Its called the Swiss army knife of SEO for a reason. A brilliant tool with endless uses.
Majestic SEO – https://majestic.com – Trust Flow and Citation Flo
73. Lonnie Ayers
@lonniea39 - President at SAP BW Consulting, Inc.
I primarily use (not exclusively)
- Hubspot (Keyword Tool)
- Google Keywords Planner Tool
- Google search bar (lots of ways to leverage this)
- Google Analytics
- YouTube Search bar
- InboundLI (content curation tool that indirectly tells me what is resonating with my audience)
- Lots of deep industry knowledge about my target industries (comes from experience)
- Twitter (especially useful demographic information when you run a campaign)
- Facebook (groups)
74. Sarah Hewitson
@sarahhewy - Community & Marketing Manager at Neatly.io
I use Google Search Console & Moz for tracking how our site is doing, Search Analytics gives me a rough idea of which search terms people are using to find us and Moz does a great job of allowing me to track it all.
Keywordtool.io is a great tool for helping you to identify topics and keywords to focus on. When coming up with a new blog post, I like to stick the keyword of the topic I’m writing about in there and see what questions are being asked about this topic.
I highly recommend the Blog Post SEO Checklist spreadsheet created by Sean Bestor for SumoMe (available at the bottom of kickass article). We use it when writing content for our blog. It help us get this post onto the second page of Google before we’d even started looking at backlinks.
I’d also recommend checking out inbound.org – SEO is constantly evolving and being part of this community helps me to keep up to date with the latest.
75. Dustin Tysick
@dtysick - Digital Marketing Manager & Analyst at Jostle
Our marketing stack consists primarily of HubSpot, Google Analytics, HotJar and Drift. We actually do not use any paid SEO tools but instead rely on a combo of HubSpot, Ubersuggest & Screaming Frog. It’s a bit more of a manual process than some.
A major learning experience recently was the realization that sometimes optimizing and updating old evergreen content can be more beneficial than churning out new content. For example, we have one post that ranks quite high for a number of quality keywords and brings in quite a bit of traffic every month. For two weeks we lowered the cadence on our blog and instead focused on creating a content offer and CTA specifically geared to the most common search queries that bring visitors to that post. The end result was that it quadrupled our CTR for our CTA and continues to bring in multiple top of funnel leads every single day.
76. Hannes Johnson
@hannesjohnson -Growth Hacker at TripCreator
A few of the tools I’ve been using the most recently are: Moz Pro, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, BuzzStream and the Redirect Path Chrome extension.
Regarding learning experiences and tricks:
- I like Upworthy’s policy of brainstorming 25 headline ideas for each article/post. I try to develop each headline until I find one that is likely to make people click (and includes important keywords).
- Many people forget about optimizing images when it comes to SEO. You can optimize the file size for speed & UX and include relevant keywords in the file name, alt text and surrounding text.
- I think it’s important when you’re creating content to remember that the end-user is the “hero” – you’re creating this for them, not you. Will they understand this? How will this benefit them? Creating a User Persona can help with this – to have something visual to remind yourself of the end-user.
77. Sourav Saha
@saha_sourav - Web Consultant, Webaholic
- What I like the most about this tool is the capability of analyzing my competitors. Which keywords they are ranking, the number of searches for those keywords.
- The site audit tool works like a charm when it comes to pointing out errors in my website – It really saves a lot of my time.
- Another important feature I use is tracking keywords including my competitors. And the best part it gives you location wise data.
Moz Open Site Explorer:
- Great tool for finding out Domain authority, as it kinda unofficial version of Google Pagerank (since it’s death…RIP Page Rank). This helps me a lot while building links through guest posting or resource page links etc.
- I also love this tool since it shows you the spam score, as it’s very useful pointing out spammy links. That’s when you know that you have to manually reach those website owners or disavow those links. It also triggers when your website has too many pages but very little incoming links. This feature helped me a lot
What I love about this tool is content explorer it gives you popular content on a specific keyword, which can be really helpful if you follow skyscraper technique. And if you have already written a super massive post on a specific topic this tool shows you will highlight those articles coming from domains that don’t to your domain. Just click “Highlight unlinked domains” enter your domain, click “Highlight” and boom!
78. Grant Lingel
@grantlingel - Works at Neil Patel.
My experience with SEO in the past was typically packaged with content marketing. My focus today is a lot different with Neil Patel than before when I freelanced as a content marketer and consultant.
To me, content and SEO go hand in hand and an SEO strategy should never go without a solid content campaign. I found great success in the past by focusing my content creation – and the content created by those I advised – on the implementation of strategic long-tail keywords.
Before even drafting an outline of an article, I would put myself in the shoes of someone sitting down to ask Google a question. If the article was about voice over work, I would think about what a voice over artist or recording studio would be thinking about when it was time to research their equipment. When I worked for Torre, the founders of VoiceBunny, I wrote an article called The 9 Best Microphones for Voice Over Work. The piece featured, you guessed it, nine great microphones. Within a month, the article ranked on page one in Google and it is now the #1 result in Google for many keyword/long-tail keyword combinations that people in that industry use.
Did I stuff keywords? Of course not. In fact, it doesn’t even say ‘voice over microphone’ once in the entire article. But if you Google ‘voice over microphone’ in Google, you will find the article in the #1 position. Why? Because the article answers many different questions that voice over artists and folks at recording studios ask Google. It covers different price points for microphones ranging from amateur to professional. To Google – and to those searching – this is valuable information that answers the questions that people searching Google are asking. And the long-tail keyword best voice over microphone? It gets pretty good search traffic from people toward the end of the sales funnel. If someone just searches ‘microphone’, they are much less likely to buy than someone searching for the best microphone for voice over work (the article ranks #1 as well for that long-tail keyword).
The tools I used frequently to help in discovering the right long-tail keywords were Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. I use these tools to this day with projects I work on with Neil. They are great tools that can give you a much better understanding of the keywords you want to use, the competition and what they are using, and traffic patterns. Tools aside, one thing I always do that a lot of people opt out of doing (while strictly focusing on tools and automated processes) is searching the competition manually. Googling the competition to see what they have already done, and more importantly, forgotten to do, will give you a headstart when it comes to producing great content and improving your SEO/content marketing strategy.
79. Karolina Piwiec
@karolinapiwiec - Content Jedi at Brand24
80. Jamil Ali Ahmed
@jamilaliahmed - SEO Specialist at Cloudways
I use number of different tools, but my favorite are Google Analytics, Ahrefs. Moz, BuzzSumo and Seocentro
On-Page SEO lays a perfect foundation for great SEO returns. Unique and relevant blog content is must, And most important is that the number of social signals your page receives is essential in growth and SEO SERPs results.
Few small SEO Tips with an impact:
> Homepage is the most visited page of any website and it has the best (DA) domain authority. Linking from homepage to landing pages or to the most productive inner pages is a must do thing.
> Anchor text on primary keywords is an excellent practice, but position matters. Including them in the top navigation drop down it better then the footer. This will help visitor navigate easily, Increase pageviews, More chances of conversions, Improves bounce rate, More productive use of internal linking and above all SPIDERS love things above the fold (best for SEO)
> Breadcrumb are SEO friendly and user friendly.
> Linking one page to another increases creditably and passes link juice. Link higher authority pages of your blog with pages having lesser authority within your blog.
> Make good use of primary, secondary and long tail keywords wisely.
> Always make sure to use do-follow links in internal linking. And use no-follow while giving an external link to someone, but if the other site is worth it and has a better DA and reputation then take full advantage and give them a do-follow link happily.
> Too much of anything is bad ……” – Mark Twain.
Similarly too much internal/external linking is bad. Do it wisely, because “Balance is Beauty”
My recommended blogs to read for SEO:
81. Brian Thomas Clark
@briantclark - Founder at House of Search
Here are the tools I use on a daily basis and cannot live without:
- Excel – This is a no-brainer, but search marketing would not be where it is without Excel. I use it for everything from organizing a client’s site structure, to creating reports, to writing new content, meta data, etc.
- Screaming Frog – I’d be out of a job without this as it can tell me absolutely everything about a client’s site I need to know in order to address both technical and non-technical SEO issues. Plus, it’s intuitive, so I can even run crawls with clients and they understand what they are seeing.
- Deep Crawl – I work with a lot of 1 million+ page sites so there are times when Screaming Frog just can’t handle all of that content. That’s where Deep Crawl comes in.
- SEMRush – Paid and organic keyword research and insights for prospects, clients, and competitors. It also offers some solid backlink data, though I prefer a few other tools for that.
- Google Analytics & Search Console – Another no-brainer. The most customizable free web analytics software out there plus the only site diagnostic tool that keeps you close to Google. If my clients don’t have analytics, I put them on this. Even the 1mm+ page sites. Plus, with Google Tag Manager, I can do even more from a customized tracking standpoint. Especially when it comes to events, behavior tracking, etc.
- Moz, Majestic, Cognitive SEO – Backlink data is what I take from these guys. Between Open Site Explorer and Majestic’s link index, plus the competitive data I can get from Cognitive, I can put together a solid link/content audit and see what needs my attention first.
- Google Drive: An absolute necessity for working with contractors and maintaining client transparency. Every client gets a project workbook in a Google Spreadsheet that they have complete access to. This way I can share documents, link to other documents, and alert clients/contractors of comments so they know when they need to take action on a task.
As for a trick that got me some great SEO returns, I don’t really have any tricks, but I do have an action that always pays dividends, especially on larger sites:
Whenever I do an audit of a massive website, two of the first things I look at are the sites overall URL structure/depth and the internal linking practices. On average, I can get an organic traffic lift of 30-60% by doing the following:
- Adjusting site architecture to give it more depth rather than keeping everything flat in a single directory. This is the biggest mistake I tend to see my clients making.
- Fixing internal linking practices. When it comes to fixing issues, the biggest impacts come from:
- Fixing internal links pointing to broken pages.
- Fixing internal links pointing to redirects rather than the final destination URL.
- Adjusting anchor texts to make them more keyword-targeted.
- Implementing new and better internal linking practices. This basically involves working with an internal content team and developers to make sure they implement enough proper internal links to related content and deeper pages. Depending on the development team, we can implement internal links on older content automatically while writers implement manually on new content.
82. Marie Haynes
@marie_haynes of MarieHaynes.com
The tools that I use on a regular basis include Ahrefs, Majestic, Open Site Explorer, and SEMRush. Something I just recently learned is that SEMRush can give you historic ranking data which can be quite useful when trying to diagnose traffic drop issues.
83. Visakan Veerasamy
@visakanv -Marketing @ReferralCandy
84. Jarratt Isted
@jarrattisted -CTO @HelpDocs
85. Joel K
@joelklettke - Freelance Conversion Copywriter at Business Casual Copywriting
To find out why your site isn’t ranking, the best thing to do is ask Jeeves why. I spend a few hours every week typing “Why site not ranking” and seeing what he says.
Who hasn’t hit the link juice a little hard after a few hours of staring into ranking reports? I hear this is a Gary Illyes recommended tool.
86. Sujan Patel
@sujanpatel- Co-Founder Voila Norbert & Right Inbox