SEO Tools can help you find the right words to focus on and save you from wasting time on blog posts that nobody wants to read. These SEO tools will help you have a systematic approach to ranking on Google.
Whether you write a lot or only a few blog posts it is worth getting the best results to drive traffic to your website.
Once you have nailed who you are targeting you want to ensure that you get found and build your presence out on the web. To explain the process I have broken it down into 5 steps. I will talk about each tool in how they relate to this.
Here are some key tips to help you get started:
- Set a budget for how much you can afford to spend on SEO tools
- Stay focused and learn a step at a time
- Choose the tools and get to know them inside out – see how it fits your requirements
- Move through each step and do it well
- Remember the 80 / 20 rule – spend the time doing some good research and the rest flows a lot easier
The tools below are well known and work well so why not try them and then once you have mastered them you will be able to better assess other tools and understand more.
SEO Tools That Help You Rank
Even if you focus on a niche market you need to be sure you know what keywords your audience search for. The more keywords you can rank for the more traffic you will get to your website.
But, it’s competitive. So knowing where to put your time and energy is critical to your success.
For instance, if I was a local florist trying to compete on the term florist I wouldn’t stand a chance.
I would be going up against all the other florists in the Country and the giants like Interflora (and they have been ranking for years on this and put a lot of money into their SEO).
However, if I choose wedding florist Oxford I would have a chance of ranking.
There are two reasons for this:
- people search locally for this type of service.
- The competition level is much lower.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the unique words or phrases that people use when searching for anything on the internet. They are the specific words that an internet user will type on the search engine like Google when searching for something.
What we are looking for with keywords is to find ones that we can rank for an have low competition but a good amount of traffic.
Over time, if we build up lots of posts or pages that rank then the overall amount of traffic we get will be high.
This is known as the longtail effect.
Some tools offer more capabilities than others.
What you choose will depend to some extent on:
- your budget
- knowledge of SEO
- goals and objectives
Keyword research is the backbone of all your SEO efforts. And in order to become a master of your craft, you need to know which are the best keywords by knowing how to research them.
SEO Tools #1. Google Adwords
Google AdWords is a simple and free tool to use but don’t underestimate its power. Used well you can dig deep into the web to research keywords competition down to geographical location, language (if important to you) and by the device (mobile is now a critical element). You can also move from general terms to exact terms which helps narrow down the opportunity. Key tip: don’t discount keywords with Medium to High competition; these can be a long-term goal. When searching in AdWords, start broad, and then enter narrower queries.
Google keyword tool used to be one of the favourite SEO tools. But in recent years, Google has reduced the amount of keyword data available to people in Keyword Planner as well as with Google Analytics.
As a result, a lot of people brushed off keyword research and started saying things like “just create great content” or “write content for people instead of the search engines”.
While creating high-quality content is important, ignoring keyword research and SEO is foolish.
The formula = Keywords + High-Quality Content = focused results
Of course, there is more to getting traffic than this. You also need to acknowledge the importance of email marketing, referrals, social media…However, getting back to SEO.
Also, take a look at Google Analytics to find out how it can help your SEO.
SEO Tools #2. aHrefs
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer is perhaps the best keyword research tool on the market. Ahrefs isn’t an SEO tool, it’s actually a suite of SEO tools.
As an example on the dashboard, you immediately get an overview of your SEO.
- Ahrefs Rank: How your website stacks up against every other website in Ahrefs’ index. The lower, the better.
- Domain Rating (DR): A domain “authority” rating on a scale of 0-100
- URL Rating (UR): A URL “authority” rating (again, on a 100-point scale)
- Backlinks: Number of backlinks pointing to your entire website (i.e. across every page/post)
- Referring Domains: Number of unique domains linking to your domain
- Organic Keywords: Total number of organic keywords your website currently ranks for
- Tracked Keywords: The total number of tracked keywords (i.e. keywords you specifically told Ahrefs to track during the setup stage) your site is ranking for. And the positions in which each of those keywords is ranking.
Key features of Ahrefs
- Site Explorer
- Content Explorer
- Keyword Explorer
- Rank Tracker
- Domain Comparison
- Batch Analysis
- Link Intersect
- SEO Toolbar
Find out more about Ahrefs.
SEO Tools #3. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is designed to manage SEO, online advertising campaigns, and social media conversations.
Raven Tools draws from a variety of sources, including Google, Bing, Majestic, Moz, and Open Calais.
For each keyword, Raven shows you search volume and ad data. That gives you the info you need whether you’re trying to rank for that search term organically or you’d like to use it in an ad.
The tool will also show you similar search phrases for a keyword you enter. Harvest that data for content marketing opportunities with keywords that your competitors aren’t using.
You don’t have to evaluate keywords one at a time, though. Raven lets you upload a CSV-delimited document of keywords. Then, you can use the tool to organize those keywords based on filters or tags.
Key features of Raven Tools
- Campaign Management
- Website Research and Analysis
- Link Building
- Content Management
- Keyword Manager
- Site Auditor
- Site Performance
- SEO Metrics
- Social Media Publishing and Metrics
- PPC Ad Management
Read more information about Raven Tools
SEO Tools #4. LongTail Pro
LongTail Pro is a keyword research tool that helps you find low competition keywords for your website.
LongTailPro is a simple powerful keyword research software. It allows you to generate hundreds or even thousands of“Long Tail” keywords in a matter of few seconds based on a single root keyword or multiple root keywords entered into the software.
Key features of Longtail Pro:
- Keyword suggestions in bulk. There is a possibility to add 5 seed keywords and get up to 400 related keywords per seed. Amazing right?
- Keyword difficulty scoring from 0-100, which is perfect. It will tell you how easy or difficult it is to rank on that keyword on Google
- Manage projects and organize them so that you don’t have all your keywords together in one place. They will be separated in project folders.
- Competitor analysis. Most times, the best way to do keyword research is to stay back and let your competitors do all the hard work. By switching to the tool to “Competitor Keywords” mode, all you then have to do is that you input a competitor’s page or domain URL and watch LongTailPro dissects their website and give you their keyword strategy.
- Track your rankings for each site you manage.
SEO Tools #5. Moz Pro
Moz Pro offers a complete SEO toolset that helps you to improve search engine ranking and visibility. It uses proven SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Page Authority that provide quality data to get the job done more effectively.
Key features of Moz Pro
The main SEO functions that Moz Pro covers include:
- Rank tracking
- Keyword research
- Link profile analysis
- Site Crawl
- On-page optimization
SEO Tools #6. Answer The Public
This is the perfect tool if you’re in the content ideation process looking for direction. It can take a bit of time when researching to find a specific subject to write about especially if you’re writing content for a niche business.
Answer The Public gives you suggestions, ideas, and frequently searched terms when thinking of a particular topic. After fetching keyword search terms, the application displays the searches in neat visuals (seen above) showing searches related to the different questions people ask online.
If you’re not a fan of the visuals, you can quickly download the keyword search data to a CSV.
Pro features include
- Unlimited searches
- Saved reports
- Compare data + see new suggestions
- Language + Location based results
- High-res images
- Hide unwanted sections and individual suggestions
- Unlimited team members
SEO Tools #7. SEM Rush
If you are looking to dig deep into how and what the competition is using then SEMrush is a great SEO tool to use. It lets you research the popular keywords that are driving traffic to a website. Choose between 10 – 15 competitors. Then click on the link for each of your competitor’s listed in the top 20 results for the keywords you want to focus on. For each competitor, you will get 10 of the top keywords that the website ranks and other useful information such as what page/post on the site ranks for the specific keyword.
The free version will give you lots of great information to start with and then after pricing starts with the free version because that provides lots of good information.
To perform comprehensive initial keyword research for your blog, you can sign up for a one-month subscription and get thousands of keywords from blogs similar to yours. You can download these keywords in an Excel spreadsheet for future reference.
Key features of SEMrush.
- Organic research
- See competitors’ best keywords
- Discover new organic competitors
- Observe position changes of domains
- Conduct a deep link analysis
- Understand referring domains’ authority
- Check backlinks’ types
- Spot your links’ geolocation
- Keyword Research
- Find the right keywords for SEO and PPC campaigns
- Gather phrase matches and related keywords
- Get long-tail keywords
- Explore multinational and multilingual environments
- Advertising Research Analyze сompetitor ad budgets and keywords
- Monitor ad copy and landing pages
- Discover New Competitors in Google Ads
- Localize Your Ad Campaigns
Read more about SEMRush.
On-Site SEO Tools
#8. Yoast SEO
WordPress is one of the best and easiest ways to build a website. Moreover, the tools (plugins) now available make it extremely versatile. No matter what you want to do on the internet, WordPress will have some sort of solution.
Read this article to understand more about how WordPress has changed the internet.
With over a million downloads WordPress SEO by Yoast is the best SEO tool on the market for SEO.
Use the WordPress SEO tool to optimise you pages ads as well as posts. You get easy to use red, amber and green traffic light system to guide you. This provides ways to easily improve your post or page. If you work through Yoasts guide and learn how to use it well you will greatly improve the performance of your website and get better ranking results.
Another great feature of WordPress SEO is it can integrate Facebook into your site and Twitter cards.
Read more about Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.
Publish and Promote Posts
You need to publish your posts so people get exposed to your content. Places to publish your post and build your links are:
- Bookmarking sites
There are in fact lots of other social networks and places to post articles and blog posts, but doing it randomly doesn’t help you. What you need to understand is where your audience spends time.
As an example, if you have been in First Aid Training you could write a blog on changes in legislation that are soon to come into force, taking out the jargon, and making it easy to understand what a company needs to do to stay legal.
This post could provide called “5 ways to stay legal with your first aid”. If the people that buy your service are HR directors, assuming they are responsible for First Aid training, you could post into a Linkedin group with HR people. The chances are they might not be aware of this as a possible issue and you could offer to ask any questions that arise from the post.
There are plenty of ways to find out about your customers online and get to know them better. Two easy tools to use here are Twitter and Hashtags.org. The two questions you need to understand are:
What hashtags (Twitter) or terms are they using? and also if you find customers look at their Twitter lists to get some insights as to who else and what topics they follow.
Use the Twitter search tool and/or hashtags.org to find out what hashtags are being used in your topics. if you then tweet your post with a trending and relevant hashtag more people will pick it up.
The best way, and often overlooked is to find out where your customers are hanging out in social media is to Ask them.
Promote On Facebook
Another way to get more eyes on your blog posts is to post a blog on your Facebook page and then promote it. Of course, the thing to be aware of here is how well your post fits your Facebook audience.
One of the best ways to build out your links is to guest blog on other sites. To find relevant sites that have a good rank and are right for you can be hard – that is where Buzzstream comes in. BuzzStream does more just help you build links. It is also a way to build relationships and track links.
After setting up your account go to ‘Research’ from the ‘Link Partners’ tab and enter search terms into ‘Prospecting Searches’. Now you can use a keyword and also add “guest blog” “guest post” and you will get a list of possible opportunities. Of course, some may not be right for you and this is where you need to reach out and ask. Choose carefully and write well for a guest post. If it does well you may well be invited to do more.
Read more about Buzzstream
Measuring Your Performance
One of the things that you will need to do is to track how well your blog is performing in search. This a key part of the process and gives you a measure of how well you are performing vs, your objectives, your competition and your marketing efforts. In other words for the time spent are your moving in the right direction. The two SEO tools I have listed below are both priced at $49 per month and involve no contract so you can easily cancel at any time.