14 Best SEO Tools to Increase Your Traffic (2020)
Just like Batman needs Robin, every good search marketer needs their SEO tools. They’re the best way to find out what your competitors are doing, which keywords to target, and how to optimize your website content.
Why is search engine optimization so important?
SEO helps improve the visibility of your website in the search engine results pages (SERP). The better you rank, the more traffic you drive to your site. This can lead to increased profits or improvement in other metrics that are important to you.
In order to gain that competitive edge, you’ll need to use the best SEO tools on the market to get you there. And there are a lot to choose from.
In my post, I’ll cover the top tools that I (or my co-workers) have personally used and how to best utilize them. Some are free, others come at a cost but are well worth it.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that some of these links are affiliate links. So if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no cost to you. That helps to support me and keep this website running.
What are the Best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools?
- Google Ads Keyword Planner
- Advanced Web Ranking
- Long Tail Pro
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Google Search Console
- Google Trends
- Majestic SEO
SEMRush is one of my favorite marketing SEO tools. It provides high-level, competitive analysis at the click of a button. The platform itself is very easy to use and offers a wide range of metrics to compare your website with others.
SEMrush offers three different monthly pricing plans: Pro ($99.95), Guru ($199.95), and Business ($399.95). If you’re a freelancer (or just starting out), you can get everything you need from the Pro plan. The other plans are really for bigger businesses or agencies.
- Organic research – discover new keywords, see what’s working for your competitors, find which keywords have rich results, and track the position changes for your domain.
- Traffic analytics – monitor your competitor’s website traffic performance, find new niches, and understand customer behavior.
- Advertising research – see how much money your competitors are spending on paid search and which strategies you can use to refine your own campaigns.
SpyFu is another competitor analysis tool that’s very similar to SEMRush. It has solid reporting and very robust dashboards. What I like most about SpyFu is that you can perform free website research without having to pay for the service. The only downside is that the platform may be too hard to navigate for people new to digital marketing.
How much does SpyFu cost? At $33 per month for the annual Basic plan, it’s one of the more affordable search engine optimization tools. It costs $58 per month for the Professional plan. If you need to track more keywords and have access to custom reports, then the Professional plan is probably better for you.
- SEO research – search for a competitor’s website to see what organic keywords they rank for, which content drives the most traffic, and general backlink information.
- PPC research – learn what keywords your competitors are paying for on Google, monitor changes in spend, and review their ad split tests.
- Keyword reporting – SpyFu groups your competitor’s keywords into segments to make it easier to review their content strategy.
Even if you’re new to SEO, you’ve probably heard of Neil Patel, the ultimate online marketing blogger. He created this free SEO tool to help with keyword research. So before you lay down any money on a paid product, try this one out first. It’s a great starter tool.
- Keyword research – view keyword search volume, difficulty score, and content suggestions.
- Domain overview & site health – get an overview of how your site is doing organically including top pages, backlinks, and top SEO keywords.
- Competitor analysis – enter your competitor’s website and analyze what keywords they’re ranking for.
Moz has one of the top SEO blogs out there. In addition to their insightful content, they also created some of the best SEO tools on the market. Talk to any digital marketer and they’ve probably utilized at least one Moz tool at some point in their career. Moz Pro, their tool suite, helps measure site health and provides page optimization insights.
How much does Moz Pro cost? It’s $99/month for the Standard plan (good for beginners), $149/month for the Medium plan (if you need full access to keyword research tools), $249/month for Large (for businesses), and $599/month for Premium (large agencies).
- Keyword analysis – Keyword Explorer provides volume, suggestions, and difficulty metrics to better enable your keyword strategy.
- Rank Tracking – monitor how your target keywords perform over time and review opportunities for improvement.
- Explore backlinks – review your backlinks, your competitor’s links, and find link building opportunities.
- Mozbar – get instant SEO metrics for any page you visit on the web or in the SERP (search engine results pages).
If you have a Google Ads account, then you can get access to their free Keyword Planner tool. After all, if your goal is to rank well in Google, you might get your keyword research straight from the source.
- Keyword search volume – find the number of searches a specific keyword gets on a monthly basis and how difficult it is to rank for it. Just FYI, you’ll get access to more data if you’re running a paid Google Ads campaign.
- Keyword suggestions – get relevant keyword ideas and filter by volume, competition, or branded vs. non-branded keywords.
When it comes to tracking website ranks, this is probably one of the best local search ranking tools out there. It’s super easy to use, intuitive, and simple. It’s a great tool for individuals or teams to track site ranks across multiple search engines (i.e. Google, Bing, YouTube, etc.) and countries.
Advanced Web Ranking has four different pricing plans: Starter for $49/month (for beginners), Pro for $99/month, Agency for $199/month, and Enterprise starting at $499/month.
- Local & mobile ranks – track search engine ranks by city, country, or device (desktop vs. mobile) over time.
- SERP features – find out which keywords have rich results (i.e. featured snippets, knowledge panel, top stories, images, etc.).
- Competitor analysis – discover what websites you’re competing with, track your market share vs. your competitors, and observe gains and losses of your website ranks.
Ahrefs is a good, user-friendly SEO analysis tool. It’s mainly known for analyzing backlinks, but it also provides keyword research, competitor analysis and rank tracking. What’s nice is that you can actually use the backlink checker for free. So when it comes time to build backlinks for your own website, use this tool to see what your competitors are doing and see if you can do the same.
How much does Ahref cost? It’s $99/month for the Lite plan, $179/month for Standard, $399/month for Advanced and $999/month for Agency.
- Site audit – learn which items are impacting your site health, like broken URLs, non-indexable pages, and other search engine optimization issues.
- Backlink comparison – find which sites are linking to your competitors and the quality of those backlinks.
- Keyword research – discover keyword ideas and search volumes.
- Rank tracking – monitor your search engine ranks against your competitors over time.
Long Tail Pro is a powerful SEO keyword research tool. It’s really simple to use, which makes it great for people just getting started in online marketing. Just enter your root keyword into the platform and it will generate hundreds of long tail keywords. This is ideal if you’re trying to rank for a less competitive keyword in your niche.
Long Tail Pro costs $25/month for the Annual Starter package, $45/month for Annual Pro, and $98/month for Annual Agency.
- Import & export capabilities – import keywords into Long Tail Pro and easily export your saved keywords.
- Keyword competitor analysis – enter a competitor’s URL and Long Tail Pro will break down their keyword strategy.
If you ask a digital marketer to name their favorite free SEO tool, undoubtedly Screaming Frog SEO Spider will come up. It’s a desktop-based website crawler that performs super fast audits of your entire site. Once you download it and enter your URL, the program will crawl your site for broken links, duplicate content, and empty tags.
How much does Screaming Frog cost? You can crawl the first 500 URLs for free. (That freebie price is also another reason why it’s one of the best SEO tools out there. Get all your initial analysis done without paying a cent.) After that, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version, which costs £149 (approximately $200 US) per year.
- Analyze meta data & page title – instantly find out if your website is missing a tag, if you have duplicate tags, or if a tag is too short or too long.
- Find broken links – not only does this tool report on 404s and server errors, it allows you to export your findings.
- Generate XML sitemaps – create XML sitemaps that include your website URL, last modified date, and change frequency.
- Integrate with Google products – connect to Google Search Console and Google Analytics to fetch data and gain additional performance insights.
SEOQuake is a free SEO plugin that you can use while browsing the internet. It provides quick, on-page site audits and link analysis with a simple button click.
- SEO analysis – get an instant SEO overview of the website you’re browsing including domain details and backlink information.
- SERP analysis – review SERP analysis and export the results to a CSV file.
- Keyword analysis – generate detailed information about all the keywords on the page you’re browsing.
Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free tool that monitors your site’s visibility in the SERP. If you have a website, you can easily sign up for access and review your site performance, ranks, and any technical errors.
- Site health – discover your 404 errors, index status of your site, and which pages have duplicate content issues.
- Performance overview – review impressions, ranks, and CTR for each page of your site to determine areas of opportunity.
12. Google Trends
Google Trends is another free SEO tool and it’s often underutilized. With this tool, you can search for a keyword and get insights on search interest and trends for any country. It’s useful for when you’re doing initial keyword research and trying to find popular related terms.
- Related queries – view related keyword ideas and find out if they’re trending.
- Search term popularity – discover which search terms are affected by seasonality and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
- Trending searches – find out which searches are trending so you can capitalize on opportunities while they’re still relevant.
WooRank is an SEO software tool that audits your website and checks your on-page and off-page performance. The great thing about this product is that you can test it out for free, to see if it’s a good fit for your needs before you purchase.
As for the price breakdown, WooRank Pro costs $59.99/month and Premium is $179.99/month. There’s also an Enterprise level that’s available for bigger businesses.
- SEO monitoring – receive weekly emails about your website’s health, uptime, and keyword performance.
- Site crawl – WooRank’s SEO crawler points out security issues, indexing errors, and suggests how to improve your page for better results.
- Keyword tool – track keywords to see how ranks change over time and how they compare to your competitors.
Majestic is an SEO backlink checker tool. Unlike other tools, it’s focused exclusively on links, which is helpful for building the authority of your website. You can test it out for free to get a brief example of how it works.
Majestic is reasonably priced. It costs $49.99/month for Lite (the starter plan), $99.99/month for Pro (for experienced users), and $399/month for the API plan.
- Site explorer – get a summary of your website’s link information including trust follow, citation flow, and external backlinks.
- Topics report – explore how users link to your site (or your competitor’s) and what words they use.
- Majestic plugin – add the extension to your browser to view backlink data as you visit various sites on the web.
FAQs: SEO Tools
What are SEO tools?
SEO tools are software or desktop programs that provide insights into how websites perform in search results. This includes information on keywords, backlinks, search ranks, and more.
What are the best free SEO tools?
1. Screaming Frog
2. Google Search Console
4. Yoast WordPress Plugin
5. Moz LInk Explorer
What are the best technical SEO tools?
1. Screaming Frog
2. Google Search Console
3. Pagespeed Friendly Test