There are so many tools for SEO out there that it can be confusing to know which one is the best for you. Of course, you don’t have to use SEO tools. But if you are interested in growing your blog into something more than a hobby, then having an understanding of SEO is going to be vital to your success.
If you’re new to SEO and blogging, you might want to check out this post on basic SEO to get you started. The following tools I’m going to talk about in this article are all aimed at giving your blog and its content a better chance at ranking high in Google.
There are so many tools out there and there are so many things you can do to help your blog rank. Google’s algorithm uses over 210 known factors to rank websites in order. SEO is a really big job and it is a job that is never done. There’s always something you can be doing to improve your website (unless it’s a website with very few pages).
These programs, plugins and software can guide you and steer you in the right direction – but above all, you should be producing quality content that is valuable. After all, Google seeks to display the BEST content first. So your number one priority should be to produce the best piece of content that is on the web. Then use SEO to tell Google what the content is about.
What is SEO and Why Is It Important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a process that improves your website’s rank in search engines.
SEO is a set of activities that are taken to improve the online visibility of a website. It helps users find your website on search engine results pages.
The goal of SEO is to make it easier for people to find your content and make it more likely that they will visit your site.
In order to rank higher in search engine results, you need to create high-quality content, use appropriate keywords, and be aware of what the search engine crawlers are looking for.
Different Types of SEO Tools and How to Choose Which One Suits Your Needs
SEO is a complex field and it can be difficult to find the right tools for your needs. That’s why I have taken the time to review a range of popular SEO tools so that you can find the one that suits you best. All of these tools for SEOs have free trials so you can test them out for yourself.
I’m going to break down the different types of SEO tools and go through what they are used for. I’ll also give recommendations on which SEO tool is best for certain tasks.
There are various ways in which SEO tools can be categorised. Some SEO professionals may choose those with features they need, while others may focus on those with a lower price tag or those with more support options.
You might be wondering: what kind of SEO tools should I use? If this is your first time using an online marketing tool, then the free trials are a great place to start.
I recommend just signing up for one at a time so you can spend your time using it while it is free. Even if you don’t decide to subscribe after your trial is up, you can still use the features to improve your blog SEO and learn something new.
Semrush is a comprehensive SEO solution that offers so many different tools to help you with most things SEO related. It might seem a bit overwhelming to start with – the best thing to do is to start the free trial and then give yourself some time to check out each feature.
Here’s what you can do to improve your SEO and traffic on Semrush:
You can do keyword research with Semrush and discover the best keywords to bring traffic to your site. You can also analyse your competitor’s organic keywords and identify keyword gaps, plus, you can view the keywords that you’re already ranking for.
The site audit tools on Semrush are something you should absolutely take advantage of in your free trial. You can audit your website and get a list of actionable points to fix that will improve your website technical SEO. You can also run checks on specific pages to get tips on how to improve them. You can also get a log of how Google crawls interact with your site to make sure your site is easily crawlable.
This is why doing the free trial is worth it even if you decide to cancel without paying!
The competitor analysis tools help you discover how websites that are similar to yours are doing. It’s always great to look at your competition, see what works for them and see if there’s anything you can leverage. Remember, the point here isn’t to copy, it’s to get ideas on what content you can create and make your articles the best out there.
You can also track mentions of your brand/name and keep an eye on social media statistics!
Content marketing tools
Research topics, get help with what keywords, headings and other things to put in your content to rank high and track performance over time.
Local SEO is vital if your blog or business relies on local customers. There are tools to ensure your content gets in front of people in the right location.
Check where you are ranking and track your movement over time as well as keep an eye out for any signs of an algorithm update. This means you can see if you need to go update or tweak any pages that are losing their rankings!
Other features within Semrush
- Social Media Management
- Link Building
- Competitor SEO Analysis
- Content Creation and Distribution
- Content Optimization
- Content Marketing Analytics
- Market Analysis
- Paid Advertising
- Competitor PR Monitoring
Get your 7-day free trial here and check out the Semrush features!
If I’ve just overwhelmed you with all the tools in Semrush, then Key Search might be more suitable for you. There are fewer features here but the features it does have are fantastic.
Keysearch is a tool for researching keywords, getting ideas for new keywords and helping you decide what you have the most potential of ranking for by showing you lots of information – including the website statistics for those that already rank in the top 10 so you can decide if you have a chance at outranking then.
I’ve written a full post on Key Search here.
My favourite features of Keysearch are the Content Assistant – where it gives you keywords, word length and other hints and tips of what to include in your content to rank on the first page of Google.
You can also track your keywords and monitor if they are going up or down and check out what other websites are ranking well for.
You can see what your competitors are ranking for also – which I think is so valuable. Run searches of similar websites in size and niche for yours and see what they are ranking for. You can then get some ideas of what your blog might rank well for!
As I said, Keysearch is a lot simpler than Semrush, has a lot fewer features and is more focused on keyword research and content than other aspects of SEO. But this is the best tool for Keyword research without question. Try out the month free trial and start playing with the features to discover how easily this website can help you.
You can sign up to Keysearch here for the free trial and use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount.
Ubersuggest brings you the simplicity of Keysearch but with some more complex features that Semrush has.
As a keyword research tool, I do prefer Keysearch. But one great feature of the SEO tool Ubersuggest is that it lets you see terms that you have the potential of ranking on page one for, so it prevents you from wasting time on keywords that are too hard for you.
What I really like about Uber Suggest is that it audits the technical SEO on your website and gives you clear next steps on how to fix the issues in order of priority.
I’m personally not a massive fan of the keyword research features in Ubbersuggest or the competitor analysis, but I LOVE the site audit tool. So if you decide to sign-up for the 7-day free trial with Ubbersuggest, use your time to audit your site and fix the problems it tells you to. It’s s simple to do and they explain how to make the recommended changes.
Most of us know Moz because of their Domain Authority (DA). DA is a metric that Moz uses to rank a website out of 100. This metric is nothing to do with Google and it can, and is often, manipulated to be higher than a website deserves. This is because DA relies heavily on backlinks that can be bought/swapped or gained in other ways.
DA is often used in the blogging community as it’s what a long of PR/outreach specialists will use to check the quality of a website. It’s just an easy, universal way of measuring one site against another.
In theory, a website with a higher DA will have more high-quality backlinks and will rank higher in Google/get more traffic. Though this isn’t always the case.
Anyway, MozPro is a great SEO tool and is similar to Semrush in what it can do and the level of detail it goes into.
I’ve personally found Moz most useful when you are working on link building or doing link audits. My favourite features have been to check my link problem and also track links to see if they’ve been picked up by Moz to increase my DA. It really is one of the best SEO tools for link building!
Rank Math is an SEO plugin. There is a basic version you can upgrade to Pro for extra features.
Rank Math is a bit similar to the popular Yoast SEO, in that when writing posts, it gives you suggestions on how to rank higher. It uses slightly different measures to Yoast and some say that Rank Math is much better. I made the switch from Yoast a few months ago and never looked back.
If you want to migrate from Yoast to Rank Math – then read this to make sure you migrate all your data such as metadata properly.
The metrics it uses to rank your content are things like:
- meta descriptions
- keyword in URL
- alt attributes
- power words
- length of content
- title readability
- text readability
It then scores you out of 100 and lets you know which points you need to work on. If you’ve used Yoast before, then it’s a very similar tool that updates in real-time as you write your blog content.
Rank Math has a few features other than content optimisation. But my favourite the analytics.
This has been one of the most useful tools for SEO that I’ve used. It allows you to see what keywords you are ranking for, how much traffic you’re getting from search and loads more! I use analytics all the time to check and optimise my posts.
I’ve seen a massive difference since using Rank Math. There’s also a new Content AI feature that lets you enter your keyword and then it tells you any phrases and a bunch of other information you should include.
Free Tools for SEO
Although the paid SEO tools are much better, there are some free tools for SEO that you can use to improve your blog.
Here are some of the best free SEO tools out there:
- Rank Math Lite
- Google Search Console
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
- Semrush (free version has limited features and searches)
- Ahrefs Keyword Generator
- Google Analytics
Have you used any of these before?