Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as you probably know, is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs).
But do remember…
Your goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts)
If you’re a SEO professional then you would already know that SEO Tools change rapidly and there’s always one after the other. In fact, I have done several SEO Tools posts that is related to the different aspects of SEO.
And you know what… a good percentage of those blog posts are worthless today. Because most of the tools that I have mentioned on those blog posts are either obsolete or we don’t need it today.
That’s why I have consolidated some of the best SEO tools that exist today on a single page. So, here is a roundup of some of the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools you’ll ever need. Seriously.
Quick View — Click To Scroll
- Premium SEO Software
- SEO Website Analysis & Audit
- SEO Competitive Analysis
- Keyword Analysis & Research
- On-Page SEO Analysis
- Off-Page SEO Analysis
- Webmaster Tools
- Web Analytics
- Traffic Analytics & Research
- SERP Checker & Rank Tracking
- Local SEO
- Monitor SERP Fluctuations & Volatility
- Random Tools
- SEO Browser Extensions
Premium Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Software
You can consider the following tools as an SEO platform rather than just as a tool. They’re some of the best SEO & marketing tools as well. So, obviously it fits into multiple categories and that’s why I decided to feature them as “Premium”.
- Moz Pro (Premium) — is an all-in-one set of SEO, social media, site audit, and web analytics tools that help increase your search engine visibility and keep you ahead of your competitors. Pricing starts at $99/month with a 30-day free trial.
- Raven Tools (Premium) — features 30+ online marketing tools for efficient management & comprehensive reporting. Pricing starts at $99/month with a 30-day free trial.
- HubSpot (Premium) — contains everything you need to do internet marketing — from blogging, to SEO and social. Pricing starts at $200/month with a 30-day free trial.
- SEMrush (Premium) — is one of the most popular competitor analysis tool that’s also good for keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, advertising research, website auditing, etc. Pricing starts at $69.95/month.
- AuthorityLabs (Premium) — lets you track website rankings in search engines and automate your campaign monitoring, local rank tracking, & competitor tracking. Pricing starts at $49/month with a 30-day free trial — no credit card required. Also try, Analytics SEO (Freemium).
- cognitiveSEO (Premium) — is a premium SEO toolkit (backlink reports & analysis, rank tracking, project management, etc.) to benchmark and outrank your competition. Pricing starts at $99/month with a 14-day free trial.
- Searchmetrics Suite (Premium) — allows you to monitor keywords, analyze rankings, evaluate links and compare the SEO visibility of domains. You need to request a demo for pricing as there are no predefined pricing plans available.
- Web CEO (Freemium) — is a cloud-based solution for website owners, digital marketing agencies and in-house SEO teams which provides white-label SEO tools for team collaboration and branded SEO reporting for clients. Pricing starts at $69/month for the premium version.
- SERPs (Premium) — lets you monitor, test, measure and prove SEO strategies to anyone. Pricing starts at $99/month with a 14-day free trial.
- LinkResearchTools (Premium) — is a data platform (with 20 SEO tools) that helps advertising agencies and brands rank better in search engines and outperform their competitors. Pricing starts at €99/month.
- Advanced Web Ranking (Premium) — is an SEO software capable to deliver localized rankings within white labelled HTML and PDF reports. Pricing starts at $49/month with a 30-day free trial.
- SEO PowerSuite (Premium) — is a desktop SEO suite for rank tracking, website auditing, competitor analysis, and link management. Costs a one-time $299. If you don’t need their entire SEO suite then you can buy your favorite tool (that is, Rank Tracker, Website Auditor, SEO SpyGlass, LinkAssistant) separately at $124.75 each.
- seoClarity (Premium) — is an enterprise SEO platform. Pricing starts at $1,999/month. Also try, Linkdex.
SEO Website Analysis & Audit Tools
Website analysis and auditing is the process of reviewing a site to make sure that its web pages are search engine friendly. It involves the analysis of both on-page and off-page SEO aspects of a website (and may also include competitor analysis and conversion optimization depending upon the purpose of the audit).
The following tools analyze your domain name and gives quick insights on how to improve your website.
- Marketing Grader
- SEO Workers
It conducts an in-depth analysis of your web pages and then helps you to make it more search engine friendly.
- WebSite Auditor (Freemium) — is a desktop software to optimize your web pages to make it more search engine friendly. Costs a one-time $124.75 for the premium version.
- Traffic Travis (Freemium) — is a desktop on-page and off-page SEO analysis tool that’s also good for spying your competitors. Costs $97 for 12 months for the premium version.
- Ranks NL — was a free keyword density tool (when I used to check it) but now it’s a premium tool for on-page SEO analysis. Costs $49/month with a 30-day free trial. Also try, Strucr (Free).
SEO Competitive Analysis Tools
Today, competitive analysis (or competitor analysis) is crucial to the success of any business. And, SEO Competitor Analysis is the process of analyzing and understanding your competitors’ internet marketing strategies and techniques. It’s all about learning from your competitors so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
- BuzzSumo (Freemium) — to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Pricing starts at $99/month for the premium version with a 14-day free trial.
- LinkDiagnosis (Free — for Mozilla Firefox) — shows information (PageRank, anchor texts, no-follow, etc.) about your competitor’s links.
- SpyFu (Premium) — lets you download your competitors’ profitable keywords. Costs $79/month.
- Rivalfox (Premium) — is a competitor analysis and intelligence platform for SEO, traffic, social and content monitoring. Pricing starts at $49/month with a 14-day free trial — no credit card required.
- TrackMaven (Premium) — helps you identify marketing opportunities, optimize content distribution, and report on real-time progress and makes it easy to beat your competitors and improve your marketing across paid, owned, and earned channels. You have to fill-up a form to get pricing.
Note: Obviously, I haven’t included SEMrush, Moz, Open Site Explorer, etc. to avoid duplicate entries. As you probably know, they’re all great tools for competitive analysis. It’s just that you have to use a combination of tools mentioned on this blog post to perform a comprehensive analysis.
Keyword Analysis & Research Tools
Keyword research is the practice of finding search terms (known as keywords) that people enter in search engines to find relevant web pages. It’s a process that’s mostly done by Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals in order to create search engine friendly content.
- Google Keyword Planner — is a free AdWords tool that helps you find keyword ideas and also shows its popularity. Also try, Bing Keyword Research Tool (to get keyword ideas and suggestions from Bing), Yandex Keyword Statistics (for international SEO campaigns).
- Google Trends — to explore trending search topics on Google.
- Übersuggest — get thousands of keywords ideas in under a minute with this free keyword suggestion tool. Also try, KeywordTool.io.
- Wordtracker (Freemium) — to find the best keywords related to your search term. It also shows how much traffic (search volume) each keyword gets and what to focus on. Pricing starts at $27/month with a 7-day free trial for the premium version. Also try, WordStream.
- HitTail (Premium) — tells you in real-time, the most promising organic keywords you should target based on your existing traffic. Pricing starts at $9.95/month with a free trial option. Also try, Long Tail Pro (Premium).
- iSpionage — is a keyword research tool that’s good for competitive intelligence as well. It lets you spy on your competitor’s keywords and ad copies. Pricing starts at $59/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also try, Market Samurai, KeywordSpy, Keyword Eye, KeywordCompetitor.
On-Page SEO Analysis Tools
Today, Search Engine Optimization is all about user experience (UX). And it’s something that you have direct control over. If you focus on user experience then it’s less likely that you get hurt by a Google penalty. The following on-page SEO tools helps you to make your web pages more search-friendly.
To identify potential issues on your web pages.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool (Freemium) — is a popular desktop program (PC or Mac) that crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. You can optionally purchase a license for £99/year that removes the 500 URI crawl limit.
- Xenu’s Link Sleuth — is a desktop software to find broken links on a web page.
- Browseo — lets you view any web page like search engines see it.
- Beam Us Up — is a desktop software that finds broken links, missing page titles, duplicate content, and other problems on your web page.
Keyword Density is the percentage of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears on a web page when compared to the total number of words in that page.
As the number of times a keyword appears in relation to the total number of words, the greater will be the keyword density of the page.
- DavidNaylor Keyword Density Tool — is not just a simple keyword density tool but it also shows different on-page stats.
- Live Keyword Analysis — is a simple tool and is one of my favorite. It helps you analyze your keyword density in real-time.
- nTopic (Freemium) — is not exactly a keyword density tool but it analyze the content and helps you improve your content by including related keywords as well.
Note: Keyword Density is not a big deal today. It was a “thing” among SEOs when search engines used to rank pages based on keyword density. For example, back in early 2000s, it was easy to rank a web page by adding the relevant keywords to the URL, title, meta keyword & description tags, H1-H6 titles, content, etc. But it no longer works today as keyword density is just one of the 200+ search ranking signals (on Google).
Page Speed Performance
It’s no secret that faster websites create happy users, and results in increased user experience. And the best thing is, search engines incorporate page loading time as a search signal.
It basically means that faster web pages will outrank slow pages and the following tools will help you optimize your page speed.
- Google PageSpeed Insights — lets you analyze the performance of your web pages and even provides suggestions to make them faster. Also try, PageSpeed Insights (Chrome Extension).
- Pingdom — lets you analyze the page load speed of your website. If you sign up for a free account then you will be able to track the downtime of your website.
- WebPageTest — lets you run a website speed test from around the globe using real browsers at consumer connection speeds with detailed optimization recommendations.
- Yahoo YSlow — analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages.
- GTmetrix — uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo YSlow to grade your website’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix issues.
- Show Slow — is an open source tool that helps monitor various website performance metrics over time.
- BuiltWith — to find out what a website is built with.
Off-Page SEO Analysis Tools
Off-Page SEO is all about link building and everything else that you do outside your website — so as to improve the ranking of your web pages.
Link Analysis & Audit
Track your (and your competitor’s) link profile.
- Majestic (Freemium) — is one of the largest link database and it shows the inbound link and site summary data for any domain name. Pricing starts at $78.99/month with a 7-day money-back guarantee for the premium version. Also try, Majestic Backlink Analyzer (for Google Chrome).
- Ahrefs (Freemium) — is one of the most popular tool for checking links. It shows links, linking domains, anchors, and the best pages of a domain. Pricing starts at $79/month for the premium version with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- Open Site Explorer (Freemium) — to track the link profile of any website over time. Pricing starts at $99/month with a 30-day free trial.
- NerdyData — is a new type of search engine that lets you do complex research on the web, using source code.
- SEO SpyGlass (Freemium) — reveals the link building strategy of your competitors. Costs a one-time $124.75 for the premium version.
- Monitor Backlinks — to monitor your backlinks and maintain your SEO rankings. It notifies you via email if someone removes or adds a nofollow tag to your backlinks. Pricing starts at $19.90/month with a 30-day free trial — no credit card required.
- OpenLinkProfiler — gives an in-depth analysis of the freshest live backlinks, for free. Also try, Linkstant.
- WebMeUp (Freemium) — gives an index of backlinks to scrutinize links to your site, clean-up your backlink profile, perform a link audit or steal a competitor’s backlink secrets. Pricing starts at $59/month for the premium version.
- Lipperhey Link Explorer — analyzes existing incoming links to your website, compares them to a specified competitor, and recommends websites to approach for links to your site.
- URL Profiler (Premium) — to quickly audit links, content & social data. Pricing starts at $14.95/month with a 30-day free trial — no credit card required — and no risk money-back guarantee.
Link Building & Management
Link building is the process of building inbound links (also known as incoming links or backlinks) to your website. And remember, today, it’s all about the quality and not the quantity of your links.
- Citation Labs (Freemium) — offers a variety of link building tools to make your large scale link prospecting easier. Pricing starts at $27/month for the premium version. (Don’t miss Link Prospector!)
- BuzzStream (Premium) — to find link opportunities, conduct link research, and automate link building tasks. Pricing starts at $19/month with a 14-day free trial. (Don’t miss their free tools!)
- Ontolo (Freemium) — to assist you in your content marketing and link building efforts. Pricing starts at $47/month for the premium version.
- LinkRisk (Premium) — to audit, investigate and monitor links, track rankings, and also for content placement and publisher discovery opportunities. Costs £149/month with a demo available on request.
- LinkAssistant (Freemium) — is a desktop link building and link management software. Costs a one-time $124.75 for the premium version.
- ScrapeBox (+30+ add-ons – Premium) — is a desktop software that offers link harvesting. Costs a one-time $97.
- Link Detox (Premium) — is a link audit tool to finds bad links and clean up your link profile. Pricing starts at €149/month.
- Remove’em (Premium) — to find anchor text over optimization and review your anchor text diversity to determine if you are at the risk of a penalty. Pricing starts at $99/month.
See how your web pages are performing over time on various search engines.
- Google Webmaster Tools — provides insights about your website’s visibility on Google.
- Bing Webmaster Tools — provides insights about your website’s visibility on Bing.
- Yandex Webmaster Tools — provides insights about your website’s visibility on Yandex.
Go, get to know about your audience.
- Google Analytics — is the most popular web analytics tool that lets you measure your website traffic and advertising ROI. Also try, Google Analytics Experiments.
- YouTube Analytics — lets you monitor the performance of your YouTube channel and videos with up-to-date metrics and reports. Also try, Twitter Analytics (to measure and boost your impact on Twitter).
- KISSmetrics (Premium) — gives you the insights you need to optimize your marketing. Pricing starts at $179/month with a 14-day free trial.
- Chartbeat (Premium) — shows real-time data about your website performance. Pricing starts at $9.95/month with a 30-day free trial.
- Piwik — is an open source web analytics platform that gives insights about your website traffic, marketing campaigns, etc.
- StatCounter (Freemium) — is a popular hit counter that is free for up to 250,000 page views a month. It shows real-time traffic stats to you (and your users as well if you want). Pricing starts at $5/month for the premium version.
Traffic Analytics & Research
See the traffic stats (but it’s just an approximate) of any website.
- Alexa — provides quick stats (traffic rank, bounce rate, audience demographics & geography, keywords, etc.) about a website. Pricing starts at $9.95/month for the premium version with a 7-day free trial.
- SimilarWeb — see any website’s traffic sources and uncover their online marketing strategies. Pricing starts at $199/month for the premium version.
- Compete — helps you to monitor your online competition and benchmark your performance against your industry with Compete’s online consumer behavior insights. Pricing starts at $249/month for the premium version.
- Quantcast — provides free audience insights for over 100 million web and mobile destinations.
SERP Checker & Rank Tracking Tools
I have tried tons of free search engine rank checker tools when I used to track the ranking of my targeted keywords in the past. Then I realized that none of them are perfect, and that checking our rankings manually is the best way. Or I say, we don’t check it at all.
If you’re a blogger then the weekly organic traffic is much more important than the rankings of different keywords. That said, if the ranking is crucial to your business and you want to track hundreds of keywords, then try the following rank tracking tools or consider a Premium SEO Software.
- Rank Tracker (Freemium) — is a desktop software that helps you track rankings of your website for multiple keywords in 346+ local and international search engines. Costs a one-time $124.75 for the premium version.
- Serpfox (Freemium) — lets you monitor your search engine rankings over multiple time frames and plot graphs for each. Pricing starts at $10/month for the premium version.
- CuteRank — is a desktop keyword rank checker tool designed for Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL.
- SERP Trends — is a simple web browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. When we perform a search query on Google, it automatically shows dynamics in SERPs so that we will know how rankings of different websites has changed compared to previous day.
Local SEO Tools
If you own a local business then you will need the following tools.
- Moz Local (Premium) — ensures your business listings are correct, consistent, and visible across the web so search engines and new customers can find you. Costs $84 per year per location. Also try, Moz Listing Score (to check your listings on Google, Bing, and other local search engines).
- Whitespark (Freemium) — offers tools and services help you manage and optimize your local search presence and reach.
- 51 Blocks — offers a variety of local SEO tools.
Monitor SERP Fluctuations & Volatility
If you’re curious about Google updates…
- MozCast — is a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm.
- SERPs Volatility — instantly spot days of high Google & Yahoo index volatility.
- SERPmetrics — flux reports show search engine volatility over the last day and month.
Visualize Google Algorithmic Updates
If you have done black hat SEO in the past then you know that you get a manual penalty for that and can take necessary action to get out of it. But what about an algorithmic penalty? How will you know if you got hit by a Google algorithmic penalty?
Well, you can simply check your Google Analytics stats and see if there’s any unusual drop in traffic. You can then manually correlate it with Google Algorithm Change History. Alternatively, try any of the following tools:
- Algoroo — lets you visualize various Google updates on a chart. They’re also monitoring roughly 17,000 keywords to 100 search positions deep and looks for fluctuations.
- Panguin Tool — lets you analyze your Google organic visit data overlaid with Google’s major algorithm updates.
- Fruition — lets you to see if Google penalized your website for Penguin or Panda issues. It’s free to use for up to two websites.
- Analytics ToolKit — lets you instantly check whether your website has been hit by a Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird or another algorithm update. Also try, FE International.
Here are some random internet tools that deserves a mention and it should supplement this list. And the best thing? They’re all free!
- Copyscape — is a free plagiarism checker. It lets you detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original.
- Ping-O-Matic — is a simple tool to update different search engines that your blog has updated.
- SpyOnWeb — to find out related websites (by entering IP address, Google Analytics/AdSense ID, etc.).
- Google Structured Data Testing Tool — lets you check your markup and make sure that Google can extract the structured data from your page. Also try, SEOmofo Snippet Optimization Tool, Snippet Optimizer.
- Schema Creator — to create HTML with schema.org microdata. Also try, Schema Creator WordPress Plugin.
- Fiddler — is a free web debugging tool which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the internet.
- XML Sitemaps – is a free XML sitemap generator. Also try, XML Sitemap Inspector (to validate your sitemap).
- W3C QA Toolbox — offers various validators, checkers, and other tools for webmasters and developers.
- URI Valet — shows a preview of server header details, total number of objects (http requests), time to download, object details, internal links, external links along with validation details.
- Yahoo Pipes — is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.
- Robots.txt Generator — to create your robots.txt file.
- Robots.txt Checker — checks your robots.txt file for syntax errors.
- SEER SEO Toolbox — is an all-in-one toolbox that pulls data from multiple sources — Google Analytics, Moz, Twitter, Majestic SEO, Raven Tools, Klout, etc. Also try, SeoTools.
- Microsoft SEO Toolkit — is a free download that gives suggestions to improve the relevance of your website in search results.
- DomainTools Whois Lookup — is my favorite Whois Lookup tool to research domain ownership. It shows ownership information, IP address history, rank, traffic, etc. and also tells whether the domain name is for sale or not.
- Internet Archive — is a digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 435 billion (and counting) archived web pages.
- SimilarSites — helps you find related sites and topics similar to the ones you love.
- MailTester — lets you check if an email address is valid or not. It also displays technical information about the email account like IP address and server details.
- Instant Domain Search — lets you check the availability of domain names, instantly as you type. If the name is for sale then it shows that information as well.
- Tools by SEO Chat — offers a collection of free SEO tools. It also provides some basic SEO insights that’s particularly useful for beginners.
BONUS: Top 20 SEO Browser Extensions
The following browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox should save few “clicks” and thereby your time.
- MozBar (for Chrome & Firefox) — is perhaps the most popular SEO toolbar. It shows all the Moz SEO metrics as we browse a page.
- Alexa Traffic Rank — provides Alexa Traffic Rank and other site metrics in one-click.
- Ahrefs SEO Toolbar (for Chrome & Firefox) — is a new SEO toolbar that allows you to monitor key SEO metrics for individual pages and domains.
- Open SEO Stats — is one of my favorite Chrome SEO extension as it shows a ton of SEO parameters in one-click. Also try, SEOquake, SEO Site Tools.
- SEO Doctor (for Firefox) — allows easy SEO diagnosis and problem solving for webmasters.
- WooRank SEO & Website Analysis — provides a deep SEO analysis covering SEO, mobile, local and usability.
- Google Page Analytics – allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages. Also try, Google Analytics URL Builder.
- META SEO Inspector — to inspect the meta data found inside web pages, usually not visible while browsing.
- Check My Links — crawls the current web page for broken links and highlights them.
- Redirect Path — flags up 301, 302, 404 and 500 HTTP status codes, bringing potential issues that may not otherwise be seen to your attention immediately.
- Domain Hunter Plus — scans the current web page for dead links and available domain names.
- Firebug (available on Chrome & Firefox) — web developer extension that offers some cool features like inspecting HTML elements, live CSS editing, etc. Also try, Web Developer.
- Resolution Test — to test web pages in different screen resolutions, with an option to define your own resolutions.
- Live HTTP Headers — to monitor all HTTP/HTTPs traffic from your browser.
- Scraper — is a data extraction tool that allows you to export data from webpages to spreadsheets.
- Linkclump — allows you to open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time.
- NoFollow — outlines no-follow links, detect no-follow and no-index meta tags on web pages.
- SERP Trends (for Chrome & Firefox) — shows dynamics for the search results within SERPs.
- Word Count Tool — count the number of words and characters in the selected text in one-click.
Note: My primary web browser is Google Chrome. So, the above list is made for Chrome users. But I’m sure that there’s a Firefox alternative for all the above add-ons. If you’re unable to find a Firefox alternative then let me know as a comment below and I will find one for you.
Also check out,
- My Favorite Google Chrome Extensions – from blogging to marketing to productivity
- Top 25 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions – for bloggers
- Top 25 Google Chrome SEO Extensions – for bloggers & marketers
- The 101 Best WordPress Plugins — for anything & everything
Once again, categorizing different tools was a real challenge as most of them fits into multiple categories. But, you definitely DON’T need all the 101+ tools listed here. Actually, not even 20 unless you really need them.
I’m using less than 25 tools from the above list on a monthly basis and it’s more likely that I might have missed your favorite SEO tool. So, let me know let me know as a comment below and I will be happy to add it on the next update of this list.
Image Credit: Flickr