One of the best things about SEO is that with some research, study, and time anyone can gain enough of an understanding to begin helping their own website. However, most business owners are either unaware of the vast pool of resources at their disposal, or they have so many options they can’t figure out what the top SEO tools are. Having been in the industry for over a decade, Firestarter SEO has a wealth of knowledge about top tools. This article identifies our recommended SEO tools for keyword research, tracking rankings, auditing your website, and analyzing your link landscape.
A good SEO campaign starts with identifying the right keywords to target. There are some great resources serving as a starting point. First is a tool called Spyfu, which allows you to plug in your URL, or your competitors’ URLs and identify what keywords are being targeted. This can be a great tool for more than just keyword research. It is a paid platform, however. Ultimately, the must-have tool for your keyword research is Google’s Keyword Planner. This is a free resource to anyone and provides incredibly insightful data into what keywords are being searched, the volume of searches performed for any given keyword, and suggestions for similar keywords you may be interested in targeting.
In order to understand where you need to go, you first must understand where you are. This is why tracking rankings is crucial for directing your SEO efforts. We have used many rank tracking tools, but our favorite is Agency Analytics. This provides daily updates on where you rank, and allow you to specify keyword tracking to specific geographic areas if you so desire. They also have a great one-stop-shop for a number of other ranking information, like where you rank on a local level, how your Google My Business performs, and even other search engine rankings like Bing. While this is also a paid tool, it offers a vast number of other resources besides rank tracking that makes it well worth it.
One of the core actions a business owner can take to improve their visibility is to ensure a clean, well-performing website. In order to do this, there needs to be a clear understanding of any errors occurring on the back end of the website. This is where site auditing tools come into play. From plugins to full-on platforms, you will not be lacking for options in this category. As an SEO company, we prefer the more robust tools. This is why we’ve leaned heavily on two separate platforms: Moz and Agency Analytics. Each tool has its pros and cons, but both will serve well in identifying specific errors occurring on your website, along with educational information on why they matter and how to fix them.
Finally, for a comprehensive approach to doing SEO on your website, an understanding of how your link landscape currently looks and how it changes over time is necessary. With links being a crucial component of your online visibility, having a clear picture of where you and the competition are will give you a significant strategic advantage. For this approach, our two top tools are Moz & Ahrefs. Moz has a truly comprehensive index, and for a long time was considered the standard when it came to link metrics (they are the company that coined the term “Domain Authority”). Ahrefs, on the other hand, offers phenomenal analysis and tracking tools which provide actionable insights into how things have and should change with your link profile.
While putting together a comprehensive list of every SEO tool available would be near impossible, walking away with clear recommendations for these core areas of SEO tracking will get you quickly on your way to growing your business through online visibility.