Today’s consumers conduct nearly 4 billion Google searches every day. To set yourself apart from the competition and generate more revenue, incorporate SEO into your digital marketing strategy.
SEO helps you create content that aligns with searches and provides value to your audience. Incorporating quality backlinks, relevant keywords, and current, accurate information on your site can help build audience loyalty and boost your website rankings. Here are 50 must-have SEO tools you should explore.
50 Must-Have SEO Tools
Website SEO and content marketing are essential aspects of your digital marketing strategy. Every industry is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to website content and development. It comes down to the marketer’s preference and what works best to help you most effectively reach your audience.
Some SEO tools are free while others require a subscription. Below are several tools available to help you tackle your goals.
1. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offering an excellent starting point to learn about keyword research and SEO. Hold off on the paid keyword research tools until you understand how to use them.
2. Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz also offers a free trial for keyword research and SEO information with a little more accuracy and capabilities than Google’s free keyword research tool (which is really designed to help pick keywords for paid ads so not totally invested in accuracy).
[Chrome Extension | Page analysis]
The MozBar offers the same accurate keyword and SEO research as the Moz Explorer but from an extension across the top of your browser. You can analyze the competition’s SEO, keywords, and similar sites.
4. Google Search Field
Yes, just the plain Google search bar! Just start typing a seed keyword but don’t hit Search/enter. Google will offer autocompleted terms.
Complete the search and scroll down for relevant questions, subtopics, and related keywords.
Use a VPN in your target audience’s area for best results.
Look, SEMrush is costly. However, it’s really the most comprehensive and accurate SEO tool. Plus, Semrush offers a full suite of tools for topic research, backlink analysis, content planning, SEO health, and more, It can be the only tool you need.
6. Answer the Public
[Keyword Research | Content Ideas]
Answer the Public is a free searchable tool to help with your keyword research as well as content ideas. It expands your search into who-what-when-why-related searches and questions along with tons of other groupings. Answer the Public now offers a paid version too where you can save and compare your research results – something you couldn’t do until now.
7. Xenu’s link Sleuth
Don’t let its ugly façade fool you. While the tool itself looks generic as ever, you can use Xenu’s Link Sleuth for years to crawl sites, create sitemaps, and find broken links. It does the job and that’s all you need from an SEO tool.
8. Screaming Frog
Loaded with excellent features, Screaming Frog remains a favorite for site crawling, on-page diagnostics, sitemaps, and more. Screaming Frog also offers a better freemium plan than Semrush for similar tools, so you can get your bearings here.
9. Majestic SEO
[Link building | Link research | Competitive analysis]
With a decent-sized keyword database, Majestic offers several link research tools with site crawl capabilities. Opt for Majestic if healthy backlink building (and unhealthy backlink removal) is a critical part of your strategy.
[Link building | Link research]
Ahrefs is by far one of the best link-building tools on the market. However, over the years Ahrefs has grown into one of the most useful keyword research and topic research tools as well. They’ve helped add insight to the keyword research process.
[Duplicate content | Site performance]
This free and easy-to-use tool scans your website for duplicate content. Avoid the penalties of duplicate content and low-quality content ratings from Google EAT and the ever-changing algorithm updates with Siteliner – all for free.
12. Pingdom Speed Test
Pingdom is an excellent free tool for testing site speed and load time. It also offers detailed suggestions on how to make your website more compliant with Google and what’s going wrong.
13. GT Metrix
I like to use multiple speed/load time test tools to build a broader picture of how fast a site loads from different locations. Website speed depends heavily on the visitor’s location and the location of your website server itself. GT Metrix also provides suggestions on how to best optimize your website.
Hey, you can never have enough website speed tools! Website load time is one of the most important factors for pleasing the Google bots and, most importantly, your visitors – wherever they’re located. WebPage Test will make sure your pages are running efficiently.
15. Google Search Console
[Website performance | Content ideas]
While certainly debatable for some, I have used the newer version of Search Console to identify performance issues within my website. You get out of Search Console what you put in. Plus, Search Console’s insight can provide content ideas if you keep an open mind.
16. Google Analytics (GA4)
[Website performance | Site analytics]
The next generation of Google Analytics, GA4 sets the standard for site metrics and performance. It gathers website and app data so you gain more insight into the customer journey. Rather than session-based data, it uses events and provides direct integrations to media platforms. It’s a classic and effective SEO tool to continually optimize and improve site performance. Plus, Google adds new features and updates Google Analytics all the time.
17. JSON-LD Schema Generator for SEO
Schema markup helps your content stand out in SERPs by providing extra information. However, it can be a challenge trying to handwrite schema.org markup on your own – which you need without the right SEO tool. The JSON-LD Schema Generator simplifies the task by generating commonly used markup for your website so you can just copy and paste.
18. Google Structured Data Testing Tool
[Schema markup | Technical SEO]
Let’s just say Google loves schema. That’s why they provide a free tool for developers to validate schema markup. Give it a try first. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is user-friendly.
19. Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
The classic SEO plugin: Yoast sets the standard for WordPress page-wide SEO management. With free and premium options available, pick the right version of Yoast to reach your SEO goals across your entire site.
20. All in One Schema Rich Snippets
[Schema markup | Rich snippets]
Easy to set up and supportive of all rich snippet types, All in One Schema Rich Snippets is a reliable, easy-to-use plugin for adding important schema to your site.
21. WP Rocket
[Site speed | Web optimization]
If you’re looking for an SEO tool to leverage browser caching and speed up your website, look no further than WP Rocket. It’s full of features, has great support, and is extremely user-friendly. You can’t go wrong with this investment.
22. Better Search Replace
While simple in nature, I find Better Search Replace extremely valuable. Your website should have one primary domain and web property. Better Search Replace will help update all links to your website, including its database to your preferred domain/property. It’s technical stuff and not sexy, but it all matters.
23. Broken Link Checker
While I don’t recommend plugins that can’t adapt, Broken Link Checker remains my best plugin for detecting broken links in pages, posts, images, and more. Fix all broken links with one click inside your WordPress website – so simple and easy. Broken links are SEO killers. Use this tool to take care of them instantly.
[Site speed | Image compression]
You’d be surprised how much time you can strip from page loading by simply optimizing your images. That’s where Imagify comes in with compression, lazy loading, sizing, and any other image optimization you could need. Improve page speed instantly with an easy-to-use interface.
25. WordPress AMP
[Site speed | Mobile optimization]
Accelerated Mobile Pages remain a work in progress with an uncertain future. However, with the demand growing for site speed and mobile experience from Google, this AMP plugin helps WordPress sites load instantly on mobile devices.
26. Bing Webmaster Tools
[Analytics | Crawling | Search Performance]
Did you know that countless apps and websites sync Bing’s business listings and map tools? That’s just one reason why all brands and marketers should care more about optimizing for Bing. At least set up your Bing Webmaster Tools: Bing’s version of Google Search Console but with even more capabilities. At worst, you’ll waste some time learning about and optimizing your presence on Bing. At best, that investment could deliver surprising results.
27. SEO Press
If you couldn’t gather from the name, SEO Press bills itself as the best WordPress SEO plugin with all-in-one SEO tools for improving site-wide rankings. SEO Press also helps with schema markups for SERPs and social media platforms along with a handful of unique tools you’ll be glad to have handy.
[Content research | Influencers | Topic research | Brand reputation]
BuzzSumo was always a go-to SEO tool for understanding topics and what type of content audiences have already read. Plus, their social media analysis tools put you at the forefront of trends. BuzzSumo especially excels with its online brand management tools. Set up alerts to track your mentions across the web.
29. Schema Pro
Yes, another schema tool, but you need options! Schema Pro lets you seamlessly automate the schema task based on your site’s functions and brand – like apps, recipes, courses, reviews, and more.
[Image optimization | Speed optimization | CSS optimization]
Autoptimize is a free WordPress optimization tool loaded with features. If the terms on Pingdom’s suggestions confuse you and you aren’t prepared to rebuild a website from scratch, start with Autoptimize. It cleans up a lot of those problems and includes effective image optimization tools for boosting site speed.
31. Bing Places for Local SEO
Bing Places is a total no-brainer for local SEO. This Bing portal helps companies add their business to Bing with a submission process that’s easy to navigate. If you currently have a Google Business Profile Manager listing, you can import it and claim your listing on Bing with ease.
32. Google Business Profile Manager (GBPM)
For businesses with a brick-and-mortar location, local SEO is a key piece of the digital marketing strategy. With GBPM, you can create a free profile that includes location, hours of operation, and directions to your location – all great tools to drive foot traffic to your business.
33. Local Viking
Managing your Google Business Profile listing has never been easier. Local Viking’s software allows you to schedule GBP posts, upload photos, manage reviews, and track rankings all from a single dashboard. Affordable and effective, Local Viking is one of the most popular GBP management platforms and currently oversees more than 300,000 global listings.
34. BrightLocal for Local SEO
I love this tool. In fact, I could probably write a full article about it. BrightLocal provides the tools you need to strengthen your reputation, earn higher rankings, and attract more quality leads from local search. It also helps you track citations and local ranks with ease, so you can keep tabs on how well you’re performing for your local audience.
35. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Backlinks play an important role in SEO. The more reputable resources you share, the more useful you are to your audience and the more you appeal to search engines. HARO can connect journalists with the right sources to provide expert information for links in their content. This helps build credibility, trust, and customer loyalty.
Email outreach is a powerful element of digital marketing. You can foster relationships, upsell customers, and provide value to a highly targeted audience. But that can take a lot of time and effort. BuzzStream eliminates some of the legwork by automating various elements of the process, like researching new prospects and tracking reply rates. The best part is you can manage it all from one place. Email outreach has never been more simple and efficient.
Gaining exposure and publicity can help you get in front of the right people for brand awareness and credibility. JustReachOut is a PR software that grants you access to a database of journalists and publications so you can contact the right people for press opportunities. Outreach software manages the whole process, empowering you to handle your own PR with ease and authority.
38. Raven SEO Tools
Raven is an all-in-one platform that delivers impressive SEO and reporting tools. With Raven, you can perform an SEO audit, research keywords and backlinks, and gather insights to measure success. Use their website auditor to find problem areas and improve both organic and paid traffic for higher conversions.
WooRank is a one-stop shop for identifying keyword opportunities, analyzing SEO, and identifying technical issues. They provide a cool installation on your website that allows you to review your website’s core vitals with on-page and off-page SEO. You can also manage your content marketing and social media presence, helping you boost visibility and reach a wider digital audience.
[Chrome Extension | Page Analysis]
SEOquake is a free Chrome extension provided by Semrush that enables you to visit any landing page in real-time and see data for that particular page. You can also examine external and internal links, quickly perform an on-page SEO audit, and export all of your data into one file. This makes tracking analytics easy and provides comprehensive information you can understand.
41. Google Trends
Coming up with content topics can be tricky. You want to deliver information that people actually want to read. Google Trends simplifies this process by identifying popular search queries and providing recommendations for your content topics. Understanding what solutions people are looking for can help shape your content strategy and give great hints about what would pique interest and provide value.
42. Check My Links
Broken links are bad news for a website. They frustrate your reader and give the impression that your site isn’t current and well-maintained, which damages trust and loyalty. Check My Links is a Chrome extension that uncovers your broken links to provide the highest quality content. This is a huge time saver, as you don’t have to constantly review every article you’ve posted to ensure its accuracy.
Seobility continually crawls and scans your website and delivers a report with suggestions for improvement. Think of it as a quality assurance team who constantly works on your behalf to be sure you’re performing at your peak to provide the best experience to your audience. Best of all, it’s free and includes an app for ease and convenience.
[Backlink Analysis | Keyword Research]
Take broken link checking to a new level. LinkMiner will check your webpage for broken links and deliver metrics on those links for informed decision-making. You can learn how many external links are on your page, display social and link data beside each link, and export all links from a page. You can also check the backlinks of your competition so you can replicate them for success.
45. Google Data Studio
This free online tool turns your analytics into visual representations for easier comprehension and shareability. Not only is the Google Data Studio dashboard fully customizable, you can connect Semrush, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager to create reports that reflect the information you need. All of this data helps you improve your site’s performance for higher SERPs and better audience engagement.
46. Google Lighthouse
[Core Web Vitals | Chrome Extension]
Lighthouse is an open-source Chrome extension that automatically measures the quality of your web apps. It runs your web pages through a series of tests and delivers a report that helps you identify failures and make necessary improvements to your apps. This tool isn’t just for developers, but for any website owner who wants to better understand their site’s performance.
47. Google Disavow
While link building is a benefit to your website, toxic backlinks can be a detriment to your site and your reputation. Search engines will penalize sites that have bad backlinks, so it’s important to disassociate yourself from those links. Google Disavow is a free tool that allows you to let Google know about poor-quality links you don’t want associated with your site.
48. Headline Analyzer
Headlines play a significant role in SEO. They’re the first impression people have of your content, and their efficacy affects your search engine rankings. From keywords to character length, it’s important to write headlines with SEO in mind. Use Headline Analyzer to track the readability and SEO performance of your headlines for maximum performance and impact.
49. Google Tag Manager
This free tracking tool and management platform enable you to add snippets of code to your site so you can track and gather valuable data for marketing decisions. Great for event tracking, Tag Manager lets you manage your own tags for analytics, conversion tracking, and remarketing.
50. Google SERP Preview Tool
[Meta titles | Meta Descriptions]
Metadata is the information people see online about your content. It helps them find relevant information, and it helps search engines better understand what your content is all about. Its display impacts whether people will actually read the content in full. Google SERP Preview Tool allows you to see how your metadata will look on search engine result listings. You can make any changes necessary to increase performance.
Maximize SEO Tools for Business Success
JS Interactive is a digital marketing and Austin SEO company helping national businesses drive relevant web traffic for increased sales growth. Need a little help in narrowing down the best tools for your SEO goals?
Contact us today for a free consultation.