Reaching Google’s coveted top spot on page number one is increasingly competitive. It seems everyone and their dog is creating content right now. The search engine’s algorithms are smarter every year too––keyword stuffing won’t cut it anymore.
Having a few SEO tactics up your sleeve can make it much easier to rank and grow your traffic organically.
However, knowing which SEO tools to use can be challenging. To make it easier to choose the best SEO tools, we’ve made a list of the top ones along with their standout features.
The 4 types of SEO tools
The best SEO tools for you will depend on your SEO goals. To execute an SEO strategy from start to finish, you’ll need a few different tools. Choose from these four types of SEO tools:
Competitor analysis: These SEO tools evaluate your competitors’ SEO strategies so you can compare them to your own and reverse engineer them. Knowing your competitors’ sites inside out will help you plug gaps and rank better.
Keyword research: Enter a seed keyword or a topic and the keyword research tool will pull up keyword suggestions from its database. These tools help you identify potentially profitable keywords so you can plan your content strategy.
On-page optimization: Technical SEO is often left behind in favor of other SEO tasks but it’s just as essential for getting your content in front of your target audience. Web page optimization tools analyze your existing on-page SEO and show you your SEO data as a search engine spider sees it.
Content optimization: These SEO tools help you create SEO-friendly content that’s relevant and targeted to your chosen audience. Using the text editors, you can see live which keywords to include along with how many times.
12 Best SEO tools to boost organic traffic
Here are some of the best SEO tools out there to help you supercharge your organic traffic and rankings.
1. Ahrefs [Best overall SEO tool]
Ahrefs is one of the most popular all-in-one SEO tools. It has the second largest website crawlers after Google.
Ahrefs has powerful tools for competitor analysis. Search any competing site’s backlinks and reverse engineer their strategy to outrank them in the SERPs. You can also see how many backlinks your site needs to rank for a specific keyword.
The Keywords Explorer runs on the world’s largest third-party database of 7 billion keywords. Keywords Explorer also supports 171 countries and 10 different search engines including Amazon and YouTube.
Use the Content Explorer to identify top-performing content in your niche. Research over 1 billion web pages and sort the results by traffic value, domain rating, and social shares.
2. SpyFu [Best competitor analysis tool]
SpyFu does what its name suggests, and helps you spy on competing sites. If you’d like to focus more on tracking your competitors than optimizing your own domain, then SpyFu could be the best SEO tool for you.
With a clean user interface, SpyFu tracks 110 million domains and 7 billion search results. You’ll receive in-depth reports on your competitors’ traffic sources, their Google Ads spend, backlinks, and top-ranking keywords.
If you want a historical overview of your competitors, you can see up to 20 years of competitor data.
Shifting the focus onto your own site, you can see how many organic keywords you’re ranking for, your monthly clicks, and any campaigns you’re running with Google Ads.
3. SEMrush [Full-suite marketing tools]
SEMrush is a front runner among marketers and SEO professionals. The Keyword Magic Tool is one of the strongest available with over 20 billion keywords and the ability to generate thousands of combinations from just one seed keyword.
Their content marketing tools are particularly strong too. The Topic Research tool helps you discover engaging content ideas based on your audience’s needs and then build a content plan around it. You can also perform a content gap analysis to identify those topics your competitors are ranking for so you can fill in your gaps.
On the technical SEO side of things, use the on-page SEO checker to pinpoint your website’s weaknesses. The checker takes data from different sources, compares your page with the top 10 real-time organic competitors for your target keyword, and gives you ideas for how to improve your page’s rankings.
4. Clearscope [Content optimization tool]
AI-powered content optimization platform Clearscope is an SEO tool designed to simplify SEO writing to help users create content that ranks.
Paste your copy into the text editor and the platform will show you a list of keywords ranked by importance to include in the content.
The easy-to-understand grading system objectively measures content quality and shows you recommended scores based on how competitive the keyword is.
An outline builder gives you suggested headings and topics so your content takes shape even before you write it.
Google Docs and WordPress integrations make it easy to use Clearscope from your chosen text editor too.
5. Moz Pro [All-in-one SEO tool]
Moz Pro is another big name brand in the SEO tool world. With a full suite of SEO tools, this tool is an Ahrefs and SEMrush competitor.
To make technical SEO a priority, receive weekly crawl updates, including details about missing metadata, duplicate content, and 404s.
For SEO on the go, the MozBar, a Google extension shows you the domain authority and page authority of your site and its web pages.
If you’re looking to test the waters, their keyword explorer and backlink research tools are available for free for up to 10 inquiries each month.
6. Google Analytics [Best web traffic reporter]
Google Analytics is a staple in most marketers’ and SEO professionals’ toolkits. Once you’ve implemented SEO tactics, you’ll want to evaluate how they’re performing. There’s probably no better place to analyze your SEO success than from the horse’s mouth––Google itself.
At its most basic, Google Analytics will share details about visit times, pages visited, and time spent on each webpage. You can also track which referring domain your traffic comes from. Find out demographic data about your audience including which countries your visitors are based in.
7 .Yoast SEO [Best SEO plugin]
Yoast SEO is a handy SEO plugin for WordPress-based sites. Yoast helps you optimize your site’s content and keywords.
Once installed, the Yoast SEO plugin will pop up on all the pages you create. It analyzes the content and gives you suggestions on how to improve it. Yoast gives you a score based on the provided keyword and provides suggestions on how to improve. The Google preview function shows you how your website will show up in Google results.
The best part is that there’s a robust free version available.
8. Screaming Frog [Technical SEO tool]
Screaming Frog is a leading website crawler. Use Screaming Frog to uncover SEO errors across your site that could be harmful to your visiting traffic. Identify broken links, redirects, and missing metadata.
Generate XML sitemaps to evaluate your site architecture and discover duplicate content. Review your robots and directives to make sure those pages you don’t want to be visible to search engines remain out of sight.
You can also integrate Screaming Frog to Google Analytics, Search Console, and PageSpeed Insights so you can fetch user and performance data for URLs in a crawl for better insights.
9. MarketMuse [Planning & optimization tool]
MarketMuse is an AI-powered content research and optimization SEO tool designed to help users publish more and publish better.
MarketMuse was created following Google’s 2013 Hummingbird update that meant the search engine would rely less on keywords and backlinks and more on AI to measure comprehensiveness and authority.
Estimating the success of content, MarketMuse identifies topics your site is most likely to rank for and gives you an individual difficulty score based on the rest of your site.
It creates unique content briefs by identifying keywords and the right sub-topics to include. Other top features include its link-building suggestions and a visual heatmap showing users the content landscape and competitiveness for their topics.
10. Google Search Console [Free SEO tool]
Google Search Console is a free SEO tool for monitoring and solving server issues, site load errors, and security issues like hacking and malware. You can also use the tool to make sure your site maintenance and adjustments take place without negatively impacting your search performance.
You just need to verify your website by adding a code to your site or by going through Google Analytics and submitting your sitemap for indexing.
You can use Search Console to check pages are indexed by Google which is particularly useful if your site is new.
11. Exploding Topics [Topic finding tool]
Stuck on what topics to build your content around? Use Exploding Topics to identify rapidly growing topics before they reach their peak.
The algorithm finds under the radar industries, products, and categories months or years before they take off, giving businesses a competitive advantage.
Exploding Topics also provides you with a graph of the topic’s performance over a selected timeframe so you can assess what to include in your content.
12. Frase [AI-powered tool]
AI-writing SEO tool Frase helps writers create ultra-focused and relevant content. First, Frase uncovers content related to your research by going through search results based on your chosen topic.
To speed up the research process, Frase creates content briefs based on the top 10 Google search results and related topics.
If you write your content directly in Frase’s text editor, keyword insights pop up alongside the copy so you can be sure you’re including all relevant topics.
The questions feature allows you to see what people are asking about your topic on forums like Reddit and Quora. Using this information, you can answer people’s questions throughout your content to make it more relevant.
You can also monitor topics and receive regular summarized feeds of the content so that you have the most up-to-date and relevant information.
Which is the best SEO tool for driving traffic to your website in 2021?
There are some top-quality SEO tools out there. All of these top choices will help you grow your organic traffic and boost your rankings.
The SEO tools you choose depend on which SEO objectives you’d like to focus on. These are some of the best SEO tools for competitor analysis, keyword research, content optimization, and technical SEO. Before you jump into any subscriptions, make sure to take advantage of free trials and plans so you can find your favorites.
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