The Top SEO Software That Experts Use Every Day
In the world of SEO, there’s certainly no shortage of tools. Even if you’ve heard of the big names in SEO software, one platform alone is often not enough. When developing your stack, you need to draw upon both the well-known and the lesser-known tools to get the job done.
In this article, I’ll highlight the tools that our SEO experts use every day for a variety of tasks.
A word of warning: There is a significant difference between DATA and WISDOM. Having data doesn’t help you unless you develop the expertise to understand it and take appropriate action. That’s wisdom. But without data, wisdom is in a vacuum.
Why use multiple tools? Well, when the only tool in your toolkit is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Why not have every tool? Besides the expense, you would have too much data that would be almost guaranteed to conflict. If you run several tools to find what appears to be the same kind of data, they often report different numbers for the same thing.
Why not pick one SEO software and stick to it? Well, the more popular tools give the same wimpy, middle-of-the-road, staying-out-of-trouble recommendations to a million users. Instead, you need a few specialty tools to do deep dives and get closer to the issues and solutions.
To cover the many types of data research needed for search engine optimization, I’ll group the tools into categories. Feel free to jump to the type of SEO software that interests you:
- Crawling software
- Data aggregation software
- Competitive research software
- ADA compliance
- GDPR compliance
- Google algorithm effects
- Content optimization tools
- SEO browser extensions and tools (our favorites)
This SEO software can crawl millions of URLs and billions of links. DeepCrawl looks at hundreds of metrics to help SEOs identify and manage technical SEO issues, and ensure webpages are being crawled by search engines. This is a preferred tool when it comes to crawling software.
Price: Starts at $89/month. Free trial available.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog is another tried-and-true crawling tool that offers a lot of features for analyzing a website. Find broken links, analyze meta data, find duplicate content, generate XML sitemaps and much more.
Price: $149/year. Or, crawl 500 URLs for free.
Our SEO software’s site spider auto-crawls a website down to five clicks deep and, among other things, identifies any issues that may impact your site’s indexability. The SEOToolSet also offers page analysis tools, ranking monitors and a whole host of other features for expert SEO analysis. (Side note: Find out more about what our SEO tools have to offer at SEOToolSet.com.)
Data Aggregation Software
This powerful SEO software can help you perform a variety of SEO tasks including penalty audits, content audits, domain research, link prospecting and more. URLProfiler is configurable to your needs, depending on what type of data you need to complete the job. Some of the best features include the data aggregation, API integration and speed tool.
Competitive Research Software
Competitive research is just one of the many things you can do with Ahrefs. Its Site Explorer lets you see what keywords competitors rank for and the traffic to pages. Also see who links to the competition and if they are doing paid search. They also offer a “free” Webmaster Tools Account if you verify ownership of the domain. Data is limited but very useful as a free tool.
Price: Starts at $99/month. Get a trial for $7.
(Yes folks, it is Sem and not S.E.M.) Another good competitive analysis tool (that also offers many other features for SEO work, such as keyword research) is Semrush. You can easily find out who your competition is in the search results, benchmark your traffic against theirs, track mentions of competitors, analyze competitors’ social media and more.
Price: Starts at $99.95/month (billed annually). Free trial available.
Majestic is a fantastic link intelligence tool that is particularly handy for competitive analysis. Get access to backlink information on multiple competitors and compare performance. Of course, you can use Majestic for your own backlink analysis as well.
Price: Plans start at $49.99/month. Demo Majestic here and sign up to access the reports.
To be sure a website is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), PowerMapper’s SortSite tool “finds pages that are unusable by people with disabilities. It checks entire websites against W3 WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1 and US Section 508 accessibility standards.”
Price: Varies based on tools. Free accessibility checks available.
GDPR Website Compliance Check
The GDPR Website Compliance Check scans a website to identify the cookies that are set and where data is going to help ensure you’re in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
Piwik Pro Cookie Scanner
The Cookie Scanner offers a complete cookie scan to identify first- and third-party cookies on a website, the cookie providers, GDPR cookie requirements and more.
Google Algorithm Effects
This tool can help you figure out if you’ve been impacted by a Google algorithmic penalty. The Panguin Tool helps you determine when a traffic shift up or down aligns with a Google algorithm update, so that you can investigate what might be impacting a website.
Content Optimization Tools
InLinks provides in-depth information on how to optimize your content for a topic. Use it to identify marketing trends with content, for content optimization, and for discovery, ideation and enhanced rankings (such as featured snippets, how-to, FAQs, etc.). This SEO software generates a content brief for the topic you want to publish with targeted recommendations including access to related topics and a comprehensive list of related questions.
Price: $39.99/month. Free plan available.
Featured Snippets+ Tool
This tool for featured snippet optimization allows you to optimize your content so your webpage has a better chance of being chosen for a featured snippet, aka “position zero.” Featured Snippets+ analyzes which competitors own a snippet for the topic, the top “people also ask” questions and more.
Price: Starts at $49.99 (one-time fee). Demo the product with limited URLs for free.
Bruce Clay SEO WP Plugin
Analyze the top-ranked pages for your keywords and find out how to optimize your content to meet or beat them. Includes targets for meta data, readability scores and word count. This SEO plugin also gives you the ability to track how you optimize the page with keywords.
SEO Browser Extensions & Tools
Heading Tag Markup
This extension highlights and notates all heading tags on a page. It’s useful for seeing if heading tags are set up properly.
This extension allows you to create a keyword list that the tool then uses to highlight the words visually as you browse a website. You can create multiple lists and assign colors to them.
This extension lets you select any text online and get a word and character count quickly with a right click.
Quickly get a picture of the words used most on a page, the word count of the page and more with Text Analyzer. A really basic but fast and useful tool if you want to quickly view those metrics.
Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD)
The Schema Markup Generator (JSON-LD) creates JSON-LD markups for you. Just choose the type of schema.org markup you want to create, input the information and go.
Hacker Target’s WordPress Security Scan tests vulnerabilities in application security, WordPress plugins, the hosting environment and web server.
Advice for Picking SEO Tools
SEO is only as good as the SEO software you use to analyze a website. This article contains some of the tools we use currently, but the list is fluid. So give tools a try, but then choose wisely and build a tool stack that will set you up for success.
We can provide the expertise you need to improve your website SEO. Contact us today for a free consultation.