The rules of SEO are constantly changing. And the best SEO tools ensure they’re keeping up with those changes. Today, Google commands over 85% of search traffic.
Though social platforms are amassing plenty of traffic of their own, learning how to leverage the best SEO tools to grow your organic traffic cost-effectively pays off in the long run.
What to look for in the best SEO tools
Unsurprisingly, not all SEO tools are created equal. While some lean heavily on helping you find the best keywords worth targeting, others put a lot of emphasis on analytics or what competitors are doing to rank. Still, the best SEO tools have a few things in common, including plenty of keyword research capabilities, competitor analysis, and a way to track backlink efforts.
Why use SEO tools?
The two biggest reasons to use SEO tools are:
When you get both, you’re able to see what’s working with SEO and what content you need to create to reach your goals. The faster you’re able to execute the findings that SEO tools make visible, the faster you can see results. Especially if you’re managing more than one project, SEO tools streamline the research you need to execute a data-driven content strategy.
18 best SEO tools worth adding to your toolkit
In no particular order, here’s a comprehensive list of some of the best SEO tools worth considering.
Who doesn’t love an SEO tool that cuts your content creation efforts in half? With an AI writing assistant like Jasper, you can execute on your SEO findings once you’ve pinpointed your best keywords.
Once you start creating content, you don’t have to do it from scratch. With Jasper’s long list of templates, it’s easy to write copy for landing pages, websites, long-form blog posts, and even content for social media. If you’re starting a new website or are working on an existing one and want a cost-effective way to write more content faster, then an AI writing assistant like Jasper is a tool worth having in your arsenal.
- Writes content for you
- Incorporates the keywords you select
- Offers a mastermind membership for advanced marketers
- Can write content in the tone of your choice
- Rephrase any sentence within your content with the click of a button
- Needs a membership to fully utilize the features
This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the biggest and best SEO tools on the market. SEMRush helps you stay ahead of the competition by unlocking insights with its huge SEO database. Its backlink crawler keeps you up to date on links you’ve lost or gained as well as your competitor’s backlink profile.
- In-depth competitor insights
- Track brand mentions
- In-depth domain profiles
- Plenty of keyword research tools
- Can be costly for beginner marketers
- Bigger learning curve
Much like SEMRush, Ahrefs offers plenty of advanced features for marketers who are ready to go beyond the basics of search engine optimization. Once you sign up, its site explorer feature helps you find content gaps around specific keywords. Its toolbar offers keyword suggestion tools, keyword difficulty insight, CPC, and PPC data.
- Lets you audit and optimize your website
- Helps conduct customer research
- Tracks rank
- Provides keyword explorer
- Shares how-to guides
- Plans can be expensive for solo marketers
- Data on backlinks is not as granular as other tools
4. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a valuable SEO tool that’s free and provided by Google itself to help with researching keyword ideas and checking yearly or monthly trends.
- Helps you keep track of website traffic
- Alerts you of website errors that may affect your rankings
- Allows you to submit sitemaps
- Doesn’t give you as much in-depth keyword, backlink, or competitor data as other paid SEO tools
If you’re a marketer that’s strapped for cash but you still want to use a tool that enables you to uncover solid SEO insight, try Ubersuggest.
- Lets you see the top search results for a keyword
- Offers three free searches a day
- Provides related keyword ideas
- Provides basic backlink data
- You need a paid plan for access to better features as its free features are limited
6. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is great for creating content plans for just about any domain with a few clicks. It quickens your content strategy creation process and ensures you’re covering all your bases when it comes to choosing the right keywords.
- Works in several languages
- Built for collaboration
- Offers content planning tools
- Comes with an outline builder to help you create content faster
- Offers insights on ideal article structure for best ranking results
- Limited access to queries and other features depending on the plan
7. Moz Pro
Moz, a longstanding brand in the marketing space, offers Moz Pro, an SEO tool built to optimize inbound marketing. It helps you find link opportunities, tracks your rankings, and alerts you of any errors in your site’s structure.
- Lets you know your chances of ranking for a keyword
- Offers a one-month free trial
- Competitor analysis and backlink analysis
- Built by known leaders in the SEO space
- Too many features for marketers only looking for the basics at a better price
- A crowded dashboard that may not be the easiest to navigate
If you’re looking for an SEO tool that draws insights from your competitors and helps you with copywriting then Thruuu is for you. It’s an especially great tool for creating search-optimized outlines. Say, if you’re working with contractors and outsourcing your content creation efforts, Thruuu creates content outlines from key SERP information for you.
- It’s a free SEO tool with plenty of copywriting features
- Helps you fill content gaps
- Shows you the keyword density in competitor content
- Gives you insight into ideal word count and images
- Its features are geared toward content creation more than SEO analysis and research
Serpstat’s value proposition is growth marketing. It gives you insights into traffic distribution across domains as well as historical data. Great for digital marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams.
- Provides a backlink checker to beat competitor content
- Has competitor keyword analysis tools
- Comes with a plugin for easy website analysis
- Offers custom report creation
- Serpstat is a robust tool for SMBs and enterprise-level needs. Solo marketers might not need every feature.
10. Google Trends
Sometimes, you just want to know what’s been trending the last few months without having to pay a ton of money. For that, there’s Google Trends. You can get insight into daily, monthly, or yearly search trends and find data on how trends fluctuate through a specific period.
- Great for finding possible keywords to target
- Helps you stay updated on current trends
- Is free
- Limited in its SEO capabilities as it’s mostly useful for brainstorming and staying current with searches
11. Keyword Finder
As the name suggests, Keyword Finder is excellent for finding keywords—especially long-tail keywords—you can easily rank for. If you’re at a loss for what keywords to look for, start by entering your competitors to brainstorm ideas.
- Intuitive and easy to navigate
- Gives insight into search volume as well as historical data
- Great for local keyword research and SERP analysis
- Get five free searches per day
- Not as comprehensive as other SEO tools in terms of features
Clearscope is a content-oriented SEO tool that’s built to help you write and optimize content that’ll show up on search engine results pages. It’s great for on-page SEO.
- Offers suggestions for content outlines
- Ensures your content has enough keyword density
- Built to give your content the best chances of ranking
- Can be expensive for marketers that don’t produce a high volume of content
Through AI, GrowthBar gives you access to billions of keyword ideas and backlink data to ensure you’re making the most of your SEO efforts. It comes with a Chrome extension and is priced accessibly. Perfect for beginner marketers.
- Creates AI meta descriptions
- Full access to its writing marketplace
- Plenty of keyword research features
- Best for basic SEO projects that don’t need a lot of advanced insights
14. Keyword Hero
Keyword Hero enables you to match keywords with organic search traffic. If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, you know it doesn’t reveal which keywords bring the most traffic. Keyword Hero changes that.
- Gives you insight into session metrics
- Helps optimize content on landing pages
- Comes with keyword and traffic analytics
- Mostly geared toward connecting keywords with search queries
Backlinks are critical to your SEO success. With Linkody, you can get visibility into your competitors’ backlink strategies, manage all your links and domains in one dashboard, and always be in the know of when you’ve gained or lost a link.
- Offers a free 30-day trial
- Get reports on backlink anchor text
- Helps you discover new link-building opportunities
- Affordably priced plans
- Though excellent for backlink initiatives, it’s not a comprehensive SEO tool
ContentKing is great for monitoring SEO on your website. Its data reports are available at any time you want them as it monitors your website around the clock for helpful insights like changes in redirects.
- Great for managing established websites that don’t want to lose revenue to sudden search engine changes
- Real-time SEO alerts
- Great for e-commerce sites, marketplaces, and agencies
- Its use is mostly around monitoring features and not necessarily for SEO research
Woorank’s suite of marketing tools comes together to create an accessible SEO dashboard where you can keep track of keyword rankings, create side-by-side comparisons of competitors, and uncover technical issues holding your site back from ranking higher.
- It’s affordably priced compared to other, more robust tools on the market
- Integrates with Google Analytics and Facebook
- Lets you create and download white-label reports
- Offers a WordPress plugin
- Features are not as comprehensive for enterprise needs or large marketing agencies
18. Google Analytics
While Google Analytics isn’t the first tool that comes to mind when you think of “SEO tools” it’s a cost-effective way to keep track of what pages on your website are bringing in the most traffic and how your rankings change over time.
- Accessible and cost-effective for marketers
- Offers detailed insight into organic traffic sources and landing pages
- Lets you see who is on your website within a 30-minute timeframe
- Doesn’t allow you to see what keywords are bringing in the most traffic
Do more with SEO and AI
Search engine optimization takes a lot of work. There are algorithm changes, broken links to fix, schema markup to add, and technical SEO issues to deal with. That’s why it’s a good idea to incorporate the best SEO tools into your greater content marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a small business looking to level up its SEO strategy or you’re a solopreneur that’s outgrowing your existing SEO software, you’ll find something on this list to scale your content strategy.
You can start by using an AI tool like Jasper to help with the creation of the content. Sign up here to get started.