Looking for the best SEO tools? We reached out to 400+ experts and used their insights to compile the SEO toolset below.
And it’s impossible to manage all these areas without the right toolset.
But, run a Google search for SEO tools, and you’ll get about 201 million results:
Where do you start?
As a busy marketer, you sure don’t have the time to vet all those tools. And what’s more, not all SEO tools are created equal.
Some are all-in-one toolsets, while others are built for a specific purpose. Every one of them is different.
So how do you know which SEO software is most suitable for your business or clients?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve reached out to over 400 SEO experts to see which tools they’re using to manage the different areas of their SEO campaigns.
These people work at some of the largest SEO agencies on the planet, or as a lead in-house SEO resource for major brands.
I’ve asked experts to list their top SEO tools for Technical Audits, Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Rank Tracking, Reporting, Competitor Analysis, Link Building, Local SEO, SERP Analysis, and even WordPress SEO.
The goal of this post is not to publish an exhausting list that no one has the time to review, but instead, provide a shortlist of field-tested solutions that can either serve as an all-in-one toolset, or strengthen a specific area of your SEO campaigns.
Below, I’ve included links to the different SEO category leaderboards. We used the top voted tools from each category to build a shortlist of the 27 best SEO tools.
Best SEO Tools [Category Leaderboards]
In the table below, you’ll find the links to all the dedicated "best tools" posts for the different SEO categories.
The list of tools is not based purely on my own preferences, but is the accumulation of votes from SEO experts across multiple categories.
I’ve extracted the best SEO tool from each one and compiled them into the shortlist below this section.
#1 Keyword Research Tool
137 experts polled
#1 Rank Tracking Tool
67 experts polled
#1 SEO Audit Tool
51 experts polled
#1 Link Building Tool
82 experts polled
#1 SEO Reporting Tool
52 experts polled
#1 Local SEO Tool
59 experts polled
#1 SEO Agency Tool
48 experts polled
#1 Backlink Analysis Tool
58 experts polled
27 Best SEO Tools (Based on 400+ Votes)
The tools have been broken out into the following categories:
- Best all-in-one SEO tools
- Best technical SEO tools
- Best on-page SEO tools
- Best off-page SEO tools
- Best SEO tracking tools
- Best local SEO tools
Best All-In-One SEO Tools
First, we'll look at the best all-in-one SEO software.
These tools allow you to manage every aspect of your SEO campaigns under one roof, which is key if you don’t want to pay for multiple different tools that may not integrate with one another.
These tools handle it all – Keyword Research, Backlink Analysis, Rank Tracking, SEO Audits, Content Analysis, Campaign Management, and more. And in many cases, they cost less than other dedicated tools.
Overall, they provide huge value for money.
SEMrush now has over 6 million users worldwide and accumulated the most votes from our SEO experts across all the different categories.
SEMrush provides the most accurate search volume data. The databases underpinning the platform are constantly updated, and include over 20 billion keywords and 1.4 billion referring domains across 142 geographical locations. SEMrush crawls 17.3 billion URLs per day!
Key features/ use cases
Let’s take a look at how you can use some of the key features in the SEO toolkit.
Competitor traffic analysis
- The Traffic Analytics report is like SimilarWeb and Google Analytics got together and had a baby. It gives you an estimate of your competitors’ traffic and engagement across different channels and devices.
You can apply filters such as historical data, location, and device, to refine your results.
- The Traffic Sources report allows you to see an estimate of how much traffic is coming from each channel – Organic, Direct, Referral, Search, Social, and Paid. And there’s a trend graph to compare historical data (6 months, 12 months, and All-Time), plus the last month’s figures.
- You can drill deeper by checking the exact source of the traffic across each channel. For example, you could check which sites are sending most referral traffic to your competitors, and whether that traffic is going up or down.
Or, if you notice a competitor is getting a lot of organic traffic, you can click through to the SEO toolkit to see which keywords and pages across different sections of the site are driving the traffic.
- You can also check which countries and regions drive the most traffic to a competitor’s website, and how the traffic divides between desktop and mobile.
- SEMrush makes it super easy to find existing keyword opportunities - content that is ranking bottom of page one or top of page two that with a relaunch can be moved into the top 3 positions within 60-90 days - and achieve quick organic traffic gains.
Simply use the custom-range filters in SEMrush to find keywords ranking in positions #6 through #20 – i.e. the low-hanging keywords that can be optimized.
- Using SEMrush’s advanced filters, it’s possible to analyze your competitors’ keywords and find which pages are driving the most organic traffic.
For example, in the Pages report, you can see what product pages drive the most traffic for the ecommerce site Beardbrand by applying a filter to check their “collections” subfolder, where all product pages are located.
- The Keyword Magic Tool is a great source for finding related keywords. For example, we know that the Wirecutter review on Air Fryers is one of their top pages.
But if you enter that primary keyword into the Keyword Magic Tool, you can get thousands of new keyword ideas organized into topical groups:
- You can also analyze the difficulty (KD%) for each potential keyword. Plus, you can send keywords to different tools in the SEO Toolkit, such as Position Tracking, or even the PPC tool – this kind of integration is a big time saver, and differentiator.
"This is a staple for most of the SEO world and for good reason. I use it for everything from keyword research and analysis to competitive audits in hopes of finding new opportunities to rank."
SEO Strategist at Fractl
- SEMrush’s Link Building tool lets you find, check, and manage thousands of link building prospects in seconds. After entering your target keywords and competitors, SEMrush returns your list of prospects. From there, you can analyze each potential prospect and manage your outreach tactics.
- You can use the Backlink Audit tool to identify toxic backlinks. The audit gives a breakdown of toxic, potentially toxic, and non-toxic backlinks, and integrates with Google Search Console and Google Analytics for up-to-date information on disavowed backlinks.
- The Backlink Analytics tool is great for finding which posts and pages on your competitor’s website are attracting the most links.
- The Backlink Gap tool lets you compare the backlink profiles of up to five competitors. You can quickly see where competitors are getting backlinks from, but you are not.
Technical SEO audits
- The Site Audit tool is a powerful website crawler that lets you analyze the health of your site so you can diagnose technical and on-page issues. The audit produces a prioritized list of issues, such as duplicate content, thin content, orphaned pages, crawlability, and broken links.
Next to each issue, there’s guidance on how to fix the problem so that you help boost the SEO health of your site.
- The Content Marketing toolkit provides a suite of tools designed to help you create and optimize content for improved traffic and engagement. Users get access to features such as the SEO Writing Assistant, on-page SEO checker, brand monitoring tools, and content audit toolkit.
This makes it easy to analyze content at the subfolder level and quickly locate pages that need improvement. The audit results are grouped in Content Sets based on the actions you need to take.
For example, pages published over 24 months ago and viewed less than 15 times in the last 30 days are stored in the Rewrite or Remove Set.
- The SEO Writing Assistant (SWA) allows you to check the readability and ranking potential of a piece of content. (There’s also an option to add the SWA as a Google Docs Add-on or a WordPress plugin.)
Paste your content into the tool, and you’ll get real-time feedback based on originality, readability, tone of voice, and SEO.
This level of insight surpasses the capabilities of other tools on the market which only provide the ability to surface trending or highly engaging topics. SEMrush provides a data-driven toolset to turn all that insight into action.
- The Position Tracking tool lets you track search rankings for any domain or keyword at national, regional, and local levels. Keyword data is updated on a daily basis.
Unlike other SEO platforms that require users to upgrade plans or purchase add-ons to access rankings data, SEMrush provides this functionality to all users on any plan.
- The Position Tracking Landscape report provides a top-level view of everything you’re tracking, including your domain’s trend for visibility, estimated traffic, and average position, plus the rankings distribution of your keywords in Google’s Top 3, Top 10, Top 20, and Top 100. This data is segmented by mobile and desktop devices.
- SEMrush also includes a useful feature where you can tag your keyword, for example, by the date added or intent of the keyword.
“We still use SEMrush more than any other tool for monitoring, tracking, and reporting of keyword placements. The ability to segment rankings by page placement, intent and date are particularly valuable.”
SEO Strategist, Enleaf
Monitor SERP volatility
SEMrush’s SERP Sensor lets you keep an eye on SERP volatility. As Google updates its algorithm on an almost-daily basis, you can check the SERP volatility overall, by industry, and monitor your personal site:
The report also includes Notes (marked by the Google icon) that are then integrated into the other traffic reports to help align and diagnose the potential cause of any drops.
The SEMrush Projects tool gives you a top-level view across all your digital marketing campaigns. For each project, you can add up to 12 reports from across the platform, such as Site Audit, Position Tracking, Backlink Audit, and Organic Traffic Insights:
SEMrush's Reports tool gives it a competitive advantage over other platforms. It lets you build and schedule professional branded and white label campaign reports by simply dragging and dropping widgets into the pre-built reporting templates:
Users can pull data from directly from the SEO Toolkit, and take advantage of integrations with Search Console, Google Analytics and Google My Business. Drag-and-drop headings and text blocks to organize data and add commentary to key metrics in the report.
- SEMrush Review (38 Practical Applications)
- 5-Step Competitor Keyword Research Guide
- How to Find Keyword Cannibalization Issues (With Template)
- How to Find (and Win) Featured Snippet Opportunities
- 19 Practical DIY SEO Tactics You Can Implement Today
- SEMrush vs. Ahrefs: Which Tool is Best for Your Business?
- 10 Best Moz Alternatives (Free & Paid) for 2021
Ahrefs offers a complete suite of SEO tools, including Backlink Analysis, Keyword Research, Content Analysis, Competitor Research, SEO Audits, and Rank Tracking.
Although Ahrefs is best-known for its huge backlink index, there are also extensive indexes for keywords, content, and search traffic.
Key features/ use cases
Let’s take a look at some of the key features in Ahrefs.
Competitor SEO analysis
- Ahrefs’ Site Explorer is perfect for analyzing the keyword, organic traffic and backlink profiles of your competitors.
If you’re unsure who you’re competing with, you can use the Competing Domains report to find out. Simply enter your domain, and you’ll see a list of sites ranking in the Top 10 for the same keywords as your site.
- You can use the Top Subfolders and Top Subdomains reports to see how your competition organizes their content. From there, you can analyze which sections of the site drive the most organic traffic and generate the highest value each month.
For example, here are the top traffic and value subfolders for Beardbrand:
- From this report, you can click on the Pages link to see which posts/pages are driving the most organic traffic across different sections of the site.
- Use Ahrefs’ enormous Backlink index to see which sites link to your competitors, and how often.
- Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer is rated as one of the best keyword research tools on the market by our experts.
You can use Keywords Explorer to find loads of new keyword ideas. For example, Ahrefs comes up with over 11k keywords from the seed keyword “seo tools”:
- From the initial list, you can get more granular by selecting keywords by Phrase match, Having same terms, Also rank for, Search suggestions, Newly discovered, and Questions.
You’ll be able to slice and dice the results using a range of different filters - Keyword Difficulty, Volume, Word Count, Inclusion/ Exclusion rules, SERP Feature and more:
- You can use the SERP Overview report to accurately qualify each relevant keyword opportunity.
Ahrefs’ Backlink Profile tool (in Site Explorer) provides a wealth of info on your competitors’ backlinks. For example, you can use the Anchors report to find all their brand non-brand anchors, broken down by percentages:
- The Best by Links report shows you the most linked-to content on a competitor’s site. Use the report to get an idea about which content types and topics attract the most backlinks in your niche.
- The Link Intersect tool is great for finding websites that link to one or more of your competitors. You can also use this feature to identify backlink gaps. i.e. sites linking to your competitors, but not your site.
“Ahrefs is incredibly valuable for assessing lost backlinks, broken backlinks, newly acquired links, as well as mapping out timeframes for backlink acquisition and churn.”
Senior SEO Manager, Wpromote
Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool crawls all the pages on your website and identifies a range of technical and on-page SEO issues that might be impacting your SEO:
As well as an overall SEO Health Score, it reports on:
- Site speed
- Missing HTML tags (e.g. title, description, etc.)
- Thin and duplicate content issues
- Indexation and accessibility issues (canonicals, redirects, etc.)
- Localization (international SEO) errors
- Internal links and orphaned pages
- Coding issues
You can schedule the Site Audit to run automatically at specified time intervals.
Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker lets you track keyword rankings across your website(s). Plus you can:
- Track SERP features
- See the estimated traffic for tracked keywords
- Monitor position changes (increases and decreases)
- Ahrefs’ Content Explorer allows you to find the most popular content on any topic. But its filters, such as Domain rating, Referring domains, Organic traffic, and Share counts, are where you can make the most use of the tool.
- Find popular topics that attracts a ton of backlinks:
- Another way of using Content Explorer is to find topic ideas that will generate loads of traffic with very few links.
For example, you could filter results for 5 (or less) Referring domains AND 1,000 (or more) estimated Organic visitors per month. It’s a smart tactic for new sites that don’t yet have many backlinks.
Mangools is a very user-friendly SEO toolset that’s received numerous votes and honorable mentions across the different roundup categories.
While it doesn't provide as many use cases as we’ve seen in SEMrush and Ahrefs, such as technical audits, it’s more affordable. And it does present a lot of valuable insights across the main campaign areas, like Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Rank Tracking, and SERP Analysis.
Overall, it’s an excellent, comprehensive lower-cost option.
Key features/ use cases
Here are some practical use cases for each of the key features.
- KWFinder is designed to help you find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty, either by entering seed keywords or analyzing your competitor’s domain.
For example, you can enter your seed keyword, such as “seo tools,” and get a list of keywords with exact search volume and a “traffic-light” keyword difficulty (KD) rating that makes it easy to identify keywords that are easier to rank for.
- If you don’t have any keywords, you can start by checking what your competitors rank for. Enter a competitor’s domain or URL, and KWFinder will show you what keywords they rank for along with Position, Search volume, Estimated traffic, and Keyword difficulty.
- KWFinder also allows you to find location-specific long-tail keywords. You can choose from more than 50,000 locations when performing local SEO.
“KWFinder is one of the "newer" kids on the block, but it's probably just about the easiest way I have found to find new long-tail keywords quickly.”
SERP analysis (keyword qualification)
Mangools’ SERP analysis tool, SERPChecker, helps you use a variety of data points to more accurately qualify potential keyword targets.
Enter your keyword, and SERPChecker gives you a high-level summary with its Keyword Difficulty (KD) score and the average number of SERP Features that may impact results.
- SERPChecker calculates the impact of SERP Features, such as Featured Snippets, Answer Boxes, and Top Stories, so you have a better idea of what you’re up against in the SERPS. |
- For each page listed in the SERPs, you can qualify the competition by comparing metrics like Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Citation Flow (CF), Trust Flow (TF), Number of backlinks, and Number of referring domains.
Like the Keyword Difficulty, scores are color-coded to give you quick visuals cues on the strongest and weakest competition.
Mangools’ SERPWatcher is an easy-to-use rank tracking tool that lets you track keyword rankings and their search volumes in any location and on any device.
SERPWatcher includes its own performance index so you can quickly check if you’re dominating the search results for your tracked keywords.
The Dominance Index is based on all of your tracked keyword positions and their search volumes, and includes a trend graph and comparison (up or down) with yesterday’s results.
SERPWatcher provides daily updates on each keyword you’re tracking, including its current ranking and position change, plus a quick historical view of its average and best position. You can also choose to get notified of significant rank changes via email alerts.
Mangools’ backlink checker, LinkMiner, lets you analyze the SEO power of your competitors’ backlinks with its Link Strength (LS) score.
It currently has 9.5 trillion backlinks in the database, including data from Majestic’s fresh and historical index.
It also includes a set of filters so you can focus on specific types of backlinks. For example, you can select the content category, such as blogs or forums, and filter out nofollow links.
A handy feature of LinkMiner is the ability to click any of the backlinks in the table and preview the referring site with link placement directly in the tool rather than having to open separate browser windows.
Once you’ve identified the backlinks that you want to replicate, you can save them to a relevant list for prospecting later.
“LinkMiner is a useful tool for getting instant target site previews along with Citation Flow and Trust Flow data.”
Digital Marketing Consultant
SiteProfiler is a collection of reports that allows you to check the SEO profile and insights of any website.
The Overview report shows the domain authority and popularity of a site with a snapshot of metrics by Moz, Majestic, Alexa, and Facebook.
The Backlinks report allows you to check the health of a backlink profile (your site or your competitors) to see if there are any potential toxic backlinks.
The Top Content report lets you check the most popular content of your competitors, so you can identify potential new topics and link building opportunities.
The Audience report provides demographic data of a “typical user” of the analyzed website, including gender, location, education level, and interests.
The Competitor Insights report lets you benchmark your website against the existing competition and discover potential new competitors.
Ok, that was a high-level overview of our top all-in-one SEO toolsets.
In the following sections, we’ll highlight the tools with the highest vote counts for specific campaign initiatives, and cover some of their top use cases.
If you want to jump to a specific area of interest use one of the jump links below:
Best Technical SEO Tools
In this section, we’ll review the tools that received the most votes for Technical SEO use cases, such as Site Audits and Speed Testing.
Google Search Console is an essential free technical SEO tool for webmasters, primarily because you’re getting the data directly from Google.
The latest version of Search Console has an improved user interface with more data, features, and reports, so you can identify a range of issues and get your site back on track.
“Search Console has become increasingly useful through its new Index Coverage reporting. You can use it to quickly find which pages are indexed, which are not, and which are simply being ignored.”
Founder, Learn SEO Fast
You can use Search Console to:
- Spot indexation and crawling issues.
- Monitor core web vitals - page speed and user interaction - across devices.
- Push pages to be indexed/re-indexed with the URL Inspection tool.
- Analyze the source of organic traffic drops by keyword, URL and content types.
- Find high-traffic, low-CTR keywords.
- Identify pages that don’t have many internal links (eg: orphan pages).
- Identify sitemap issues and resubmit to improve crawling.
- Uncover mobile usability issues.
- Action direct alerts from Google when it identifies issues with a site.
- Integrate with Google Analytics and Google Data Studio for reporting and analysis.
SanityCheck is an automated tool that lets you make better use of Google Search Console data. Using the Google Search Console API, it’s able to extract the top 5,000 queries and pages each day (compared to the standard 1,000 queries you usually get), so you can make better-informed decisions in less time.
You can use SanityCheck to:
- Access more data and reports for a deeper understanding of site performance.
- Identify the content you can improve to achieve better rankings and CTR.
- Automate daily page speed tests, so you can quickly fix slow loading pages.
- Run SEO split-testing to see at a glance how page changes are performing against the previous version.
"I use SanityCheck.io to look for SEO split test opportunities. Eg: testing the CTR impact of different title tags."
Digital Marketing Consultant
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is a powerful website crawler that allows you to crawl websites of any size quickly and efficiently.
It fetches key onsite and technical data like page titles, metadata, broken links, redirects, response codes, indexation data, and duplicate content, so you can analyze the results in real-time and make strategic SEO decisions.
“Screaming Frog is my favorite tool for technical analysis. It’s a steadfast platform for breaking down the fundamentals of a site’s accessibility, indexation, and pinpointing both on-page and technical issues.”
Senior SEO Specialist, Captivate Search Marketing
You can use the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool to:
- Crawl sites of any size, by directory or subdomain, and export the results for further analysis.
- Use native API integrations to map organic traffic, conversion, backlink, engagement and page speed metrics to URLs at scale.
- Discover on-page SEO issues such as missing or duplicate data.
- Discover duplicate and thin content pages.
- Find a range of technical SEO problems, including broken links, blocked resources, server errors, and redirect issues.
- Verify schema markup and microdata formatting.
- Identify potential malware or spam issues.
- Generate XML Sitemaps.
- Visualize site architecture patterns so you can pinpoint internal linking and URL structure issues.
Sitebulb is an award-winning SEO tool that delivers actionable insights and data visualizations. The user-friendly graphs and charts help you better understand and act on the data.
“We use Sitebulb to scale website crawling. It's one of the best on the market.”
Founder, Prosperity Media
You can use Sitebulb to:
- Generate user-friendly, color-coded reports, maps, and graphs, that make it easier to extract actionable insights from large data sets.
- Crawl sites and generate a list of prioritized recommendations.
- Track historical trends and changes for any metric to see what has changed since your last audit, and demonstrate improvements graphically.
- Use audit scores to get context and create executive summaries for clients and management.
- Create Crawl Maps to help understand website structure, discover internal link flow, and find orphan pages.
- Spot on-page issues such as duplicate or thin content, and missing on-page elements.
- Find 4XX and 5XX errors.
- Build custom white-label audit reports.
GTmetrix is a free website speed and performance optimization tool that gives you a detailed assessment of how your site loads and where the bottlenecks are.
Using the PageSpeed and YSlow scores, you can find and fix the big issues first by following the prioritized recommendations and detailed instructions.
“GTmetrix is great for uncovering site speed issues and opportunities.”
Marketing Specialist, SuperScript Marketing
You can use GTmetrix to:
- Get your Page Load Details (page load time, total page size, and number of requests) and compare the performance against other sites.
- Run tests from different regions and browsers to check how users around the world experience your site.
- Schedule regular tests (daily, weekly, or monthly) and alerts to ensure sites remain optimized.
WP Rocket is a powerful WordPress caching plugin designed to make your site load faster. But unlike other caching plugins, it’s incredibly quick and easy to set up and use. Today, it is installed on over 1.2 million WordPress sites and has been voted as the top site speed plugin by the experts.
WP Rocket also has extra features like Image Lazy Loading and Database Optimization, which can both drastically reduce page loading time.
“My favorite single purpose SEO plugin is the caching plugin WP Rocket. It’s the only caching plugin that hasn’t given me issues when interacting with themes or other plugins. It’s also plug and play. Install it on your site and it’s ready to go.”
Founder, Assisted Reach
You can use WP Rocket to:
- Compress all of your HTML, CSS, and JS files.
- Cache page content for returning visitors.
- Optimize your WordPress database and Google fonts.
- Reduce page loading times by only displaying images as users scroll down.
- Prefetch and reduce the time of DNS resolutions.
- Use across WordPress multisite configurations.
- Integrate with all CDNs like MaxCDN and Cloudflare for faster page loading.
DeepCrawl is a comprehensive website crawler that’s well-suited to enterprise brands, agencies, ecommerce companies, and large publishers. It’s excellent for large-scale technical audits and side-by-side comparisons during site migrations.
You can use DeepCrawl to:
- Analyze site structure and log file data.
- Check speed metrics on every page so you can fix bottlenecks.
- Monitor domain health across hundreds of domains.
- Spot internationalization issues, so you can fix global content.
- Run concurrent crawling, so it’s quick and easy to audit multiple sites.
- Generate visual reports, so it’s easier to spot actionable insights.
- Monitor sites regularly (hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) with scheduled crawls to discover and fix any new technical issues.
“DeepCrawl is undeniably the best technical crawler I’ve used. There’s a level of detail available in exports and through the interface that – while they may be available in other crawlers – aren’t anywhere near as easy to access, use, and share. DeepCrawl doesn’t just find the issues, it helps us also share insights with relevant team members.”
Enterprise SEO Senior Manager, Groupon
URL Profiler is a powerful SEO tool that lets you quickly audit links, content, and social data. Its big selling point is its ability to map third-party data points from multiple sources to URLs, so you can make strategic recommendations in technical content audits.
You can use URL Profiler to:
- Check if all your pages are running fast and have the mobile-friendly tag by connecting to Google’s PageSpeed service.
- Gather external link counts and domain metrics from Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs.
- Extract data - traffic, links, social engagement, indexation etc - from third-party applications and map them to URLs at scale, which is extremely helpful when running technical content audits.
- Check for duplicate and thin content issues.
- Identify unnatural patterns in site type, IP address, nameservers, and C-block from linking domains.
JSON-LD Schema Generator
The JSON-LD Schema Markup Generator has loads of options to help you create the perfect structured data markup for Articles, Events, Breadcrumbs, FAQs, How-to posts, Job posting, Local business, Organization, Person, Product, Recipe, Video, and Sitelinks search box.
JSON-LD is considered the simplest way to implement Schema’s structured markup to your content as you can simply paste the markup within the HTML document.
After you’ve generated the markup, you can click on the Google icon to test your markup with the Rich Results Tool.
You can use JSON-LD to:
- Generate Schema’s structured data markup.
- Test schema markup before implementing it on your site.
Best On-Page SEO Tools
In this section, we’ll review the tools that received the most votes for On-Page SEO use cases, such as Content Audits and Keyword Research.
Surfer SEO uses a data-driven model to analyze the Top 50 results, based on over 500 ranking factors, so you know what is working for your target keyword right now. Use the information to improve your existing content or build content briefs for writers.
“Surfer combines correlational analysis, but packages it up in a user-friendly way that makes it easy enough for our entry-level SEOs to make improvements to our sites. It's a huge lever in our business.”
Founder, Authority Builders
You can Surfer SEO to:
- Discover the perfect density for your keyword and related keywords.
- Compare your on-page optimization against select competitors.
- Use on-page correlations across top ranking assets to prioritize action items.
- Inform your on-page SEO with reliable information about word count, prominent words, common phrases, page structure, headers, and more.
- Paste existing content into the Content Editor and use data-driven recommendation to update for better rankings.
- Generate detailed content briefs, export and share with writers.
- Identify common backlinks across the top pages of the SERP.
- Uncover topical questions and answer them in your content.
Siteliner lets you quickly identify internal duplicate content and broken links.
Simply enter the website you want to analyze, and Siteliner runs an audit. For each page scanned, Siteliner shows you how much of content was also found on other internal pages. From there, you can take action to remove duplicate pages or edit the content so that it’s more unique.
You can use Siteliner to:
- Find internal duplicate content issues on your site.
- Check for broken links, internal page rank, redirections, and more.
- Create XML sitemaps.
- Download site reports for internal or client review.
Copyscape is a plagiarism checker that lets you find external duplicate content on the web.
You can use Copyscape to:
- Find copies of your content on the web.
- Check all new content is original before publishing on your site.
Note: URL Profiler can access the Copyscape API to perform duplicate content checks at scale.
Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a free tool used for identifying long-tail keywords and question-based topics. It’s great for finding what questions and queries your customers are searching for in Google.
Once you enter your seed keyword, you’ll get loads of questions grouped by what, where, why, who, can, how, etc.
Note: If you install the Keywords Everywhere chrome extension, you can bring search volume and CPC data into the application as well.
“Answer The Public is very useful for discovering long-tail searches, especially if you're building a FAQ section or targeting quick answers.”
Senior SEO Analyst, Overdrive Interactive
Best Off-Page SEO Tools
In this section, we’ll review the SEO tools that received the most votes for Off-Page activities, such as Outreach Management and Link Prospecting.
BuzzStream is a web-based tool for outreach management that allows you to find email addresses, research influencers, find prospects, send emails, and easily keep track of conversations across many accounts.
BuzzStream is used by digital PR firms, link builders and content promoters.
“Buzzstream is my go-to tool for anything regarding outreach: Prospecting for outreach, finding contact information, outreach management. It is so easy to use and so efficient. I like it so much that I never needed to try any other tool.”
Senior SEO Specialist, Chez Seek
You can use BuzzStream to:
- Automatically scrape contact information and influence metrics from a list of domains.
- Personalized outreach emails at scale across accounts and campaigns.
- Manage contacts with tags and notes, and share updates with your team in the platform’s CRM.
- Track how effective each outreach campaign is, with open rate, click-through, and reply percentage.
- Use the Buzzbar chrome extension to save time and do smarter prospecting directly inside your browser.
Mailshake is a “simple” tool for cold email outreach that includes proven templates, bulk email, automatic follow-ups, and powerful analytics. It also includes Lead Catcher, a lightweight CRM, where you can manage and reply to leads from within the tool.
“I love Mailshake’s simplicity and interface. It’s so easy to use.”
Founder, Daine Media
You can use Mailshake to:
- Sen personalized outreach emails at scale.
- Schedule automatic follow-ups based on opens, replies, and clicks.
- Use the sending calendar to customize when emails get sent, how many emails go out at a time, and control the amount of time between sends.
- Track the performance of your outreach campaign in the analytics dashboard.
- Protect email deliverability rates by using the built-in list cleaner to segment valid and risky emails.
- Integrate it with other software, such as Google Sheets, via Zapier.
Dibz is a link prospecting tool that can help you save time when searching for relevant link building opportunities. It includes a custom-built Spam Factor algorithm that allows you to set parameters like the domain name length, presence of cloaked links, and the number of ad blocks.
“Dibz.me simplifies the prospecting process a lot, but requires credits to run. During the prospecting process, I can choose to pull in email addresses. Either by a free scrape, or via Hunter.io.”
Founder, Velocity6 Media
You can use Dibz to:
- Find suitable prospects for link building campaigns by filtering out low-quality domains.
- Choose your research type, such as Guest Blogging, to find more relevant results.
- Narrow down link building opportunities based on TLD location.
- Research potential influencers based on social reach and following.
- Scrape email contacts for use in outreach campaigns.
Hunter is the top-rated tool for finding and verifying email addresses when you’re planning outreach campaigns. Enter your prospect’s domain, and Hunter searches for all-known contact details.
"Hunter.io seems like magic sometimes by the way it is able to find email addresses on a site. There is a Chrome plugin that allows you to easily grab the email address of almost any LinkedIn profile. "
Senior SEO Manager, Seer Interactive
You can use Hunter.io to:
- Scrape email address from a website using Hunter’s Chrome extension.
- Check the sources of email address to ensure it is reliable.
- Validate email addresses in bulk before starting outreach campaigns.
- Find email addresses directly in your spreadsheets with Hunter’s Google Sheets Add-on. Ideal for bulk uploads and larger campaigns.
Blaze Verify is an email verification tool that lets you clean up your email lists and improve email deliverability. It’s essential to verify email addresses once you’ve finished prospecting contact information to prevent bounces and ensure you don't get your email account shut down.
The tool has a 98% deliverability guarantee.
" I’ve found that BlazeVerify is the best tool for sanitizing and verifying our email lists."
Founder, Propel Digital Media Solutions
You can use Blaze Verify to:
- Upload your email list in bulk and verify data.
- Reduce bounce rate on outreach campaigns.
Best SEO Tracking Tools
In this section, we’ll review the tools that received the most votes for SEO Tracking activities, such as Rank Tracking and All-in-one Reporting.
Databox pulls all your data from multiple places into one reporting dashboard, so you get a complete view of how your SEO is generating pipeline and helping the bottom line.
For example, you could review link data from Ahrefs, ranking distributions from SEMrush, traffic and conversions from Google Analytics, and pipeline data from HubSpot in a single Databox dashboard.
The platform has 70+ one-click integrations and over 200 different pre-built reporting templates to start from.
Databox also makes it easy to build custom metrics using its powerful Query Builder tool.
“Databox brings together data from all our different analysis tools and displays them in real-time inside a single interactive dashboard.”
Marketing and SEO Director, Stream Creative
You can use Databox to:
- Pull multiple data sources (e.g. Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush) into a single dashboard.
- Create custom metrics from almost any third party data source with Query Builder.
- Get performance alerts and recommendations in real-time.
- Build your own dashboards with the Dashboard Designer (and save as templates).
- Get KPI scorecards delivered automatically.
- Set goals and assign to team members.
I've recently moved all my agency's client reporting over to Databox.
Google Data Studio is a powerful reporting tool that lets you pull data from different sources and merge them into one dashboard. These sources include its own products, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads, and third-party connectors with software like AccuRanker and SEMrush.
“We use Google Data Studio for our monthly client reporting. It’s one of our favorite tools for client-facing reports due to its interactivity, versatility with data sources and customization options. We connect data from Google Analytics, Ads, Search Console and other third-party tracking tools.
This allows us to create easy-to-read data visualizations that provide our clients with a clear understanding of their most important KPIs on a regular basis.”
CTO, Brado Digital Intelligence
You can use Google Data Studio to:
- Pull data from multiple sources into a single dashboard; e.g. combine keywords, traffic, links, and sales data.
- Convert the raw data into custom metrics, reports, and dashboards.
- Filter data based on locations, devices, and channels.
- Automate reporting with customized date ranges.
- Create and share engaging reports and visualizations. (There are templates available to get started quickly.)
AccuRanker is the “fastest” SEO Rank Tracking tool and prides itself on delivering the most up-to-date and accurate rankings data on-demand.
“Combining the tag feature and Share of Voice metric from AccuRanker has helped make reports immediately digestible.
Share of Voice by tag gives a quick glimpse into the overall health of a particular keyword set. I’ve found this especially helpful for clients, as it reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed by rows of hundreds of terms, but doesn’t have the noise of an “Average Rank” metric.”
Partner, Traffic Think Tank
You can use AccuRanker to:
- Refresh keyword rankings on-demand.
- Track rankings across other major search engines such as YouTube, Yandex and Baidu.
- Analyze Share of Voice across different segments - keywords, tags, landing pages etc - and gauge position in the marketplace.
- Review historical data to evaluate changes in your keyword rankings.
- Understand which SERP Features - snippets etc. - drive the most traffic.
- Integrate with other third-party tools like Google Data Studio, Databox, Search Console, Google Analytics and other APIs to seamlessly combine data from different sources.
- Map conversion and revenue data to keywords and URLs.
- Analyze rich snippet performance across keyword sets.
- Add notes and dates next to your keyword tags, so you can cross-reference position changes with content and algorithm updates.
- Schedule automated reports for clients.
- Use the tool’s Google Grump Rating to monitor abnormal fluctuations in SERP rankings.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that lets you see how visitors are interacting with your website so you can evaluate how your content is working.
You can use Google Analytics to:
- Monitor branded vs. non-branded organic traffic growth.
- Check conversions (goals) by organic channels.
- Drill down into reports to analyze organic and conversions by subfolders.
- Compare organic performance metrics across devices.
- View which path visitors take prior to converting.
- Check top referral traffic sources (effectiveness of link building campaigns).
This is just scratching the surface of what Google Analytics can tell you.
Local SEO tools
In this section, we’ll review the best Local SEO tools as voted for by our experts.
BrightLocal is an all-in-one local marketing platform that helps small businesses, agencies and multi-location businesses track local SEO performance, build citations, and monitor their online reputation. The dashboard provides a visual snapshot of your most important metrics, plus the option to analyze further with detailed reports.
The platform was voted the #1 local SEO tool by 59 experts here.
“With BrightLocal, I can easily find missing and incorrect citations, do some basic competitor research, track GMB insights, help clients with review generation, track rankings and provide client reporting all under one roof.”
Founder, Alameda Internet Marketing
You can use BrightLocal to:
- Maximize online visibility by auditing and building accurate citations across major aggregators and hundreds of tier 1 & 2 niche directories.
- Benchmark and track rankings at the city or postcode level across both organic search and map results.
- Run comprehensive Google My Business audits with access to 18 months of GMB insights data.
- See which GMB categories are being used by top competitors.
- Monitor your online reputation and respond to reviews across multiple sites.
- Integrate with Google Analytics and generate white label reports for clients.
Places Scout is an all-in-one Local SEO platform that provides online businesses with rank tracking, reputation monitoring, and visibility reporting at a local level.
"Places Scout provides very detailed information on local pack, local finder rankings, as well as organic, by market/city/zip code for specific keywords.
You are also able to gather reviews, citations, and rankings from various platforms to use for analysis."
Senior SEO Associate, Seer Interactive
You can use Places Scout to:
- Monitor your local search rankings and check online visibility.
- Gather reviews from Google and review sites, so you monitor your online reputation.
- Find citation opportunities and see where competitors are listed.
- Review NAP Audit reports to check for any inaccurate info about your business.
- Integrate with Yext’s listing syndication.
Yext is a data management tool that integrates with hundreds of services, including Google, Bing, Alexa, and Yelp, to keep the facts about your brand updated on multiple directories. The Yext Knowledge Engine helps you manage your local listings and improve your Local SEO.
"Yext pushes your business information to the major local listings sites. This saves time because you don’t have to manually login to each site to ensure accuracy."
Senior SEO Manager, CORE Search Marketing
You can use Yext to:
- Reduce the time and manual effort needed to manage your brand across hundreds of different review sites and directories.
- Give customers the right answers about your brand when they ask questions.
- Ensure your citation (NAP+W) data is consistent everywhere (critical local search factor).
GatherUp is a customer experience and online review engine that lets you gather your customer feedback and online reviews into one centralized platform. Use the reviews and ratings to improve your website’s visibility and ranking in local search results.
“I'm a huge fan of the Google Q&A management feature, as well as the review pop-up, which you can install on a client's site.”
You can use GatherUp to:
- Manage your customer feedback and online reviews in one platform.
- Request reviews on 100+ sites and improve your online reputation.
- Market your reputation right from the start by displaying your latest 30 reviews directly inside a custom conversion popup.
- Build quality reviews on relevant and important sites.
- Display reviews on your website, with Schema markup.
- Monitor review sites, including Google Questions and Answers.
Which SEO Tools Are You Going to Try?
Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one SEO toolset or a dedicated tool for a specific campaign, this shortlist is field-tested and vouched for by hundreds of industry experts.
Did we miss any?
Let us know what SEO tools you’re using to grow your business and support clients.