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Choosing the best search engine optimization (SEO) tools for your unique purposes is an extremely important task when creating a large, successful web presence. Often, SEO tools have similar, overlapping functions and can be intimidating at first glance.
However, with this guide, you’ll be able to quickly understand various essential features of an SEO tool and break down my top 10 picks for the best SEO tool(s), along with a quick breakdown of my favorite software below.
- Competitor Research
- Automated Reports
- Rank Tracking
- Integrates with GSC
- Vast Report Templates
- All-in-one Tool for Marketing
- Hard to Use for Beginners
- No Affordable Plans
- Inaccurate Data
- Backlink Intersect Analysis
- Technical Audit
- Backlink Tracking
- Historical Backlink Data
- Good Support
- Domain Rating
- No Automated Reports
- Fairly Expensive
- Advanced for Begginers
- Keyword Research
- Search Engine Comparisons
- Keyword Tracking
- Accurate Data
- Easy to Use
- Good Support
- Data is Limited
- Expensive Premium Plans
- Limited Exporting Options
What are the best SEO tools in 2022?
- Advanced Web Ranking
- Growth Bar
- Long Tail Pro
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Google Search Console
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Analytics
- Surfer SEO Browser Plugin
The primary feature of SEMrush is to analyze competitors to boost your online rankings and provide unique SEO and advertising opportunities.
SEMrush can also be an asset that can track past, current, and projected website rankings, provide strategies to rank higher in search engines, and improve overall user experience.
Furthermore, SEMrush can be used as a one-stop-shop ad tracking tool that will provide help your website get the most efficient cost-per-click (CPC) conversions.
Finally, SEMrush has advanced keyword research and ranking tools to help provide consistently excellent organic SEO. Due to its price and scalability, SEMrush is best for small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Find and analyze guest blogging strategies and opportunities.
- Understand the strategies of your top competitors.
- Ability to track past, and present website ranking and provide suggestions to improve rankings.
- Efficiently perform technical SEO audits and user experience reports.
- Discover superior advertising opportunities with efficient CPC and keyword research.
- The ability to easily do robust keyword research to help make your content rank higher organically.
- SEMrush is an advanced tool with a lot of features. If you’re inexperienced with SEO, SEMrush may not be a good place to start your journey.
- Starting at $99.95 a month if you pay for the year, SEMrush is quite expensive for small businesses. Additionally, to access all the features, the price tag can be as high as $449.95 per month. If you’re just starting out with SEO effort and don’t have a large online presence already, it may be worth waiting to purchase SEMrush.The good news is that SEMrush has a 7-day free trial, so you are able to get familiar with their SEO service without a penalty.
- Data has been shown to be inaccurate regarding advertisements, backlinks, and traffic.
- Pro: costs $119.95/month
- Guru: costs $229.95/month
- Business: costs $449.95/month
- Refund Policy: 7-days
How to Save:
- Select annual billing for a 17% discount.
Among the SEO community, Ahrefs is widely known as the best and most effective backlink analysis tool. Ahrefs is fairly easy to use, and provides in-depth ranking statistics, and backlinking opportunities, that can help your team build a long-term content and guest posting strategy.
Backlink Intersect: this tool allows you to compare your referring domains to your competitors and see if there are any high-quality prospects to outreach to for backlinks.
Under that button, you can find the search suggestions, which are great for generating long-tail keywords that are typically great to bait Featured Snippets.
Not only is Ahrefs known as the best backlink analysis tool but it is known as the best keyword research tool. As you can see it is very easy to find high-volume keywords already containing the keyword(s) combination that you have entered in the top bar with the Matching terms button on the left.
Under matching terms you can find related terms, and that will show you higher volume keywords that may or may not contain the keyword you input, but is related to the same topic of the keyword you input.
- Easily access website SEO improvement tips for increased visibility and ranking on search engines.
- The ability to get a clear and in-depth backlinks analysis report without any hassle.
- Quickly understand your URL and domain rating and provides suggestions for how to improve it. (Ps Ahrefs DR is widely used as the industry standard metric when guest posting or exchanging links)
- Create a historical backlink data analysis to reference as your site grows.
- Provides the tools to build a long-term, advanced content strategy.
- Easy to contact with questions, concerns, or advice.
- Creating CSV and visual graph reports for presentations is streamlined.
- BONUS: Ahrefs is investing in their own search engine as well!
- If you’re running an agency, it’s worth noting that there is a lack of automated client-facing, visually appealing reports.
- Starting at $99 per month Ahrefs is an expensive tool. However, if you’re only going to buy one SEO tool for your business Ahrefs is certainly worth the investment.
- Not recommended for beginners.
- Does not have a very useful FAQ page or support team, especially considering the high price tag.
- Lite: starts $99/month
- Standard: starts $199/month
- Advanced: starts $399/month
- Enterprise: starts $999/month
- Refund Policy: 48 hours after transaction
How to Save:
- There are no options to reduce the starting price.
The primary user of Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) is generally large agencies and in-house SEOs with multiple websites. AWR provides keyword ranking statistics, localized statistics, a host of SERP tools, and customizable tracking and reporting tools for multiple websites with a convenient UI. Additionally, AWR has a standby support team 24/7 for their premium users if they have any issues or need advice.
- Easily perform keyword research and uncover vital SEO statistics.
- Able to process, organize and track large volumes of keywords.
- Find specific keyword rankings at the local level.
- Can be used for unlimited websites for only the standard monthly fee.
- Easy to understand UI.
- Extremely helpful competitor insights.
- Tons of advanced SERP features.
- It is easy to reach the support team.
- The service can be slow because it processes a lot of keyword data
- Doesn’t have extensive historical keyword data.
- There is no link-building module.
- Premium plans are expensive but lower tier plans are very reasonably priced and have many of the same features.
- Starter: costs $49/month
- Pro: costs $99/month
- Agency: costs $199/month
- Enterprise: costs $499/month
- Refund Policy: 30-days
How to Save:
- Select yearly billing to save 10% on all plans.
Growth Bar is one of the easiest to use SEO tools and least expensive options. Great for SEO beginners, Growth Bar provides all the SEO staples: keyword research, backlink rankings, and advertisement tracking. Growth Bar will also rank each blog post or web page on your website with an SEO score and provide easy-to-understand tutorials to fix any issues that they find.
- It is extremely inexpensive compared to other SEO tools.
- Creates insights for keywords and data quickly.
- It is easy to use and helpful for beginners.
- Helpful for optimizing Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc.
- Provides easy to comprehend SEO score metrics such as word count, keyword scores, and readability for posts and pages.
- Competition keyword research tools.
- Lacks many technical SEO metrics–a very good tool for beginners and small businesses but for advanced SEO campaigns, Growth Bar won’t have all the features necessary.
- Does not have historical data tracking features.
- No keyword difficulty scores.
- Backlink moderation is basic (but easy to use).
- Customer support isn’t easy to access.
- Standard: costs $48/month
- Pro: costs $129/month
- Agency: costs $299/month
- Refund Policy: 7-days
How to Save:
- Select yearly billing for nearly 40% off on all of the plans.
Long Tail Pro is another strong SEO tool option for small businesses and startups. With a low starting price tag, Long Tail Pro can help with a variety of organizational tasks such as SEO audits, indexing data into CSV file format, keyword research, visitor statistics, and examining links both on and offsite.
- Executes an easy-to-understand on-page SEO audit.
- Helpful for keyword research.
- Friendly UI, good for beginners.
- Examins internal and external links.
- Comparing URLs and domains in real-time.
- Easily export data into CSV file format.
- Reliable customer service.
- Flexible pricing.
- Manual keywords are limited to 200.
- Can only enter five seed keywords at a time.
- Can be slow to generate results and data.
- The competitor analysis tool is lackluster.
- $25 – $98 / per month
How to Save:
SEOQuake is a browser extension that can help with keyword research. SEOQuake will help you manually analyze competitors, and provide suggestions to help your content rank higher, and is free for the first 100 pages of audits.
- It’s good for small websites and people with little experience.
- It’s free for the first 100 pages of audits.
- It helps to analyze competitors.
- It provides quality suggestions to help your content rank higher.
- The domain Comparison view is an easy way to compare your site with competitors.
- High-level parameters are quite confusing for the new users.
- It has a clunky, unintuitive design.
- It’s limited in what it can do.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that reports how your online business looks from both a ranking and user-friendliness perspective by crawling and auditing your site, similarly to how Google does but it provides you with more in-depth statistics. Screaming Frog can also help you with content analysis of the header tags.
- It has an exceptional tool for crawling websites to check meta tags and site health markers like redirects, status codes, and HTTPS errors.
- It is relatively inexpensive and has a free version available.
- It can help with scheduling advertisements, social media, and blog posts.
- There are occasional reported issues with the user interface (UI) glitches and issues.
- UI can be confusing for people not familiar with SEO.
- The crawl map functionality isn’t perfect but it’s updated regularly.
- Support can be hard to contact if you’re having issues with the service or have questions about the service.
- The software itself can be quite slow due to computing vast quantities of data.
- License: costs $209/year.
- Refund Policy: 14-days if purchased from their own website.
How to Save:
- Select multiple licenses for up to a 33% discount.
The backbone of SEO, Google Search Console will provide you with an overview of your rankings on Google, your click-through rate, basic back-link analysis, and overall monitor your website. Google Search Console’s UI is extremely easy to navigate and even beginners can get the hang of it pretty quick. Furthermore, there are tons of support articles for FAQs regarding Google Search Console.
- Easy to understand overview of search engine optimization and data analysis.
- A staple SEO tool for audience targeting and organic performance monitoring.
- Can be used for metadata testing and security monitoring.
- Completely free.
- Enables your website to be found on Google.
- Sometimes warnings and suggestions come with an inaccurate explanation
- Doesn’t provide any information on your competitors
- Many advanced SEO functionalities are missing
Another excellent SEO tool for beginners and pros alike, the Google Keyword Planner will help you research keywords, create advertisement campaigns, and develop a long-term, comprehensive SEO campaign. It can be accessed through your Google Ads account, where you can easily put your competitors URL and find the keywords they are ranking for.
- Helps to discover new search keywords.
- Able to see monthly search volumes for specific keywords.
- Necessary for understanding the costs of keywords and advertising.
- Useful when creating new Google Ad campaigns.
- A primary concern with Google Keyword Planner is that the average monthly search volume is not as accurate as it should be due to using approximated averages, or, ‘traffic buckets’. To get a true picture of the real average search volumes, you need to look at the past 12 months’ worth of data and calculate the average yourself. The difference between these two numbers can be significant, putting into question how accurate the tool’s averages are.
- Issues with missed keywords and high volume opportunities that don’t appear when looking for search terms within the tool. These insights can be observed at a later date, either through the ‘search terms report’ when ads are running or insights from Google Search Console.
Google Analytics is another essential SEO tool. Completely free, Google Analytics is basically a more in-depth version of Google Search Console. Google Analytics will provide customizable user reports, extensive keyword data, and a robust backlink analysis tool.
- Comprehensive user reports such as country, device, time on the website, which web pages were visited, etc.
- Customizable insights to find the data that you want in whatever timeframe you select.
- Aggregates data from other tools like Google Ads and Google Search Console.
- Powerful backlink analysis tool.
- Easily export data into CSV or Google Sheets.
- Confusing UI, however, Google does have tons of support articles available.
- Occasionally glitchy or slow due to computing so much data.
Overall which SEO tools you use depends on the size of your business, the number of websites you own, previous experience with SEO, and your overall online goals.
However, hopefully, with this guide, you have a considerably more comprehensive understanding of the various SEO tools available, their price, and their differing functionality.
If you have no experience whatsoever with SEO tools, I would recommend starting with Google Analytics as it’s free, easy to use, and provides a good overview of what SEO tools can do to improve traffic to your website.
BONUS TOOL: Surfer SEO Browser Plugin:
As a bonus, I want to mention a staple SEO tool that’s completely free, SEO Surfer. A low-maintenance chrome extension, SEO Surfer creates an easy way to do quick, manual competitor research.
Under the title of the web page, it provides the number of views, amount of words, and the number of keywords.
Even though this tool tends to be somewhat inaccurate and buggy, it’s extremely easy to use and helpful for quickly generating content.
Creating and committing to a long-term SEO plan is hard work, especially if you’re inexperienced with the best SEO ranking practices. Understanding these tools and the best SEO procedures while creating a campaign and content for your online brand presence takes a lot of time and energy.
With over 12 years of experience growing a wide variety of online businesses, my digital merketing team at Adspace can help you create and implement a comprehensive SEO and marketing strategy, a rapidly growing online brand, and bring you to the top of Google’s search algorithm to continuously drive more traffic to your site.