This is my list of 5 SEO tools you need to use before you die! All of the following are paid tools, and in my opinion, offer good value for money for the freelance, in-house or agency SEO.
What makes a good SEO tool?
Unfortunately the nature of SEO means it is virtually impossible to have one tool that does absolutely everything you need.
My criteria for a good tool is (generally) something that does one job very well, with minimum fuss and is fast and fairly simple to use.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This is the main tool I use to assess a website’s strengths and weaknesses. This tool allows you to see which domains are pointing to any particular website as well as many, many other features.
Is Majestic the king of all SEO tools? …Maybe! Majestic is the first tool I will use to get an initial impression of any website. Using Majestic you can find out almost everything you need to know about the state of the website, and its performance over time.
What is Majestic best at doing?
- Assessing a website’s authority (Through Trust Flow, Citation Flow)
- Backlink analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Checking anchor text ratios
I use Searchmetrics to look at overall search visibility of a website and its competitors. Searchmetrics’s main interface allows you to compare search visibility in graph format against your competitors. This is very useful for giving clients in particular a rough idea of your search performance across your website. Search
Searchmetrics is a great tool that I use on a regular basis to compare visibility of different websites over time.
What is Searchmetrics best at doing?
- Checking the overall visibility of your website, or against competitors’ sites.
- Checking rankings for certain keywords over time
3. Screaming Frog
When asked about Screaming Frog, i often describe it as “The swiss army knife of SEO.” The functionality of this tool improves with the passing of every year, and is an absolutely essential part of any SEO’s arsenal. The price point is ridiculously good value in my opinion. If there was a Desert Island Discs for SEO tools, then this would definitely be a strong contender!
Screaming Frog excels at providing key information for technical audits and content audits. You simply crawl the site using Screaming Frog and you will be quickly able to identify core issues with the website in question.
What is Screaming Frog best at doing?
- Errors – Client & server errors (No responses, 4XX, 5XX)
- Redirects – (3XX, permanent or temporary)
- External Links – All followed links and their subsequent status codes
- URI Issues – Non ASCII characters, underscores, uppercase characters, dynamic uris, long over 115 characters
- Duplicate Pages – Hash value / MD5checksums lookup for pages with duplicate content
- Page Title – Missing, duplicate, over 65 characters, short, pixel width truncation, same as h1, or multiple
- Meta Description – Missing, duplicate, over 156 characters, short, pixel width truncation or multiple
- Meta Keywords – Mainly for reference as it’s only (barely) used by Yahoo.
- H1 – Missing, duplicate, over 70 characters, multiple
- H2 – Missing, duplicate, over 70 characters, multiple
- Meta Robots – Index, noindex, follow, nofollow, noarchive, nosnippet, noodp, noydir etc
- Meta Refresh – Including target page and time delay
- Canonical link element & canonical HTTP headers
- rel=“next” and rel=“prev”
- File Size
- Page Depth Level
- Inlinks – All pages linking to a URI
- Outlinks – All pages a URI links out to
- Anchor Text – All link text. Alt text from images with links
- Follow & Nofollow – At link level (true/false)
- Images – All URIs with the image link & all images from a given page. Images over 100kb, missing alt text, alt text over 100 characters
- User-Agent Switcher – Crawl as Googlebot, Bingbot, Yahoo! Slurp, mobile user-agents or your own custom UA.
- Redirect Chains – Discover redirect chains and loops.
- Custom Source Code Search – The spider allows you to find anything you want in the source code of a website! Whether that’s analytics code, specific text, or code etc. (Please note – This is not a data extraction or scraping feature yet.)
- XML Sitemap Generator – You can create a basic XML sitemap using the SEO spider.
4. URL Profiler
URL Profiler is the new kid on the block. But it is an amazing tool that is packed to the rafters with lots of cool features. The great thing about URL Profiler is that it can pull data from the following sources:
I am still exploring all of the features of URL Profiler at the moment, but my main use for it at the moment is for detecting unnatural links in bulk. I have found it to be one of the most successful tools to complete this job fast and efficiently.
5. SERP Book
SERPBook is a no frills rank tracker that is fast and provides pretty much all the information you need for a reasonable price. Before using SERP Book I was using Linkdex a lot. I found that although Linkdex is an extremely good product, it could sometimes be slow and cumbersome to use. SERP book is not as beautiful as Linkdex, but it does the job and for a more competitive price point. If you just want to monitor a few of your own websites, then this rank tracker will certainly do the job.