Are you overwhelmed by all the SEO tools available?
Or maybe you just have no idea where to start?
Rather than bombard you with 150+ SEO tools that will still get you nowhere, I am going to show you ONLY 5 must have SEO tools you need to achieve success in SEO.
It does not have to be complex or confusing.
In fact, my aim is always to boil things to down to their simplest form possible.
Just use what gets results and forget all the hype!
Does that sounds like something for you?
Then jump right in and find out what SEO tools you should be using to get some of that ever-giving Google traffic!
The Must Have Tool For Website Owners
Google actually wants to help you.
Their ultimate goal is to get the best websites and content to searchers. That means they want to help you to be one of those results!
To achieve their goal they actually give you a whole range of information and keyword data about your own website.
You just have to find it!
Let me show you where it is:
It can all be found inside Google Search Console. (which used to be known as Webmaster Tools). If you don't use it already, this tool is going to rock your world!
Use a standard gmail login to sign up, and connect your website.
Once that is done, Google will tell you such things as:
- what keywords you are ranking for
- what pages are getting traffic from those keywords
- the sort of search volume they are seeing for those keywords
They also give you a whole range of information about your website and any problems they see
- problems with indexing your site (ie. they can't crawl it for some reason)
- missing pages (404 errors)
- mobile usability problems
- other content structure issues (duplicates, etc)
There is actually a whole lot more I won't bore you with here, but you can see more in the Search Console menu image I have taken a screenshot of.
The range of data is astonishing!.
Go sign up right now!
Research Before You Waste Your Time
Keyword research let's you know if you are writing about something people are searching for.
It is the key to getting found on Google and other search engines.
The first place I recommend anyone start is Google Keyword Planner.
It has a truckload of data about what people are searching for and can help you find the words you should be using in your content. The words that your future visitors and customers are actually using (not the words you thought they were using).
If you have not gotten a Keyword Planner account yet, head over to Google Adwords and sign up.
Below is a quick search I did for "seo". Just to give you an idea.
Then you can start exploring keyword options for your next blog post, or even your existing content.
Always start with keyword research and you can't go wrong!
There are some more tool ideas below.
Spy On Your Competition
What if I could gave you a list of keywords that you could never find on Keyword Planner?
Keywords your competitors are using and ranking for!
Knowing what keywords your competition are ranking for in search is insanely powerful.
After finding the perfect keywords for your site, this is one of my favorite strategies for ranking a website on Google.
There are a few tools I use regularly for this, both of which have free trials or limited free versions.
Unfortunately, if you want to really dive into this kind of research, it normally costs you. But, if you are serious about your SEO results it is worth it.
1. SEMRush is the goto tool for competitor research. They provide a huge amount of useful information about you, your competitors and keywords (as well as adwords if you use it).
There is so much information in this tool that it is astounding. And they keep adding extra tools too - like an SEO audit for your website, and a recent addition: the content tracker.
But what is most interesting about this tool is learning what keywords your competition rank for, and who similar competitors are in different areas.
Below is a snippet from the keywords of NeilPatel.com to show you what I mean:
2. Ahrefs is my new-found SEO best-friend and the tool I use the most.
Although they did not start out as a competition tool for SEO, their recent expansion into all areas SEO has lead me to change my mind.
They also have a huge breadth of tools, like SEMRush, but also offer one of the best link indexes for SEO.
For the keyword competition side of things, again this is what NeilPatel.com shows (a snippet):
As you can see, both these tools give you a huge amount of information on the exact keywords your competition are ranking for. From there, you can see not only what they are doing, but also what you may have missed!
Create Sexy Looking Content
Trying to get on page one of Google is what we are all working towards.
And one of the keys to doing that is amazing SEO optimized content.
You can certainly write 3000 words, and make a more comprehensive post than your competitors. That really does help.
But what helps even more is being able to create something easy to scan and stunning looking in minutes (without a designer).
Have you ever wondered how some bloggers (like me) have such nice tip boxes, quotes, menus at the top, split columns, nice layouts and more.
The secret is in using a page-builder like Thrive Content Builder.
Thrive allows you to create amazing looking blog posts (and landing pages and the rest of your website too) in just minutes.
This is the key to how I create my best content.
You might be thinking this kind of thing is irrelevant. But Google is measuring a lot of user-related behaviour on your site. How long people stay for example. And having easy to read, great looking sites is one of the keys!
Want to see the kinds of things you can do with such a builder, check out these two recent epic posts I created (I even put them in a sexy tips box below to show off!) :
Links Are The Key To Ranking
The last part of any great SEO is getting links to your website and content.
You probably knew that already.
However, you also need to keep an eye on what links are coming in and how they are affecting your site (or even your competitors - to steal their links!).
There are a truckload of tools out there you can try, but I generally stick with the most well know.
From my experience these are the ones I would try:
Tools Really Do Help
When it comes to achieving great results you often need a helping hand.
And in SEO that means using some of the simplest and best tools available to give you that boost.
You don't have to use them all, but I recommend you start with Google Search Console and Keyword Planner at the very least.
And if you want even better results, try some of the others.
Let me know what tools you are using in the comments below!