August 8, 2019
Reading time - 7 minutes
SEOs everywhere have their list of tools they love to use when they work on their projects. These digital apparatus’ help us complete the tasks for our clients in a timely and effective manner.
Without the use of crawlers and data scrapers like Ahrefs & SEMrush; marketers would be left scratching their heads trying to find new places to link too, and forget about analyzing your competitors stats…
You could almost say we take the ability of these tools for granted.
That’s why in this weeks article, we’re going to appreciate and talk about 5 of my favorite tools I like to bring to the table when I start a project.
Google Search Console & Analytics are a staple to any SEOs toolbox. If your website isn’t setup on either of these tools, you better start now or you will fall seriously behind your competition!
Search Console is in control of monitoring your website’s performance on search engines, and has some of the same features as analytics, but with some key differences.
Firstly, Search Console deals with how search engines interact and work with your site, while Analytics focuses on how users interact and engage with your site.
You can find your full website’s statistics using Analytics, such as average session time, bounce rate, audience, & demographic. You can also Goals to track if users are reaching their desired destinations or not, and track ecommerce cart conversions.
Meanwhile, Search Console can help you increase your search visibility in search engines, monitor clickthrough rates on certain queries/keywords, and let’s you submit sitemaps and robot.txt files directly to Google.
Each one is just as important as the other, although I would say Analytics is the more popular one of the siblings.
You can also use these free Google SEO products to enhance your website in many ways.
Google Keyword Planner – For finding keyword recommendations and ideas
Google PageSpeed Insights – Checks how fast your website loads on both desktop and mobile, and gives it an appropriate score based on it’s own guidelines.
Ahrefs is one of the best tools out there on the market right now in terms of features and value for your buck.
It starts at the humble price of $99/month for the lite version and rises up to the $999/month agency version. Typically, the lite or standard plans have enough features to accommodate the average person.
They offer a wide range of features and services through their world-class app that almost every SEO has used at least once in their lifetime.
Some of their best features include their Keyword Explorer, Rank Tracker, and Site Audit functions.
Keyword Explorer allows you to search for keywords in an effective fashion. You can group related keywords together and assign them to a specific client to track rankings with. You can see a variety of metrics like Keyword Difficulty, Estimated Search Volumes, Domain Rating, and Cost-Per-Click.
And It doesn’t stop there.
You can utilize the filters option to help increase the strength of your search. Filter by Word Count or SERP features. You can even filter using your own terms to really get down into the data.
Rank Tracker allows you to see how well your website is ranking for in Google. Ahrefs will crawl the internet and log your rankings based on the geographic region you submitted at the beginning of your setup process.
In the above example, you can see the rankings for one of our clients here in Calgary. We can see our visibility percentage at the top, along with our average position, traffic, SERP features, and position movements.
Below the top bar, you can see how much estimated traffic is coming to your site versus the estimated monthly volume of the keyword. Rank Tracker also shows you which SERP features are included in the search results, as well as the keyword difficulty for the term.
The program will update itself overtime and you can fetch more results anytime using tokens gained through your subscription plan.
Ahrefs Site Audit feature is one of the best out there. I utilize this tool at the start of every relationship with a new client. Using this tool, I can confidently gauge the on-page, technical, and off-page SEO errors that need to be fixed. Pairing this tool up with Screaming Frog can help tremendously when performing a thorough and massive crawl on a website, where one tool may come up with different results than the other. It is keen to never put all of your faith into one tool. Eventually, it will spit back the wrong data and leave you with bad information.
This tools helps me complete weekly or bi-weekly audits for my clients so I can always keep up-to-date with their website. An absolutely fantastic tool that you have to try.
Screaming Frog is an SEO tool used for auditing, and going over a website’s information.
It’s a desktop application that has both a free and paid version. The paid version goes for around $189.50 or £149 per year, and they also offer discounts when you buy codes in bulk.
Screaming Frogs free version has all the same features as the paid, but limits your crawl to only 500 URLs. This can be a problem for larger sites, so make sure you pick up the paid version if you are trying to crawl a site with more URLs than this.
Screaming Frog allows you to audit sites quickly and efficiently. The data presented is easy to digest as it’s displayed in such a neat and tidy fashion, and looks great when inserted into reports for clients.
You can find most important errors and warnings in a flash with Screaming Frog. We highly recommend giving it a try today.
SEMrush is a great alternative to tools like Ahrefs, and Moz. Their software can handle keyword research, rank tracking, and handle site audit tasks.
Just like its competitors, SEMrush is dedicated to helping you eliminate remedial day-to-day tasks, while providing in-depth analysis into your stats.
Their software banks off the information gained from your competitors. If you work in a highly competitive niche, and what to dissect what everyone else is doing – this is the tool for you.
It can be easily integrated into your marketing strategy, and is an important tool to the success of your website.
Their pricing is similar to Ahrefs, starting at $99/month and ranging up to $399/month, with enterprise options. Gotta stay competitive!
What do you think of SEMrush? Tell us in the comments below what you think.
RankMath is a relatively new SEO plugin available for WordPress websites. It’s completely free, and is simply the best plugin on the WP marketplace at the moment.
But what makes RankMath so good? Let’s dive into it.
RankMath is absolutely loaded with features. The entire RankMath business model is based off of referrals and word of mouth that will hopefully lead back to their Theme shop – where most of their income is generated.
This means that the product can have as many features as it likes without having the need to charge anyone for it. By doing this, they put an increased amount of pressure on other plugins, such as Yoast, to really step their game up.
Many inexperienced users on WordPress have troubles setting up Yoast on their sites. You can eliminate these problems with RankMath.
It’s extremely simple to install and setup on any WordPress site. In a few clicks, you could be optimizing your pages in ways that will blow your mind.
So go give RankMath a try today. Open yourself up to opportunity with this amazing new tool.
Linkio is a tool that helps marketers and SEOs in their backlink campaigns by suggesting the best anchor text usage and percentage in order to make sure that you will gain advantage from your competitors. If you make sure to use the right suggestions and follow the percentages this tool will definitely help you with your off-page activities.
Over the years, I have used many different SEO tools to help me achieve the results I wanted for my clients. From Google’s wide array of tools to use, to the inexpensive and the utterly expensive, I have tested quite a few tools in my time as an SEO.
These are my top 5 tools that I would bring into any project that got dropped on my desk. Without these tools, you make your job significantly harder and put yourself at risk of not fulfilling your requirements. And that’s NO GOOD!
Make sure your digital toolbox is filled to the brim with the best tools at your disposal. Budget can be a problem, so decide on which tool is your favorite and stick with that one for the time being while you build up your clientele. You can always A/B test each month by cancelling your subscription and buying a new one with another tool to see how that one performs.
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