SEO Tools For Professional Search Marketers
Below you'll find a number of my favorite, tried and tested SEO tools. I'm also including tools to build your website with, because if you're learning SEO, you need to learn how to build a site, and make sure it's optimized. I'll also include some tools that you may only use if you run a large SEO organization or on the agency side.
This will be updated as I find new tools and feel they're worthy of including here to share with you. Stop back often - I'll make sure to have something new for you.
SEO Auditing Tools
Anytime you need to crawl a site for a technical site audit, or prepare for a full site migration, using Screaming Frog will provide you with a complete auditing method. I used this tool for many of the clients I had while working at Accenture, and it never failed.
They offer a free version, which will only crawl up to 500 URLs, so if you manage a site that's small enough you can still provide a good audit. Even if you pay for the tool, its one of the most affordable tools you'll buy. This would be like the hammer in the carpenter's toolbox, or the stethoscope in the doctor bag.
If you're interested in another alternative to Screaming Frog. DeepCrawl is a great choice! DeepCrawl has the efficiency and scalability of crawling up to 15 Million URLs in record time.
I've used DeepCrawl on many occasions throughout my consulting career and continue to recommend using it.
If you happen to have a license with Conductor Searchlight, ask them to turn the DeepCrawl functionality on - it's included in that platform. Slightly, pricier than its competition, it's still very affordable.
Build Your Website Tools
Thrive Themes & Thrive Architect
Thrive Themes, which has grown incredibly over the last few years, is one of my FAVORITE and trusted WordPress themes, and content management systems (Thrive Architect). I've been using Thrive Themes for three years now, and the amount of attention to detail, instruction, and focus on conversion rate optimization they place on their product far surpasses any you'll find out there.
You'll build a conversion focused website. This is not only powerful from an SEO standpoint, but forces you to think about your audience and how they interact with your site, by including everything from quizzes, to A/B testing built into any page you build, over 100 templates for products, or services, and really great support.
I've had it with lame hosting companies. I would never recommend Bluehost, but I would recommend using WPX Hosting. For the money, you seriously can't go wrong. There are so many reasons I recommend using WPX over just about any other. The support, the site speed and uptime are just a few, but one the cost is also very appealing.
The cost is very low - you pay for one site to be hosted, and can host four more without an increase in cost. The support is stellar, uptime and speeds are above par. Highly recommend. They are based in Europe and no matter the time I submit a ticket, it gets handled within minutes.
Keyword Research Tools
A Few Google Tools
First you should start with your Google Search Console to source some keywords or phrases your visitors are already searching on. You can pull non-brand and branded keywords, and learn the trends.
Next, look at Google Trends and check out your competition while you're looking in there.
If you have paid search currently, always check to see what keywords are driving traffic, and which may have higher cost per click (CPC) and impression share. Match that against what you currently rank for. Notice, I am not recommending the Google Keyword tool - this used to be a great resource, I find it no longer helpful to our SEO efforts. This doesn't help you with your organic search keywords based on the ways Google has updated that platform.
Don't forget, Google Autosuggest & Youtube!
This is one of those tools that does so much more than just keyword research. I would also add that this is a great site auditing tool, content gap analysis tool, it's the Swiss army knife of SEO tools.
Does a brilliant job of getting to the right level of keyword difficulty, competitive view and also includes other semantic or related keywords to think about. The keywords explorer is where the gold is. They also provide a wealth of education to help you learn the right way to approach your keyword research and give you an understanding as how to approach it strategically.
SEO Cheat Sheets, Guides & Other Cool Stuff
Over the years, I've created dozens of guides, resources and educational references for all kinds of teams that work with SEO.
I developed a technical SEO best practices guide for the developers over at Procter & Gamble - it was a method to help keep them current, anytime they needed to build out a new site or page.
- The Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet (MOZ) - Great for any SEO, developer or SEO team lead
- The Official Digital Search Agency Interview Guide - I developed this guide to assist other SEOs when they need to go through the RFP process and properly vet their next search agency.