You’ve all heard about it: SEO. Three letters that mean the world for online marketers. It can be daunting at first, not knowing where exactly to start. Even for pros, SEO is an ever-evolving and difficult art to master. You need be in the loop.
Regardless of your experience, there are great tools available to elevate your marketing strategy — and make your life easier. Here are 6 of the best we particularly love here at CrakRevenue that have proven their worth time and again.
Tool #1: Majestic SEO
If you’re looking for a tool that specializes in backlinks, then look no further. True, Majestic SEO is not chock-full of features compared to other tools on the market. Instead of being a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, Majestic SEO has one clear goal: to provide you with the largest backlink index. And it does so wonderfully.
More specifically, Majestic SEO will allow you to determine what works — and what you should be working on. Its graphs can be used to analyze the quality of backlinks from any given website. Here are some examples of the powerful features included in this tool:
- Incoming languages (better geo targeting for your content)
- Trust Flow with Link Quality (Trust is the foundation of a business relationship)
- Citation Flow or just how strong are your backlinks? Very useful for link exchanges or partnerships
- In-depth domain analysis with filters and quick Site Explorer for any backlink (Pro plan only)
You can also download a free browser Backlink Analyzer plugin for Firefox and Chrome from Majestic SEO. You don’t have to be a premium member to get the basic metrics, which is a big plus.
Here are other examples of how the Majestic SEO database can work for you:
- Find new business opportunities
- Find the influencers to build your audience
- Compare domains to build a better SEO strategy
Keep in mind that you will need to combine Majestic SEO with other tools to get all the features you need. Speaking of which...
Preview of the powerful features and backlink analysis provided by Majestic SEO.
Tool #2: SEM Rush
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is an equally crucial concept to grasp when it comes to the overarching SEO theme. In our testing, SEM Rush proved itself an invaluable tool. It lets you do keyword research and — more importantly — analyze what your competitors are doing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so don’t be shy to replicate what you see elsewhere. With your own twists, of course.
SEM Rush sets itself apart thanks to its in-depth keyword research. Interestingly enough, you can track said keywords’ rankings based on geographical location. This is huge, as it gives you data for very targeted campaigns. Want to know how your website ranks in another country? No problem. There are a lot of possibilities, and you will soon understand why this tool is the talk of the town amongst online marketers.
Here are some of the reasons why SEM Rush can be useful to you:
- Effective keyword research
- Find new keyword opportunities in your desired markets
- Complete site audit
SEM Rush offers a detailed overview of any given domain name, from the top organic keywords to the number of backlinks.
Tool #3: AHREFs
Having a great link-building strategy is a cornerstone of SEO. A good link will drive traffic to your website. To help you on this journey, we’ll share what we consider a very powerful tool: AHREFs. Like SEM Rush, it allows you to analyze your competitors. You’ll be able to look at their backlinks, thus giving you an idea of where to aim your energy at.
AHREFs also offers an SEO Toolbar to fetch metrics and backlink counts on any given webpage without hassle. This way, you get data instantly and save a lot of time. The Toolbar also integrates into Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), which helps estimate how much effort will be required to rank for specific keywords.
It’s no wonder more and more online marketers trust AHREFs: it’s all-in-one solution that effectively gives you about everything you could think of SEO-wise!
Above: a quick preview of the many features available with AHREFs using the Keywords Explorer Tool. You can also review backlinks using the Site Explorer feature.
Tool #4: SEOquake
What if you could see data about your competitors instantly? Such is the premise behind free browser plugin SEOquake. It pulls valuable information in a neat and organized fashion for immediate analysis. Stop losing valuable time going through dashboards in order to get what you are looking for.
We particularly love how fast this plugin is. SEOquake is highly customizable according to your needs. Here are a few things it does:
- Full details on internal and external links
- Dashboard function (if you don’t want the extra bars in your browser)
- Reliable data sources (SEMrush, Google, etc.)
- Keyword analysis
- Possibility to extract all data as .CSV files or to just print them right away (neat!)
For the price of admission, SEOquake is an essential tool that you should be using right now.
Please be advised that the plugin will redirect you to other tools such as SEM Rush for in-depth analysis, which is a paid service.
Above: how free browser plugin SEOquake shows you relevant data directly in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Tool #5: GT Metrix
Hot on the heels of our first truly free tool comes GT Metrix, another option to boost your SEO at no additional price. Since Google announced that page speed will indeed be used as a ranking factor, you should pay attention to how fast your site loads. Although the first step will only care about mobile load times, it can’t hurt to make sure that your pages are blazing fast.
GT Metrix provides you with crucial information about your website’s overall performance. Here are some of the key aspects analyzed by this tool:
- Fully Loaded Time
- Total Page Size
- Number of Requests
There are also many recommendations shown under the scores. It’s very helpful for webmasters as they can focus their attention on specific problems. Be careful though as not every recommendation applies to your situation: they are generic and simply the best practices in SEO, so don’t worry about trying to fix everything. Consider them a good starting point.
Tool #6: YOAST Seo
Chances are if you use WordPress, you already know about YOAST Seo. It’s without a doubt the most popular SEO plugin available for the platform. More than 5 million websites use it to great effect.
Unlike other plugins, you can actually use the free version and never think about the premium features.
YOAST Seo makes it easy to write optimized content for search engines. Furthermore, it gives you a detailed analysis of your articles so you actually know where and how to do some tweaking.
Here are some reasons why you’ll love YOAST:
- Keyword Optimization (focus)
- Keyword Density Check
- Readability Check
- Snippet Editor (important for SERPs)
- Quick Tips
- Traffic Lights System (Green = great, Yellow = needs improvement, Red = critical)
So many great tools!
There are plenty of SEO tools available on the market, but few offer such exceptional value as the aforementioned ones. Whether you’re a new player or a pro, you will find something useful about them. Don’t hesitate to mix and match your SEO strategies: testing is a key factor when you plunge head first into online marketing.
Also, don’t forget that content is king. Even with the best SEO tools on the planet, you won’t get any results if your content is not valuable. Inversely, maybe you have super interesting content to share, but without a great SEO strategy, people won’t notice. The two concepts form an indivisible bond in online marketing.
Be sure to take a look at our Hit the SEO road series for even more tips and tricks: