When you look online for the best SEO tools, there are list articles of dozens and dozens of software tools. Many of these SEO tools only have a single function, or they seem the lesser cousins of better brands.
What we wanted to do was show you some of the SEO tools we use and how they can help with running and maintaining SEO campaigns.
This is not a definitive list. It’s an SEO stack that is functional and effective. We could have joined the noisy crowd and listed the ‘50 best SEO tools for your business.’ But what self-respecting business owner wants to navigate 50 online tools when you need less than 10?
For some businesses, they probably only need three or four of the tools. As long as they are the right three or four. As some in our stack can take care of all of your on-page SEO needs, and others provide comprehensive off-page services.
In this article, we’re going to show you an SEO stack that has everything you need to get started and maintain optimal SEO campaigns.
A quick look at the SEO tools we’re going to be looking at:
Our stack of SEO essentials
We have picked functionality and effectiveness over all other criteria, including price. As this is not a comprehensive list, if there’s a comparable alternative worth mentioning, we will mention it.
Ally Digital Media is not affiliated with any of these SEO tools, we just find them to be some of the most useful and practical options available.
SEMrush is one of the most reliable SEO platforms around. It can do everything from keyword and topic research to checking toxic backlinks, link outreach and on-page SEO optimization. It also has a content calendar feature to help you stay organized as well as a social media scheduling tool.
The features that are most useful on SEMrush are:
This allows you to search for your short and long-tail keywords as well as decerning which keywords are worth creating content around.
If want to know what people are searching around your industry or products, topic research provides you with in-depth information and ideas for page and article topics.
The SEO Content Template helps you create content people want to read. It’s an easy tool to follow and its Google Docs extension makes writing and editing SEO content incredibly easy.
An alternative to SEMrush for keyword research and link building would be Ahrefs. In some ways, Ahrefs is better for link building than SEMrush, but it doesn’t have the selection of tools SEMrush has.
Screaming Frog is a reliable, easy-to-navigate tool to crawl websites. This is an important tool as it:
Screaming Frog is also good if you don’t want to spend huge amounts on this type of software. Other options include SiteBulb and DeepCrawl. Both of these tools are fantastic, it really comes down to a question of budget and preference between these three tools.
Link outreach is such an important SEO strategy, and that’s why Hunter.io is so useful. It’s a Chrome extension to find email addresses on a website. If you’re looking to guest post, or otherwise work with another company, Hunter.io can help you start that process.
The cost ranges from Free (for 50 requests a month) right up to $399 (for 50,000 requests a month). So, even if you’re a start-up or freelancer this Chrome extension is a great little tool.
For start-ups, freelancers and small to medium businesses, the free versions of Google’s products are amazing.
We know some people have trust issues with Google, however, if you want successful SEO campaigns, there’s no going past these tools:
There is so much you can do with Google Analytics. The most useful tools are tracking conversions and assessing where your site’s traffic is coming from.
Knowing which pages are making most of your money, allows you to:
Knowing where your traffic is coming from (organic, social, ads, emails) also helps with assessing which areas you should invest more time in.
Google Search Console adds an extra level of data on top of Google Analytics. Google Search Console gives you data on click-through-rate (CTR), impressions and clicks as well as the average position of pages on Google.
You able to see what queries (keywords) people are searching to find certain pages and how many people click from those queries onto your page (CTR).
Google Search Console also helps with reviewing blocked URLS, indexing issues and xml sitemap health. If you have a website, and you’re serious about SEO there are no substitutes for this tool.
There are 5 reasons you want to use Google Tag Manager
Using Google Tag Manager allows you to move quickly and effectively with certain technical changes.
There are other alternatives if you’re looking to avoid Google Tag Manager such as Adobe’s Dynamic Tag Management and Tealium.
Steal our SEO stack and get started
Hopefully this brief list of useful, practical SEO tools helps you start, maintain and grow your SEO campaigns. These six tools or the suggested alternatives are a great place to get started. We should remind you that these are just the 6 we find to be useful. It’s not about brand or price it’s about streamlined functionality and effectiveness.