Best Must-have SEO Tools 2017

Best Must-have SEO Tools 2017

There are no strict rules when it comes to ranking in the result pages of search engines. More or less almost all businesses desire that their websites should be on top of the results pages of the search engines and for this purpose they carry out all sorts of wrong things.

On the other hand, sooner or later, they only find that they have been penalized for their wrong doings and were even blacklisted to say the least. As a result, it is very essential for all small and average businesses to know the working of SEO. By knowing the working of SEO, they can keep away from doing wrong things and being accused or penalized for any incorrect SEO activity that they might have carried out.

Actually speaking, all small and medium businesses should be aware about search engine optimization so that they can come to good decisions on a later date. Of course, in today’s environment, getting good position in the result pages of search engines is very much necessary and important to almost all types of businesses. It is because users regularly see websites that are in the first three result pages of search engines.

Google AdWords (Keyword Planner)
Google Apps (Search, Sheets, Gmail, Docs)
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics
A rank tracker (we use http://serpmetrics.com/at SeatGeek and like it, we’ve used https://serps.com/ and the now defunct Raven tracker and those were both good too)
SEMrush (post-‘not-provided’ kw referrals info, kw research, and competitive research….see also SimilarWeb which I’ve found most accurate for high-level traffic numbers, but have not tried for kw specific data as it’s pricier and SEMrush works really well for that)
Not really a tool, but a means of making site changes to things like urls, structure, meta information page content, internal links, etc. whether it means setting a site up with a CMS like WordPress or getting spoiled by working alongside really smart software engineers like I do 🙂
Moz (I particularly use Open Site Explorer and the Keyword Difficulty Tool the most, the latter for the raw data to analyze SERP textures, not for the score itself, but they have a lot of new tools)

A means of getting links, so if for your business requires explicit linkbuilding and/or PR, see the other answers on linkdbuilding tools as I don’t have much experience with this

Karan Sharma has it right IMO that suggesting (or using) too many tools can be problematic, so I’ll give short literal must-have list and then a more practical must-have list. I generally think a lot of SEOs are weak at knowing when not to do (pure) SEO and that mentality tends to bleed into these continuous tools discussion. This is exacerbated by the fact that the SEO blogosphere is dominated by people that do SEO consulting or comparable so a) work with a variety of sites so they use more tools than most and b) have personal branding reasons to blog about tool use. So if you only use like 5 tools, you run out of the oft-written “x SEO Tools y’ posts pretty quickly.

Literal list

In this minimal set, keyword research would be done with Keyword Planner and Search (auto-complete) and analyzed in Sheets, implementation requirements/project specs completed in Sheets and Docs, linkbuilding with Search web research, regular email outreach, and the natural link acquisition that comes with running legit business, rank tracking manually in Search with representative set of keywords from each keyword pattern, traffic tracking via Webmaster Tools and lastly html/site performance tracking with Webmaster Tools.

Of course, this wouldn’t be sufficient for a bigger company—if you showed up to run Amazon SEO with these tools, you’d be in store for a bad time;mdash;and some sites just aren’t as equiped to get links naturally so will need more custom tools to get the job done, but the point is that a lot of SEO can be done with a handful of free tools and commonsense.

I’ve listed some more issues with this short list below.

Problems: 

  • Manual rank tracking becomes too time consumer beyond ~100 kws and even sites with say only 20 pages could easily pass that number
  • Sometimes planning/implementation specs require visuals or wireframes that neither of these tools specialize in
  • Linkbuilding requirements vary wildly by industry, org. structure, and company strategy, e.g. if you work in a company that does lots of PR then they can become de factor linkbuilders, whereas if you work in an industry that doesn’t get web coverage and won’t get links simply by growing as a company–think how Tech companies sort of just get links from high quality sites like TechCrunch simply by continuing to exist via finance rounds etc.—and at a company with no PR team, you’re more likely to need specialized linkbuilding tools if SEO is a priority channel [DISCLAIMER I’m not particularly good at linkbuilding and I don’t have much experience doing it or using the tools for it]

And now my full list as included upfront. This adds tools that solve for the problem above and add additional capabilities. 

Must-have

  • Google AdWords (Keyword Planner)
  • Google Apps (Search, Sheets, Gmail, Docs)
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Google Analytics (or comparable analytics tools)
  • A rank tracker (we use http://serpmetrics.com/at SeatGeek and like it, we’ve used https://serps.com/ and the now defunct Raven tracker)
  • SEMrush (post-‘not-provided’ kw referrals info, kw research, and competitive research….see also SimilarWeb which I’ve found most accurate for high-level traffic numbers, but have not tried for kw specific data as it’s pricier and SEMrush works really well for that)
  • A means of making on site changes to url structure (ideally, but usually more difficult), meta information page content, internal links, whether it means setting site up with a CMS like WordPress or getting spoiled by working alongside really smart software engineers like I do 🙂

Also, it’s generally important to remember that even though there are a bunch of different SEO tactics and tools, you don’t have to employ all of them, or even  close, to be successful at SEO. Start with what works with your and your site’s strengths and build from there.

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