SEO tools are the online marketer’s best friend.
Without at least a few in-depth, data-mining, keyword tracking, research-handling superstars in your SEO kit, you may find it hard to compete in the content crowd.
That’s because research, planning, and strategy are located at the bottom of the content success ladder.
You can’t reach new heights without first climbing and conquering these basics.
With that out of the way, here are 10 awesome, dependable, so-worth-it, paid SEO tools I personally recommend.
The only way to ensure your website is SEO-ready across all its pages is to audit regularly. And, to be blunt, you can’t do that without a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider – especially if your site is sprawling in size.
Quite simply, Screaming Frog is a web crawler that scans your web pages for common errors like broken links, duplicate content, redirect chains and loops, and even meta descriptions and titles that are too short, too long, or missing altogether.
Cost: Download a free version with limited features, or spring for the licensed, full-featured version for about $181/year, per license.
Ahrefs is a fan favorite across content marketers, content writers, and SEO-ers alike – with good reason.
The company boasts some of the most comprehensive data collecting and storage out there so their tools are as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Plus, they’re easy to use and make analyzing all that SEO data simple.
When you buy a subscription, you get access to their entire range of SEO helpers, including:
- Site Explorer: See the backlink profile and organic search traffic data for any website.
- Keywords Explorer: Research keywords and data like search volume, keyword difficulty, and clicks.
- Rank Tracker: Track your Google rankings and compare them to your competitors’.
- Site Audit: Get a full visual of your site’s SEO health.
Cost: The Lite plan with Ahrefs (including access for one user) costs $99/month. They also offer a free trial for 7 days that costs $7.
If you want reams of SEO data at your fingertips or an all-in-one tool, SEMrush is the solution to buy.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and backlinks.
- Zero in on your competitors’ data and analyze how to do better.
- Save your searches in lists, and have reports and updates sent to your email.
- Do SEO site audits.
- Get a LOT of insights and data at your fingertips.
Cost: A Pro plan with SEMrush costs $99.95/month. You can use it for free with an email sign-up, but results will be limited.
Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools that deserves its inclusion on this list.
It’s another all-in-one solution that could potentially save some pennies in smaller brand budgets (keywords, links, site audits, rank tracking, and on-page optimization are all covered).
Plus, the combination of user-friendly tools and a large support community means this is a good starting suite for beginners to SEO.
Cost: The Standard plan with Moz Pro is $99/month, or $79/month if you pay annually.
KWFinder does exactly what it says, and does it well, to boot.
This is a tool I recommend over and over because of its ease-of-use, simple design, and great UX – not to mention the accurate keyword data.
If you just need to do keyword research, choose this SEO tool.
Cost: The Mangools Basic plan costs $29.90/month. This has limits, but unless you’re doing a researching frenzy, it should be good enough for a beginner or intermediate user.
Searchmetrics isn’t just an SEO tool, but also a valuable helper for your content strategy.
This suite does it all: ROI reporting, competitive analysis, site audits, mobile and desktop site optimization, content optimization, web visibility analysis, and more.
Cost: Searchmetrics offers three pricing plans: Suite Business, Suite Enterprise, and Suite Ultimate. All prices are only available on request.
Are you all about those backlinks? Majestic should be your tool.
It boasts the largest link index database on the planet.
See where your links are coming from, the anchor text other sites use to link to you, and how much weight each backlink has overall.
You can even compare the link profiles of up to five sites at a time.
Cost: Majestic plans start at $49.99/month for the Lite plan.
Yet another wholesale SEO solution for your consideration: cognitiveSEO.
This suite of tools includes all the basics you need to research, plan, and tweak your SEO strategy.
Research keywords, crawl and audit your site, compare and analyze backlinks, and take advantage of local, desktop, and mobile rank tracking.
Cost: The Starter plan for cognitiveSEO costs $129.99/month. Or, sign up for yearly billing and save 30%.
For comprehensive position tracking and rank monitoring, Advanced Web Ranking is a solid choice.
It offers local results tracking as well as tracking across search engines, including Amazon and YouTube.
Along with all that, there are plenty of ways to dig into your data and glean new insights, including customizable filtering.
Cost: AWR’s Starter plan is available for $49/month. Pay yearly and you get a 10% discount.
Yoast is a standard tool in most marketers’ line-ups because it’s so easy to use.
It helps you optimize all your content posts and pages in WordPress, including metas, titles, links, keywords, readability, and more.
If you’re an SEO newbie or need to provide SEO guidance for clients, this is a great tool for the job.
Cost: It’s $89 to add the Yoast plugin to one site. There’s a free version with limited features, too.
Your New Favorite SEO Tool Awaits
Each of the tools on this list is a bit of a monthly investment, but I guarantee it will pay off. Research is one of the best ways to improve your site experience, your content, and your strategy in the marketing game.
Invest, dig into the data, and come out the other side with invaluable insights that will boost your brand to new heights.
All screenshots taken by author, August 2019
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She’s earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.