Connect with us

SEO

17 Free SEO Tools For Site Audits

Published

on

17 Free SEO Tools For Site Audits


It takes the assistance of technology to analyze data, conduct research, validate code, and conduct other SEO site audit checks at scale.

The good news is that these tools don’t have to put your SEO budget into the red.

There are plenty of perfectly adequate, free SEO tools available to publishers and SEOs on a smaller scale. And many of these free tools give you access to the same functionality and data sources as the paid versions.

That means that once your needs have outgrown the free version, it’s an easy transition to the paid versions in order to continue on your journey of success.

In the meantime, check out this list of free tools you can use in site audits to get you started.

Free Content-Related SEO Tools

1. SEO Ngram Tool

While we don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg, we do know that good content starts with understanding the keywords people use and why they’re using them.

The following free keyword tools will help put publishers on the path to top rankings.

A useful free SEO tool that was recently updated for 2022 is the SEO Ngram Tool that was developed by Ryan Jones, Vice President, SEO at Razorfish.

His SEO Ngram Tool helps you to better understand the keyword combinations that are most commonly used for searching.

Screenshot of SEO Ngram Tool Spreadsheet taken by author, January 2022

The tool also generates a search term relationship map, grouping the different search terms into a visual map that shows the base keyword terms (primary connections) and the search terms that are related to it.

Below is an animation showing the main keyword in the center.

Around the main keywords are the primary connections which are variations of the main keywords.

Connected to the primary connections are the keyword phrases that are related to the second-level keyword phrases.

So it's:
Main Level > Second Level Primary Connections > Third level keyword phrases

Animation of Search Term Relationship Map

The data can be downloaded to a CSV spreadsheet that shows word combinations that are frequently grouped together.

Ngram Primary ConnectionsScreenshot of Primary Connections taken by author, January 2022

2. Answer The Public

This is a highly popular tool, and it seems like everybody knows about it.

Nevertheless, it needs to be listed for those who haven’t yet heard about it because it’s a great tool.

The way Answer the Public works is you enter first your keyword phrase, and it will return a visualization map of popular keyword phrases that are divided by the kinds of questions, like who, what, where, when, and how.

Keyword Data Visualization by Answer the PublicScreenshot of Keyword Data Visualization taken by author, January 2022

A closeup of the ‘how’ section in the keyword data visualization:

Answer the Public Keyword VisualizationScreenshot taken by author, January 2022

Answer the Public also provides the keyword data in a spreadsheet format, conveniently organized by question type.

Screenshot of an Answer the Public SpreadsheetScreenshot of an Answer the Public Spreadsheet taken by author, January 2022

3. Ahrefs Free Keyword Tools

Ahrefs offers a multitude of free SEO tools that are worth exploring on their own. One of the tools that stands out is its Free Keyword Research Tool.

It also offers multiple keyword tools that provide 100 top keywords with associated keyword volume and what is represented as Amazon, YouTube, Bing, and Google for search.

Ahrefs commented on the sources of the information:

“Our free tools connect to the same database as our main tools.  The sources are as usual: Google Keyword Planner, clickstream, and data partnerships.”

Regardless of where the data comes from, the tool is a useful resource for generating article writing topics.

4. Siteliner

The free Siteliner duplicate content tool is a scanner provided by CopyScape (an anti-plagiarism service).

Siteliner’s top feature is its ability to identify pages within the site that have similar content. This makes it easy to spot opportunities for improving content.

It’s best for articles to feature content that is unique to each article.

Depending on how much content is similar, articles that share content can create a situation where Google may have to choose which page is more relevant and make one canonical.

Eliminating duplicate paragraphs across articles will help web pages differentiate themselves.

The scanner is limited to 250 pages. Nevertheless, it is useful to alert you to a possible problem with thin pages.

5. W3C Validator

The Worldwide Web Consortium publishes an HTML checker that also checks what the heading outline (H1, H2, etc.) looks like on a web page.

This is a really great tool for checking out how Google sees your web page or a competitor’s web page.

Tick the “Show Outline” option in order to see how your heading elements look to a search engine.

The results can be eye opening and reveal issues with your website template.

Select the Show Outline Box to see headings on a web page. Then, tick the box to show outline. The free HTML validator will show you what your heading tags look like to Google.

Screenshot of the W3C HTML Validator showing various options

The validator can sometimes choke on really bad HTML, but there’s a way to get around the coding errors.

Restart the process, but this time, check the More Options section and choose a document type. The heading checker will work, guaranteed.

W3C heading checker tool

Free SEO Website Crawler

6. Screaming Frog – Free For 500 URLs Or Less

Industry-leading site auditing software Screaming Frog offers a free version that’s perfect for auditing smaller sites that are under 500 URLs.

It’s a powerful way to crawl a site and learn if there are any problems.

Screaming Frog automatically provides information about your outbound links, internal links, your images, response codes that various pages give, and information about title tags, meta description tags, headings, images, and pretty much everything about a site that a publisher would want to check for site health and mistakes.

Screaming Frog allows you to set the user agent to emulate Googlebot, Bing, Chrome, and anything else you want in order to see how your site responds, providing a true insight into how the search engines and users are encountering your website.

7. Netpeak Spider

Netpeak Spider is another crawling tool that has a generous free version that can crawl up to 100,000 URLs.

The tool provides data on over 80 SEO-related issues and checks on over 100 technical website issues.

It also has other functionalities related to competitor research.

Overall, the free version of the Netpeak Spider makes a useful complement to the free version of Screaming Frog, as they both have different features and present data in different ways.

8. Xenu Link Sleuth

Xenu Link Sleuth is the old-school SEO tool of choice when it comes to a free site crawler.

It’s described as a broken link checker and it does a great job of that. It generates a report for both internal and external broken links.

But, Xenu does so much more than check for broken links.

Xenu can output a report that provides a quick overview of page titles, orphaned pages, redirects, and pages that are not found (404 response codes).

screenshot of Xenu link sleuth control panelXenu Link Sleuth free website crawler and broken link checker.

Free Mobile SEO Tools

Mobile SEO is incredibly important. That’s why it’s essential to be able to test what a search engine results page (SERP) looks like in virtually any city in the world.

It’s also useful to be able to check what your web page looks like in the most popular mobile phones. Pages that look great tend to convert better.

9. MobileMoxie

MobileMoxie provides a fully functional Mobile SEO Tools.

The MobileMoxie SERP checker shows you what the rankings looks like in a huge selection of mobile phone screens.

What makes this tool especially helpful is that it can localize to any city in the world.

Thus, you can test what the mobile rankings are for someone located in any city in the world. This is great for local SEO or for client work where you’re not located in the client’s area.

There is also a MobileMoxie Web Page Checker that can show you what your web page looks like in virtually any mobile phone. This will help you optimize your web page so that it converts the best across a wide range of mobile phones.

The tool is fully functional and can be used for free three times.

Below is the MobileMoxie SERP tester showing a side-by-side comparison of what your SERPs looks like in virtually any mobile phone.

You can also scroll through the local SERPs for any city in the world in virtually any language of your choosing.

Screenshot of mobile moxie SERPs testing tool

Free Website Technical Audit Tools

10. DNS Propagation Checker Tool

The DNS Checker tool will check how well your site is resolving around the world.

This tool can help surface issues with the server settings that can affect the ability of Google and other site visitors from reaching a website.

I have successfully used this tool to identify why Google’s crawler could not reach a website, causing massive indexing issues. The cause was a bad server setting.

So, if search engines or users are having difficulty reaching the website, give the DNS Checker tool a try.

11. MX Toolbox Blacklist Check

This online tool will check if your domain or IP address is on one of several popular blacklists. Being on a blacklist can affect email deliverability.

Free Website Security Audit Tools

Many SEOs don’t consider security as part of an SEO audit.

Security only becomes an issue after a site’s been hacked and the rankings dropped.

In my opinion, website security should be a component of an SEO audit.

A secure website is a major part of how well it ranks and encourages sales. That’s why I include a thorough security audit with every site audit I perform.

12. Free WordPress Vulnerability Scanner: WPScans

This free vulnerability scanner offers a quick but comprehensive scan of potential issues.

Create the report, then research whether or not your site has issues that need fixing. WPScans.com is a useful tool for beginning a security audit.

13. Free HTTPS Validator Tool: SSL Labs Security Checker

The SSL Labs Security tool will spot misconfigurations and security holes in your HTTPS certificate implementation.

Adding a server security certificate is touted as being easy, but that’s not always the case. This useful tool will help you diagnose hidden issues.

14. Free Drupal Security Scanner: Hacker Target Drupal Security Scanner

This comprehensive security scanner will highlight common issues with a Drupal-based website.

Free Website Performance Tools

15. GZip Compression Checker

The GZip Compression tool checks if your site is using GZip compression. Using compression allows your server to download your web pages quickly.

16. YSlow Performance Audit

The free YSlow Performance Audit tool is a comprehensive performance audit scanner. It creates a report of 23 performance rules.

17. GTmetrix

GTmetrix Speed and Performance Audit is another tool that will generate various benchmark scores. Use these scores to understand where your site can be improved.

Bonus: Free Google Site Audit Tools

Google offers many SEO-related tools.

Aside from the Google Search Console, which is very important and is worth mentioning, here are other useful tools provided by Google for auditing and inspecting web pages and websites:

Page Speed Insights offers web page speed feedback.

Rich Results and Structured Data Testing Tool has been consolidated with the Rich Results tool. This helps diagnose issues with your structured data and confirms whether the structured data qualifies for rich results.

The structured data validator does not verify if your structured data conforms with Google’s guidelines.

Make sure you are following Google’s Structured Data Guidelines. Making a mistake with structured data could result in a manual penalty.

Google Lighthouse is a tool that’s built into Chrome. It is also available as a Chrome Lighthouse Extension.

Google’s Lighthouse is an incredible suite of web performance analytical tools.

Learn More About Google Lighthouse: A Technical SEO Guide To Lighthouse Performance Metrics

The Lighthouse SEO report focuses on how well the site can be indexed, which is an especially useful feature these days.

Lighthouse can be used to diagnose on-page issues related to the code and to help find out what’s making a site slower plus it offers tips on how to improve those shortcomings.

Lighthouse is a must-learn tool for everyone who wishes to improve their site performance metrics.

Be Prepared For SEO Success

The quality of free SEO audit tools has continued to grow in usefulness and sophistication.

Publishers and SEOs have the ability to automate hundreds of SEO tasks without paying a thing.

Take the time to learn how to use these tools and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how powerful these tools are.

Success in SEO is never guaranteed or a sure thing.

But the opportunities for achieving your goals have never been better than they are now, with the help of these free SEO tools.

More resources:


Featured Image: Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock
In-post images #7 to #9 created by author, January 2022





Source link

SEO

Google’s Mueller Criticizes Negative SEO & Link Disavow Companies

Published

on

Google's Mueller Criticizes Negative SEO & Link Disavow Companies

John Mueller recently made strong statements against SEO companies that provide negative SEO and other agencies that provide link disavow services outside of the tool’s intended purpose, saying that they are “cashing in” on clients who don’t know better.

While many frequently say that Mueller and other Googlers are ambiguous, even on the topic of link disavows.

The fact however is that Mueller and other Googlers have consistently recommended against using the link disavow tool.

This may be the first time Mueller actually portrayed SEOs who liberally recommend link disavows in a negative light.

What Led to John Mueller’s Rebuke

The context of Mueller’s comments about negative SEO and link disavow companies started with a tweet by Ryan Jones (@RyanJones)

Ryan tweeted that he was shocked at how many SEOs regularly offer disavowing links.

He tweeted:

“I’m still shocked at how many seos regularly disavow links. Why? Unless you spammed them or have a manual action you’re probably doing more harm than good.”

The reason why Ryan is shocked is because Google has consistently recommended the tool for disavowing paid/spammy links that the sites (or their SEOs) are responsible for.

And yet, here we are, eleven years later, and SEOs are still misusing the tool for removing other kinds of tools.

Here’s the background information about that.

Link Disavow Tool

In the mid 2000’s there was a thriving open market for paid links prior to the Penguin Update in April 2012. The commerce in paid links was staggering.

I knew of one publisher with around fifty websites who received a $30,000 check every month for hosting paid links on his site.

Even though I advised my clients against it, some of them still purchased links because they saw everyone else was buying them and getting away with it.

The Penguin Update caused the link selling boom collapsed.

Thousands of websites lost rankings.

SEOs and affected websites strained under the burden of having to contact all the sites from which they purchased paid links to ask to have them removed.

So some in the SEO community asked Google for a more convenient way to disavow the links.

Months went by and after resisting the requests, Google relented and released a disavow tool.

Google cautioned from the very beginning to only use the tool for disavowing links that the site publishers (or their SEOs) are responsible for.

The first paragraph of Google’s October 2012 announcement of the link disavow tool leaves no doubt on when to use the tool:

“Today we’re introducing a tool that enables you to disavow links to your site.

If you’ve been notified of a manual spam action based on ‘unnatural links’ pointing to your site, this tool can help you address the issue.

If you haven’t gotten this notification, this tool generally isn’t something you need to worry about.”

The message couldn’t be clearer.

But at some point in time, link disavowing became a service applied to random and “spammy looking” links, which is not what the tool is for.

Link Disavow Takes Months To Work

There are many anecdotes about link disavows that helped sites regain rankings.

They aren’t lying, I know credible and honest people who have made this claim.

But here’s the thing, John Mueller has confirmed that the link disavow process takes months to work its way through Google’s algorithm.

Sometimes things happen that are not related, no correlation. It just looks that way.

John shared how long it takes for a link disavow to work in a Webmaster Hangout:

“With regards to this particular case, where you’re saying you submitted a disavow file and then the ranking dropped or the visibility dropped, especially a few days later, I would assume that that is not related.

So in particular with the disavow file, what happens is we take that file into account when we reprocess the links kind of pointing to your website.

And this is a process that happens incrementally over a period of time where I would expect it would have an effect over the course of… I don’t know… maybe three, four, five, six months …kind of step by step going in that direction.

So if you’re saying that you saw an effect within a couple of days and it was a really strong effect then I would assume that this effect is completely unrelated to the disavow file. …it sounds like you still haven’t figured out what might be causing this.”

John Mueller: Negative SEO and Link Disavow Companies are Making Stuff Up

Context is important to understand what was said.

So here’s the context for John Mueller’s remark.

An SEO responded to Ryan’s tweet about being shocked at how many SEOs regularly disavow links.

The person responding to Ryan tweeted that disavowing links was still important, that agencies provide negative SEO services to take down websites and that link disavow is a way to combat the negative links.

The SEO (SEOGuruJaipur) tweeted:

“Google still gives penalties for backlinks (for example, 14 Dec update, so disavowing links is still important.”

SEOGuruJaipur next began tweeting about negative SEO companies.

Negative SEO companies are those that will build spammy links to a client’s competitor in order to make the competitor’s rankings drop.

SEOGuruJaipur tweeted:

“There are so many agencies that provide services to down competitors; they create backlinks for competitors such as comments, bookmarking, directory, and article submission on low quality sites.”

SEOGuruJaipur continued discussing negative SEO link builders, saying that only high trust sites are immune to the negative SEO links.

He tweeted:

“Agencies know what kind of links hurt the website because they have been doing this for a long time.

It’s only hard to down for very trusted sites. Even some agencies provide a money back guarantee as well.

They will provide you examples as well with proper insights.”

John Mueller tweeted his response to the above tweets:

“That’s all made up & irrelevant.

These agencies (both those creating, and those disavowing) are just making stuff up, and cashing in from those who don’t know better.”

Then someone else joined the discussion:

Mueller tweeted a response:

“Don’t waste your time on it; do things that build up your site instead.”

Unambiguous Statement on Negative SEO and Link Disavow Services

A statement by John Mueller (or anyone) can appear to conflict with prior statements when taken out of context.

That’s why I not only placed his statements into their original context but also the history going back eleven years that is a part of that discussion.

It’s clear that John Mueller feels that those selling negative SEO services and those providing disavow services outside of the intended use are “making stuff up” and “cashing in” on clients who might not “know better.”

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Source Code Leak Shows New Ranking Factors to Consider

Published

on

Source Code Leak Shows New Ranking Factors to Consider

January 25, 2023, the day that Yandex—Russia’s search engine—was hacked. 

Its complete source code was leaked online. And, it might not be the first time we’ve seen hacking happen in this industry, but it is one of the most intriguing, groundbreaking events in years.

But Yandex isn’t Google, so why should we care? Here’s why we do: these two search engines are very similar in how they process technical elements of a website, and this leak just showed us the 1,922 ranking factors Yandex uses in its algorithm. 

Simply put, this information is something that we can use to our advantage to get more traffic from Google.

Yandex vs Google

As I said, a lot of these ranking factors are possibly quite similar to the signals that Google uses for search.

Yandex’s algorithm shows a RankBrain analog: MatrixNext. It also seems that they are using PageRank (almost the same way as Google does), and a lot of their text algorithms are the same. Interestingly, there are also a lot of ex-Googlers working in Yandex. 

So, reviewing these factors and understanding how they play into search rankings and traffic will provide some very useful insights into how search engines like Google work. No doubt, this new trove of information will greatly influence the SEO market in the months to come. 

That said, Yandex isn’t Google. The chances of Google having the exact same list of ranking factors is low — and Google may not even give that signal the same amount of weight that Yandex does. 

Still, it’s information that potentially will be useful for driving traffic, so make sure to take a look at them here (before it’s scrubbed from the internet forever).

An early analysis of ranking factors

Many of their ranking factors are as expected. These include:

  • Many link-related factors (e.g., age, relevancy, etc.).
  • Content relevance, age, and freshness.
  • Host reliability
  • End-user behavior signals.

Some sites also get preference (such as Wikipedia). FI_VISITS_FROM_WIKI even shows that sites that are referenced by Wikipedia get plus points. 

These are all things that we already know.

But something interesting: there were several factors that I and other SEOs found unusual, such as PageRank being the 17th highest weighted factor in Yandex, and the 19th highest weighted factor being query-document relevance (in other words, how close they match thematically). There’s also karma for likely spam hosts, based on Whois information.

Other interesting factors are the average domain ranking across queries, percent of organic traffic, and the number of unique visitors.

You can also use this Yandex Search Ranking Factor Explorer, created by Rob Ousbey, to search through the various ranking factors.

The possible negative ranking factors:

Here’s my thoughts on Yandex’s factors that I found interesting: 

FI_ADV: -0.2509284637 — this factor means having tons of adverts scattered around your page and buying PPC can affect rankings. 

FI_DATER_AGE: -0.2074373667 — this one evaluates content age, and whether your article is more than 10 years old, or if there’s no determinable date. Date metadata is important. 

FI_COMM_LINKS_SEO_HOSTS: -0.1809636391 — this can be a negative factor if you have too much commercial anchor text, particularly if the proportion of such links goes above 50%. Pay attention to anchor text distribution. I’ve written a guide on how to effectively use anchor texts if you need some help on this. 

FI_RANK_ARTROZ — outdated, poorly written text will bring your rankings down. Go through your site and give your content a refresh. FI_WORD_COUNT also shows that the number of words matter, so avoid having low-content pages.

FI_URL_HAS_NO_DIGITS, FI_NUM_SLASHES, FI_FULL_URL_FRACTION — urls shouldn’t have digits, too many slashes (too much hierarchy), and of course contain your targeted keyword.

FI_NUM_LINKS_FROM_MP — always interlink your main pages (such as your homepage or landing pages) to any other important content you want to rank. Otherwise, it can hurt your content.

FI_HOPS — reduce the crawl depth for any pages that matter to you. No important pages should be more than a few clicks away from your homepage. I recommend keeping it to two clicks, at most. 

FI_IS_UNREACHABLE — likewise, avoid making any important page an orphan page. If it’s unreachable from your homepage, it’s as good as dead in the eyes of the search engine.

The possible positive ranking factors:

FI_IS_COM: +0.2762504972 — .com domains get a boost in rankings.

FI_YABAR_HOST_VISITORS — the more traffic you get, the more ranking power your site has. The strategy of targeting smaller, easier keywords first to build up an audience before targeting harder keywords can help you build traffic.

FI_BEAST_HOST_MEAN_POS — the average position of the host for keywords affects your overall ranking. This factor and the previous one clearly show that being smart with your keyword and content planning matters. If you need help with that, check out these 5 ways to build a solid SEO strategy.

FI_YABAR_HOST_SEARCH_TRAFFIC — this might look bad but shows that having other traffic sources (such as social media, direct search, and PPC) is good for your site. Yandex uses this to determine if a real site is being run, not just some spammy SEO project.

This one includes a whole host of CTR-related factors. 

CTR ranking factors from Yandex

It’s clear that having searchable and interesting titles that drive users to check your content out is something that positively affects your rankings.

Google is rewarding sites that help end a user’s search journey (as we know from the latest mobile search updates and even the Helpful Content update). Do what you can to answer the query early on in your article. The factor “FI_VISITORS_RETURN_MONTH_SHARE“ also shows that it helps to encourage users to return to your site for more information on the topics they’re interested in. Email marketing is a handy tool here.

FI_GOOD_RATIO and FI_MANY_BAD — the percentage of “good” and “bad” backlinks on your site. Getting your backlinks from high-quality websites with traffic is important for your rankings. The factor FI_LINK_AGE also shows that adding a link-building strategy to your SEO as early as possible can help with your rankings.

FI_SOCIAL_URL_IS_VERIFIED — that little blue check has actual benefits now. Links from verified accounts have more weight.

Key Takeaway

Yandex and Google, being so similar to each other in theory, means that this data leak is something we must pay attention to. 

Several of these factors may already be common knowledge amongst SEOs, but having them confirmed by another search engine enforces how important they are for your strategy.

These initial findings, and understanding what it might mean for your website, can help you identify what to improve, what to scrap, and what to focus on when it comes to your SEO strategy. 

Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Top 7 SEO Keyword Research Tools For Agencies

Published

on

Top 7 SEO Keyword Research Tools For Agencies

All successful SEO campaigns rely on accurate, comprehensive data. And that process starts with the right keyword research tools.

Sure, you can get away with collecting keyword data manually on your own. But while you may be saving the cost of a premium tool, manual keyword research costs you in ot

her ways:

  • Efficiency. Doing keyword research manually is time intensive. How much is an hour of your time worth?
  • Comprehensiveness. Historical and comprehensive data isn’t easy to get on your own. It’s too easy to miss out on vital information that will make your SEO strategy a success.
  • Competition. Keyword research tools allow you to understand not only what users are searching for but also what your competition focuses on. You can quickly identify gaps and find the best path to profitability and success.
  • Knowledge. Long-time SEO experts can craft their own keyword strategies with a careful analysis of the SERPs, but that requires years of practice, trial, and costly errors. Not everyone has that experience. And not everyone has made enough mistakes to avoid the pitfalls.

A good SEO keyword research tool eliminates much of the guesswork. Here are seven well-known and time-tested tools for SEO that will get you well on the way to dominating your market.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Screenshot from Google Keyword Planner, January 2023

Cost: Free.

Google Keyword Planner is a classic favorite.

It’s free, but because the information comes directly from the search engine, it’s reliable and trustworthy. It’s also flexible, allowing you to:

  • Identify new keywords.
  • Find related keywords.
  • Estimate the number of searches for each variation.
  • Estimate competition levels.

The tool is easy to access and available as a web application and via API, and it costs nothing; it just requires a Google Ads account.

You must also be aware of a few things when using this tool.

First, these are estimates based on historical data. That means if trends change, it won’t necessarily be reflected here.

Google Keyword Planner also can’t tell you much about the SERP itself, such as what features you can capitalize on and how the feature converts.

Because it’s part of Google Ads, PPC experience can help you gain more insights. You’ll find trends broadly across a demographic or granular level, like a city, region, or major city.

Google Keyword Planner also tends to combine data for similar keywords. So, if you want to know if [keyword near me] is better than [keywords near me], you’ll need a different tool.

Lastly, the tool uses broad definitions of words like “competition,” which doesn’t tell you who is ranking for the term, how much they’re investing to hold that ranking, or how likely you are to unseat them from their coveted top 10 rankings.

That being said, it’s an excellent tool if you just want to get a quick look or fresh ideas, if you’d like to use an API and create your own tools, or simply prefer to do the other tasks yourself.

2. Keyword.io

Cost: Free, $29 per month, and $49 per month.

If Google’s Keyword Planner isn’t quite enough, but you’re on a tight budget, Keyword.io may be the alternative you need. It also has different features.

Keyword.io uses autocomplete APIs to pull basic data for several sites and search engines, including Google, Amazon, eBay, Bing, Wikipedia, Alibaba, YouTube, Yandex, Fiverr, and Fotolia. This is perfect for niche clients and meeting specific needs.

It also has a Question/Intent Generator, an interactive topic explorer, and a topical overview tool.

In its user interface (UI), you’ll find an easy-to-use filter system and a chart that includes the competition, search volume, CPC, and a few other details about your chosen keywords.

It does have some limits, however.

You can run up to 20,000 keywords per seed with a limit of 100 requests per day (five per minute) or 1,000 requests per day (10 per minute) on its paid plans.

Its API access, related keywords tool, Google Ad data, and other features are also limited to paid accounts.

3. Semrush

Semrush's keyword toolScreenshot from Semrush

Cost: $119.95 to $449.95 per month.

In its digital marketing suite, Semrush offers a collection of six keyword tools and four competitive analysis tools with a database of more than 21 billion keywords.

You can get a full overview of the keywords you’re watching, including paid and organic search volume, intent, competition, CPC, historical data, SERP analysis, and more.

You’ll get related keywords and questions, as well as a ton of guidance, ideas, and suggestions from the Semrush Magic, Position Tracking, and Organic Traffic Insights tools.

The Keyword Planner, however, is where much of the magic happens.

The organic competitor tab makes it easy to spot content and keyword gaps. Expand them and develop clusters that will help you grab traffic and conversions.

You can also see long-tail keyword data and other data to see what Page 1 holds regarding competition, difficulty, and opportunities at a broad or hyperlocal level.

The full suite of tools is a huge benefit. Teams can collaborate, share insights, and plan.

The seamless integration allows you to integrate your data, meaning teams can easily collaborate, share insights, and strategize.

And when you’re done, it can track everything you need for a successful digital marketing strategy.

Some of the tools they offer include:

  • On-page SEO tools.
  • Competitive analysis suite.
  • Log file analysis.
  • Site auditing.
  • Content marketing tools.
  • Marketing analysis.
  • Paid advertising tools.
  • Local SEO tools.
  • Rank tracking.
  • Social media management.
  • Link-building tools.
  • Amazon marketing tools.
  • Website monetization tools.

Semrush’s best features when it comes to keyword research are its historical information and PPC metrics.

You can deep dive into campaigns and keywords to unlock the secrets of the SERPs and provide agency or in-house teams with priceless information they don’t usually access.

4. Moz Keyword Explorer

Keyword Research Tool From MozScreenshot from Moz, January 2023

Cost: Free for 10 queries per month. $99-$599 per month.

With a database of more than 500 million keywords, Moz Keyword Explorer may be a great option if you’re looking to build a strategy rather than get a quick view of the data for a few keywords.

Moz has long been a leader in the SEO space.

Constantly updating and improving its Keyword Explorer Tool and its other core services, Moz keeps up with the trends and is well known for providing SEO professionals with the latest tools. And it has done so for more than a decade.

Like the Google Keyword Tool, Moz’s keyword planning tool provides information on the difficulty and monthly search volume for terms. It also lets you drill down geographically.

When you start, you’ll find the Keyword Overview, which provides monthly search volumes, ranking difficulty, organic click-through opportunities, and an estimated priority level.

You can also:

  • Find new relevant keywords you should be targeting but aren’t.
  • Learn how your site performs for keywords.
  • Find areas where you can improve your SEO (including quick wins and larger investments).
  • Prioritize keywords for efficient strategy creation.
  • Top SERP analysis and features.
  • Competitor analysis.
  • Organic click-through rates.

Unlike the Google Keyword Tool, however, Moz supplies you with data beyond the basics. Think of it like keyword research and SERP analysis.

Moz does tend to have fewer keyword suggestions. And like Google’s Keyword Planner, it provides range estimates for search data rather than a specific number.

However, the database is updated frequently, so you can feel confident that you’re keeping up with the constant change in consumer search habits and rankings.

Plus, it’s easy to use, so teams can quickly take care of marketing tasks like finding opportunities, tracking performance, identifying problem areas, and gathering page-level details.

Moz also offers several other tools to help you get your site on track and ahead of the competition, but we really like it for its keyword research and flexibility.

5. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Cost: $99-$999 per month.

If I had to describe Ahrefs in one word, it would be power.

Enter a word into the search box, and you’re presented with multiple panels that can tell you everything you want to know about that keyword.

Total search volume, clicks, difficulty, the SERP features, and even a volume-difficulty distribution. And while it may look like a lot, all the information is well-organized and clearly presented.

Ahrefs provides terms in a parent-child topic format, providing the terms with context, so you can easily learn more about the terms, such as intent, while identifying overlap and keeping it all easy to find and understand.

These topics appear when you search for a related term, including the term’s ranking on the SERP, SERP result type, first-page ranking difficulty scores, and a snapshot of the user-delivered SERP. You can stay broad or narrow it all down by city or language.

Ahrefs can get a bit expensive. Agencies may find it difficult to scale if they prefer several user or client accounts, but it’s still one of the best and most reliable keyword research tools on the market.

What I really like about Ahrefs is that it’s thorough. It has one of the largest databases of all the tools available (19.2 billion keywords, 10 search engines, and 242 countries at the time of writing), and it’s regularly updated.

It makes international SEO strategies a breeze and includes data for everything from Google and Bing to YouTube and Amazon.

Plus, they clearly explain their metrics and database. And that level of transparency means trust.

Other tools in the suite include:

  • Site Explorer.
  • Site auditing.
  • Rank tracking.
  • Content Explorer.

6. SERanking

SERanking's Keyword Research ToolScreenshot from SERanking, November 2022.

Cost: $23.52-$239 per month, depending on the ranking check and payment frequency.

SERanking shines as a keyword research tool within an all-around SEO toolkit. SERanking helps you keep costs down while offering features that allow agencies to meet clients’ unique needs.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you log in is its intuitive user interface. But this tool isn’t just another pretty online tool.

Its database is robust.

SERanking’s U.S. database includes 887 million keywords, 327 million U.S. domains, and 3 trillion indexed backlinks. And this doesn’t include its expansive European and Asian databases.

The overview page provides a solid look at the data, which includes search volume, the CPC, and a difficulty score.

SERanking also provides lists of related and low-volume keywords if you need inspiration or suggestions, as well as long-tail keyword suggestions with information about SERP features, competition levels, search volume, and other details you need to know to identify new opportunities.

Of course, identifying keywords is only the start of the mystery. How do you turn keywords into conversions? SERanking provides keyword tools that help you answer this question.

You can find out who the competition is in the organic results and see who is buying search ads, as well as details like estimated traffic levels and copies of the ads they’re using.

This allows you to see what’s working, gain insights into the users searching for those terms, and generate new ideas to try.

SERanking offers agency features, such as white labeling, report builders, lead generator, and other features you’ll find helpful.

However, one of the features agencies might find most helpful in keyword research is SERanking’s bulk keyword analysis, which lets you run thousands of keywords and download full reports for all the terms that matter.

Other tools in the SERanking Suite include:

  • Keyword Rank Tracker.
  • Keyword Grouper.
  • Keyword Suggestions and Search Volume Checker.
  • Index Status checker.
  • Backlink Checker.
  • Backlink monitoring.
  • Competitive research tool.
  • Website auditing tool.
  • On-page SEO Checker.
  • Page Changes Monitor.
  • Social media analytics.
  • Traffic analysis.

SERanking is more affordable than some of the other tools out there, but it does come at a cost.

It isn’t as robust as some of its competitors and doesn’t get as granular in the same way, but it still provides the features and data you need to create a successful SEO strategy.

And with its flexible pricing, this tool is well worth considering.

7. BrightEdge Data Cube

Cost: Custom pricing model.

If you’re looking for an AI-powered digital marketing tool suite that includes a quality research tool, BrightEdge may be the right option for you.

Unlike other tools that focus on supplying you with data and ways to analyze that data, BrightEdge looks to do much of the time-consuming analysis for you.

Among its search, content, social, local, and mobile solutions, you’ll find Data Cube – an AI-backed content and keyword tool that uses natural language processing to find related topics and keywords.

You’ll also encounter DataMind, an AI that helps you find search trends, changes in consumer behaviors, and important competitor movements you need to know about.

The two together make it quick and easy to perform keyword research, build out topics, create content strategies, and strengthen your SEO plans.

Once you enter a topic or broad keyword, the tool will provide you with relevant keywords, the search volume, competition levels, keyword value, it’s universal listing, and the number of words in the phrase.

Filter the results by a custom set of criteria to narrow the list down and get the necessary information.

Once you have a list, select the ones you want to keep and download them or use them with BrightEdge’s other tools to create full strategies and gain more insights.

This could include competitor analysis, analyzing SERP features, intent, or other tasks.

For agencies that provide local SEO, BrightEdge also offers HyperLocal, which helps you find and track keywords and keyword performance at the local level.

When you’re done, give the Opportunity Forecasting and tracking tools a try to monitor your progress and provide clients with the information they care about.

Perhaps the nicest feature for agencies is its Storybuilder – a reporting tool that allows you to create rich client reports that provide clients with targeted overviews and the data they’re most interested in.

If this sounds like the right tool for you, the company gives demos, but there are a few things you should consider.

First, it only updates once per month. And while the company keeps its pricing close to the chest, this digital marketing tool suite is a significant investment. It may not be the best choice if keyword research is the only thing you need.

Secondly, while the tools are highly sophisticated and refined, there is a learning curve to get started.

You’ll also discover that there are limits on features like keyword tracking, and it can be time-consuming to set up, with some adjustments requiring technical support.

Lastly, BrightEdge’s keyword research tool doesn’t let you get too far into the weeds and doesn’t include PPC traffic.

That aside, agencies and larger brands will find that it scales easily, has a beautifully designed UI, and makes you look great to clients.

The Best Agency SEO Keyword Research Tools

This list only contains seven of the many tools available today to help you get your keyword research done to an expert degree.

But no matter how many of the tools we share with you or which ones, it’s important to understand that none are flawless.

Each tool has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, so selecting a platform is very much dependent on the types of clients that you typically work with and personal preference.

In reality, you’ll likely find that you prefer to work between a few tools to accomplish everything you’d like.

Google Keyword Planner and Keyword.io are top choices when you want a quick look at the data, or you’d like to export the data to work on elsewhere. You may even want to use this data with the other tools mentioned in this chapter.

Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush, and BrightEdge are far more robust and are better suited to agency SEO tasks.

While not free (although they offer free plans or a trial period except BrightEdge), they allow you to really dig into the search space, ultimately resulting in higher traffic, more conversions, and stronger SEO strategies. These benefits require more time and often come with a learning curve.

By far, the most important keyword research tool you have access to is you.

Keyword research is more than simply choosing the keywords with the biggest search volume or the phrase with the lowest Cost Per Click (CPC).

It’s your expertise, experience, knowledge, and insights that transform data into digital marketing you can be proud of.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish