We get asked a lot about, which are the best SEO tools that leading digital marketers and SEO specialists use. The general consensus among those asking this question is that there has to be a special set of tools that helps these professionals rank for difficult terms and in saturated markets. The fact is that these are tools, and like all tools, they do help make something like content marketing easier, but it isn’t magic.
The leading SEO tools we list and talk about below are considered the best in the business. These tools are used by some top names in the industry, including ourselves. So, without further delay, let’s get right into it!
Ahrefs (Backlinks Analysis)
Ahrefs is not cheap, and that’s why many people get turned off when they check the pricing page. However, looking past it, the tool offers a lot more than people first realize. For starters, it is an excellent tool for any SEO, digital marketer, or even link builder. Ahrefs arguably maintains the largest indexes of backlinks compared to any other competing tool that we know of right now. Over 12 trillion historical backlinks and counting across 6 billion web pages crawled each day is impressive. But there is more…
In addition to checking backlinks, Ahrefs has other tricks up its sleeves like providing research tools. The keyword research tool for starters is pretty comprehensive. Plus, it also serves as a position tracker, competitive domain comparisons, and research that’s specific to your content.
Ahrefs does a lot, and when you put everything together, it becomes a tool that’s very hard to outdo. The only thing it lacks if you would like to call it that is SEO reporting, which isn’t too in-depth and keyword management, which could be better. But at this point, we are just nitpicking.
We like the fact that Ahrefs allows users to configure regular email alerts as their backlinks get indexed or deindexed. Also, when new keywords surface or when the site or brand is mentioned users get an alert. All you need is to click on the ‘add alert’ button on the top right of the dashboard and enter the URL, keyword volume and country, finally, your email address and the alerts will start flowing in. If anything, it saves us from constantly checking Ahrefs to see which of our backlinks have been indexed.
Consider Ahrefs to be an all-in-one tool but with backling analysis as its strong suit. It covers all your bases, like keyword research and monitoring. The drawback is that the user interface takes some getting used to. Some people may also not be paying the monthly subscription for the tool. Plus the company rarely if ever offers a discount. That said in the grand scheme of things Ahrefs is competitively priced because you save a few dollars here and thereby not using other tools.
Link Tracker Pro (Keywords & Backlinks Rank Tracker)
When it comes to building links and finding opportunities to build high-quality links Link Tracker Pro takes the lead. One of the biggest challenges with modern-day SEO is link building. Sure! You can pay for a few dozen links, but there is no way of knowing what effect they will have on your website. Sometimes even the best-looking links may be bad, and by the time you find out it’s too late. Link Tracker Pro takes the guesswork out of building links whether they are guest posts, PBNs, profile links, or otherwise it makes knowing what you’re getting easy.
Check Your Link Toxicity
As mentioned above some links are downright toxic, and I don’t care how hard you may have worked to get them. So, before you work hard to get a link, make sure that it passes Link Tracker Pro’s link toxicity detector. The program’s unique algorithms help to determine which links are toxic before you even build them. If you see that a website is potentially toxic, you can steer clear from it. If you have a list, perhaps you can figure out which ones are toxic and remove them from your list. You can also find out which existing backlinks are toxic and have them disavowed immediately before they end up getting your website penalized.
Also part of the features offered is a rank tracking tool. The tracking data is sourced from SERPbook, which is amongst the leading tracking and statics tools in the world today. Users can track the rank of their website via the link building profile. It allows them to get a much clearer picture of how things are moving.
Rank tracking is also built into the dashboard, and it gives users a quick snapshot of their performance as well as the performance of the backlinks. So, if you’re a link builder, everything needed is available.
The dashboard also allows users to track their ranking history and they are alerted as soon as backlinks are indexed. A historical graph charts how well your money keywords have been doing. The graph can be used by SEO specialists who then share it with clients.
Furthermore, the dashboard is customizable. So, you can choose what not to see and what to see. You can also categorize all the backlinks and the personalized data that’s important to you. All of which ensures that only what you see is available and the dashboard is devoid of clutter.
Link Tracker Pro takes the guesswork out of building links for business owners and SEO professionals alike. Since link building is the bread and butter of any SEO campaign, it is worth investing in this tool.
SEMrush (Keywords research)
SEMrush is a lot like Ahrefs in the sense that it offers a swiss army knife of SEO tools. Some tools are obviously better than others. The product’s strength though is in the way you can find and research keywords. Other features include position tracking and crawling. So, small to mid-sized users have just about everything needed to make sure that their SEO strategy runs full throttle.
To give you some idea as to how powerful SEMrush’s keyword search is, we used one root keyword “Car Reviews” and were able to find over three dozen keywords just based of off this single one. Most of these had good traffic, and the competition was low. Its something, when compared to even Google’s own free keyword research tool, works better and presents users with better ideas.
Projects and Reports
Now people who are running SEO services or are in charge of a business’s in-house SEO will find the reporting feature to be pretty comprehensive. You have a great deal of reporting and organization features. Clicking the ‘Projects’ tab on the left takes you to a dashboard where all your domain-related data is aggregated into one easy to understand layout. Here you can see things like the current health score of the domain, SEMrush’s own crawling data, position information for all the keywords you’re targeting and even some ideas to improving things further.
The job of any SEO tool that’s worth its salt is to provide users with proactive suggestions and a list of optimization recommendations based on what is going on. SEMrush does exactly that, and it allowed us to enter test keywords and then associate them with our lading page. A few minutes of running the analysis provided us with a couple of ideas, each one broken down to categories like Sematic Ideas, Content Idea, and Strategy Ideas. We were also given Backlink Ideas and Technical SEO Ideas. Plus, since the tool directly integrates with Google Analytics and the Google Search Console, you can pull other landing page statics directly from these sources. So, you get a lot of solid and useful information which if implemented, can be doing your website a whole lot of good.
Any mention of SEMrush would be incomplete without talking about their Keyword Magic tool. It works by generating up to three million different ideas based off just a single keyword. These keywords are then categorized into different groups. You can then sort keywords from this list and send it to the Keyword Analyzer. Plus, the tool filters keywords which trigger various SERP features, as well as keywords with questions which you can use to target Google’s Snippets feature.
SEMrush is known to introduce new features almost every year. The beta tag is taken off these tools after a couple of months but gives you good insight into what direction the company is going in. You may not need all the tools the service offers, but it feels good knowing that they are there when you need them.
SurferSEO (Content optimization)
Surfer SEO is an SEO tool which uses the power of the cloud to analyze and optimize your content. You also get the ability to dive deep into SERPs to a level that’s unmatched by other SEO tools. The outcome of all this power is obviously the fact that SEO specialists, Digital Marketers, and content creators alike can use this information to fine-tune their pages so that they perform better. One of the ways that can be done is by using the best and right keywords. That’s done by comparing the on-page factors of over 40 top ranking websites who are targeting the same set of keywords. If anything this one tool can make your life with on-page optimization a lot easier and more effective.
Even though Surfer SEO is relatively new, they already have a growing list of some influential clients who see a lot of potential. Not to mention its growing popularity in the international market. Also, the free trial is meant to convert doubters into believers who can then purchase the full plan.
The big advantage is via its data-driven content optimization, which means that you and your clients know exactly what step needs to be taken and why. Plus, you can keep abreast with real-time updates. Furthermore, Surfer SEO makes getting technical insights a lot easier. These insights will reveal holes in competitor’s SEO, which you can take advantage of and rank faster.
The other great thing about this tool is that you get to browse over 500 ranking factors. The list is detailed and drill right down to the core of what may be causing you to rank low. Not to mention the fact that all of this is made possible via its user-friendly interface, which is easy to navigate. Anyone can use the software without having to know much about how it works since all the tools are well explained.
Surfer SEO is amongst the best tool for agencies, and freelancers. It should also be used by copywriters who can then make sure that their copy is optimized for search engines like Google. Regardless of who you are Surfer, SEO can help you create opportunities, and we all know how important that is when it comes to doing business online.
PitchBox (Email outreach + prospecting)
PitchBox is one of the best tools for digital marketers who want to streamline and build what could be an otherwise chaotic outreach and prospecting task. The tool helps to find good link building opportunities via bloggers, publishers, and influencers within your industry. Once found, marketers can then draft a personalized outreach email and subsequent follow-ups. Plus the use of search engine optimization integration as well as solid analytics built into the tool make taking good decisions based on the data easier.
Pitchbox is geared towards public relations pros, bloggers, and search engine optimization specialists regardless of whom they are targeting. It was originally meant to target influencers and PR related opportunities, not to mention the fact that it functions pretty well as a customer relationship tool too.
PitchBox works by keeping a track of just about everything communication-related. It tracks all social media accounts, manages emails, and stores contact information. So, working through different stages of PR prospecting just requires a couple of clicks.
The biggest selling point of PitchBox is the fact that it helps users save time picking through the proverbial weeds. By that, we mean that there is no research or at least little research required to create the required buzz around your articles, services, and products. Now because you don’t have to focus so much of your energy on research and management, that time can be spent on building relationships.
Setting up a Good Outreach Schedule
Using PitchBox users can streamline their email sequence, which reaches out to potential opportunity contacts 3x times depending on if they respond or don’t respond. You can customize the response either way in advance. It also allows you to choose how many days to wait before sending another email. Ideally, you’ll want to space them out evenly so that the prospect isn’t inundated with numerous emails within a short time.
If you are contacting more than one person for an opportunity, the tool will send the first email to the very first contact on your list, then run through the series. So, if there is no response, it moves on to the next contact. When a response is received, you can view it and then respond to it all from PitchBox’s interface, so there is no need to use multiple programs or different windows.
One feature which is of particular interest to us and perhaps to many who are reading this is the ‘Milestones.’ You can set milestones such as ‘Won,’ ‘Lost,’ ‘Almost,’ ‘Negotiation,’ etc. What this does is to keep track of all your outreach activity and so that you can tell at a glance where each one is at. It also reminds you about which one to check up on. So, if you’re working with a team, it helps keep everyone on the same page.
PitchBox is by far, one of the best outreach tools that money can buy. If you need a tool to manage your outreach campaign, you can’t go wrong with PitchBox.
There you have it folks, best SEO tools, in the eyes of top pros in the business. The one thing to bear in mind is that these tools aren’t free. Many of them are expensive. However, once you start using them, they more than makeup for what it costs you. In other words, they are worth every dollar. That said there are cheaper alternatives, but the results you get from there aren’t as good. Not to mention the fact that trying to wing it in an otherwise competitive industry without the right tools can be disastrous. It is like driving a car down the race track with a blindfold, and we all know where that leads! That’s why we strongly advocate spending on and using the best tools to ensure the best results from an efficient search engine optimization campaign.