Your efforts in the digital marketing game are pretty much being wasted if you fail to prioritize SEO. There is a myriad of techniques and strategies out there that can help you grow your small business, and maximize on your user base. There are also countless SEO tools that are available to digital marketers, SEO specialists, or any random Joe or Jane who just started a blog and needs to pick up some traffic.

Best SEO Tool for Small Business: SEMrush Freemium SEO ToolBest SEMrush Freemium SEO Tool

Insights on Ranking and Keyword Analysis

If you are familiar with SEMrush then you may recognize it as a freemium tool.

And you’d be right. SEMrush occupies the number one spot on this list for the range of features it offers users as an SEO tool. More so one that doesn’t have to cost you a penny. However, the paid version isn’t necessarily something users will want to lose out on.

SEMrush (paid version) considers your needs on many different levels as it pertains to keyword analysis.

We’re talking about keywords your competitors are ranking for, and the landing page for each keyword. Seeing as SEMrush provides insight on the value of the respective keyword, it can also prove invaluable if you are focused on PPC.

In order for your small business to truly compete in the SEO game, it’s important that you understand these (SEO) tools, and the categories they fall under. This can help you to identify strengths and weaknesses that can mean a world of difference in how you scale.

Categorizing SEO Tools

It can be hard to keep up with the types of SEO tools that are available, or rather, RELEVANT in the digital marketing arena. But if you are trying to narrow things down, we’d suggest you have a look at these six:

  • Rankings
  • Content Ideas
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Link Removal
  • Link Building
  • And Technical SEO

Keep reading for a detailed review and comparison of the most relevant (and effective) SEO tools available in 2017.

Why SEMrush Receives the Highest Recommendation

When it comes to freemium SEO tools, SEMrush is simply hard to beat.

Users are given a plethora of insight and resources at their fingertips, all of which is fully at their disposal. SEMrush allows you to analyze keywords.

See where your competitors’ strengths lie (in terms of ranking) and provide you with enough information to make large scale decisions that can benefit your small business.

On the downside, SEMrush’s biggest asset can at first be one of its major setbacks. Users who are less seasoned in using the software may be a bit overwhelmed by its comprehensive dashboard.

SEMrush’s dashboard is all-inclusive, and easy enough to navigate. But the fact that it is thoroughly comprehensive may be a bit much at first. Once you get over this hurdle, however, the results can be satisfactory.

This isn’t to say SEMrush is your only shot at getting your hands on an efficient SEO tool. Let’s have a look at some of its rivals who didn’t quite manage to land the number one spot on this list.

Spyfu

A Solid Competitor Research ToolBest seo tool Spyfu

Wondering what your competitors are up to? Don’t.

That’s why there are tools like Spyfu that specialize in making that sort of thing a breeze for you.

So, what is this insight you get on your competitors? You can use Spyfu to get details on (competitors’) PPC efforts, and even baseline SEO analysis.

Let’s say you are doing a bit of SEO research for a client, you don’t have to settle for limited data to work into your strategy. Spyfu gives you greater insight on what your client and all other major players are up to. To be exact, you can gather information on what their ads look like, and the budget behind them.

Spyfu’s keyword tool helps you determine what keywords are responsible for your website’s traction. Even better, it allows you to see how competition keywords compare to yours. Let’s say you and a competitor have certain keywords in common, you can easily see who ranks better for the respective keywords.

 

So, what’s the catch?

Spyfu falls short where reporting is concerned. Some users find that the process is by no means as simple as it could’ve been. Not to mention the information could be presented a lot better.

Also, PPC reporting is known for having some inaccuracies — more so where competitors are concerned.

Link Analysis Tool – Moz Open Site Explorer

Get Results with Detailed Link AnalysisMoz Open Site Explorer

Getting started with Moz Open Site Explorer is anything but a hassle. Need to examine the linking profile of a URL?

Then simply type in the URL and hit search. You’ll be flooded with information before you know it.

Open Site Explorer allows you to examine the linking data that surrounds whatever site you are interested in. Moz also offers detailed link information, which you’ll be happy to learn is broken up into 8 convenient sections.

Let’s have a look at them:

  • Inbound Links
  • Top Pages
  • Linking Domains
  • Anchor Texts
  • Link Metrics
  • Advanced Reports
  • Just Discovered Links
  • And Link Opportunities

What have you got here? A solid SEO tool suite that goes the extra mile to get you results. Metrics you receive are of industry standard, and the free browser toolbar is a Godsend.

So, what’s the catch?

There is no catch, really. Except some users may not find Moz Open Site Explorer quite as friendly as other tools — in terms of navigation.

Moz Local

Improve Local Visibility, Increase Foot TrafficMoz local

Moz local has a keen focus on business listing data submission. But what users will appreciate (aside from its sheer usefulness) is the site’s friendly interface.

It basically boils down to you searching for your business, by entering the name and zip; selecting the appropriate result, then simply checking for completeness.

It’s also great that they allow users to claim a listing on local directories. Among these directories are:

  • Superpages
  • Foursquare
  • ELocal
  • And Best of Web Local

In the event that Moz isn’t associated with the publisher — say Facebook for instance, what they’ll do is crawl the site. What this does is provide links to the respective site, and update profiles that aren’t quite up to scratch.

In a nutshell, the system sifts through inconsistencies, such as a wrong phone number, what kind of photo is on the site, an iffy business name etc. By scrolling over the bar for each site, you’ll have insight on any issues that are present. Or you can always click on other tabs for a list view.

So, what’s the catch?

Moz Local provides no way to squash duplicates. While we can hardly hold that against them, it’s a different story when we consider that their dupe matching algorithms tend to miss the mark (a bit) once put to the test.

Google Keyword Planner

A Cohesive tool for Crafting Solid SEO StrategiesGoogle Keyword Planner

While the days of stuffing articles with keywords are long gone (or SHOULD be).

It still goes without saying that keywords play a big role in the success of your online business.

That’s where tools like Google Keyword Planner come into the picture. The love child of Google Keyword Tool and Adwords Traffic Estimator, Google Keyword Planner helps you pull off effective SEO strategies and without breaking a sweat.

This tool’s sheer comprehensiveness makes it ideal for campaign creation, and it boasts an interface that is sleek and intuitive in the same breath.

So, what’s the catch?

While a powerful and comprehensive tool, Google Keyword Planner does not provide a list of negative keywords. That may or may not be a bummer depending on what you are up to. Another snag with this product is that it doesn’t provide long term keywords.

Technical SEO Tool: Screaming Frog

Link Building, Site Scraping, and all-round efficiencyScreaming Frog

If you find that SEMrush doesn’t quite cut it for you.

There are other places you can go looking for an SEO tool that meets your needs. Screaming Frog may not be a bad place to start.

But why would you need Screaming Frog? What does it do, and how well does it do it?

Screaming Frog scrapes sites — similar to search engines. And it’s pretty useful if you need to track things like:

  • Internal and outbound links per page
  • HTTP status codes
  • Keyword elements (Title and description)
  • And crawl level

The older and larger a website, the more likely it is to be littered with broken links. Screaming Frog makes finding and fixing these links far less hassling than it could be.

Users can easily locate any links that are generating 404 errors, including every other page on that website that links to the 404 page. That way you can fix the broken link issue from the roots.

A lot of the information you need (after running an audit) is presented in a spreadsheet. This can give you a decent overview of your site’s status PRIOR to getting any SEO work done.

So, what’s the catch?

The catch is pretty straightforward. Do you need to crawl 300 URLs? In that case Screaming Frog is free. If you need to crawl over 500 URLs then you are out of luck.

To be frank, I don’t consider this to be much of a downside to what is an otherwise efficient and resourceful SEO tool, but some users may not be up for it.

HootSuite

Social Media Insights that empower Your SEO CampaignHootSuite

You’ve probably heard of HootSuite before, but never thought you’d see it on a list like this. Well, HootSuite isn’t your typical SEO tool.

But considering the social media insights it delivers, it can be a key component in your SEO campaign.

Social media is pretty casual, but when it comes to handling your business on social media, it can be a pain trying to bring it all together.

Hootsuite makes it much easier to keep tabs on your social accounts. For example when your business is mentioned on Facebook or Twitter.

What’s more, Hootsuite allows you to track the TONE of the conversations regarding your business on social networks, courtesy of the sentiment meter.

The sentiment meter is useful in that it displays how users are responding to your business/product.

Curious to know who is MOST interested in your product? Of course you are. Hootsuite has got that covered as well. It helps you segment your audience, which is beyond useful for marketing purposes, and selecting the right keywords.

So, what’s the catch?

Hootsuite’s free option isn’t so much ‘free’ as it is a ‘teaser’.

What I mean is Hootsuite’s free option doesn’t offer nearly enough to help your social media efforts, let alone your SEO campaign.

The paid version isn’t going to bankrupt anyone. But when you take a moment to peruse the pricing of some additional features.

Namely analytic reports, the point system, and expensive custom URL, you’ll realize things can add up quickly.

Optimizely

Augment UX and nurture customer relationshipsOptimizely

Optimizely is great for anyone trying to get the most out of their marketing strategy.

Its efficient analytics allow you to more easily monitor user experiences. In other words, you can better determine what works for your website and what needs to go.

If you are looking to decrease bounce rates, increase on-site time, and drive more traffic to your website/product, Optimizely is a tool you should consider.

This analytics tool helps you form and nurture customer relationships, which is invaluable no matter what business you are into. One of the biggest challenges in marketing can be those customer behaviors are liable to fluctuate.

Optimizely is designed specifically to help you track and adjust to those changes. That said, you are able to design platforms in a way that is best suited to your customers.

So, what’s the catch?

Optimizely is all smooth sailing, save for some slight issues users face with the UI; particularly with how some information is laid out, and when it comes to selecting elements within containers.

Site Auditor – Raven Tools

Site Auditing Done RightRaven Tools

Looking to get the most out of your SEO campaign?

Auditing your website is a good place to start. And why not get it done with one of the best tools available on the market?

Raven Tools is a great means to identify opportunities to spur the growth of your small business. Naturally, it’s also useful to help and identify problems, so you can iron out the seams.

Due to the changes in keywords, volumes and search engine algorithms, the importance of an analysis schedule can’t be overstated. Raven Tools allows you to create an analysis schedule and stay on top of your website’s SEO. It helps that you can customize when and how you receive data. Here’s what I mean:

Not only can you create analysis schedules, you can also choose whether to analyze your site weekly or monthly. Feel free to specify the particular issues you want to be notified about for each evaluation you have scheduled ahead of time.  Even better, Raven Tools Site Auditor sends alerts your way so you always know when and how your site can be improved.

So, what’s the catch?

Overall, Raven Tools has got Site Auditing in the bag. However, it doesn’t quite stack up as a backlink checker.

Best SEO Tools For Small Business: Our Final Review

This is by no means an all-inclusive list. There are tons of other SEO tools out there that may be tremendously useful for you in your endeavors.

What other SEO tools do you think deserve to be on this list? And how have they helped you improve your business? Let us know in the comments!   All of this work won’t be any good without reliable web hosting. The article was created in cooperation with lepszymarketing.pl