Editor reviewing SEO basics

5 Must-Have SEO Tools

We all know there are plenty of little things you can do to spruce up your site, but efficient optimization requires a variety of SEO tools. The right tools can take the difficulty out of tasks such as creating detailed audit reports and building backlinks. We’ve put together a list of five essential SEO tools and programs. Most are free (or have a well-functioning free product), but even if you decide on a paid subscription, the benefit to your site will be well worth it.

Google Analytics

Price: Free

Google offers a paid premium version of Analytics, but you can manage just fine with the free option. Google Analytics dissects information about your visitors, showing you how users were directed to your site, how long they stayed, and how well your site is performing on social media.  Both versions deliver progress reports in the form of dashboard widgets; widgets display data using easy-to-interpret graphs and charts. The big difference between free and paid Analytics—besides the annual $150,000 price tag on the latter—is premium access to better support and thoroughly detailed data.

Google Webmaster Tools

Price: Free

You can’t get away with overlooking this set of SEO tools. GWT is completely free, no strings attached. Like Analytics, you’ll have your data displayed on dashboards. However, you’ll have access to a larger variety of information, in addition to correspondences from Google. That’s what makes GWT one of the most beneficial tools out there. Whenever Google’s crawlers encounter issues on your site or you receive an SEO penalty, you’ll be notified.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Price: Free

Screaming Frog offers a variety of SEO services, such as content marketing and pay-per-click advertising. Their SEO spider is a helpful tool for those who are a little more SEO savvy; to the unaware user, the downloadable program’s interface is a wall of data. As the name implies, Screaming Frog’s program crawls a website like just like a search engine’s bot does. This tool makes the auditing process much easier. Examining every page of a larger site is a staggering task, but this spider’s results include every error, redirect, and minor aspect you could possibly overlook.

Majestic SEO

Price: Plans vary from $78.99 to $399.99 per month

Majestic SEO is a crucial tool for backlink building. Although the design is rather basic, you’ll find this program to be user-friendly. You’ll be able to view an extensive, organized collection of your inbound links, identify and compare keyword usage in many sites, and contrast the backlink histories of several domains at a time. Subscriptions vary in price, and if you see yourself needing a solid backlink tool, it’s a better deal to buy an annual subscription. Unless you’re working with a very large business, the Silver or Gold plans will do the job.

MOZ Pro

Price:  $99 to $599 a month (price varies by package)

Moz has an array of free SEO tools. MozCast sends you daily updates of your Google ranking, adding MozBar to your internet browser allows for easy analysis of any page you visit, and Followerwonk can take care of Twitter analytics. But a Moz Pro subscription gives you access to over 12 SEO tools, SEO marketing lessons, and discounts on other software. Running audits and analyses has never been easier, thanks to comprehensive, easy-to-digest graphs and dashboards.