Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a massive industry, filled with hundreds of sites and software programs promising to boost presence and effectiveness. Many of these tools make bold claims, but do they actually work?
Unfortunately, many do not. Some are ineffective because they emphasize outdated tactics; some fail because they have interfaces that are far too complicated; others are a waste of time because they are overloaded with unnecessary features.
However, though many SEO tools are ineffectual, there are also a number that are very helpful. A few of these are well-known, long-time favorites, while others are fairly new. All are successful because they are well designed, easy to use, and truly useful.
Specifically, these four tools should be part of every SEO toolkit in 2015:
1. Moz Analytics
Overview: The tagline for Moz Analytics is “All Your Data in One Place,” and that’s an apt description. The platform has almost everything you need for successful search engine optimization and includes nothing that’s unnecessary. It’s the all-in-one search multi-tool for online marketers.
Features: The breadth of the platform is very impressive. Moz Analytics displays information about your search rankings, keywords, and links, accompanied by clear optimization suggestions. It also regularly audits your site and provides comparative insights with other brands.
Overview: One of the keys to SEO success is researching your competitors. By closely watching what businesses in the same space are doing, you can both ensure that your search presence is up to par and get ideas for better optimizing your offerings. SEMRush makes competitive monitoring much easier with a set of focused tools.
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Features: The SEMRush product has a number of key features, including organic research (competitors’ keywords and rankings), advertising research (competitors’ strategies, budgets, ad copy, and budgets), backlink analysis (see who is linking to your content), product listing ad data (competitors’ PLA performance and content), and keyword analysis (recommended strategies and phrases).
Overview: Want to know who is linking to your site and what content they’re linking to? Use Ahrefs. It is the deepest, most powerful tool for link profile analysis, a key strategy for prospecting, auditing, analyzing, and learning what powers the websites in your vertical.
Features: The Ahrefs platform has a few key components for analyzing backlinks, including Site Explorer, which allows you to check the backlinks for any single website/domain and Batch Analysis, which lets you quickly compare the metrics of up to several hundred URLs or domains.
Overview: A good link-building strategy isn’t just about knowing who is already linking to you; it’s also important to know who should be linking to you. In other words, which legitimate, high-value sources are interested your sort of content? This is where Ontolo comes in; the platform makes it much simpler to quickly identify quality link-building opportunities.
Features: The Ontolo product has a number of useful tools for marketers, including ways to find prospects based on keywords and options for finding research about topics that are of interest. For SEO, the key feature is the Link Building Tool, which lets you determine who is already linking to your site, who is linking to similar types of content, and who is linking to similar sites. One of best parts is the interface, with presents the results for each query accompanied by relevant data (site URLs, email addresses, etc.).
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