SEO can seem like an impenetrable mystery when you’re first starting out, leaving you dubious as to whether anyone really understands it. The truth is, even the most outstanding SEO gurus would be nothing without their tools. Once you’ve armed yourself with the best ones on the market, the obscure world of search engine optimization will become clear. To get you started, here are the five essential tools you need to be using:
1. Google’s Data Studio
Data Studio is one of the most valuable free tools you need to add to your SEO arsenal. It allows you to customize your reporting with the creation of interactive dashboards that help even the most tech-illiterate customers understand the data being presented. There are plenty of brilliantly constructed data studio templates available online, so you don’t have to be a design whizz to offer clear and concise data to your clients.
There’s a reason why SEMRush is one of the staples of the SEO community. It allows you to analyze everything from your domain authority and search data to your traffic and keyword rankings. It’s brilliant for keyword research and it gives you the ability to instantly compare your website to those of major competitors.
SEMRush offers a free suite of tools and then two paid tiers, each of which you can sample with a seven-day trial.
Another free tool, MozBar gives you near-instant access to HTTP status codes, on-page elements, link metrics, keyword difficulty, and more. When engaging in on-page analysis, you’ll have meta descriptions and other core elements at your disposal, making this one of the most valuable secret weapons for your SEO arsenal. You can pick up this handy toolbar from your preferred browser’s extension library.
AHRefs is brilliant for on-page optimization. It will let you know where your website is lacking and which areas should be improved in order to rank better with search engines. You can also use this powerful tool to analyze the backlink profiles of your major competitors. This will give you a blueprint for building your own online presence.
AHRefs will help you uncover the content within your niche or industry that’s getting the most links. You can also uncover any broken links on your website, allowing you to fix them before they become problematic. You’ll have clear data on which of your site’s pages are performing the best, giving you a clear snapshot of what’s attracting customers. This is invaluable in helping you plot out your ongoing content strategy.
Ubersuggest is another fantastic free SEO tool that will help you generate new and powerful keyword ideas. Enter a basic, short keyword, and Ubersuggest will deliver a list of longtail versions, complete with search volume and other valuable data. You can also get related keywords, questions, preposition keywords, and comparison keywords. Ubersuggest will even give you content ideas to help you drive traffic to your site.
When you first start searching for SEO tools, the sheer quantity of what’s available can be overwhelming. Instead of allowing this to halt your progress, start with the five essential SEO tools listed above. As you familiarize yourself with them, you will start to feel more comfortable and less confused about the intricacies of this field. Once this clear view materializes, you’ll have a better idea of which other tools you feel might be useful.