Key Tools: There is a lot of conversation around search engine optimization in the marketing world. Many organizations are adopting an SEO focus for their content to increase their online visibility. Those who don’t incorporate an SEO strategy into their marketing probably won’t get the results they want from their efforts. Like a plumber showing up to a job without a wrench, digital marketing without the right tools won’t find much success.
That said, the number of SEO tools can be overwhelming. How can you know the right ones to use for your content marketing strategy? Which solutions are free and which ones might require a significant investment? Most importantly, which tools will best help you bring in more marketing-qualified leads, which is likely your ultimate goal?
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4 Types of SEO Tools
Developing a strong SEO strategy requires you to understand what your goals are. As you research the tools you’ll want to use, having a basic grasp on the various types can be helpful. It will save you time and keep you focused on optimizing the right components of your site and online presence.
On-page SEO optimizes the more common parts of a website, including title tags, meta descriptions, and internal linking. Off-page SEO involves external aspects of your business, such as customer reviews and social media marketing. Local SEO focuses on your organization’s physical address and driving traffic to it. Lastly, technical SEO deals with the “behind the scenes” issues like the speed of your site and making it mobile-friendly.
1. All-in-One Tools
Comprehensive tools for SEO strategy perform numerous functions. Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz Pro go beyond basic keyword research. Each of these gives detailed information on keyword volume and up-to-date data around search frequency. They also help with backlink analysis, site audits, and competitor research.
The downside with these solutions is the expense. Depending on your needs, each one will cost you between $99 and $1,000 per month. Spend time researching and comparing the different all-in-one SEO tools to determine which functions you need most. While Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz Pro all do similar things, there are also subtle differences that can impact your selection. Each solution has flexible plans that allow you to pay monthly or annually.
2. Specialized Tools
Your organization might not need the most comprehensive tool on the market. If you have specific problems to solve, there are numerous products that specialize in functions critical to SEO success. Do you need site monitoring for technical issues like broken links and load time? Are you looking to get a better understanding of what your competitors are doing? There are tools that focus directly on these issues.
For small businesses and individual users, pared-down options that are less costly may be preferable. KWFinder provides free keyword research and is useful for SERP analysis. WooRank has a great site recommendations feature and grades your entire website to help you better optimize content. Lumar (formerly Deepcrawl) is a comprehensive web crawler that can uncover strengths and weaknesses of your site. LinkResearchTools can be helpful if analyzing backlinks and website link structure is your focus.
3. Local SEO Tools
Companies looking to drive traffic to a physical location should consider a strategy that leverages local search tools. Local SEO raises awareness of your business to get more customers visiting your locations and more people visiting your website. Utilizing geographic info, local SEO tools enable you to target potential customers within a specific region or zip code. These solutions are most beneficial for brick-and-mortar retailers, restaurants, and service providers like dentists, stylists, doctors, and lawyers.
One of the most trusted local SEO tools is Birdeye, which helps businesses monitor customer reviews and manage their online reputation. BrightLocal can get companies more leads through localized searches. While Semrush is an all-in-one SEO platform, many organizations trust it for their local needs as well. It allows you to track your listings daily to better optimize your content and ads to drive traffic.
4. Generative AI
There is a lot of controversy about using generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard in content marketing. But in developing your SEO strategy, AI can prove to be an incredibly useful aid to the brainstorming process. For example, if you need a keyword-rich blog title for a writeup on salmon recipes, you can generate ideas through AI. Asking an AI site will produce great title ideas such as “The Ultimate Crusted Salmon Guide: Recipes, Tips, and More.” AI can be a handy tool in the creative process of marrying content and SEO.
AI is also beneficial for developing paid search ads for social media and Google. Typing in a blog title and asking such tools to generate a Google ad will give you SEO-focused ad content. Using AI as an SEO tool frees you to spend more time crafting compelling, reader-centric content. Best of all, many generative AI sites are free to use.
Don’t be the plumber who shows up to work without a wrench. You’ve got a great product or service — now use the right tools to let people know about it. There are countless tech solutions to consider for your SEO strategy. Knowing your goals and your budget will help you determine what ones will be most beneficial. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so be sure your online presence is keeping pace.