The internet can be thought of as an enormous playground for digital marketers. It’s teeming with useful, innovative and mostly free tools just waiting to measure, track and analyse your online presence.
Of course, if you’re serious about achieving digital results, it’s worth consulting a professional and outsourcing some of the hard graft. But there are still some quick wins you can achieve alone using these tools – you just need to know how to use them. From backlink analysis to Twitter follower optimisation, here’s our lowdown of seven of the best online SEO tools.
SEMrush is one of the best tools out there for competitor analysis. It helps you to find out the organic search ranking positions for your competitor’s sites, helping you to pinpoint the search terms it may be useful for you to target, and what you’re up against.
If you’re looking to do some link-building to help improve your rankings and authority, SEMRush can help you to work out whether or not the sites you’re looking to target are ‘healthy’ or not. You definitely don’t want disreputable sites pointing to yours, so this can be an invaluable part of your link-building strategy.
Buzzsumo offers insight into the most popular content online right now. Therefore, it’s perfect for brainstorming and finding ideas for content that’s already proven to deliver ROI. Not only does it provide inspiration for subjects in your niche, but you can also sort these by social shares across Twitter, Facebook and more, to help you figure out what has the most potential to go viral.
Our top tip? Click on the “backlinks” tab. This is where you’ll see the social share statistics of the most popular inbound links – giving you a ready-made list of link-building outreach websites.
This handy tool is owned by Moz, and is best used to measure your Twitter activity. One of the most valuable ways to maximise this is to identify key influencers in your niche, so you can connect with the key players who are really going to get more eyes on your brand.
Other highlights include the ability to track the success of your Twitter campaigns and analyse the followers of your competitors.
AHrefs has been on the scene for a while, and for good reason. It’s still one of the best tools out there for link analysis and backlink research for link auditing.
Among other things, AHrefs can tell you the following about a prospective website you’d like to gain a link from: how natural their link growth is, how many of their links are from high authority sites, and how many referring domains that site has. It crawls so regularly that it offers some of the newest and most up-to-date data on the web.
If you don’t already use Google Analytics – or any another analytics tool, for that matter – start now! Having a comprehensive understanding of the traffic coming to your site, who your followers are and where they’re coming from, is the only way to really measure the success of your site and how you’re growing over time.
Google Analytics has become increasingly sophisticated and in-depth in recent years, and now offers digital marketers unrivalled opportunities to delve into statistics. Even if you don’t like data, there’s something addictive about monitoring and being on top of your analytics.
Majestic has long been a go-to tool for SEOs. It offers much the same backlink data as AHrefs, but is the largest link intelligence database on the planet and updates its index several times a day. It’s also extremely useful for reporting on SEO performance data. Majestic will help you to understand what specific content on your site is getting links, and provide you with customisable reports to help guide your plans.
Using Authority Labs is a great way to track your rankings, both current and historical, to give you an accurate representation of how keywords are ranking over time. You can also compare yourself against competitors for keywords, to see how you measure up to the competition.
What are your favourite SEO tools? Share with us in the comments below!