Most Popular SEO Tools in 2021
Google Keyword Tools – One of the best keyword research tools on the market and considering it’s from Google and it’s free, you can’t go wrong.
SemRush.com – This is a paid keyword research tool with a limited free option. I love this tool, I would never be without it. It gives you a lot more than Google will and it’s much more than just a keyword tool. One of the major benefits is its ability to track your rankings.
Ahrefs.com – If you are getting serious about your SEO, you should be getting serious about backlinking and Ahrefs helps you with that in ways no other tools can. It will show you all your competitor’s backlinks (if you don’t know how powerful that is, there is no hope for you!) and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this tool can do for you.
Open Site Explorer – This is in a similar vein to Ahrefs, as it helps you track your backlinks and that of your competitors. I like both tools and recommend them both, but I prefer Ahrefs right now.
Google Webmaster Tools – This is the control panel to your rankings with Google. Google Webmaster Tools is the nervous system of SEO if you are serious about ranking with Google. You will get alerts from Google here, you can check your rankings, check your CTR’s, submit your sitemap, submit URLs for consideration. It’s important.
Google Analytics – Another great free tool from Google. You need to know how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming, are they coming from Google or Facebook or Twitter, or did someone link to you? You need to know how many pages your visitors read on your site, how they stay for, what pages they read and the list goes on. That’s what a good analytics program gives you, and Google Analytics is a good one for most businesses.
Moz Toolbar – I talked quite a bit about how to use this tool in this book already. Moz’s free SEO toolbar allows you to see how competitive a keyword you want to target will be to rank for. You can install it in your web browser and do great keyword competition checks all day long.
Google PageSpeed Insights – Another great free tool from Google. Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to see just that, how fast your site loads and if it is slow, what the problems are. This is one of the first tools I use on my client’s sites.
Majestic SEO – The main job of Majestic SEO is to check your backlinks for you and of course, check your competitors as well.
Google Trends – This is something I use often to check for the popularity of a niche or topic. This free tool allows you to see what’s trending in terms of searches. You can type in any search query and see how it’s trending. Are a lot of people searching for it right now? Do they search for this keyword from a specific country or time of year? You can see if a topic or niche is trending down over the years before deciding to go all in.
KeywordTool.io – Another great free Keyword research tool, but the paid version is better. It’s more about giving you suggestions that you might not have thought of. I use this keyword tool to get suggestions and then I run them through SEMRush.com or Google Keyword Tool.
GTMetrix – Another great free tool to help you find where you need to optimize your site to get it running smoothly and quickly. The faster your site loads, the better rankings you will achieve.
HootSuite – If you are doing any sort of serious social media marketing or managing, and you should be, this suite of tools is for you. You can manage all your social networks easily and quickly in one convenient control panel. It’s a complete social media manager.
Screaming Frog – Great name, great product. Their SEO Spider tool comes in real handy when you want to audit your site, your competitor’s sites, or your client’s sites. It will crawl your site and tell you about all the errors you have and how to fix them to maximize your on-page SEO.
BuzzSumo.com – Not so much an SEO tool as more of a research tool. BuzzSumo lets you see what content has the most social shares based on any keyword you input. If you are looking to find a way to replicate epic content already out there, this is for you.
Moz Local Search – If you are a local business and you want to check your local listings to make sure they are all there, this is a great free tool for that.
AuthorityLabs – High quality and very accurate SERP tracking. If you want to know where you are ranking at all times in all the big search engines, AuthorityLabs is for you.
SpyFu – This tool allows you to find all your competitor’s profitable keywords. Whether they are organic or with Google Adwords, you can download all the keywords they are targeting and use them for your site.
DeepCrawl – If you are serious about your SEO, your know-how important to audit the performance of your site is. DeepCrawl does just that, it crawls your site looking for any sort of structural errors that will negatively impact your SEO.
Incognito Browsing – Every web browser has this functionality and it’s so important for checking your rankings. If you continually search for a keyword and click on your site, Google is going to move your site up the rankings, but only for you. This is a personalized result and it throws off your ability to see where you are ranking. Put your browser in incognito mode and you will see the true SERP results.
Schema Creator – There is no better way to build structured data for your website.
Raven Tools – If you are looking for a good SEO reporting tool, this is it. If you do work for any clients, this will create stunning-looking graphs and charts showing exactly how they are doing in their SEO efforts. It’s also good for your SEO work as well. It’s not cheap, but it’s a tool I use.
BrowserShots.org – Every time I do client work, the first thing I do is see how the site loads in all the different web browsers. You would be surprised how many sites look good in say Chrome, but terrible in
Firefox. This free tool will show you what your site looks like on dozens of
different browser combinations.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test – Check to see if your site is mobile responsive in a matter of seconds.
Compress Jpeg – Image compression website. Just load up your image and let it compress it for you in less than a minute. Completely free.
Compressor.io – Another quality image compression tool that is also free. I’ve added this as well in case one or the other stops working.
Bitly.com – One of the best URL shorteners on the market. If you want to cloak or track who is clicking on your links, use Bitly. The tracking data is the best part of this tool. Perfect for social media, you can see where your links are getting clicked from and how many people are clicking.
Copyscape.com – A simple and free tool that will allow you to check your content and your website for duplicate content. Duplicate content is a big no-no, so if you are outsourcing your content, you should be checking in here for any duplicate content issues.
Whois.DomainTools.com – A very powerful domain whois checker. It gives you a lot more data than other whois checkers.
XML Sitemaps – If you are not using WordPress and you need a good free XML sitemap creator for your site to submit to Google Webmaster Tools, this will do the trick!
Piwik – A very good quality analytics program if you don’t want to use Google Analytics or you want something more robust. It’s free and open source and it doesn’t share your data with anyone other than yourself. You will need to manually install it on your site.
Robots.txt Checker – Check to make sure your Robots.txt is working properly and optimized properly. It will find all errors.
Wayback Machine – Awesome little site tool that lets you see what a domain site looked like in the past. Great for working out whether or not a domain you want to buy has been used before and for what. If it was used for a spam site, you now won’t waste your money on the domain.
Cloudflare – Cloudflare is my favorite CDN (content delivery network). It allows you to host files/media on their servers instead of your own to take the pressure off your hosting. It will speed up the site significantly and I highly recommend using a CDN. It also has great security features to protect you from DDoS attacks.
Whois Hosting This – If you are looking for good, reliable, and fast website hosting, this site has a lot of high-value reviews you can look at to see what will suit your purposes.
SimilarWeb.com – Want to see what kind of traffic your competitors are getting and from what sources? SimilarWeb.com is a great free tool for this. There is a paid version which I recommend as well. I use this almost daily.
Whitespark Local Citation Finder – If you are a local business or you do consult work for local businesses, this tool is a must. We all know how important citations are to local businesses and this tool will find you the best for your business industry.
Wistia – High-quality business video hosting with great analytics and other video marketing tools are thrown in. If you do anything with video, this should be your first port of call.
Optimizely – When you start to get serious about SEO, you start to get serious about the results that traffic is bringing you and your conversion rates. That’s where A/B testing comes into the picture. Optimizely does this well and also allows you to offer personalization to your visitors, which can be based on previous actions they have taken. Really useful tool.
Haro – Help A Reporter Out is a great service where you can register yourself as an expert and when reporters are looking to interview and quote experts in your field, you can send them your information. This is great for building yourself into an expert and also getting great links back to your site.
Website Penalty Indicator – This tool uses select historical data to see if your site may have a Google penalty. Good tool but only really useful for sites that have been around for at least a few months.
PhotoDune.net – If you need good stock photos for your website and let’s face it, we all do, PhotoDune.net is a great place to get them. Low price, high quality, and run by the guys and girls at Envato.