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SEO Tool Buying Guide

Planted 02020-09-21

The endless supply of tools leaves many beginners and experts wondering the same thing. What tool should I use?

SEO tasks range from super simple to disgustingly complicated. SEO tools match that variety with an endless supply of tools available at your discretion. All the tools you would ever need as an SEO are in this list of tools by Saijo George.

Benefits of Using SEO tools

The primary reason you need to use an SEO tool is that it allows you to execute more. They do this through a few means:

  • Speed up tasks
  • Standardize a process to work with
  • Surface and organize insights and actions to take

Factors to Consider When Buying SEO tools

  • Features
  • Ease-of-use (usability)
  • Accuracy
  • Options (account levels) and Cost

SEO Tool Features and Extras

  • Rank tracking
  • On-page audits
  • Technical audits
  • Keyword research
  • Link building
  • Analytics
  • Citation builder

SEO Tool Usability

  • Learnable: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they use it?
  • Efficient: Once users have learned it, how quickly can they perform tasks?
  • Memorable: When users return to it after a while of not using it, how easily can they become proficient again?
  • Few Errors: How many errors do users make, how severe are they, and how easily can they recover from them?
  • Satisfying: How pleasant is it to use the tool?

SEO Tool Accuracy

  • How is data collected?
  • How is data manipulated?
  • How is data validated?

Data needs to be accurate to work.

SEO Tool Account Options and Cost

  • Are you able to get what you need at the price you want to pay?

Recommendations are linked.

“All-in-one” Tools

All-in-one tools claim to be the only tool you need for SEO.

Rank tracking tools track your position (ranking) across search engines for given searches and locations. Read the tactical buyers guide to SEO rank tracking tools by Terry Godier at Panoply. (updated link)

On-page audit tools give you insights and actions to improve the intent-matching of the content.

Technical audit tools give you insights and actions to improve search engines’ ability to crawl and index your content.

Keyword research tools help you discover the topics your audience is searching for. (Broad category—Near infinite ways to say what your audience is searching for)

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush
  • Sparktoro
  • Answer The Public
  • Keyword Surfer
  • Keywords Everywhere

Link building tools help you find opportunities for links. (Broad category—Near infinite ways to find opportunities for links)

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush
  • Moz
  • BuzzStream
  • Mailshake
  • Pitchbox

Analytics tools give you data generated by users interacting with your site.

  • Google Analytics
  • Clicky
  • Matomo

Citation builder tools help you build and manage business listings on other sites.

Final Thoughts

The tools you use should match your needs. The most commonly cited “bare-minimum paid” is Ahrefs. It covers many of your bases. It is valuable to learn about the different tools available for SEO. It’s a great way to learn about various SEO processes and services.

Don’t let price get you down. There are free tools out there—many of the paid tools listed here even have free tiers—and you can do a lot with free tools.

We all have 24 hours in a day. But the right SEO tools let you do more.