The Best SEO Tools: Top Platforms and Useful Software

The Best SEO Tools: Top Platforms and Useful Software

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a field with many software needs covering keyword research, technical audits, website metrics, competitive analysis, and much more. This guide aims to simplify your search for the best SEO tools by providing insight into the top solutions.

We’ll first cover Google Search Console, the essential tool that every SEO campaign needs.

Then we’ll detail some of the best SEO platforms to try, including both free and paid tools. Finally, we’ll provide a list of the best SEO tools for everyday needs.  

In this guide:

The essential SEO tool

While there are an overwhelming number of software options for monitoring and measuring search traffic, Google Search Console is necessary for any SEO work. Luckily, it’s free and easy to configure.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Google Search Console reports how Google views your website, providing essential data for keyword impressions, clicks, search rankings, and potential issues affecting search visibility. It will monitor your site for any errors, such as broken links or structured data issues. This can help you understand how Google sees your site and address any errors.

While Search Console is a stand-alone tool, it also integrates with other popular SEO solutions. Simply having your website properly configured can help you maximize the potential of your tools and campaigns.

Pricing: Free

Best for: Anyone performing SEO work

Best SEO Platforms

Think of an SEO platform as your main toolbox. These software suites include SEO solutions, such as keyword research, site crawls, technical reports, and competitive analysis, for the most common projects. SEO platforms are a great next step for those who need professional tools beyond Search Console. This section explores the top contenders, each offering unique features and strengths.

Top Platforms

  • Moz Pro. Best for beginners and those who prefer simplicity
  • Ahrefs. Best for keyword research and technical audits
  • Semrush. Best for those who want holistic SEM campaigns

Moz Pro

Moz Pro

Moz Pro is an SEO software suite with a variety of tools to help you improve your search engine visibility. They offer strong products for core tasks like keyword research, technical audits, and domain analysis. Additionally, Moz has many great learning resources for SEO and how to use their tools to the fullest.

Out of the top options, Moz has the simplest interface. This makes it a great choice for anyone who might prefer to limit their interface to the necessary metrics. Other solutions, like Ahrefs and Semrush, offer more data and tools, but can be overwhelming. Moz Pro is good for those who value straightforward tools and insights.

If you’re interested in trying out Moz, they also offer a collection of free tools, including trial versions of their keyword research and domain analysis tools. These offer a nice entry point for those looking into the software but who don’t want to commit to an expensive subscription.

Pricing: $99 - $599/mo. See details.

Best for: SEO beginners and small businesses that prefer simplicity over detail

Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO suite with advanced keyword research capabilities, site auditing features, and useful competitive analysis metrics. Ahrefs has extensive data on keywords that can provide you with deep insights into traffic patterns, competitor strategies, and technical SEO improvements.

Ahrefs is a great option for more experienced SEO professionals or those who aren’t intimidated by extra data. While Ahrefs isn’t as straightforward as Moz, it offers significantly more keyword data and other valuable insights. It’s an incredibly powerful tool with a wealth of data, but it requires dedicated experience for best results.

If you’re considering Ahrefs, the platform offers free tools to get started, which are limited versions of their full features. These include powerful webmaster tools for monitoring your site and checking key competitor information.

Pricing: $99 - $999/mo. See details.

Best for: SEO professionals and marketers looking for detailed research and technical audits

Semrush

Semrush

Semrush is an all-encompassing SEO and SEM suite that provides many tools for keyword research, site auditing, and competitive analysis. It stands out for its holistic approach to search engine marketing, offering detailed insights into SEO strategies, PPC campaigns, and content marketing efforts.

Semrush is particularly valuable for businesses and marketers wanting a broad overview of their search engine-related marketing. While Semrush offers data similar to Ahrefs, it differentiates itself by providing tools that support PPC campaign management and social media marketing. This makes Semrush powerful for broader digital marketing work beyond SEO.

If interested, check out Semrush’s free tools and features to get a sense of its capabilities. These should allow you to perform basic keyword research, site health checks, and other standard SEO tasks.

Pricing: $129.95 - $499.95/mo. See details.

Best for: Marketers and businesses looking for a comprehensive SEM and SEO solution

Specialized SEO Tools

While SEO platforms provide a central set of tools, many tasks have specialized needs. This section covers popular tools for specific projects.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is fundamental to understanding how your audience searches for information. These tools offer additional help:

  • Google Keyword Planner. A basic solution for finding keyword search volume and broad metrics. Free, but doesn’t offer essential organic search metrics like keyword difficulty.
  • Google Trends. Offers insights into the popularity of search queries over time, helping you spot trends and seasonal variations in search interest.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures a website meets the technical requirements of search engines, aiming to improve visibility and organic rankings. Popular options include:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider. A desktop program that crawls website URLs to identify technical and on-page SEO problems.
  • Schema Markup Testing Tool. A free tool for testing structured data and ensuring your markup aligns with standards.
  • Sitebulb. Delivers comprehensive audits and cloud-based crawls, a good solution for discovering errors and implementing fixes.
  • PageSpeed Insights. Analyze how fast your pages load and what’s slowing them down. Vital tool for improving website performance and user experience.

Local SEO

Optimizing for local search is important for businesses wanting to attract nearby customers. These tools help manage online listings and results:

  • Google Business Profile. Adjust your business's appearance on Google Maps and search, crucial for local visibility.
  • Moz Local. Another Moz product, designed for local businesses. Automates business listing management across various platforms, ensuring consistency and accuracy.
  • Semrush Local. Helps distribute your business information evenly across directories, improving local search presence.

WordPress Plugins

These are the top two options for WordPress sites, both offering features for cross-functional SEO needs:

  • Yoast SEO. Recommended SEO plugin for WordPress. Many useful tools for optimizing and managing your content, ensuring it performs its best.
  • All in One SEO. The best alternative to Yoast, a strong and helpful solution for those who prefer a different approach.

SEO Browser Extensions

Browser extensions provide quick access to key metrics and insights, helpful for quick analysis and productivity. These extensions are free, but also pair with the recommended SEO platforms, increasing their capabilities and support:

  • MozBar. Offers data about web pages and SERPs, including page authority and domain authority scores.
  • Ahrefs SEO Toolbar. Provides SEO metrics for pages and SERPs, along with quick backlink checks and page audits.
  • SEOquake. An extension that works with Semrush's analytics. Offers insights into competitive research and on-page SEO.

Get SEO work done with Upwork

SEO involves more than just great tools. It is a deep and intricate field that requires specialization and expertise. Upwork offers a vibrant marketplace for SEO, whether you're looking to hire SEO experts or work in SEO.

With Upwork, you can find SEO experts and projects to use the best software and deliver valuable boosts to search traffic and rankings.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this article. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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Author Spotlight

The Best SEO Tools: Top Platforms and Useful Software
Taylor Brown
SEO Expert

Taylor is a writer and SEO expert based in Los Angeles. He has been helping organizations with websites since 2005, building content, audiences, and cross-functional skills. He loves the arts, culture, technology, and anything that gets a good laugh.

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