Let us begin with a caveat. Search engine optimization is still evolving. What was relevant and worked five years ago do not have any impact today. In fact, what works today may not work forever.
Google and the likes of Bing or Yahoo are constantly changing the rules of the game. It is crucial for search engines to change with time and overcome the challenges put forth by black hat practitioners.
The objective of search engines is simple. They want the most relevant search results to be displayed. For that, they would keep changing the rules of the game as many times as needed. For us lesser mortals, we need to conform to those changes.
You will need a host of SEO tools to get your website ranked higher than it is today. Here are some SEO tools that you should be using as we head towards 2016. For convenience, we are listing the top ten tools and then we shall highlight which tools are best for what specific purpose.
We all know that the primary utilities of SEO tools are categorized as keyword research, link building, competitive analysis, reporting, and tracking, and finally we assess the quality of help and support.
The primary utilities of SEO tools are categorized as keyword research, link building, competitive analysis, reporting, tracking, and finally, we assess the quality of help and support.
First, let’s take a look at all the top tools in each of these categories:
- For keyword research, the best SEO tools are Moz, Raven Tools, Web CEO Online and SEMrush.
- For link building, the best SEO tools are Moz, Raven Tools, SEMrush, UpCity and Cognitive SEO.
- For competitive analysis, the best SEO tools are Moz, Raven Tools, Web CEO Online and Traffic Travis.
- For reporting and tracking, the best SEO tools are Cognitive SEO, Advances Web Ranking and Moz.
- In regards to help and support, the best SEO tools are Web CEO Online, SEMrush, UpCity, Advanced Web Ranking and Moz.
What makes them a great tool? Read onto the next section!
Top 10 SEO Tools for 2016
As we approach 2016, it’s time to prepare yourself for the new challenges that algorithm updates will bring. Here are my top 10 SEO tools for 2016.
Moz– This is likely the most popular tool on the list. They have been around for a long time and continue to offer both basic and advanced tools to help with your SEO needs. Their huge selection of research tools will likely offer what you are looking for with your SEO needs.
Raven Tools– The best part of Raven Tools is the ability to have all of your reporting in one location. Whether you are managing 2 or 20 different projects, Raven Tools can simplify the reporting process.
Web CEO Online– This web-based platform is designed to meet the needs of large digital marketing agencies, as well as those who optimize their own websites. This is a good, standard SEO tool. The do a great job with offering keyword rankings for specific locations. Web CEO also offer an automatic submission to search engines. It’s a very comprehensive software but at the same time, it’s easy to use.
SEMrush– After years of SEO, SEMrush has risen to the top as one of my favourites. This tool is especially good for competitor analysis. It offers advanced keyword and competitor research. The makers of this software are the same company that made the popular tool SEOQuake. It allows you to see a bird’s eye view of how your site is performing in search engines and look at what your competitors are doing for both organic and AdWords.
Advanced Web Ranking– AWR offers a great way to organize the many tasks of search engine optimization. Its powerful analyzer has a nice, clean interface that can easily create custom reports for rankings. They also offer frequent updates and great customer service. This tool is more suited for in-house SEOs and smaller agencies.
UpCity– This is an especially good tool for those that are new to SEO. They offer a checklist of tasks to complete when you are just getting started to make sure you cover all your bases. This is worth checking out if you are looking to simplify your SEO experience.
Traffic Travis– TT offers a simple set of tools, a great layout, and clear instructions for how to best utilize them. Best of all, it’s free! They offer a pro version as well, but it is extremely affordable when compared to other big name SEO tools. However, one disadvantage of the free version is that it does not include the competitor analysis feature, which some industries consider very important.
Cognitive SEO– This is another powerful tool that shows your data in a very presentable and user-friendly way. Cognitive SEO does not do everything that Raven Tools does, but does a great job compared to many of its competitor tools. Cognitive SEO was very helpful when one of my friend’s company was recovering from an unnatural link penalty from Google. The tool was able to easily sort all their backlinks and automatically generate a disavow file. Within a couple months, they were out of Google’s bad books.
Market Samurai– An old favourite of mine! Market Samurai offers a great platform for keyword research and allows you to focus on a keyword niche better than a majority of SEO tools out there. If you can learn how to properly use this tool, then it can definitely benefit your website. It also helps you build a link profile. Word of caution: Do not create too many backlinks that can cause you to look like you are using black hat techniques.
SECockpit– Some users have said this tool provides the fairest traffic estimate tool around. It also has a strong focus on keyword research and optimization. This program is entirely cloud based and will not require you to install any software. It is also optimized for mobile, so you can track your account on the go!
For my top 5 SEO tools, I’ve included a chart to break down the pricing for each of them.
Tools are meant to make our lives easier and help us work more efficiently. The tools I’ve listed above are extremely helpful and can assist you in generating positive results for your business. The ratings are purely based on what experts and users have said. You may find one particular tool to be better than another and that could be against the order presented here. The best approach would be to try these tools using the free trials and then, you can choose to continue using the one you like most and what delivers the best results.
If you have a tool you like, share it with us in the comment section below!