There are so many SEO tools to help you in your endeavor to rank well in the search engines. But what are the best SEO tools out there? What’s really going to help you, rather than waste your time? From blog posts to plugins to websites that help you analyze content of all sorts, there are way too many options for a beginner to have a clue where to start. You’ll obviously need an SEO keyword tool (of which there are many) to help get your articles ranked in Google. An SEO monitoring tool or SEO tracker tool is essential to track your progress. Auditing your site periodically is essential to monitor your site’s health, so in walks an SEO audit tool as well.
Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Not to fret. We have compiled a list of the top 10 SEO reporting tools you’re going to need to improve your SEO game in 2018. In turn, you’ll be able to rank better for search terms and improve your online marketing skills. Now you can do this with or without an SEO expert. You can find the perfect target keyword ideas for each article to rank well in organic search with excellent keyword tools. And of course, master user experience to make your site user friendly. Some of these are free SEO tools while others cost, but they’re all worth every cent.
The Best SEO Tools for 2018
While not a free SEO tool, SEMrush is worth every penny. There are a plethora of things you can do with this handy tool. From keyword research to analyzing your rankings as well as your rivals’ rankings, you truly can do everything with SEMrush. It is one of the best SEO tools on the market today. It provides you with a full SEO analysis for all your needs.
Keyword Research Tools
SEMrush’s keyword research tool allows you to find the best keyword to rank well in the SERPs. There are even several different ways in which to find your ideal keyword. You can search by exact phrase match is you’re very specific about your topic. Or, use broad match to find keywords similar to the one you input. Finally, you can even search by questions. These days using questions as your target keywords can be amazing, as people are often searching for an answer to a query. This also helps you fine long tail keywords.
Ever wonder how on earth people are ranking in Google’s top 10? Wonder no more! With SEMrush you can use a tool to examine an existing page you have and compare it to your top 10 rivals. What are you doing right? What are they doing that you aren’t? SEMrush has the answers. Furthermore, you can use a separate tool to analyze what the top 10 are doing for a keyword you have yet to write an article on. This way, you can get to the top from the beginning.
Organic Traffic Ranking Data
Want to know where your keyword rankings are in the search engines? This is crucial to track so that you know when you make changes what works – and what doesn’t. You can set up SEMrush to track a particular website and watch your rankings in Google’s top 100 change. Did you do something that shot you up from place 36 to place 9? Awesome. But maybe you made a tweak that dropped you from number 12 to 50. Uh oh. With this tool you have a clear grasp on what you’re doing right and wrong.
Site audits are crucial to ranking well. If your website isn’t being crawled properly by the Google bots, certain posts just aren’t being seen. Site audits will help you sort this out. They tell you loads more, including pages with duplicate content, images lacking alternative text, and a ton more.
Did you know that toxic backlinks can actually reduce your domain authority? Oh, that’s right. More links does not always mean an increase in authority. Use the backlink audit tool to find all of your toxic backlinks, and send them over to Google’s disavow tool. Being aware of your backlink profile is important to make sure you keep your domain authority rising.
Google has a ton of tools to help you out on your journey. It includes many of the best SEO tools out there. One of the major Google SEO tools is Google Analytics. It’s pretty simple, so we won’t elaborate much on this one. Google Analytics simply lets you track your audience. You can see how many people visit your page per day, how long they stay on your website on average, and the demographics that are visiting.
Furthermore, you can compare your results to previous periods. This data shows where your visitors are coming from also. Are most of your visitors from social media? And if so, which channels are generating the most traffic? Or perhaps you’re doing best with organic search results. This tells you to keep working hard at them, and get those rankings up even higher. Keep track of your Google Analytics, which is incredibly easy to set up with your website.
Google Search Console
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console tells you loads. Make sure to submit your sitemaps to Google Search Console so that they know to crawl your pages. You can also ask Google to crawl your new pages. They may do so quickly anyways, but you can give them the extra shove by asking it to crawl and index a certain page as Google. I always do this with new posts… just in case.
You can also check on your AMP pages to see how many are being indexed by Google, as well as any with errors. Furthermore, you can make sure your schema.org data is being transferred over correctly and recognized by Google. The last thing we’ll touch on is that you can check if any of your posts are being turned into rich cards. If they are, you’re doing incredibly well, as that’s everyone’s dream. Rich cards stand out in the search results, and have a much higher percentage of being clicked on.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Are you starting to see that there are many Google SEO tools? They may not let us know their exact search algorithms, but they give us many clues and free products to improve. With Google PageSpeed Insights you can check on how fast your website loads on both mobile and desktop. I had my website for several years before I knew about this handy tool. I was shocked when I found my results. My page speed was a whopping 12 out of 100. You read that right. After a bit of a panic, I read everything that Google PageSpeed Insight advised me to do to improve website speed.
Much of the suggestions given are things that are hard to comprehend if you’re not a programmer. Thankfully, the internet offer a plethora of information, which allowed me to sort through what each issue actually meant. After a bunch of tweaks, both my mobile and desktop now rank in the 80s and 90s for page speed. That’s pretty damn good. Page speed counts, though it’s often neglected. This is definitely one of the best SEO tools for 2018.
While GTMetrix shows you similar data to Google PageSpeed Insights, it takes things a step further. While PageSpeed is important, your load time is crucial. As a general rule of thumb, a load time of more than six seconds is definitely not good. You want to provide the best user experience. If people are waiting six seconds or more for a page to load, they’re going to go back to the search results and choose a different page. A load time of one to two seconds is ideal.
Just like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix will give you suggestions on how to improve. It also shows a few other metrics that Google PageSpeed Insights does not. This should be in your toolkit for the best SEO tools in 2018.
Remember how we mentioned rich cards that show up in Google Search Console? Well, you don’t have a chance of getting rich cards without schema.org. I’m no programmer myself, and it took me hours of research to sort out exactly how to use schema.org. All of the information seemed to be in programming language, which was just gibberish to me.
Essentially, what schema.org does is provide Google with pertinent information about your page. They may find this information anyways, or they may not. As I’m not a programmer, I use the plugin Schema App Structured Data. It automatically adds HTML code for Google about pertinent sections of my articles. Once an article is published, I can hit the button below my post content to test with Google. If there are no errors, I’m good to go. If any errors appear, I simply correct them in the HTML code.
And no, you don’t need to be a programmer to figure this one out. One common error is a missing description for a video or an image. Just go into the HTML code, and where it says description=””, simply add a description between the quotation marks. Check with Google again, and you should no longer have any errors.
No programming experience required. With rich cards on the rise, this is one of the best SEO tools you can have. I’m embarrassed to say I just started using it recently. It sounds daunting to a non-programmer, but with the plugin you’re good as gold.
Yoast is king of the SEO world. If you want to rank well, you’ll need their plugin to start. This plugin allows you to input your target keyword after you’ve researched with a keyword planner. After using your keyword research service of choice – whether it be Long Tail Pro, SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner – you’ll want to put your focus keyword into Yoast’s plugin. It will now tell you everything you’re doing right – and wrong. Have you placed your focus keyword in your article enough times? Are you including it in headings, the URL, the title, and everywhere else it’s required?
Yoast’s plugin also has a readability section. Yep, readability is another key SEO tool. This will tell you if your paragraphs are too long, whether you have too many words after a given heading, and many other things. It also gives you your readability score on the Flesh-Kindaid scale. The higher your readability the better. Use the suggestions it gives you to improve.
It’s important to note that merely making all the lights go green on Yoast does not mean you’re doing the best you can. Try to make things even better. For example, if it tells you that the suggested number of passive sentences is less than 10%, and you’ve got the green light for 9%, you can still improve that.
Yoast also has a great blog with a ton of useful information. I love to check it out for the best SEO tools that come up. There are always new advances in the SEO world, and this blog helps me keep up to date. They helped me figure out schema.org as well as AMP, and tell me new things all the time. I may know a lot about SEO, but no one knows everything.
I hate newsletters. They drive me insane. I don’t want my inbox bombarded with useless newsletters. Yoast’s newsletter, however, is one of the best SEO tools. I get excited every time I get a new email. What new blog posts have they put up? What advancements in SEO have we learned? Is there a new SEO analysis tool for me to use? Or perhaps there are new SEO tools to implement. With Yoast’s newsletter you can stay up to date on all the advancements made in SEO.
These days there is an increased focus on mobile over desktop. User experience on mobile is likely more important to Google than desktop, as we’re all attached to our phones nowadays. AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, provide your site with a simple design that loads lightning fast. It may not look like same as your normal theme, but Google favors it. Big time. I use a plugin called AMPforWP to make it easier to use. Just like schema.org there’s the programming way, or there’s the plugin way.
Of course you can customize things far more to your liking if you have the programming skills. But if you don’t, the plugin will do just fine. Note that AMP pages are only displayed in organic mobile search results unless you configure the program to have all mobile pages display as AMP. The themes are quite basic, but there will surely be advances with this in the coming months. As Google will be starting to favor AMP enabled pages, this is one of the best SEO tools for 2018.
Domain Authority Checker
You have to keep on top of where your domain authority is at. Even with the best SEO keyword tool and implementation, without a high domain authority you’re going to have a hard time ranking in the search engines. My favorite is the domain authority checker by Small SEO Tools as it allows you to check DA of multiple sites at a time. This helps you find out where you’re at compared to your top competitors. The higher your DA, the easier it’s going to be to rank for certain keywords. All the SEO keyword tools in the world won’t help you rank if your DA is 1. A higher authority means a higher chance of ranking in Google’s competitive search results.
Neil Patel’s Blog
Finally, the last on our list of the best SEO tools for 2018 is Neil Patel’s blog. Much like the Yoast blog, this has a plethora of SEO news and information. Looking for the newest updates on which tools you should use, and how to use them? Neil Patel knows. And it’s not just for SEO. Neil Patel provides information on everything website related. It’s not only one of the best SEO tools for 2018, but straight up one of the best website tools in every aspect. Browse his blog, or sign up for his newsletter to stay up to date on website and SEO news.
So there you have it, the best SEO tools for 2018 neatly summed up in only ten items. Of course there are many other tools out there, but there’s no need to overwhelm yourself. Use these amazing tools, follow their instructions and advice, and watch your traffic rise.