TJ’s Top 50 SEO Tools
TJ Dubensky, an SEO analyst at LOCOMOTIVE Agency, has distinguished himself as a connoisseur of SEO tools. His well-curated list of recommended resources has been instrumental in bolstering website rankings, enhancing organic traffic, and magnifying online visibility for both LOCOMOTIVE and its diverse clientele. We are excited to extend TJ’s insights to you. We’ve compiled a straightforward list of 50 SEO tools you might find helpful. These tools cover a variety of areas, including keyword research, content optimization, local SEO, and data analytics. All of them have been tried and tested by TJ, and could be useful to anyone interested in enhancing their SEO approach.
Popular Platforms for Content Optimization & Marketing
- SurferSEO: This versatile tool is fantastic for optimizing both existing and new content. With its powerful SERP analyzer, you can examine a single keyword or a cluster, providing a solid blueprint for each page. SurferSEO recently introduced their AI Growth Management Platform, GROW FLOW, which offers weekly bite-sized tasks tailored to your website. And they introduced their AI writer, which can create optimized content with a click of a button. Their convenient Chrome extension allows for live SERP analysis, similar to typical keyword plugins.
- RankMath: If you’re using WordPress, RankMath is a must-have plugin. With more free features than its counterpart, YoastSEO, it includes handy tools like free redirects. It’s one of the first plugins I install when building a new site.
- Siteliner: Siteliner is a website analysis tool that helps you identify and fix SEO issues on your website, such as duplicated content, broken links, and more. It also provides detailed reports so you can track your progress over time. It’s beneficial when checking new clients’ sites and isn’t needed daily.
- Page Optimizer Pro: Created by the infamous Kyle Roof, POP is an excellent tool for optimizing content based on various data points. It shares similarities with SurferSEO, helping you achieve the best results for your pages.
- Clearscope: Similar to SurferSEO, it’s a great tool to use for content optimization. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze the semantic relevance of content, which helps in creating and enhancing content that is both user and SEO-friendly. Plus, it integrates with common content platforms like Google Docs and WordPress, making it easy to incorporate into existing workflows.
Top 10 Tools for Keyword Research and SERPS
- Keyword Chef: This easy-to-use tool helps you find relevant and low-competition keywords to target. By identifying forums and low domain authority sites ranking on page 1, Keyword Chef assigns its own difficulty score. The higher the number, the easier it should be to rank for, making it great for newer sites.
- Lowfruits: Similar to Keyword Chef, Lowfruits is another great keyword research tool. It assigns different values to keywords based on the domains in the SERPs, helping you curate a list of ‘easy’ keywords to target. The interface is also pretty clean.
- Keyword Insights: This powerful tool offers AI-driven keyword clustering, content briefs, and more for all your keywords. The trial offer is just $1, which only scratches the surface of what’s available. Definitely worth a try.
- Ahrefs: A classic in every SEO pro’s toolkit, I use Ahrefs daily for various tasks like domain analysis and keyword rankings. It provides a wealth of data to explore and optimize your site.
- SEMrush: Another classic must-have, SEMrush offers a solid interface for keyword research and analysis, giving you a different perspective on your data.
- Keywords Everywhere: This affordable Chrome extension helps you find keywords with ease. For just $10, you can get 100,000 credits, providing historical data, PAAs, and more to help you build new pages.
- KeywordSheeter: A free keyword tool that generates additional keywords based on one or more seed words. I like to use it with wildcard queries, like “Can my dog eat *”, to get a huge list of potential targets. Pop that list into your favorite keyword tool (Keyword Chef or Low Fruits) to check traffic and competition.
- KW Difficulty Finder: This script analyzes a list of keywords, scrapes Google, and returns Allintitle and quoted results for each keyword. This provides a useful baseline for understanding keyword difficulty. @leefootseo also created a helpful Streamlit app. Note: a ValueSERP API is required, but the first 100 searches are free.
- Keyword Tagger: Another Python script from @leefootseo, this tool streamlines categorizing your keywords. Although some manual work is required, it significantly reduces the time spent on organization.
- Dashboardom – Google SERP: This fantastic tool allows you to analyze the SERPs for multiple keywords, offering insights into page rankings. While it doesn’t include all search features (map pack, PAAs, snippets, etc.), it excels at providing a high-level overview of your site’s performance.
Tools to Uncover PPA Opportunities
- SEO Minion: This versatile tool allows you to scrape Google for People Also Asked (PAA) results for a keyword or list of keywords. Additionally, it helps you analyze on-page elements, and internal and external links, and identify broken links, contributing to a more effective optimization process.
- Also Asked: Similar to AnswerThePublic, this tool offers quick insights into People Also Asked questions. I find its interface cleaner and more user-friendly than AnswerThePublic’s, making navigating and extracting valuable information easier.
- Answer The Public: Another valuable tool for discovering People Also Asked questions, it presents results in a unique spin wheel format. While its interface may not be as streamlined as Also Asked, it remains a reliable resource for finding questions to add to your pages, helping to enrich your content and improve your site’s performance.
Tools to Elevate Your Local SEO Campaign
- GS location changer: This handy tool is perfect for local SEO. While SEO Minion and similar tools also provide location change functionality, GS Location Changer stands out for its ease of use. You can instantly alter your location to view local SERPs and adjust your content accordingly.
- PlePer: A versatile local SEO plugin, Pleper is one I turn to regularly. It offers a range of features, including a Google review link generator and the ability to analyze different Google Business Profile categories. This compact tool provides valuable insights into the local landscape, helping you optimize your strategy.
- BrightLocal: A comprehensive solution for local SEO, BrightLocal offers a detailed overview of the local landscape. With tools like citation checking and grid search, it provides ample information to kickstart your local campaign.
Best Tool for Crawling Websites
- Screaming Frog: This essential tool is a must-have for any SEO. It crawls any site or pages and reveals all the necessary information. From heading tags to broken internal links, it covers every piece of data you can think of. It’s one of the first tools I use when analyzing a new site or a competitor’s site to better understand the overall structure and identify potential warning signs. Even the free version offers valuable insights.
Top Platforms for Data & Analytics
- Data (Looker) Studio: Presenting data from various sources can be challenging. Looker Studio makes it easy to use data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, keyword data, Google Sheets, and more to create meaningful, visually appealing reports and dashboards.
- Microsoft Clarity: If you’re a fan of heatmaps, Microsoft Clarity offers free heatmap and user session recordings on your website. It integrates with Google Analytics data and serves as a free alternative to Hotjar, without any limits. The insights you gain from analyzing heat maps and sessions can prove invaluable for your projects.
- Nozzle: We use this as our dedicated keyword rankings tracker, and it has not disappointed us. The tool provides deep SERP analysis, granting insights into search patterns and user behavior, making it easy to understand complex SEO trends and adapt strategies accordingly. It also offers comprehensive, customizable rank tracking that lets users decide which keywords to monitor and how often. We especially love connecting this with Looker Studio for comprehensive client reporting.
- HotJar: This heatmap and user session recording tool come at a cost. The free version allows up to 1,050 sessions, while the next tier costs $32/month for 3,000 sessions. It’s a great option for agencies or managing multiple sites, but Microsoft Clarity might offer better value.
- PhatomBuster: Need new leads or data? PhantomBuster has pre-made “Phantoms” that scrape sites like Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. It also offers “Flows” that utilize multiple Phantoms to achieve specific goals, which can be quite helpful when consolidating Google Business Profiles for multi-location businesses.
- Parsehub: This powerful scraper can extract data from just about any website. It offers up to 200 searches per run with unlimited runs—providing you with a wealth of information for creating any dataset you need. Scrape nice!
- Scrapebox: Known as the “Swiss Army knife of SEO,” Scrapebox offers a wide range of tools, from email scrapers to domain availability checkers. It’s a fun and versatile tool to have at your disposal.
- vidIQ Vision for YouTube: This handy plugin provides valuable data points for your YouTube videos or those of your competitors. It helps analyze and optimize your YouTube content, from views per hour to video tags.
- Google Analytics: I think we all know what this does. Google Analytics is a tool that gathers information from your apps and websites to provide reports that give you insights into how well your business is doing. I use it every day. RIP UA
- Google Search Console: Utilize the tools and data provided by Search Console to monitor the traffic and performance of your website on Google Search, address any issues, and enhance your website’s visibility.
- Page Analytics by Google: Combining Google Analytics data with live webpages, this tool helps you analyze different pages to see where the real action is. It’s similar to a heatmap tool but uses Google Analytics data. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Google Analytics 4, and I’m still searching for a suitable replacement.
- Dashboardom – Twitter dashboard: Search and analyze Twitter to create your own dataset with endless possibilities.
- WP All Import: If you have a large database that you want to convert into webpages, this WordPress plugin is a game-changer. It allows you to upload a CSV file and create a page template that dynamically populates from your spreadsheet. With WP All Import, you can create thousands of pages in seconds, streamlining content creation.
Tools for Domain-Level Metrics & Information
- Ahrefs SEO Toolbar: This plugin allows you to instantly access domain metrics on live SERPs. With information on average traffic and the number of keywords ranking, this toolbar offers a wealth of data at your fingertips.
- MozBar: Similar to the Ahrefs toolbar, MozBar provides domain and link metrics on live SERPs, giving you an alternative perspective to inform your SEO strategy.
- Majestic: This powerful tool enables you to conduct in-depth backlink analysis. With its in-house metrics, “Trust Flow” and “Citation Flow,” you can assess the influence and authority of a URL based on the quality of its backlinks.
- URL/Query Regex Builder: Ever wanted to view a specific set of URLs in Google Analytics (GA) or Google Search Console (GSC) but didn’t know Regex? Thanks to JR Oakes, there’s a solution. With this tool, simply enter a small list of URLs, and it will generate the Regex code to use inside GA or GSC. It’s a resource I’ve found incredibly useful.
- Expired Domains: If you’re searching for expired domains, this is an excellent starting point. With various filters available, you can narrow your search to specific niches or domain types. While Expired Domains doesn’t provide extensive domain metrics like ODYS or Spamzilla, it is a solid starting point for compiling and checking a list with Ahrefs Bulk URL checker.
- Wayback Machine: This fascinating website allows you to peek into the past of any site. Whether you’re purchasing an aged domain or just curious about a site’s previous design, the Wayback Machine is your go-to resource for exploring web history.
Valuable Tools to Help with Website Audits & On-Page SEO Elements
- Web Page Test: A reliable tool for running page speed audits, WebPageTest provides a wealth of detail and suggests potential experiments to optimize your pages. It’s an indispensable resource for enhancing your site’s loading speed and overall performance.
- SimilarWeb: This tool offers a comprehensive view of the digital landscape for various sites. With SimilarWeb, you can better understand your competitors’ performance and identify growth opportunities.
- Dashboardom: Created by @eliasdabbas, Dashboardom is a treasure trove of data visualization tools.
- Check My Links: As the name suggests, this handy plugin lets you quickly check all the links on a webpage, highlighting broken or inactive ones. It’s incredibly useful for spot checks when manually analyzing pages, ensuring your site’s links are always functional and up-to-date.
- SEOquake: This powerful plugin is perfect for quickly checking SEO elements on the fly. It offers a comprehensive list of on-page elements and internal and external links and allows you to compare domains and URLs in real-time. Additionally, you can export all data into an Excel file for further analysis.
- Detailed SEO Extension: I used to rely on SEO META in 1 Click, but I’ve since switched to the Detailed SEO Extension for its improved user experience and additional features. This extension provides valuable insights into various SEO elements.
- The Spark SEO Plugin for Chrome: Another extension that you’ll probably use regularly. In a glance, you can identify a webpage’s ranking keywords, assess its on-page SEO elements, spot technical issues, discover backlinks and evaluate Core Web Vitals. A seamless solution to quickly learn everything about a page, making it a great addition to any digital marketer’s toolset.
AI Platforms & Tools for SEO
- Openai/ChatGPT: While not strictly an SEO tool, I find myself using ChatGPT or a version of OpenAIs API almost every day. It’s an indispensable resource for enhancing content and ensuring its quality.
- Claude: Comparable to ChatGPT in its function as an AI assistant, a unique feature sets it apart – the capability to sustain conversational context and history. Unlike ChatGPT, which handles each interaction in isolation, Claude’s technology enables a more authentic, cohesive dialogue by referencing prior chat history. For SEO, you can try using it for keyword research, and light competitor analysis, or if you provide it with analytic dashboards or reports, it can highlight key trends and patterns.
- TinyWOW toolset: Yeah, bigWOW for this one. This has so many options to pick from it can be overwhelming. From converting Word to pdf or just removing background from images, this site can handle a lot of tasks.
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