Image Credit: SXC.HU
With so many great free and paid SEO tools, it is really hard to pick the best ones but since you, our readers, are busy people and won’t have the time to try every single SEO tool out there, here is a compilation of the Top 25 SEO tools. Some of these tools have been around for years, or even over a decade but they are still top SEO tools and this is why they are included in the list.
Keyword research is the first most important step in SEO. You can’t do SEO, if you are unaware of which keywords you are optimizing for. There are many stand-alone keyword research tools and some of the SEO packages on the list also include keyword research tools but the free AdWords Keyword tool should be your first stop, if you are optimizing for Google.
Image Credit: Google Adwords
Another very useful tool from Google you can use for SEO purposes and for any kind of website statistics and analysis is the Google Analytics tool. You can use it to track conversions, spot underperforming pages/sections, and get all sorts of statistics about your traffic.
Image Credit: Google Analytics
Google Webmaster Tools is one more must-use free tool from Google. It’s not a complete SEO solution but it does help a lot when you are looking for reasons why you don’t rank as good as you think you should. With this tool you can check which pages of your site are indexed, the status of your backlinks, your rankings for particular keywords and much, much more.
Image Credit: Google Webmaster Tools
Link Detox does only one thing – checks for bad links to your site – but it does it very well. This tool rose to fame after the Penguin update when bad inbound links became a poison to many sites. Even if you don’t suffer from unnatural and spammy links, it won’t hurt if you make periodic checks to your backlinks, so that if a toxic one appears, you remove it asap.
Image Credit: Link Detox
This link analysis tool by SEOmoz shows the backlinks to a site with the title and URL of linking page, anchor text, Page Authority, and Domain Authority. It doesn’t show absolutely every single link to a page but still it helps to get an idea who is linking to you.
Image Credit: Open Site Explorer
A spider simulator, as the name itself implies, shows you how a search engine crawler (or bot) sees your site. This tool can help you spot unindexable pages, or parts of pages with messy HTML code that make them unindexable.
Image Credit: Webconfs
This tool is a WordPress plugin, so you can’t use it stand-alone but since WordPress is the most common Web platform, I’ve included it on the list. All in One SEO Pack allows to optimize page titles, metatags, descriptions, etc. and for many webmasters this is the one and only WordPress SEO plugin to use.
Image Credit: All in One SEO Pack
If you are not completely satisfied with All in One SEO Pack, or if you simply want to try an alternative, WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great idea. In many aspects this tool is superior to All in One SEO pack because it has some really cool features, such as page analysis tools, meta and link elements, XML sitemaps, RSS optimization, etc.
Image Credit: SEO by Yoast
You might wonder what this tool has to do with SEO but since duplicate content is a huge issue, you need to have a tool to check if your content is original or not. Just paste the URL of the article and Copyscape will tell you if it is unique content or not.
Image Credit: Copyscape
In addition to Copyscape, you can also use Google Alerts to set alerts and check if your articles are duplicated somewhere else. Just copy a sentence or two from the beginning, the middle, and the end of the article and when this chunk of text appears somewhere else, you will get an alert. If this is unauthorized use of your text, you can investigate it further, contact the owner and ask for removal.
Image Credit: Google Alerts
BrightLocal is one of the few paid tools on our list but if you deal with local SEO mainly, it is worth the money. They do offer a free trial and they are not limited to SEO only – they are a bigger marketing tool.
Image Credit: BrightLocal
Over the years, this used to be one of the most popular keyword research tools, especially while it was free. Now it’s paid but it is still a good way to identify keywords and build links (this is a new feature). It offers a free trial, so if you are not willing to spend money on something you are not sure you will use, you can try it before you register for a paid account.
Image Credit: WordTracker
Domain Authority (DA) is becoming a more relevant measure for a site’s performance than Page Rank and many webmasters consider DA first when they evaluate a site. Checking dozens of sites one by one is so tedious and you will certainly appreciate a tool that does a bulk job. Bulk Domain Authority checker reports more than just DA – the tool checks Alexa rank, DA rank, PR, and IP address for all the sites you have entered on the list.
Image Credit: Bulk Domain Authority Checker
While there are many other tools Web developers use to check the loading speed of their pages, Google Page Speed is great from SEO point of view. This tool not only allows to check the speed but it also offers ways to optimize it.
Image Credit: Google Page Speed
This is another paid solution that offers easy management of your SEO and social media efforts. It includes campaign management, link analysis, crawl test, keyword analysis, and some other features. If you are looking for a turn-key SEO and social media solution, this might be exactly what you are looking for.
Image Credit: SEOmoz Tools
This plugin is a very useful tool because thanks to it you get all the important data for a site right before you. You can use it directly from search results, thus saving you the time to open sites that don’t meet your criteria. The SEO for Firefox/SEO for Chrome add-on shows PR, Alexa rank, the number of backlinks to a site, as well as social media mentions and inclusions in popular web directories.
Image Credit: SEO for Firefox
Google Webmaster tools are great but since Bing is also a popular search engine, you can’t ignore the traffic that comes from it. Bing Webmaster Tools isn’t an exact copy of Google Webmaster Tools but still it has many similar features and allows to analyze your website’s traffic.
Image Credit: Bing Webmaster Tools
Similar Sites Finder is the best way to find who your SEO competitors are. Just enter an URL and you will be presented with a list of sites that compete for the similar keywords, as well as an indication of the degree of similarity. This list is priceless, when you are looking for link exchanges in a tight niche.
Image Credit: Similar Sites Finder
Linkdex is a SEO campaign management software. It is best, if you are an agency and/or have a team because it allows to create SEO tasks and assign them to different team members. The software can track ranking changes, as well as analyze backlinks.
Image Credit: Linkdex
Raven Tools is another complete SEO solution. It comes with a keyword manager, contact managers, various research tools, and a tool to manage AdWords campaigns. Additionally, Raven Tools has a free iOS application, so you can check how your SEO campaigns are going anytime anywhere.
Image Credit: Raven Tools
Majestic SEO is just one more link analysis tool but it shows some data other tools don’t. It keeps backlink history, so you can check how you were doing in the past. In fact, Majestic SEO is a complete SEO set that also offers keyword research, for example, but it is best known for its link analysis abilities.
Image Credit: Majestic SEO
Market Samurai is another keyword research tool. It is really useful when you are looking for niche and long-tail keywords. It used to be better in the past but even today it is still pretty good.
Image Credit: Market Samurai
Google Trends is a really useful tool, when you want to see how the search volumes for a given keyword fluctuate over time. You enter a keyword (or more) and you are presented with a neat graph, showing volumes since 2004-2005 to present. You can use the tool to spot seasonal fluctuations, too. Additionally, you can search locally and you also get a list of related keywords.
Image Credit: Google Trends
If you are looking for a dedicated XML site map tool rather than use one of the many site map generators that come with SEO bundles, this one is simple and straightforward. It also has some nice extras, such as how frequently you want a site map to be generated and if you choose the hourly or daily options, your sitemap will be really up to date, even if you publish frequently.
Image Credit: XML Sitemaps Generator
SEnukeX is a paid tool but its fans will swear it’s a bargain because this toolset has so much to offer. It’s best for link building and one of its really cool features is that it allows scheduling – you can set activities, forget about them because they will be executed automatically.
Image Credit: SEONuke X
Some of the SEO tools on the list are unique, while others do the same thing as other tools but since all of them do a good job for various purposes, this is why they were included on this list of the Top 25 best SEO tools. Try them and see which ones are fit for you and which ones aren’t.