In the world of SEO, there are hundreds of tools out there to help you find keywords, audit sites, optimise content and much more. With so many tools, it can be hard to decide which ones work the best. The good news is that many tools do a similar job, so if our favourites don’t quite work for you or fit into your workflow or budget, then there’ll be something similar that does.
Keyword research is one of the first steps when it comes to SEO, and there are many different tools out there that you can use. At Capsule, we use various keyword research tools based on our personal preferences. I personally use Google Keyword Planner and Keywords Everywhere, whereas others on the team prefer to use SEMrush.
Google Keyword Planner is great for those on a budget and access to a Google Ads account that is currently running campaigns. If your Google account isn’t running any ads, then the Keyword Planner tool will only give search volume estimates, such as 10-100 monthly searches. A way around this is to set up a Google Ads Manager account, and you should be able to access the more accurate results.
Keywords Everywhere is a Google Chrome extension that shows you the search volumes in the search results and on other sites. This is useful if you want to spot-check a few keywords in the browser. It also shows trend data-related keywords as the search volume for the People Also Asked section of the search results page. They pull the data from Google Ads as well as clickstream data. They offer monthly subscriptions, or you can purchase credits as and when you need them. The monthly subscription starts at $1.25 a month, or you can purchase credits where one credit is equal to 1 keyword. At 15 dollars for 100,000 keywords, it’s a cheap way to access Keyword Planner data.
Other keyword research tools include:
At Capsule, we use a range of site auditing tools, both for the sites we develop for clients as well as our SEO clients. We have access to various tools that we use at different times depending on what’s required. Personally, Sitebulb is my favourite tool as it provides detailed information while grouping things into predefined reports, making it easy to spot any issues at a glance while having all the data when you want to drill down. We also use Screaming Frog and SEMrush’s Site Audit feature.
Sitebulb is a desktop crawler rather than a cloud-based crawler, which I personally prefer as you’re not restricted by certain limits, such as the number of URLs you can crawl in a month or having to upgrade to a more expensive plan to access advanced features. The only downside is that when running a crawl, your laptop can get a bit noisy, and it might slow things down a bit. We run Sitebulb on an internal server, which means we can crawl much faster without it getting in the way of other work.
Sitebulb offers monthly and annual plans; however, I would recommend picking up an annual subscription during their Black Friday sale.
Other site crawling tools include:
Content is a broad topic, and there are thousands of tools out there that can be used to audit, write and improve copy. At Capsule, there are a few tools we like to use when it comes to copy, and these include Keyword Insights, Also Asked and Grammarly, with my personal favourite being Keyword Insights.
Keyword Insights is a great tool that covers a range of needs when it comes to creating content. Keyword Insights includes a tool for finding keywords, clustering keywords and creating content briefs that cover the writing process from start to finish. I tend to use the keyword clustering and content brief features the most as it allows me to quickly spot content ideas and the keyword intent and then create a full content brief that I can either write myself or hand over to the client or a copywriter. Creating content briefs is a definite must when using copywriters or having the client write their own content, as they will have a strong understanding of their sector but lack the SEO knowledge of what is required to rank well.
Keyword Insights is a paid tool; however, it is reasonably priced, with monthly and annual plans available. They also offer pay-as-you-go credits; however, these can only be used for keyword clustering and not the keyword research or content brief tool.
Also, Asked is great at making sure you cover the topic in depth by making sure your content already covers the topics that Google knows people have gone onto search. With three free searches a day, it covers most content creation needs; however, if you need more searches, deeper search depths or bulk search features, then they have a range of affordable monthly plans.
Other content tools include:
- SEMrush Writing Assistant
Ad Hoc Tools
There are several tools that don’t get used as often and don’t fall into one of the categories above, but they form a part of our SEO toolkit.
One of the first tools is SEOTesting, and it’s something we use throughout our SEO process to ensure the changes we’re making to existing pages and content on the site have the impact we expect them to. We also use SEOTesting to experiment with changes in page titles, meta descriptions and other on-page changes. It’s a very simple tool to use and integrate with your site; all you need to do is make sure your Google Account has access to the Search Console property you want to test. It also includes a range of useful reports based on your Search Console data, including long tail keywords, striking distance keywords and low-quality content.
Another tool is ContentKing, a real-time SEO auditing tool. What makes this tool unique and extremely useful is that, unlike other site auditing tools, it constantly crawls your site and alerts you to changes on the site, as well as an overview of issues that exist. This makes it the ideal tool when working together with a client or another agency, as you can quickly see changes being made on the site and receive an alert about key things such as page titles changing, pages being removed or links being updated. This level of real-time insight means you can pick up on issues before they start to negatively impact your site.
While not exactly an SEO tool, we have a lot of love for the Yoast plugin. Yoast allows us to quickly edit page titles meta descriptions, change the indexing of pages as well as edit the robots.txt file, all without the need for developer input.
Finally, InLinks is a great tool for improving your website’s internal linking and is ideal for large websites with over 1,000 pages. It makes it very easy to manage your internal linking at scale, and when adding new pages, you can quickly add relevant links from your old content pointing to the new page.
Looking to up your SEO game?
If you’re looking to step up your SEO game, then these tools can help you improve results and move much quicker than doing everything manually. However, that’s not to say you need to spend a fortune on SEO tools to get your website to rank well. Good SEO will always be about thinking about what your users want to gain from your site and providing that to them.
If you need support with SEO or you’re at a point where you’re struggling to grow your website traffic, then Capsules SEO experts would be happy to take a look to see how we can support you.