Regardless of the size of your business, having an online presence, being positioned in search engine rankings, appearing correctly in directories, communicating adequately with your clients, and even managing your online reputation are all fundamental parts that will determine the growth and scale of your business.
Today we know this process as SEO and comprises applying a series of marketing strategies, content creation, and managing your presence in networks that will allow you to reach a larger audience and increase the possibility of converting part of that audience into potential clients. Many people tend to think that because they can manage their personal presence online, digital marketing is easy to do, but in reality, online marketing is traditional marketing in a different channel, so you will probably need an expert marketer and even a team to manage it all.
But what if I don’t have the marketing team to accomplish all these tasks but still want to take a few steps into SEO territory?
Fortunately, there are tools that can help you with this task, some free, others inexpensive, and others complementary to your work team. All these virtual tools, besides representing considerable savings in marketing expenses, will help you in your SEO strategy and take the necessary steps to attract more clients and gain more visibility, position yourself better in search engines, and ultimately correctly use marketing digital.
Let’s start with the free tool offered by the most popular search engine. Contrary to what you might think, Google Keyword Planner is a good keyword search engine. The best thing about this service is that it offers a historical record of the words searched and how they change over time. This will help you further refine your list of keywords as you can remove keywords that are showing signs of exhaustion from your lists.
By being a Google tool, Keyword Planner will also indicate the cost per word in case after the review you decide to complement it with a paid advertising plan. In the end, the utility is basic, but it is free, so it is worth at least reviewing.
Long Tail Pro adapts to the new trends of SEO optimization, where the new trends are the “long tail words” that focus more on searches for phrases rather than keywords or unique terms. These key phrases are more useful to differentiate yourself from your audience at the content level, but also to reach your target audience more objectively.
Long Tail Pro is a premium tool that will take keyword search to a new level by expanding the possibilities to complete phrases and can be a great option if you want to offer content much more suited to your niche on your website or social media.
Keyword Tool is a complementary tool for the use of Google Ads. It works mainly with Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Play Store, Instagram, and Twitter. For each of the aforementioned networks or search engines, it offers an exhaustive keyword search service, where you can filter them by many elements such as search volume and competition.
Keyword Tool is a professional tool that will serve as a compliment if you already have some experience in creating optimized content, but it can also be used freely to get relevant information about the most searched words and that at least will serve as an inspiration for the creation of content.
KWFinder is another tool for searching keywords, but also long tail keywords. The service has a wide variety of benefits for searching words and phrases and also offers an analysis of the keywords used by your competition. Other benefits of its use comprise the massive import of keywords from websites and the possibility of filtering the words that “are not profitable”.
An unusual but welcome feature: it works with many languages, including Spanish.
GrowthBar is a complete suite for creating smart SEO content, but naturally, keyword research is within its benefits. One of its strengths is the evaluation of competitiveness per word which can be used to make a smarter decision about including a word within your content strategy. Remember that the most searched keyword may not always be the best idea depending on how much authority your page has and how good your backlinks are, so this analysis is a welcome feature if you are starting out in the world of keywords.
Other possibilities of GrowthBar include searching for keywords used by your competition or reviewing the words used that are being promoted by paid services.
SpyFu is another tool for your SEO strategy that works with various aspects of such optimization. One of its main focuses is the analysis of the competition and the keywords they use. SpyFu can also show you how your website is positioned and even check your backlinks.
As its name implies, SpyFu is a tool designed for a marketing strategy that includes a positioning within a highly competitive niche or market area where you could not enter without taking a critical eye on what your competitors are doing.
Jaaxy’s biggest claim is to be a platform created by marketers for marketers. Jaaxy is a tool that is highly specialized in keyword research, competition, and market research. For keyword research, Jaaxy can make available to the user more than 8.7m words, which are renewed on a monthly basis. That is much more than what can be researched manually and will undoubtedly save you time to plan your content. Another interesting aspect of the benefits that Jaaxy offers for the analysis of the competition is a complete understanding of the elements that are helping your competition to be better ranked, including keywords.
Jaaxy is one of the best tools for planning your content that includes both sides of the coin: an effective search for key terms and an accurate analysis of the competition.
SECockpit is a tool designed for marketing professionals who are SEO experts. It is undoubtedly one of the best keywords researchers. SECockpit works with “seed terms,” this means that after giving it a key term, the tool will provide you with many phrases and associated terms which can be categorized in different ways and then used in your content creation strategy.
SECockpit is somewhat of a difficult tool to use and even requires that you are familiar with other tools such as Google Keyword, so it will only be valuable if you have an SEO expert in your work team.
One perspective to analyze your competition would be to review the content that has the best performance and see which of the topics, themes, and keywords are handled by your competitors. Buzzsumo does just that. You will be able, from a competitive and comparative point of view, to understand which content is generating more leads for your competitors and plan a strategy around your content pillars that include those topics.
Buzzsumo is also useful for finding new topics as it allows you to explore many blog posts and topics not tied to your competition, so instead of just comparing yourself, you could also take the lead. Buzzsumo is the ideal tool for gaining prospects by adjusting the content you provide to your audience.
Social Blade, as you can guess from its name, focuses on presenting statistics from the most important social networks and content of today such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, among others. Although it is especially useful for analyzing large brands and competitors, it can provide you with interesting data and in this way, you can emulate the content that really generates more interactions, instead of wasting time or being dazzled by the number of followers these brands have.
Social Blade is an alternative or complementary tool that is worth checking out to further polish your content pillars or get a more realistic perspective on the content that is really working for the big brands.
If you want more than just comparing and understanding the behavior of the greats, Sprout Social is the right tool for that. Sprout Social allows you to understand what your competition is doing on social networks from different perspectives filtered by the social networks of your choice.
Sprout Social will help you have a deep understanding of what your competitors are posting and apply the best to your content strategy. Other advanced tools include analyzing comments and reactions on your competitors’ profiles.
Phlanx is like a great directory of influencers, and this is good if you plan to gain more leads by having relevant people talking or posting about your product on social media. With Phlanx, you can directly contact and even verify the authenticity and authority of these influencers. So, although you can naturally use this tool to analyze your performance in social networks and compare it with your competitors, in reality, the aim of Phlanx goes beyond that: It is to see within the competitive world of influencers, which one is the best option for promotions and to gain leads through their networks.
SEMrush will help you analyze what your competition is doing but from an SEO perspective. It’s a tool widely used by SEO experts and is really powerful for competitive analysis. For example, with its analytical benefits, you will see the effectiveness of your competitors’ backlinks or check which keywords are bringing traffic (and therefore leads) to your competitors.
SEMrush is the definitive tool to understand what your competition is doing from the perspective of optimizing their content and website.
SimilarWeb is another alternative tool to check what your competition is doing from an SEO perspective. For example, with its benefits, you will see which sites are reporting traffic to your competition because of referrals or backlinks, and not only that, you will also be able to see what those prospects were looking for and which keywords lead them to your competition’s site.
Although it might seem similar to SEMRush, SimilarWeb offers benefits that could be complementary, in case you can pay for both services, or you should orient the decision closely aligned with your digital marketing strategy. If your idea is to attract more prospects with content creation designed to attract leads, SimilarWeb is the tool for you.
Feedly is undoubtedly one of the most interesting tools on the entire list and few services offer similar benefits. Despite this, its usefulness as a tool for analyzing the competition depends on the capabilities of your marketing team and your content strategy. And no matter how robust your marketing team is, Feedly is a complementary tool.
Basically, Feedly is an artificial intelligence that filters and presents relevant content that may or may not be associated with your competitors, but ultimately it will allow you to constantly monitor the most relevant topics and, in the case of your marketing team, that all have access to the same relevant content at the same time. This will improve your content creation strategy and can help you gain more leads before your competition.
Email marketing is one of the most challenging marketing channels to analyze and that is why having a tool that does it for you is an excellent idea. MailCharts is that tool, and basically what it does is analyze email campaigns of your competition to tell you how often they contact their customers and what content they present according to the subject line of their emails. In addition, MailCharts provides you with a comparative analysis of your own email campaigns with its huge campaign database.
In general, MailCharts is an alternative tool that will allow you to gain more prospects through the continuous improvement of your email marketing campaigns. This improvement will occur organically through seeing what your competition is doing and comparing it with other campaigns with proven results according to the data offered by the tool.
We will start by reviewing JustReachOut as it will help you with some basic link building activities that are attracting the press and journalists. JustReachOut will look for journalists, influencers, or podcasters whose editorial line and content are ideal to promote your services or products. What do you gain from this? After finding these desirable candidates, the next step is to send a communication to these people and be mentioned, interviewed, or referenced by them
JustReachOut’s Public Relations team will help you with this task as well, editing your communications before they are sent to the selected subjects or you can select templates that have a proven response rate to build from there.
Although only the candidate search is the automated process that JustReachOut offers and the rest of the work must be organized by you, this tool is a great way to increase your visibility on the internet and even build lasting relationships.
Linkody offers an initial perspective on different automated searches that you can run to optimize your backlinks. It is not the best tool, but it is one of the cheapest on the market, so if you are still not sure about integrating this process into your digital marketing activities, Linkody can be a good initial step. It has a fairly competent indexer of the pages with more links related to your niche, which is a good starting point, to see what is working for your competition and improve your rankings. Other interesting services are email notifications every time you get a new link.
Linkody is a competent tool for link building and as we mentioned it is ideal to take the first step if you are a small business and you are still improving your digital marketing plan.
Ahrefs is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools to perform Link Building and increase your rankings, but it is difficult to use and designed for experts in SEO content. Although, with some practice, non-advanced users can become experts using the tool. Ahrefs has a lot of benefits not related to link building that are worth checking if you are on the path of implementing a complete SEO optimization plan.
Regarding link building Ahrefs undoubtedly has one of the most robust directories and can show you all the sites where your competition is linked, which can give you great input to understand where you can be referenced with ease.
GroupHigh is like JustReachOut, but is more focused on bloggers than journalists. This is an important factor to consider because depending on the product or service you offer, it may be in your best interest to get a promotion from a Blogger or Influencer than a mention in the press. It may be easier to get a backlink from these individuals than a journalist, and if your brand or service does not yet have much authority or reputation, perhaps this is a better starting point. However, don’t think that GroupHigh is a minor Link Building tool, on the contrary, it has the largest database of bloggers and influencers compared to other services listed here.
GroupHigh also offers additional benefits, such as visual reports and the ability to import links and data directly from a web page, which is useful for doing research and building your target people’s lists.
The Moz link explorer helps you get the link data of any page of your choice and get a comprehensive analysis of that site. This will allow you to see all the links to any other page, see the authority of the domain and the page itself, and in this way understand what content is working. This will help you do interesting planning activities like comparing yourself to your competitors and understanding where they are earning their links and why.
Moz Link Explorer is the ideal tool to stand out from your competition and understand what elements of your content pillars are working to gain more visibility. Also, it’s good to consider that Moz’s full suite comes with other SEO-related services that might interest you.
With BuzzStream the link mail does building work. BuzzStream has a list rating system that allows you to build and send email communications in half of the time. Of all the tools listed here, this one probably requires the fewest number of people for online relationship building. As a bonus, it has different analytical reports, which makes BuzzStream a great ally to do email marketing and cover as many contacts as possible that may eventually refer to your website.
Majestic is one of the longest-running SEO and link tracking tools on the market. That makes it seem like its interface needs a refresh (and it is true), but on the positive side its database is one of the largest and its price is one of the cheapest. So it is a wonderful investment for its value that will also allow you to do the same as many other more expensive tools.
NinjaOutreach is an interesting search engine that will allow you to find the most influential people on Instagram or YouTube, categorize them by keywords or by niche. It is a simple and inexpensive solution if your PR plan includes establishing key contacts with the most important influencers so they can talk or reference your product and website in their content.
On the other hand, NinjaOutreach also offers solutions where you can analyze specific sites that are natural referrers of content and products.
BrightLocal is not only a tool for local SEO, but it is a complete platform to do all your online marketing. For local SEO they have a lot of benefits, from looking for your local positioning, auditing the architecture of your website, and helping you improve in local searches. Among other benefits are a reputation checker and a “Citation Builder” that help you improve your positioning in local directories.
BrightLocal is a great local SEO option, which, although it is not free, comes with a series of benefits. It is an ideal start if you have a presence in less than 4 locations. However, it is expandable to more locations if you require it later.
Similar to BrightLocal, Serpstat will help you with a variety of tasks and not just Local SEO, but despite that claim, actually where Serpstat is most useful is in finding the most profitable keywords used by your competitors to rank well locally. Another differentiating service from Serpstat is to segregate low-volume queries from high-volume queries in order to provide relevant information that perhaps potential customers with the same purchasing power are looking for, but which are ultimately relegated because they are not so common among search engines and rankings. This is useful because your local consumer may not fall within the average and have a hard time finding specific services that you might offer.
With its most economical plan, Serpstat will give you access to its most useful tools for local SEO and local rankings.
Moz is one of the most popular and well-known tools for improving your performance in terms of Local SEO and Search Rankings. One reason for this popularity is the continuous improvement and synchronization of the data that Moz’s servers collect locally with its global servers. This allows Moz to compute existing and unfamiliar words and searches much faster and more efficiently. This will help you build very current content and for real time.
Moz also has other benefits that can be useful, such as helping you to monitor your online grades and eliminating duplicate names from those directories where you appear, making it a complete tool for your online marketing.
Yext is probably the number 1 SEO tool for countless businesses and brands. However, Yext is stronger at improving your directory rankings and locating those leads who only need a call to action from you to convert into customers. Yext’s keyword tool is more oriented to show you a problem-solution scheme, so think twice if this categorization of keywords is adapted to your product or service before thinking about acquiring this tool.
Yext has other benefits, like helping you rank better in local directories and monitoring your reputation. Yext is ideal for doing local SEO if your business is about solving pressing problems for your consumers.
As its name shows, SE Ranking will help you improve your positioning in local directories, but, although that is its strength, SE Ranking also has a series of benefits and tools for Local SEO and ranking improvement, from the list of keywords to the backlink monitoring. Especially useful is its research suggestion tool, which can suggest lines of content that may not be visible to you at first glance.
SE Ranking is a very complete tool for local SEO and improving rankings in local directories, but also its benefits in the categorization of words will help you strengthen your content pillars and gain more traction.
ReviewTrackers will help you improve your local ranking and do local SEO by asking and searching, which can turn into more sales. Its biggest claim is to ensure that “social conversations” are essential to increase your visibility online and ultimately in search results.
So more than providing information to create content and improve your Local SEO through this, ReviewTrackers focuses mainly on other types of strategies to speed up your growth and visibility, focused mainly on ratings and generating a positive conversation around your brand, product, or service.
Ahrefs’ biggest claim is being the tool that anyone, SEO expert or not, can use. As you can imagine this is ideal to take your first steps in this area. Despite its ease to start and use, Ahrefs is a complete tool for SEO and will help you with many services, such as optimizing your website, analyzing your competitors, identifying keywords, and even exploring your ranking in search engines and directories.
Ahrefs is a great tool to do SEO, but also needs to be taken seriously. To get the most out of the application, building and creating SEO content should be one of your priorities.
Whitespark is very focused on improving your rankings in the primary search engines like Google and Bing. This is not especially good or bad, but it is an aspect to consider when investing in making this tool your main companion to do Local SEO and improve your search rankings. It is without a doubt one of the most accurate tools to determine your local positioning in search engines and categorize them by town or in any other way of your preference. It also has a reputation builder that will help you progressively increase and improve your online ratings among directories and review pages.
Whitespark is also a good option to handle the benefits of “Google My Business”.
This post may contain links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here: "Affiliate Marketing Disclosure"