With over 1.2 billion websites online wrestling for the attention of consumers, it’s challenging enough to get noticed online. Then, every Google Panda and Google Penguin update comes along and adds even more confusion to the mix. And unless your website reaches the 1st page of Google search, your chances of converting new customers online is incredibly low.
So, how do you conquer the crowd to appear at the top of your customer’s search screens?
First, find out what strategies your competitors are using to rank. Then, backwards engineer the best approaches so you can outrank them. However, to achieve both goals, you need the right tools in hand.
So, we reached out to 25 leading SEO experts and asked them a simple question: “What are the best SEO tools you recommend in 2017?” Here is what they had to say:
1. Ryan Fitzgerald, Raleigh Realty
Far and away my favorite tool is Ahrefs. We use Ahrefs as a way to help build our backlink portfolio as well. We monitor websites in our industry to see where their best backlinks are coming from and connect to the people who manage those websites. First we give back, and once that relationship is formed we ask if they are willing to feature one of our articles or open to us writing a guest post for them.
2. Nicole Sheremeta, Buzz Creators
Spyfu will continue to be one of the top SEO tools in assessing the competition. Spyfu will provide you with your competitor’s top keywords, PPC statistics, inbound clicks, and more! One of the most underrated features of Spyfu is a tool, which tells you which keywords your competitors aren’t ranked for. Spyfu can help you take your SEO to the next level and discover untapped and emerging markets.
3. Jitesh Keswani, e-Intelligence.in
In my decade full of experience into SEO space, I have tried countless number of SEO tools. Since every client is different and every campaign has different requirements, I enjoy experimenting with tools. But, one tool that I simply cannot imagine doing SEO without is Google Analytics. The key to a successful website is to understand your visitor’s behavior and that’s exactly what Google Analytics offers – a 360-degree view of the website’s performance. The popularity of Google Analytics will only increase multifold in 2017.
4. Mark Tuchscherer, Geeks Chicago
SEMrush gives us the best all-in-one view of organic and paid data that we need. They are also adding some cool new features for display advertising and traffic analytics, which I think will be extremely useful in 2017.
5. Jonathan Gilde, BrightHaus
Although we rely on several different tools in our day-to-day operations, my favorite new toy is the Moz Keyword Explorer. Released last year, it simplifies keyword research greatly and provides more data than any other single tool. The best part? Moz is dedicated to only making it better. Rather than jumping from the SERPs to AdWords to SEMrush and all over again, the Keyword Explorer has now become our one-stop shop for keyword research, which is why it wins most tool valuable in my book.
6. Amy Kilvington, Naturally Content
Most SEO experts invest a considerable amount of money in effective search tools, but for those that have a small budget, I recommend seoprofiler.com. Users do have the option of upgrading to a paid plan after their free trial, but if you don’t want to spend any money at all, there are several unlimited free tools available, like backlink and ranking monitors, keyword tools, and AdWords checkers. 2017 will be a big year for search, and for those that are new to the industry (including freelancers and online brands), there’s no need to part with lots of cash for your analytics at first. Free services like seoprofiler.com are great alternatives to pricey tools.
7. Rosemary Brisco, ToTheWeb
ScreamingFrog is a site auditing tool that crawls the entire website – in much the same way as Google would crawl your site – and returns hundreds of SEO-related data points such as listing the page title, description, H tag use, finding broken links, file size and returns all the data in a neat Excel file. The tool also offers many other ways to drill into the data once a problem is diagnosed. It’s an absolute must-have for any webmaster or SEO professional who wants to see the big picture of their website similar and get to work quickly to fix problems.
8. Dave Michael, Spectrum Marketing
I really like Brightlocal.com as I can prepare white label (put my own brand/logo) reports for clients and it’s pretty inexpensive compared to other tools at only $20/month. Semrush.com is also very good but I have not used it yet as it’s $99/month but they do have a free tool which I use to check on clients’ competitors keywords.
9. Amit Goenka, How To Be An SEO Hero
In my opinion, Keywordtool.io is one of the best SEO Monitoring Tools for 2017 because it collects auto-search results from Google, Bing, YouTube and App Store and provides a massive database of the very best long-tail keyword opportunities. If you’re looking to build an exclusive niche site, this is an excellent tool to have as most of the keywords generated are unique and may not be discovered with other tools.
10. Leslie Handmaker, LeslieHandMaker.com
My favorite SEO tool for 2017 is BrightEdge. It’s an enterprise platform with a strong core competency of tracking keywords and mapping those to URLs. Additionally it can layer in rankings with this data and the reporting functionality is top notch. While BrightEdge is costly it can be a huge time saver and reduce a lot of manual work involved with less expensive solutions.
11. Samuel Wheeler, SD Equity Partners
Majestic‘s backlink analytics has great functionality and has been steadily improving over the last few months. The site explorer has an easy to digest layout and offers graphs and statistics for high level reporting. While not the only tool one should use, it has a lot of great research and insight on link-level data that other services do not offer. Look out for Majestic to improve its reporting and campaign set-up in 2017 which will make tracking and reporting on backlinks extremely easy for small business marketing teams.
12. Yan Gilbert, Local SEO Consultant
As a solo local SEO consultant with a small number of clients, it is hard to justify the more common (paid) tracking tools. So I use Serposcope, which is free but does not restrict the number of sites or search terms I can use. What makes it a great program is that I can localize a search which is great for doing local SEO.
The only drawback is that it does use your ip address as the originator so it is possible that Google will flag the IP if too many searches are done, (but I have not run into that problem running it once a day with about 100 search terms). It does not track Google-My-Business rankings in the 3-pack however, only the organic listings.
13. Max P, CouponHippo.in
One of our favorite tools is the Authority Labs API to track our Keywords. You get a ton of data about every keyword you want to track. You can use their API to mix keyword tracking data with all your other internal metrics and figure out how your SEO changes are affecting your bottom line. For example, we saw an increase of orders and also saw a bump in our rankings on the same day.
There you have it. With these tools in-hand, you can circumvent the need to outsource your SEO or become more informed on how your SEO firm is gaining you valuable backlinks, page rankings and increasingly your visibility online.
Having trouble gaining conversions from your SEO campaigns? Contact Aero Content for SEO copywriting services to propel your SEO strategies to the next level.