Content marketing is about creating, optimizing, and distributing valuable content to grow your web presence and steer the actions of consumers. It involves driving traffic, generating leads, and building authority. Not too hard if you have the right skills and strategy, but without an arsenal of SEO tools at your disposal, you are bound to waste time and money.
How will you research keywords? How will you track SERP rankings and analyze competitors? How will you measure ROI? All important questions to ask if you’re serious about online success. Of course, you could outsource these tasks, but that’s a surefire way to burn through your budget fast, and then you’d still need to oversee it all.
Search engine optimization tools enable you to do those things efficiently; they do the legwork for you, so you can focus more time and resources on other areas of your business. Below is a list of the best SEO tools out there right now. Some are free, others are paid, but they can all help you get incredible content marketing results.
In no particular order, here they are…
Google Webmaster Tools is still the best way to diagnose site health, check page indexing status, and optimize your website for Google’s search engine results. It’s free and easy to use. Just sign in and connect a site to get started.
Bing Webmaster Tools lets you monitor (and somewhat control) how your site performs in the Bing search engine. It also gives you valuable crawling, indexing, and content optimization insights that can affect your Google rankings.
One of the most reliable and widely used analytics tools to date. Get detailed website traffic statistics, measure conversion rates, track data and set goals, gain unique audience insights, and much more. The basic service is free, but you’ll pay for Premium.
A free, must-use keyword research tool by Google. Discover “hot” topics in their search results and track keyword popularity over a specified period of time. A great way to identify market opportunities and plan for successful paid content marketing campaigns.
nTopic is one of the few SEO tools that analyzes your text for topical relevancyin relation to particular keywords, helping you create content that is more appealing to search engines. It’s free, but the paid version gives you more.
Scoop.it is a content curation platform that discovers relevant content for you based on topic and keyword inputs. You can then add complementary text and quickly share posts across multiple online channels. Try it for free. Then select a paid plan.
InboundWriter’s software suggests what to write about by identifying popular topics and helps you make your content more effective through automated keyword research. There’s a “Basic” plan, which is free, and then a “Professional” and “Enterprise” plan.
While many still mourn the loss of the original free Google Keyword Tool, the AdWords Planner has proven to be a decent alternative that offers important keyword data and insights. A must for small businesses and content marketing professionals.
Ubersuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that generates tons of long-tail keywords in seconds. Just enter a seed query, choose a language and source, enter the captcha, and then submit. Receive back an alphabetical list of hundreds of long tails.
A nice free tool that discovers new links to your website in real time. Sign up using your Google account and add a small snippet of code to your site template. You will then receive an email or text message every time somebody links to your web pages.
To be able to effectively track backlinks, you can try Linkody software.
Remove’em generates a report that gives you a breakdown of all your anchor text links on the web. It helps you identify overused keyword phrase links, so that you can modify them before being penalized for over-optimization.
Moz has several good online marketing and SEO tools that can help you get results, some of which you don’t even need to pay to use. Non-payers can get unlimited access to Moz Local, MozCast, Open Site Explorer, and more.
SEMrush offers competitor analysis software that shows you how competing sites are performing in terms of keywords, rankings, and traffic. They also provide access to search optimization tools. There is a limited free version and three monthly subscription plans.
Internet Marketing Ninjas provides search engine marketing services. They also have a collection of social, webmaster, and optimization tools on their site that are free to use and can help you leverage content marketing.
Virante, another well-known provider of search engine optimization and marketing services, offers free access to several on-page and off-page SEO tools on their website. If you can’t find something useful on there, check again, you probably will.
WooRank’s website review service tells you how search engine-friendly your site is. Enter a URL to generate a report detailing what you’re doing wrong and where you can improve. Pull one free report weekly, or choose from 2 more advanced monthly plans.
GTmetrix is a free page speed analyzer. Simply enter a URL to receive a performance report that grades your page based on Google and Yahoo! guidelines and provides recommendations for improvement. You can even compare URLs.
Feedthebot shows you the name, ALT text, and dimensions associated with all the images on a web page. Just enter your URL and hit “go” for it to populate the required info and bring your attention to any potential problems. It’s of the free SEO tools.
SEOmofo’s SERP Snippet Optimization Tool (which is free) shows you how your listing looks in Google’s results pages. This allows you to optimize your webpage titles and meta descriptions for better click-through rates, increasing traffic.
As the name suggests, this tool converts MS Word documents (and documents created in other popular word processors) into clean HTML. This can be useful for marketers producing e-books and those using certain content management systems.
Infogram is a service that lets you to create interactive infographics and data illustrations for your content marketing. No costs involved here, unless you upgrade to the “Pro” or “White Label” plans, which give you access to additional customization features.
Piktochart is another nice infographic creator. Making your data engaging and beautiful is easy, and sharing what you create requires just the click of a button. They offer a free trial version with limited features and two affordable paid options.
PowToon’s nifty animation software makes it possible to create engaging animated videos and presentations quickly, easily, and affordably – no technical skills necessary. Great for educational and explainer videos. Choose one of two payment plans, or get it free.
TechSmith’s Jing captures what you see and do on your computer screen and turns into video – you can then share it instantly. A great off-page SEO tool that helps you create online tutorials and make content more engaging. It’s a free download.
SharedCount is a social analytics service that checks how many times your webpage has been shared, liked, tweeted, etc., on popular social networking sites. Just enter a URL and this tool looks it up. Free up to 50,000 queries per day.
Whitespark’s local citation finder shows you where to list your business online to improve your search engine rankings. Try the limited version for free or choose from several payment plans. Whitespark also offers other local SEO tools and services.
Trello is a project management tool that arranges projects into boards, helping you visualize content marketing projects and online collaborations. A nice, user-friendly interface, and it’s free. There is also a “gold” and “business class” upgrade.
Got some must-use SEO tools of your own? How do you get content marketing results? Please share in the comments.