SEO or Search Engine Optimisation refers to the process of growing the online presence of your business so that your website would rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Such a feat will significantly increase the amount of organic traffic that your website gets. And no matter how polished and smooth of an experience your website might be, it will all be useless if you are not getting enough visitors.
That said, SEO is no small feat, and one of the ways to make the process easier is by using online tools (if you don’t want to outsource your SEO). Using the right tools, you can avoid many SEO problems.
Read along as we go over the importance of SEO tools for businesses. Then we will list our top SEO tools that you, a small business owner, can use.
The importance of the best SEO tools for small businesses
Before we go over some of the best SEO tools for small businesses, let us first discuss some of the reasons why you should use SEO tools.
The first and perhaps most obvious advantage to using an SEO tool is automation. It can help to greatly decrease the amount of time and energy that you could waste on optimising your site all by yourself. For example, checking backlinks can take hours upon hours if done manually. However, some SEO tools can do it in mere minutes.
What is also great about these tools is the fact that their automation process is usually an error-free one. And even if errors do occur, they will be significantly lower than those made by humans.
If you have been in the SEO game for a long time, then you already know how hard it gets at some point in your journey to find new keyword opportunities. And without keyword opportunities, you can’t really produce new content.
This is where SEO tools come into play. They can help you to find new keywords as well as existing ones being used by your competitors. Indeed, some of the tools that we will go over later can help you to generate thousands of keyword ideas in just a few minutes.
Most, if not all, SEO tools properly organise the data that they gather. Unorganised data can be the source of many complications. For instance, you can miss out on vital pieces of data while in the process of collecting it from random sources.
Instead of wasting hours collecting data and organising it by yourself, some SEO tools will present it to you in a timely fashion. You can then analyse and compare this data to come up with conclusions that might help your optimisation journey. Some SEO tools even go as far as analysing the data for you and presenting you with help apparatus.
Many small business owners think that their rankings on SERPs are the one and only measure of optimisation success. However, the truth of the situation is that there are many other metrics that come into play when trying to grasp how much progress you have made SEO-wise.
Some of these metrics can be difficult to calculate on your own. Fortunately for you, though, SEO tools can make this process very easy. Most tools in the market can accurately give you an idea of numerous SEO key performance indicators (KPIs), including domain authority, backlinks, traffic, sales, shares, keyword rankings, clicks, and more.
Improved user experience
For someone who just looked something up on Google, finding themselves in a website where every piece of content is well optimised is great. And besides making users happy, Google will also be appreciative of your efforts since its algorithms can detect when a website is relevant to the inquires.
So, if your website is well optimised, readers will be more than encouraged to continue reading your content and potentially turn into full-fledged customers.
Best SEO tools for small businesses
Here are some of the best SEO tools for small businesses to rely on. Some are free, some are not, but they’re all worth trying out.
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful (yet free) analytics tool. It’s perhaps one of the best sources for website data out there. Once properly installed on your website, Google Analytics can and will provide you with high-quality, actionable data, which includes:
- Sales conversions
- Content preferred by visitors
Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is Google’s own, free to use, SEO tool. Once you set up a GSC account, you will be alerted of any errors on your website. You will also have access to key statistics such as keyword rankings, clicks per keyword, the number of times your website showed up in search results pages, your click-through rate (CTR) and more.
The great thing about Google Search Console is the fact that it provides data in a simple and easy to read way. Moreover, Google allows you to link your Search Console to Analytics to access more data in your Analytics account. For instance, once these two are linked, you can access keyword rankings, click-through rates, impressions, and more on the Google Analytics platform.
Google Keyword Planner, as the name suggests, is Google’s very own keyword research tool that helps users discover new keywords related to their business. It is housed under the Google Ads platform since most people use it to search keywords for pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Still, it can be incredibly useful for search engine optimisation too. Moreover, it is free to use. All you need to do is to create a Google Ads account, and you’re good to go. All of that explains why it’s one of the best SEO tools for small businesses.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this tool is a know-it-all kind of deal. In fact, you can only check ranges such as 1k-10k unless you have an active ad campaign. In other words, this tool is useful for getting a basic idea of search demand, an idea which you can take to a more sophisticated SEO tool for further analysis.
4. Rank Ranger
Rank Ranger is a feature-rich SEO analysis tool. Its most popular feature, one that is widely used on the web, is its keyword rankings tracking tool. It allows users to closely follow the organic rankings of their website over time in all the major search engines. Such data is extremely useful because it will help you to identify trends in your ranking and adjust your content market strategy accordingly.
In addition to rank tracking, Rank Ranger also offers tools for analysing competitors, automated reporting, and much more.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler tool that you can use to conduct an audit of your website. Once downloaded, open this tool, type in your website’s domain name and let it do the work for you.
In just a few minutes, you will have on your hands a detailed audit of all your web pages – everything from broken links (404s errors) to unnecessary page redirects and more. The free version of this tool allows you to crawl through 500 different page URLs. The paid version, on the other hand, gets you an unlimited number with crawls as well as some additional features. The paid license is priced in Euros, and it will set you back €149 per year.
Moz is one of the most popular SEO platforms on the Internet. Their most renowned feature is their ‘Domain Authority’ metric. DA predicts how likely your website is to rank in Google search pages. The DA score is a number from 0 to 100 with a higher score meaning a higher chance of ranking. Take it with a grain of salt, though, as it’s not the holy grail of SEO.
Other tools on this software include a backlink analysis tool, a link explorer and more. There is also MozBar, a Google Chrome extension that you can launch with a click of a button, allowing you to check a site’s DA, backlink information, spam score, and more.
SEMrush is one of the most complete SEO platforms out there. It provides a plethora of tools for backlink analysis, auditing, keyword research and much more. So, it should come as no surprise that they’re currently the market leader of complete SEO tools.
Another great set of features that we personally love about SEMrush is the Gap analysis ones which help you to discover keywords and topics that you can improve upon to get on par with the competition.
Ahrefs is yet another all-in-one SEO tool that provides a wide variety of features such as keyword and backlink research, rank tracking, site auditing, and more. Indeed, Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools for small businesses as well as big ones.
If you are looking to gain insights into the backlinks of competitors or trying to find the latest and greatest keywords in the scene, then look no further than this platform. And much like SEMRush, Ahrefs is filled with blog posts rich in content and covering anything and everything SEO (and digital marketing).
BrightLocal offers a wide range of tools and services that are primarily aimed at local SEO. It includes a local search audit, an online reputation analysis, a local rank tracker, and more.
Additionally, BrightLocal has some of the best data aggregator services and citation building tools on the market but again, local-oriented ones.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with local search, it basically refers to the use of a geographic tag such as a name of a city or state as part of the inquiry. Search engines such as Google use this to deliver more relevant products and services to users. So, you can already see why this aspect of searching gets this much attention from the SEO scene.
Let us handle the tools for you
SEO tools do make life easier, but they can be a bit confusing if you’re not accustomed to them. Fret not, as we can help with that. Just send us a message, and one of our Birmingham SEO consultants will get in touch shortly.