Our Favorite SEO Tools and Software

Screenshot of a computer running some programs
Nov 17

Our Favorite SEO Tools and Software

There is no shortage of SEO tool discussion out there. In fact, I think there is an endless number of “Best SEO Tool” lists. So, instead of adding our voice to that bottomless pit, the SEO team here at webFEAT Complete got together to make a list of our favorite tools.

One interesting thing about SEO is that most of the tools you need are provided by Google. SERPs let you see who is ranking for what (and basically every SERP out there provides suggestions for keywords/phrases related to the one you searched). AdWords gives you an (admittedly large) estimate of search traffic along with a keyword explorer tool. Google Analytics gives you statistics about how your site’s traffic is doing, and Google Search Console tells you exactly what your website is ranking for, along with how many sites link to it.

Despite the obvious usefulness of Google’s tools, dedicated SEO tools let you process information much more efficiently than if you tried to keep track of everything entirely with Google’s tools. We’re extremely grateful for the tools that make our lives easier and that let us do better work. So, read on for webFEAT’s favorite SEO tools! Most of these tools are free or low-cost.

 

Tools/Software

 

Constant Contact

What is it?

Constant contact is primarily an email marketing tool. It lets you send emails en masse and it keeps track of who received them, who opened them, and who clicked the links inside them. It also offers in-depth reporting about the users who opened the email and what devices they were using when they clicked.

It has a built-in email designer that helps you to design beautiful emails without having to code them yourself in HTML.

What do we use it for?

We use it to send bi-weekly blog recap emails, and important information regarding security, SEO, or anything else relevant to our clients.

Who Should Use it?

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to email marketing platforms. Constant Contact should be your choice if you’re looking for an affordable, no-frills email service that has excellent customer support.

What does it cost?

Pricing depends entirely on the size of your contact list. The smallest plans only cost $20 a month, but you have to have fewer than 500 contacts to get that price. There’s also a 60-day free trial.

Screaming Frog

What is it?

Screaming Frog is a web crawler. That’s a tool that accesses all of the pages of a website very, very quickly (along with grabbing information about them). It can be customized almost endlessly and can be used to gather all sorts of information about the pages of any website.

What do we use it for?

We typically only use Screaming Frog to look for broken pages, to test that our 301 redirects and robots.txt files are working correctly, and to ensure site launches go smoothly.

Who should use it?

Honestly, anyone who even thinks about SEO on a regular basis should have this tool. SEOs swear by it. If you’re curious about what else you can do with Screaming Frog, check out the Screaming Frog Guide to Doing Almost Anything.

What does it cost?

It has a free version for small sites up to 500 pages, which will be more than enough for most small businesses. The paid version comes out to £149.00 per year (which is about $197 as of November 2017).

Raven Tools

What is it?

Raven is primarily a report generation software. It pulls data from a wide variety of sources and collects them in one place for you to review. It also has some analytics and SEO research functions, but typically Raven’s SEO tools underperform dedicated SEO software.

What do we use it for?

We typically use it to pretty up Google Analytics data before we present it to customers, and it does a great job of that. We also use it for social media analytics, since it consolidates a lot of social media statistics for easy digesting. Instead of going to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get separate statistics for each site, it’s all on one dashboard.

Who should use it?

If you are in SEO and you want to present your data in a way that is both intuitive and eye-catching, Raven Tools is a great choice.

What does it cost?

The smallest plan costs $99 (billed annually). It goes up to $399 a month if you want unlimited amounts of campaigns and users.

Spyfu

What is it?

SpyFu is an SEO research tool. The name SpyFu comes from that the app lets you you “spy” on your competitors’ SEO efforts.

You can type any website into SpyFu and get a wealth of information about what keywords that site ranks for, how those ranking have changed over time, and even things like an estimated AdWords budget.

What do we use it for?

We make use of every feature the program has to offer. One of our favorite uses is to track the movement of a specific keyword on a website over time. This lets us see the effect of a site’s ranking for a phrase after we’ve written a specific blog for them, or made some other seo-related push! We also use it to measure our own successes and failures, and we use it to generate ideas on how to improve SEO for our many clients.

Who should use it?

Anybody with even a fleeting interest in SEO. There are other tools that collect competitor keyword data, but SpyFu is the best value out there.

What does it cost?

SpyFu lets you see a very limited amount of their data for free. For $33 a month (billed annually), you get unlimited access to the data. The more expensive plans offer multiple logins, increased keyword tracking capabilities, and custom branded reporting.

WooRank

What is it?

WooRank is a SEO auditing tool. It analyzes your website and gives it a score out of 100. It also tells you what your website does well and what it could do better.

What do we use it for?

We always run a WooRank test to audit a prospective client or when we begin working on a site, and then continually run tests as we work on them to see how they improve after our work.

It’s not perfect (it doesn’t think we have a blog!), but it is great for deciphering if a website is following basic SEO best practices.

Who should use it?

Everyone! Even though the score isn’t definitive, it’s still a great tool to get an idea of where you are SEO-wise and to see what things you could do better.

What does it cost?

The basic plan costs $49 a month. It offers you an advanced review of your own website as well as unlimited lesser reviews of other websites.

Google Search Console

What is it?

Formerly Webmaster Tools, Search Console is a tool made by Google that gives webmasters a wealth of data regarding how their website appear in search. Since this data comes from Google itself, this is a one of the most accurate source of keyword data out there. Search Console also provides backlink data. The only catch is that you have to own the site (and verify that you own it to Google) to access this information.

What do we use it for?

We use it to see the things we rank for and how that data changes over time, along with utilizing the various other resources within the platform.

Who should use it?

Anyone who owns a website and is interested in how their site appears in search. Which should be everyone!!! Also, keep in mind that Bing has their own Webmaster Tools that does some of the same things. Your site should be submitted there, and you should be exploring that as well.

What does it cost?

Google Search Console is completely free!

Hootsuite

What is it?

It is a social media management tool. It allows you to consolidate different social media accounts all in one dashboard. For example, if your business has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, you can post from all three at once without ever leaving Hootsuite’s site.

What do we use it for?

We use it to manage both our own social media accounts and our clients’.

Who should use it?

Anyone with more than one social media account that they use regularly. It’s even fine for personal use. Keep in mind that if you have more than 3 accounts on Hootsuite, you will have to pay for it. Otherwise, it’s free.

What does it cost?

Hootsuite has a free version that allows for one user, three social profiles, and 30 scheduled messages a month. The cheapest plan is only $19 per month, and it is perfect for one user. It gives one user access to up to 10 social profiles and the ability to schedule an unlimited amount of posts. You’ll have to pay $99 a month if you want to have multiple users on the same account.

Norbert

What is it?

Norbert is an email address finder. If you have a first name, last name, and a website, Norbert can find you someone’s email address most of the time. You can also use it to send emails to the addresses you find.

What do we use it for?

We use Norbert when we’re trying to do PR or do link outreach. It’s extremely helpful for when you have a name but not an email address, and it’s helped us hunt down some important contacts in the past.

Who should use it?

Anyone who is doing some kind of outreach and needs a little help getting a hold of someone.

What does it cost?

Norbert has one of the best pricing systems we’ve ever seen. You can either pay for a certain number of email leads a month (the smallest plan is $49 for 1,000) or you can pay $.10 per lead.

Also, when you sign up, you get 50 credits (it costs 1 credit to find an email address). But you only use up a credit if you actually find the email address!

bit.ly

What is it?

bit.ly is a link shortner. In practice, that means it turns links from this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ5LpwO-An4) to this (http://bit.ly/1bgpM8l). What’s more, it keeps track of how many people clicked your link.

What do we use it for?

We typically use bit.ly for shortening links that we post on Twitter. The saved space leaves more room for emojis.

What does it cost?

Bit.ly is free to use, but they offer an enterprise version that lets you customize the URL that’s used for shortening (for example, we could have web.ft links). Enterprise will run you about $1,000 a month.

 

Chrome Extensions (all of these are free)

 

Pocket

Pocket is so simple that it doesn’t warrant a large explanation like the others.

Pocket is simply a way to save things you find online for later. Have you ever emailed something to yourself so you remembered it? Pocket is the same concept in practice, except instead of emailing, you just press a button and it’s saved.

WhatFont

WhatFont is also very simple. It just lets you identify a font on a webpage by selecting it. It’s very useful for when you’re designing a site.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is an extension that provides search volume, average CPC, and a competition score. These metrics provide much insight when researching a specific topic.

Wappalyzer

Wappalyzer allows you to gather information about what powers a website. It will attempt to tell you the website’s framework, CMS, widgets, and other tools. It’s an easy way to get an in-depth look at a website in a short time.

MozBar

MozBar is an extension that gives Google’s regular SERP a SEO-inspired makeover. You can read the full details here, but the MozBar gives you the PA (SEO strength of the page), DA (SEO strength of the domanin), and backlink profile, three of the most important statistics in the SEO world.

Google Tag Assistant

Tag Assistant validates Google tracking scripts on a page. It will also tell you if there are any problems with the way the tag was injected into the site and how to fix those problems.

We mostly use it to make sure that our Google Analytics codes are working properly. It’s a must-have. You won’t want to find out that Google Analytics wasn’t actually installed a month after you thought you were collecting data.

What Tools and Software Do You Use?

There you have it. These are the tools that the webFEAT Complete SEO team swears by. That being said, we’re also constantly adapting to the changes Google brings, new technologies and best practices. Want to applaud us for our good taste? Filled with anger because we excluded your favorite tool? Think we could be using something better? However you’re feeling, please leave a comment below! We’d love to hear your feedback.

About The Author

Kory (called "K" around the office) is the SEO Content Specialist at webFEAT Complete. He helps businesses grow by creating unique and engaging web content for them. When he isn't busy blogging or tweaking websites, he enjoys digital card games and taking care of his needy tortoise.

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