If you are a digital marketing service provider, SEO rules your world. By July 2020, Google’s share in the search market was 86.86%. Closest competitor Bing had a 6.43% share at that point. Given these statistics, we believe no one can beat Google in recommending the best SEO tools. We present Google Analytics’ recommendations on the best SEO tools.
We have, however, added our own insights to those recommendations. Our expertise, experience, and rigorous research inform our insights.
#1. Screaming Frog
Google recommends this tool for advanced SEO auditing. The UK-based Screaming Frog Spider Tool is a website crawler that extracts data and audits the most prevalent SEO issues.
Through our research, we could also identify several non-promotional blog posts recommending Screaming Frog as a top-ranking SEO audit tool.
Here’s all that this tool can do for you:
- Analyze page titles and metadata to inform you if there are any issues that you need to address. The length of your titles and meta descriptions, duplications to be taken care of, etc.
- Duplicate content discovery and identification of low content pages.
- Rapid analysis of broken links (404 errors) which you can then correct yourself, or get your developer to do that for you.
- It can use CSS Path, XPath, or regex to extract any data from an HTML webpage. Such data includes additional headings, prices, social meta tags, and more.
- It can generate XML sitemaps and Image XML sitemaps. These indicate change frequency, last modification, and priority.
- Audits of permanent and temporary redirects to your page include the identification of redirect chains and loops. This helps you to know why search engines might get lost on your page. A great tool to correct any wastage of your crawl budget.
- Other functions that Screaming Frog’s Spider will help you with are:
- Examining robots and directives
- Integration with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and PageSpeed Insights
- Enabling tree graph visualization of site architecture
This tool is free to use for up to 500 URLs.
#2. Google Search Console
There’s nothing narcissistic about Google recommending its own SEO tool. So do most other non-promotional sites. A December 2019 article in Forbes recommends Google Search Console (GSC), for instance.
GSC is free to use for anyone with a website. It helps you understand the impression your page creates on Google and those using its search engine. It provides analytical information on:
- Average position
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) average
How This Information Helps
You may find that your web page has a good average position. It also attracts adequate impressions. Yet, your CTR average is low. That is an indication that you need to improve your page titles and meta descriptions, explains Google.
The opposite may also be true, though that seldom happens. You may have a high CTR, but a poor average position, and be low on impressions.
Then you need to work on strengthening your backlinks. You’d also need to improve the first headings and beginning paragraphs of your content.
You can get similar other insights to optimize the SERP performance of your website.
#3. Moz Link Explorer
Building authentic and powerful links to your website is one of the key tools to increase its authority. Moz’s Link Explorer tool can be amazingly effective in backlinks, aka inbound links strategizing to improve your offsite SEO.
This tool helps you in three major areas:
- Enables you to build your linking strategy
- Helps you to track your progress
- Facilitates comparison with up to four competing sites
Here is how this tool works:
- Link Explorer calculates your “Domain authority”. This is Moz’s formula to analyze your website’s SERP rank.
- It calculates the number of links to your page, as also the quality of those links. Link Explorer ranks their credentials and calculates how trustworthy they are.
- It identifies your strongest link anchor text.
- Much of the data is easily downloadable as excel worksheets so that you can work on them offline also.
When you can figure out your link metrics so comprehensively, you can understand how the offsite SEO is working for your site. It becomes easier to address the gaps if any.
Google recommends only the linking tool from Moz. Moz, however, offers other SEO tools also, such as Keyword Explorer, MozBar, Domain Analysis, etc. Many experts recommend Moz as the provider of a comprehensive set of SEO tools.
Many of these tools, including the Link Explorer, are free to use.
#4. SEMRush Keyword Overview
Google’s recommended tool for efficient and effective keyword tracking is SEMRush. Like Moz, SEMRush also offers a comprehensive set of SEO management tools. Many experts recommend the entire package as one of the best sets of SEO tools available.
There is a lot you can do with this tool to identify the top keywords for your organic SEO and PPC (Pay per Click) campaigns.
- This tool helps you to track the volume and trends of your chosen keywords. It gives you a picture of the region-wise global trends of their use. That is a great enabler for deciding where to target your campaign.
- It will inform you how hard your keyword is, along with proposing related keywords that you can use. That includes synonyms and searched phrases so that you can increase your keywords repertoire.
- With this tool, you can track the historical trends of ads using your selected keywords. The Ad History report informs you of how long these ads existed, what were their prices and positions on Google, and the kind of traffic they had attracted.
- You can also gather information on how other websites using the same keywords perform on SERPs.
- Google informs that SEMRush’s keyword tracking allows you to view your performance alongside that of your competitors.
SEMRush won’t come free to you. But it's keyword tracking tool is worth having in your SEO arsenal. Google is not alone in emphasizing that.
#5. Google Data Studio
For reporting, Google recommends one of its own tools: Google Data Studio. This free tool from the search engine giant is a versatile one that makes your data speak to you. It’s an incredibly handy tool to wow your clients with comprehensive SEO reports.
One of the best features of this tool is that you can integrate data from all the tools mentioned above to feed into your SEO report. You can create charts and graphs that are interactive. You can share your data sources if necessary. You can determine the date range you want, and use filters to select the properties as per your preference and/or need.
Why you still need a SEO Partner
With all these super tools to help you, do you think SEO is a DIY job? Not quite, as it happens. Let us explain why.
When it comes to SEO, tools recommended by Google have to be the best. However, there are other tools like Ahrefs that also receive strong recommendations from professional SEO experts.
The truth is, combining different features from a set of varied SEO tools often works best. That is the job of an expert team. By partnering with a professional SEO services company, your business can benefit from the best features of the top SEO tools.