There are a few tried and true programs out there that most SEOs swear by, but a big part of making your site search engine friendly is simply keeping all of your strategies and results organized. We've asked the experts what SEO tools they can't live without, including a few you might not have thought of!
Normally my response would be Screaming Frog, but I think if you ask any SEO experts they tend to all say that, so today I am going with Chrome.
Chrome is a browser with so many hidden extras, it makes analysis of a page as Google sees it invaluable, the myth that Google sees the original text, the original HTML only and nothing more is being regularly disproved and actually sees something similar to the same thing you would get with the inspect element view, recently I have been messing around a lot using Google Tag Manager to inject SEO related information (plain links, JSON-LD or even changing canonical tags) as a way of running tests, and the only way I can check what is really happening, the output (I am doing a talk on this subject at SearchElite in May)
Chrome out of the box is impressive, with the ability to emulate mobile devices, but you can expand on it with plugins, or even running JS bookmarklets in the browser bar - Chrome is more than just a browser, it is the webpage inspection kit.
Gerry White, Take it Offline
The one tool I rely on most for SEO is Ahrefs. But that's kind of cheating because it isn't just one tool. It's an entire toolset that helps you choose your best keywords, research the competition, create content that attracts eyeballs, shares, and backlinks, and effectively build links as well.
Kathryn Aragon, Kathryn Aragon Media
Right now my go-to SEO tool would have to be Sistrix - an SEO visibility tool which is similar to Searchmetrics and SEMRush. I find Sistrix so easy and intuitive to use, and it is great at giving me a quick overview of any site's organic performance. I can track client campaign performance on a week by week basis, as well as use the tool to give me great competitor insight in an instant.
Sistrix has a wealth of historical ranking data which is a real asset, and it's so simple to manipulate and find actionable insights for our clients. I love their historical keyword data specifically, which shows ranking pages and positions for any given keyword and is great for analysis domain cannibalisation and duplicate content issues. We use a number of visibility and rank tracking tools, but in terms of accuracy I can't ever remember Sistrix being incorrect!
Patrick Langridge, PatrickLangridge.com
Although a good SEO will require a mix of tools to properly analyze organic data and progress, my top "can't live without it" product is Raven Tools.
Raven does not include keyword research, but there are literally dozens of adequate-to-great keyword tool options on the market.
What it omits in that area pales in comparison to the robust features it does include. Some of my favorite features include the SEO Audit process, white labeled reporting, link inventorying and analysis (via their API over to Majestic), and campaign progress tracking tools.
Once you have a keyword strategy in mind, Raven can handle nearly anything else you want to throw it at. It can integrate to your social profiles and even your blog, for those of us who are wearing several hats (and really, who isn't these days?).
Bottom line: for the monthly price, Raven Tools is unmatched in the range of features and ease of use they offer. The only close competitors in Moz, and since many of their tools were acquired, it is not as integrated into the total platform as Raven in my opinion.
Tommy Landry, Return on Now
I have multiple SEO tools that I love to use, like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Linkresearchtools, GTmetrix, but my favorite is Screaming Frog SEO spider, because it let's me quickly find on-page SEO issues and helps me scale my on page audit. Great stuff for finding duplicate content issues, internal broken links and canonical and hreflang issues. Especially with the connection to webmaster console and google analytics and finding mismatches in there. And showing clients a simple interface on how crawling basically works helps them understand what and why to fix.
But understand that there is more to SEO then just one tool, you need to use your knowledge, input from clients and multiple sources but for on page seo, Screaming Frog Seo Spider is my first go-to tool.
Arnout Hellemans, Online Market Think
I am an SEO/Inbound Marketing guy, so it is my day-to-day to hang out with data and keywords all the time. Moreover, one tool that brings all the information like website keywords, helps with keyword research, PPC keyword research, competitor analysis, link analysis, website performance management is SEMRush.
No, but seriously, in the time and era when digital marketing tools are coming every day, and few of them are really good, SEMRush stands out as its easy to use and provide the most relevant information that user ideally want.
Moosa Hemani, SE Talks
It would be really easy for me to say MOZ or Screaming Frog here because they are the two core tools I use when auditing and monitoring my clients' websites. Both tools get to the heart of what can sideline a site from organic search greatness, especially for "on-site" optimization. That said, I'd say the one "SEO tool" I can't live without is my imagination and the imaginations of the members of my team (and I realize how touchy-feely that must sound).
While the various other tools I mentioned can do great things with revealing technical issues, the imagination can really highlight the true opportunities on how to develop a site's content or its link profile beyond the basics.
Jeff Ferguson, Fang Digital Marketing
Hands down, it's Excel, or Open Office, or Google Sheets; whatever the brand, my absolute "can't live without SEO tool" is spreadsheets.
Maybe you don't think of spreadsheets as an "SEO tool," but almost every optimizer I know uses them extensively. Tools, as most people think of them, are a dime a dozen and they come and go. Rankwatch, Raven, Majestic, SEMRush... they all do varying degrees of similar things for varying degrees of price points. On top of that, they're constantly changing. You get used to some feature or another; they change it one update and get rid of it the next.
Spreadsheets may change, but they're always able to do what I need them to do - manage and sort the myriads of data points that come from a campaign. I can take that data, sort it and turn it into something visual, easily readable, and actionable.
Gabriella Sannino, Level 343