What are the Best SEO Tools of 2019?

best seo tools 2019

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Hi there, my name is James, and I run Boise Idaho Advertising, a Boise SEO agency.

 

So I’m kind of an SEO geek (who am I kidding - I’m really an SEO geek!)

 

I’ve been testing out SEO tools for the past few years now, and I’m starting to realize…

 

There’s A LOT of garbage SEO tools out there.

 

Whether it’s inaccurate search volumes, outdated keyword rankings, or just blatantly false information, there’s a lot of trash SEO tools out there (free OR paid!).

 

2019 is no exception.

 

In fact, I’m finding more and more GARBAGE tools out there.

 

It makes sense though.

 

SEO gurus are catching on to the demand for such tools and they’re capitalizing on these opportunities.

 

Tack on the fact that those tried-and-true legitimate SEO tools are becoming more expensive, and it’s no wonder that every SEO guru and their mother is jumping on the bandwagon to roll out cheap SEO tools to make a quick buck from poor desperate souls like us.

 

So What are the best SEO tools of 2019?

 

I’m just going to do the decisive thing and tell you right now.

Best SEO Tool Overall

The best SEO tool overall is SEMrush. It’s accurate, and it does EVERYTHING! If you want to learn more about SEMrush, jump down to the section where I break down all the good about it (and some bad).

 

Otherwise, if you’re interested in reading this whole list of SEO tools, stay tuned!

You’re in for a treat!

 

I’ll be breaking down these tools in every-which-way, categorizing them into the best free SEO tools, the best paid SEO tools, and the best SEO tools based on what type of SEO that you want to focus on!

 

But first, let’s do a quick overview of the different types of SEO that I’ll be covering in this article...

 

(feel free to skip this section if you already have a decent grasp on SEO and are just looking for some fancy new tools to play with).

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Types of SEO

As the internet (Google) evolves, so does SEO.

 

In 2019, SEO has become a monster of a topic, with over two-hundred tiny moving parts that you have to coordinate in order to maximize your ranking opportunities.

 

But, I like to keep things simple (you’re welcome).

 

What’s worked best for me this year is to place all white hat SEO practices under one of four categories.

These are On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Local SEO, and YouTube (video) SEO.

On-Page SEO

What is On Page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the optimization of elements within the domain (URL) of your website.

 

The most common on-page SEO techniques are keyword optimizing page content, alt tagging images, and linking to other pages on your website.

 

On-page SEO is usually the starting point for any SEO campaign and is a great place to start for SEO beginners.

On Page Ranking Factors for SEO

  • User Experience (this is HUGE for 2019)
  • Mobile optimized site
  • Keyword optimized title tags
  • Keyword optimized meta description tags
  • Keywords in H1, H2, H3 tags
  • Useful, unique, keyword rich content
  • Page Speed
  • Keyword in URL
  • Alt tagged images
  • Internal links
  • External links
  • Sitemap

Off page SEO

What is Off Page SEO?

Off-page SEO, also known as Off-site SEO, refers to any action taken outside of your site to increase your website’s rankings.

 

Link building is the most common off page SEO technique, but there’s more to off-site SEO than just backlinking!

Off Page Ranking Factors for SEO

  • Link Building (Obviously)
  • Social Media Shares and Mentions
  • Guest Blogging
  • Community Involvement

Local SEO

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO focuses on ranking your website, and primarily your Google My Business listing, for location-based search intent. In layman’s terms, local SEO optimizes for people searching for something locally.

 

For example (WARNING: shameless plug):

If I was a local business owner in my home town of Boise, Idaho searching for SEO services, I’d want to hire a local Boise SEO agency.

 

Why?

 

Because I’m not a national brand, and personally, I’d like to develop a personal relationship with whoever is doing my business’ advertising.

 

So if I search “Boise SEO agencies” instead of just “SEO agencies”, the search results are wildly different!

 

Searching “SEO agencies” gives me a list of national SEO agencies that handle multi-million dollar accounts whereas searching “Boise SEO agencies” shows something called the “map pack” or “local pack”.

 

This local pack previews three or four listing of local Boise SEO agencies, showcasing their proximity to you on the map, their contact information, reviews, and some quick action button such as “directions”, “website” and “call”.

 

Scrolling down past this local pack will also show you organic search results for websites that are keyword optimized to rank for the Boise area.

What is the difference between SEO and Local SEO?

In a technical sense, traditional SEO and local SEO have very different strategies to get higher rankings.

 

Local SEO is more focused on optimizing your Google My Business listing as well as any location pages your website may have.

 

Optimizing your reviews and reputation on Google, Yelp, and any other industry-specific review sites also play a major role in your local rankings.

YouTube SEO

I say YouTube SEO instead of video SEO because, I mean, who really uses Vimeo?

 

Other video directories like Vimeo are just that, directories.

 

YouTube, on the other hand, is truly a search engine with an algorithm that can be optimized for.

 

I am particularly fascinated by YouTube SEO tactics, and if I had any “SEO guru secrets” to share to get you ranking INSTANTLY, it would be in this category of SEO - but I’m not sharing any of that info for free 😉

 

Anyway,

 

YouTube SEO is the “low-hanging fruit” of the SEO world.

 

Video content is quickly overtaking text content due to convenience and ease of consumption and the future of SEO is trending towards video...

 

(and voice search, but that's a conversation for a different time).

Best Free SEO Tools 2019

Free SERP checker - google ranking check

SERPROBOT is currently my favorite free SEO tool to use.

 

Its simplicity makes it the perfect keyword tracking software available (sure, it’s ugly, but it works!).

 

In particular, I love how perfect of a reporting tool SERPROBOT is for clients who have no background in SEO.

 

Any SEO tool that can simplify complex data into the simplest of terms has a special place in my heart.

 

Thank you SERPROBOT 💜

 

Also:

 

SERPROBOT allows you to track up to 25 keywords for free!

 

Need more keywords? No sweat! For every 300 extra keywords you need, it only costs $4.99/ month.

 

For a free SEO tool, the level of control you have over what you can track is unbelievable.

 

When you start a new project on SERPROBOT, you can decide whether the keywords you want to track will show rankings for your entire domain, a specific URL, or even your Google My Business listing’s local SEO rankings!

 

Then, you just choose your keywords and run your keyword tracking campaign - it’s that simple!

 

Once SERPROBOT crawls your site and gets your initial ranking, it will automatically crawl your site every 24 hours to get your latest rankings and compare them to where you started.

 

Actually tracking and monitoring keywords has been life-changing in my SEO career and I can not recommend SERPROBOT enough as your SEO tool of choice for any keyword rank tracking that you may need!

Pro Tip: SERPROBOT can be a powerful tool to track local SEO keywords. One of my favorite local SEO tactics is to build out location pages (HUNDREDS OF THEM!) and making separate SERPROBOT projects for each location page, tracking the long tail geo-targeted keywords that I want to rank for. This is an easy way to dominate local cities that have very low competition. Then, once you’ve built a solid foundation for these smaller localities, you can use your network of local city pages to build a regional or state page to dominate!

CAUTION: Building out hundreds of location pages that are not truly unique, authentic, and useful is a sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot - tread lightly and invest in the time to implement this tactic the right way.

Yoast SEO - Best SEO tool for WordPress

If you have a WordPress website, then you NEED to be using Yoast SEO. Yoast is THE WordPress plugin to use for your SEO.

 

I use it, your competitors use it, everyone uses it. There are so many SEO tools out there, but if there was one tool that can be called the “industry standard” of SEO tools, then it’s Yoast.

 

If you are not familiar with Yoast, here’s a quick rundown.

 

You’ll primarily use Yoast to easily edit your title tags and meta descriptions for your WordPress pages and posts.

But it does so much more!

 

Yoast also allows you to index and noindex pages, and it automatically builds beautiful XML sitemaps for Google to easily crawl your site and get you ranking in no time!

 

But above all else, my favorite Yoast feature is the bulk editor tool!

That’s right!

 

Yoast SEO has a bulk editing feature that lets you make changes to all of your title and meta tags on all of your pages and posts, all in one place!

 

If you are not familiar with Yoast, here’s a quick rundown.

 

You’ll primarily use Yoast to easily edit your title tags and meta descriptions for your WordPress pages and posts.

But it does so much more!

 

Yoast also allows you to index and no-index pages, and it automatically builds beautiful XML sitemaps for Google to easily crawl your site and get you ranking in no time!

 

But above all else, my favorite Yoast feature is the bulk editor tool!

Best Free Keyword Research Tools

Sometimes the best things in life really are free. These SEO tools may not be the all-in-one powerhouses that the paid tools are, but there are plenty of useful tools out there for free.

 

Below is a list of all the free SEO tools that I’ve saved onto my bookmarks bar and use regularly!

AnswerThePublic: free visual keyword research and content ideas tool

AnswerThePublic is my favorite tool on this list!

 

I know I know…

 

I already said SERPROBOT was my favorite tool on this list.

 

SERPROBOT is my tried-and-true go-to SEO ranking and reporting tool (that’ for sure).

 

But…

 

There’s a new mistress in my life and her name is AnswerThePublic (their mascot is a hipster-looking old man - idk don’t judge 🤷‍♀️).

 

What makes AnswerThePublic my favorite free SEO tools is its mass generation of longtail question-based search queries.

 

Here’s a quick video walkthrough of how AnswerThePublic works, and how it can make your life as an SEO much, much easier!

So why do I love AnswerThePublic so much?

My preferred approach to SEO is to generate A LOT of useful, niche content that targets low-volume, low-competition keywords.

 

This small to large approach allows me to develop a solid foundation for my clients to dominate their search categories.

 

This has worked miracles for my clients as well as for my own SEO agency.

 

But…

 

Generating that much content means having to do a lot of topic research!

 

It’s a lot of work researching what people are asking Google about your client’s products or services (especially if you’re unfamiliar with your client’s industry).

 

Before AnswerThePublic came into my life,

 

I would spend DAYS coming up with topics, outlining content templates, and planning out a media schedule for the month.

 

It was grueling work and creatively exhausting.

 

Now, with AnswerThePublic, I have THOUSANDS of relevant topics to choose from and it only takes me a day or two to plan out blog media schedules for the next 3 months!

 

Thanks to AnswerThePublic, I can dedicate more time to re-optimizing content, fixing site errors, and focusing more on my client’s user experience and sales funnels.

 

If you generate a lot of content for your clients or your business, then you NEED to check out Answer the Public.

CanIRank is the Best SEO Software for Small Business

Whenever I’m picking new keywords for a client, I often find myself asking, “can I rank for these keywords?” and if not, then “how can I rank for these keywords?”.

 

CanIRank quickly answers both of these questions!

 

All you have to do is enter your URL, add some competitor’s URLs, and CanIRank spits out a detailed competitive analysis report.

 

CanIRank gives you ranking probability statistics on the keywords that you want to rank for, but it doesn’t just stop there!

 

This awesome free SEO tool actually walks you through detailed steps as to how to rank for your selected keywords!

 

This is a great tool for any SEO’s arsenal.

 

Personally, I love to pair CanIRank with Answer the Public (shown above) to run ranking probability tests on the thousands of long-tail search phrases that the latter tool spits out.

 

CanIRank helps me narrow down my search phrases to the lowest-hanging fruit and, believe me, it WORKS!

Try it for yourself! (You can thank me later).

Google Trends is the best free SEO tool

Google Trends is a useful tool for, as you guessed, keeping up with search trends.

 

Simply put, Google Trends tells you if your keyword is getting more or less popular.

 

I like to imaging Google Trends as a keyword search volume forecaster.

 

For example:

 

You pull up your favorite keyword research tool and find out that the top two keywords you are optimizing for have the same search volume.

 

Which one do you make your primary keyword?

Well, a smart way to figure this out is to pull up Google Trends and compare your two keywords.

 

You may find out that search volume for one of them has been drastically trending downwards while the other has been trending up!

 

You see, most keyword research tools use average historical data to come up with the search volume numbers that they display.

 

What most of these other tools won’t tell you is whether people will still be searching for your keyword in the future.

 

Pretty neat, huh?

 

I also like to use Google Trends to find new topics of interest.

 

We live in a world that is fascinated by new stuff and those who can keep up with the trends are the ones who succeed.

 

But how do you know if this “new stuff” is actually a trend or just a passing fad?

 

Well, if people are truly interested in a new topic, they’re going to search for it.

 

Running a new topic through Google Trends will quickly show you if there’s been a steady positive trend or a sporadic search history that’s all over the place.

 

If your new topic has a steady positive trend, I say go for it!

 

You may have found a goldmine of a keyword or niche!

Keyword Research & Strategy with Keyword Planner Tool - Google Ads

Why play a game of telephone when you can hear it from the source?

 

Google Keyword Planner may not be the most robust tool out there, but it is still useful.

 

If your primary digital marketing strategy revolves around Paid Search (PPC or Pay-Per-Click), then Google Keyword Planner is a convenient tool for you to use.

 

Although I don’t think Google Keyword Planner is the best SEO tool out there, it is still very important, especially if you work closely with a PPC team.

 

As an SEO, Monitoring what your PPC brethren are doing is very important.

 

Since this blog is about SEO tools, I don’t want to get into too much detail about the proper way to balance SEO and PPC to maximize results, but just know, it IS important!

LSIGraph is a Free Latent Semantic Indexing Keyword Generator

LSIGraph is a handy tool that shows you LSI keywords.

 

So what are LSI keywords?

 

As an SEO, my job is not to know things, its to Google them 💁‍♀️

 

Here’s what Google says:

what are LSI Keywords?

With LSI, we don’t need to get into the algorithmic details as to what is a related keyword or not.

 

In fact, you don’t even need LSIGraph to see LSI keywords.

 

If you scroll to the very bottom of Google after you run a search, you’ll see a section called “Searched related to (what you searched)”.

 

It looks like this:

Google Searches related to SEO agencies in Boise

So why is LSIGraph useful if Google previews LSI keywords anyway?

 

Well, because Google only previews a few keywords.

 

LSIGraph, on the other hand, shows a much longer list of LSI keywords so that you have more to work with.

 

Side note: you may be wondering why my screenshot of Google’s “Searches related to” section has search volume data next to the LSI keywords and your’s doesn’t. Don’t worry, this is a great segway to the next SEO tool on my list!

Keywords Everywhere is a FREE browser addon for Chrome & Firefox that shows search volume, CPC & competition on websites used by SEO experts

We use Google all the time.

 

But what if I said you can do your keyword research passively while you’re using Google during your day-to-day searches?

 

You can with Keywords Everywhere, which makes it one of the most convenient SEO tools on this list.

 

Keywords Everywhere is actually a Google Chrome extension (Also available on Mozilla Firefox) that adds search volume, CPC (Cost-Per-Click), and keyword competition to your searches (see screenshot above).

 

Keywords Everywhere will also add a sidebar to your Google search results page with related keywords.

 

Wait, it gets better!

 

You can add any keywords you like to your favorites list by hitting the grey “star” next to said keywords.

 

And the best part?

 

You can export the whole sidebar keyword list into a CSV file!

 

My favorite use of the Keywords Everywhere tool is when it surprises me with higher search volumes than I expected.

 

Let me explain:

 

I’ll usually be going about my day, mindlessly searching things on google.

 

Well, Keywords Everywhere is ALWAYS on, and ALWAYS showing the search volume of ANYTHING you search.

 

For the most part, search volumes for those obscure long tail search phrases are zero, but every once in a while, you get a nice surprise!

 

Trust me, get this SEO tool and just let it work in the background.

 

You’ll eventually run into a search phrase with higher volume than you expected, and you’ll be like, “WOAH! Neat, I’m saving that keyword for sure!”

Keyword Shitter - Keyword Research Tool

Ah yes, the most tasteful SEO tool on this list.

 

Keyword shitter is pretty self explanatory, really.

 

You type in one keyword, and…

 

You guessed it!

 

It shits out more keywords! 💩

 

Okay.

 

Moving on.

Best Free SEO Audit Tools

SEO auditing tools come in all shapes and sizes.

 

Generally, free SEO auditing tools specialize in one aspect of SEO audit, and only paid tools offer an all-in-one package.

 

Obviously, I’d recommend investing in a paid SEO tool to run all of your SEO auditing and reporting, but sometimes we’ve got to stay within budget.

 

So how can you make the most out of free SEO auditing tools?

 

You stack them!

 

That’s right - SEO stacks. It’s a thing, I swear.

 

Here is my totally free stack of SEO audit tools that I am currently using.

Google Search Console measures site search traffic

Every SEO audit should start in Google Search Console.

 

Why?

 

Because Google Search Console is THE resource for your website.

 

If you want a brief overview of search traffic, site errors, external linking sites, crawl errors, etc, you can find it on Search Console.

 

Although Google Search Console can be used as a keyword research tool, its primary use is website audit and site repair.

 

So how can you make the most out of free SEO auditing tools?

 

You stack them!

 

That’s right - SEO stacks. It’s a thing, I swear.

 

Here is my totally free stack of SEO audit tools that I am currently using.

This is the go-to technical SEO audit tool for a reason.

 

It’s free, and it does EVERYTHING!

 

You can analyze page titles and meta data, find broken links, and discover duplicate content.

 

You can easily export this data into an Excel Sheet or CSV as well!

 

So are there any flaws?

 

Sure!

 

For one, its a desktop software that you have to download… onto your desktop!

 

Did I mention you have to download it onto your desktop??

 

For such advanced software, the fact that you have to download it is pretty retro.

 

Also, the free version of Screaming Frog only allows for 500 pages to be crawled on your site, which is fine for SEOs with small business clients that specialize in services.

 

Product based clients and eCommerce sites, well, I’d invest in the paid version - It’s VERY useful in identifying inconsistencies in your product listing pages.

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