Like domains and web hosting – websites need search engine optimization.
SEO, for those entirely new to this all, is the strategic application of search ranking tactics.
The tactics are applied on two fronts:
On-site consists of using strong keywords & phrase to help search engines understand the focus of the pages – resulting in greater relevancy and higher rankings. These pages benefit from in-depth, structured content that exhumes authority and solicits backlinks from other sites.
The on-site SEO also includes items such as website speed, user experience (more time on site = better signals and backlink opportunity), and correct metadata.
Off-site, you’ll find yourself mainly building backlinks along with strong connections with others within your niche and industry. These signals contribute to authority (and branding) which helps the site rise higher in search results. Social media, too, plays a role – activity & engagement greatly helps.
There will come a point where you’ve covered the basics but want more from your SEO.
To bring it to that next level – you want SEO tools.
SEO tools offer a mixed bag of features to improve your efforts in increasing search engine traffic.
There’s a variety that is used for a single SEO factor (let’s say link building) while others try to be your all-in-one solution (a full suite to do it all).
Which SEO tools are best? Let’s find out.
What We look for with Search Engine Optimization Tools
Before we get into the thick of it all… let’s discuss features.
You can certainly do pretty much all your SEO using the basic platforms and their built-in tools but you’ll go insane trying to juggle it all especially when you begin to scale. Before long, you’ll need to bounce between several tabs to run reports, optimize elements, and retain relationships.
A good SEO tool is one that:
- Has an intuitive interface for easy usage
- Able to crunch data and provide legible reports
- Offer actionable suggestions (based on best practices)
- Identify hidden opportunities
- Monitor your progress
Really, the best place to start is an all-in-one tool this way you can cover all aspects of your search engine optimization. It’s daunting but these all-in-one tools will get you squared away with the essentials.
You can focus on those hyper strategies once the foundation is set.
Tactic-specific tools (e.g. blogger outreach) fulfills one purpose/need. This is more aligned to something you’d do once the site is up and running – you’re settled in and making money with the affiliate stuff.
Though, that’s not to say these specific tools are any less valuable because some of you may lean toward one or two specific tactics with SEO. That works… be an expert at one rather than a master of none.
Anyhow, let’s look at the all-in-one’s and then a few of the specific offerings (that’ll satisfy our criteria and then some).
The Best Search Engine Optimization Tools
There’s a lot of SEO tools out there.
Rather than doing a large expose on each – let’s run through the gamut.
You’re generally looking at:
- All-in-One Solutions
- Tactic Specifics
The big, all-in-one solutions are those aimed to manage all aspects of your search engine optimization from the on-site work to everything off-site like link building, outreach, local, video, and the like.
The ones we’d call “tactic specific” are those niched down – they go after a specific tactic whether that’s building forum links or optimizing landing pages. These have their own place because it lets you pick and choose your SEO (a-la-carte) which keeps costs low and won’t overload you.
So, what are the tools worth checking out?
This is the one you’ve heard about. Plug in the competition and get the exact info on what your competitors are using for links (and where they’re ranking). You’ll get insights in a flash. How you choose to use it is on you – those that do… they get better rank.
Website: https://www.semrush.com/ | Price: $99.95 – $399.95/mo
Browse their massive (trillion links) database to analyze a website in such a detail you’ll never approach SEO the same. This tool does it all with backlink analysis – content, broken links, referring domains, top pages, and more.
Website: https://ahrefs.com/ | Price: $99 – $999/mo
When you wanna go technical go with Screaming Frog. This tool scans your site… but on the bot level. This way you can see how Google and Bing view your site and how they’re moving through it which will give you a good indicator of what to put front and center. They’ve also got a spider tool to give you a rundown of what’s off about links, images, and other website elements.
Website: https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ | Price: Free – £99/ £149/year
Dubbed the “Swiss army knife of SEO” — it’s known for being a black hat SEO tool but obviously, if you use it correctly then you’re all good. The tool will scrape for keywords and dump what it finds (which is a lot) into a file. You can onboard the file into other SEO tools else use it as a starting point for link prospecting and outreach.
Website: scrapebox.com | Price: $97
A link analysis tool that’s meant to be easy-to-use (what a relief). Use the tool to learn important ranking factors like page authority, link profiles, crawl errors, and more. Work off its industry-level suggestions to improve keyword usage and competition in your space.
Website: https://moz.com/products/pro | Price: $99 – $599/mo
Pingdom (Site Speed Test)
Easily check how fast your website is loading – great for making necessary tweaks to improve load speed and get that extra thumbs up from Google.
Website: https://tools.pingdom.com/ | Price: Free
Majestic SEO has the chops to be your all-in-one solution. It’s a backlink analysis tool (like Ahrefs) that’ll help you find link opportunities. The tool is handy when doing your own site analysis to see where your efforts stand else point it at the competition to get the scoop on what they’re up to.
Website: https://majestic.com/ | Price: $49.99 – 399.99/mo
Run the tool and see what competitors are bidding on or targeting with their campaigns. Then, use this information to gain an edge by building better links and content.
Website: https://www.ispionage.com/ | Price: $29 – $299/mo
This handy tool will let you search for keywords & phrases to see what content is being shared (and linked to) across social media channels. It’ll give you details about the backlinks going to the pages along with author and site information you could use for outreach or just to do them one better in rankings.
Website: https://buzzsumo.com/ | Price: $79 – $499+/mo
BuzzStream is a tool for email outreach; it’s used to help find and develop relationships through prospecting features so you can attract backlinks from other site owners. These relationships can grow into oh-so-much more; possibly leading to new affiliate business ventures.
Website: http://www.buzzstream.com/ | Price: $24 – $999/mo
Xenu Link Sleuth
A down-right ugly piece of software that continues to be one of the best options for digging through your site to find broken links. This thing is extensive as hell. Fix those broken links to prevent crawl errors and dead ends when people are using your site.
Website: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html | Price: Free
Another outreach tool but this time probably the one you want to go with. Ninja Outreach will give you the full low-down on influencers in your niche and the contact info to make relationships happen. It’s indispensable for helping build authority, getting good feedback, and the occasional link back.
Website: https://ninjaoutreach.com/ | Price: $69 – $599/mo
Raven Tools is a site auditor which will tell you everything that’s wrong with your website and its SEO. It’s what you’ll want to run before any efforts are put into the SEO so you’re not trying to bandage the problem when it’s all due to on-site issues.
Website: https://raventools.com/ | Price: $99 – $249/mo
The go-to plugin for WordPress SEO. The handy tool will provide a checklist of determining SEO factors for each page so you can easily add them as you go. Basically: if you’re running a WordPress blog for the affiliate stuff then you’ll want this running right with it.
Website: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/ | Price: Free or $89 per site
Diving into the SEO Tools
Obviously, Google and Bing provide the basic tools you’d frequently use for improving your search engine optimization. But, these add that extra layer of optimization.
It’s hard choosing just one with so many great opportunities.
We’d like to share a few things to remember before you whisk off and start playing with them…
Basic SEO is Okay
We don’t expect you to become some SEO guru overnight just because you now have a tool.
For many of us, the basic usage of the tool is more than enough.
We’d bet that most of your competitors are only applying SEO on a typical level. Where they’re doing the usual set of best practices, link building, content creation, and networking. It’s going well for them.
Then you come along…
You’re doing it too but you’ve got this newfangled tool to give yourself an edge.
Even if you only use them to discover link building opportunities, improve your keywords, or fix your headings that’s all good because it’s enough to jump up in search.
We guess what we’re trying to say is that you don’t have to become an expert to get good use of them.
You don’t have to invest hundreds of hours solely focused on the tools and SEO.
If you can? Do it.
Otherwise, basic is okay.
White, Grey, and Black Hat SEO
The SEO tools contained in this post are incredibly powerful for amping up your on and off-site efforts.
Yet, with great power comes great responsibility.
These same tools can be used for nefarious undertakings – a trip into the black hat SEO world.
You may be inclined to use these tools to manipulate search results as the result of:
- Spamming profile/forum links
- Spinning and submitting shallow content to PBN’s
- Negative online reputation toward your competitors
These may provide a quick win but Google is smart. They will find out and when they do you’re likely to get the slap… bye, bye rankings.
Use the tools to improve the efficiency of your white hat SEO and you’ll stay in the clear. Yes, it may take longer and may seem “boring” compared to what you may have read on these forums but a long-term presence in the affiliate marketing industry is what’ll create a sustainable income.
Why risk it on one project when you could create multiple authority sites that deliver a responsive community that has great lifetime value?
Learning from the SEO Masters
The people behind these wonderful tools are masters of their craft.
Their tools report tons of data which they’re able to use to form an opinion and offer best practices to the community – most of what you know (or will learn) about SEO comes from these sources.
Each of the companies has blogs you need to be reading.
There you will find detailed reports about various industries and new strategies. It’ll keep you on top of SEO news and happenings so you’re ready to act rather than react to the fallout.
Use their email newsletter, social, or RSS to follow their updates; make it a habit of doing at least a weekly review with what’s going on in the SEO world.
Closing Thoughts on Search Engine Optimization Tools
We’re sure you’ll be blown away at what you find once you begin using these tools.
It will invigorate your passion and efforts with affiliate marketing.
The first site you put together is always a learning experience.
The SEO tools let you dig deep into what you may have missed or skipped. You’ll learn by doing. With that, you can apply those new skills to future projects – setting them off right.
So, what did we learn here? Let’s recap:
- You’ve got your all-in-one’s and tactic specific types
- These tools will reveal what you’re doing wrong with SEO
- Follow their suggestions for a massive edge on the competition…
- … or use the tools to spy on them
- Find opportunities to improve rankings and engagement
- You’ll never use just one because there are so many awesome options
- Do the foundation based on best practices first
- Don’t succumb to the dark side of SEO
- Follow the tool’s blog for great insider, masterful tutorials
All-in-all, SEO tools will become one of your finest investments.
Everything you do to the site (and third-party platforms) will have a stronger impact when you use what you’ve learned through the tools (and their resources).
Bigger impact = bigger earnings.
You already know SEO is crucial to your success… so put in the investment to set it in motion.
Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think about these SEO tools down below.