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19 Best SEO Tools in 2024 (For Every Use Case) | WordStream

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Whether you’re a local mom-and-pop shop or a multinational enterprise, SEO is still the best play for long-term traffic growth and lead generation. A single optimized blog post, web page, or video can attract thousands of qualified visitors for years—and you don’t have to spend a dime to promote it.

That said, SEO isn’t easy. Every marketer knows how valuable the top of a Google results page is, and it keeps getting harder to own that real estate.

That’s why we’ve trialed, tested, and categorized the best SEO tools available in 2024. Whether you’re publishing your first blog post or optimizing a 5,000-page website, there are SEO tools here to help.

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What are SEO tools?

In broad terms, SEO tools are software that helps you automate, streamline, or support your SEO strategy.

More specifically,  SEO tools can help with:

SEO tools come in a few varieties. Some are feature-rich, comprehensive software with several tools to tackle many SEO tasks. Ahrefs is a good example of a comprehensive SEO tool since it helps with on-page SEO, off-page SEO, site audits, and more. Our Keyword Tool is a point-solution since it has one function—to help you find the best SEO keywords to target.

What is the most effective tool for SEO?

That’s like asking, “What’s the best vehicle?” Do you want to haul a lot of people, a lot of stuff, or do you just want to go fast?

Like car shopping, picking your SEO tool starts with understanding your needs. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you new to SEO or a power user of SEO tools?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have specific jobs to do, like auditing a blog with 5,000 posts or doing initial keyword research?
  • How big is the team that’ll use the SEO tool?
  • What type of organization is it (a marketing agency, affiliate marketing group, ecommerce shop, SaaS company, etc.)?

While each use case has its own set of needs, there are a few foundational characteristics we used to compile our best SEO tools list, including:

  • User experience: Is the interface and workflow intuitive? Does the design help new users find what they need quickly?
  • Value: Does the cost justify the software’s capability? Is it competitively priced versus similar tools?
  • Feature/use-case fit: Does the tool have everything you’ll need to complete the task it’s built for?
  • User feedback: Positive reviews and high ratings on sites like G2 and Capterra.

Best free SEO tools

These SEO tools are either completely free or have a robust free tier with plenty of functionality.

1. Exploding Topics for SEO keyword trends

Exploding Topics is a neat little tool that helps you get in early on soon-to-be popular topics. The tool constantly scans the web, looking for increasing patterns of searches and mentions for any specific term.

Note that you can’t enter any old search term to see what’s trending. But you can choose from a bunch of topics that may be important to your brand.

The data doesn’t just come from search engines (although the software does “listen” to millions of searches). When you see a trending topic, it’s because it’s also been mentioned, commented on, and discussed all over the internet. That’s why this tool is good at exposing not just what people search for but also what they’ll likely search for in the near future.

There’s no cost to pop in anytime and see what’s trending for each category. The paid plans start at $39 and give you tracking, alerts, and detailed reports (like tracking specific product categories).

2. WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool for unlimited keyword research

One of the hardest parts of SEO is finding keywords with the right balance of search volume and low difficulty. Our Free Keyword Tool helps you overcome that hurdle by quickly surfacing a list of relevant keywords and the data you need to pick the best options.

I like to use it once I’ve brainstormed a list of seed keywords (terms I think people might search for). Just drop the word or phrase in the search bar, and you will get a list of related terms, plus their monthly search volumes and competition levels. It’s pretty easy to spot those high-volume, low-competition keyword unicorns.

The price of the tool is in the name. It’s always free for an unlimited number of searches.

3. Animalz Revive for refreshing SEO content

Over time, SEO blog posts often lose their ranking to new content. Revive, from the content marketing agency Animalz, locates these decaying assets on your blog.

The tool works by reviewing your Google Analytics (you have to give it access) to spot blog posts with a downward traffic trend. Once it’s finished, you’ll get an emailed report with a list of content that could rank and get more traffic once it’s refreshed.

The tool is free, but you do have to give up your email address to access it.

4. Similarweb for competitive SEO analysis

Similarweb gives you a sneak peek at the performance and ranking of any public website on the internet. Its free version is surprisingly comprehensive.

Enter a URL and scroll to see estimated traffic and engagement stats, site traffic demographics, traffic sources, and more. You can even compare two websites side-by-side.

I wouldn’t take Similarweb data as gospel. It pulls “digital signals” from millions of locations across the internet and creates statistically significant estimates. It’s excellent for directional insights, though. If five of my competitors show a lower bounce rate than the pages I’m working on, it’s a signal that I need to make some user experience improvements.

Basic website analysis is free on Similarweb. There are several data points, like top outgoing links and referral traffic sources, you’ll have to pay for.

5. LocaliQ’s Website Grader for free SEO audits

If you need a quick, easy-to-understand website audit, LocaliQ’s Free Website Grader will do the trick.

Even though it’s a free tool, you get a lot of information. For example, in your report you’ll see:

  • Technical SEO: Site security, site speed, mobile optimization
  • On-page SEO: Metadata, word count, alt text
  • Off-page SEO: Links from other sources

It’s plenty enough to create a good checklist of SEO improvements.

Free reports are delivered by email, and you can run them as often as you like.

Best AI-powered SEO tools

Many of the tools in this guide have some type of built-in AI functionality for SEO. But we found a few that stand out for their use of AI’s ability to process huge amounts of data and generate SEO insights.

6. Outranking for SEO outlines

There are loads of generative AI content tools out there now. What sets Outranking apart is that it’s focused on helping you create content that’ll rank well on search engines.

With a free account, you can input a search query, location, language, and title, and it will generate an SEO outline that you can customize. It’s really helpful if you regularly write content briefs for others to complete. Like any generative AI content tool, double-check the output and add your own voice.

Outranking pricing tiers start at $29 monthly for five new SEO documents and AI-assisted SEO optimization for existing content.

7. CanIRank for keyword competition

CanIRank is a personalized keyword difficulty tracker on steroids. It reviews your website’s existing SEO clout and then tells you if you can rank for specific keywords.

Here’s the real magic of CanIRank. It doesn’t just tell you which keywords to target; it leverages AI to give you specific steps to help your content rank higher.

CanIRank lets you review one website for free (plus get five keywords and SEO reports daily without paying). The paid plans for more websites and keyword reports start at $49/month.

8. Keyword Insights for keyword clustering

Keyword Insights is a paid keyword research tool that uses AI in two interesting ways. First, it uses algorithms and machine learning to locate clusters of topics from a single keyword.

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Keyword clusters help you target multiple longtail keywords in a single post or a linked group of posts. Google sees your exhaustive coverage as topical authority on the subject and bumps you to the top of the SERPs for those related keywords.

Then, once you have a keyword cluster defined, Keyword Insights uses AI to generate a brief or outline based on the existing posts in the SERP plus data from Reddit, Quora, and People Also Ask boxes.

A note of warning here. Generative outline creators like Keyword Insights are a great way to create a base outline quickly. But to earn your spot on the SERPs, make sure you add something extra like personal experience, expert quotes, or another facet of the topic other SERP leaders don’t have.

Keyword Insights offers a four-day trial for $1. Monthly paid plans start at $58.

9. Diib for keyword and rank monitoring

Google SERPs are in constant flux. You can gain or lose page-one ranking for any given keyword in a day. Diib uses predictive AI to monitor all sorts of SEO vitals for your website, but the keyword tracking will keep you abreast of turbulent search pages.

With Diib, you can add high-priority keywords to a monitoring list. It’ll show you those at the top of your keyword reports and let you see their history of performance on the SERP. But the best part is that the tool will also notify you when your rankings change for those keywords. The heads-up lets you take action, like updating the page’s UX or adding new information.

The pricing provided to us was an initial $99 startup fee and $14.99 for each subsequent month.

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Best local SEO tools

It’s cliche but true: Local SEO is critical for location-based businesses. 77% of people say they’ve used Google to find businesses like a coffee shop, dentist, or HVAC tech nearby. These tools are designed to ensure that you show up on SERPs when those people need you.

10. GeoRanker for location-specific SEO tracking

If your customers come from a specific geography, you need to know if your website ranks for relevant keywords in that location. GeoRanker has a feature that lets you track that.

Once you fill out the form, GeoRanker returns a report showing the position—in real-time—your website holds for your target keywords in the cities or countries you’ve picked. You can also see how your rankings have changed and learn where your competitors land on those SERPs.

The tool would be really handy for multi-location businesses, as it allows you to get data for each city you have a presence in.

GeoRanker also has a location-dependent SERP checker that shows the top 100 results for a keyword in different cities. For example, “coffee shop” will have different results in Chicago vs. Phoenix.

GeoRanker gives you limited access to its tools for free, with a monthly subscription plan starting at $99.

11. LocaliQ’s Free Business Listings Grader for directory audits

Online business directories like Yelp and Google Business Profiles are like the digital age’s answer to the Yellow Pages. If you want your local business found online, you need updated, correct information on your listings in those directories. LocaliQ’s Free Business Listings Grader lets you instantly verify your business listing on 20+ online directories.

The Listing Grader is very easy to use. Just enter your company’s name, street address, and postal code, and then the Grader will check it against what’s currently shown on apps like Waze, eLocal, and dozens of other locations. It’s a great way to check many business listings at once.

LocaliQ’s Listings Grader is free for an unlimited number of reports.

12. Yext for review monitoring

Reviews can directly affect how your business appears in local searches. Yext has several features to help you manage your online presence and reputation, but I really like its review management functionality for local SEO.

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Using API integrations, Yext pulls reviews from all over the web and places them on your dashboard. From there, you can see how people rate your business and what they’ve written. You can also set up notifications so you always know when a new review comes in.

Besides monitoring reviews, Yext lets you respond to (via auto-responder or manually), request, and analyze reviews for their sentiment.

Yext pricing is on request.

Best Google SEO tools

If you succeed in SEO, then Google succeeds. So it’s created an impressive list of tools to help you research, optimize, and analyze all aspects of your website’s ability to rank. These three tools are free, so I’ve not included pricing information individually.

13. Search Console for technical SEO

Technical SEO sounds daunting (and it can be). But Google Search Console helps you track and visualize several aspects of your technical SEO, making it easier to understand and improve.

Here are a few ways you can use GSC to see which technical aspects of your website are hurting or helping your SEO:

  • Confirm that Google’s crawlers are properly indexing your web pages
  • Monitor and troubleshoot your Web Core Vitals or mobile usability issues
  • Submit sitemaps
  • See security issues

We wrote a guide explaining how to use Google Search Console for technical SEO.

14. Google Trends for timely keyword planning

Google Trends tells you how often a word or phrase is entered into Google relative to the total volume of searches over a set time. Essentially, it’s a real-time keyword popularity report.

On Search Trends, you won’t see the total number of searches for a keyword. Instead, you’ll see how the search volume changes over time, using the highest and lowest search volumes for context.

You can change the time period, region, and type of search (image, news, Google Shopping, etc.) to see how they affect the trend. You’ll also get a graphical representation of the region you’ve chosen (U.S., worldwide, etc.) that shows the relative searches in each subregion. You even get related terms to inform your keyword strategy.

This guide will help you use Google Trends to its fullest.

15. Google Analytics 4 for SEO performance tracking

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a platform that tracks how people arrive at and interact with pages on your website.

There’s an incredible amount of data that can be parsed in hundreds of ways on GA4. A few of the most valuable insights for SEO are:

  • How much of the traffic to your site and individual pages comes from organic search
  • Which blog posts and pages get the most traffic
  • Which pages are losing traffic from search engines

GA4 is the latest iteration of Google’s analytics platform. Here are a few ways GA4 differs from Universal Analytics, its most recent predecessor.

Best paid SEO tools

If you have the budget, these SEO tools combine rich functionality with excellent user experience. While they all charge a fee, we’ve chosen those that provide the best bang for your buck.

16. Ahrefs for best overall functionality for the money

I’ve used Ahrefs for years for keyword research, rank tracking, competitor analysis, and several other essential SEO tasks. Ahrefs edges out its competition based on the value of what you get, especially for light to moderate SEO users.

I could write a few thousand words trying to cover all the tricks and tools embedded in Ahrefs’ platform. But for now, here are a few of the functions I use most often to give you a feel for what it can do for you:

  • Site Explorer: Enter any website or webpage URL, and Ahrefs will tell you its ranking for specific keywords, how many backlinks it has, where they’re from, estimated traffic, and much more.
  • Keywords Explorer: See search volume, difficulty, and which pages rank for any keyword.
  • Competitive analysis: Get a list of keywords your website doesn’t rank for, but your competitors do.

Ahrefs pricing starts at $99 per month, with the $199-per-month Standard Plan being what most average users will likely need.

17. Semrush for hardcore SEOs

While Ahrefs is a good value for many SEOs, Semrush delivers more detailed and in-depth data in several areas, making it a better fit for highly technical users.

Take keyword research, for example. Semrush gives you search volume trends, Google PPC keyword data, keyword intent, and search volume and difficulty.

Ahrefs also shines in its technical SEO audit reporting and has a few more rank-tracking features.

Semrush pricing starts at $129.95 (just make it $130!) per month, and its mid-priced plan is $249.95 monthly.

18. Screaming Frog for finding common SEO issues

Screaming Frog works like Google Search Console in that it crawls (hops?) through your website, looking for things that might hurt its performance. The difference is in the issues Screaming Frog looks for and the insights it offers to fix them.

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The learning curve for Screaming Frog is a little steep for non-technical SEOs. But if you’ve ever been involved in an SEO audit, it won’t take long to catch on. Once you do, you’ll quickly find things like broken links, problematic titles and meta tags, and incorrect redirects. You can also generate XML sitemaps and site visualizations.

A free version of Screaming Frog lets you crawl up to 500 URLs. The paid plan costs $249 per year and adds functionality like audit scheduling and a near-duplicate content checker. It also allows for unlimited URL crawls.

19. AnswerThePublic for topic ideation

AnswerThePublic is a content topic idea generator. It’s different from keyword research tools because it pulls ideas directly from Google’s drop-down, autocomplete queries (like when you enter “back pain” and Google suggests “…relief” and “…causes”). Then, it presents those keyword variations visually.

Once you’ve entered a root keyword, AnswerThePublic will tell you all the standard information about it, such as volume and the cost per click for search ads. Scroll through the report, and you’ll see a preposition report (keyword variations using “is,” “to,” “with,” and so on). Keep scrolling, and there’s a report that compares the cost-per-click and search volume for several related keywords.

AnswerThePublic has added Bing, TikTok, Amazon, and YouTube to the sites you can target for keyword research.

Once you register, you’ll get three keyword reports per day for free, although some of the data is withheld. Monthly paid plans start at $9, and a lifetime plan starts at $99.

The best SEO tools in 2024

Despite some rumors to the contrary, SEO remains one of the most valuable long-term marketing strategies for driving traffic and generating leads for your business.

But it continues to get more competitive. Manual keyword guessing and piecemeal SEO audits won’t put you in a great position to rank on SERPs. With the right SEO tools in your kit, you’ll punch way above your weight against much larger websites.

Here’s a recap of the best SEO tools available by use case:

  1. Exploding Topics for SEO keyword trends
  2. WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool for unlimited keyword research
  3. Animalz Revive for refreshing SEO content
  4. Similarweb for competitive SEO analysis
  5. LocaliQ’s Website Grader for free SEO audits
  6. Outranking for SEO outlines
  7. CanIRank for keyword competition
  8. Keyword insights for keyword clustering
  9. Diib for keyword and rank monitoring
  10. GeoRanker for location-specific SEO tracking
  11. LocaliQ’s Free Business Listings Grader for directory audits
  12. Yext for review monitoring
  13. Search Console for technical SEO
  14. Google Trends for timely keyword planning
  15. Google Analytics 4 for SEO performance tracking
  16. Ahrefs for best overall functionality for the money
  17. Semrush for hardcore SEOs
  18. Screaming Frog for finding common SEO issues
  19. AnswerThePublic for topic ideation
https://zabollah.com/19-best-seo-tools-in-2024-for-every-use-case-wordstream/
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