Do small businesses actually need Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? How do you find the best small business SEO tools? Is the cost justified?
It sure is. Search engines like Google are responsible for over 90% of all online queries, based on data put together by Rand Fishkin, an SEO expert.
In fact, Google has four times the search volume that YouTube gets. People use Google more than they do social networks like Facebook to find what they’re looking for.
Ranking high on search engines for specific keywords is necessary to achieve success. There are a couple of tools you can use to help achieve this. Use one for keyword research and another for SEO software.
There is a small learning curve that comes with SEO self-instruction. There are tools that will walk you through each instructional step.
What Are The Best Small Business SEO Tools?
The tools below will evaluate the performance of your website, as well as its backlinks and current ranking. It will also give you some recommendations that can improve all of these things.
Some of these tools will offer insight into your competition. You’ll find out how much money they allocate to Google Ads each month, the type of keywords they are advertising with, and the ones you are likely to have great success with.
A number of tools (such as Ahrefs and SEMrush) provide you with lessons by way of video tutorials, which simplifies things for users. You can achieve SEO success by taking advantage of these simple-to-understand resources.
Is content marketing something you are involved with? MarketMuse and Clearscope will help your staff create more optimized content, as well as smash your competition on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
The SEO tool you should use will be contingent on what your needs are. The reviews here will help you to narrow down your choices.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: We reference companies in this article because of their relevance and often due to partnerships. As you click on links to those partner sites, our company may be remunerated. This support helps our site so we can keep bringing you the best answers for small business.
SEMrush can be described as a single-source “marketing toolkit.” It comes with a bevy of features that are SEO-related. As powerful as SEMrush is, the software does require you to have a little bit of SEO knowledge.
If SEO is something you are new to, SEMrush will provide you with what they refer to as an “Online Academy.” You will be provided with resources, instructional guides, and answers to common questions.
You will be exposed to all sorts of ideas that can increase your website’s traffic. You’ll be given competitive intelligence, as well as other analytics and monitoring features that will track each change you make. The data that you will need will be found under one single dashboard.
You’ll also be given ancillary tools capable of boosting your ranking on search engines, though they may not be directly associated with SEO. They include market research, social network management, paid ad planning, and keyword research.
When you start using SEMrush, your website will undergo an audit. After the software combs through your site, it will have the information it needs to put together a strategy for you.
Simply follow the steps on screen to get an in-depth analysis of your site's health. You can save the results as a PDF to go over at your leisure. You can easily track the data that Google finds important and allows you to focus on improving it.
Understanding your competition is key to your success and SEMrush helps you to identify and analyze your top competitors.
The SEO Keyword Magic tool gives you a more refined list of keywords to target. You get data that can help you identify long tail keywords and other keywords you may not have considered.
You can use the website ranking tracker to see website rankings of your site and your competitor's sites. The tool can check the backlinks of any site so that you can see what you need to outrank them.
If you are looking for an all-in-one SEO tool, its exceptional features and tools can help you to boost your website's rankings by showing you how to improve your on-page, as well as how to improve your linkbuilding and paid ad campaigns.
This tool is mostly used for competitive analyses. Ahrefs will reveal how to go about increasing your website’s traffic and outrank the competition.
Besides competitive analyses, this program’s features can also help you with content research, backlinks, web monitoring, rank tracking, and keyword research.
For instance, you can do the following:
- Discover gaps in content that must be prioritized
- Obtain ranking history for keywords on any page on your site
- Receive traffic estimates for specific keywords that rank well on search engines
Moz was developed to help people boost their website exposure on search engines. Users can use the data Moz provides to rank higher on SERPs. Ongoing monitoring and site audits reveal which actions you should be taking.
Backlinks can be described as inbound links coming from another site. A backlink from a respected website – like a business association, news organization, or popular blog – can push your website to the top of SERPs.
The program allows you to track website rankings on several search engines, conducts an analysis of your backlinks, then contrasts the results to your competitions’.
Moz will also provide you with comprehensive keyword research. You will be able to analyze SERPs, research the competition, and compute the difficulty scores of certain keywords.
Moz provides users with several versions of their program:
- Pro: everything you need will be under one dashboard
- Local: ideal for local listings, as well as data aggregator registration
- STAT: monitors SERPs
Local SEO and Business Listings
Owners of businesses with physical locations will appreciate a tool called “MOZ Local.” It automates the majority of work that comes with the acquisition of “business listings” (that is to say, business listings on directories online).
Being listed in a quality directory (and confirming the accuracy of your information) can go a long way towards improving your ranking on search engines.
SpyFu happens to be a user-friendly tool and is mostly used for PPC research. It reveals your competition’s advertising history, going back as far as the last 13 years! This information can be used to modify your existing SEO and marketing strategies.
After you enter your competitor’s domain name, SpyFu will show you information like the following:
- Ad variations
- Organic rankings
- Keywords purchased on AdWords
- Where they rank on SERPs
You will also obtain details about your competitions’ PPC ad endeavors. For instance, you can find out what keywords have been most profitable for your competition based on the ads they run.
SpyFu will make recommendations about what your AdWords campaigns or SEO should feature.
It can also track your SEO rankings or paid keywords, as well as facilitate connections in an effort to help generate leads and establish partnerships.
Raven Tools is a single-source solution for white label SEO reports. The platform’s Site Auditor will analyze your website, looking for issues that are SEO-relevant. It will tell you what could be stopping you from ranking higher than you currently are.
You can generate reports that feature the information above. This can prove useful if you are looking for third-party SEO help or if you are a marketer trying to create a client’s baseline.
If you’re already using an SEO program, Raven Tools is capable of retrieving the information that the program has collected so far.
Some of the SEO tools that you can use:
- Keyword ranking checker
- Link creation manager
- Competitor research
- Marketing reports
- Rank tracking
- Backlink tools
- Website audits
Clearscope utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to stimulate content marketing strategies. It makes sure that writers and marketing staff are producing information people are actually looking for.
To put it another way, if somebody is looking for an answer, they will type in their question. If your content is relevant to that query (satisfying the searcher), then it will rank higher on SERPs.
When you run a report with Clearscope about a keyword, you will be shown a rundown of subjects your content should be about (for the sake of ranking higher). The results produced are completely AI-powered.
Clearscope’s interface is user-friendly and simple. Content strategists, SEO experts, editors, writers, and other members of your staff won’t have a very hard learning curve before they start using the program.
Be mindful, though, that no AI tool is capable of doing the SEO work you need to do for you. You must still make choices based on what the tool gives shows you. The results you get will be contingent on the way you use Clearscope.
MarketMuse is an alternative to Clearscope. This AI-based platform can help you with content strategies and intelligence. You’ll be able to enhance your content’s performance and outrank your competitors.
This tool will help you optimize existing content via identification of coverage gaps. Thousands of different competing articles will be analyzed. You’ll then be presented with a list of certain improvements to make that revolve around “subjects.”
The subjects will be prioritized, with the most important one on top. Be mindful that subjects aren’t the same thing as keywords. This program will identify improvement opportunities that have the potential to boost audience engagement.
MarketMuse endeavors to be a single-source solution. It gives you editing and writing tools, as well as a place to share research notes, briefs, and draft outlines.
MarketMuse and Clearscope were developed for content groups. Having said that, no skills are required to use this tool.
To get the most you can out of them, though, it is prudent to have a basic understanding of SEO fundamentals. You also need to know how to create content effectively based on the results these programs give you.
The mission of BrightLocal is to simplify local marketing. The program was developed for SMBs and marketing agencies.
It is a multipurpose tool that makes reputation management automated by way of sourcing and monitoring reviews.
It will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of search rankings (local). You’ll have the ability to manage your business listings from your dashboard.
In addition to organic rankings, BrightLocal also follows maps and mobile rankings, too. You will be shown where you rank on the three biggest search engines (Bing, Yahoo, and Google). It’ll also show you mobile rankings, and how they have performed over time.
You’ll be able to determine if your efforts towards improving local SEO have been worthwhile. BrightLocal can also show you how much exposure your business gets within a certain vicinity.
Citation Builder is a separate tool that fixes and creates citations (a.k.a. business listings) on more than 1400 websites. It costs $2 per listing, or $60 for every aggregator.
This allows you to simplify the online presence building process. Lead generation tools are also included, as are white-label reports.
There is a free 14-day trial you can use to try out BrightLocal, and no credit card is required. This will give you an opportunity to determine if it can accommodate your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions from readers, and have endeavored to answer the most popular ones below. If you have a question that isn’t on this list, you are welcome to ask us about it directly in the article’s comments section.
Out Of All The Free Seo Tools Out There, Which Of Them Can Be Considered The Best?
You will never find one SEO tool capable of giving your business everything that it needs in order to achieve success. With that said, many popular SEO tools – SpyFu and MOZ, in particular – come with trial periods. This gives you an opportunity to check the program out before committing to a purchase.
Is There A Way I Learn Teach SEO By Myself?
Several SEO tools (SEMrush and Ahrefs, for example) have “Online Academies.” They can teach you the fundamentals of SEO, as well as ways you can optimize your success. These academies are very user-friendly.
You’ll find an assortment of different SEO courses on LinkedIn Learning. They are suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. One course that seems to be quite popular is called “SEO Foundations.”
How Long Will It Be Before I Start Seeing Results?
No set time exists for SEO results to start manifesting. This can be attributed to the fact that there are an assortment of search engine optimization strategies that can be implemented.
Either massive or minor action can be taken, as far as these strategies are concerned. SEO, therefore, is capable of producing results quickly or gradually.
For instance, if you’ve recently redesigned a website, and you noticed a number of 301 redirects set up improperly, then fixing them could produce instant results. For other types of SEO, you might have to wait a month or two before results start manifesting.
Are SEO Services Expensive?
No specific price range exists when it comes to SEO services. That is because there are all sorts of work involved with the overall process.
Content marketing of high quality for small businesses may cost thousands of dollars per article. A basic business listing might only cost hundreds. Some marketing agencies will charge thousands just to add meta descriptions and title tags to websites!
Before you hire an SEO expert, you should have a basic grasp of how SEO works. That way, you’ll have the ability to separate skilled marketers from charlatans, and save yourself some headaches in the process. By understanding basic SEO, you’ll be able to handle certain tasks on your own.
Your SEO Success
Your SEO’s success will influence your website’s conversion rates, traffic volume, and engagement rates.
Whether you are getting started with SEO for the first time, perform marketing work as a freelancer, or are a full-fledged agency, the tools above can help you rank better on search engines.