THE BLOG

11 Hot SEO Tools Every Publisher Should Use

06/24/2014 05:06 pm ET | Updated Aug 24, 2014

Search engine optimization is a crucial part of any brand's online marketing strategy. Without a cleverly crafted and well-executed SEO strategy, it's likely that your website and/or business will miss out on valuable impressions, clicks, and sales.

However, despite the fact that SEO plays an inarguably important role in the success of my business, many online publishers continue to neglect their SEO strategy, usually due to a lack of experience or a lack of resources. But in order to compete with larger brands and other publishers in your niche, SEO is an area of that you must invest in, and you must get the most out of.

The good news is that there are a number of ways that you could go about your search engine optimization efforts. Many larger brands tend to utilize SEO specialists or firms to help them guarantee their front-page spot in various search engines. But for smaller publishers and businesses, this may not be a financially viable option and they are forced to look elsewhere for solutions.

Developing and implementing a successful SEO strategy is no easy task though, especially within the ever-growing competition online. But armed with the right tools and a little bit of information, you can give your site's SEO a much needed boost and ultimately drive more business. Here are the 11 hottest SEO tools out there that are guaranteed to improve your site's search engine ranking and help you be more competitive in your niche and bring in more revenue to your business. Note that some of them compete with each other and do similar things but I still recommend all of them!

AdWords Keyword Planner

Every SEO campaign begins with keyword research, and Google's AdWords Keyword Planner Tool is one of the easiest and most effective tools out there when it comes to finding keywords that your audience is searching for. Keep in mind that the numbers presented by AdWords aren't always spot on, but you will easily be able to find the terms that your potential customers are searching most often.

Once you're able to identify the terms that your audience is searching for, you can more effectively target those terms in your content and on your pages to help boost your site's relevance on those specific terms. Using a keyword research tool is one of the quickest, easiest, and most effective ways to hone in on relevant terms and begin to rank specifically for the things your audience is looking for.

SEO Book

SEO Book offers a handful of different SEO tools on their site, and as long as you create a free account with them you will receive unlimited access to a variety of tools including a keyword suggestion tool, link suggestion tool, and spider test tool, among others.

SEO Book is a great place for you to analyze your current SEO strategy and practices and try to improve them through their various tools. When it comes to actually looking at the success of your SEO endeavors, SEO Book's suite of free tools can act as a one-stop shop to help you give your strategy the boost that you're looking for.

Moz's Open Site Explorer

Moz's Open Site Explorer is a great tool for helping you find potential back link opportunities to help your site's link building strategy. Open Site Explorer enables you to research your competitors' backlink profiles by simply analyzing their domains.

After you input a competitor's URL, Open Site Explorer will provide you with detailed information on things like link anchor text, page authority, and domain authority to give you a better idea of how to strengthen your own backlink profile.

SEMrush

If you're in the paid search space, chances are your interests are in the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, as well as the CPC for those specific keywords. This is what SEMrush specializes in.

Users with a free account can run a report that shows ten different keywords by simply entering a domain and clicking on the "Full Report" link. There, SEMrush will show you the domain's approximate organic ranking, along with information about its search volume, CPC, URL, percentage of traffic generated, ad competition, number of total search results, and more.

Moz Local

For many businesses, especially those with brick and mortar locations, local SEO is of paramount importance. Moz Local is a tool that helps strengthen your local search ranking by focusing on your specific location information and pushing it to search engines to ensure that customers searching near your location are able to find your store.

This tool is especially helpful for retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other types of businesses that may need a physical storefront for their products or services.

The Internet Marketing Ninjas have established an industry-wide reputation for being some of the best online marketers around, and they're giving you access to their suite of SEO tools for the convenient price of free. Inside of their package of SEO tools you'll find an on-page optimization tool, a site crawl tool, an image and link analyzer tool, and much more. If you're looking for a top-notch batch of tools, this is for you, and if you need help or want to hire an SEO specialist, the Internet Marketing Ninjas are ready and willing to help you with all of your SEO needs.

Search Metrics

Search Metrics has a host of tools and a track record of success when it comes to boosting their clients' SERP rankings. Plus, Search Metrics also has a social analytics tool that allows you to track the activity and success of social media campaigns on networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more.

One of the most effective ways to climb the ranks of the SERPs is to increase your on-site user engagement, which is what Infocc was built for. With the most recent batch of algorithm updates, Google has placed a heavy emphasis on "user engagement" metrics such as time on page, social sharing, comments and targets your readers to deliver those results.

By simply installing a one-line snippet of JavaScript on your site, Infocc will deliver a host of user engagement benefits, making sure that your audience stays on your site longer, and takes more action. They also has a built in SEO maximize feature, which helps you create a user experience that benefits your search ranking, too. An additional feature of Infocc is the ability to automatically link keywords to pages to improve interlinking.

Majestic SEO

Over the years, Majestic has developed a reputation as one of the best SEO services on the web, partially due to their technology, and partially due to their unrivaled expertise. Majestic SEO offers some great technology, specifically in terms of crawling, backlink and keyword research, and more. Majestic offers several free options for users, as well as an SEO API, which offers much of its backlink data for free.

A/B testing is an important part of virtually every facet of online marketing and SEO is no different. In order to get the best results from your SEO efforts, you need to constantly be analyzing what's working and what isn't, and swapping things out until you've achieved the results that you want. In order to help you A/B test various aspects of your SEO strategy, Optimizely has created an easy and effective A/B testing tool for conversation rate optimization that will help you really hone in your search strategy.

SEO Engine

When it comes to tracking search visibility and performing competitive intelligence, SEO Engine offers some of the best insights you can find. From domain analysis with SEO and paid visibility to competitive analysis and keyword distribution, SEO Engine has a host of tools and a track record of success when it comes to boosting their clients' SERP rankings. Plus, SEO Engine will show you exactly where you are and how far away from your competitors you rank. They also give you the exact data along with insights on how to get to be number one. Note: I'm invested in their company after becoming a customer, that's how amazing I think they are.

If SEO is something that you have to do on your own, be sure to find the right tools for you and use them to the best of your ability. After all, these 11 tools offer free or freemium services and will only help you improve your site's search ranking, which will ultimately translate to more sales and revenue for your business.

What other SEO tools have you found that work well?