The Best SEO Tools

A lot of SEO tools and internet marketing software can be quite expensive if you are just starting out. But if you are ultra-resourceful then you can take advantage of the best free SEO tools and trials that are available. You can get everything from free email marketing services all the way through to free SEO software.

Below is a compiled a list of all of the best free SEO tools and software in one place for your convenience.

Getting The Most Out Of Free SEO Tools & Software

If you are considering taking out any of the free SEO software below then you will want to make sure you squeeze the most out of the trial period as possible.

So before you start any trial, take time to familiarise yourself with the service/software via tutorials on YouTube or from forum discussion groups or even social media sites. If it is a link building software trial for example you should watch tutorials so you know how to use it before you start the trial. It is advisable to plan out your campaign and prepare all of the content you will need so you can make sure 100% of the trial period is spent building links and not figuring things out.

The Best Free SEO Tools & Software

I have highlighted all of the best SEO tools and trials at the top of this list.

I have also split them all into different categories to help you find what you need quickly. Using the free SEO tools & software below you can setup, track and monitor a tiered link building campaign.

Moz (30 Day Trial)
Moz is one of the best SEO tools to monitor your site and link building campaigns. It does it all from rank tracking to on page recommendations and you can even use it to download all of your competitors backlinks!
Link to Resource

 

SENuke (14 Day Trial)
SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great.
Link to Resource

 

 

Kontent Machine (7 Day Trial)
The best content generator I have ever used. Generate and export content for your tier 2 and 3 campaigns in just a couple of clicks.
Link to Resource 

 

SEO Powersuite
Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years.
Link to Resource  

 

 

Content Creation

The Best Spinner (Full 7 Day Trial)
It really is the best spinner and I have used it personally for the past few years on a nearly daily basis. The API is used in a lot of other link building tools.
Link to Resource  

 

Spinner Chief (Free Version)
A close rival to TheBestSpinner but it feels clunky in comparison. Either way they have a completely free version of the software for you to enjoy!
Link to Resource 

 

WordAI (3 Day Trial)
These guys are the new kids on the block but claim to be able to automatically spin content without making it sound like garbage. Big claims but the trial is worth it!
Link to Resource

 

Kontent Machine (Full 7 Day Trial)
The best content generator I have ever used. Generate and export content for your tier 2 and 3 campaigns in just a couple of clicks. Read my full review here.
Link to Resource 

 

 

Email Marketing Tools

Aweber
I use Aweber right here on this blog and have done so for the past few years across all of my sites. It takes the pain out of email marketing and makes staying in touch with you guys easy!
Link to Resource 

 

Get Response (30 Day Free Trial)
The rival of Aweber, GetResponse offers a similar feature set. It really is just a matter of personal preference between the two of them!
Link to Resource 

 

keyword research Tools

Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial)
The keyword research and SEO competition modules of Market Samurai are some of the best in the business and this is solely what I use the software for.
Link to Resource 

 

keyword researcher (Free Trial)
This is great for generating keyword ideas and is fantastic for coming up with Google Alerts to monitor. It doesn’t pull in any search volume numbers though.
Link to Resource 

 

Link Building Tools

Article Kevo (Full 7 Day Trial)
A relatively new kid on the block Article Kevo can now submit to a wide range of platforms including article directories, web 2.0 platforms, social bookmarks, wikis, social networks and forums!
Link to Resource 

 

GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial)
This has quickly become the Swiss army knife of link building targeting over 120 platforms at the time of writing. Perfect for automating your tier 2 and 3 links! See it in action here.
Link to Resource

 

Inspyder Backlink Monitor (Free Version)
The ultimate tool for monitoring your backlinks. Very easy to use and will automatically sort out all of your tiers for you. Check out my full review.
Link to Resource 

 

Link Assistant (Free Version)
This is part of the SEO Powersuite set of tools and is great for prospecting link partners. However I have hacked it a bit and use it to manage and automate guest posting.
Link to Resource 

 

Link Wheel Bandit (7 Day Free Trial)
Great tool for powering up your tier 2 links even further. Not sure why it’s called Link Wheel Bandit though as it doesn’t actually build Link Wheels, it builds Link Pyramids/Tiers.
Link to Resource 

 

Magic Submitter (Full 30 Day Trial)
This is really the main rival to SENuke XCR and offers very similar features. It can post everything from videos to press releases and is very diverse. However the user interface is a bit tricky to get to grips with at first.
Link to Resource 

 

NoHandsSEO (Full 7 Day Trial)
This provides a completely automated and hands off solution to build an endless supply of links. Very easy to use and setup and supports a few different platforms.
Link to Resource 

 

SENuke XCR (Full 14 Day Trial)
SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great.
Link to Resource 

 

Sick Submitter (Full 3 Day Trial)
Like SENuke XCR & Magic Submitter this is a really diverse tool that can post to a huge range of platforms which is backed up by the user forums offering scripts to post to even more sites and platforms!
Link to Resource 

 

SEO SpyGlass (Free Version)
Use this to discover your competitors backlinks and breakdown key metrics such as anchor text usage. You can also use it to monitor your own sites backlink profile.
Link to Resource 

 

SliQ Submitter (100 Submission Limit)
One of my favourite directory submitters before I replaced it with Ultimate Demon. Really easy to use and can grab you some links from high quality directories.
Link to Resource 

 

 

On Site SEO Tools

Website Auditor (Free Version)
Part of SEO Powersuite, you can use Website Auditor to spider your site and report any issues it finds.
Link to Resource 

 

SEOMoz (Full 30 Day Trial)
With weekly scans of your site the SEOMoz dashboard quickly identifies any on site SEO issues and advises you on how to correct them.
Link to Resource 

 

Microsoft SEO Toolkit (Free)
Finally Microsoft have made a useful product! The SEO Toolkit will spider your site and report back on any issues.
Link to Resource 

 

 

Rank Trackers

Rank Tracker (Free Version)
Part of SEO Powersuite this is the best rank tracking solution period. Unlike web based services this desktop application means you own the data and you can track an unlimited amount of keywords as well as your competitors.
Link to Resource 

 

SEOMoz (Full 30 Day Trial)
The SEOMoz service provides weekly ranking updates and tracks your progress over time. You can also use it to monitor your competitors and benchmark your site against them.
Link to Resource 

 

Internet Business Promoter (Free Version)
A fantastic piece of software that offers a range of functions such as keyword suggestions, link building and rank tracking. The best feature though is the top 10 optimiser that will look at the on page of the current top 10 results and tell you what you need to change on your site to reflect that.
Link to Resource 

 

SEO Powersuite (Free Version)
Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years.
Link to Resource 

 

Social Media Tools

BuzzBundle (Free Version)
Made by the same team behind SEO Powersuite, BuzzBundle makes it easier to identify & engage with your target audience online. I have grown traffic to this blog by manually doing a lot of what BuzzBundle can help to automate – read my full review here.
Link to Resource 

 

HootSuite (Free Version)
This is my preferred tool for managing Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can monitor a number of search terms as well as schedule updates to go out.
Link to Resource 

 

Synnd (Free Version)
If you need a steady drip feed of tweets, likes, +1, social bookmarks and up votes on sites like Reddit then SynnD is for you!
Link to Resource 

 

TweetDeck (Free Version)
Now owned by Twitter this is a great desktop client to manage your Twitter account.
Link to Resource 

 

WPRobot (Free Version)
This is widely regarded as the best auto blogging solution for WordPress. It can pull content from a ridiculous number of sources and when setup correctly can produce some high quality auto blogs. Perfect for tier 1 links
Link to Resource 

Get Targeted Traffic With PPC

I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ with web traffic it is no different! If you decide to use paid methods then you get quality targeted traffic in return.
So where do you start when you are ready to market your website with paid traffic? Well unlike traditional print ads and direct marketing, advertising on the Internet is a whole different ball game. Before you do anything else, you need to know just what types of promotions are available out there.
I am sure you have heard about Pay Per Click or (PPC) before, but if you have not, I can tell you it is probably the greatest way to get good value for money.

The Importance of Keywords

PPC can be a bit of a gamble unless the visitors are part of what is called targeted traffic this basically means people who are interested in your type of product. One way of helping you to determine what type of targeted traffic to direct to your site is by carefully choosing the most effective keywords.
Keywords or keyword phrases are a very important part of directing people to your site. Whenever someone is looking for something online, they do a ‘search’ on one of the major search engines, like Google, to find what they’re looking for, if you use keywords that are too general, you will get a lot of visitors, but they will not be targeted to what you are offering and they will just eat into your advertising budget. The key here is to find specific keywords or keyword phrases that will bring you the ‘right’ kind of visitors which are the potential customers you need to succeed!
As I explained earlier in the article marketing section, the new breed of keywords (Long Tail and LSI) will help you specifically target your visitors and minimise your costs.
Other keyword tools which will give you better long tail keywords are SEOBook keyword tools and also WordTracker Keywords.
Make sure that you implement all your chosen keywords into the content of your web page (there are more details on this in the SEO section) as this will use your Pay Per Click advertising to help move your site up the search engine rankings with all of those targeted visitors you’ve paid for. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to do your keyword ‘homework’ before you commit to any particular advertising strategy. Finding the right keywords will help to catapult your web site to the forefront of the search engines as well as earn you more money from targeted visitors and also save you money on your advertising.

Target your Adverts

Besides keywords, another way to target your traffic is through your actual advert text. If you are using (and paying for) Pay Per Click advertising then you want to make every click count. Incorporating free downloads and links to other free information and resources is great for giving away to your paying customers, however, when you use Pay Per Click, you pay for all the visitors to your site, even those who stop by and download your free stuff without making a purchase. If you mention the price of your product or service in your ad content, it usually helps to discourage many of those non-productive browsers from taking advantage of you (and your wallet!).
One of the best advantages in using Pay Per Click advertising to send you the targeted traffic you need is that, for the most part, once you’ve initially taken the time to set up the qualifying parameters, it’s pretty much ‘set it and forget it’ or on ‘autopilot’. Of course, you will want to periodically monitor the click-through rate vs. the conversion rate (how many sales you get in relation to clicks made) to see if you still need to ‘tweak’ anything, especially in the beginning stages of advertising your business.
Your traffic now has that much needed boost and you have spare time to look into additional promotional resources for your business.
Pay Per Click, or any single form of advertising, should never be relied upon as your long term solution to establishing your business online. You know the old expression ‘Don’t put all your eggs into one basket’ these are words of wisdom to follow in life and in advertising!
Although I may be a bit cautious here, do not be afraid to use Pay Per Click as your initial promotional strategy, there is always a time and a place for everything, and Pay Per Click is an awesome, very effective, short term traffic generating tool to use to get your web site seen. Ultimately, you will need to rely on search engine optimisation (there are more details on this in the SEO section) as a more long-term advertising solution.
Here is a guideline to avoid the mistakes most newbie marketers always seem to make when using Pay Per Click:
Do Your Homework: Research what would be the best target market for you to attract to your web site. Get to ‘know’ your potential customers and what they might additionally want from your business.
Find the Right Keyword: Make sure you spend time choosing the correct keywords and keyword phrases, use the tools I have provided links to so you can get the best possible keywords to help your ads, here are links to the tools again – Wordtracker, and SEOBook Keyword Tools, if you want to delve into this further then I suggest you get expert advice like Keyword Elite.
Create Your Advert: Once you’ve selected your optimum keywords, it’s now time for you to start creating your own advert, use your keywords to help you structure your ad content, but always strive to keep your advert as clear and concise as possible. Even with targeted traffic, keep in mind that most visitors want to see what you’ve got as quickly as possible, so you want to get your message immediately across.
Keep to Your Budget: Instead of just throwing all of your advertising cash into one marketing campaign, decide just how much you are willing to expend on each promotional strategy and stick to it. Pay Per Click costs can creep up on you if you don’t set a limit and keep to your budget.
Think about Location: If your product or service is useful to only certain geographic areas, you will need to also take this into consideration. You wouldn’t want to promote something like beach holidays in Iceland or snow-boarding in the Sahara desert.
Monitor Your Results: You do need to monitor and track your results for all of your advertising campaigns at least at the start. This will enable you to see which of your keywords are most effective, you will also be able to ensure not being billed for any visitor clicks you did not actually receive.

Which PPC Program Do You Use?

There are quite a few Pay Per Click programs out there to choose from, but to be honest there are only a few that give you excellent results, the three main Pay Per Click programs are Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Search Advertising.
I would stick with one of those if you want serious traffic, however, Facebook PPC is fast becoming really popular due to the popularity of Facebook and another great one is Bidvertiser. There are many others if you have the time and money to invest, like 7 Search, Kontera, and SiteScout to name but a few.

This is a small extract from Traffic Booster Pack

The Big Bing Is Happening

Allow me to inform you that the big Bing is happening right now, and here is how Bings SEO & Ranking Factors offer the greatest opportunity in SEO today

A lot of people do not pay attention to Bing SEO or ranking factors and purely focus on trying to rank in Google and nothing else. However over the last couple of years Bing’s market share has been slowly increasing as Microsoft try to challenge Google in the search arena.

If you were paying attention lately you will have noticed a fundamental shift in search that is going to affect us all.
“The Big Bing Has Already Happened”

I’m officially dubbing the term ‘The Big Bing’ to mark the day that a simple browser update changed the world of search forever. Mozilla released version 34 of its Firefox browser on the 1st of December 2014. At the very top of the release notes is a critical piece of information that is going to change the search landscape forever.

Firefox have removed Google as the default search engine and replaced it with Yahoo! If you didn’t know, it just so happens that Bing powers Yahoo’s search results.

Interestingly they also removed Google as the default search engine for Russia as well which suggests they might remove Google as the default from other country’s in the future.

What Does That Actually Mean?

Let me get straight to the point – US search share for Yahoo jumped from 9.64% to 29.4% overnight for users of the new Firefox. Google usage dropped from 82.14% to 63.46%. In 24 hours.

Is Bing Traffic Valuable?

I have heard lots of claim from people that Bing traffic isn’t worth as much, it doesn’t convert, people don’t buy things and so on.

So I decided to look at my own data to measure the quality of Bing traffic and this is what I saw-

bing-vs-google

That data tells me everything I need to know.

Traffic coming from Bing, has a lower bounce rate, more page visits, more time spent on site.
More Subscribes to my list and more affiliate links clicked.

Take a look at your own data before passing judgement though!

The Great Bing Advantage

The best thing about change, is people hate change. Change pushes people out of their comfort zones and humans are wired to avoid that. So for those that are willing to evolve with change there is a great opportunity here.

Since 1998 SEO’s have purely focused on ranking sites in Google, for 16 solid years Google has had the sole attention of nearly every single SEO on the planet. This had made Google’s search results highly competitive against people that have fine tuned their SEO skill sets for more than a decade. Bing however has been largely ignored, the general theory is that if you are ranking well in Google you will rank well in Bing too.

But that is not the case, the algorithms are very different, just compare search results for the same term and you will quickly see what I mean. So it is important that you understand those key differences to take advantage of ‘The Big Bing’ (it will catch on).

Bing Marketing Free Tools & Resources

So with that said and before we get into the top Bing ranking factors you need to familiarise yourself with all of the free Bing marketing tools & resources.

Unlike Google, Microsoft actually produce a number of very helpful tools & guidelines for Bing SEO.

It is also worth noting that Bing are very SEO friendly as evident from the tools they offer.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

First of all you should have a read of the Bing Webmaster Guidelines and get yourself upto speed.

It is no way near as long/complicated as Google’s guidelines so it won’t take you long to read and absorb.

Bing Webmaster Tools

The Bing Webmaster Tools is superb – if you haven’t got your site setup in there yet do it now.

It provides an awesome suite of tools including a backlink explorer! You can also see exactly which keywords you rank for, how your site indexes, diagnose problems and much more.

As of right now you will also get $100 of free advertising credit to play with – sweet!

Bing SEO Analyzer

The Bing SEO Analyzer is also a great tool to discover if your pages are following Bing SEO best practices.

Just enter your URL and it will return a list of suggestions to improve your rankings across Bing & Yahoo.

Microsoft SEO Tool Kit

More of an unknown tool the free Microsoft SEO Tool Kit is a desktop application that spiders your website to find SEO problems.

It is very easy to use and well – it is 100% free so what is not to like!

Bing Webmaster Blog

Just like Google there is also a Bing Webmasters Blog which you should have a read through & subscribe to.

Some of the posts are actually quite entertaining and often have golden nuggets buried within!

Bing Search Quality Blog

Imagine if Matt Cutts and all of the Google search quality/anti spam team published a blog sharing what they’ve been trying & testing.

Well Bing do exactly that with their Search Quality Blog that offers some amazing insights into the world of search.

Contacting The Bing Webmaster Team

Last but not least, perhaps one of the best tools is the ability to contact the Bing webmaster team.

So if your site does have problems or gets hit for any reason you can easily get in touch with the team directly to work things out.

The Top Bing Ranking Factors

So what makes Bing tick at it’s core?

What are the key differences between ranking in Google & Bing?

User Engagement Is Very Important

One of the strongest signals in Bing is user engagement, having strong user engagement will increase your rankings in Bing.

They measure this through a term known as ‘pogo sticking’ which is when someone performs a search, clicks on a result and then clicks back to return to the search results.

If lots of people visit your site from the search results and click the ‘back’ button then this is a clear indication of poor user engagement to Bing.

However if lots of people visit your site from the search results and do not go back to them to continue searching – this is a very very strong signal.

Click Through Rates Matters

Bing also measures click through rates from it’s search result pages and uses that data combined with the user engagement data above to improve its results.

For example all things being equal, if the #1 position gets a 20% click through rate but the #2 position gets 40% – this is a clear indication that the #2 result is more relevant.

This means you have to write your titles and descriptions with humans in mind while being specific with your keyword. Think keyword based click bait.

Social Signals Do Matter

There is a lot of debate on whether social signals impact Google search rankings.

I can categorically tell you with 100% certainty that they do and I’ve been using them to rank consistently for the past 2 years. So rather than getting caught up in the change debate you should be making social signals a core part of your SEO strategy now. It affects you rankings in Google and it affects your rankings in Bing.

However Bing actually return posts from Facebook & Twitter embedded directly into search results that stand out from normal web results.

Bing has a much stronger reliance on social signals than Google – use that to your advantage and you will see benefits in both search engines.

Bing Authorship

Google introduced Authorship allowing people to claim content they have written so Google can determine who are the true experts in any given industry.

Granted they have removed the pretty little pictures from search results now, but Authorship is here to stay.

Bing has it’s own version of Authorship after they integrated Klout verified snapshots.

The Bing search results will then show-

Your LinkedIn summary
Other social profiles
Klout score
Influential topics
2 most influential moments from Twitter in the past 7 days
2 most influential posts from Instagram in the past 90 days.

You can also take advantage of the Bing connected pages feature.

Backlinks Are Less Important

It is important to note is that backlinks are less important in Bing then they are in Google.

If you compare the search results between Bing & Google you will notice that the top ranking sites in Bing have noticeably less backlinks.

However Bing does favour ‘editorial’ type links from within body content rather than coming from a sidebar, footer or list of links and site relevancy does matter.

Inbound Anchor Text Is More Important

Bing puts more emphasis on the anchor text usage than Google does. So if you want to rank for ‘Blue Widgets’ you need links that use the ‘Blue Widgets’ anchor text.

Bing isn’t as good as Google at keyword matching – so while Google does well with recogising synonyms and context around a keyword, Bing need spoon feeding specifically.

However the risk here is that over optimising your anchor text will trip the Google Penguin filter.

So the trick here is to make sure that the links coming from high authority sites focus on exact anchors while the other use a mix of anchor terms.

That will allow you rank in Bing while dodging Google Penguin.

Keyword Domains Matter

Having your keyword in your domain name will help you to rank in Bing easier. It isn’t critical but it does help.

However Google does have a filter for exact match domain names so it is best to use a domain that includes your keyword but isn’t an exact match.

The only problem with that is

Page Authority Is More Important

The other thing that you will notice when comparing search results is where Bing doesn’t place as much weight on backlinks, it does place weight on site authority.

It is much harder to rank a new domain in Bing than it is in Google. Having an aged domain will give you an extra leg up across Bing’s results.

So if you have an older domain that includes your keyword you are golden. If you just have an older domain your in a strong position as well. Where you don’t want to be is with a brand new domain.

PageRank Is Irrelevant

PageRank is a measurement of authority created in the early days of Google although it is not as relevant as it once was and hasn’t been updated for a long time now.

However it is important to note that Google PageRank does not seem to have any correlation with Bing rankings – makes sense.

Content & Keyword Density Is Important

Bing prefers sites that have lots of unique content. They place much higher value on longer more engaging content than shorter content.

Just like they are behind Google in how they process language in anchor text, the same applies to your content as well.

You need to feed Bing the specific keyword you want your page to rank for. It is much better to focus on 1 page per keyword with Bing, but again be careful you don’t trip Google Panda by offering duplicate content.

Also Bing trys to eliminate duplicate content at the point of indexing. Redudant content is recognized and eliminated from search result pages but may still be available in the index.

Site Structure & Code Is Important

Bing offer a few interesting pieces of advice around your site structure and coding.

First of all they advise that content should be organized close to the surface. In other words no content should be more than 3 clicks away from the homepage.

You should also use a broad to specific structure flow. So you might go with SEO > Link Building > Blog Networks or Garden > Furniture > Chairs for example.

General Onsite Optimisation

Onsite optimization is similar for Bing as it is to Google. You want to make sure your using meta title & description tags which include your exact match keyword.

Bing places a lot of emphasis on title tags but keep the user engagement signals in mind.

You should only have 1 H1 tag per page to establish the main topic then use the H2 and H3 tags to talk about sub topics.

It is also worth noting that sometimes Bing will swap out your meta description with your H1 tag in the search results so be creating with your headings – don’t just rely on exact match headings.

HTTPS Is Not A Ranking Factor

Google recently announced that HTTPS is now used as a ranking signal – although a very minor one.

Bing Lead Program Manager Vincent Wehren said that HTTPs is not a ranking factor and they would not bring it in because they don’t want to mess around with rankings based on a factor that has no real relevance.

How to Choose the Right SEO Software

Introduction

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO as it is more commonly known, is a skill to some, black magic to others, but essential to anyone responsible for running a web site. Many people pay extortionate fees to SEO agencies who promise to get a site to the number one Google ranking then fail to even make it into the top ten. The bad news is that sometimes this just can’t be helped and it’s unlikely Bob’s Pet Shop in small-town Texas is ever going to make it to the number one spot for most pet related search terms, but by taking matters in to your own hands you can gain a much better understanding of why it can’t and what it should do instead. This is where SEO tools and services come into play. Most are quite easy to use, but to really understand what they are saying you will probably want to read up on the subject. However, doing our best to make things easy to understand, here’s what we were looking at when reviewing the best and worst SEO tools out there.

Types of Tools

There are different categories of SEO tools and services available. Some monitor various aspects of your site to give you a picture of how well it is doing at attracting traffic and where it is placed in search rankings around the web. Others take a more active approach to SEO and try to either make suggestions on how to improve your site’s search rankings or automate the process and perform tasks to push your site’s ranking up. The former are always very useful, especially if you know what you are looking for and can interpret the data. The latter you have to be more careful with as they can often ruin your site’s reputation by employing frowned-upon tactics.

It’s also useful to pay attention to how you access the tool you are interested in. There’s a fairly even split of tools that run on your computer and tools that run in ‘The Cloud’. Running on your own computer means installing the software, keeping it updated and also backing up the data in case of a crash. This can be quite a hassle which is why we think it’s best to opt for a tool that runs on the web and you can simply access it through a web browser. This means you can access it from anywhere and let the provider take care of all the details of running it.

Reporting

At their core many of the tools and services we looked at are reporting tools that present you with all the necessary data to make informed decisions about where to take your SEO strategy. Since data is the single most important thing in SEO, it’s clear that good reporting is essential. Of course everyone has their own preference when it comes to visualising data, but it’s worth trying out a few different services at first to see what style suits you best.

Another point to look out for in terms of the data available is whether or not a service has its own database or relies on data from a third party collator. If data is being pulled in from a third party you may find yourself incurring extra charges if you go above your monthly quota for queries. There are only a few major sources of this type of data out there so it is quite likely that a service will be pulling it in from outside, but as long as you are savvy in the plan you sign up for everything should go smoothly.

Terms of the Price Plan

In a product such as an SEO tool where it is difficult for services to differentiate based on the features they offer, you will find many services differentiate plans based on how many campaigns you can run or how many search terms you can track. These can be widely different from service to service with some allowing you to track an unlimited number of keywords while others limit you to a handful. Just remember that if you are only responsible for one site you probably won’t be interested in tracking hundreds of keywords and so you may get a better level of service or save money by opting for a plan that limits how many you can track.

SEO Advice

As we have mentioned, many SEO services just offer reporting and monitoring, but others do try to help you with practical advice on how to improve your site’s rankings. The technology behind this can often be quite clever and the best examples we have seen break things down into easy to manage and easy to follow tasks. Tasks are usually things like ‘fix this broken link’ or ‘submit your site here’ and can be carried out by people without much technical knowledge. If your site has never been optimized then simply carrying out these tasks can have a massive effect on your site’s rankings. Essentially it’s just what a SEO agency would do so you can save yourself a lot of money by doing it yourself.

Automation

If you aren’t so keen on doing everything manually there is a category of SEO tool that tries to automate most of the optimization process for you. However, these can be very dangerous because they may do things that Google’s search ranking algorithm will detect as spamming and therefore downgrade your site’s ranking. Even if things seem to go well a change to Google’s algorithm can spell disaster if you resort to these sorts of techniques, as many sites have recently found out. Some of these tools can be quite clever and will submit your site to online directories, build links and even generate semi-original content to submit to online article directories. We wouldn’t recommend you go down this route unless you fully understand what you are doing, but the tools are there, and quite advanced, if you are interested.

The Bottom Line

SEO needn’t be difficult or a black art. Using the right tools someone with very little technical knowledge can make huge improvements to a site’s search rankings. Even if this just takes the grunt work out of it, you can leave the fine tuning to the expensive agencies and be on track to save a lot of money. After reading this guide you should be well equipped to check out our reviews and decide on the type of tools you think you need depending on how experienced you are. Good luck achieving the holy grail of a number one Google ranking for your site!