I’m no stranger to SEO tools, having tried countless number of tools in the past few years. Since I deal with numerous clients with SEO requirements at my inbound agency, I’m always open to experiment with new tools or revisit some of the old tools with new/improved features.
2016 was no different. I experimented with different SEO tools throughout the year.
I liked a few and some were just meh! Nevertheless, the 7 tools featured in this article here just made my job a lot easier in 2016. And because of this, it’s my humble opinion that these tools will absolutely rock 2017.
So without further ado, here are 7 SEO tools you shouldn’t miss out on in 2017.
Ahrefs is my favorite link building tool. The backlink audit carried out by Ahrefs is simply gold standard. The tool conjures up the most accurate backlink data one can obtain and the team behind Ahrefs is working hard to ensure that we get the most accurate backlink data we are looking for.
Aside from link building, you can also use Ahrefs to track your position on Google and other search engines on a regular basis. The upgraded version of keyword research tool on Ahrefs (called Keyword Explorer 2.0) is a powerful feature that allows you to obtain tons of keyword ideas to create new content for your website.
Granted, it’s more expensive than most of the tools featured here, but the ROI on this tool is pretty damn good.
If you’re serious about building high quality backlinks for your site, this is the tool you need to have on your side.
SEMrush is delightfully easy to use and does most things an SEO tool should do astonishingly well. If you run a digital marketing agency, then I highly recommend you try SEMrush to dazzle your clients with reports that’ll provide a wealth of information about their website and content.
SEMrush allows you to do the following for $99.95/month:
- Keyword Analysis
- Site Audit
- Position Tracking
- Advertising Research
- Backlink Research
I won’t go into much detail about how useful this tool is since I’ve done so extensively at this blog. Suffice it to say, SEMrush is my go-to tool for keyword research and competition analysis.
For more information on how to use SEMrush, check out these articles below:
#3 Raven Tools
I used Raven Tools in 2015 and was quite disappointed despite reading rave reviews for the tool on the internet. So when I recently signed up for a 30-day trial, I was pleasantly surprised by how much the tool has improved. Among other things, these three features impressed me the most:
- Site Auditor
- Custom Reports
- Backlink Explorer
This is yet another tool which I’d recommend to agency owners as it allows you to create interactive marketing reports for your clients’ websites.
The interface is not as user friendly as is the case with the other tools in this list, but its features more than make up for its clunky design.
Having said that, Raven Tools is just too similar to SEMrush in terms of features and between the two, I find SEMrush more reliable and cost-efficient (the PRO plan on Raven costs $99/month). But for some reason, if you’re not happy with SEMrush, you could try Raven Tools.
Serpstat was yet another SEO tool that took me by surprise in 2016.
Serpstat allows you to do organic keyword tracking, spy on your competitor’s keywords, perform SEO site audits, PPC analysis, and much more.
I mainly use Serpstat for the following:
- Keyword Research
- Backlink Analysis
- Site Audit
- Rank Tracking
Serpstat offers a free plan wherein you’re allowed to perform 30 searches and audit 100 pages in a month. Paid plans on Serpstat start from $19/month.
Though there is room for improvement, I’m sure the team at Serpstat is more than qualified to upgrade and refine some its features to make it a top-quality SEO tool. And for $19/mo, there’s no reason to complain. This is one tool I’m definitely rooting for in 2017.
Essentially a content marketing tool, Buzzsumo allows you to search for the most popular/shared content online for any given topic. The pro version of the tool allows you to see who has shared the content online and filter by type (such as influencers and brands) and location.
A nifty feature if you’re planning to create similar (better) content online and then do an email outreach to promote your content. If you’re a fan of Brian Dean and his skyscraper technique, then Buzzsumo is the tool you should subscribe to right away in order to successfully implement skyscraper technique and get high quality backlinks.
When combined with a blogger outreach tool like the next one on my list, Buzzsumo is a must-have tool to rank high in search engines.
I thank my lucky stars and AppSumo for giving me a lifetime access to Ninja Outreach back in 2015. Since then, Ninja Outreach has been my de facto email outreach tool to reach out to influencers to promote my content and get quality backlinks.
Apart from email outreach, you can use Ninja Outreach to do any of the following:
- Lead generation
- Link building
- Collecting contact information (you can also use their Chrome extension for this)
- Content promotion
- Twitter and Instagram prospecting
- Finding guest posts
If you’re in search of a reliable blogger prospecting and outreach tool, then Ninja Outreach is just what you’re looking for.
Moz had a pretty rough 2016 with the scrapping of Moz Content and FollowerWonk, two content marketing tools that were challenging Buzzsumo. Furthermore, the company laid off 28% of its staff in an effort to shift their focus back to their SEO offerings.
I’ve made my thoughts clear about Moz Pro in the past, mainly in this comparison article between SEMrush and Moz. While I’m a fan of Rand Fishkin, I’m no fan of Moz Pro. I feel it’s too expensive and doesn’t offer enough accurate data for the premium price that it charges.
Having said that, the FollowerWonk fiasco turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Rand Fishkin and team got time and resources to focus on their core SEO product. I signed up for a Moz Pro trial recently and was really impressed with the improvements made by the tool.
The user-interface is neat and features such as backlink data and on-page grader are more accurate. I also love the fact that they’ve spent considerable time building Moz Local into a powerful local SEO tool.
Would I invest $99/month on this tool? Probably not, as most of the features offered by Moz are offered by SEMrush and Ahrefs as well. But there is no doubt in my mind that Moz will continue to set industry standards for SEO tools in 2017.
Aside from the tools featured in this list, I also recommend you use the following free SEO tools to propel your site’s search rankings:
- HubSpot Marketing Grader
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Bing Webmaster Tools
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Google Keyword Planner
- Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
So these are the tools which I’d recommend you try out in 2017. Hope you found this article useful. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you liked this article, you may also like: