The 8 time- & money-saving SEO tools I pay for (& 17 more I use for free)
With all of the tools available in the SEO space, it's tough to know the best software to apply to various use cases. Contributor Tom Demers helps clear up confusion by detailing the strengths he's discovered in a wide variety of offerings.
In a recent interview with SEO and Credo founder John Doherty on Dan Shure’s excellent Experts on the Wire podcast, he mentioned the positive response he’d gotten to a post he’d done this summer on the SEO Tools he uses. He mentioned that it seemed like a pretty simple post idea, but it made sense to me that it would get traction, because John is a smart writer and marketer. As I listened, I was curious what tools he was using, and I took a look at the post. I’ve also taken a page from his playbook in the following column.
I like comprehensive lists of things as much as the next guy, but in a space where tools and software are relatively fragmented, and the applications for those tools change rapidly, it’s especially helpful when experienced practitioners give you a peek at different tools they pay for, what they use them for and how they think about those tools. My consulting company pays for and uses a variety of SEO tools (possibly a few too many, and likely some of the wrong ones — let me know if you have a better approach!), so I thought putting together a similar post would be helpful.
Generally speaking, I tend to err on the side of having access to a tool if we’re likely to get any significant value from it. My business partner Ken and I own and operate both a consulting company and a web publishing company. A tool will probably pay for itself if it costs $50 to $100 a month, and it can:
- save ~10 hours of work we’d need to do manually over the course of a year
- or unearth a handful of valuable insights a year.
The test for more expensive options is similar, but, of course, the higher the price, the more it should be delivering in time savings and/or insights. Obviously, the tools you’ll use will depend a lot on the problems you’re trying to solve, the size of the sites you’re working on and so on, so your mileage may vary.
OK, on to the tools!