I understand the frustration associated with trying to persuade your manager to invest into some SEO tools, especially when the company doesn’t have a very big budget. I personally used to work agency side and my budget was £100/pm on SEO tools, as you could imagine, this was a nightmare, especially when I was expected to cover daily rank tracking, keyword research and backlink analysis – it just wasn’t possible, hence why I ended up quitting.
Therefore to help all of the poor souls that are currently going through the same situation as I was previously in, I have decided to get together a list of top 5 tools that won’t break the bank and aren’t too costly, yet they still get the job done. You can expect these SEO tools to help with a wide range of tasks, everything from rank tracking, keyword research and backlink analysis.
Even though Rank Watch isn’t the most accurate tool in the world, it’s still something that does the job and doesn’t break the bank entirely. I have used Rank Watch on many different occasions, it’s a brilliant tool to monitor a wide range of keywords for both your clients and your own site for a small fee.
Rank Watch offers both daily and weekly rank checking depending on your requirements, of course, weekly is much cheaper and provides you with a much larger keyword allowance than the daily rank checking, but either way, both options are relatively cheap. I often hear about SEO agencies using their better rank checking tools on their client’s primary keywords, whereas, secondary keywords they use a tool like Rank Watch because it’s cheap and it allows them to save their keyword budget(s) for the big keywords. There’s no point using up your allowance on low competitive search queries that don’t send much traffic.
This SEO tool can also be used to check the backlinks associated with a domain, but I don’t think it’s as good as Ahrefs or Majestic, it’s primary feature is the rank checking.
SerpBook is another rank tracking tool that’s used quite frequently in the SEO industry, however, I personally believe that it provides more accurate results compared to Rank Watch (above), but Rank Watch is cheaper and provides you with a larger keyword allowance. SerpBook doesn’t provide weekly tracking, at the moment it only provides daily or bi-hourly. You can grab yourself a free trial of SerpBook, so you can see if it works well for you.
I like the GUI of SerpBook and the way that they present the data.
One Hour Indexing is a favourite of mine that’s used to ensure that your backlinks are indexed, otherwise, they won’t be adding the value they should be to your link profile. You’re able to submit your links directly using their dashboard, whether it’s a website that recently created a new post that references your website’s URL or a bunch of links that you have created using some black-hat SEO tools. It’s your call.
If the website(s) containing a link to your URL aren’t indexed, Google doesn’t know about them.
KWfinder is considered a beast by a ton of industry SEO experts and it’s very useful
for both generic and most importantly, long-tail keyword research. If your site is relatively new and it doesn’t have much website authority, it’s worth chasing the long-tail keywords as they aren’t as competitive as generic based queries.
I personally prefer SEMrush for longtail keyword research, however, this tool is quite expensive compared to KWfinder and it offers a wide variety of other tools to cover many verticals of search. KWfinder specifically focuses on the keyword research vertical.
Linkody is a cheap alternative to Majestic, Ahrefs and Moz: Open Site Explorer. I don’t think it’s as sophisticated as those, but it’s definitely worth investing in as it is relatively cheap and it’s better than having no visibility across your link profile. Linkody does a good job of identifying the links that have recently contributed towards the success of your link profile and the links that have been removed (very useful).
My favourite part of this tool is the email notifications feature, if it’s setup correctly, Linkody will email you whenever it finds a new link or one that has been deleted. If you aren’t that technical when it comes to link analysis, this tool will also provide recommendations based on the links it thinks you should disavow too.
If you’re working for a start-up company or you just don’t have that extra budget to invest into some SEO tools, it’s worth taking note of these, you can grab yourself a license of all of the tools that I have mentioned in this post for just over $100/month. This will help you identify what keywords you should be targeting, the links that make up and contribute to your link profile, consistent monitoring of where your website stands in the SERP’s and ensuring that your newly formed backlinks are indexed.
If you’re looking for even more tools that may be of use, I would suggest checking out my SEO tools list, this post contains a mixture of cheap, expensive and free SEO tools.