The SEO Toolkit Every Beginner Should Have

The technical marketing world is full of tools to help SEOs to do their jobs better, faster, and more accurately. The types of tool available to us vary widely, and are constantly being updated. With all the options to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones you really need.

Though it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list of all SEO tools out there, there are a few tried and true ones that (most) SEOs use day-to-day. To help you navigate the waters, we’ve put together a list of tools that we believe every beginner should have in their SEO toolkit.

Crawlers

A good website crawler is one of the most important tools an SEO can have in their back pocket. When you need to diagnose issues on your website, be it status codes, internal links, or external links, these two are a must:

Screaming Frog

This is the crawler of choice for most SEOs out there. Many technical marketers opt for the paid version of this tool, which will cost you a license. However, the free version of Screaming Frog allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs, which is often sufficient for smaller sites.

DeepCrawl

This is a good crawling tool when you’re working with larger domains because it runs using cloud based servers. Screaming Frog, on the other hand, relies on using your machine and can cause performance issues when crawling larger domains.

Their visual and reporting features make their interface pretty easy to understand. Prices vary depending on which account level best suits your needs.

Chrome Extensions

Most SEOs use Chrome as their browser of choice, and chrome extensions can be extremely useful. If you’re not familiar with browser extensions, they’re essentially small software programs that can modify or enhance the functionality of your browser. They have little to no user interface.

Here the extensions we use most consistently in our day to day work:

BuiltWith

This one is a website profiler tool. As the name suggests, this extension lets you find out what a website is built with.

TagAssistant

Google Tag Assistant is a free Chrome extension that helps you make sure your Google tags such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Adwords Conversion Tracking, and more are working correctly.

GTM Injector

Tag Manager Injector simplifies the process of inserting GTM code on any site instantly where no Tag Manager container code currently exists.

GA Debug Chrome Extension

This extension loads the debug version of the Google Analytics Javascript for all sites you browse. It also prints useful information to the Javascript console. These messages include error messages and warnings which can tell you when your analytics tracking code is set up incorrectly.

Mozbar

This extension is sort of an all-in-one SEO toolbar for research. It gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP, and has some pretty cool features like an n-page highlighter, page overlay, and customer searches.

CheckMyLinks

Use this extension to find broken links on your page, or on pages where you would like to link.

Ayima Redirect Path

This extension is a lifesaver for quickly checking a page’s redirect path and redirect status codes.

Reporting Tools

Reporting to our clients is a natural part of any project we take on as technical marketers. The types of reporting tools you’ll find most useful day-to-day will differ based on the metrics you’re following or the KPIs you’re tracking. Nonetheless, these tools are a good place to start:

Moz Pro

Use this tool for creating custom, automated technical and ranking reports.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer, another Moz tool, to report on link building opportunities. You can easily research backlinks, identify top pages, view social activity, and analyze anchor text.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

Google Tag Manager

This one isn’t exactly a reporting tool, we use it more as a data collection tool. It’s a management system that allows you to quickly and easily update tags and code snippets on your website or mobile app without major code changes.

Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on

This add-on brings an added value to reporting by allowing users to import Google Analytics data into Google Sheets, making it easier to access, visualize, share, and manipulate their data in Google.

SharedCount

Use this tool for social reporting to track URL shares, likes, and other engagement on platforms like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is one of the fundamental things we do in SEO, and it informs many other facets of work we do for clients such as landing page optimization, content creation and optimization, and site architecture. To wrap up our beginner toolkit, here are some tried and true keyword research tools we swear by:

Google Keyword Planner

This Google Adwords tool is often the starting point when doing keyword research for a client, and without it, our job would be much harder. Here you can generate keyword ideas, get insights on competition and traffic, save words in keyword buckets, and much more.

UberSuggest

This tool scrapes Google Suggest options for your selected keywords using the Adwords tool. Here, you can generate even more longtail keyword combinations based off your original terms, and create opportunity for more supporting and longtail material which can convert well on your website.

Soovle

If the Google-only suggestions of UberSuggest are not enough for you, try this tool. Soovle is similar to UberSuggest, except it provides you all of the autocomplete and search suggestions from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Answers.com, etc.

So there you have it! Our (not-so-comprehensive) SEO toolkit. As new tools are developed and old tools are updated, our list continues to evolve. If this isn’t your first go-around, maybe you’ve picked up a new tool or two to use on your next project – let us know your favorites in the comments! For all those just starting out in the SEO world, we hope this list provides you with a starting point to help you navigate the waters of technical marketing tools.

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