When starting in an SEO career I found a large gap of reliable information around SEO tools. I would have a list of basic questions floating in my mind that the software creator would seemingly struggl to answer.
I’d have questions like this:
What does it do?
The full feature list of separate features, named in an industry standard way. I mean some tools struggle to say they have a “keyword rank tracker” as a feature and instead call some marketing spin like “level up your SEO”.
What does it do well? From the claimed or obvious things it does, I then want to know which ones are known to be killer or is it known for being great at.
- What do other people think of a tool?
- How does this help me, as an SEO, deliver better work?
- How much does it cost?
I’m hoping with this list, categorised and tagged as I’ve done, makes makes it a little bit easier for others trying to answer some of these questions too.
Getting detail on SEO tools is hard
These are some of the problems I’d encounter when starting to learn SEO.
- There are simply too many great tools to remember them all.
- I find it hard to trust Google and review sites to find the best information when searching for anything SEO related 😏
- SEO tool creator websites (often) will:
- Tend to explain benefits, not features
- Not go into detail on data source or input and data output
- Use brand-isms and sales-lines to sell you their “All-in-one Marketing Toolkits” and
- I’ve observed SEO’s in forums and groups online tend to recommend their favorite tool, as the “best” without any context or feature comparisons.
- Existing SEO tool lists tend to categorise only by a “core” feature. In my mind this is an issue because a single category doesn’t make sense when any given tool can have one or many features. Feature tagging makes more sense.
- Existing SEO tool lists were not sortable (or were but only in a very basic way). There is no easy way to find (for example) all the keyword search volume data tools with an exposed API.
- I don’t have the time to manually test them all to see if they do what they say on the tin.
So I made a list of 320+ SEO tools, with context
Here’s the full AirTable sheet, if you find it useful or use it for something would be awesome if you credited me 🙂
What tools were included?
When trying to make this list useful to myself, I found that the question became what should I exclude. So here’s my current criteria for what I tend to leave out.
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- CMS themes & page builders
- Project management apps (Wrike/Asana/Monday etc)
- Glorified ordering platforms, portals, systems or checkouts for SEO related services – eg:
- Directory listing submission
- Social media profile submission
- Link building
- CTR manipulation
- Other “Mechanical Turk” or link at scale type services
- Programming/scripting languages
- Scripts or gists which are useful or specific to SEO can be included.
- Social Media only tools
- If a tool is purely for social media eg scheduling, cross posting etc it doesn’t count. It needs to have at least one SEO specific feature.
- Security testing or uptime monitoring tools
- No SSL, web-security or pen-testing tools in here.
- Again, to be included they need an SEO specific feature.
- Web analytics
- If an analytics platform doesn’t have robust and specific features for analyzing organic search traffic then I’d leave it out.
- Shutdown, closed, private tools, invite only, waitlist only
- Domain registrars & Web hosting services
- While web hosting is important, I don’t consider it a tool for SEO in this context
- WordPress plugins
- Needs to have at least one SEO specific feature
- For the sake of my list, page-speed improvement can qualify as SEO
- Low quality SEO tools
- Agency lead-gen “audit” forms are excluded