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October 21, 2013

The Best Tools for Do-It-Yourself SEO

In the world of SEO, you’re really only as good as the tools you use. Those who take on DIY SEO with a firm intuitive stance do so at their own risk. For most of us, what we assume folks will do to search and find our business on the web doesn’t come close to hitting the mark. We should never bank the success of our business on the instincts we have about our customers – especially when there are plenty of tools to validate and guide us.

The good news is, there are oodles of tools out there built to help the DIY SEO marketer. The bad news is, it’s incredibly tough to filter out the good from the bad. Let this article do the interviewing process – these tools and services are tried, tested, and approved to actually help you achieve and maintain ranking improvements.

Tools for Keyword Research

All SEO is built on a foundation of strategically selected keywords. While your keywords may change over time, they truly do create the structure from which all content, copy, and marketing directions are based on. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a couple of different free or paid tools to help you target the ideal keywords for your business.

Google AdWords

Google’s suite of products vary in efficiency and usefulness, but AdWords is a slam dunk. This tool is beneficial not so much for actual hard numbers, but as an analysis for how popular a given search term is in the current market. Use it as a means of comparison for your top keyword selections. AdWords is excellent at visually displaying what terms work best. It’s also aces at inspiring you to branch out, and generating additional keyword ideas you may not have yet considered.

SEO Book

Completely free and highly useful, SEO Book has a slew of offerings to enjoy while you hunt for the perfect keywords. Check out the keyword density analyzer, a PPC keyword wrapper, page comparison tool – even a typo generator that displays the common misspellings for selected keywords. Don’t move forward with your keywords without first consulting this site for validation and assistance.

Tools for Paid Search and Keyword Ranking

While organic tactics are absolutely necessary for long-term success, some businesses choose to use paid search for a quick shot of ranking adrenaline. Here are some tools and services that can aid in this process.


SEMRush offers a few free tools for the SEO practitioner, but their monthly subscription product is really where the meat of their service lies. Use SEMRush to discover what keywords your competitors are using for both organic and paid search results (free accounts only see the top 10, whereas paid accounts get the whole enchilada.) Paid accounts also have access to organic rankings for any domain, search volume for keywords, total number of search results, and many more informative parameters.

PPC Partners

Paid search is a challenging space to take on as a DIY-er, so this is one area where you’re best served to enlist an expert. There are a lot of pay-per-click (PPC) firms out there, and who you choose should be a direct reflection of your business. For most small business owners, hiring a reasonably priced, mid-sized firm is ideal. You’ll get personal attention from experts who have bona fide experience. Since you’re looking to invest real cash in this paid search, make sure to find one that has testimonials to back up their claims.

Two examples of reputable, results-orientated PPC providers are Webrageous and JumpFly. Both get high reviews for things like customer service, response, innovation, and fair pricing structures, so they both represent a good place to start your quest for stellar paid search results.

Tools to Monitor SEO Results

All the SEO efforts in the world are meaningless if you’re not tracking the actual success or failure rates. It’s not always easy to decipher the story that analytics are actually attempting to tell, so it’s important to choose tools that help demystify the process, and provide how-to guidance in reading each segment.

Authority Labs

Authority Labs keeps it simple – enter a domain into their main interface, and you’re able to track keyword rankings effortlessly. That’s the free portion of the site. If you’re willing to pay for a Pro plan (or just enjoy the free 30 day trial), you can watch up to 50 domains and 1,000 keywords (unlimited for higher subscriptions.) This is powerful stuff to gauge how your keywords are truly performing.

Raven Tools

If you’re opting for a paid tool across the board, Raven Tools is a sure bet. Built by an SEO agency for SEO experts, Raven covers just about every aspect of SEO planning and tracking. Their metrics tracking is absolutely stellar. It’s powerful in part because Raven Tools draws data from a bevy of sources, including SEMoz, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, and of course, Google AdWords. It’s a bit like one-stop-shopping in the world of SEO. The interface is intuitive, how-to guides are easy to read and very effective, and you’ll be thrilled with the level of detail and variety of available tools and assistance.

Is there an SEO tool not listed here that you can’t live without? Share your favorite tools in the comments section.


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

16 Responses to “The Best Tools for Do-It-Yourself SEO

    avatar Ferry says:

    When you already have a good knowledge about SEO and will also have some SEO tools will also be very helpful in increasing the amount of organic visitor from search engines and will be also good for online business that we run

    avatar ledartiste says:

    Thanks for sharing such a good article for us!

    avatar Carthage says:

    Thank you for the tips. It is essential to develop at least a basic understanding of SEO. A few simple tweaks to the way that you do things can generate extra traffic that would cost you a fortune with paid advertisements.

    avatar Sagar Rai says:

    This is really worth reading after a long time, thank you!

    It’s nice to see my favorite tools are here as well as the latest ones to try out.

    I furthermore use

    1. Chrome extensions
    2. Google Analytics
    3. Debugger
    4. Tag aide for ascertaining analytics cipher is working properly.


    All good tools as well Sagar, thank you for sharing!

    Raven Tools is great. They just did a big overall on their user interface that makes it extremely easy to use. Great resources too.

    avatar Tim says:

    Not all industries can and not all companies want to give their info to Google like you have to to get the ranking reports through Raven Tools. For those who are opposed to it, I recommend Gorilla-Tools. Less expensive than Authority Labs and they use the same API.

    Hi Tim,

    Agreed, and well said. I’m a big fan of Gorilla-Tools too. I like their style, and extremely functional tools 🙂

    avatar Jason Brown says:

    There is a new serp tracking program. Its Gorilla Tools. We offer daily and weekly rankings. We set up our program to send out ranking reports for all campaigns. You can add up to 5 email address. This is perfect for all SEO companies as you can set up your clients for automatic email reports. We offer the only pay as you go program.

    avatar Brad says:

    Thanks for a great list of tools! I am a DIY Seo guy so this was really helpful!

    avatar rockprint says:

    Lots of tool suggestions……..but I heard ‘hummingbird’ was gonna make keywords and finding out competitors keywords a thing of the past. is this true?

    These are very good tools that everybody in the DIY SEO business needs to track progress and improve website rankings.

    avatar ritesh reet says:

    One of the good read article.

    Some of the tools you missed here like: hubspot, Ahrefs, statcounter

    Thanks for the concise post. I am also a great admirer of SEO Quake installed in firefox – very handy.

    Thanks for this special list, all seo tools are awesome and up to date.
    Special thanks from Sample Question Paper Team.

    avatar Anthony Tornambe says:

    I will use this SEO tool for the site.

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