Business Featured SE Optimization

Top 10 SEO Apps Every Business Needs to Rock 2020

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Winning the SEO war is a long-term challenge. It’s not something that you can do in a week or a month. It takes at least a year to build a solid SEO strategy and several years of adjusting and optimizing to get in Google’s good graces. 

There are several components to search engine optimization, including backlinks, meta-descriptions, keywords, page loading speed, content, and all the other Google ranking factors. Yes, when we talk about search engine optimization, it basically means optimizing for Google, since it has the majority of the market share. 

Unfortunately, Google can be quite hard to keep up with. A sudden Google algorithm update can leave marketers and business owners both confused and anxious. When you think you’ve gotten your SEO campaigns stabilized and working, Google suddenly releases an update that makes your efforts obsolete — at least some of them. 

Although Google is quite open about the fact that the Algorithm updates are designed to improve the search results, trying to adjust your strategy every time an update is released takes a lot of work. 

That means thousands of updates per year. In 2018, Google released 3,234 updates, which means an average of almost 9 updates per day. How do you keep up with that? 

Fortunately, there are several tools that can help you manage your SEO efforts efficiently. Some are free and some are paid, but they all work to make your SEO tasks easier to plan, execute, and monitor. These tools are a crucial part of your organic search engine strategy because they focus on particular elements of your website that Google considers as ranking factors. 

What Is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines.

You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to web pages that could potentially answer your question. For example, you type in, “what’s the best PC cleaner” or “where is Apple located” and then Google displays the best answer with just a click. 

But have you ever stopped to consider what’s behind those magical lists of links?

Here’s how it works: Google (or any search engine you’re using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query.

The optimization process is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites are gussying that content and those sites up so search engines will be able to understand what they’re seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they see.

Optimization can take many forms. It’s everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you’re proud of.

The SEO tools in this roundup provide tremendous digital marketing value for businesses, but it’s important not to forget that we’re living in Google’s world under Google’s constantly evolving rules.

Best SEO Tools for Businesses in 2020

Every well-executed SEO campaign needs to begin with the very best tools – ones that allow valuable discovery information through keyword research, link building techniques, competitive analysis, and in-depth reporting.

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, creating an ever-shifting environment for SEOs as they attempt to improve organic rankings and site authority. So the better the tools, the more effective the results. Here are the best tools every business owner or marketer should master this 2020:

1. Google’s Webmaster Tools: Website Analysis

Perhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools are free, novice-friendly resources that explain the fundamentals of Google search.

For example, Google’s Fetch as Google tool allows you to see a particular URL as Google sees it, which is critical when troubleshooting for poor SEO performance. The information returned can help you modify the page in question for better results, and can even help you isolate problematic code when you believe your site’s been hacked.

Another great feature of Google Webmaster Tools is PageSpeed Insights. This SEO tool measures the performance of both your desktop and mobile site in terms of speed. With mobile search queries surpassing desktop searches, page speed is becoming increasingly important to businesses that want to hold on to their visitors.

2. HubSpot’s Website Grader: Website Audit

Back in 2007, HubSpot released a free tool called Website Grader that helped businesses uncover search engine optimization opportunities. Because a lot has changed since then, the company has released a new and improved version of the tool.

Website Grader is an online tool that generates personalized reports based on the following key metrics:

  • Performance. The tool will analyze your site’s page size, requests, speed, and similar key SEO metrics.
  • Mobile Readiness. The tool will see if your website is mobile-friendly in terms of responsiveness and viewport settings.
  • SEO. The tool will determine if your website is easy to find — both by humans and bots. This determination will take factors like page titles and meta descriptions into consideration.
  • Security. The tool will look for things like an SSL certificate. This serves as a way to prove to visitors that your site is both authentic and safe for contact information submissions.

All you need is your website URL and an email address to get started. Simply plug in your information and you can expect a score (1-100) as well as a detailed report in a matter of seconds.

3. Ahrefs: Keyword Research and Website Audit

Ahrefs is an advanced SEO resource that examines your website property and produces keyword, link, and ranking profiles to help you make better decisions on your content. Four of its main tools are:

Site Explorer, which shows you the performance of specific web pages on your website.

Content Explorer, which allows you to search high-performing web pages under specific keywords and topics.

Keywords Explorer, which generates the monthly search volume and click-through rates of specific keywords.

Site Audit, which crawls specified verticals within your domain and reveals a number of technical issues at the page level.

When using the Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs will also produce the “parent topic” of the keyword you looked up. A keyword’s parent topic is a broader keyword with higher search volume than your intended keyword, but likely has the same audience and ranking potential — giving you more valuable SEO opportunity when optimizing a particular blog post or webpage.

Ahrefs’ Lite Plan only costs $99. 

4. Check My Links: Link Optimization

To ensure that your links on a webpage — whether external or internal — actually work, consider Check My Links.

This broken-link checker makes it easy for a publisher or editor to make corrections before a page is live. Think about a site like Wikipedia, for example. 

The Wikipedia page for the term “marketing” contains a whopping 711 links. Not only was Check My Links able to detect this number in a matter of seconds, but it also found (and highlighted) seven broken links.

The tool highlights all the good links in green, and those that are broken in red, making it easy to spot the ones that don’t work or are no longer active.

5. Moz’s Pro Tools: Website Analysis

The Moz Pro subscription serves as an all-in-one tool for increasing your business’ search ranking. Moz’s collection of research tools provides subscribers with the resources they need to identify SEO opportunities, track growth, build reports, and optimize their overall efforts.

For example, the Crawl Test tool employs Moz’s own web crawler, RogerBot, to analyze up to 3,000 links on a given URL. Once completed, users then receive an email report that details the data for each page the site links to.

Moz offers a free 30-day trial, then paid plans cost $99 per month. 

6. BuzzStream: Link Building

BuzzStream might be the most inexpensive way to manage your outreach to the people who can provide inbound links to your website.

Although backlinks to your website are critical to ranking well on Google, the outreach you do while link building can feel a lot like cold calling. BuzzStream makes it easy to research the appropriate people, come up with effective email messages, and track who’s accepted each link request. 

BuzzStream helps you identify candidates for outreach based on their industry and how engaged they are across various social networks — so you know who will be most receptive to your backlink request and boost your ranking on Google.

Buzzstream offers a free 14-day trial, then paid plans cost $24 every month. 

7. UpCity’s SEO Report Card: Share of Voice

This free SEO Report Card by UpCity lets you analyze your website to determine how it stacks up against your competitors.

In exchange for a bit of your contact information, SEO Report Card will serve up a report that covers the following:

  • Rank Analysis. A snapshot of where your website ranks on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Your ranking is based on the main keyword you select when putting information in to build the report.
  • Link Building. A detailed account of the number of websites that link back to your site.
  • On-Site Analysis. A look at how successful you were in incorporating your main keyword throughout your site.
  • Website Accessibility. A section focused on your site’s load time and ease of accessibility for crawlers.
  • Trust Metrics. An overview of your site’s level of trust or authority.
  • Current Indexing. An indication of how many of your site pages have been indexed.

8. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider: Website Analysis

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a search marketer’s best friend.

Designed specifically for the SEO-minded, this program crawls the websites you specify, examining the URLs for common SEO issues. This program simplifies and expedites an otherwise time-consuming process — especially for larger websites. It could take hours or days to manually evaluate the same URLs.

The Java program is fairly intuitive, with easy-to-navigate tabs. Additionally, you can export any or all of the data into Excel for further analysis. So say you’re using Optify, Moz, or RavenSEO to monitor your links or rankings for specific keywords — you could simply create a .csv file from your spreadsheet, make a few adjustments for the proper formatting, and upload it to those tools.

The LITE version is free, but with limitations. You can only scan 500 URLs per website, and you don’t have full access to configuration options and source code features. To remove these limitations, users can purchase a 12-month license for around $160/year.

9. Remove’em: Link Building

Have you ever purchased links? Spammed the comments section on a string of blogs using the same message and link? If so, we’ll forgive your bad judgment just this once, but Google won’t.

Artificial or unnatural links have the potential to seriously hurt your search ranking. To clean them up, check out Remove’em.

This helpful tool scans your backlink profile and turns up a list of contact information for the links and domains you’ll need to reach out to for removal. Alternatively, the tool also allows you to export the list if you wish to disavow them using Google’s tool. Essentially, this tool tells Google not to take these links into account when crawling your site.

Remove’em costs $249 per domain or you can choose to subscribe starting at $99 per month. 

10. GrowthBar: Keyword Research, Competitive Analysis, and SEO Rank Tracker

GrowthBar is a Chrome extension that can help you perform keyword research, competitive analysis, and track SEO rankings. With the GrowthBar, you can access data points about any website directly from the search engine results pages. This allows you to easily assess your competitors’ performance and view which growth channels, keywords, backlinks, and ads are working for them.

Key features include: 

  • Top Keywords and Backlinks: this allows you to see which paid and organic keywords are driving the most traffic for a particular website as well as a list of the most authoritative backlinks pointing to the site.
  • Keyword Difficulty Score: this allows you to quickly assess how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword based on the strength of the domain authorities of the URLs ranking on page one.
  • Word Count:, click to view the word count of any page directly from the SERP
  • Facebook ads: click to see if a site runs Facebook ads and get a visual of what they look like. 
  • Keyword Suggestions: this is a list of related keywords you might want to rank for along with their Search volume & CPCs

GrowthBar offers a free 5-day trial, then $49 per month. 


You’ll never get a look behind the Google curtain to learn everything they know (or don’t know) about your site. But by leveraging SEO best practices and getting the most out of tools like those listed here; you can greatly increase the chances that your website will show up in response to the right search queries.

About the author


Jessica Bullet

s a Journalist by profession, Jessica Bullet has extensive experience in writing about various topics under the sun, including technology, gadgets, travel, social media, and digital marketing. If she's not writing articles for Software Tested, she's either watching her favorite TV series or playing video games.