Ever wondered which SEO tool is best?

SEO Tools

In this content, I'm gonna share some

of the free SEO tools and also do a bit of a shootout to see which of these SEO tools has the best data.

SEO tools let's be having,

SEO tools are really useful whilst no SEO tool is ever going to do your work for you. There are some really important tools to have in your toolbox as a digital marketer, which can help you get more data that you might not otherwise see, and also do a lot of competitor snooping things like identifying which pages on your website are broken but also having a look at what your competitors are doing, how they're building links, what sorts of content is performing best for them.

So whether you're unloading your own website to see what sorts of errors might be holding your ranking back or whether you're doing a little bit of competitive snooping and identifying what that link strategy is, or how they're using content to generate traffic, some of the tools that we're gonna be looking at today can give you immense input, and show you a whole bunch of stuff that would take years to dig out otherwise. 

Screaming Frog

So first up, let's look at some of the free SEO tools that pretty much every SEO or digital marketer needs

in their toolbox. First up, Screaming Frog, and that Screaming Frog is great for analysing your website and finding technical SEO tweaks to make to improve your ranking. We've got other more detailed contents on that so I'm not gonna go too much into exactly

How to use Screaming Frog,

any of these other tools in this article, but we primarily use Screaming Frog to perform site audits to tell us the sort of pages that might have issues with meta or pages being indexed that shouldn't be.

The next free SEO tool is Moz Domain Analysis. Now this is a great way to get a free, fast overview of any particular websites or authority.

Moz DA

Moz Domain Authority or DA is pretty much industry standard recognition of a site or authority now that Google has removed its page rank number from the toolbar, and whilst it's imperfect most DA is a very useful shortcut to understand how authoritative a site is in relation to other sites, whilst the data that the Moz Domain Analysis tool gives you is much more limited than some of the other tools that we're gonna be looking at.

If you just need a quick overview of how authoritative your site is or a competitor site, or you want to analyse how authoritative a publication might be, Moz DA is a pretty good place to start.

Google Search Console

Next tool which is an absolute must have for every website owner is a Google Search Console. Now Google Search Console or GSC has become way more useful for SEO over the last few years. And it has one massive advantage over the other tools in this content. And that massive advantage is that the data Google Search Console gives you, is measure data that comes directly from Google, i.e. this is that first party data. That's great because you know, that it's accurate. Whereas some of the other tools that we're looking at today, they are guesstimate data, they're projections they're based on a small sample size or crawling or scraping or taking data from looking at how people are using websites, you know that when you go into search console, that data is gonna be as close as Google will give you to being completely accurate. So you can pretty much rely on things like impressions and the number of clicks your site's getting,

as being accurate. Or you can use Google Search Console, see all sorts of useful things like how many times your site is showing up in search, how many clicks it's getting and also the keywords that are driving clicks too.

And you've got the really useful kind of basic stuff such as, how is Google able to crawl your site? How's Google processing any schema on your site? And also are there any mobile issues? And of course, if you really wanna sleep well at night you can use Google Search Console to find out

if Google things, your website has been hacked or not. It's just laugh a minute inside search console, so these tools are great as the basics,

and they're really useful if you wanna analyse your own site in depth or analyse your competitors, but a very surface level.

But what about if you wanna take things up a notch, if you wanna find new opportunities, analyse different types of keywords, or most importantly, spy on your competitors, so you can steal their best ideas. Adapt, adapt their best ideas.

Okay, that was L page from the competition commission, adapt their best ideas. Well then it might be time to take a look at one of the SEO super, super, super tool.

The SEO super tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, SpyFu, Serpstat, claim to do all sorts of things, awesome things. Showing you how much traffic each of those pages is getting and from which keyword, tracking that and your ranking from particular devices from different locations over time.

Now, a lot of people understandably get really obsessed about finding out how much traffic their competitor sites are getting, which leads us onto this topic of data. One of my personal bugbears inside the world of SEO is how people treat data as all the same. Broadly speaking, we actually have two types of data, we have measured data and we have what I call, guesstimate data, so measure data is the stuff that is reported, by the organisation or by the tool that it is measured from.

Now as we've seen Google search console is a great SEO tool if you want to use measure data. But the trouble is if you're basing all of your SEO work on only Google search console, your competitors, probably aren't gonna give you access, to their Google search console, so that you can see which pages are performing the best, so you can build a content strategy to crush them into the ground. So if you really wanna do some snooping you're gonna have to use one of these SEO super tools, super tools which obviously leads to the question how accurate is the data inside these super tools? What you don't wanna do is build an entire SEO strategy around the data in these super tools only to find out that it's completely inaccurate and the strategies that you thought were working really well for your competitors, are actually doing absolutely nothing for them.

So I wanted to find out which of these super tools has the most accurate data, so I devised a little test to find out. So we decided to have each tool, tell us how much traffic they thought five different websites were getting from organic search.

Now, these five websites, so all clients have setdowndream so we've got access to their analytics and their search console. So we know exactly how much data they are getting from organic search, so we're basically putting up the tools against the measure data to see which one is closest.

Now we chose these five sites based on a couple of different factors. Firstly, we wanted to choose a mixture of UK and US sites. And then secondly we wanted to choose sites with different amounts of traffic. Some of the sites that we're gonna be looking at are much newer, so they have lower traffic volume, but some of them are more established and have larger traffic volume.

Now all of these fit into the smaller, medium sized business category. We're not looking at sites like Facebook here because most of the people who are reading this content and considering these tools are gonna be in that smaller, medium sized business category. So whilst it's much easier to have accurate estimate data for huge massive sites with millions and millions of visits each month, we wanted to focus this test on smaller sites that were getting four, five or six figures of monthly organic traffic.

Now because these are all clients of setdowndream and I'm not gonna share the website URL with you, but I will share that data. Now before I do so I just wanted to talk about how these tools are getting to this data, now answering a question like how much organic traffic,

a particular website gets, might seem really straightforward but actually it's really not, because in order to make an estimate of how much organic traffic a website is going to get, the first thing these tools need to do, if they're gonna guess how much organic traffic a website gets,

is they need to measure the search results for a huge number of different keywords. 'Cause they need to know where each of these websites is ranking, for a whole range of different keywords. Then the tools need to estimate how many times each of these keywords is being searched per month in each of the locations, then they need to estimate what percentage of those searches are clicking on that website, based on its ranking for those keywords.

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