Ask an SEO what their favourite SEO tool is and you'll probably hear a different answer from every person - everyone has their own go-to tool, depending on the job at hand. For me as an SEO generalist I like to use a few different tools - largely Screaming Frog for crawling and site audits, and Ahrefs for keyword research and link analysis. There will be other tools I dip in and out of, but those would be the two where I spend most of my time.
I'm always interested to speak to other SEO consultants and find out the tools they most commonly use - it can be a great opportunity to discover unknown features, or to find new tools.
I should mention here too that it's very easy to get what I've termed "SEO tool magpie syndrome" - whereby you feel the urge to purchase every single SEO tool on the market. Let's get it clear that having access to every tool out there won't magically grow your SEO performance. Sometimes it's better to just use or two tools properly, then obsess about the latest tool on the market.
#1 - Noah Kain uses Ahrefs for a variety of SEO tasks
The tool we used the most was Ahrefs. From keyword research to prospecting websites for backlink building and doing competitor analysis, Ahrefs has a majority of the tools we need to get SEO results for our clients.
Our favourite feature is the Keyword Explorer, specifically the Keyword Ideas section (see screenshot) because it makes keyword research a breeze. We use the different filters in this section to find untapped gems for our clients to target with their content, backlinks, and on-page optimization.
#2 - Alistair MacDonald uses a variety of SEO tools - SEOptimer, SEMRush and Search Console
We use a variety of tools when we gauge our client's websites such as:
SEOptimer - We use this to gather specific SEO information about a page. Looking for such things as Keywords, Meta descriptions, Backlinks and a whole host of other things. This tool also has the ability to crawl websites which can be great to increase the SEO performance overall. By using this tool, we've managed to increase the SEO presence of our clients to a significant degree.
Google Search Console - Vital for the SEO community, we use this to check out Google's Index for our clients. It's fantastic for working out the smaller issues like images too close together, font too small and such that Google will penalize a website for. We also make use of the advanced features to diagnose Schemas and make sure they are presenting the correct information on the Google Search Results, such as the correct phone number and address location.
SEMRush - Quite a huge tool, we've started using this on our clients for super detailed information and figuring out the best strategy for SEO success. I'm particular fan of the Backlink audit feature which shows you links that are hurting a site's SEO performance rather than helping. It also has a great Site Audit tool that goes into far more detail than SEOptimer for analysing and fixing SEO issues on every page within a website.
Hopefully this is what you were after and please let me know if you would like any further information.
#3 - Garry West is a big fan of SE Ranking, using it for website audits, backlink monitoring and more
Here at Imagefix, SE Ranking has become our go-to SEO tool over 2022; we’ve used it every day and it’s become integral to just about everything we do.
The Website Audit and Backlink Monitoring tools are particularly good; they’re far more user-friendly than other tools we’ve used in the past.
I use the backlink monitoring tool a lot and I like the fact that SE Ranking incorporates data about the domains that backlinks come from and go to, on a simple, easy to read dashboard. We’re also using the 'Content Idea Finder' which is a new addition; it’s brilliant for us as we’re always researching potential topics for our clients’ blogs.
SE Ranking seems to know what my team needs and provide it in an accessible way. Just when we think ‘We could do with…’ more often than not, the tool we need will arrive soon after.
#4 - How Rory Gillett uses Nightwatch Search Simulator Chrome Extension to check the SERPS across different territories
One of my most used tools has to be Nightwatch Search Simulator. It's a fantastic Chrome extension that is super useful for quickly checking website positions in Google.
The extension allows you to check rankings for any query in pretty much every country. It's super slick and easy to use.
#5 - How Kyle McGregor uses AlsoAsked for tasks relating to keyword research
I've used AlsoAsked the most. It pulls in all related geo specific questions from the People Also Ask box. It allows me to understand questions and queries related to my main keyword, meaning when it comes to content I am maximising all opportunities and answering all the questions that users asked.
Combining this with FAQ schema means it's great for featured snippets too.
#6 - Charlotte Fish uses Screaming Frog to pinpoint technical issues that exist on websites
Screaming Frog – more specifically the issues section makes it easy to decide which issues to prioritise which means I can spend less time organising and more time working to solve the issues (see screenshot below).
#7 - Francis Angelo Reyes uses Ahrefs as an all-in-one SEO tool
Ahrefs is still my favorite SEO tool in 2022. This tool is amazing for its "all-in-one" features. I don't think any SEO professional has NOT used Ahrefs.
Their body of features is one of the best in the industry including its keyword tracker. The keyword tool is how you can do thorough keyword research. It can help any content writer plan and produce content well in advance. The ability to post content at scale works wonders for any company. The keyword database gives any writer the critical components of what to write.
You are also given the option to add multiple keywords. From your keyword research and planning, the list of terms is easy to add to the tool. After which, the user can add which location they want those keywords to track. On top of that, the setting up of the rank tracker gives the user an option to upload a couple of competitors.
The historical trend of the rank tracker is also informative. The rank of the competitors is also listed with your domain over time. This means you can know when your website and another website started to climb high (or drop low) on SERP results. To top it all off the graphs and tables are readable.
#8 - Dan Rich is a big fan of Screaming Frog
Honestly, in 2022 I've probably used the frog (Screaming Frog) more than any other tool, while I've dabbled with things like on-page.ai and the usual Ahrefs etc, I've been finding more ways to get value out of the good old frog.
One of the things I use it for that seems to have had a really good impact over the last year is doing internal link audits.
First, do a full crawl of the site then select Bulk Export > Links > All Inlinks.
This will give you a CSV of every single internal link on the site.
It can run into millions of rows on big sites, so you may need some decent RAM.
You can then filter this data to see things such as:
Which pages are getting the most in-content/nav links
Anchor text variations
If single pages are linking out multiple times to the same page
At scale this kind of stuff can make a big difference to rankings, case in point I worked with a client who had one primary service page that they desperately wanted to rank but couldn't get it above position 30 despite this particular page being by far the most linked to on their site.
Using the Frog like this revealed that they had numerous pages that were linking out more than once to it, and there were loads of slightly off-topic anchors.
Fixing these issues caused their rankings to jump up from 30th to page one within just a few weeks.
As much as I love tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush etc, more and more I feel that you can't beat having a good look at how a site is put together and the Frog helps me do that.
#10 - Ané Wiese uses SEObility for a variety of SEO tasks
The SEO tool that I used the most this year is Seobility. I like it because it's a great way to manage multiple websites and keep tabs on what's going on with each of them. An unconventional way of using it is to add your top competitors as projects and then you can track their changes too. It does an excellent job of showing differences between the weekly crawls.
On top of that, you can see your tracked keyword rankings side by side with a competitor. It reports on technical SEO and on-page issues. Another feature I like is that there is a section that isolates your ranking pages and specifically reports on issues related to those pages. Helps with prioritization if you are time-poor. It has other features too, some will be more useful to content marketers, on-page SEO specialists, technical SEO specialists, or "full-stack" SEOs. It's quite versatile.
Ane Wiese, SEO & SEM Strategist / SEO Marketing Manager @ saas.group