TOP SEO Tools | Keyword Research Tools | Penalty Research Tools

SEO Tools

↦ Keyword Research Tools
↦ OnPage SEO Tools
↦ Backlink Analysis Tools
↦ SEO Analytics & Tracking Tools
↦ Local Specific Tools
↦ Penalty Research Tools
↦ Brand Building Tools
↦ PBN Building Tools
↦ Other Tools

Agency Building Tools

↦ Client Meeting Scheduling & Software Tools
↦ CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tools)
↦ Customer Support Tools
↦ Client Reporting Tools
↦ Internal Project Management
↦ Internal Team Communication & Sharing
↦ Internal Employee Time Tracking
↦ Bookkeeping & Invoicing
↦ Outsourcing & White Label Reseller Services
↦ Other Cool Tools

Keyword Research Tools

Here are the best tools for keyword research.

↦ SEMRush
SEMRush is an awesome website research tool. You can check search engine or PPC stats on any website, see your rankings, or your competitor's rankings. I love using it for keyword jacking. Here are 2 ways you can use this tool in just a few mins:
1. Easy Wins Method: Put in your website URL. Under Organic Research on the left, click positions. See what you’re ranking for on page 2, re-optimize your pages or add links (internal or external) to boost your rank. 
2. Keyword Jacking Method: Get your competitors domains and run a keyword report on them. Sort the report by keyword volume, jack their keywords and either add them to your existing pages or build out new pages. BOOM. Here’s a quick example video for reference.

↦ KWFinder
Quickest keyword tool ever! This will show strength values that come from majestic (TF & CF), & Unique linking IPs for the top 10 results, as well as PR. Awesome. You can use this in combination with all the keyword ideas you got from Semrush (item #1).

↦ HOTH Keyword Research Tool
This is basically a free version of SEMRush - Just put in a seed keyword and it will give you all kinds of variations as well as traffic, CPC, and more.

↦ UberSuggest
This is basically a google suggest scraper. Find all kinds of long tails with this baby.

↦ Answer The Public
Similar to Ubersuggest, but with even more! You can use this to find out what kinds of questions people are searching for.

↦ Ahrefs Keyword Explorer 2.0
Ahrefs has come a long way and they just released their new keyword explorer. This has some interesting features that other tools don’t have like the “also rank for” feature.

Another very popular keyword suggestion tool.

OnSite SEO Tools

↦ Yoast Wordpress Plugin
Great tool for optimizing your WordPress site.

↦ HOTH Free SEO Analyzer
Get quick on-page audit for your site, for free!

↦ Google Pagespeed Insights
See how fast your website loads and how you can improve it.

↦ Google Mobile-Friendly Test
See if Google considers your website mobile-friendly.

Backlink Analysis Tools

You can check the backlinks of any site with these tools. I use them for all of the following:
1. Overview of what’s going on with a site (any anomalies etc)
2. Checking for over-optimization
3. Checking competitors to see if they have any good links or to replicate their links
4. Doing general research on domains That all being said, these 3 tools do about the same thing but each one has strengths & weaknesses. Here’s what I think about all 3:

↦ 1. Ahrefs - Best at catching backlinks. Most accurate checker.
↦ 2. Open Site Explorer - Most commonly used statistics for judging website power or strength, however DA & PA metrics scale with spam so you really need to look at the actual backlinks too.
↦ 3. Majestic - Best for determining websites trust/strength.
4MOZ SEO Toolbar - This cool toolbar will automatically run stats for you on all the websites you visit and put an overlay in search results if you want. This is the quickest way to check stats as you’re browsing around.
↦ 5Moz Bulk Domain Checker for Google DocsWant to check a bulk group of domains? With this easy tool, you can throw a bunch of domains into a Google doc and quickly get the Moz DA/PA for them.

Link Building Tools

Ahrefs -- I had to include this here because Ahrefs has stepped up so much in the last year. If I were to pick one tool, this might be it.
Guest Post Tracker -- Need a huge list of guest post websites? This is it.
Ninja Outreach -- Makes link outreach easy. You can search for influencers and reach out all in one tool.
Pitchbox -- A very highly rated outreach tool. You can use this to score guest posts, submit to link roundups and more.
Link Building Services -- Shameless Plug - If you just want someone to build links for you, we have it all.
Point Blank Link Building Strategies -- Not a tool, but an awesome resource with all kinds of link building strategies.
Ontolo -- Awesome link prospecting tool.

SEO Analytics & Tracking

Here are the best tools for tracking.

↦ Improvely
Use this to track all your campaigns and get a detailed look at what's going on with your visitors.
↦ Google Analytics
The grand standard. I just use it on all my money sites
↦ Clicky
A Google Analytics alternative.
↦ Fresh Metrix (Rank Tracking)
Easy rank tracking for national and down to the local level. You can start for free and they have planned all the way up to the thousands of keywords.
↦ Serpfox (Rank Tracking)
Nice & easy tool for rank tracking. Just plop in your URL, keywords, and location and it will do all the tracking for you. They have a free plan as well if you’re just getting started.
↦ Scrapbook (Rank Tracking)
Similar to SERP-fox but with nice white label and automated reporting.

Local Specific Tools

Here are the best tools for local SEO.

↦ WhiteSpark Local Citation Finder
This is the industry standard tool and it’s awesome. Basically, you can drop in your main keyword and city, it will go out and find your competitors and see what citations they have, rank the citation sources by DA (Domain Authority) and show you which ones you are missing. This is the tool we use in HOTH Local.

↦ Local SEO Checklist
Nice and easy checklist to make sure you have the bases covered + more.
↦ Rich Snippet Validator (Google)
Validate that rich snippets are working on your local site. 
↦ Schema Creator
Creates microdata for your local site.
↦ Local SEO Quick Check (Moz)
Quickly check where you stand with citations, duplicates, errors, etc.
↦ Free Review Monitoring
This will monitor your reviews, and you can track reviews of your competition.
↦ Blumenthal's Local Business Category Tool 
A cool tool to get all the categories you should be in on Google Places.
↦ Local Citation Audits & Custom Citation Building 
Doing local the right way. No cookie-cutter solutions. Every campaign is customized and researched. As close o push-button local as you can get.
↦ Citation Cleanup Service
If you have incorrect or inconsistent citations, we’ll clean them up for you manually.
↦ My Call
Call tracking for SEO & PPC + Call scoring
↦ Call Fire
Call tracking, text messaging, voice response, and more.
↦ Free Review Checker
Check your reputation with this free customer review audit!

Penalty Research Tools

↦ Penguin Tool
You can connect your Google Analytics account and it will display when google updates happened so you can see if drops in traffic match any Google updates.
↦ Ultimate Guide To Google Update History
All of the Google updates + what really happened + case studies.
↦ Removeem Anchor Text Over Optimization Checker
You can check to see if you’re over-optimized for any of your anchors.
↦ Link Research Tools
The industry standard in checking for toxic links. Be careful though, this tool likes to classify links as toxic even if they are not. Use this as a baseline but judge each link individually.

Social Media Tools

↦ Lock My Brand - Registers your brand name on the top social media websites in the world.
↦ Onepress Social Locker - Use this tool to get more social shares on your blog.
↦ Flare - This a cool social media share box. 
↦ Buffer - Schedule posts for your social media accounts.
↦ Instagress - Automate your Instagram marketing.
↦ Tweepi - Automate twitter marketing.

SEO Agency Building Tools

These are tools you can use to build your SEO business.

↦ Calendly - You can use this to avoid the dreaded back and forth of finding a time to meet. This will let clients book meetings with you.
↦ - The easiest online screen-sharing app. Once you have the app, you can just give the client the link and they don’t have to download anything (wow… right?)
↦ - This is the CRM we use at The HOTH after checking out a bunch of different ones. It can be expensive, but this has the features you’re looking for. One of the best things about this is that it creates a very customizable searchable database.
↦ Salesforce - The industry-standard CRM in the cloud. Integrates with lots of other apps as well.
↦ Infusionsoft - CRM, Email Marketing, and E-commerce tools all in one. Often called confusion soft.
↦ Olark - Live Chat software, we use this to help customers get answers faster. It really helps with on-site conversions!
↦ Insightly - Popular small business CRM that integrates with Gmail.
↦ Raven Tools - Good for generating large amounts of data together for clients and giving them their own log in to track campaigns. Can do on-site audits on the fly, track links and rankings, and more!
↦ Authority Labs - Great rank tracking tool with an API.
↦ Asana - A very sleek project management app. I use this personally.
↦ Trello - Easy project management.
↦ Slack - Communication is one place for teams. They added native voice calling so this is good for quick 1 on 1 meeting or team meetings.
↦ Get Harvest - Sleek time tracking app.
↦ Freshbooks - Fantastic invoicing/time tracking/bookkeeping app.
↦ Bench - Bookkeeping services for your business.

_____Thanks for reading!
We’re looking forward to getting to know you. Do you have tools that you love that you want to add to this list?

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