Online visibility can make or break a small business in today’s digital landscape. The premise of search engine optimization (SEO) is to get you noticed and is absolutely paramount to boosting your business’s bottom line.
While getting started may feel overwhelming, plenty of SEO tools for small businesses have emerged, making it even easier to elevate website rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) than ever before.
The role of tools for business success
SEO tools play a pivotal role in amplifying the growth and success of businesses of all sizes by ensuring your company is at the forefront. Finding and integrating the right SEO tools for your small business is vital to attracting impactful organic traffic and enhancing your online presence.
In this comprehensive guide, our experts explore 2023’s ten best SEO software and their benefits, taking the stress out of the process with perfectly optimized content that gets you results!
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO, in its simplest definition, is the practice of bringing user traffic to a website or platform through a search engine. In essence, if you want your website to appear higher in search engine results so your audience can find you easier, you need to focus on search engine optimization.
You can benefit from three different types of SEO:
- On-page SEO: Involves making tweaks and improvements to your website. This can look like strategically interlinking your content, swiftly repairing broken links, conjuring up captivating and exceptional content, and skillfully wielding keywords and title tags.
- Off-page SEO: Involves building authority by capturing attention off the back of other reputable websites and sources. Picture perfectly placed backlinks and impactful platform interactions like social media channels.
- Technical: Involves fine-tuning the back-end development of your website to leave a positive impression on search engines. Think amplifying page loading speed by compressing images or adding schema markups so search engines get extra info on your website’s content.
All three types of SEO are essential, as they help algorithms understand your website better, which results in a better search ranking. We’ll discuss the three types in more detail later.
What are SEO Tools?
SEO Tools are the behind-the-scenes software that empowers SEO strategies to go the extra mile with ease. Integrating them into your business strategy is pivotal to successfully optimize website content, driving an influx of traffic, and dominating search engine result pages.
There are many types of tools to choose from, but they share a common outcome: enabling your website to transcend its competitors, increase brand impressions, and skyrocket your conversion rates.
SEO Tools can be web-based platforms, desktop software, browser extensions, and plugins, making them incredibly versatile and widely accessible.
You’ll love the efficient help with keyword research and analysis, on-page optimization, backlink analysis, competitor research, rank tracking, site auditing, content optimization, and more, allowing you to transform your online presence into a definitive force to be reckoned with.
Why are SEO Tools Important for Small Businesses?
Excellent small business SEO software will offer comprehensive on-page, off-page, and technical SEO optimization solutions that are renowned for being revolutionary to businesses of all sizes.
Our experts have showcased the high-level benefits small business owners can take full advantage of by leveraging the right SEO tools.
Gain insights into relevant and impactful keywords to optimize website content and attract targeted organic traffic, helping small businesses reach their specific audience effectively.
Get optimization ideas for content elements like headings, meta tags, and keyword placement for improved search visibility so you can strategically craft content that captivates your audience while further boosting your small businesses online presence.
Identify opportunities for internal linking to enhance website navigation and improve the user experience.
Not only will you seamlessly guide visitors through your website, but it will also be well-organized with an interconnected structure that will enhance page authority and make it easier to crawl for maximized SEO performance.
Conduct robust audits efficiently to identify content gaps, duplication, and opportunities for improvement. Fine-tuning your website enhances the overall relevance and quality, making it even more appealing to users and search engines.
Page Speed Optimization
SEO Tools will recommend areas to improve page load times for on-page content to enhance user experience and search rankings. Swift page load times lead to a heightened user experience which reduces bounce rates and increases engagement, aspects that impress visitors and search engines alike.
Analyze your backlink profile seamlessly with SEO Tools. Backlinks serve as votes of confidence and authority, signaling to search engines that your website is trustworthy and relevant.
The invaluable data will showcase opportunities to strengthen your small business’s online presence via connections with influential websites or to omit any less reputable backlinks that already exist for wider brand reputation and ranking.
Social Media Monitoring
Monitor social media mentions, engagement, and brand visibility to build a better online presence with SEO Tools. Social media shares, saves, and comments indicate engagement and interaction with your brand, which is known to amplify search engine rankings.
Create and manage local listings based on search terms in your area with SEO tools to attract nearby customers and drive foot traffic to their physical locations, giving an organic off-page boost to your ranking.
Effortlessly discover efficacious influencers and manage outreach campaigns to surge brand recognition and referral clicks.
Your ranking will soar as you reach outsider audiences paired with opportunities to collaborate on backlinking with authoritative online celebrities and content creators.
Online Reputation Management and Exposure
Working with an SEO tool for brand exposure and online reputation management makes monitoring social media mentions, reviews, and brand visibility a breeze. Busy small businesses can proactively oversee their brand perception and promptly handle negative feedback.
Positive brand sentiment and a strong online presence please algorithms through brand authority and credibility leading to increased ranking.
Easily pinpoint crawl errors, broken links, and other technical issues that hinder performance and indexing. Keep your small business website in top shape, ensuring it is accessible, easily discovered by search engines and noted as a trustworthy and reliable website.
XML Sitemap Generation
An XML sitemap is a back-end way to list your website’s most important pages.
SEO Tools that help generate XML sitemaps ensure Googlebot and other search engines have an optimal understanding of your website structure and content organization to aid in page prioritization and indexing for an easy way to boost your ranking.
Search engines prioritize mobile-friendly sites. With the help of SEO tools, you can easily assess your site for critical mobile responsiveness and device compatibility to ensure your small business website delivers a seamless experience to mobile users while boosting your rankings.
Schema and Structured Data Markup
Structured data markups and schema enhance the visibility of rich snippets on SERPs for better content presentation to users.
SEO tools streamline the implementation of markups and schema to ensure that search engines understand your content more accurately, resulting in heightened search visibility and attracting even more organic traffic to your site with its visually appealing and informative output.
Site Architecture Analysis
Unlike XML sitemaps that focus on providing search engines with a list of web pages to crawl, site architecture analysis digs deeper into the website architecture to look at internal linking, URL structure, page hierarchy and even orphan pages.
The best SEO tools for Site Architecture Analysis will offer areas of improvement for logical flow and seamless UX/UI to not only elevate the SEO performance but reduce bounce rates and amplify conversions.
Investing in the best SEO software has become a clear-cut decision for thousands of small business owners. The benefits and flexibility to suit all types of business goals have led to success in the scalability of businesses thanks to the refinement of marketing strategies, gaining the competitive edge in the market, increased online visibility, and soaring web traffic.
What to Look for in Small Business SEO Tools?
As a small business, finding the right SEO tools is essential to ensuring your precious budget doesn’t go to waste on resources that won’t deliver tangible results or are ultimately abandoned altogether.
Each business will have its own short and long term goals and objectives. These will be based on the industry, size, and phase of the business, meaning it’s wise to take your time when choosing to invest in any tools and resources.
Our experts have curated their top tips to ensure your SEO tool investment gives you the most bang for your buck.
Features and Functionality
Investigate SEO tools that offer comprehensive capabilities tailored to your specific search engine optimization needs.
Spend a few minutes dreaming up your ideal “checklist” of features (such as keyword research, on-page optimization, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, etc.), so you can easily compare tools and find which one has most of your desired features.
Investing in an SEO tool that’s intuitive and easy to navigate is essential! So many business resources are left for dust when they become too difficult to use or the skill level of the team shifts.
A user-friendly interface guarantees that your small business can capitalize on the tool without a steep learning curve or extensive technical expertise, saving you time and money in the long run.
Pricing and Value
Remember the dreamy features checklist we had you create? It comes in handy to measure and compare the value for the cost of each SEO tool.
It’s possible you may have to compromise on some functionalities if you have a tighter budget, but assessing the features offered, the level of support, and the projected return on investment will make sure you get every penny’s worth.
Integration and Compatibility
Take stock of your current website platform, content management system (CMS), and other fundamental marketing tools you pay for or need to continue business as usual.
When looking at new SEO tools, ensure that they integrate smoothly with your existing kit; maintaining compatibility will keep your workflows and data sharing efficient and alleviate un-needed salaries spent on tech support or manual efforts.
It goes without saying that reliable customer support is key. Ideally, you won’t need it, but if you do, there is nothing more frustrating to business owners of any size than not being able to reach adequate support or access to key documentation, tutorials, and help desks.
Prompt assistance can be paramount in resolving issues or questions impacting your SEO endeavors, meaning it’s in your best interest to review their support package and check over their “help” section to ensure you’re happy with the quality and offering.
Reputation and Reviews
There are some marketing wizards out there who can sell anything, regardless if the product is good or not!
Researching the reputation and checking over reviews of your shortlisted SEO tools is a step often overlooked in the digital space, but it provides valuable and unbiased insights, from users like you, on how great (or not) the product is.
Scalability and Growth Potential
If you’re looking at increasing your business visibility, we will take a good guess that you’d like to scale your business.
Regardless if that is the case or not, businesses evolve and ensuring your search optimization tools are future-proofed to endure boosted website traffic, extensive keyword research, and more vast optimization efforts as your business expands will ensure you won’t have to worry about out-growing your tools and starting the process over again in a year or two.
We’re confident that embracing these factors into your SEO tool pursuits will ensure that no matter what tool you land on, it will come from informed decisions that align best with your small business goals and objectives.
What are the Best SEO Tools for Small Businesses in 2023?
Wanting to help you succeed, we have expertly curated our top 10 SEO tools of 2023, giving you prime industry knowledge to help you kickstart your SEO journey with confidence.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free platform allowing you to stay in the loop with how Google interacts and perceives your website.
With Google Search Console, business owners are blessed with access to exclusive performance metrics for Google’s own SERPs and also data spanning the complete Google Ecosystem.
A Google Search Console integration will be revolutionary in monitoring search traffic, indexation, keyword performance and CTR (Click-Through-Rates). You can even use alerts within the tool to keep on top of crawl errors, security concerns, and mobile usability challenges so you can mitigate any ‘issues’ before they truly become issues.
Unlike most tools, the reports are not only robust, but the highlighted improvement areas are among the favorite features of the tool.
Google Search Console Features and Functionalities
- Stay up to date with your website’s performance with metrics such as average position, clicks, CTR, and impressions
- Access to the indexation status of your web pages
- Submit your XML sitemap for efficient indexing
- URL analysis to easily identify errors that affect visibility
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly, obtaining improvement points that impact mobile users
- Get emailed alerts for security issues or malware on your website
- Improve your link profile with backlink analysis
- Optimize your site for rich results and other enhanced SERPs formats
- Get key insights into your website’s health and vitals
Capitalize on Google Trends, another free platform provided by the globally recognized search engine giant.
Crafted to allow website owners integral insights on keyword popularity across targeted locations, seasons, and demographics along with related search queries, integrating Google Trends will ensure you’re on your trend-spotting A-game.
Hone into the search behavior of target audiences and track the popularity life-cycle of keywords or topics for a complete picture of what trends are on the rise and decline.
The tool’s underrated news and related topic section can be an outstanding place for content idea generation to drive organic traffic. Uniquely, Google Trends can also help identify topics for Youtube videos by identifying keywords and trends outside of just the search engine results.
Good Trends Features and Functionalities
- Discover search terms based on their popularity (both current date and historical) instead of just volume
- Capitalize on present, past, and uprising trends with access to real-time data and topic recommendations
- Simultaneously compare multiple search terms by popularity and volume to refine marketing strategies
- Understand geographic-based interests and preferences with targeted trend insights
- Get industry-curated insights to know what’s going viral within specific business sectors
- Data isn’t limited to just Google’s search engine but also includes Google images, Google News, Google Shopping and Youtube
- Visual-based reports make it easy to understand data quickly and can be exported or embedded into blogs, websites, or other internal documents
Looking for a tool that can help with more than just SEO? Semrush is one of the go-to solutions sweeping small businesses and digital marketing agencies alike with its one-stop-shop appeal.
Not only does it hold its weight as an SEO tool, it also covers PPC (pay-per-click), social media, and content marketing campaigns, making it a holy-grail option for thousands of users.
As an SEO tool, you can completely revamp and maintain your strategy by identifying industry trends, keyword analysis with Google, audits for on-page search engine optimization, and check-in on the keywords and ranking of your competition.
SemRush Features and Functionalities
- Pinpoint impactful keywords, and analyze their search volume, competition, and trends
- Uncover and handle technical issues on your website before they impact ranking or user experience
- Review and build the backlink profile of your website for maximum trustworthiness and visibility
- Research and compare your competitors’ SEO strategies, rankings, and traffic sources
- Easily keep an eye on progress, tracking your website’s keyword ranking and visibility on Google SERPs
If you’re looking for an SEO tool that packs a punch, Ahrefs could be your new best friend. Originally famed for its backlink authority checker, it is now renowned as one of the industry’s most feature-packed SEO tools.
If the stacked features weren’t enough, its ability to integrate data across multiple search engines has easily pushed it over the line, making it a fan favorite. Users will be blown away after accessing one of the largest live link databases and impressed when they never run out of suggestions from a database featuring more than 3 billion keywords in over 100 countries.
Accessing Ahref does involve a payment plan, but they also offer some free Ahrefs Webmaster Tool, which can have a major impact on smaller businesses that haven’t already been working on stringent SEO strategies.
Ahrefs Features and Functionalities
- Pinpoint impactful keywords, and analyze their search volume, competition, and trends across multiple search engines
- Uncover and handle issues on your website before they impact ranking or user experience
- Source great link building opportunities and review the backlink profile of your website
- Research and compare your competitors’ SEO strategies, rankings, and traffic sources
- Easily keep an eye on progress, tracking your website’s keyword ranking and visibility on SERPs
Unlike the other search engine optimization tools we’ve featured so far, Surfer SEO takes a unique approach to optimization.
Self-boasting as a ‘content intelligence platform’, not only can you take care of the typical keyword research, internal linking, and content recommendations, but their content-centric practice features a content editor allowing you a cloud-based space to create.
Your content will be given a real-time optimization score against your competitors with guidance on keyword density, difficulty, headings, images and more. You can use the tool for rankings worldwide and in multiple languages, making it one of the more flexible resources on the market.
It’s seamless to integrate with other platforms, such as Google Docs and Jasper and intuitive enough to create optimized outlines, automate workflows, and scale content efforts in just a few clicks.
From freelancers to agencies, all sizes of businesses have been swearing by the convenience of getting prime seo results even faster than before.
Surfer SEO Features and Functionalities
- Optimize content against top-performing pages in real time while you write with the content editor
- Delegate SEO strategies to any staff member with the user-friendly interface that removes the guesswork of what search engines and users will find as valuable content
- You can create impactful content plans based on your target audience’s search intent in a few clicks
- Never be surprised again by easily keeping an eye on your ranking along with other top-ranking keywords and competitors
- Analyze your web pages for optimization improvement areas
- Effortlessly create data-backed content strategies that uncover gaps, trending topics and untapped keywords for your sector
- Intuitively research impactful keywords with high search volumes and low competition
- Uncover issues on your website that affect ranking and user experience
- Build a high-quality backlink profile without missing an opportunity
Want to make sure you get noticed in your local area? BrightLocal is a tool that is here to help.
Seamlessly build business citations that back your credibility while assisting with search engine indexing and managing reviews to grow your reputation while creating a deeper sense of community with your target audience. All your positive feedback and responses will be at the forefront; through social endorsement, you’ll generate even more visibility and organic traffic to grow your business.
You also don’t have to worry about missing out on other key functionality available with different SEO tools, you can take care of your typical seo efforts like performance monitoring, keyword research, or technical audits all from the one (easy to use) platform.
BrightLocal Features and Functionalities
- Effortlessly manage local keyword research, citation, and local rank tracking from tools expertly designed for local search optimization
- Craft business citations spanning multiple directories to amplify your local search visibility
- Streamline reputation management from one convenient spot that allows you to read, respond, and manage online reviews
- Gain insights into the performance of your Google My Business listing, including visibility and engagement
- Automate your local SEO performance audits – in minutes you’ll have action items to improve your optimization
- Review and compare your local search presence against others’ ranking, citations, and reviews to know exactly where you stand
- White-label reports make it easy to customize, presenting data from impactful sources, including Google My Business, Google Analytics, and social media platforms
Google Keyword Planner
Are you wondering about tools to optimize an ad campaign? Look no further than Google Keyword Planner, a tried-and-true resource that’s a common name across businesses of all sizes, worldwide.
It hones into keyword research across Google’s own search engine, allowing you to discover the perfect keywords related to your business with their respective volume and performance forecasts.
While you can use the tool for organic keyword optimization, it’s really tailored towards business owners wanting to optimize paid search campaigns, so you’ll notice the listed costs associated with targeting impactful keywords.
An added bonus to Google Keyword Planner being on the market for quite some time, there are ample tips, tricks, and documentation on the wide-web to further maximize this already free SEO tool!
Google Keyword Planner Features and Functionalities
- Delve into keyword research and receive business-specific suggestions for paid and organic search engine optimization
- Understand and expertly plan keyword popularity and reach using Google’s average monthly search volumes
- Maximize your ROI with keyword performance forecasting that covers metrics like clicks, impressions, or historical patterns showcasing changes in user behavior or time of year
- Make sure you have the right keywords by applying helpful filters (location, language, search network, search volume, competition, and more)
- Keep organized by sorting keyword ideas together into themed ad groups
- Drill down into location-based insights by targeting specific regions and geographic locations
- Found your perfect keywords? Export them easily or use them with easy integration with other SEO tools
For our WordPress website owners out there (there are a lot of you!), we hope you have heard of Yoast SEO already, but if you haven’t, we come bearing good news! This free (and upgradeable) plugin is one of the easiest ways to optimize your whole site or just a post or page (and also make private content hidden in only a few clicks, too).
Taking technical SEO to heart, the development team streamlined the plugin as a lightweight add-on that ensures Google automatically finds and indexes your content.
Their tool library ensures you can set a primary keyword (you’ll need another tool for the research) into your WordPress post or page, and using fine-tuned algorithms, will offer color-coded scoring.
We love that Yoast SEO has recognized that SEO isn’t just about keywords. Their scoring also includes your content readability, keyword density, length, tone of voice, headings and meta descriptions for content that is sure to dominate SERPs.
Yoast SEO for WordPress Features and Functionalities
- Never second guess your page or post content again with Yoast’s real-time insights on length, readability, keyword usage, meta tags, internal linking, heading structure and more
- Make technical optimizations a breeze with the ability to generate XML sitemaps, add schema markups, manage redirects and canonical URLs, and more
- Readability tools will act as your second set of eyes, ensuring your audience gets the most out of your content
- Improved site navigation and search engine crawling with the addition of breadcrumbs
- Uncover and handle technical issues on your website before they impact ranking or user experience.
- Easily monitor progress, tracking your website’s keyword ranking and visibility on Google SERPs
- Integrate with Social Media and optimize your content for social sharing
Moz Pro is a wildly popular and multi-faceted SEO tool that perfectly crosses ease of use, valuable metrics, and impactful recommendations to give you a website at peak SEO performance.
Small business owners rave about having local and national search data at their fingertips, and we guarantee your content will be on-point with their keyword tracking, recommendations for on-page optimizations, and custom suggestions on what to create next.
Moz Pro’s own site crawler will have your website whipped into SEO shape, ensuring any technical issues are flagged and offer metrics for Page Authority, Domain Authority, and Spam Score with bonus insights showcasing what users are searching to find you and if they landed on your website from paid ads, search, or social media.
We couldn’t wrap up without mentioning reporting on a thing of nightmares… but the drag-and-drop customizations and automated scheduling give Moz Pro some dream brownie points we know you’ll love.
Moz Pro Features and Functionalities
- Pinpoint impactful keywords, and analyze and track their search volume, competition, and trends across multiple search engines
- Uncover and handle issues on your website before they impact ranking or user experience
- Research and compare your competitors’ SEO strategies, rankings, and traffic sources
- Easily monitor progress, tracking your website’s keyword ranking and visibility on SERPs
- Review and build your website’s backlink profile for maximum trustworthiness and visibility
- Optimize your website by analyzing keyword usage, content quality, meta tags, and other on-page elements with actionable optimization recommendations
- Leave reporting challenges in the past with easy-to-generate customizable reports
Staying visible, relevant, and knowing your market is invaluable with the boom and bustle of today’s online world, making it even more prevalent for small business owners to jump on the SEO bandwagon and get started with one of 2023’s best search engine optimization tools suited to your business goals.
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