How To Choose an SEO Tool?

(This guest post was written by Daniel Martin, a content marketing specialist from Bangalore, India.)

When I first created my own business website, I thought the only things that mattered were themes, appearances, interface, branding, and getting traffic to that site. Boy, I was so wrong, I wish I could turn back time so that I could slap myself in the face.

True, I had the best theme; I had a clean, seamless, and easy to use interface; Basically, I had the best-looking website that any amateur website builders will die for. But that’s about it. I constantly post content but my website didn’t really go beyond 200 views a day.

Then I asked myself what did I miss? Why are things not going the way I wanted it to be? That’s when I went back to the drawing board and discovered one crucial element was missing from my shed: an SEO tool.

Take note that today’s SEO tool market is overly crowded with plenty of options out there and each product has its own gimmick to attract potential customers. And sometimes, choosing the wrong tool will put you and your website in jeopardy.

In this article, I am going to show you the ways how to choose the right SEO tool for you.

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Why is an SEO Tool Important?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the method of acquiring targeted traffic to your website through a search engine’s organic rankings. SEO involves creating valuable, high-quality, and highly-informational content, optimizing based on specific and well-researched keywords, and generating multiple backlinks.

However, just doing those tasks will not bring you on the first page of Google: that’s where an SEO tool comes in.

An SEO tool will give your business or any professional site an edge over other competitors by automating plenty of tasks that used to be manually done when aiming to increase website traffic.

In today’s increasingly competitive world, the loss of time and money will be difficult to recover.

Using an SEO tool will save you from having to go through all these troubles.

How Should I choose an SEO tool?
8 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself First

1. Budget: How Am I Willing to Spend?

1. Budget: How Am I Willing to Spend?

One of the first questions you have to ask yourself when getting an SEO Tool is how much are you willing to invest per month? There are plenty of tools out there in the open. For example, you can just go to Google and type in “SEO Tools” in the search box and you’ll be met with dozens of different search results. Of course, there would be a tendency to get excited only to be let down once you click on one and see that its price is worth your one month’s salary.

Now, the question: Is that tool worth it? Are you willing to pay for a monthly subscription or are you able to afford a full annual plan straight up?

There are lots and lots of SEO Tools in the market which range from free to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. Before choosing anything, you need to be clear to yourself how much money will you be able to allocate for an SEO tool.

2. Use proper metrics: Does it follow the standard SEO Metrics?

It is easy to get drowned in a flood of technical terms nowadays. It is more true when you wrongly chose an SEO Tool that doesn’t follow the common or standard SEO Metrics. Here are a few of the basic SEO metrics that you should take note of:

  1. Organic Traffic
  2. Domain Authority
  3. Bounce Rate
  4. Conversion Rate
  5. Keywords
  6. Backlinks

While there’s really standard when it comes to SEO Metrics, some companies became staples in the field that the terms they coin became widely used and widely copied by other competitors it’s as if everybody agreed that it’s the right term to use.

Take for example, Domain Authority or DA is coined by Moz to gauge the level of “authority” or trustworthiness a website weld. Now, the metric is being used by other SEO Tools as well.

3. Resources: Do you have enough?

While there are great free tools for SEO all over the web, you should keep in mind that you will need to analyze the data those free tools provide. This leads us to the next questions: Do you have the time, the capability, and the resources to do this?

3. Resources: Do you have enough?

If the answer is no, then you may want to consider choosing an SEO Tool. These kinds of tools do not only harvest data but also analyze, organize, and digest them for you so all you need is to take a look at them and form your insight quickly and conveniently. Prime examples of these are:

  1. Google Search Console
  2. Ahrefs
  3. Moz

4.Purpose: Specific vs. One Tool-Fix All

One of the things that I found out while I was looking for tools that I will use personally is that there are plenty of awesome SEO tools out there. And those tools are divided into two categories: Those that really specialize in one specific area and are really spectacular when performing that role.

On the other hand, there are also tools that can keep things simple on your end by doing multiple things and having a number of options at your disposal. These are one-stop shops that will keep things simple for your end and are really great for those who don’t know much about SEO as they usually present your data, results, and insights in one place when you log in.

For this part, you need to have a solid idea of how and when you want to use your tool: Do you want something for specific purposes like tracking backlinks? Or do you want to hunt for keywords for your new content? Or do you want to visualize search questions on your selected keyword?

Then you might want to check these tools for just exactly that:

  1. Linkody for tracking backlinks
  2. Keywordtool for hunting keywords
  3. Answerthepublic for search question visualization
4.Purpose: Specific vs. One Tool-Fix All

On the other hand, you might want to have a general, multi-purpose tool that you can use for plenty of tasks or even across different platforms? Here’s the thing: some tools even include all the aforementioned tasks in the preceding paragraph in their package!

As plenty as they are, the most popular tools in the general category are:

  1. SEMrush
  2. Ubersuggest
  3. Ahrefs
4.Purpose: Specific vs. One Tool-Fix All

The only thing you want to keep in mind is for what purpose do you want to have a tool for? By answering this question, you’ll be farther than you were before.

5. Size and Extent: Does it suit the size of your business and website?

5. Size and Extent: Does it suit the size of your business and website?

Fact: You can’t wear shoes two sizes smaller than your own feet.

Funny? Not really. True? Absolutely!

For me, this is one of the most important things to consider when choosing your own tool. You need to size up your business and website so you will have a good idea of how much you will actually spend and invest in the tool.

Here are important questions you need to ask yourself: Will you have a large team of users that require multiple logins and accounts or Will you only have one simple website with only one user, one login set up? You also need to consider that a huge e-commerce site with thousands of pages will have different sets of SEO requirements compared to a small business with only a hundred pages.

For example, Moz is a very good tool that can be used by a small business without overpaying for features that won’t be used as frequently.

5. Size and Extent: Does it suit the size of your business and website?

In a nutshell, you need to avoid paying for features that you won’t get much value from.

6. Current Skill Set: Do you know enough?

Here’s the thing: Your drive and sheer grit will not always get you the best results and it all comes down to one thing–Will you actually be able to implement the changes from the data and insights that your SEO tool provides?

And another thing: Will you be able to avail of the product’s customer support 24/7 all year long?

If the answer is no, then no matter what SEO tool you will avail, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to rise up to the rankings. One of the mistakes I made when I started my online business was that I did not bother to check the customer support program. Long story short, I wasted plenty of hours scrounging looking for answers which the customer support answered in seconds.

Now don’t let this happen to you! There are SEO tools out there that can assist you in implementing the recommendations that you receive from them. Furthermore, you don’t only want to rely on the tools alone but also on the support team as well which should readily assist you whenever you ask for it.

5. Size and Extent: Does it suit the size of your business and website?

For example, if you are looking into link building and expand the reach of your website, you will naturally look for a link building tool. Link building is a long and arduous process that requires both intrapersonal skills and technical skills. According to your current skill set: you might want something easy to navigate and manipulate. Those that can easily fit within this category are:

  1. Mailshake
  2. Yesware

But if you are more confident with your skills, then choosing Pitchbox should be no problem for you. What’s more? It also features pop-up chat support if you ever do get lost in its labyrinthian complexity.

5. Size and Extent: Does it suit the size of your business and website?

If not, there are also plenty of agencies and companies which can do tasks which you can’t normally and effectively do. Companies like offer outreach and link building services on behalf of their clients.

If you choose to go this path, then it might be more efficient in the long run than attempting to do something that you aren’t confident enough to do.

7. Features: What do I want?

7. Features: What do I want?

Before even beginning your hunt, you should already have an idea of what features you really want or need.

  1. Do you want instructions on how to do things the right way?
  2. Do you want keyword suggestions, competitor insights, or how another website fares?
  3. Do you want to have an idea of how your new keyword will rank?
  4. Do you want to avail Whitelabel services?

These are important questions you need to ask before even getting an SEO tool. If you do otherwise, it will be really easy to get stuck in a quagmire of hundreds of almost identical SEO tools all over the web.

8. Integration: Will your tools synergize with each other?

Nowadays, automation and integrations are quickly becoming more relevant even as I write this article. As the number of apps and tools increase on a daily basis, so does the list of tools and marketing apps you use on a day to day basis.

This is where integration comes in: you need to be able to work quickly and efficiently without much stutters in between.

7. Features: What do I want?

That’s why you need integration so you can quickly transfer SEO actions straight from your project management tool or integrating your Google Analytics data directly to your SEO platform.

Of course, speaking of Google, there’s no problem when it comes to integration when you use their SEO platforms. In fact, it is so seamless and efficient that it is highly recommended for most websites to use them. Why is this? You need to work well with Google because, as you might have guessed, it is the most used search engine all over the globe!

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More Considerations when Working with SEO Tools

Getting the correct platform to help you valuable insights and stay above the rest of the market, ahead of your competitors, and on top of the algorithm is the prime objective. That’s why we also need to take into consideration other aspects of the business as well.

You also need to consider other figures as well such as the following:

  1. Pricing Strategy. Business versions that have a large coverage internationally in terms of scope are way more expensive than localized tools which only cover a specific region.
  1. Training & Materials. We also want to consider the learning curve when using a new SEO tool. For example, we’d want to consider how much time it takes to adapt to the new interface and features as we do not want to waste time and money when we can use something more simple with almost similar functions and features.

We’d also want to know if the SEO firm that markets the Tool includes training, video tutorials, online support, etc.

  1. Additional features. Who doesn’t want anything extra? Built-in features like a Task Manager or an automatic reporting system can save time and money when talking about labor costs.
  2. Search Engines. We also want to take into consideration the specific search engines we’d like to target.
  3. Additional Expenses. One detail that is too important not to notice is additional expenses for utility and extra services.

You never know, you might be needing that SEO Proxy in the future only to find out that you don’t have the resources for it. So it’s better to plan ahead to have no regrets.

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