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SEO Tools: Essential SEO Tools for Small Businesses

Updated: May 9

Essential SEO Tools for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner, or freelancer, who is looking to increase your website’s visibility, drive more traffic, and generate leads?

If so, one of the most important tools for your success is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can appear complicated, at first glance, but there are a lot of intuitive tools that are available to assist small businesses. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of those tools and highlight what can be considered as "the essentials" that every small business owner should know about!

1. Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is one of the most important components in any successful SEO strategy. It provides insights into the search terms and phrases that people use to search for a particular topic, service, or product. Allowing you to optimize your content to target the right audience. Understanding keyword trends and user intent can also help you adjust your content strategy as needed.

Here are the most popular keyword research tools that will provide you with the latest keyword search volumes and trends:

All four tools listed above will require an account to access, so this can be a major barrier for many small businesses. Fortunately, there are cheaper solutions. For example, Google's Keyword Planner can be accessed with an account, without any campaigns active. Then we have Google Trends.

Google trends does not provide the ability to implement keyword tracking, and keyword research, but it can provide insight into historical trends that can be incredibly useful. With the option of filtering by date, country, category, and type of search.

Google Trends Example
Google Trends Example

Comparing different search terms it's easy to identify when the search demand for specific queries peak and if the demand is increasing or decreasing over the set time period.

  • How to Use Keyword Research Tools

To use Google Keyword Planner, users can enter a word or phrase related to their business and the tool will generate a list of related keywords along with their estimated search volumes and competition levels. Users can then analyze this data to determine which keywords are most relevant to their business and which ones they should target in their content.

SEMrush and Ahrefs work similarly, allowing users to input their chosen keywords or phrases to analyze and track their performance over time. In addition to providing estimated search volumes and competition levels, these tools also offer more in-depth analysis of keyword difficulty, providing users with a score that indicates how hard it will be to rank for a given keyword or phrase. This information can help small business owners choose the most relevant and profitable keywords to target in their content, and adjust their strategy accordingly. Additionally, SEMrush and Ahrefs offer insights into how competitors are performing in search engine rankings, which can help businesses to identify new opportunities for growth and optimization.

2. Technical SEO Tools

Technical SEO is a form of optimization that focuses on the technical aspects of a website to ensure it performs optimally in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves optimizing elements such as site structure, code quality, page speed, and more to improve visibility in SERPs. Technical SEO plays an important role in ensuring the overall health and performance of any website. With proper technical optimization, websites can increase their organic traffic by appearing higher up in SERPs and providing users with a better experience when they visit the site. Additionally, technical SEO works towards improving mobile optimization so each website can be easily accessed from any device.

You can view all of the essential technical SEO tools listed below:

Google Search Console, Bing Webmasters Tools, and Screaming Frog are three of the top technical SEO tools available - and free to use. This is one of the most important areas to spend time when auditing your website and thinking about improving SEO. Setup and audit both Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools to identify if there are any major issues. Then move onto Screaming Frog to be pro-active and look for smaller issues that can be prioritized.

Google Search Console Dashboard
Google Search Console Dashboard

If you want to dig deeper the PageSpeed Insights Tool and Schema Markup Testing Tool provide two options to improve the technical side of a website.

Not sure where to start? Here are two tips to get you going...

  1. Setup Search Console and view the "Indexing" section on the left-hand side. Audit each reason listed under "Why pages aren’t indexed".

  2. Download Screaming Frog and then review their Beginner Tutorials.

  3. Enter your domain into the PageSpeed Insights tool and check if there are any quick wins that can be implemented.

3. Link Building Tools

Link building is one of the most important aspects of off-page SEO, as it helps to increase a website's visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Link building involves creating external links from other websites that direct users back to your own website. By obtaining more high-quality links from other authoritative websites, businesses can improve their off-page SEO performance and attract more organic traffic. Link building also helps build trust with search engines and increases the likelihood of ranking higher in SERP results.

Here are the three most popular tools that are used to audit and gather backlink data:

SEMrush Backlink Analytics
SEMrush Backlink Analytics
  • How to Use Link Building Tools

Using link building tools can help businesses to improve their off-page SEO performance. Each of these powerful tools provide users with features that allow them to monitor backlinks, analyze competitor strategies, track progress in SERPs and identify opportunities for improvement. By leveraging the features of these top link building tools, small businesses can ensure they are making the most out of their online presence by optimizing their off-page SEO efforts. In order to use each tool effectively, it is important to understand how each one works and what specific features it offers.

For example, Ahrefs provides users with a backlink analysis feature which allows them to monitor inbound links and identify link building opportunities. Moz’s Link Explorer tool helps businesses track their SEO performance by providing data about how well a website is performing in SERPs. Finally, SEMrush offers a suite of tools that can be used to identify high-quality backlinks and analyze competitor strategies. By understanding these features and leveraging the advantages each tool has to offer, businesses can ensure they are making the most out of their online presence.

4. Analytics and Reporting Tools

Analytics and reporting are essential for tracking and improving SEO performance. By utilizing these tools, businesses can monitor their website’s visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) and gain insights into which keywords or topics are driving the most traffic to their site. Additionally, analytics and reporting provide data on how visitors interact with a website, such as bounce rate, time spent on each page, and click-through rates. This information is invaluable for understanding what content resonates with users so that businesses can optimize their SEO efforts accordingly. Furthermore, analytics and reporting allow businesses to track progress over time by providing a historical overview of keyword rankings, backlinks acquisition rate and other metrics related to SEO performance. All of this data is critical for ensuring that any changes made have a positive impact on the overall success of an online presence.

The two vital analytics and reporting tools are:

Users can gain a thorough understanding of their website's performance by using Google Analytics, which provides information on various aspects such as traffic sources, user behavior, and conversion rates. Search Console, on the other hand, provides data on search search queries that resulted in a click and/or impression within the search results.

Search Console - Performance on Search Results
Search Console - Performance on Search Results


Search engine optimization is a huge topic, and there's a lot of information to digest. However, with the right set of tools it can be broken down into manageable chunks and hopefully create an upward trajectory to drive more traffic to your website. Whether you are new to SEO or have been working in the profession for many years, these essential tools will help you stay on top of your game and bring success to your website.

If you need help getting started, contact CodeMasters Agency - we specialize in SEO services and can craft strategies specific to your business needs. No matter what challenges lie ahead, CodeMasters can provide insights into optimizing content, monitoring rankings and linking strategies that make all the difference when reaching out to potential customers and getting on the map (ranking higher on search engines). Contact us to find out how we can help boost your SEO efforts.


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