As an SEO specialist, you likely have your favorite tools for SEO.
But now, let’s take a look at the apps that aren’t “SEO tools” but are helpful for growing search traffic.
Every person who deals with SEO—whether professionally or only for the needs of their own website—has their own, proven set of tools.
We all know the research tools with their own indices (Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, Semrush), the crawlers (ScreamingFrog, WebsiteAuditor, Clusteric), the dozens of keyword generators, the monitors of positions and expired domains, etc.
Sometimes a tool appears on the market that creates a completely new category and after a while also becomes a part of the basic SEO toolset—e.g. Surfer.
Public debates about additional tools that facilitate SEO work are much less common. Maybe the specialists aren't too keen on sharing them? ;)
While these aren’t SEO tools, they are great for SEO specialists.
Wayback Machine (Web Archive)
The takeover of an expired domain with a substantial base of backlinks is a real treat. Ahrefs or Majestic will allow you to explore the link profile, but they won't show the content that was on the pages of this domain. Was it something valuable, is it possible and does it make sense to recreate the structure of subpages?
Fortunately, there is Wayback Machine - a real archive of the Internet. It stores copies of thousands of websites in its gigantic resources—and from many years.
Here you can see how long the domain was displaying the maintenance page, what website was there before, what was going on even earlier than that. A real mine of information.
Alternatives: taking into account the size of the archive—none
Link building requires generating large amounts of content. It usually involves writing many texts on the same—or very similar—topic as part of one project. Making sure that the articles are unique in order to avoid punishment for duplicate content is a priority for every SEO specialist.
You can make your life easier with Copyscape. With this tool, you can search the Internet for copies of a given text.
In the free version you need to enter the URL of the text while the paid one allows you to paste the text in—that is, check it before publishing.
Alternatives: duplichecker.com, plagiarisma.net
When optimizing the website for the speed of loading (i.e. one of the ranking factors), most specialists rely on the results and suggestions from Google Page Speed Insights. Of course, the information displayed there is crucial because it shows how Google sees and assesses the speed of the page. But there is another tool for analyzing the various features of the page loading process. Better than Insights—especially since its transition to the Lightspeed algorithm. We are talking about WebPageTest.
This tool provides many testing options. Basic—like the choice of the location of the testing server (several dozen places around the world) or browser—as well as advanced ones.
The measurement takes some time—more than in the case of Insights—but the amount of information included in the resulting report makes up for it. One of the report's components is—of course—optimization recommendations.
Alternatives: gtmetrix.com, tools.pingdom.com
Analytics is the basis of all optimization. While not technically one of the top SEO tools, GA Checker is very useful for SEO. It scans the entire website (up to 10,000 URLs), checking if all pages have the Google Analytics tracking code (it also checks for GTM, AdWords, and a few others). The displayed result, which contains not only the status but also the tracking code type, can be exported to CSV for use in a spreadsheet or another tool.
Alternatives: The presence of a specific tracking code can be verified using e.g. Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
One of the reasons why WordPress is the number 1 CMS in the world is that it is SEO-friendly. No wonder, it provides a lot of options and is very easy to use.
Working with websites based on WordPress is even easier with ManageWP. It is a convenient panel for administering many websites at the same time. It facilitates mass updates of the platform, themes, and plug-ins, it enables backups, cloning, monitoring of security and performance, and various types of reporting.
Alternatives: MainWP, InfiniteWP.
The main benefit offered by Brand24 is the monitoring of mentions about the brand. However, one of the secondary purposes for which this tool is used is to search for potential sales opportunities based on the appearance of specific keywords. In the same way, you can use Brand24 to find new locations for link building.
Alternatives: Mention, BrandWatch
A prolonged failure or a serious defect of the positioned website will not have a positive effect on its results. And in the case of the back-end, a blog that's broken is worth nothing.
Failures can't be completely avoided, but their consequences can be minimized by reacting instantly when they occur. Availability monitoring, such as Super Monitoring, ensures that you will be informed about a failure or malfunction of the website immediately.
Alternatives: Pingdom, Site24x7
LastPass definitely isn’t one of the popular SEO tools, but it is essential for SEO. When posting, adding comments, and configuring profiles on forums, you must create and store hundreds of login details—including passwords. An Excel spreadsheet is not a good solution—and the more items you add, the worse it is to use. Password managers come to the rescue—for example, LastPass.
Not only will it remember your login details at the time of registration and will paste them in during your next login, but it will generate unique and secure passwords. That leaves you with only one password to remember—the one used to log in to the password manager itself.
Alternatives: 1Password, Dashlane
IFTTT is an abbreviation for "IF This Then That". It is a great tool for automating work with web applications (and more) that provide API. Fortunately, most modern applications do.
For example, you can use IFTTT to automatically post on Medium after publishing a post on your blog. Or receive notifications about updates of selected subjects on Wikipedia (source of valuable links). Another example is automatic security backups of entire blogs saved to the selected cloud.
Alternatives: Zapier, Automate.io
One of the ways to manage many projects are Kanban boards. This technique is used by, among others, Trello—a web application that offers most of its features completely free of charge. Not only does it allow you to manage many topics, it also enables group work on projects—with clients, partners or subcontractors.
Alternatives: Asana, Airtable
A dashboard is a software that gathers data from many sources and presents it in the form of one straightforward report. Applications such as Klipfolio offer a wide range of integration and customization. Data can be analyzed, aggregated, visualized, etc.
Alternatives: Google Data Studio, Geckoboard
The SEO market is quite specific. The vast majority of specialists are freelancers. With a simple structure of the offer (few products), the use of online accounting—e.g. Freshbooks—can be much more profitable (and convenient) than hiring an accountant.
A useful feature of online accounting systems is the API with which you can integrate invoicing with your own application—or with the IFTTT mentioned above.
Alternatives: Wave, ZipBooks
Staying on the topic of freelancing, a good CRM—for example, Pipedrive—can significantly simplify your life and save you a lot of time that can be spent on SEO. Prospects, clients, projects, publishers, authors. Full history, statuses, easy browsing. And, of course, available anywhere and on various devices.
Alternatives: Close.com, Hubspot CRM
Of course, there are many more tools useful for SEO. We've only shown thirteen that we know and are convinced that they can make life easier for many people working in this industry.
About the author
Konrad Caban has been helping entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals for 20+ years, advising them on online activities and providing web solutions as the head of SITEIMPULSE - a small digital agency located in Warsaw, Poland.