What is SEO?
Simply put, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website and its content to appear prominently in search engine results, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. The primary goal is to increase the visibility of your website and attract more visitors interested in the topics you cover, who may also view your products and services.
Key Aspects of SEO
SEO encompasses several key aspects, including:
Keyword Research: The process of identifying relevant keywords that your target audience uses when searching online.
Content Creation: Developing high-quality, keyword-rich content that appeals to your audience and aligns with your SEO strategy.
Link Building: The practice of acquiring backlinks from other websites to enhance your domain and topic authority, which can improve your search engine rankings.
Technical SEO: Optimizing the backend and server-side aspects of your website to make it more accessible to search engines. This includes improving website speed, eliminating redirects, and enhancing user-friendliness.
On-Page SEO: Tailoring the visible content on your web pages to include target keywords and related terms for better search engine rankings.
Off-Page SEO: Efforts to secure backlinks from other websites, which boost your website’s authority and visibility for competitive keywords.
How SEO Tools Work and Their Benefits
SEO tools play a crucial role in simplifying and streamlining the SEO process. These tools work by:
Providing Data Insights: Offering information like monthly search volume (MSV) and keyword difficulty (KD) for individual keywords, helping you prioritize your efforts.
Crawling Website Backend: Identifying and flagging technical issues that could hinder your website’s chances of ranking well.
Rank Tracking: Monitoring the keywords your site ranks for and tracking their positions on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Competitor Analysis: Analyzing the content that ranks for specific keywords, including domain authority, backlink profile, and more.
On-Page Optimization Suggestions: Recommending improvements such as related terms to include, content length, and relevant topics.
Content Auditing: Evaluating and grading content as you create it.
Common SEO Tools for 2023
There are numerous SEO tools available in 2023, catering to various needs and proficiency levels, some of them include:
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are fundamental tools for both beginners and advanced users. They are free and offer valuable insights into your website’s performance, helping you understand how Google perceives your site.
Google Analytics (GA): GA provides comprehensive data about your website’s traffic, user behavior, and the effectiveness of your content. It helps you track the performance of your SEO efforts, attribute conversions to specific content, and audit your website’s technical SEO. This data is crucial for making informed decisions and optimizing your website for better search engine rankings.
Google Search Console (GSC): GSC is a vital tool for monitoring and managing your website’s presence on Google. It focuses on how Google views your website and provides information about indexing, search queries, and issues that may affect your visibility in search results. By using GSC, you can address problems that hinder your website’s performance in Google search.
Clearscope is an excellent choice for users of all levels and is particularly valuable for content optimization. It starts at $170 per month and is best for aligning your content with target keywords to improve your chances of ranking well in search results. Clearscope evaluates various factors like word count, keyword density, related long-tail keywords, and readability. What sets it apart is the plugin it offers for Google Docs and WordPress, streamlining the optimization process.
Semrush is a versatile SEO powerhouse suitable for intermediate to advanced users. Starting at $119.95 per month, it provides a comprehensive suite of SEO features. It simplifies off-page SEO with insights into backlink analysis, helps you discover valuable link-building opportunities, and identifies and fixes broken links. Additionally, Semrush excels in keyword research, making it easier to create targeted content. It tracks your website’s performance on search engine results pages and offers detailed reports to monitor your progress. Moreover, it simplifies the analysis of various SEO metrics and provides a comprehensive solution for reporting on your SEO efforts.
Ahrefs is geared toward advanced users and is known for its ability to provide in-depth data analysis. It offers some free tools and paid plans starting at $99 per month. Ahrefs is a go-to tool for backlink analysis, helping you assess the quality and quantity of your backlinks. It goes beyond traditional keyword research, assisting you in discovering keyword ideas for various search engines, including Amazon, YouTube, and Bing. Additionally, Ahrefs has a website checker that helps diagnose technical SEO issues, such as page speed, missing meta descriptions, and problems with your XML sitemap.
Moz is an excellent choice for beginners and those new to SEO. It offers a free plan with limited features and Moz Pro plans starting at $99 per month. Moz simplifies SEO with user-friendly features and metrics designed to make complex data more digestible for those who may not be SEO experts. Its “Priority” score streamlines data analysis, helping you focus on what matters most. Moz also assists in prioritizing your keyword strategy and offers suggestions for improving your content’s SEO performance as you create it.
Each of these tools has its unique strengths, catering to a wide range of SEO needs, proficiency levels, and budget constraints. Depending on your specific requirements, you can choose the one that aligns best with your goals and expertise.
Top Competing SEO Tools for 2023
NeuronWriter and Surfer SEO stand out in the realm of SEO tools because they use advanced AI and are easy to use. NeuronWriter can generate human-like content, and Surfer SEO is great for keyword research, content optimization, and competitive analysis. They offer various pricing options to suit different users and make SEO tasks easier while providing valuable insights.
Founded by Michael Suski in 2017, Surfer SEO is a robust tool designed to help you outperform your competitors through the power of artificial intelligence. Backed by a team of 30 developers and tech experts, it offers a suite of features including a keyword research tool, SERP analyzer, content planner, and more.
Keyword Research Tool (Keyword Surfer): Surfer SEO’s keyword research tool is a powerful feature that supports 70 different languages. It allows you to choose your preferred location to check search volume for your main keyword and discover related keywords. This is a vital component of any effective keyword research strategy.
SERP Analyzer: This tool is a game-changer for on-page SEO. With the SERP analyzer, you can enter a keyword, select a location and language, and run the analysis. The tool scans over 50 top-ranking pages for your keyword, providing insights on word count, content score, backlink score, and more. You can even create an outline for the keyword you want to write about. It’s a one-stop-shop for understanding what it takes to rank in the top 10 search results.
Audit Tool: The audit tool is designed to improve your rankings on Google SERPs. Just enter your URL and keyword, and the tool provides insights on your page’s performance compared to your competitors. It includes an assessment of content quality and backlinks. You’ll see how your content score compares to the top 10 ranking pages and identify backlinks from websites that link to your competitors but not to your website.
Content Planner: For highly competitive terms, building topic clusters is crucial. The content planner simplifies this process. Enter your main topic, and the tool generates clusters for you to write about, publish, and interlink. It’s a valuable feature for content strategists looking to tackle challenging keywords.
Content Editor: The content editor is your pre-writing companion and on-page SEO optimizer. Enter a keyword, and the tool analyzes the best-ranking pages, providing a structure for you to follow. This structure includes recommendations for the number of images, word count, paragraphs, headings, and even suggestions for terms that can boost your rankings.
Content Writing: Surfer SEO’s content editor is more than just a planner; it’s a full-fledged writing tool. You can write your content in the dedicated space, or you can connect it with Google Docs. It also integrates with Jasper AI, enabling you to use artificial intelligence for text generation.
Collaboration: Collaboration is made easy with the option to invite up to 10 team members to work on a project.
Integration: Surfer SEO can integrate with popular tools like Jasper AI, WordPress, and Google Docs, making it a seamless addition to your existing workflow.
Languages: Surfer SEO supports NLP analysis in four languages (English, Danish, Polish, and Dutch), and its keyword tool is multilingual, supporting 70 languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, and many more.
Customer Support: Surfer SEO offers a wealth of resources for customer support. It includes free certification courses, numerous video tutorials, articles, and an active Facebook community with over 10,000 members. You can also reach their support team via email, with a commitment to responding within 24 hours.
Surfer SEO offers four pricing plans to cater to various user needs:
Basic Plan: Priced at $59 per month, the basic plan includes ten uses of the content editor per month, 20 audits per month, and free use of the NLP functionality for the first month. It also provides access to the content planner and SERP analyzer.
Pro Plan: Priced at $119 per month, the pro plan includes the NLP functionality, content planner, and SERP analyzer. It offers 30 uses of the content planner and 60 audits per month. Additionally, you can invite three team members to collaborate on your projects.
Business Plan: Priced at $239 per month, the business plan comes with advanced features such as white-labeling, API access for integration with other SEO tools, and an extensive usage allowance. It includes 140 audits per month, the ability to invite up to 10 team members, and 70 uses of the content editor per month.
Custom Plan: For businesses with specific requirements, Surfer SEO offers a custom plan. You can contact their sales team to tailor a plan according to your needs.
Founded in 2019 by Contadu, and co-founded by their CEO Pawel Sokolowski, NeuronWriter is an AI content writing tool that specializes in producing semantic, keyword-rich, and SEO-optimized content. It supports Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) for human-like text generation.
Competitor Analysis/SERP Analysis: NeuronWriter’s competitor analysis feature provides insights into keyword difficulty, on-page, and off-page data for the top 100 competitors. The tool pulls data from Moz and offers a comprehensive view of your competitors’ on-page and off-page SEO. It even provides a content optimization checklist for your page
Competitor Breakdown: The competitor breakdown tab visualizes data points for SERP competitors on a graph, offering a unique way to assess your competitors. It also allows you to access off-page data on a page and domain level to understand how backlink profiles influence rankings.
Content Planning and Drafting: After completing competitor analysis, you can choose the competitors you want NeuronWriter’s AI content optimizer to analyze. This leads to content editing with guidelines for H1 and H2 tags, paragraph keyword recommendations, NLP keyword suggestions, questions you should answer, and a list of competitors’ H1s and H2s.
AI Writer (AI Content Generator): NeuronWriter offers the convenience of generating content using artificial intelligence. It provides a space for content creation, and it allows connection with Google Docs. The integration with Jasper AI ensures that AI-generated text is of high quality.
Customer Support: NeuronWriter offers different levels of customer support based on your selected pricing plan.
NeuronWriter offers three pricing plans to accommodate different user needs:
Bronze Plan: Priced at $19 per month, the bronze plan includes 2 projects, 25 content analyses, 15,000 AI credits, and email support.
Silver Plan: Priced at $37 per month, the silver plan includes 5 projects, 50 content analyses, 30,000 AI credits, email and chat support, and adds the option of one-hour-long onboarding.
Gold Plan: Priced at $57 per month, the gold plan provides 10 projects, 75 content analyses, 45,000 AI credits, content sharing, email and chat support, and one hour of onboarding.
Note that AI credits determine word generation limits for NeuronWriter, with one AI credit typically corresponding to between 1 and 5 words, depending on output quality. For example, the Silver Plan allows generating between 30,000 and 150,000 words with AI per month.