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SEO, or search engine optimization, is often, mistakenly, seen as a dark art, that only the chosen few can learn. The truth is there are now more tools than ever before to bring SEO ninja knowledge to you and me. So much of content marketing is now about finding an audience using search engines, and so it will pay back a thousand times, in reach, views, and engagement, if you use one or more of these five great applications.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

The best SEO tools can be free, as we see from CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. You might think headlines are just window dressing, but they're far from that. If you have any hope of people reading your content and being inspired into engaging further with your product, you need to have a killer headline that grabs them right away.

Not only does a great headline stimulate initial interest, it also means that your content can be futureproofed, through always being in the upper reaches of search engine results. This isn't a given, but it's easier to achieve with the headline on-point, because your article is more likely to be popular if people are intrigued into clicking on it.

If you sign up for a newsletter for The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer and go through a few hoops, is completely free, and is one of the best SEO tools money can't buy. This is because it tells you not only how effective your headline is, but where it can be tweaked to be better. As you make changes, you can track the results of previous iterations of the headline, meaning it's easy to go back if you feel you don't like changes.

What's really useful, though, is that the percentage score your headline gets is split up into categories, showing how a powerful word, or a bit of personalisation, can boost your chances of people clicking on your article.

A great headline stimulates interest, which helps your site rank higher in search engine results.

A great headline stimulates interest, which helps your site rank higher in search engine results.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a fantastically useful marketing tool that lets you find out what trends are scoring well online, through a variety of methods. You can either type a subject or a website domain into the search bar, and what you get back is a list of the top stories both on overall popularity, and on social engagement.

If you go to the 'Influencers' tab, you can type in a subject or a company name, and you'll then get a list of the people, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms, who have the largest following, the most "profile authority", or who reply most often. This gives your business a great chance to partner with someone who will work hard for you. Potentially this, through mentions of your company on social platforms, will dramatically improve your search engine results, through increased brand awareness and popularity seeping through to increased coverage.

Keywordtool.io

Use SEO tools to target your audience
Keywordtool.io is for people who don't want to go through the Google Ads hoop just to use their keyword tool. This is a perfectly decent substitute with the same basic functions, allowing you to find the most-searched keyword chains for words or phrases you enter in the search function. You can restrict results by search engine, or by region, too.

Although that is all most common-or-garden bloggers and webmasters will ever need, you may thirst after more advanced metrics, and if you do, you'll need to shell out for a premium version. Your mileage may vary on this; some people will find that it is unnecessary, while others will want the greater control and certainty that comes from having the exact numbers who searched on a keyword or phrase. Whatever your situation, this is a great application that is worth a try.

Google Keyword Planner

You probably want to go for the OG, though. Keywordtool is brilliant at what it does, but Google Keyword Planner is where SEO keywords were first found and plotted, back in the early, innocent days of the internet. The keyword planner has evolved along with the rest of the web, and is now a lot more sophisticated than it used to be, but still looks pretty simple, if you can get through the pages of Google Ads sign-up screens.

What hasn't changed is that it is keyword research from the heart of the matter, the people who set the algorithms that you're trying to match up to in the first place. This makes it pretty damned useful for most scenarios, and means that you're likely to be getting pinpoint advice from one of the best SEO tools for website creators.

While it would be naive to imagine that Google would give away all its secrets on an application anyone can access, you can be sure that what advice this throws out will allow you to make informed decisions on what words or phrases to include in your content for the best possible search results.

Beware — overstuffing your article with keywords that don't fit into your article context and Google might delist your webpage.

SEMRush

This longstanding favourite of the SEO community promises to be an all-round toolkit for digital marketers. Its claims are backed up by the enormous userbase it has built up over years, boosted in no small way by its knowledge base, which has ten years of tips and tricks on how a website can grow its reach and beat the competition. Added to the Academy, which offers certification on digital marketing practices, SEMRush has expertise it would be foolish not to use.

The meat of SEMRush, though, is a full site SEO audit, which tells you how your painstakingly built project performs on search engines, how semantics can be improved to get better ranking results, and how you can use backlinks to your advantage, opening up areas of your site to new audiences.

SEMRush does require a subscription to get the most out of it, but if you're a digital marketing specialist and you want to get ahead and build an SEO strategy based on carefully assembled certainties rather than assumptions and ideas, it's a fine compliment to all the other applications you're already using as part of your content marketing strategy. It will make you more productive, more confident of great results for your hard work, and a better content marketer, as it’s one of the best SEO tools for small businesses, or for businesses of any size, for that matter.

SEO tools open your site to new audiences

SEO tools open your site to new audiences.

While we believe that Voog is the best website builder for SEO optimization, we want you to try it for free to find out for yourselves why we think that. 

You'll see that everything is made straightforward for you, whether you're a site-building authority, or a newcomer. This, along with our clean, easy-to-tweak designs, means you can focus on putting great content online for your audience to enjoy.

Try Voog for free!
About the author

Stuart Garlick

Stuart Garlick is a journalist and writer based in Tallinn, Estonia. He has contributed to Agence France Presse, Deep Baltic, The Baltic Times, and The Baltic Guide, among other publications. He runs Charm Offensive, an English content agency.
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