are seo tools worth it
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Are SEO Tools Worth It? (The Best Free + Paid Tools)

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Last updated on November 7th, 2022 at 05:49 pm

For anyone with a blog or website, learning and understanding SEO (search engine optimization) is pivotal to the success of your online business. SEO will help you to become more visible and, in turn, make more revenue. 

When working on your SEO, you may be wondering ‘are SEO tools worth it?’ and whether you should invest your time and money into using SEO tools to help drive more traffic to your website. 

Here, I’m going to break down the pros and cons of using SEO tools, and what SEO tools are the best for improving your search engine optimization. 

What Are SEO Tools?

SEO tools provide insights and data into how well your website is optimized for search engines, as well as generating keyword data for your research. 

There are different tools for varying aspects of SEO. For example, Ahrefs provides keyword research capabilities, rank tracker, backline analysis, site explorer for competitor research, and more. 

Some tools may only focus on keyword research, while others may help you to optimize your content for SEO. There are also plugins you can use for websites using WordPress – these can help you to optimize your whole website. 

The Benefits of Using SEO Tools

SEO offers some awesome benefits, especially due to the complexities of learning SEO. Google (the main search engine) uses algorithms which continually update, meaning you can easily lose rankings. Without using tools, you may struggle to determine the best processes for optimizing your website. 

Here are some additional benefits of using SEO tools:

  • Improve your search rankings through keyword research
  • Determine what needs to be improved for SEO
  • See who is linking to your website
  • Track broken links
  • Save time looking for keywords to target
  • Perform competitor research
  • Drive more traffic to your site to improve revenue

The Downsides of SEO Tools 

Are there any disadvantages to using SEO tools? When you’re pondering the question of ‘are SEO tools worth it?’, you may be considering some of these downsides:

  • SEO tools can be expensive
  • Data can be unreliable
  • You could waste time using the wrong SEO tools

Let’s look at these downsides in more detail…

Are SEO Tools Accurate?

Here’s the problem with all SEO tools – no tool is 100% accurate since they rely on scraping Google for data. The only company that truly knows how many people are searching for a keyword is Google itself. 

I know that firsthand since I’ve had websites ranking for keywords with supposedly ‘zero traffic’ getting several hundred views per month.

Additionally, I’ve also noticed that some SEO tools take their time in updating. I know I’ve had backlinks from sites that aren’t showing up as backlinks yet in Ahrefs. So, even those tools that are deemed ‘the best on the market’ aren’t fully accurate – definitely something to keep in mind when searching for some SEO platforms to use. 

Why Are SEO Tools So Expensive?

SEO tools are expensive due to the features they offer, and the potential benefits. Becoming more visible online is a significant advantage for any website or blog owner so definitely a worthwhile investment. However, different tools have a range of pricing options. 

Ahrefs is $99 per month for the cheapest option. If you do want to use this tool, I suggest signing up for one month and doing as much keyword research and competitor research as possible. 

Alternatively, you could get a free trial of SemRush for 7 days. This is a similar platform to Ahrefs in that you can perform keyword research, site audits, track keywords etc. 

I’ve got a better suggestion though – I’ve found some SEO tools that are worth the money – and they don’t cost as much as Ahrefs. These are the tools that I personally use myself for my websites and I’ve had many articles ranking on the first pages of Google search so I know they work! 

SEO Tools That Are Worth The Money

So, what SEO tools are worth the money and making an investment in?

Here are the best SEO tools that I’ve personally used. 

Keysearch

Keysearch is a keyword research and SEO tool that I’ve been using for the last few months. Unlike the pricier Ahrefs, Keysearch is an affordable SEO solution that enables bloggers and website owners to find competitive keywords that they can rank for. 

With Keysearch, you’ll also be able to conduct competitor analysis, including checking their backlinks and determining what organic keywords they’re ranking for. Plus, you can analyze your pages for how well they’re optmized for SEO, and optimize content you’re writing to see what keywords you should include. 

Who is Keysearch best for? 

Keysearch is perfect for those on a budget who want a comprehensive SEO tool for an affordable price.

Pros:

  • Affordably priced
  • Easy to use as a beginner
  • Ideal for longtail keyword research
  • Competitor analysis
  • Content optimizer
  • Data can be exported
  • Can look up 5 keywords for free

Cons:

  • Doesn’t pull as many keywords as ahrefs
  • Not as many features as other tools

Price: 

Starter plan price is $17 per month or $169 per year

Pro plan price is $34 per month or $279 per year

Final word:

Keysearch is a great tool for anyone looking to improve their website SEO and search rankings. I suggest giving the free option a try to see how you find it. If you decide to sign up, make sure you use the code KSDISC for 20% OFF. 

Frase

Frase is a platform that helps you to find the best keywords to include in your articles. With Frase, you can easily create content briefs, find content gaps to ensure your articles deliver high-quality content, and even use AI to create content.

I personally use Frase to optimize articles for the best keywords, and to save time researching the content currently ranking for a specific keyword. Additionally, I use it to create article outlines to I know which headings to use and for any FAQ’s I may want to include. 

Who is Frase best for?

Frase is ideal for those who want to optimize content for SEO, especially to ensure that an article will rank for more than one keyword. It’s also perfect if you want to save time on competitor research. It’s also much more affordable than other alternatives so if you’re on a budget, this is definitely a tool to try out. 

Pros:

  • More affordable than Surfer SEO for content optimization
  • Great for topic research
  • Saves time on generating content briefs/outlines
  • Can generate meta descriptions and more
  • Can see related questions people are asking on Reddit and Quora

Cons:

  • Limited AI functions
  • Extra features require an upgraded subscription plan

Price:

Solo is $14.99 per month or $144 per year

Basic is $44.99 per month or $444 per year

Team is $114.99 per month or $1164 per year

The pro add-on is an extra $35 per month – this includes keyword search volume, SERP data enrichment, and unlimited AI writer. 

Final word:

Frase is a brilliant tool for content optimization and research. If you want to save time checking competitors and SERP analysis, this tool will give you a great start. You don’t need to worry about the extra add-on as the AI writer isn’t great – I’ll be honest, I’ve tried several AI writers and they’re all garbage so you’re not missing anything. 

The basic plan is ideal for bloggers and content creators. If you’re updating your blog once per week, the starter plan will work for you. 

You can get a 5-day trial for only $1 or get 60% OFF your first month. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Free SEO Tools You Can Use

On a budget or need some free tools to add to your SEO toolkit? 

I got you! 

Here are the best free SEO tools.

RankMath

RankMath is an SEO plugin for WordPress. I use this tool on all of my websites and I prefer it to other alternatives, such as Yoast. 

The great thing about RankMath is that it gives you suggestions for on page SEO, and it’s easy to set up. It’s also easy to create a sitemap, index pages, and add schema markup for each post. 

The free tool is more than enough for beginners so it’s well worth trying if you have a WordPress website. 

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a free extension for Chrome that helps you to see SERP metrics, including domain authority, backlinks to a post, trend data for a search query, and related keywords that people are searching.

The paid tool has monthly search volumes but the free version is ideal for determining if you can potentially rank for a keyword. 

It’s super easy to install and you can see all the data in Google search results, making it a speedy tool for researching content ideas. 

Ahrefs

Did you know that Ahrefs has some free tools? Ahref’s Webmaster tools enable you to monitor the SEO health of your website, see what keywords you’re ranking for, and see what sites are linking to you. 

I find that it doesn’t always reflect real-time data (for instance, it takes a while for the backlinks checker to update) but it’s super handy for tracking the SEO health of your site. 

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an underrated SEO tool for bloggers and content creators. Search Console tools help you to determine the traffic coming to your site, which pages are getting the most traffic, and can help you to identify any potential issues. 

You can see the number of impressions your content is getting in search results, and the percentage of your click-though rate – this can help you to know if your blog titles need to be updated to attract more clicks. 

Answer The Public

AnswerThePublic helps you to identify what people are searching for in Google. It’s powered by the autocomplete search bar or ‘suggested searches’ that Google gives you when you type in a word or sentence in search. 

The great thing about Answer The Public is that you can use their free version to determine topic ideas to cover on your blog or website. Once you have the data, you can then use these in a keyword research tool to see if they’re worth pursuing. Even if they’re competitive terms, you can easily use them to help you to brainstorm content ideas. 

Use These SEO Tools To Power Your Website Visibility

To give you an answer to the term ‘are SEO tools worth it?’, you can probably guess my answer – yes, SEO tools are well worth using!

If you’re on a budget, start with the free tools and free versions of these platforms. The SEO tools on this page cover a wide range of data to enable you to find the best keywords to rank for and determine how well your site is performing – and, which areas you need to work on!

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