B2B content marketers may groan at the thought of optimizing their brilliantly written, carefully crafted copy for search engines. Appealing to Google’s spider is necessary, but it doesn’t always top the list of favorite things to do.
Nevertheless, because search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to achieve first-page rankings and garner more traffic, having the right tools to optimize intelligently can lessen the burden. Here are seven top SEO tools every B2B content marketer should consider using to up their optimization game.
1. Google Analytics
Let’s start with the most obvious, Google Analytics. Likely, you are already using it. If not, there are several reasons why you should.
First, what better tool than one developed by the same search engine on which you want to rank? Second, it’s free.
Beyond that, Google Analytics offers a wealth of search engine optimization features and benefits: multiple traffic statistic options, real-time audience tracking, site visitor behavior views, conversion reporting…the list is endless.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is another must-have SEO tool, and it’s also free. It enables you to research and discover relevant keywords, get search volume and forecast data, and determine keyword cost.
The only drawback is that you must have a Google Ads account to access the tool. However, you don’t have to use Google Ads, just register for an account. You can find Keyword Planner under the “Tools and Settings” option in the navigation bar.
Moving away from Google, we come to AnswerThePublic (ATP), a keyword discovery tool.
The first step (after scratching your head and wondering why the site shows an odd animated robot with a person’s face in the background) is to enter a keyword.
ATP then utilizes a visual mind map-style functionality to reveal relevant keywords—you can click on any of those to show even more keywords.
According to the site, AnswerThePublic “listens” to autocomplete data from search engines like Google, then lists every useful phrase and question people ask about your keyword. It’s free to use, but you can upgrade to a paid version with more features.
WordTracker is a 3-in-1 SEO tool. It offers keyword discovery, competitive research, and a niche explorer function that lets you go in-depth to uncover the top 100 keywords in your market. WordTracker is a paid tool. You can get a seven-day free trial, but after that, you’ll need to purchase a monthly subscription.
Keyword discovery tools like Google Keyword Planner, AnswerThePublic, and WordTracker are essential to building an effective search engine optimization strategy. However, they are limited in scope. The following three tools offer much greater sophistication and functionality.
Ahrefs is a robust SEO platform that lets you discover new keywords and monitor ranking progress. In addition, you can track competitors’ keyword rankings and backlinks and complete a website audit to find SEO issues.
B2B content marketing managers will love the content discovery feature that finds the most popular articles on any topic. And it’s perfect for developing an SEO-focused content calendar.
Ahrefs has a variety of plans to suit your team’s needs, but most marketing teams will need a more robust plan than the basic version. They do offer a suite of free SEO tools that offer some help (but they aren’t as robust as a paid account).
Semrush is a favorite tool among SEO professionals and content marketers. Like Ahrefs, it comes with a comprehensive set of platform features and benefits, including keyword research, competitive analysis, a suite of content marketing tools, rank tracking, and much more. While similar to Ahrefs, Semrush only gives statistics for Google searches, while users can conduct keyword research for up to ten search engines using Ahrefs. On the other hand, Semrush offers more detailed keyword reporting than its competitor.
You can use a few of Semrush’s tools for free, but to conduct more searches or access their more robust tools, you need to pay for it.
The last tool on the list, Clearscope, was developed primarily with content marketers in mind. Give it a target keyword, and the platform locates and analyzes top-ranking content, then recommends relevant terms, word count, readability, and other optimization factors.
Users copy and paste their content into Clearscope’s text editor. It grades the content based on the recommendations. Users then modify the content to achieve the recommended score to improve its ranking.
Clearscope is the most expensive of all the tools on this list, and they don’t offer a free trial. Despite the cost, you’ll find it indispensable to achieving your SEO strategy ranking goals and objectives.
Reaching the goal of Page 1 visibility (or even the top of Page 1) is key to a content marketing strategy. But with the right tools—and some of them free to use—you can optimize your content effectively and see your SEO scores soar.