“My rule of thumb is to build a site for a user, not a spider.” – Dave Naylor

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re selling, to succeed on today’s digital battlefield you investing an ample amount of your time, efforts and expertise in search engine optimization (SEO) is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

SEO forms the foundations of any digital marketing strategy worth its salt.

Not only does superior SEO enhance web authority and improve organic as well as paid search engine rankings, but it also helps to engage your target audience on a deeper level than some one size fits all promotional ad ever could.

You need SEO in your professional life as without it, you and your brand may as well not exist.

Last year, Google alone account more than 79% of all global desktop search traffic.

That said, to help you reap the rewards of better Google search engine visibility, here are the best SEO tools for your digital marketing efforts this year, and beyond.

1. Ubersuggest

A fully comprehensive, completely user-friendly keyword suggestion and optimization tool, Ubersuggest is a must for marketer or business owner looking to give their SEO efforts a much-needed boost.

From solid organic search rankings right the way through to perfectly optimized PPC campaigns, Ubersuggest makes finding the most valuable keywords or terms a breeze, measuring monthly search capacities as well as the difficulty of particular keywords in relation to outranking (SEO) or outperforming (PPC) your competitors.

Ubersuggest totally free to use, and it also pulls vital data from Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools without the need to log in. And what’s particularly notable is the tool’s competitors intelligence functionality: this feature will give you the power to see whether your direct competitors are going for an SEO or PPC approach for certain keywords. Priceless.

2. Ahrefs

An SEO tool aimed at brands, companies and sole traders looking to monitor the activity of their competition in their industry or niche, Ahrefs offers up insights into why certain competitors are ranking so well, providing priceless insights what to do to gain an all-important competitive edge.

With platform tools such as a site auditor, keyword and content scanner, backlink checker, domain comparison tool, keyword generator, and more, Ahref’s SEO-based insights and data are top notch Plus, its interface is pleasant to look at and relatively easy to pick up.

To get the very best from Ahrefs, forking out for the Advanced or Agency packages is advised. These packages cost $399 and $999 per year respectively and while this is a valuable, robust SEO tool, opting for the premium services is the most reliable way to enjoy this service to its maximum capabilities.

3. Moz

With approximately 600 thousand community members actively engaged with Moz, this SEO platform has picked up some serious momentum in recent years.

The creation of Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig, Moz is an SEO platform that displays core insights regarding search location, volume and demographics for particular keywords as well as metrics based on page and domain authority.

For big scale SEO marketing drives, Moz offers an in-depth method of connecting with solid keywords and tracking crucial data, but despite its capabilities, to enjoy Moz to its full potential, training is required; it also costs a pretty penny.

That said, Moz is a particularly powerful, industry renowned tool and if your company is scaling up and you have the funds, this could be the tool you need.

4. Linkio

Along with high-quality content, link building is the most important of any successful campaign.

A powerful automation tool, Linkio focuses almost solely on the health of your brand or business’s linking profile by automatically calculating your backlink anchor text percentages, how to fix your backlink percentages, analysing and suggesting the best anchor text for certain links, and more.

Linkio displays its linking reports in a clear, digestible way, it’s simple to set up, and in its present Beta state, it’s free (although this could change in the near future).

Managing and nurturing your backlink profile is essential to SEO success, and if used alongside a comprehensive keyword suggestion tool, Linkio could prove very valuable indeed.

When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot to think about. But with superior intelligence, usability and functionality, if used to their maximum capacity, all of these tools could make your SEO campaign incredibly natural, valuable, inspiring and engaging.

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