I get asked frequently, what are the best SEO tools for small business owners?
They say the best things in life are free. And believe it or not, all of these tools are free or at least have a free version. Pretty sweet, right?!
2) Google Analytics
3) Local SEO Checklist
4) SEO Calculator
7) Screaming Frog
9) Disavow File Generator
11) SEO Vetting Checklist
12) Keyword Research
Free Checklist to Improve Rankings Quickly
To get the most out of these 10 SEO tools for your business, or any SEO tools you are currently using, you need to be organized and cover all your bases.
Get our free checklist that can be used alongside any tools to help you improve your search rankings quickly
Click the image or here to access our Checklist to Improve Search Rankings.
10 Best SEO Tools for Small Business
With hundreds of SEO tools for small business owners to choose from, it is easy to waste time and money trying them all.
However, there are a few SEO tools for small business owners that I consider to be essential to all SMB owner’s SEO success.
So, today I wanted to share the top 10 best SEO tools for small business owners to plan for, implement, manage and measure their SEO efforts to ensure a positive ROI.
I’m going to organize these in the order that you should use them in and provide a bit of guidance for each to help some of you get started with your SMB SEO efforts.
Ok, I’m ready to checkout these tools, are you?
#1) Google Webmaster Tools – Essential Data Source
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this and I hope most people reading this have already setup Google Webmaster Tools.
In short, this will be one of your best SEO data sources. This free tool from Google will also send you important notifications about your website to help you better optimize it.
Here are just a few reasons you need to use Google Search Console (AKA Webmasters Tools):
- To see who’s linking to you
- To check on and fix manual actions
- To disavow bad or spammy links
- To get organic CTR data for optimizing titles and descriptions
- To get keyword impression and traffic data
- To submit your sitemap and ensure your pages are crawled and indexed
- To keep your robots.txt up to date
#2) Google Analytics – Traffic Reporting Tool for SMBs
Like Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics is a free software from Google. Additionally, it will be essential for SMB owners to use this SEO tool for their success online.
It doesn’t take long to setup Google Analytics. Once setup, you will be able to see many insightful reports on the traffic coming to your website and how it is spending time on your pages.
For example, Google Analytics reports will show you:
- Where your traffic comes from (Social, Referral Websites, Organic Search, Paid Search, Email, etc)
- Which pages your traffic visits
- How long your visitors spend on each page
- The geographic location of your visitors
- The devices that your visitors use (Mobile, Desktop, Tablet)
These are just a few examples of the reporting you can get from analytics. Additionally, you can create custom reports to track specific goals on your website such as conversions on phone calls, lead capture forms, or visits to specific pages.
#3) Local SEO Checklist – Your SMB SEO Starting Point
Once you have your basic data sources setup, it is time to actually start optimizing your site.
I recommend starting with this free in-depth local SEO checklist for your business. The checklist is organized into sections for:
- On-Page SEO
- Google + Optimization
- Schema Data Implementation
- Important Directories
- Buiness Citations
- Online Reviews
- Website Conversion
- Social Media
Each section includes the most important SEO tasks that you need to complete. Here are just a few of the items on the checklist:
- Title Tags
- Clean URLs
- Duplicate Content
- Google Analytics
- Checking Schema
- Managing Negative Reviews
Why do I recommend this checklist? Here is why:
- Easy to use – You can open the checklist in your browser and check each item off as you go.
- Covers your bases – All of the most important local SEO factors are covered with this checklist.
- Instructions are included – For almost every item on the checklist there is a link to an in-depth resource on the topic and how to implement it.
With this Local SEO Checklist, you can quickly see the big picture of the SEO tasks your business needs to have implemented. Right away check off everything that is already done, so you know exactly what you have left to do.
Once you have this information and an idea of how much work is on the table, it is time to set your SEO budget and revenue goals.
#4) Volume SEO Calculator – Set Your SEO Goals
If you haven’t set clear budget and revenue goals for your SEO project then what’s the point?
Businesses don’t succeed by indefinitely throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Of course, you are going to have to try a number of tactics to see what works.
But, you have to go through this trial and error process within your budget while improving your results constantly until you achieve your goals.
It is crucial that you have measurable objectives so that you can analyze what is and isn’t working in your SEO campaign and adjust accordingly.
Specifically, you need to have a clear understanding of your resources (costs) and revenues (leads/sales) that you are trying to achieve in an SEO campaign.
We built this SEO calculator to help you do just that. Use the calculator to enter in, and receive, the following:
Enter This Info
- Your Monthly Revenue Goal
- The % of Revenue You Need from SEO
- Your Average Revenue per Client
- Your Lead to Customer Conversion %
- Your Website Visitor to Lead Conversion %
Receive This Info
- New customers Needed Monthly
- Number of Leads Needed Monthly
- Monthly Visitors Needed for Your SEO Goals
With specific measurable goals, you will always have a guide to compare your SEO results with to make sure you are on the right track.
Sure, I consider our SEO calculator to be one of the best SEO tools for small business owners, but in reality, this is just an outright essential tool for your SEO efforts.
Whether you use our calculator or create your own spreadsheet, does not matter. You just need to go through this budgeting and goal setting process.
Our calculator just happens to be free, easy to use, right here and covers the major bases for most businesses.
#5) 5minutesite – Research Your Target Keywords
When it comes to keyword research you have hundreds of SEO tools to choose between.
There is no benefit for me to share this awesome free resource other than to help you out, so thank me in the comments below for saving you many many hours of research, decision making, and moolah (cash money).
Just kidding, but I do love a nice comment here and there 😛 – and this tool really is going to help you.
Although 5minutesite.com looks dated, the tool is extremely powerful and helpful for local businesses keyword research efforts.
You are able to enter 1 or more keywords and then apply tons of regional filters to produce a list of hundreds or thousands of keyword ideas for consumers searching in your region.
Keyword research is an animal in and of itself. So, rather than try to touch lightly on the topic in this post, let me direct you to my in-depth keyword research tutorial that explains how to use this tool along side 3 of my other favorite (also free) keyword research tools. I wrote this legit guide on doing free keyword research that offers a step by step screenshot tutorial to using 5minutesite’s local keyword finder.
#6) BrowSEO On Page SEO Tool – Audit Your Website
The way that humans and search engines view webpages are very different. For example, we can see images but search engine crawlers (robots) cannot.
Instead, robots rely on what is called Image “alt text” to understand what the image is about.
One of the best ways to audit your website for optimization opportunities is to look at your website through the eyes of Google’s search engine crawlers.
With this free tool called BrowSEO, pronounced browse-eo, you can do just that. You are able to enter your website URL and view your web pages as if you were a search engine bot.
Do this so that you can look for the following:
- Each webpage as a Meta Title and Description
- Your brand name + keyword are included in your Meta Titles and Descriptions
- The page content contains your main keyword multiple times along with related keywords
- Your images within your content all have “Alt Text”
- Your “Alt Text” contains your keywords
- Your pages have H1 tags
- Your H1 tags include your target keyword
- URLs are descriptive and optimized (short and contain your keyword)
On-page SEO is essential to your SEO success and BrowSEO is one of the easiest ways to find areas of your website that need optimization.
I wrote this guide to implementing your keywords into your on-page SEO that includes all of the important areas of your website that you need to optimize with keywords and exactly how you should do it.
#7) Screaming Frog On-page & Technical SEO Audit Tool
Not every one will like to use BrowSEO as you will spend time visiting every page on your site. Some businesses have many pages and so this is not efficient.
Screaming Frog will crawl your website and provide you with detailed audit information in lists that you can search and filter.
This way you don’t have to manually visit your webpages to analyze them. It is definitely a time saver but requires a bit more technical expertise to use.
#8) Whitespark – Manage Your Citation, Linkbuilding, & Rankings
Whitespark is actually the only “paid” tool that made my list of the best SEO tools for small business. And even then, it comes with a watered down free version.
Whitespark covers many aspects of local SEO and will do a lot more than just one thing for your business. Here are the areas that Whitespark covers:
- Local Citation Finder – Find citation opportunities for your business with ease.
- Local Rank Tracker – Track your SEO results by monitoring your keyword rankings.
- Reputation Builder – Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews of your business on the most popular review platforms. (Review signals including # of reviews are the 5th strongest ranking factor for local SEO and can improve your SEO results)
- Link Prospector – Automate and enhance your link prospecting efforts to maximize your link building efforts.
As you can see, Whitespark covers a lot of what you will need to do on your Local SEO Checklist that we talked about earlier.
#9) Disavow File Generator – Our Free Tool to Cleanup Links
If the following scenarios apply to you, then you definitely want to review your links:
- Your website was ranking well in Google and then stopped ranking
- You hired an SEO company and aren’t sure what links they built
- You think a competitor may be applying negative SEO to your site
- You purchased cheap back links from somewhere like Fiverr.com
- You’ve been in business for years and in the past built a lot of directory links
- You’ve tried scaling a particular link building tactic
In the above situations, it is important to review your link profile for link quality and anchor text distribution.
Our free disavow file generator helps streamline this entire process and automatically generates your properly formatted disavow file for Google.
#10) Varvy – A Suite of Free SEO Tools for SMBs to Measure Performance
Varvy is a great free suite of over a dozen free SEO tools that any business owner can use. The tool will crawl your website and provide suggestions to improve it for better visibility in search engines.
Here are a few areas that Varvy SEO Tools will help businesses with:
- Mobile optimization tips
- Page speed and performance optimization tips
- Social signal analysis
- Inbound link analysis
- Schema data tester
#11) SEO Company Vetting Checklist
Quite possibly the most important small business SEO tools on our list is a free checklist we created to help business owners vet SEO companies.
Due to not having the time, interest, or expertise in SEO, it is common to hire an SEO for small business owners.
Almost every small business owner that I speak with tells me that they have had a bad experience with a previous SEO company. Their negative experience is nearly always one of the following:
- They didn’t get results from a cheap or affordable SEO company
- They paid a premium, got results, but the ROI wasn’t good
Finding the best small business seo companies is challenging. There are thousands of small business SEO companies to choose from with prices ranging from $50 – $50,000.
Don’t waste time or money on hiring the wrong SEO company. Find an affordable SEO company for your budget that can get the results your business needs.
Try our free vetting checklist to help you with the SEO hiring process. Our checklist will:
- Provide guidance on red flags to lookout for in SEO companies
- Offer a vetting process for analyzing the SEO service, client reviews and testimonials
- Provide guidance on setting your SEO goals for your business
- Provide interview questions to ask an SEO company during the sales process
- Help you avoid wasting time and money on the wrong SEO company
#12) Free Keyword Research Guide & Tools
When a business owner asks, what are the best SEO tools for my business? Frequently I reply with a question asking them about their keywords.
Having a keyword research process and software is one of your most important small business SEO tools.
Which is why we created the free guide to doing keyword research like a boss. This guide is completely free and will teach you how to use the best free keyword research tools available such as:
- Google Keyword Planner
The guide includes screenshots with detailed instructions for each keyword tool.
#13) SEMRush: Best SEO Software for Small Business Owners
There are literally hundreds of different options for SEO software for small business owners to choose from.
SEMRush is often viewed as the best SEO software for small business because it includes a full suite of powerful SEO tools that will help SMBs with:
- Content auditing and on-site optimization
- Keyword rank tracking including local map pack rank tracking
- Competitor analysis to uncover new keyword targets
- Backlink analysis to find linkbuilding opportunities
- Keyword difficulty tool to help you identify the best keywords
- SEO reporting tools so you can make sense of all the data
- Traffic analytics showing you which keywords drive the most traffic
- Social media management tools to help your social presence
As you can see, SEO for business owners is much easier with a powerful SEO software suite like SEMRush.
They offer 3 subscriptions to their suite of SEO tools along with plenty of training material so that you can achieve the best SEO for small business that is possible.
It’s Your Turn, Boss
Alright, Boss, it has been fun but you’ve got a business to run. Now that you know the best SEO tools for small business owners, it is time for you to put them to use.
I hope you use these tools to improve your business’ SEO and grow your traffic, leads, and sales as a result.
You can get started for free so you have no excuses. Seriously, not one. 😉
Now get out there and start improving your business’ SEO!
Have questions about using any of the best SEO tools for small business? Just ask me in the comments below, right now!