What are the best SEO tools for marketers?
There are a plethora of SEO tools available on the market. In this article I talk about 24 of the best tools I've used for clients and startups I work with, but in fact there are close to (if not more than) 1000+ tools related to SEO across content, keyword research, optimisation, brief-creation and lots more. For me personally, these are my 4 favourite SEO tools that constantly deliver for me day in, day out; Ahrefs, Semrush, ScreamingFrog and Buzzsumo.
Are SEO tools worth the cost?
My short answer is yes, especially platforms like Ahrefs and Semrush. These two platforms, in particular, are packed with features that include keyword research, competition analysis, site audits, PPC research, content optimisation, SERP analysis, rank trackers, and loads more. They do cost a bit per month, but with all these features included (and lots more), you do see the ROI in the short term. Otherwise, you will be spending a lot of time doing manual research and analysis - it all comes to opportunity cost with time and resources.
What are the best free SEO reporting tools?
Most of the tools I've mentioned in this post have a good level of analytics and reporting, depending on what you're trying to achieve. For more detailed analysis, especially if you're looking for more in-depth backlink analysis and 'rank tracking', you'll need to upgrade and pay. If you're on a lean budget, 10 great options I recommend as free reporting tools for SEO are; Google Search Console, Google Pagespeed Insights, Google Ads Keyword Planner, Answer the Public, YoastSEO, Google Trends, HARO, Keyword Surfer, Website Analytics tools (like GA, Plausible Analytics, etc), and Backlink checker by Ahrefs.