Here a few of the tools we use daily. Generally, we use one of these to perform competitor research, check on the overall health of sites we are working on. Here are the three most popular tools used by SEO experts; they are Moz, SEMRush and ahrefs.
SEMRush – One of the first tools we used, I loved the way content was laid out. Very intuitive, navigable, and you get an excellent overview with their charting dashboard. Pro-tip, purchasing through our partner gives $20 hosting credits each month (for each tier) at TheCloudHost.net You’d be getting hosting for your SEO tuned site included! The hosting credits are as close as you’re going to get to a discount for SEMRush.
SEMRush has an SEO Writing Assistant, but like Yoast, we feel that it’s a little limited. Most companies have one page targeting many variations of a keyword or phrase, and we prefer having a talented copywriter with a brief knowledge of SEO practices to handle the content.
Marketing insights, enter a competitor’s URL and you get insights into some of the ads they are running, how they are tagging the ad, which landing page they are directing traffic to. HOW. COOL. IS. THAT! Much cheaper than buying the competitor’s intern a few drinks to loosen some lips.
ahrefs – We LOVE ahrefs, possibly due to the fact it runs out of Singapore, and we use it almost daily. It comes from a href HTML tag which you use to link to other sites. I thought they have a great product and service name. There’s just so much you can do with it. Figure out where your competitors are linking, track what keywords you are ranking. Figure out which pages are performing well and find out what potential content gaps you may have. And that’s just scratching the surface of it.
ahrefs indexing of competitor data (organic and search and paid ads) are pretty spot on too. We found a few Appsumo competitors who were targeting AppSumo com as their paid search term, and further segmenting people through specialized landing pages. From what we gathered, they are doing pretty well scaling up their ads with this simple targeting, segmenting and retargeting method.
There are other more technical tools available which we will save for a later date. Keep an eye out for the Cora post. They do a more thorough job of finding the link and content gaps between your website and the current sites in the top 3.