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20 of the Best SEO Tools You Should Be Using in 2016

SEO tools have become an essential part of the internet marketer's online crusades. With so many great tools available, the challenge now is selecting the best ones to use out of the herd. At Bonsai Media, we've been living and breathing this stuff since 2009, getting our clients the best rankings and results when it comes to their SEO in Seattle and the surrounding areas. We've put together a top 20 list of the best tools for SEO in 2016 that we use to achieve our success and suggest that you add to your arsenal. Cue the drumroll...

1. Moz Analytics

When it comes to digital marketing, data is key. The more we can understand what’s happening with our site, our competitors, and our rankings, the better we can perform. Moz Analytics is one of the best ways to manage an SEO campaign for your business, showing detailed data of where exactly to focus your energy. Moz does a wonderful job of gathering important data regarding your website SEO and presenting it in a clear, simple snapshot, comparing current and historical changes.

2. Brightlocal

If you’re operating a local business, your local SEO is your bread and butter. Even if you're a national or global business, your local SEO can be highly beneficial. Brightlocal offers 7 unique local search engine tools in one place that speed up and automate your SEO tasks. The tools provided help you keep track of your local search rank, allowing you to view results that show up for different regions and locations, easily discover and track your local citations, and monitor and encourage more online reviews from relevant review platforms.

3. SEMRush

SEMRush is an online marketing tool that works to identify different trends that are occurring within your particular niche. This tool determines a variety of keywords to target, audits your on-page SEO, and checks rankings and backlinks for your site. SEMRush helps you discover more keywords that people are using to find a site like yours that you may not have been aware of. It will also help you pinpoint which pages are helping or hindering your success.

4. Google Trends

During our marketing efforts, it's crucial to be giving the people what they want. Google provides a free tool that allows users to explore trending online topics, keywords, terms, stories and categories searched on Google, which can be organized by country and compared to other search terms. Increase your understanding of what's intriguing people in your particular niche with this tool and speak to that interest.

5. Google Alerts

As a professional, it's imperative to be conscious of what's happening in your industry and to know if and when your business is mentioned on the web. Another accessible tool provided by Google helps to streamline that awareness. Create a Google Alert and you'll get an email notification any time Google finds results on a new topic that is of interest to you or when your business is named anywhere on the internet.

6. Hootsuite

Social media has likely become an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it can be a pain to manage all those different social accounts. Luckily, Hootsuite is here to save the day. With an easy-to-use system that keeps track and manages your various social media channels all in one place, Hootsuite will even alert you when someone mentions your business in any social platform, and allows you to respond immediately.

7. Buzzsumo

With all this talk about data awareness, something you should certainly be paying close attention to is your industry and competitor analysis. Buzzsumo is a comprehensive content and competition research tool. It provides its users with data and insights into what content is working, and why it's working. Buzzsumo is a powerful resource when crafting your content to create the best, most shareable and compelling information possible.

8. Buzzstream

Link building is an important part of your SEO, but can be daunting to implement and manage. Buzzstream identifies which sites for you to request links from while making the process of building links efficient and personal. This tool is wonderful for identifying your link building strategy and cutting down your efforts maximizing their efficiency.

9. Google Analytics

Now the most widely used web analytics service on the internet, Google analytics is a free tool which tracks and reports traffic to your site. Use this simple tool to learn how your visitors are finding your site, how they're interacting with it, and gain an understanding into how to get them coming back again and again.

10. Google Tag Manager

Website tags are relevant to your SEO, as they help you measure traffic and optimize your online marketing. Instead of having to pour through and edit hefty amounts of site code, simply use this Google tool to update your tags quickly and efficiently. As a marketer, it allows you to skip going through the webmaster and straight to managing your tags, hassle-free.

11. Webmaster Tools

Both Google and Bing offer Webmaster Tools, which holds tons of valuable information for website owners. These tools let you understand what's going on with your website and analyze its performance on search engines, allowing you to direct your SEO efforts most effectively. The tools show you links to your site, click patterns of your users, crawl errors, sitemaps, and more.

12. Screaming Frog

Search engines crawl and index your site, basing your rankings on the relevant information they find. Wouldn't it be cool to experience your website the way a search engine spider does? Screaming frog does just that; it's a small Java program which you can download and install on your computer. The tool analyzes websites like a web crawler would, evaluating their SEO and alerting you of any issues that a search engine spider would find that may help or obstruct their rankings.

13. Keyword Planner

Another awesome advertising tool from Google is Keyword Planner, which assists you in the research for adding possible keywords to ad campaigns. This handy online device gives you traffic forecasts and other statistics such as predicted clicks and estimated conversions for how particular keywords will perform. Using Keyword Planner is a very convenient prerequisite to take before launching a campaign or adding existing keywords to a current one.

14. Longtail Pro

This fantastic keyword research software finds “long tail” keywords based on one or multiple root keywords. Longtail Pro assists you in finding three to four word, specific keyword phrases relevant to your interest. Using long tail keywords not only helps eliminate competition by narrowing down the keyword more precisely, but targeting those keywords also attracts customers who are more motivated to buy.

15. Siteliner

Duplicate content and broken links can hurt your site's SEO significantly. Siteliner helps identify these disadvantages in your website along with determining which pages are considered most prominent by search engine spiders. Siteliner analyzes this critical information about your site and presents it to you in an easy to read, detailed report.

16. Hashtagify.me

If you're not using hashtags to connect with your audience, you could be missing out on a big source of traffic. Hashtagify.me makes using hashtags easy. Their services analyze specific and related hashtags, rating them by aspects such as their current popularity and influence. This tool helps accelerate your marketing through extensive hashtag data and research on the web.

17. CoSchedule

Content marketing can be time-consuming, complex and a lot to manage. Those who organize and plan out their efforts have an advantage, and Coschedule helps you do exactly that. It's a drag and drop calendar designed for content marketing that your whole team can use to collaborate, plan, create and share all your content all in one place.

18. Grammarly

Creating high-quality content is a big part of your marketing strategy, which means using correct grammar and avoiding typos on your written posts, web and sales pages. Grammarly is an automated proofreader, helping you streamline your content creation as it automatically checks your work for you. It doesn't fully replace the need for a human editor, but does a lot of the legwork, saving you a lot of time you would be spending manually proofreading your content. 

19. URL Builder

If you're like most online marketers, you’ll likely want to use a variety of custom email or ad-based campaigns. URL Builder is an essential component of these operations, as it analyzes the data from your custom URLs and tracks which ones are most effective in attracting customers to your content.

20. Structured Data Testing Tool

By structuring your website's data for search engines, the easier it is for their crawlers to access your information and reward you with better rankings. The Structured Testing Tool analyzes your data structure and determines how effective it is, showing your where to make changes and increase the web crawlers’ experience of your site.

We hope you've found our top 20 list of the best SEO tools for 2016 useful for ramping up your online marketing this year. Since we were established in 2009, Bonsai Media Group has been one of Seattle's best SEO companies. If you are looking for and help with your SEO, we would love to help your business thrive. Contact us today for any inquiry or questions you have.

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