55 SEO Productivity Tools We Use at Single Grain

Looking for a new tool that will help you get the most out of your SEO campaigns?  Consider any of the following programs that we use at Single Grain in order to maximize the efficiency of our SEO activities and our general productivity:

Keyword Research

Tool #1 – Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool

Although the free Keyword Research Tool offered by Google’s Adwords doesn’t offer as many features as standalone SEO programs offer, this resource is a great option for checking general search, competition, and CPC metrics on the fly.  Be sure to check out the feature that allows you to brainstorm keywords by URL in order to uncover the keywords your competitors may be targeting!

Tool #2 – Google Trends

With Google’s new freshness update in effect, picking up on and capturing breaking news stories and trends is a must for SEO.  Google Trends is one of the best places to find this information, so make it a habit to regularly monitor this service for trends in your industry.

Tool #3 – Buzzfeed

Another site we use to identify the hot trends within our industry in order to rank highly for QDF (query deserving freshness) SERPs is Buzzfeed, a popular news aggregation site that covers a wide variety of niches.  It’s also a great place to keep up on the latest memes and popular sayings floating around in Internet culture.

Tool #4 – Google Insights for Search

Before you launch any new SEO campaign, check out Google’s Insights for Search tool to confirm that there’s consistent demand for the particular search terms you’ll target.  A few minutes of research on this free service can save you a fortune by preventing you from going after the wrong keywords!

Tool #5 – Google Related Searches

Any time you conduct a search in Google, you have the option of selecting from a number of other potential queries that Google considers to be substantially related to your original term.  This data can be found in the left-hand sidebar of any Google SERP (under the “Show search tools” menu), and it provides a great opportunity to find potential LSI keywords for your blog posts and content marketing articles.

Tool #6 – Google Correlate

One final Google tool to take a look at is Google Correlate, which will help you determine if trends that exist in your target keywords’ search volume variation correspond with trends in the real world.  This can be especially helpful when understanding unexpected SEO behavior or when predicting the potential variability of search volume for future projects.

Tool #7 – Alexa

Although the Alexa ranking system itself has some weaknesses, the service’s webpage offers website owners data on visitor demographics, top search queries, potential target keywords, and other helpful SEO metrics.  Simply enter your URL into the company’s homepage search bar to get started!

Tool #8 – Keyword Discovery

Keyword Discovery is one of the most widely used, standalone keyword research tools on the web, and its breadth of features easily demonstrates why this site remains dominant in the competitive field of market research programs.  Give the site’s free Search Term Suggestion Tool a try, and then consider signing up for a free trial of the site’s paid keyword research and competitive intelligence tools.

Tool #9 – Keyword Questions

Wordtracker’s free Keyword Questions tool is a godsend whenever you’re struggling to come up with article topics for your site or for your marketing campaigns.  Simply enter your target keyword into the engine, and it will return specific questions that people have entered into the search engines that relate to your topic, providing you with instant article-writing fodder that’s guaranteed to interest your audience!

Tool #10 – SearchStatus plugin

Yet another SEO aggregation toolbar, the SearchStatus plugin deserves special mention for its keyword density measuring feature, which allows you to quickly measure the specific keyword usage rates found on other industry websites for your own competitive analysis.

Tool #11 – KGen

Want to know which words on any webpage will be deemed most important by the search engines?  Then install the KGen plugin for Firefox, which enables you to view websites through the eyes of the search engines and uncover potential opportunities to outrank your competitors for valuable keyword phrases.

Tool #12 – Soovle

Another fun keyword research tool to take a look at is Soovle, which pulls search suggestions from the seven top search engines.  Simply start typing your target keywords into the site’s free engine, and you’ll automatically receive related keywords that can be used to power your own SEO campaigns.

Onsite Analysis

Tool #13 – Google Analytics

If you carry out any SEO activities at all, you simply must have a web analytics program in order to measure the impact of your campaigns.  Google Analytics is by far the most commonly used option, and it’s easy to see why.  The program is free to use and provides a wealth of data, including advanced event and goal tracking features that allow you to conclusively measure the ROI of your SEO campaigns.

Tool #14 – SEOQuake

SEOQuake is one of many different SEO extensions (available for both the Firefox and Chrome browsers) that return information about individual web pages, as well as about the listings within individual SERPs.  Use this tool to check things like web page PageRank, Alexa traffic rank, site age, number of backlinks, and more crucial pieces of information to uncover when conducting competitive research.

Tool #15 – SEOBook browser extensions

By signing up for a free SEOBook account, you’ll gain access to the site’s selection of free SEO tools, including “The SEO Toolbar,” “SEO for Firefox,” and “Rank Checker.”  Much like SEOQuake, these Firefox plugins pull several different SEO metrics that can be used to identify potential link partners, uncover weak spots among industries and competitors, and much more.

Tool #16 – SiteTrail for Chrome

The SiteTrail for Chrome plugin allows you to pull up various website SEO metrics, including site rank, site traffic, and site analytics, from a simple link within your right-click menu.  The tremendous amount of information this tool provides and the speed with which it generates SEO data make it a great option for conducting market research on the fly.

Tool #17 – SEO for Chrome

One final SEO research plugin to consider is the SEO for Chrome plugin.  In addition to providing data on key SEO metrics from within the Chrome browser, this tool takes competitive web marketing research one step further by providing information on a given site’s social media presence.

Tool #18 – SEOTools for Excel

Although Microsoft’s Excel program may seem outdated, it can be turned into a productivity powerhouse with the addition of the free SEOTools for Excel add-in.  Once installed (see the instructions here for tips on setting it up correctly), you’ll be able to use this tool to conduct on-page analysis, monitor backlinks, pull Google Analytics data directly into Excel for further exploration, and more!

Tool #19 – SEOSiteCheckup.com

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost user acquisition, and grow their businesses. He’s currently the VP of Marketing at When I Work, the top rated employee scheduling software. In addition to his role at When I Work Sujan co-founded ContentMarketer.io and wrote the book on Growth Hacking titled 100 Days of Growth.
Sujan Patel

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26 thoughts on “55 SEO Productivity Tools We Use at Single Grain

    1. I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean 55 tools as being used by a single person all at the same time. It’s probably a collective list from ALL the people working at Single Grain.

    2. Well, I think that this list is a complete list, and there’s a lot of similar tools. For example, I only use one tool for keywords: Google Adwords Keywords Tool, and I’ve never used the tools number 2, 3, 5 and 6. Number 4 only in a few cases.

      By the way, there are tools that does not need a daily use. For example, I register all my sites in Alexa, but I don’t use this service as a keyword researcher because Adwords is better. That’s simply.

      And I can say the same in the other categories: Onsite Analysis, Link building, Rankings (I recommend the WordPress plugin Rank Report), etc. I think that everybody can test these tools and then use the most comfortable for they requirements.

      And there are free similar tools: Gimp instead of Photoshop, LibreOffice instead of Excel, NetBeans instead of Notepad++, gtk-RecordMyDesktop instead of Jing, TweetDeck instead of SocialOomph, etc.

      So the list is really complete, although I missed Market Samurai and Link-Assistant (they’re not free).

  1. Great list, this is really useful set of tools! I would also add some more:

    Keyword Research:
    – Google.com – that’s obvious 😉

    Onsite Analysis:
    – Seoptimer.com – similar to SEOSiteCheckup but faster and more accurate

    – WebCEO

    General Productivity Tools:
    – RescueTime – time management and productivity

  2. Nice list! Another tool I would like to add to this list of project management & collaboration. The tool is DeskAway. Simple and feature rich. Do take a look at it.

  3. Thanks for the post some great tips and information. I like to use SEO tools but more often or not I find they never return accurate results for e.g. Rank Checker addon for Firefox – some of it’s results are way off! Saying that I’m going to try out SEO Quake so thanks for the tip.

  4. Awesome list! I would add serpattacks, it’s free for checking keywords and works well for me. Another paid keyword tracker I like is serpbook and that gives good reports.

  5. @Sujan. Nice list.

    I think KeywordDonkey.com gives better results than the Adwords keyword tool, even you have to wait some time to see the results, if you have a long keyword list.

  6. I am sure most of the Search guys use these tools, its pretty much a complete list of all you need. I work in PPC and have used Spyfu in the past but their results seem to take a long time and also not accurate. I have recently started using http://www.adthena.com and its just brilliant. Very very powerful and detailed, literary breaks apart everything your competitor is doing. But apart from that SEMRush, SEOmoz are very neat tools.

  7. …wow…what a list…I’ll have to check that out during the weekend 😉 I am currently staying in southern Germany…not sure if this is of interest but I just learned about another one that might be worth a look. This one is called sitefactor. Pretty neat tool and the only complain I have is that they only got a German version at this point but their support told me they are in the process of setting up additional languages. Definitely worth checking this one out…i came accross this one via teliad – used to use them last year for some projects…

  8. Tool #10 – SearchStatus plugin
    This is a great plugin, the only SEO plugin i use. I use them for the “Link report” and to highlight nofollow links. Other features are interesting too, but please… keyword density?? Seriously?!?

  9. Hi Sujan,

    Great List of tools.. from keyword search to general creation. I am sure most of the people know some of these, it’s good to have an idea on alternates. Thanks for the Post.

  10. Actually, we use most of the above tools too for different purposes in SEO. Some other tools we use are backlinkwatch for backlink analysis and ahref.