What are the best SEO software tools for startups that are heavily focused on content and SEO but are on a budget? We've looked at Moz, Ahrefs, Alexa, BrightEdge, Linkdex, ScreamingFrog, etc.
Hello! My name is Humberto Valle, I'm a 10 year vet in the marketing and strategy world. I am the current CEO of www.Unthink.me, evangelist for a 100 Software Engineer community called BetaBulls and work with startups and large corporations from many countries.
I have been involved with SEO one way or another for many years now, and as you may already know there are a lot of tools available - some free some carrying a high price - but ultimately what things come down to is your value for each of these tools. For example, we use Hubspot and SpyFu primarily for content and SEO driven growth - works wonders for us. One of the key factors to our success is that I created a strategy to follow for our SEO efforts more so than just saying" we want more traffic, lets find the keywords in our industry and match them - No, what we did was pair the right keywords for a very small niche (small innovative business owners who run service based businesses) and the content we create, the places where we promote (paid traffic influences SEO as well), me being here responding, was all intentional to position a real person around a team - to this day we get hire because someone reads an article I wrote years ago, or a response I wrote here years ago... They email me or my team, schedule a call and hire us because of my first exposure to them as a person --> they found it with the help o SEO.
There is a new tool http://www.maaxmarket.com/ that offers low-cost SEO help - but it's NEW. So beware.
When it comes to content driven growth, what you need to focus on is the value you are providing to your target audience through your content and then lastly making it available to them through a well thought out delivery plan - such as social media channels, scheduling, headlines, cycles, imagery, calls to action, etc. etc.
Content is always good right, but also consider that sometimes in order to achieve growth in an already crowded market place you may have to recur to non-traditional marketing efforts to stand out. Depending on what your startup offers, you may be better off not focusing initially on SEO and instead achieve high exposure some other creative way. SEO in itself takes time to build, so good content and creative ways to deliver a message are way more important factors than SEO.
Thank you for reading, I hope I've provided some clarity and guidance. If you need further help, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.
I've been doing SEO for nearly 20 years now (about as long as that's possible), built 3 of my own successful businesses from it, and run a 12-member agency in Chicago these days.
Here's my take.
You mentioned a lot of great tools there, but keep two things in mind.
- These tools tend to overlap like crazy, but they're all mediocre at just about all but one thing. That's if you're lucky.
- Having a system to use a tool is infinitely more valuable than the tool itself. Tools alone are worthless.
This said, here's a basic SEO tech stack that I'd consider:
- Ahrefs: they have the largest backlink database and a great web interface. Though, they also have the worst API by a lot (Majestic wins that).
- SEMrush: they have the best scrape database of Google search results.
- Screaming Frog: the best tool that I've seen to crawl your own site (by far). Somewhat of a learning curve, but pays dividends once you get good with it.
- Moz: Mostly just for their keyword explorer, which is quite good. Tracking MozCast is nice too, though that's free.
- BuzzStream: The most impressive outreach CRM that I've encountered.
- Linkdex: for really intense per-keyword proposals.
That's a strong core and how to use it.
Best of luck.
For understanding SEO you will need the following tools:
1) ahrefs - it's an amazing tool to find the right keywords, and backlink profile. Find incorrect or spammy links and remove them using this tool. Ahrefs is expensive, so I'll suggest a way to get it for a cheaper price, below.
2) smallseo.tools is a good website having all the basic tools in one place. It has all the cheap and simple tools to save your time and costs nothing.
3) You will need keyword analysis. (Which keyword to rank for). This you can do using the following steps:
-install keywordseverywhere chrome extension in your browser to get that data.
-mozbar is also and additional free tool you can try, which will tell you whether you can rank your site for that keyword or not. But it's messy you would only want to activate it when you're working.
-in moz, check the DA, PA and spam score of the domain you are doing the SEO of. Check spammy backlinks and remove them manually.
4) Keywords.io is a good tool for checking which keywords you would want to rank for. This is also expensive like ahrefs. But I'll give the trick below to get both of them at a cheap price.
5) Install plugins to increase sharing of content from your website. This increases social signals that helps you get more SEO.
6) After you have selected the right keyword, have the right social signals you will want a high DA, PA for your appropriate ranking. Ask someone with a domain that is high in DA, PA to give you some backlinks for free (ask those who are in your personal network. You can ask me for some backlinks also and I'll try to provide them to your for a cheap price, even for free if you need just a few, in the case we end up becoming friends after the call from domains that have DA, PA greater than 20, for example from lekobaza.com)
7) If you haven't already bought a domain for your business, you can ask me. I'll try to provide you with the best domain for your business for almost no cost because I really love helping startups. It's in the long run that if you grow and like my service you will pay me more automatically.
8) Use flikover.com, to guy bulk seo tooks for free. There are other services as well. You will be able to get ahrefs and keyword tool for a cheap price.
9) Write a lot of blogs from your own domain. These blogs also increase your authority, and also give traffic. Make sure whatever you are writing is beyond 1000 words, because you get a thin content penalty from google and write great content because that way you will be able to get more social signals as well as a lower bounce rate - both of which will increase your DA, PA and get you automatic SEO.
10) Guest post for high authority sites and in your guest post, include backlinks to your domain.
11) Link all your social media sites to the same domain and make it easy for people to find you.
12) Answer a lot of questions relevant to your niche on quora and ethically, if it's not reducing the quality of answers on quora, in a disclaimer, include a backlink to your domain. Backlinks from Quora are really helpful.
13) Reddit is another way to do great SEO but that's hard. Since you're doing a startup, I will not advice you to do that right now, because that will take time to master and you don't want to be wasting time there.
All the best !