The Best Technical SEO Tools to Master in 2021
Things have changed for SEO.
That's not surprising! With the way the world is going, things are changing in most industries. SEO, however, has always been a shape-shifter. Keeping in line with best practices for search engine optimization is a full-time job, and it's no wonder so many companies have opted for full SEO departments.
The new changes aren't exactly subtle, and the SEO tactics you used last year might not hold up this year. Google is now more of an answer engine, making it one of the biggest competitors for the clicks you need. There are millions of blogs, billions of searches, and more noise that your audience needs to filter out.
What does that mean for your SEO?
It means that you need to be more diligent than ever in your on-page SEO efforts, and you need to use the right tools for the task. Optimizing your website is just one step in the process. Search engine optimization requires a dedicated plan, lots of focus, and as much help as possible.
That's where awesome SEO plugins and tools come in to play. We've compiled a few of our favorites below for your consideration.
When you're thinking of your marketing strategy and what to carry on into this new and unique decade, a few things come to mind: UI, competitive research, backlinking, site crawling, and content optimization are just a few.
The best on-page SEO tools to use in 2021 will cater to at least some of these needs. We're going to focus on tools that help with technical SEO for now.
Here's a brief breakdown of a few fantastic SEO tools and programs to master in 2021.
Google's Mobile-Friendly Test
We've mentioned this tool before, but it's worth mentioning again. You're probably up to your ears in advice about user experience and confused about where to begin.
One of the biggest, and often overlooked, ways to create a better experience is with a mobile-friendly design. Google heavily penalizes sites that make it difficult for users to navigate on their phones and mobile devices (as it should)!
With or without the Google ding, a site that doesn't work on mobile devices will drive away valuable leads and customers. Broadbandsearch states that in 2019, 15.2% of all online traffic came from mobile phones. That number is only expected to rise as we sink into an always-online world.
There is no logical reason not to have a mobile-friendly site, so correcting any functionality issues should be at the top of your optimization list. The Google Mobile-friendly Test is a free way to see if your site is mobile-friendly enough to make navigation a breeze. This is an invaluable tool to keep bookmarked for new pages, site updates, and more.
Learn more about the Google Mobile-friendly Test here.
SEMrush SEO Toolkit
SEO is made up of a million different parts. SEMrush attempts to cover them all.
The free version of SEMrush can give you great insight into your content strategy. The toolkit covers everything from keyword suggestions to content suggestions and organic research.
Organic Research is how SEMrush gained popularity. It gives you insight into what your competitors are doing right, what they're doing wrong, and how you can fill in their gaps. Their breakdown of your competitors is a step you might want to take before you've lifted a finger for your marketing plans.
If you're worried about backlinking, SEMrush also has a nifty backlink audit to make it easier and quicker.
Some of the features SEMrush offers:
- Competitor analysis
- Content management
- Keyword research tools
- Keyword tracking
- Link management
- Rank tracking
- SEO content template
- On-page SEO checker
- Log file analyzer
- Listing management
Learn more about SEMRush here.
You might know a lot about how to utilize recommended SEO practices. Maybe you've been pouring over blogs, reading guides, and brushing up on what works. That's great!
Now how does it all apply to you?
CanIRank gives you a step-by-step breakdown of what your site needs. It's great for small businesses and entrepreneurs who might not need a full-service SEO toolkit but want an in-depth breakdown of best practices.
It's an SEO solution built with DIY companies in mind, and it covers keyword and competitive analysis primarily.
Some of their offered features:
- Keyword analysis
- Competitive research
- Data-guided action recommendations
- Specific SEO tasks based on user
Learn more about CanIRank here.
Everything relies on links. Think about the way the internet works. Even your social media strategy improves when you have better link analytics and design.
Pretty Links helps your links deliver better click-through rates and performance with a variety of features. It also creates better server-side redirects—these include permanent (301) and temporary (302/307) redirects, to better backlinking practices with keyword replacement.
In addition to these redirection types, Pretty Links can help you stay top of mind with branding options and help you track conversions with tracking pixels.
It's a boon to your new decade's SEO strategy, all in one effective WordPress plugin.
Some of Pretty Links' features:
- Default link options to help speed up the process of link creation
- Customizable reporting options
- Link groups based on product, affiliate, and more
- Social media network bar for posts and pages, enabling readers to share Pretty Links directly
- Keyword replacement tool
Get a feel for more Pretty Links features here.
ScreamingFrog (and the Screaming Frog SEO spider)
The first step to any SEO plan is always the same: Audit. If you're an expert, you know how tedious a website crawl can be, and you know how essential it is to have the right tool for the job. Neglecting small site issues, including broken links and missing metadata, can lead to a long and perilous road to higher organic rankings.
While Screaming Frog is a fantastic SEO tool, it has a steep learning curve. You're not likely to pick it up unless you already have an in-depth grasp of search engine optimization and site crawling in general.
But if you want to know what's missing on your website, ScreamingFrog will crawl your site and give you the lowdown.
ScreamingFrog takes care of the essentials in any SEO audit, including:
- Broken links
- Missing meta descriptions and meta keywords
- Missing or incorrect titles
- Errors in URLs, canonicals, and response codes
The free version is enough for a small site, but you'll want to upgrade to the paid version if you have a full-fledged website on your hands (the likely case for larger companies).
All in One SEO
All-in-One SEO is a beginner-friendly, complete SEO WordPress plugin. It's a powerful plugin packed with features that enhance your content and make SEO easy to master.
The plugin has many features right out of the box, including with the free version, and is one of the best options for both beginner and expert SEO on WordPress.
All-in-One is one of the few plugins that offers a robust experience for both the free and paid versions. There are a lot of options to cover, which can seem intimidating at first. But if you master the different areas and aspects of technical SEO available, you're well on your way to higher SERP rankings!
The plugin allows you to choose from different modules that fit your specific SEO plans and goals. These settings will enable you to take things one step at a time and build your plan instead of throwing stuff out there and seeing what sticks.
The plugin takes SEO even further by allowing you to:
- Edit and optimize your robot.txt file
- Enjoy auto-generated description tags and a bad bot blocker
- Auto-optimize your titles for search engines
- Stay within word limits for titles and meta descriptions
- Create XML sitemaps
- Use advanced canonical URLs
- Update Google and Bing about site changes automatically
- Much more!
Learn more about All-in-One SEO (both free and paid) here.
Understanding how to improve your site's on-page SEO is crucial to standing out in an increasingly online world. One of the best ways to increase your odds of potential customers seeing you first is through a fully optimized website. The tools outlined above help you achieve that and so much more.
Take your time and research these excellent on-page SEO tools:
- Google Moblie-Friendly Checker
- Pretty Links
- Screaming Frog Site Crawler
- All-in-One SEO
This list is by no means exhaustive. Utilize these SEO tools for a faster, higher ranking website without all the hassle. With the right equipment, you can turn your business website into a high-ranking powerhouse!
Do you have any favorite SEO tools? Let us know in the comments below!
July 14, 2020
Is Yoast no longer relevant for WP sites?
July 14, 2020
Harry, It's still relevant and loved! This is just a list of our current favorites, but Yoast's free version is a huge boon to plenty of beginner WordPress users. If you need more advanced tools for less, you might get more results with a different plugin. There's also a lot of discussion around some of Yoast's recommendations, so you should definitely do some research to see if it fits your needs.
March 22, 2021
technical Seo is something i have been struggling with for the longest time. You have written an extensive blog, suddenly I am no expert, but I understand it better now and I hope I can use this to benefit my clients in the future.