Keeping up with the latest SEO Tools is almost a full time job by itself these days.

To see if there were any SEO tools I’d missed out on in 2014 so far, I posed the question to twitter:

The response was far greater than I’d anticipated, with 130+ people replying with their top tools.

Note: the list isn’t intended to be completely exhaustive, nor is it intended to be any official popularity ranking, although there is enough data to draw some decent conclusions.

 

Distribution of Votes

As you can see, from the above over 50% of respondents named the same tool, a pretty exceptional result for the eventual “winner” in the popularity stakes, but more on that later.

 

Headline Statistics

Total Respondents: 134 (110 via twitter, 24 via Facebook)
Total Tools Suggested: 56
Total Votes Cast: 338

As this suggests, nearly 50% of the respondents suggested something unique to themselves. This is one of the real beauties of the SEO industry – there is a tool for every occasion, sometimes more than one, and each has its own strong or weak-points. Knowing what to use and when, is part of being a professional SEO in 2014.

I’ve avoided including some tools where only one person nominated it, and that person had a vested interest in it (generally, it was that persons own tool). I’ve also been unable to find a couple that were suggested, so those have stayed off the list as well.

The Shortlist

and-the-nominees-are

All tools nominated, meeting the above criteria, in alphabetical order are:

Advanced Web Ranking Google Webmaster Tools Rmoov
aHrefs Gorkana Scrapebox
Alexa KeywordSnatcher Screaming Frog
Authority Labs Linkdex SearchMetrics
Bookmarklets LinkResearchTools SEMrush
BuiltWith Linkrisk SEO All in One WordPress
Buzzstream Majestic SEO SEO Powersuite
Citation Labs Market Samurai SEO Tools for Excel by Niels Bosma
Coffee Mediahawk SEOquake Browser Plugin
Cognitive SEO Moz Tools Social Sprout
Common Sense MySEOTool Splunk
Deepcrawl Nerdy Data Tom Anthonys HTTP Header Check
Excel Netcomber Ubersuggest
FatRank Netpeak WebMeUp
GetStat Notepad Whitespark
Ghostery oDesk Wingify
Google OnPage.org Woorank
Google Analytics PHP Yoast WordPress SEO
Google Keyword Planner Raven Tools

 

While most of us will probably already use at least three or four of the above tools, seeing them all in one list really brings home just how diverse our industry is these days.

The Winners by Category

winner

Competitive Research (SERP Index) Tools

silver SearchMetrics (26 votes)

gold SEMrush (27 votes)

A small category, but then maintaining an alternate index of Google’s rankings for competitive research is a big ask, and SEMrush just edged SearchMetrics by one vote in the target set. Both products are fantastic so equally deserve to be winners in my book – SearchMetrics is an incredibly detailed product with more data than you can shake a stick at, whereas SEMrush offers incredible value for money albeit for a marginally smaller index depth.

 

Best Internet Marketing Platform

bronze
Raven Tools
(3 votes)

silver
Linkdex
(8 votes)

gold
Moz.com
(24 votes)

 

A pretty clear win here for Moz.com! With 3x more votes than its nearest competitor its a clear winner in the marketing platform category, although some may (and rightly so) argue its an unfair comparison as Linkdex not to mention a few others on the list are more targeted towards large teams than individual marketers or smaller teams. All the same, an impressive win for the Moz!

 

Best Backlink Index Tool

bronze aHrefs (21 votes)

silverMoz.com / Open Site Explorer (24 votes)

gold MajesticSEO (38 votes)

Majestic proves a clear winner in the backlink profile tools list – unsurprising really given its got the most in depth feature set, along with some pretty awesome levels of data.  While the user interface might not be as polished as its two main competitors (sorry guys, its true though!) its utility is un-matched.  Did I also mention its quite incredible value for money as well?

Combining it with analysis tools ranging from AWR through to LinkRisk enhances its potential no end, and you can even dump its data directly into excel using either Niels Bosma’s Excel SEOtool or the rather tasty SEOgadget (sorry, BuiltVisible) excel plugin.

 

The Overall Best SEO Tool 2014:

bronzeSEMrush (27 votes)

 

silverMajesticSEO (38 votes)

 

goldScreaming Frog (70 votes)

 

A crushing victory for everybody’s (well, statistically 52.2% of SEO’s) favourite tool!
Screaming Frog wins the overall voting by some margin, doubling the tally of all, except Majestic’s vote counts.

 

Why is the Screaming Frog so popular among SEO’s?

frog

Well, quite simply there isn’t another site crawler currently on the market that has as rich a feature set and user experience.

The only real competition I even remember screaming frog having was Xenu link sleuth, but that hasn’t been updated in longer than most of the industry have been working in SEO, and I bet most practitioners probably haven’t even heard of it these days.

If you dont know Screaming Frog, you need to grab a copy of it right now – if you are a user already you can be safe in the knowledge you made the right choice!

All nominations sorted by popularity

best-tools

 

And the following tools all had one vote each:

Most of these tools are worth checking out if you are unaware of them, they range from Alexa offered as a site intelligence tool (of dubious accuracy) by Amazon, through to Tom Anthony’s HTTP header check, an incredibly useful albeit simple browser add-on.

Alexa,
Bookmarklets,
BuiltWith,
Citation Labs,
Cognitive SEO,
Common Sense,
GetStat,
Ghostery,
Google Keyword Planner,
Gorkana,
KeywordSnatcher,
Mediahawk,
MySEOTool,
Nerdy Data,
Netcomber,
Netpeak,
oDesk,
OnPage.org,
SEO Powersuite,
Social Sprout,
Splunk,
Tom Anthonys HTTP Header Check,
Ubersuggest,
WebMeUp,
Whitespark,
Wingify.

 

Over to you!

The purpose of this entire exercise has been to share what tools are popular with the community right now, and I’m sure there are loads that have been missed out of the list above.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, which are your favourites, and why!

MartinMacdonald

Founder of WebMarketingSchool.com and a career professional in SEO and web marketing. Experienced in travel, gambling & entertainment niches. Former head of SEO for Omnicom UK, Inbound Marketing Director at Expedia & current Senior Director for SEO at Orbitz Worldwide.

MartinMacdonald

@searchmartin

Head of SEO & Content for @orbitz & @cheaptickets. Blogs @forbes, @huffpost 40+ global conferences & keynotes

I was *strongly* against this last time round. Not decided fully yet, but I'm more amenable to the split than befo… https://t.co/0RaVBBH0MX - 2 mins ago

Categories: Tools

Leave a Reply

24 Responses

  • Gary

    Interesting breakdown mate. I’d definitely put a +1 for Deepcrawl, it’s an excellent tool for finding issues and monitoring large sites (sorry, I never voted originally…).

    Also, not on the list because it’s too new, URL Profiler is immense. It’s right up your alley, as it pulls data in from all over the place and can be used in lots of interesting and undocumented ways.

    June 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm
  • MartinMacdonald

    Good tip – hadn’t heard of URL Profiler, will certainly check it out.

    The point about keeping up with all of the tools is certainly apt, 5 years ago we only had a handful, now it feels like there’s new ones almost every day…

    June 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm
  • Pano Kontogiannis

    In the section of overall best SEO tool for 2014 you can give a try to this seospyder, who is only for mac, but developer working in win version. http://www.mobiliodevelopment.com/seospyder/

    June 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm
  • MartinMacdonald

    Im perfectly happy with Mac only 😉 Will give it a try thanks!

    June 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm
  • Deepti Pingali

    Hi Martin,

    Have you heard of this tool called Panguin?
    The Panguin Tool enables you to see the impact of Googles various algorithm updates on your organic traffic.http://www.barracuda-digital.co.uk/technology/panguin-tool/

    -Deepti

    June 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      Ive seen it, but unfortunately not been able to use it on anything that has GA and suffered algo changes. The sites I work on tend to have omniture, webtrends or coremetrics :/

      June 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm
  • Bernt Johansson

    Interesting results. I am actually surprised that Microsoft SEO Toolkit is nowhere on the list. It’s free and very adaptable. Just the fact that it stores the source files that have been crawled is so useful.

    And with some hacking skills it is not that hard to add your own parsers.

    June 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm
  • Rick Package

    DeepCrawl is a great tool. It’s a bit expensive and there are some bugs and missing features.

    But they seem to be getting better. And it’s nice to have a hosted tool with scheduling and reporting features.

    That said, Screaming Frog can’t be beat for quick crawls and smaller sites.

    June 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm
  • Gyi Tsakalakis

    Sort of, kind of surprised aHrefs was relegated to bronze.

    June 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm
  • Jeremy Rivera

    Not surprised at the love of the Screaming Frog, but there are some new competitors in the audit tool space worth considering. Beam Us Up has the same capabilities, better error filtering and doesn’t charge to lift the arbritary crawl restriction on the # of urls.

    June 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm
  • Satish

    Woah! Amazing list. Not surprised to see Majestic SEO winning the best backlink indexing tool and overall seo tool. They are just amazing! Congrats for the other winners too! 🙂

    June 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm
  • Wohllaborg

    This is Really Nice Post, I Learner Many thing about SEO from this Post, Thanks for Sharing with us, Keep up it.

    June 14, 2014 at 6:44 am
  • Stacy

    One of the tools we use all the time SEMRush made the list but two others that we use pretty often SERPs.com and http://www.seoprofiler.com/ had no mentions interesting.

    NOTE FROM ADMIN: I’ve removed the affiliate links in your post – not cool…

    June 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm
  • Vaibhav

    Have you checked out RankWatch.com, we have been using it for the past 6 months and have been extremely happy, the best part is the way they are coming out with new stuff every month shows that they have a very active development going on. Will surely recommend to check them out.

    June 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm
  • Per Pettersson

    Great list, Martin, and I totally agree with Screaming Frog being the number one Overall Best SEO Tool. Its not only for SEO’s, but a great tool also for analysts and paid search ninjas.

    June 16, 2014 at 9:20 am
  • Cecile

    Awesome list! Majestic and SEMrush are great SEO tools – with a special mention for SEMrush which is great to use, even with limited access.

    June 17, 2014 at 9:26 am
  • Développeur SEO

    Less known crawl tools as DeepCrawl (uk) or Botify (french) have the advantage to b on a SaaS mode, unlike ScreamingFrog, I think that’s it’s can be explained by the price and usage habits.

    June 17, 2014 at 11:02 am
  • Ed Yates

    It’d be interesting to see how Buzzsumo fairs on this list now given how advanced it’s got since this study began

    June 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm
  • Justin Liles

    Man, I was glad to see Market Samurai in there.
    Some of the tools I like to use outside of this list would be:
    http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer he has one of the best extensions
    and http://www.localsitesubmit.com for checking your citations, search engine listings, etc.

    June 18, 2014 at 12:06 am
  • george Phillip

    This list is a good starting point but it is by no means the definitive best seo toosl list.

    Missing tools like Fiddler, SEO tools for excel, Gadatagrabber etc.

    June 18, 2014 at 1:49 am
  • Karthik

    Right.. It’s good collection of tools and congrats to screaming frog – we SEO are already addicted when it comes to crawling and onpage.

    We too has done a web based tool http://www.linkopens.com to find the type of link from a backlink list.
    In your next poll I suggest to include more small SEO tools.

    June 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    • MartinMacdonald

      I didn’t choose what to include, it was a poll of real people and the tools they use via twitter – if you follow me on twitter then you’ll be able to suggest in the next poll.

      June 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm
  • Robert Broley

    Some great tools available here Martin. Thanks for sharing.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm