My whole aim with Optimisey is to help people learn more about and get better at SEO (search engine optimisation).

I’ve worked on websites for around 20 years. In that time I have tried a lot of different tools and techniques but there are literally thousands out there. Which are the best SEO tools?

I want to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

A caveat and Affiliates

First off a little caveat: some of these are affiliate links, meaning if you buy them I get a little kick back.

That one was a hard one for me to square. I know how it looks: “Does he really recommend that – or are they just paying him to?”

Answer is: I really recommend them. I use them myself and if I think they’re no good, I won’t tell you the opposite, no matter how much they offer me to say otherwise.

Better than that, I’ll lay it out in crystal clear terms what the cost for each tool or product is and what I get out of it.

I run the free Optimsey MeetUp events (with sponsors to cover some costs) and this website myself so if it helps you to think of it as supporting that, that works for me.

Sound fair enough? On with the SEO tools list.

Optimisey recommends

SEMrush - one of the best SEO tools around

Name: SEMRush – SEO Super Tool

Description: If you can only afford to invest in one tool better make it a good one, right?

SEMrush is Optimsey‘s tool of choice in this regard. It’s a real SEO Swiss army knife:

  • Need to research keywords? ✓
  • Want to track your rankings? ✓
  • Curious about your competitors? ✓
  • Monitoring social media? ✓
  • Doing PPC research? ✓
  • Building or vetting backlinks? ✓

And that little lot is barely scratching the surface -it does a whole lot more. Plus the SEMrush team are actively building new tools all the time.

A recent example is their Gap Analysis tool. Pop in the URLs of your key competitors and SEMrush will tell you which keywords and which backlinks they have which you don’t.

Ingenious and a real time saver.

It’s not cheap but you really do get what you pay for.

Still – it’s a big ticket item, I get that – so with the Optimisey link you get a free 7-day trial.

If you’re not blown away by it’s power and potential in that first week, fair enough. I’m pretty confident you will be.

Price: £75 (USD$99.95) a month for Pro plan; £149 (USD$199.95) a month for Guru plan; £298 (USD$399.95) a month for Business plan.

Annual price (for comparison): £894 (USD$1199.40) upwards (discounts available if you pay annually)

Type: SEO keyword tracking; keyword research; competitor research and monitoring; CPC research; social media monitoring; brand monitoring; backlink checker… etc. etc.

Optimisey gets: 40% of each payment you make

Take me there


Marie Haynes Consulting's logo

Name: Marie Haynes’ Search News You Can Use

Description: Search News You Can Use ‘does what it says on the tin’. Struggling to keep up with all the changes in search engines (aren’t we all?) this is for you.

Marie is an expert curator cherry picking not only the biggest news in search but also providing solid advice on what to do about it.

Think £13 (less than £1 a day) is a lot to pay for a fortnightly email ? Try the lite version for free or take a one-episode-only look (for free) at the back catalogue to see the sort of thing you’re going to get for your money.

With a subscription you also unlock the entire archive. More top notch search advice than you can imagine.

Price: £13 (USD$18) a month

Annual price (for comparison): USD$216 (£161)

Type: Fortnightly email subscription

Optimisey gets: $18 – your first month’s subscription

Take me there


Screenshot from the keyword.io homepage

Name: Keyword.IO – keyword research

Description: Struggling with your keyword research? Getting a wide range of keywords around a topic is hard. This is where Keyword.io comes in.

With a database of 93 million (and counting) keywords you enter your ‘seed’ keyword (say “dog food”) and you’ll get a raft of related keywords to help focus your content and give you myriad more content ideas to boot.

Still not convinced? There’s a free version so you can ‘try before you buy’ – but if you’re looking to expand out your keyword research and really target those long-tail keywords, a Starter subscription unlocks features like:

  • related keywords
  • downloads (handy if you’re planning to build them out in spreadsheets etc.)
  • API access and a whole lot more.

Running CPC campaigns? Push up to a Pro plan and unlock the motherload:

  • monthly search volumes
  • CPC prices from Google AdWords
  • Competition data (how hard/expensive will that keyword be?)
  • Bigger API limits – handy if you’re patching it into other tools.

Price: £22 (USD$29) a month for Starter plan; £36 (USD$49) a month for Pro plan

Annual price (for comparison): £259 (USD$348)

Type: SEO keyword research tool

Optimisey gets: 30% of each payment you make

Note: you need to create a log-in to buy a subscription.

Take me there