13 Top SEO Tools For Startups

Which SEO tools have been most helpful to your business?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.

1. SEOMoz for Everything

Bhavin Parikh

SEOMoz’s suite of products has essentially provided us the value of our own personal SEO consultant. We use their tools track keyword rankings, rate on-page optimization, and track links to our site. They also regularly post great tips on their blog and have a Q and A section. By using their tools, we’ve increased our monthly search traffic 10x in the last year.

Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh, Inc.

2. Raving About Raven Tools

Lawrence Watkins

I love Raven Tools. It is one of the key reasons why my company’s website ranks either first or second for most keywords related to our niche. Their research analysis and link-building tools allow me to find untapped niches and capitalize on them through effective organization for outreach.

Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

3. Install SEO for Chrome

Jun Loayza

SEO for Chrome is the go-to tool that I use. It allows me to easily see Page Rank, backlinks, estimated traffic, and even conduct keyword research for a website, all through my Chrome browser. It’s very important to get backlinks for SEO; I use this Chrome app to determine where I will invest my time to develop links back to my site.

Jun Loayza, RewardMe

4. Scribe for Content

Laura Roeder

Scribe is a great tool for SEO-ifying content. We run all of our blog posts through it to make sure that they’re not only educational, but will all be found in the search engines. Right now, we receive more than half of our traffic from relevant Google searches.

Laura Roeder, LKR

5. Can’t Go Wrong With Google

Warren Jolly

SEO is all about content and links, but equally important are the keywords you choose to target. Don’t assume what your users are searching for. Instead, use Google’s free Keyword Tool to determine monthly search volume for keywords in your industry. Once armed with this data, create content and obtain links targeting these keywords and watch your SEO traffic soar.

Warren Jolly, Affiliate Media Inc.

6. Two Birds With One Stone

Angela Pan

YouTube has helped me rank high on certain Google keywords. Not only is it the second highest search engine ever, but it also helps my audience see me and my photography in a more personal setting.

Angela Pan, Angela B. Pan Photography

7. Join the Fight With Market Samurai

Sean Ogle

Ever since I started doing SEO years ago, Market Samurai has been the backbone of my keyword research and analysis process. It is much easier to use than Google’s Keyword Tool and less expensive than other products on the market.

Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC

8. Open Up Open Site Explorer

Lauren Fairbanks

Information is key in improving your SEO efforts; if you don’t know where your inbound links are coming from and what keywords are providing the biggest boost to your search efforts, you can’t work to improve them. Open Site Explorer lets us check which inbound links are giving us the best SEO benefits, perform competitive research, and check backlinks and anchor text almost effortlessly.

Lauren Fairbanks, Stunt & Gimmick’s

9. Go Real-Time on Rank Checker

Matthew Ackerson

I’ve been using Rank Checker, the simple browser plugin for over three years now and haven’t had a need for much else. It’s free and you can download and set it up in a few minutes. You can create multiple website profiles that you want to track keyword SERPs for. It’s super simple and it gives you the most up-to-date results each time you run it. You can also schedule it to run automatically.

Matthew Ackerson, PetoVera

10. Wordtracker Cuts Out Extra Work

Nathalie Lussier

When it comes to researching which keywords are the most searched for, and how much competition they have, Wordtracker is the way to go. You can find out how many clicks you’d likely get if you got to the front page of Google, and whether it’s worth targeting this keyword or not.

Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media

11. Add Platinum SEO to WordPress

Ben Lang

Many of my sites run on WordPress so I use WordPress plugins on them. The best one of these plugins for SEO is definitely Platinum SEO.

Ben Lang, EpicLaunch

12. Site Strength Indicator Delivers Results

Nicolas Gremion

Site Strength Indicator from SearchEngineNews has been incredibly helpful, as it provides a very detailed breakdown of the most important SEO factors and how your site rates for them.

– Nicolas Gremion, Paradise Publishers

13. Forget SEO and Hit the Books

Eric Bahn

The best SEO tool I’ve ever encountered is The Purple Cow, a book by Seth Godin. This book makes the case that investing your resources into developing an amazing and viral product is better than any marketing or SEO campaigns. Instead of gaming SEO, focus on building a product that goes viral.

Eric Bahn, Beat The GMAT


About Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

  • http://twitter.com/robwalling Rob Walling

    #14: HItTail.com
    It finds underperforming keywords in your existing traffic so you can create content around them. (Disclosure: I’m the owner.) But it works!

    • Guest

      Great post.The Purple Cow, a book by Seth Godin is one of my favorites. And my no.1. SEO tool is LinkAssistant !

  • Reuben McGregor

    A lot of startups might use terminology that doesn’t really have any search volume yet, especially if they have created their own niche. The key is to use a mix of their new keywords with related keywords that will still drive traffic. Then they use the content piece to educate people about their new lingo and get it recognized in the industry as new terminology. Los Angeles SEO Team always use these basics too to gain the maximum output.

    • Small Business SEO

      I agree with this. Clients that I’ve worked with now and in the past all have this assumption that what they think of keywords wise, is what customers use to find them. Which isn’t ALWAYS the case, and those particular owners end up being surprised when I come back and show them a different set of keywords that aren’t what they thought they’d bed.

      • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

        Awesome insight and thanks

        Ramon Ray – from my phone (hopefully not while I’m driving or with my family)

  • http://www.artabout.gr/ Κατασκευή Ιστοσελίδων

    Very helpfull!

  • http://twitter.com/DalmatiaCharter Dalmatia Charter

    Great post.The Purple Cow, a book by Seth Godin is one of my favorites. And my no.1. SEO tool is “SEO Power Suite”

  • http://www.onlinetoolsforseo.com/ SEO keywords tool

    There are many tools to use to help you optimize your SEO business. You can then easily and effectively manage your SEO with the help of the tools and will help you find your way to success.

  • Malcolm

    I have one more tool on my mind. I have little startup – we create websites for small businesses. When we want to do some seo activity we use colibritool.com. It has anything we need – Google Analytics integration, keywords suggestion, backlinks, etc. Very promising young tool and they are not expensive so it’s great for startups but not only. When we started work with it, they had some trial version but I don’t know if they still have it.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks for adding this tool!

      • Malcolm

        Great post btw :)

  • http://www.mybusinesscentral.com.au/ Ella rich

    Google add words and raven tools have been very helpful and effective to our small business.

  • Yeye Yates

    Great tips especially aimed for start-up SMEs. I am actually one and would like to add or recommend a simple to use tool that I have started using – Colibri Tool (http://colibritool.com). Good luck to all of us new to this industry :)

    • Phil Clayton

      Thank you for this suggestion. Not heard of this before your suggestion but it looks very promising.