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The 2018 SEO Toolkit Every Content Marketer Needs

Two percent.

You can be an awesome content marketer who uses SEO best practices and gets ranked on the first page of Google, and you're still not guaranteed traffic. As May 2018 research from Advanced Web Ranking found, the ninth and tenth position on the first page earn a two percent click-through rate (CTR).

The first position, on the other hand, earns a whopping 30 percent CTR. That makes a big difference in traffic.

To put it simply, you need to learn how to optimize your content so your buyer personas actually find and consume it.

The SEO world is always changing, so knowing the basics is just the start. You also need to stay in the loop with the latest and greatest tools.

With the right tools, you can learn what your competitors are doing, identify the best keywords and topics to create content about, and put the finishing touches on every piece you create. This will make a difference in your position in SERPs.

Check out these SEO tools that help you with planning, creating, and amplifying your content:

To Stand Out In Your Industry

Content is king, but only for those who know how to stand out. You need to understand what's popular in your industry and what your competitors are doing.


One of the most reputable content marketing solutions, BuzzSumo provides an impressive set of features to help you create awesome content that your audience actually wants to read.

These features include:

  • A social search engine that allows you to see the most shared content for a specific topic, a domain, or an author.
  • Social network sharing analysis that covers all the bases, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
  • Influencer research that helps you find who to reach out to in your industry for a specific topic. This can fuel your outreach strategy.


Since 2008, SEMrush has been a leading name in SEO and search analytics software. Their suite of tools covers everything -- paid, social, and content.

But their SEO features are what really stand out for content marketers. These features help you:

  • Run analytics reports on your competitors to find their best keywords. You can also find new organic competitors and track position changes of your competitors in organic results.
  • Conduct a link analysis to understand what referral sources are giving you a boost in ranking. With this, you can find new referral sources and see types of backlinks.
  • Audit your site to track your SEO progress and find what SEO issues to address first.
  • Analyze the performance of different content pieces you publish.


Specializing in backlinks and SEO analysis, Ahrefs is a top choice for content marketers looking to maximize their efforts.

They offer several features, but they’re best known for providing the most comprehensive data. In fact, the AhrefsBot is considered the second most active crawler after Googlebot.

With their tools, you can take your content efforts to the next level in many ways:

  • Find the exact keywords your competitors are ranking for in organic search and see how much traffic they’re bringing in. This helps you strategize and find the high-traffic keywords to compete for.
  • Plug a domain into their site explorer tool to learn about their backlinks and advanced SEO metrics. You can check your backlinks as well as those from your competitors.
  • Learn about top performing content by searching a keyword and looking at the social buzz, organic traffic, and amount of backlinks. This shows you which topics are best to focus on in your industry.
  • Track your ranking history, and get notified through the web monitoring tool when you or your competitor earns a new backlink or loses one.

To Identify Your Keywords

SEO is always evolving. While keywords are not as big of a focus as they were before, they still play an important role in your content strategy.

Specifically, they help guide your planning for pillar pages and topic clusters. When you understand what keywords to target and who your buyer personas are, you have a better understanding of the intent behind their search.

Moz Keyword Research

From consulting firm to SEO software company, Moz continues to build a massive online community of digital marketers. Their Moz Pro suite offers a wide variety of tools, most notably their keyword research tool.

It’s incredibly comprehensive, highlighting important metrics associated with keywords, such as:

  • The difficulty score
  • The estimated volume of monthly searches
  • The organic CTR
  • A priority score

You also get keyword suggestions and full SERP analysis. Plus, you can create keyword lists to prioritize and manage your keyword and content strategy.


One of the newer tools on this list, Serpstat is an awesome ‘all-in-one SEO platform.’ The keyword research tool gives you a full view of a keyword, providing insights on metrics like:

  • Search volume
  • Levels of competition for PPC
  • CPC
  • Difficulty ranking
  • Related organic keywords
  • Keyword trends
  • Top competitors in organic search and ads

Answer The Public

One of the simplest yet powerful tools, Answer the Public automates the autocomplete queries you see in Google. The best part -- it’s free!

The results for a keyword, like ‘content marketing,’ are presented as:

  • Questions being asked online.
    • Example: ‘What are content marketing methods?’
  • Phrases using the keyword and prepositions.
    • Example: ‘Content marketing for beginners’
  • Phrases using the keyword and comparisons.
    • Example: ‘Content marketing and inbound marketing’
  • An alphabetical list of phrases including your keyword.

These insights show you exactly what your buyer personas are searching for and what specific topics and angles to focus on.

To Nail Your Final Touches

As a content marketer, your main focus is likely writing. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the finishing touches of your content. Follow through on your content by making your great post even better.


Every piece of content needs images, but stock photos can be dull and overused. This is where Canva comes in. It’s a user-friendly graphic design tool, where you can:

  • Create several types of documents, like reports, brochures, infographics, and media kits.
  • Edit photos in many ways, like adding effects, creating texture, and cropping.
  • Design graphs, such as Venn diagrams, organization charts, mind maps, and pie charts.

HubSpot Website Grader

SEO entails so much more than keywords, meta descriptions, and copy. Your website’s performance can help or harm your ranking potential.

This is why the HubSpot Website Grader is a must. You simply put in your URL and email address, then you get a personalized grade that details your website’s performance, based on the following criteria:

  • Performance - this includes page size, page request, page speed, redirects, and much more.
  • Mobile readiness - viewpoint and responsiveness are key to mobile optimization.
  • SEO - an analysis of your page titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, and sitemap.
  • Security - do you have an SSL certificate?


Don’t let link juice become an afterthought again. When you earn backlinks, you become more credible in your industry, which helps you rank higher.

With BuzzStream, you can simplify your link building process by:

  • Discovering contact information and prioritizing influencers.
  • Tracking conversations in your outreach and setting reminders for follow-ups.
  • Pulling reports to identify where to improve your outreach and earn more, high quality link placements.

Don't let your awesome content go to waste.

By using these tools, you're ensuring that you're creating content your buyer personas actually want, staying in the race for high ranking positions with your competitors for targeted keywords and topics, and fueling outreach to build credibility within your industry.

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Jeff Previte

Jeff Previte

I am a Content Manager at Bluleadz. I enjoy spending time outdoors -- camping, hiking, hammocking, and everything in between. I also love reading, writing, and learning how to play guitar.