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7 Key Features SEO Tools Should Have

If you want to purchase a new SEO tool, this article will certainly help to make a perfect choice. But first things first before you scroll down.

We assume that you’re already in a stage in which you can easily tick following check boxes  related to your overall content marketing strategy.

If not, we would suggest to focus first on what you’re still missing.

A new SEO tool is nothing more than a helpful tool to measure your efforts, to keep the good elements or to improve your weaknesses.

A quick SEO checklist before we get started

√   I’ve got a permanent influx of new and relevant content for my business
√   My content is built and structured according to the pillar & cluster page principles
√   The content itself is already published but needs an upgrade in terms of SEO, including all my media content
√   My website is up and running
√   My website is mobile friendly and secured
√   I’ve set up Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Tag Manager

The ultimate goal of SEO

SEO should bring your core content to the top 3 rank position in search engines. You’ve got 2 choices to achieve a top 3 rank position:

1) Advertising

If you’re looking for conversions, we would suggest to allocate more budget to SEA than any other ‘under the line’ advertisement channel because people already know what they want.

However, companies think that the more they spend, the better their ads will rank.


The ranking is determined by the 4 following elements:

1. Bid: The price you finally pay for a keyword is not determined by the price of your own bid, but determined by an auction
2. CTR: The click-through-rate of your advertisement
3. Landing Page: Is your page relevant, user friendly and transparent?
4. Relevancy of your advertisement

Having said that, if you are really intending to play it hard by blowing away your SEA-competitors, there’s just one bidding strategy that kind of overrules the 4 mentioned elements.

And that is the Target Outranking Share Bidding. Note that this option has got a very expensive CPC.

2) SEO

Contrary to the first choice, this is rather a long term approach. Here are the 5 cornerstones to include in your SEO strategy:

  1. Determine 3 or 4 keywords vital for your business.
  2. These are the keywords for which you will strive for a n° 1 position.
  3. Be realistic, 5 keywords on the hotspot is far too ambitious. How strong is the competition on this keyword?A ‘competitor’ is not necessarily your direct business competitor but it is someone who has managed to gain important online authority for a specific keyword.Here’s an example: You own a business specialised in selling bikes for cycling. So logically, you are considering ‘cycling’ as keyword (in the screenshot below we used the Dutch word for cycling: “wielrennen”).However, this would be unwise to optimise your content on this keyword because you will end up competing with websites having a huge authority regarding this keyword, like Sporza.
  4. Take the above three focus keywords, and start mapping related keywords in a keyword cluster.Find existing website pages and related content and put them on the right place on this map.Respect the golden rule of 1 page = 1 keyword
  5. Now start to create relevant content with an eye for Ux and readibility.
  6. Start to optimise the SEO of the pillar topic page and topic related content
  7. Create additional content for the unfilled spots of your keyword map
  8. Check, measure and optimise continuously in order to keep and improve the ranking of the pillar page.

The 7 must-have features of a SEO tool

  1. Keyword finder
  2. Ranking of your domains
  3. Keyword benchmarking
  4. Link building checklist
  5. On page SEO checklist
  6. Technical SEO checklist
  7. Reporting

#1 Keyword finder

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO.

Make sure that the keyword finder in the SEO-tool you select is not limited to a restricted number of keywords per search.

The minimum number you should obtain is 500 keyword ideas per search or per keyword list.

Your SEO tool should feature a keyword finder tool that searches straight in Google.

It is key to know what people are searching in relation with your topic and the search volume of the selected keyword in a very defined period of time and in a very defined region.

Free tools? Check out:

Google Keyword Planner
Keywordtool.io is scraping Google Suggest keywords
– Online communities such as Quora give you insights about the trending topics.
KWFinder tool that helps your find keyword with low competition
Answer The Public gives you an immediate view on how your topic should be structured

#2 Ranking of your domains

The Ranking feature should give you immediate answers on following questions:

  • how do my domain rank overall?
  • who’s ranking in the top 10, and what are their strengths?
  • how do I rank for mobile search?
  • SERP features?

Tools? Check out:


#3 Keyword Benchmarking

You probably want to know what position you are holding compared to direct competitors.

What is the weekly ranking of my selection of keywords? Am I in the top 100, top 20, top 3 or even, am I on spot number 1?

Please remember that it’s very good to be ranked in the top 3. But it’s even better to rank for a top 3 keyword with a high monthly search volume. Then you are really playing in the major league!

Tools? Check out:


Link building is one of the top 3 ranking signals of Google. But it’s certainly not one of the easiest.

  • Build backlincks on respected websites: The main purpose is to get your content featured on domains belonging to your type of business and frequently visited by your target audience
  • Participate in conversations on social media or specific community groups. These platforms represent authority and therefor are in general highly respected by Google’s reputation algorithm.
  • Use the backlink checker tool in your SEO-tool. This tool indexes hundred of thousands web pages. As a result, you’ll get a clear view which external pages are refering to your content.
  • Don’t practise any click baiting techniques. Visitors that click but don’t engage. You are not offering content in the line of their expectations. This can seriously damage your authority.

Free tools? Check out:

Moz Link Explorer

#5 On page SEO checklist

The new SEO tool should give you a weekly actionable report about on-page SEO optimisation.
Ideally, some of the SEO tools are directly integrated in the back-end of your website which enables you to easily fix the revealed issues on-page.

These are the common issues monitored by a report:

  • URL missing a keyword
  • URL length: short URLS rank best in Google
  • H1, H2, H3 title missing a keyword
  • Embed your keyword once in the first 150 words
  • Media missing ALT-TAG
  • Avoid a sky-high keyword density – use instead synonyms or LSI Keywords (are terms that go along with your main keyword)
  • The absence of external of internal links

Free tools? Check out:


#6 Technical SEO checklist

Maybe, this part is something you have to get resolved by your webmaster. Some issues might just be too tricky or complicated to fix.

The pitfall is to disregard this part of SEO because of the difficulty. But, make no mistake, technical SEO is vital for SEO optimisation. These are the common issues monitored by a report:

  • Crawl errors
  • Search engines can’t fully access your page, even when your page looks visible to users. It’s important for each page to ‘Fetch as Google’
  • Your site isn’t optimised for mobile users
  • Broken links
  • No HTTPS security
  • Duplicate Meta Tags
  • Slow loading speed

Tools? Check out:

Fetch as Google
Google’s mobile friendly test

#7 Reporting

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” – Peter Drucker

Big data is a buzz word among marketers. But taking data-driven decisions is nothing new.

It has always been at the centre of how we should take things further. It’s part of a logical process that makes us choose the smartest next step.

The second reason why your new SEO tool should feature a powerful reporting tool, is that your stakeholders will need cold proof of the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, based on facts and figures. Ideal reporting consists of following properties:

  • 24/7 accessible
  • instant live update
  • based on actionable KPIs
  • demonstrate evolution
  • easy to share

Tools? Check out:

Google Analytics

Save advertising budget and increase your organic visibility.

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In cooperation with Yungo and Starring Jane

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