SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) involve using organic and paid methods to improve website visibility in search engine results. These practices exist because customers make purchasing decisions based on their own research. They perform keyword searches, read content and follow links in their effort to make informed decisions. If their activity does not lead them to your website you may lose the sale to a competitor.
SEO and SEM professionals use search engine data to identify ways to drive traffic to their own websites based on how their target customer behaves online. The information can also be used to discover what is and is not working for your competitors.
Tools that provide search engine data differ in their approach, the information they provide and pricing. The tools below are separated into those that provide some value for free and those that require information or payment first. Some tools focus on website traffic and the keywords that drive it while others start with backlink data. Some include demographic information, content performance or advertisement monitoring while others do not. Ultimately, your choice will depend on the type and depth of information you want and how frequently you need it updated.
Resources with a free version (no info. or trial required):
Resources without a free version that focus on backlinks:
This list is not meant to be exhaustive and it does not include sources that specialize in content or advertisement monitoring. If you have suggested additions, please feel free to submit them for consideration.
There are additional tools that provide search engine data along with social management and monitoring in a larger suite. Those are not shown here as they will be explored in a future update.