Everywhere you look when it comes to blogging tips or advice, one thing is sure: you need to do keyword research and use SEO tools to optimize your content. Do you need to play the SEO game as a blogger or even as a content marketer to run a successful blog or a content marketing campaign?

Do you really need SEO Tools like Ahrefs or Semrush and the like?

Everywhere you look when it comes to blogging tips or advice, one thing is sure: you need to do keyword research and use SEO tools to optimize your content. Do you need to play the SEO game as a blogger or even as a content marketer to run a successful blog or a content marketing campaign?

I usually like to consume content online about any topics I am excited about at any given time. Some call this procrastination, which it probably is. As someone who likes to blog and has a blog of my own, blogging is also a topic, I like consuming content about. This has led to many conclusions from all the content I’ve consumed online when it comes to blogging content.

If I were to summarize what most of the blogging content online is about, it could be summarized to:

As someone who has never paid anything for an SEO tool but has certainly tried a few, I see why people are drawn to these tools and what the value proposition is. However, I would still say that they are not worth the money and are not needed for quality content marketing and writing good blog posts.

What are SEO tools good for, and are they worth it?

So these SEO tools, such as Ahrefs and Semrush, provide information regarding search engine rankings and everything related to how your site ranks and gets visitors from search engines. They include things like:

Just to name a few.

These are all nice tools; I guess; if you are all-in to the SEO game and want to fight for better rankings and even want to throw money at it. However, I think that Google’s product, the Search console, has well enough information about how your posts and pages are ranking for which keywords; if you need improvement ideas for which posts, you should be making changes to rank higher.

Personally, I don’t really buy the whole backlink industry and all the fuzz around getting high-quality backlinks and spending all your time reaching out to authorities to give out backlinks for your blog.

For auditing tools, I have found some value in a few auditing tools that have detected some missing nofollows for 301 redirected URLs, but that is pretty much it.

I think the SEO tool market is a big money grab that tries to convince beginner webmasters and bloggers into playing the SEO game and thinking that they should be only focusing all their efforts on getting high in the search rankings. I don’t find the SEO tool market very valuable for my own blogging needs. Sometimes I have used a little bit of time to do minimal keyword research, but not usually.

I understand that it may seem like a valuable investment to get keyword ideas or topics to write about from an SEO tool, but then there is the risk of losing the human touch of the content you are creating.

The entire SEO industry is where most of the highly ranked pages in many niches are bloated with SEO-optimized junk that is only there to monetize readers’ attention.

Good and FREE SEO tool alternatives

Instead of paying a big chunk of money for expensive SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, there are a couple of good free alternatives out there that, in my opinion, get the job done if you need to play the SEO game a little bit.

These are all Google’s products that are 100% to use and should provide enough information about SEO to throw in a few essential keywords if needed.

Google Search Console

If you want your website to be found on Google Search, you need to register your website to Google Search Console.

Over time, Google Search Console will provide you with information about your rankings and give detailed information on what keywords your posts are ranking.

Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool that can be found from Google Ads, that helps you plan your keywords by providing accurate data on monthly queries, CPCs, etc.

Keyword Planner is Google’s product, so it doesn’t come any closer to being the most accurate dataset for keyword research.

Google

Are you out of ideas for keywords again? Go to Google and start typing on the input field, and you get keyword suggestions just like that.

There is no need to pay hundreds of dollars a month to get keywords for your new blog posts.

SEO websites and coding

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