Hey Alex – this is a good question. No tool is going to be spot on. My advice is to not look too much into the accuracy of the metrics, but look at it more as a relative measure. I’m finding Ahrefs to be a good barometer for keyword competitiveness, but I’ve also heard great things about KW Finder lately. I think it’ll more come to personal preference. Both are solid options.
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Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
2) SpyFu: I suggest to have paid account on SpyFu. I just need to find my competitors who using Adwords and review them using this tool. It will show me what ads and keywords they are using. Note that my competitor who paid for that particular keyword knows exactly that it is important for his business including recent trends. Also using SEO feature you can input any URL and find our which keywords they are ranking for.
There is a myriad of search algorithm updates, erratic market trends, increase in competition, among other things, all the more reason for you to be always on the move. With the help of the different tools that you can easily access with just a google searc>h away, all of these can be done in a snap. If you are committed to these practices, SEO ranking would just be a light feather on your workload.
The WA Keyword tool works well also and I am glad you like it. I use it as well. The reason I prefer Jaaxy is because it is an entire suite of tools in one package for an affordable price. Good choice to wait until you can budget for it. The free version gives a good taste of what is available but the paid versions both Pro and Enterprise are truly game changers. Once you make the leap you wont go back.
To check your sitemap for errors, use Screamingfrog to configure it. Open the tool and select List mode. Insert the URL of your sitemap.xml to the tool by uploading it, then selecting the option for “Download sitemap”. Screamingfrog will then confirm the URLs that are found within the sitemap file. Start crawling and once done, export the data to CSV or sort it by Status Code. This will highlight errors or other potential problems that you should head on out and fix immediately.