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SEO is commonly defined as a methodology of strategies and tactics used to increase a website’s organic visibility on the web.
One word you don’t often see when looking at its definition is “experimentation.”
Why is that?
Experimentation is at the forefront of SEO. Experimentation is what drives the industry forward.
Without SEO experiments, everyone would all still be changing title tags and keyword stuffing content.
The industry has evolved because Google has evolved.
We, as SEO professionals, should continuously test different hypotheses to figure out what is most important to Google and our clients. That’s our job!
Every website is unique, and each faces unique challenges.
The following three SEO experiments could deliver dramatic gains for your specific site – test these out to find out for sure!Experiment 1: Content Pruning
Every SEO has heard the old adage “content is king”. Unfortunately, the meaning of this phrase often isn’t fully understood. Too many people believe this means “let’s create more content.”
As an agency, we work with many clients that have thousands to even millions of pages indexed. While there might be instances where more content is needed, our first objective is to analyze the content that isn’t needed.
That’s right, we want to try to find pages that should be removed.
How can that help?
Well, in short, Google scores each page on a website, all of which contributes to your overall domain authority. If you have a lot of pages that are of little value, that could devalue the overall SEO strength of your website.
How to do it:Get a List of Your URLs
Use a tool like Screaming Frog or even Google Search Console to get a list of all of your indexed URLs.Examine Your Link Metrics
Once you have your list of URLs, it’s suggested to download URL Profiler. This will dramatically reduce the time it takes to analyze the data.
Import the URLs into URL Profiler, and connect Google Analytics and Ahrefs, Majestic, or Moz for link metrics and run the profiler.
NOTE: Be sure to choose at least a 90-day timeframe if not longer.Analyze Your Data Deal With Your Low-Value Pages
Identify the pages on your website that have resulted in zero to very little traffic. In most cases, the pages listed here that haven’t received much traffic in the past 90 days (or longer) are probably not offering much value to users otherwise they would likely have traffic.
Before de-indexing those, make sure those pages don’t have a lot of links pointing to them. If they have little traffic and few links, it is probably safe to assume you can deindex those pages.
(Just use common sense here. You should know at this point how important this page is for you. For example, if it’s a seasonal page that might be why you don’t have traffic.)Experiment 2: User Experience Optimization
User experience (UX) has always been an important consideration but more than ever, it should be integrated into your SEO strategy as a never-ending experiment.
As Google’s algorithms have evolved, they are now able to better understand whether a searcher had a positive experience with a website. The more you are able to understand your searchers intent you can improve your site to better match that, thus engaging them.
How to do it:Survey Your Audience
A “Voice of the Customer Study” allows you to ask the visitors coming to your website whether you helped them reach their goal and if they were satisfied. This can be done by using feedback polls or surveys on your website as they convert or abandon the site altogether. A tool like Hotjar makes this very easy.
Oftentimes, website owners feel like they know what’s best for their customers. But unless you take the time to listen to them, how do you know for sure?Ask the Right Questions
Ask the right types of questions on your surveys, otherwise the data won’t be useful. Here are some examples:
What was your first impression when you came to the website?
What was the one thing that almost stopped you from buying?
Is there anything on this page that was missing that could have helped with your decision?
Why did you choose us over the competition?
Why did you leave the website?Watch How People Navigate Your Website
To truly understand how your visitors interact with your website you should also start by incorporating visitor recordings (Hotjar helps with this as well). This will allow you to watch back to see what if any usability issues exist on your site. It’s great to get feedback but it also helps to see the session replay as a user navigates your website.Test & Track Your Results
Now that you have data, the key is to determine where optimization opportunities exist and what changes we believe will improve the experience of our user base. Because it’s free and has a seamless integration with GA, I like to recommend Google Optimize.
Set up is simple and, because it’s part of the GA suite of products, it allows you to determine what the goal is of your experiment based on your GA goals.
Once you have the Chrome extension enabled, you can edit or add any elements you want to test and compare it to the original version to see how your tests are performing.
Without the data provided by surveys and visitor recordings, you wouldn’t have been able to accurately identify the potential gaps on your website to test against.Experiment 3: Boosting Internal Linking
SEOs are always focused on acquiring new links for their websites, but many often forget how impactful internal linking can be. It’s not about stuffing our pages with off-topic links, but more with highly relevant internal links.
How to do it:Pick Your Page
Choose the webpage you want to rank higher. This might be an important page that currently isn’t ranking as highly as you hoped or expected.Examine Your Keyword Usage
Decide which terms you are wanting to rank higher for. Next, go to Google and search your website for that term to determine which pages they feel are the most valuable for that term.Find & Add Links to Your Target Page
Look at the results from your search and see if you have linked to your target page on any of these results. If not, add a link to your target page.Track Your Ranking Progress
Once you add the link to those pages, got to Search Console and recrawl those specific pages.
Wait 2-4 weeks while tracking that pages progress.Analyze Your Results
Did this improve your page’s ranking? If so, repeat this process for other pages on your site.Conclusion
While there are many other SEO experiments one can test, my agency has seen these three SEO experiments deliver dramatic gains for our clients on a consistent basis.
As SEO professionals, we shouldn’t expect big gains if we’re only doing the bare minimum. Ongoing experimentation is the key to continued growth. As Google evolves, so must we.
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This is a sponsored post written by Supermetrics. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
SEO reports come in many shapes and sizes, which is why it’s important to start building yours with a clear goal in mind.
Do you want to:
Track your website’s organic visibility in the SERPs?
Get content ideas?
Identify ideas for paid search campaigns?
Figure out which link-building tactics have been generating the best results?
In this post, we’ll walk you through three must-build SEO report types that will help you stay competitive in 2023 and beyond.Report #1: Website Health Audit
Before you do anything else, you’ll want to understand your website’s overall health in terms of on-page SEO (internal) and referring domains (external).
This report will function as the foundation for the following report types.
Pro tip: You can use Supermetrics’ SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz connectors to run this audit.Website Overview (Internal)
This will help you see progress over time.
Next, create a breakdown of your key pages and their SERP positions.
This will help you identify the pages that require attention.
Finally, you’ll want to create an overview of all the domains you’re currently linking to.
Here, you might want to track the following metrics:
Unique page count.
Domain type (typically it’s better to link to government or education domains as sources).
Link type (nofollow vs. dofollow and/or text vs. image).
After you’ve audited your own domain, it’s time to take a look at the domains that are linking back to you.Backlink Overview (External)
This report will help you see which domains link back to your website.
From there, you can identify opportunities for backlinks.
In addition, you’ll see what kind of content external sites find valuable, which allows you to adjust your content strategy accordingly.
First, pull together the total number of referring domains, pages, and backlinks for each of your key pages.
After that, analyze how many backlinks you lost or gained over time, and from which domains.
You can also go more granular here and create a breakdown of links to see the exact URLs of the external domains that link back to your site.
Another helpful breakdown is referring domains by country, which helps you see the geographic regions that are linking back to your site.
In case you notice a large number of links coming from a specific location (e.g., Spain), you might want to consider creating some content in Spanish or focusing your backlink outreach activities on Spanish people and businesses.
Additionally, pulling the anchor text of your backlinks will help you understand the context of the backlinks you’ve gained.
Finally, it’s good to report on the first/last seen date to track how fresh the backlinks actually are.Get Detailed Information About Your Website Pages
To complete the health audit, add more data about your website pages that have backlinks.
First, check Google Search Console to make sure all of them are indexed on Google.
After that, check the source URLs to make sure they haven’t changed.
If the URLs have changed, pay attention to the response code and set up redirects if needed.
Here’s an example of what your backlink breakdown might look like in Google Sheets:Report #2: Paid Search & Organic Keyword Opportunities
After you’ve analyzed your website’s overall SEO performance, you can move on to the next report:
Identifying keyword opportunities for SEO and SEM.
SEMrush is one of the best data sources for this report.Run a Paid Keyword Audit
First, let’s identify your website’s top keywords, check how much traffic these keywords are bringing in, and see which website pages these keywords are leading people to.
Next, check what your keywords’ paid search positions are.
This will help you evaluate the competitiveness of your current keywords.
If you’re using SEMrush, you can also check your own and your competitors’ ad text copy along with ad performance. This will help you spot:
Based on this information, you can see whether there are some keywords you can outbid.
You might also want to start creating content around high-performing keywords to get more organic traffic.
If you’re using Google Search Console and Google Ads, you can build a report that shows the following for each keyword:
Paid search CTR and conversions.
Organic search ranking.
This data will help you see how much each keyword/search phrase relies on SEM.
If the reliance is high, you might want to create more content around these keywords to get more organic search traffic.
If you want to learn more about this report and get a nifty Google Sheets template for it, head over to this post.Get More Keyword Ideas for Your Content
SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs are all great tools for finding new content ideas.
First, you can pull your keywords’ organic and paid results along with their respective domains and URLs. This data alone can provide you with a ton of ideas on what to write about.
If you’re using SEMrush, you can also see the keyword’s ad history to get more ideas for your content and/or ad copy.
Alternatively, you can use a more targeted approach here.
Simply select a competitor’s domain and check what the top-ranking pages for a particular keyword are.
Next, create better and more comprehensive content that would rank better for a particular keyword.Report #3: SEO Competitor Analysis
We’ve covered some examples of competitor analysis in the previous reports, but since this is such an important area, you should probably create a separate report with this data.
First, start with a general overview. Check your competitors’ domain authority, page authority, and number of backlinks.
Here’s an example of this report with data from Moz:
You can get this Data Studio report as a template for free from Supermetrics’ template gallery.
If you want to go granular, here are a few more ideas of what to include in your report:
Which keywords your competitors are ranking for?
What the traffic and CPC for each keyword is?
What the competitors’ backlinks are and from which domains?
Which domains are ranking for the same terms as you?
What content/keyword gaps there are between you and each competitor?
What your competitors’ best-performing paid ad copy is?
What kind of content your competitors create to rank high for a certain keyword?Start Building SEO Reports for Free
As you’ve probably noticed by now, a great SEO report should include data from many different sources.
Start your free 14-day trial of Supermetrics today.
Widgets not only add an aesthetic appeal to your Android smartphone’s home screen, they also make your device more functional by providing some features that allow you to make use of certain apps without even opening them. What’s really great is that you can find widgets that span across a variety of use cases, which means that there’s one (if not many) for everyone. So, if you’ve been looking for some decent Android widgets to spruce up your device’s home screen and use your Android smartphone more efficiently, then check out this list of 15 useful Android widgets that you should try.Useful Android Widgets You Should Try in 2023 1. KWGT Kustom Widget Maker
Starting off at the top of our list is KWGT, a custom widget maker which allows you to make your own Android widgets that you can place on your home screen. The app offers a bunch of included presets, with the Play Store filled with even more presets created by other developers that you can use. The app allows you to completely tinker with the widget design, which means that even if you’re using one of the available presets, you can completely make it your own.
Download KWGT Kustom Widget Maker (Free, in-app purhcases)2. Google Calendar
Next up is the Google Calendar widget, another useful widget that you can use to stay abreast with your schedule by taking a glance at your phone’s home screen. In order to access the widgets, you’ll need to install the Google Calendar app, after which two new widgets will be added to the widget menu.
As mentioned, the app offers two different widgets, both of which can really come in handy depending on the way you keep a track of your schedule. While one widget shows your schedule for the week, the other gives you an overview of your schedule for a month. The most handy part about using these widgets is that you can easily add to your schedule by just tapping on the date within the widget, eliminating the need to first open up the app and then scroll to the specific date. If you don’t3. 1Weather
Having a weather widget can also be very useful as it allows you to get a brief overview of the weather forecast with just a glance. 1Weather is a great weather forecast app that comes with 12 widgets of different sizes that not only tells you the temperature but also provides information like the wind speed, humidity and the chances of rainfall. The Android widgets included with the 1Weather follow a variety of different design choices, which means that you’ll easily be able to find one that goes well with your setup.
The app has a tiny 1×1 widget, which is quite minimal and just tells you the temperature along with an icon denoting the cloud cover, along with a large 4×3 widget that displays the time, temperature, location, date, humidity, wind speed and chances of rainfall. The larger widget even has a Google Search bar built in, which means that you can remove the stock search bar and give your setup a cleaner, more homogenous look.
Download 1Weather (Free, in-app purchases)4. Todoist
The larger widgets allows you to completely customize the view and segregate all the tasks at hand based on your schedule, offering a lot of useful information on the home screen. The smaller widget, on the other hand, is just a 1×1 icon that lets you quickly add a new task to your to-do list, without requiring you to open up that app.
Download Todoist (Free, in-app purchases)5. Calendar Widget by Home Agenda
Download Calendar Widget by Home Agenda (Free, $1.99)6. At a Glance Widget by Google
Since the launch of the Pixel lineup, Google has been adding many exclusive features to its software and apps. But sometimes those features make way to a larger segment of Android devices. ‘At a Glance’ widget is one such feature that was introduced with Pixel Launcher, but now has been baked into the Google app. As a result, now you can use this minimal weather and calendar widget on any Android device. The best part is that it supports almost all the launchers out there. With this widget, you can readily access the Calendar and real-time weather information on your home screen.7. ColorNote
Remember sticky notes from earlier Windows days? Well, you can get a similar feature on your Android device too with ColorNote. It allows you to create notes and you can set them on your Android screen using colorful widgets. It works exactly like the Windows Sticky Notes and I am happy that you can organize and edit the notes on the fly. The best part about ColorNote is its resizable widget which is completely free, unlike other apps. It basically means that you can display more content on your home screen in a scrollable interface. Apart from that, you can also sync your notes online and the notes are encrypted before uploading to the server. All in all, ColorNote is a useful Android widget and you can use it in place of Google Keep.
Download ColorNote (Free)8. Month Calendar + Stuff
If you want a calendar widget that is minimal, has tons of themes including dark mode then I would highly recommend Month Calendar. Along with that, my next pick would be the Stuff widget for quickly creating to-do lists and notes. I prefer the combination of Month Calendar and Stuff because of how well they sync together— both in terms of looks and features. In one screen, both the widgets accompany each other and bring all your events, schedules, notes, and reminders. Further, Month Calendar has both schedule and month view whereas Stuff has the ability to add tasks quickly in one-tap. I would say if you looking for an integrated solution for calendar and to-do widgets then Month Calendar and Stuff are your best options.
Download Month Calendar (Free, Offers in-app purchases)
Download Stuff (Free, Offers in-app purchases)9. Digitox
Digitox is one of the essential Android apps that you must use to track and understand your smartphone usage. It offers an Android widget where you can readily monitor how long you have been using your phone, how many times you unlocked the device, and how many notifications you received in a day. This will give important insight into your smartphone addiction behavior and may help you cut down phone usage. The widget sits on the home screen and you can tap the refresh button to pull updated data, in case it doesn’t auto-refresh in the background. Keeping all points in mind, if you want to limit your smartphone addiction, consider using the Digitox widget.
Download Digitox (Free, Offers in-app purchases)10. AirVisual
With rising air pollution all around the world, it has become necessary to keep a tab on air quality around you to lead a healthy life. In addition to weather widgets, now it’s time to include AQI widgets also on your home screen. And for that, the AirVisual app offers the best widget for monitoring the real-time AQI of any location. I personally use this widget to track the quality of air with all the details including pollutants level, amount of PM2.5 particles, and more. AirVisual collates the data from institutes of local governments all around the world. And where the data is unavailable from a primary source, it calculates the AQI by modeling the satellite data. To sum up, AirVisual offers the best widget for tracking AQI and you should definitely use it.
Download AirVisual (Free)11. Google Maps
The app even has widgets which allow you to quickly share your location with friends and ask a friend to share their location with you. Even though the app doesn’t include any full fledged widgets, the widget shortcuts are really useful and I’ve used them quite frequently to check the traffic on my way back home and to share my location with friends. And if you are using Google Maps, you should also check out our article on best Google Maps tips to get the most out of the service.
Download Google Maps (Free)12. Google Keep
Google’s popular note taking app – Keep – also has a couple of really useful widgets that you should use on your Android device. The app features a simple shortcuts widget, which displays five shortcuts that will allow you to add a new note, a new list, a new voice note, a new handwritten note and a picture.
The second widget, apart from featuring the aforementioned shortcut, also displays some of your recent notes, depending on how you resize it. As you can see from the image above, the widget displays two of my most recent notes, which means that you won’t be forgetting anything important if you have it right on the home screen.
Download Google Keep (Free)13. IFTTT
IFTTT is a great automation app that lets you create applets that can do a predefined action with a single tap or when a particular parameter is true. The app, in itself, is quite handy as it lets you automate a number of mundane everyday tasks like switching on the WiFi when you get to work and it also features a couple of widgets that allow you to trigger a predefined task by tapping on a button on the home screen.
Download IFTTT (Free, in-app purchases)14. Simple Text Widget
Typography fans will really appreciate the Simple Text Widget, a widget creator like KWGT which lets you create your own Android widgets to place on your home screen. What’s unique about the widgets created by the Simple Text Widget app is that, as you might have guessed already, the widgets are all text.
You can customize the text completely to your liking and go for a look that complements your home screen setup. The Android widgets can be customized to do practically everything from creating shortcuts for apps to telling the weather or time. You should definitely check out the Simple Text Widget if you’re gunning for a minimal home screen setup on your device.15. Clip Stack
Clip Stack a nifty clipboard manager app for Android which allows you to manage all that things you copy to the clipboard in one place. The app features a very handy widget that displays the most recent text copied to the clipboard and features a shortcut that allows you to create a new clip.
What’s really great about Clip Stack is that it can remember unlimited amounts of text copied to the clipboard, which can even be recovered after rebooting the device. I personally use the Clip Stack widget to keep a record of things that I wish to read later (I know there are other more user friendly ways to read things later) or to save phone numbers or other contact information which I don’t have the time or patience to copy down.
Download Clip Stack (Free, in-app purchases)Bonus: Beebom
If you’re already using the Beebom app, I strongly urge you to try out the new widget by adding it to your home screen. Not only is it a great way to keep up with the latest tech news, it also gets rid of the hassle of opening the app again and again to find the latest headlines, which is quite convenient.
Download Beebom (Free)Try Out These Android Widgets Right Now
While NordVPN remains a popular VPN service, last year, Techcrunch reported that NordVPN was hacked in March 2023, following which, the popular VPN company came forward and confirmed the breach. According to NordVPN, the breach was only limited to one server in Finland. However, since they kept it quiet for so long, I don’t know if we should implicitly trust them. Whatever be the truth, you as a consumer should be wary of data breaches that can potentially expose your online identity. So, if you have been a NordVPN user, you should move to a secure VPN that offers the highest level of security with no compromise on user data. In this article, I have shared the 10 best NordVPN alternatives which are known for their reliability and ironclad security protocols. So let’s go ahead and explore the list in detail.Best NordVPN Alternatives in 2023
Here, I have mentioned 10 VPNs like NordVPN which offer exceptional protection and various safeguards to your data. For example, I have given preference to those VPNs which offer various security protocols, out-of-the-box encryption, no jurisdiction over your data, a healthy number of servers, and more. Having said that, you will still get fast internet speed similar to NordVPN so don’t worry about that. Now without further delay, let’s jump right in.1. Private Internet Access (PIA)
Visit Website (Starts at $3.33/month with the yearly plan)2. ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN which beats NordVPN in every aspect right from security to coverage of countries. It has more than 3000 servers in 94 countries (NordVPN has 5000+ servers but available only in 59 countries) all across the globe and the company is steadily expanding its reach. In terms of security, ExpressVPN also uses the highest standard OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec security protocols so that is great. On top of it, you also get AES 256-bit encryption and Automatic Kill Switch to halt your internet traffic in case the VPN disconnects abruptly. The best thing about ExpressVPN is that its headquarter is based in the British Virgin Islands so it’s out of the US or any other country’s reach. If you want a NordVPN alternative and don’t mind paying a premium to safeguard your privacy then ExpressVPN is a solid choice.
Visit Website (Starts at $8.32/month with the yearly plan)3. Mullvad
Mullvad is among the first VPN providers to implement Wireguard protocol in their servers and that makes it the best VPN out there. You can easily replace NordVPN with Mullvad and I am sure you will see a huge leap in both speed and internet security. For what it’s worth, Mullvad has 409 servers in 39 countries.
Visit Website (Starts at $5/month)4. TunnelBear
TunnelBear is my personal favorite because it offers reliable service and does not log your internet activity even under the free plan. You get 500MB of free data every month which is not enough I know, but you can upgrade to the paid plan and enjoy all the perks without any limitation. The monthly plan is cheaper than NordVPN and the service has adequate servers across 22 countries. Granted, its coverage is not as huge as NordVPN, but if you are based out of the covered countries, TunnelBear is a much better proposition than NordVPN. You get 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN security protocol. I would say, just try out TunnelBear under the free plan and if it makes sense to you, go for the premium plan.
Visit Website (Free, Starts at $4.99/month with the yearly plan)5. CyberGhost
CyberGhost is another prominent VPN that truly rivals NordVPN in terms of servers and country coverage. It has got more than 5200 servers spread across 61 countries around the world. That is more than NordVPN’s 5000 servers and that is simply great. You can also share your VPN network with 7 other devices without any limitation on speed. Apart from that, CyberGhost is based in Romania which follows EU privacy laws but rejects the data retention policy. All it means is that your data will not be retained for future compliance by any regulation or government. Further, on the security front, you get OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols with Automatic Kill Switch and 256-bit encryption. Considering all the points, CyberGhost seems to be among the best alternatives to NordVPN and you can surely give it a try.
Visit Website (Starts at $5.95/month with the yearly plan)6. PureVPN
Apart from that, PureVPN has support for six different security protocols but comes with IPSec as the default one. For many users, it may not be the best security protocol, but you can manually set up OpenVPN or any other security configuration as you desire. Also, the VPN is equipped with an automatic kill switch so that is great. To conclude, if you are looking for a NordVPN alternative that can cover maximum cities around the world then PureVPN is a solid choice.
Visit Website (Starts at $5.81/month with the yearly plan)7. Surfshark
Surfshark is a relatively new VPN that is quite popular among the Redditors because of affordable pricing and iron-clad security. It’s headquartered in the British Virgin Islands so your data is safe from any government’s outreach. Apart from that, Surfshark has 1040+ servers in more than 61 countries which is quite good. As for the security, it deploys two major protocols: OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) and IKEv2 with AES-256 encryption on top of it. Not to mention, the VPN comes with a kill switch similar to NordVPN which stops all the network activity in case the VPN disconnects abruptly. It helps you in protecting your IP address and online identity. All in all, Surfshark is a strong contender in the VPN race and can be a great alternative to NordVPN.
Visit Website (Starts at $1.99/month with the 24-months plan)8. IPVanish
If you were using NordVPN for torrenting or P2P traffic then IPVanish is the perfect replacement you can opt for. It has more than 1400 anonymous servers spanned across 60 countries which offer excellent performance and without any downtime. On the security side of the thing, IPVanish has implemented 256-bit encryption and you can choose your protocol of choice from IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), L2TP, and PPTP. I would say go with OpenVPN protocol for maximum protection and performance. Further, this VPN allows network tunneling on 10 devices which can be very helpful if you have a family and want to share your private connection. Strictly put, IPVanish is a great VPN and a suitable alternative to NordVPN if you are from the US or Canada.
Visit Website (Starts at $6.49/month with the yearly plan)9. ProtonVPN
Visit Website (Free, Starts at $4/month with the yearly plan)10. Windscribe
Windscribe is among the best freemium VPNs which offer 10GB of free data for a month. However, I would recommend you to go with the paid plan for better online protection and no logging of your internet traffic. In terms of coverage, it’s not as large as NordVPN, but offers its servers in more than 60 countries around the globe and promises no downtime. The VPN also supports multiple security protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SOCKS. You can further set up the VPN based on your security preference. You also get AES-256 encryption with the IKEv2 security protocol. To sum up, Windscribe is a worthy alternative to NordVPN and you can opt for it, but make sure to try the free plan before you make a jump.
Pick the Best NordVPN Alternative and Protect Your Online Identity
So that was our list of 10 best NordVPN alternatives which offer a great degree of security with a similar level of performance. NordVPN has a large number of servers across the world so we have tried to include VPNs which can match up with its performance and reliability. In terms of security too, we have chosen VPNs that come with OpenVPN and other high-end security protocols. Anyway, that is all from us. If you are a NordVPN user, you should switch to a suitable VPN from the list for better privacy.
The all new iPad Pro is one of the most powerful tablets out there. Combined with the Apple Pencil, it can be the only tool one needs to embark on their creative journey. Not only Apple Pencil acts as a stylus, significantly improving input accuracy, but its pressure and tilt sensitive tip really enhances how you can interact with a blank canvas. Of course, you’ll need an app or two to kick off your artistic career and if you’re not really sure which one to go with, we’ve compiled a list of the best Apple Pencil apps that you should try. The apps included in this list aren’t just for the artistic type, with quite a few options that can be quite helpful for professionals and students. So, without much further ado, let’s take a look at the best Apple Pencil apps available on the App Store.Best Apple Pencil Apps You Should Use in 2023 Best Apple Pencil Apps for Drawing and Editing Photos 1. Autodesk SketchBook
Starting off with what’s most likely the highest rated Apple Pencil app on the App Store – Autodesk SketchBook – a compelling drawing and sketching app that features over 170 different customizable brushes. The app is designed for professionals and it includes features like Photoshop document support, layers and blending, making it a rather powerful app that allows you to create some stunning art. Thanks to the Apple Pencil support, sketching or drawing on Autodesk SketchBook feels pretty much like drawing on paper and the seamless controls make using the app as intuitive as you’d imagine.2. Adobe Comp CC
Adobe Comp CC is another great Apple Pencil app which is targeted at UX designers and allows them to create wire-frame mockups for mobile, web or print. The app seems like a stripped down version of Adobe InDesign CC, and although it doesn’t offer all the features as InDesign, it manages to retain all the core tools that will help you create a basic design. The app comes with a bunch of preset layouts to choose from and it also allows users to create their own custom dimensions from scratch. What’s really great, however, is that Adobe Comp CC automatically saves all layouts to the user’s Creative Cloud account, which means that you can quickly transition from your iPad to your system whenever you need to do some heavy lifting.
Download Adobe Comp CC (Free)3. Concepts
Download Concepts (Free with in-app purchases)4. Adobe Illustrator Draw
Another great app from Adobe’s stable – Adobe Illustrator Draw – is a really capable drawing app for the iPad which also offers complete Apple Pencil support. The app allows you to sketch vector graphics and then easily edit them on your desktop afterwards using the ‘send to desktop’ feature. Adobe Illustrator Draw includes basic shape stencils to kickstart your design work and offers five customizable brushes, support for up to 8k resolution and great optimizations for the Apple Pencil. Adobe Illustrator Draw is a great drawing app that you should definitely use if you’re already a part of the Adobe CC ecosystem.
Download Adobe Illustrator Draw (Free with in-app purchases)5. Shapr
In case you’re looking for an app that will allow you create impressive 3D models on your iPad, then you should check out Shapr. An impressive mobile CAD app, Shapr is great for everyone from engineers to architects who often have to create detailed 3D models of their projects. Despite your level of expertise, Shapr is rather easy to use and once you get a hang of it, you’ll be able to create some stunning models with the app. All of the modeling tools in the app are available for free, but if you wish to transfer your models to another software you’ll be required to pay a premium.
Download Shapr (Free with in-app purchases)6. Paper
Paper is another great option to go for, if you’re looking for a simple and immersive drawing/sketching app that allows you to quickly create anything on the go. The app has a rather simple and straightforward interface, without any buttons or dials getting in your way, and its fluid gesture navigation ensures that every control is accessible to the user seamlessly. Paper features a wide selection of tools to aid your drawings, including a pretty capable auto-correction tool that snaps rough drawings to straight lines and shapes to help you draft more professional looking pieces.7. Pigment
If you’re not that great at drawing, but still want to do some artsy things with your iPad+Apple Pencil combo, then you should check out Pigment – an adult coloring book that offers over 2600 professionally illustrated drawings that you can color. The app includes 24 different types of pencils, markers and brushes which you can use to color the drawings with an almost unlimited number of colors. Pigment even allows you to share your colored drawings with friends on social media, email or text, and it even allows you to print out the drawings directly via AirPrint.
Download Pigment (Free with in-app purchases)8. Procreate
Download Procreate ($9.99)9. Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is another great app that you can take a look at if you’re a vector graphics designer who creates designs for marketing, websites, icons or UI. The app features a wide variety of tools, along with live effects, blend modes, image adjustments, and a high quality raster tool for texturing and masking. Affinity Designer boasts of great Apple Pencil support with accurate pressure, tilt and angle sensitivity.
Download Affinity Designer ($19.99)10. Sketch Club
For a simplified drawing experience, Sketch Club is one of the better options. Aside from letting you get a good grip on drawing, the app can also help you enhance your painting and typography. Featuring a variety of tools including brush, pen, smudge, blur, and vector, the app can enable you to create impressive arts. Moreover, it also comes with layer filters so that you can fine-tune colors, edges, vignette, and blurs with precision.
On the customization front, I think Sketch Club is up to the task thanks to the presence of color themes and shortcut bar. As it offers full support for Apple Pencil, you will enjoy using the app on your iPad. Beyond creating commendable arts, the app lets you join the community of artists to share thoughts with like-minded people and also derive inspiration from notable creations.
Download Sketch Club ($2.99)11. Linea Sketch
As an artist, you would also find its library of a variety of grids, professionally-designed templates, and 3D isometric lines highly appreciable. But what has caught my eyes in Linea Sketch is the flexible exporting that lets me export my work not only as a layered Photoshop document but also transparent PNG. Not to mention, the classic pencil that kind of compels me to brace up the traditional style of sketching.
Download Linea Sketch ($4.99)12. Inspire Pro
For those of you looking for a full-fledged Apple Pencil drawing app that can get the most out of your iPad, Inspire Pro appears to be the right contender. What gives this app a clear edge over many other rivals is a library of 150 top-quality brushes divided into 15 sets. So, whether you are a fan of oil paint to create classy looking arts or have a penchant for graphite pencils to make your creativity look pleasing to the eyes, the app has got you fully covered. Just in case you find the predefined offerings not living up to your mark, the app provides around two dozen settings to let you customize your brushes.
Download Inspire Pro ($9.99)13. Pixelmator
Pixelmator is a powerful image editing app for the iPad that comes with complete Apple Pencil support, allowing you to edit your images with great accuracy. The app features a ton of beautiful templates, tools to enhance photos, and a wide array of effects to improve or completely change the appearance of a picture. On top of that, Pixelmator also offers drawing tools which will not only let you create art from scratch, but will also allow you to add your own take to the images you’re editing.
Download Pixelmator ($4.99)Best Apple Pencil Apps for Productivity 1. PDF Expert
Download PDF Expert (Free with in-app purchases)2. LiquidText
LiquidText is another great app that you can use to annotate and review documents on the fly. The app allows you to gather and organize information across all your documents and webpages and use to write reports or create prep notes. LiquidText offers complete compatibility with a variety of different file formats, including support for PDF, Word and PowerPoint files, and it also allows you to import content from webpages. To keep all your notes easily accessible, LiquidText also features a powerful search function which allows you to search for keywords across all LiquidText documents.3. MyScript Calculator
Need help with some difficult math problems but can’t really use your regular calculator to get the job done? Check out MrScript Calculator, an easy to use app that allows you to write down your math problems and get results in real time. The app features a large set of operations, right from simple addition and subtraction to complex trigonometry and logarithmic calculations, making it a great tool for students.
Download MyScript Calculator ($2.99)Best Apple Pencil Apps for Taking Notes 1. GoodNotes 5
Download GoodNotes 5 ($7.99)2. Notability
Rounding off the list is Notability, another great note taking app which not only allows you to take handwritten notes with the Apple Pencil support, but also features a bunch of great annotation tools to add your ideas and thoughts to whatever material you’re reading on your iPad. The app also allows you to search for your handwritten notes and even has the ability to convert handwriting to text. On top of that, Notability features support for voice notes, allowing users to quickly add notes to their documents with the tap of a button.
Download Notability ($8.99)3. Notepad+ Pro
If you don’t want to settle with anything less than the best Apple Pencil app for your iPad, Notepad+ Pro is the one name that you should keep in mind. What puts this app ahead of the curve is the versatility to excel in many aspects. Whether it’s taking notes or annotating PDFs or drawing arts, the app is fully equipped to live up to the billing. Based on your needs, you can edit PDF files and annotate them using different tools.
And with the availability of many template galleries like lifestyle, education, sports, games, and music, you can give your file a more suitable appearance. Moreover, Notepad+ Pro has the support for several formats including Excel, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Powerpoint, Word so that you can deal with a variety of files without facing incompatibility issues.
Download Notepad+ Pro ($19.99)4. Bear
Speaking of customization, the app comes with a unique feature called “emoji autocomplete” that allows you to personalize your tasks and headings. Better still, Bear has got the support for many export options such as HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, EPUB, and TextBundle so that you can comfortably deal with different file types.
Download Bear (Free with in-app purchases)Try Out These Apple Pencil Apps Right Now
IKEA, the largest furniture retailer in the world has introduced an augmented reality app for iOS 11 that lets users virtually place the company’s products in the real world, thereby providing people a glimpse of how the furniture will actually looks in their homes. It includes 3D and true-to-scale models of everything from sofas and armchairs to footstools and coffee tables, to provide you with an accurate impression of the size, design and functionality. Well, from now on, you don’t really have to visit the store just to check out their products.
Install: (Free)2. AR MeasureKit
Install: (Free, with in-app purchases)3. Fitness AR
This application utilizes the data collected by the hugely popular fitness platform called Strava and makes use of Apple ARKit platform to display a stunning 3D terrain map in the real-world. With this AR map that’s powered by Mapbox, you can simply walk around and explore your previous activities on this app, which wouldn’t have been possible on iPhone if it wasn’t for iOS 11’s AR capabilities. In order to record and share what the app is displaying, Fitness AR will make use of the screen recording feature that was introduced in iOS 11.
4. Hair Color
Finding the right hair color that might actually suit your face is quite hard, because most of the times, you might end up regretting it, as the end result looks quite different from the sample that was shown by your hair stylist. Well, that’s not going to be much of a problem anymore, thanks to the new Hair Color app developed by ModiFace. By leveraging the AR functionalities of iOS 11, the app lets you try out various hair colors virtually in the matter of a few seconds. The hair colors are applied in real-time, and works perfectly even if you adjust your hair.
Install: (Free, with in-app purchases)5. Edmunds
Install: (Free)6. Sky Guide AR
If you enjoy gazing at the stars, you’ll certainly fall in love with this app that helps you find constellations a lot more easier. With the help of Apple’s ARKit platform, Sky Guide AR superimposes the map on top of the actual sky when you point your iPhone’s camera towards it. Well, this is not some sort of generic sky. This is the actual sky around you in real-time made possible as a result of augmented reality. Sky Guide works with or without Wi-Fi, cellular service or GPS, so you can gaze at the stars no matter where you are.
Install: ($2.99)7. GIPHY World
Install: (Free)8. Porsche AR
The hugely reputed German automobile manufacturer Porsche has developed an all-new app for iOS that might grab your interest if you’re keen on buying one of their cars. By leveraging the capabilities of Apple’s ARKit platform, the app lets users add exterior paint colors, wheel designs and interior options to custom design and place a Porsche car in the real world, so that you can check them out from every angle without having to visit a showroom. Moreover, users will be able to head over to the driver’s seat and even “test drive” the vehicle remotely in augmented reality.
9. CARROT Weather
Install: ($4.99)10. TapMeasure
This is a step up from the AR MeasureKit app that we just discussed, and comes from a company that has been constantly working with augmented reality for quite some time. Just like AR MeasureKit, you’ll be able to measure the dimensions of objects just by pointing your iPhone’s camera at it. This is probably the fastest and easiest way to measure a physical space, and believe me, it’s insanely fast. In addition to MeasureKit-like capabilities, TapMeasure excels in creating floor plans and 3D room models for your home. These can in turn be exported as CAD files, so that you can continue working on it from your computer.
Install: ($1.99)11. World Brush
This is a completely unique AR experience that lets users paint with brushes in the real world in augmented reality. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of iOS 11’s ARKit support. Every painting that’s done using the app is anonymous and is saved at the approximate GPS location where it was actually created. Therefore, users of this app from around the world can discover paintings in their areas using the built-in map. They can like, dislike and report paintings to showcase only the good stuff. Well, if the creators want their paintings to be invisible to everyone else, they can simply mark them as private.
Install: (Free, with in-app purchases)12. Holo
SEE ALSO: 20 Cool iOS 11 Features You Should Know AboutThe Best ARKit Apps You Should Try
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