Having a successful website that converts the majority of its visitors requires SEO.
In fact, one study shows that the majority of clicks (67.5 percent) go to the first five results on a SERP.
These happen to be the sites that are well optimized. But SEO can prove difficult if being done manually. There is a wide range of tools that you can use to make optimization easier; some are free, others are paid and others offer a mix of free and paid features (freemium).
You can find a few of the tools we recommend by reading these SEO software reviews. That said, these SEO tools can best be understood based on what they can do for you. When you know which area of your site needs the most help, you can identify the tools to use and how to use them. For example, do you need tools for Keyword analysis, Content generation, Link building, Improving ranking or Technical SEO?
Related Article: My Cheat Sheet: An SEO Manager's Go-To Digital Marketing Tools
How You Can Improve Your Keyword Analysis Using SEO Tools
Keywords form the basis for SEO. They provide guidance to search engines on how to rank, thus, how to direct users to your website. But the benefits of keywords are only realized when you utilize them properly. The following is a straightforward and easy way to perform keyword analysis on your site:
1. Write down a list of topics that are relevant to your business
Comments and questions from customers can form a basis for your topics. For instance, if customers are looking for different ways to improve their online marketing, you might come up with general topics in areas such as: "digital marketing" or "SEO". Then write down a list of keywords that you think users will be interested in searching. For example, under "SEO", you could come up with short-tail or long-tail keywords such as: "SEO tools" or "Tips for improving SEO".
2. Look for related search terms
If you search a word or phrase in the search engine, related terms will auto-fill as shown below: As well, if you scroll down to the results page, you will see a list of related keywords. If you are using a keyword search tool, you will receive a list of reliable keyword alternatives to consider.
3. Come up with a keyword strategy that includes short-tail and long-tail keywords
Short keywords, for instance, "vitamins", have a high search frequency. But they are more difficult to rank for because they attract very large search volumes. Suppose you search for "vitamins for building muscle mass", this will send you relevant traffic, because the searcher is being very specific about what they want.
4. Check for competitor ranking for your list of keywords
Improve ranking for keywords that your competitors are paying attention to. Identify and exploit opportunities that lie in keywords that your competitors ignore. Most SEO optimization tools give you useful reports and analysis for competitor ranking of keywords.
5. Lastly, limit yourself to few keywords
You cannot, and shouldn’t, rank for every keyword. You should use as few keywords as possible and be strategic. With a tool like SEMrush, the process above will be quite simple. The tool offers a host of important insights such as competitor ranking, landing page per keyword and insights for running PPC campaigns.
Tools for Improving SEO Ranking
When you want to know if your marketing efforts have paid off, you’ll focus on questions such as: How does your site currently rank compared to before the campaign? Which aspects of the campaign have better ROI (higher traffic, more conversions, etc.)? You can answer these and other questions easily with SEO tools that can give you graphs for keyword performance, deep analysis on competitor activity, ranking by geography and the device used to search a keyword.
Tools for Improving Your Content Effectiveness
As important as content is, a lot of website owners still fail to come up with relevant, engaging and optimized content. You can go about improving your content in this way: Check your content’s performance vis-à-vis competitor content. e.g shares, follows, engagement and backlinks. Look for gaps in competitor content performance and exploit them.
Re-work your content generation strategy to focus on quality and relevance. Tools can help in this regard by for instance: pinpointing content performance among your topics and that of competitors. Helping you come up with fresh and relevant content ideas. Checking that the content you’re about to post is SEO friendly. Identifying opportunities for influencer marketing.
Link Building With SEO Tools
Linking to other websites provides an opportunity for raising awareness, improving outreach and building more authority for your media. With link-building tools, you can: search for bloggers in your subject area and using metrics such as the number of followers, you’ll get an idea of a blogger’s level of influence. Track activity around your content on social media, to see if any bloggers/influencers are reading or sharing it. Track activity of keywords on sites you’re interested in back linking to.
Related Article: SEO Automation: Does It Really Work?
Performing Back-End SEO
A lot of SEO also happens from a website’s back end. It’s important to have tools that will: Scrutinize your website for inefficiencies. Identify anomalies with your pages or content such as missing titles, duplicate pages and more. Run reports that show a performance of titles, content and metadata. Identify which of these tools will do exactly what you want, try them out and let us know what you think.