No matter the size or purpose of your website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital if you want to be found online.
You likely know this already. While it’s easy to understand the importance of SEO, it can be a bit challenging to determine exactly what tools you should use to help you improve your site’s search engine rankings. So, it’s time for another one of my helpful lists:
6 tools to help you boost your SEO
The following list includes free and paid tools that will help you to improve your site’s searchability, visibility, and thus findability. The tools featured in this list will help you with some of the core SEO tasks that you as a digital marketer need to utilize in order to be found online. There are many, many more tools available online. This list is merely a compilation of tools we at 9 Clouds have found helpful for our digital marketing efforts.
1. GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER
The Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for finding the best keywords for your site. The powerful tool allows you to brainstorm keywords, refine search results, view keyword data by geography, unearth historical keyword data to determine seasonality trends, create a full keyword plan, and determine keywords to go after based on competitor’s websites.
Even though this tool is free, you’ll need a Google AdWords account in order to access this tool. If you don’t already have an account, it’s easy to set one up and you don’t have to commit to make a payment.
2. GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS
Another great Google tool for monitoring and optimizing your site’s SEO is Webmaster Tools. Once you sign up and your site has been verified, you can see when and how often it shows up for keywords, your top 25 keywords, impression data, what pages have been indexed to your site, links that are pointing to your site, average search positions and more. As the Google Webmasters say themselves, “You want to be found on the web. We want to help.” Put simply, this tool helps you to see your website as Google sees it and make adjustments accordingly.
One caveat of Google Webmaster Tools is that it only shows you the impressions you get from keywords that you already rank for, not for potential keywords. Thus, Webmaster Tools offers the most value when it is used in conjunction with the Keyword planner or another keyword research tool to find new keyword possibilities.
3. SEO QUAKE
The SEO Quake toolbar is a great tool to add to your SEO optimization arsenal. The toolbar allows you to access a wide variety of helpful SEO tools while browsing the Internet. You can customize search results, access keyword density reports, monitor competitor site’s SEO, get link counts and much more — all while browsing the web!
Moz offers a suite of tools that are all designed to help you continually analyze and refine your website and optimize your SEO all at the same time. Some of the specific features of the Moz tools suite include: analyzing site regularity, managing your SEO, website crawling and rank tracking, social media monitoring and management, analytical reporting, and research capabilities.
Aside from their premium suite offerings, Moz has a few free standalone services that help with specific aspects of SEO. One of these tools, Get Listed, is a great tool to optimize your online business listings. Simply type in your business name and the zip code, and Get Listed will show you which business listings you already have claimed, and which business listing services that you have yet to claim. It also provides the links to claim your listing on each service, all from one handy page.
Another great tool for targeted link building is Open Site Explorer. The tool allows you to enter a website and in return it provides you with details about other sites that link to it. This easy-to-use tool is a great way to monitor your competitor’s site links.
A bit more simple than the Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest is a free program that allows users to quickly and easily generate keyword ideas. Powered by Google Suggest, Ubersuggest works by scraping search results, adding a letter or digit to your search term and generating a list of suggested keywords
based on those results.
This tool was developed with ease of use in mind, making it a great way to quickly brainstorm and find keywords that users in your niche target are searching for. When you type in your keywords and hit “enter”, you’re presented with nearly 400 recommended phrases.
6. LIVE KEYWORD ANALYSIS
While finding the right keywords is pivotal to the SEO effectiveness of your website, finding the right balance of those keywords is almost just as important. Creating the best keyword density on your own can be challenging, even if you know what percentage you want to shoot for. Enter the Live Keyword Analysis tool. This tool is very easy to use and it is a great way to check and optimize your keyword density.
To use the tool, just enter the keywords you want to target and paste in your text. The tool will then immediately analyze the text and produce your keyword density. The site also provides tips and tricks to help you ensure you’re getting the most SEO value from the tool as possible.
FINAL TIP: JUST KEEP OPTIMIZING
Search engine optimization takes a lot of work. And it usually takes quite a long time for that hard work to actually pay off in terms of better search results and higher rankings — you have to be patient. Don’t jump to conclusions and immediately assume your hard work was for nothing. Many times, it takes weeks, and possibly even months, to see results.
One final tip: Never utilize any Black Hat SEO tactics, like keyword stuffing, invisible text or doorway pages or any other unethical tactics to try to improve your search engine rankings…the search engines will notice. And when they do, your site goes onto their list. This is not a good list! Once you’re on, it’s nearly impossible to get off. Not only does your site’s reputation suffer, but with it, so does your SEO.
So just keep up the hard work, remember that it’s all worth it, and avoid black hat techniques like the plague.
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