Have you ever wanted to know about your organic traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks or other analytics? Maybe you want a comprehensive SEO audit but simply don’t know where to go.
Of course, you could hand over your website to an SEO expert, but you can also gain tons of knowledge all on your own by using the same types of tools the pros use.
Here are my top categories for SEO tools (that even I use) — and that you can use, too. You’ll find that while some tools in each category are free, some are paid and others have both free and paid versions. So, whether you want to stay under a certain price point or don’t have a budget for your digital strategies at all, there are plenty of options where you’re likely to find the perfect mix for you and your business.
1. Suite Tools Are Sweet
There are many options that give not just help in one or two areas but become a one-stop-tool for multiple online SEO needs. If you don’t want to spend hours combing through the many individual options for online tools, then consider a suite for a whole slew of helpful tools.
For example, one of the most common, G Suite, is run by the biggest search engine, Google, and includes a Keyword Planner, Trends, Search Console, Analytics, Sheets and Pagespeed Insights.
Of course, a suite of products is great if you want a full SEO audit and strategy, but if you’re looking for just one or two areas, then using an entire suite might overwhelm you. For instance, if you only need help with keywords and competition research, well, the G Suite or a similar suite of tools probably isn’t right for you. But if you’re looking at understanding a number of areas, or want to test multiple areas to see where you need to improve, then a suite or multi-tool is probably a great start.
2. SEO Plugins Can Get You Close
SEO plugins can help you with keyword optimization, letting search engines know what your page/site is about, reminding you to keep your content fresh, checking your readability, making it easy to edit your site visually, fixing and monitoring technical stuff in the backend of your site, and much more. Truly, an SEO plugin and a few spare hours per week are about as close to SEO prowess as you can get without hiring a professional.
An SEO plugin is something that every website owner should be using (especially if you have a WordPress site, as many are built specifically for WP). Whether you implement them or not, the insights that SEO plugins give you can only help your site and knowledge, and many are free.
This style of plugin is easy to use and understand, so you don’t have to be an SEO guru to benefit from it. I recommend Yoast as the industry standard, but there are many that can fit your specific needs, including All in One SEO Pack, SEOPress, WP Rocket, and more.
3. Competition Analysis To Beat Your Online Nemesis
Competitor analysis and research can show you the background, links, makeup and rankings of any site you type in — meaning you can spy on your competition, see where they are doing well, where they are lacking, and create your own strategy based on their analytics. Most competition analysis sites show everything in charts and tables, making it easy to digest if you understand general statistics.
As an example, if you understand the backlink strategy of your competition and see that they got a great link from a high-authority site, and you have similar content, then you can reach out for a backlink, too. Another example of how to use competition analysis tools to your advantage would be to “spy” on their keyword rankings — are they ranking for a keyword you think you can get with a content marketing plan or some targeted posts and blogs?
Knowledge is power, and though many small businesses are getting on the SEO bandwagon, most only focus on themselves, not their competition and how to use their own public data against them.
A well-known option that I’d recommend for competition analysis is MOZ, though SEMrush has similar tools, too. I often recommend that individuals looking to find their perfect SEO toolbelt start off with both and see which fit their needs and understanding more.
Feeling Confident? Go Ahead And Try These Tools Yourself!
Whether you are brand new to SEO or know most of the odds and ends, these types of tools can help you gain insights, research, statistics and measurements that will help guide your content and online marketing plans. But first, make sure to do your due diligence by considering all options of potential tools.
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