SEO is a continuous process that never sleeps. Getting your site to the top of the search engines is almost every website owner's goal. To achieve this, you need to establish firm commitment, motivation, and perseverance.
... utilise the best SEO tools for the job. Here, we're sharing our list of what we consider to be the best three SEO tools that have been specifically designed to help businesses like yours succeed.
#1 Google Webmaster Tools
The first in our list of the best SEO tools has to belong to the king of search engines; Google! Google is the most-used search engine in the World.
According to statista.com:
"In the second quarter of 2019, the California-based web company Google had an operating income of 10.39 billion U.S. dollars, up from 9.33 billion U.S. dollars in the preceding fiscal quarter."
It's little wonder that when we think of search engines, Google is usually the first one to spring to mind. If you're a website owner eager to break into Google's number one page, who better to direct you than Google itself?
Google webmaster tools are freely available for website owners across the World. It boasts some extremely useful features that will help you establish your place in Google's search engine.
What is Included in Google Webmaster Tools?
Google Webmaster Tools is a core SEO tool for novices and experts alike. Google has strived to make its tools simple to use, while packing tons of incredibly helpful features into one place.
Take a look at what's included in Google Webmaster Tools:
Google Search Console
Don't let the name scare you! Google Search Console is surprisingly simple to use. Its main purpose is to allow users to track and improve their website's presence in Google.
This uniquely-developed Search Console assists in finding and fixing any indexing problems your site may have, along with any problems relating to AMP, spam, and your site's mobile-friendliness.
Google Search Console will also tell you which search queries your site is being displayed for, and how often your site is being displayed in Google's pages.
Google Keyword Planner
Keywords are the terms that search engine users type into a search bar to find what they're looking for. Google's bots crawl websites and locate high-quality, relevant sites that contain these keywords. It then ranks each website according to its algorithm, displaying what it considers to be the most relevant websites in the top results.
A keyword planner enables you to search for keywords and shows you their competition and search volume. With this information, you can make an educated guess as to how easy it will be to rank for those keywords. High-competition keywords may be best avoided at the beginning of your venture. Try and choose some with high search volumes and low-medium competition.
Google Analytics enables in-depth analysing into the behaviours of your visitors. Once you've added your tracking ID to all your website pages, Google will store a host of data such as:
- The amount of visitors to your site, both unique and returning - Tracking your visits is the key to successful SEO work. If you neglect to track your site visits, you have nothing to measure your success or failure against.
- Visitor demographics, including age, location, and gender - Visitor demographics is an essential element of customer profile building. Understanding your visitors will enable you to communicate with them more effectively.
- Where your visitors are coming from - Each visitor will get to your website through a specific link. Google Analytics will tell you which links are gaining you traffic and how much. This is especially useful during marketing campaigns to determine the success of each campaign element. It's also a useful tool for A/B testing.
- Your bounce rate - A bounce rate is the rate of which people are visiting your website and then leaving without visiting any other pages. A high bounce rate will lower your search engine ranking because Google will consider your site to be irrelevant to those visiting it.
- Where on your site your visitors are leaving - Google Analytics will tell you where your visitors are leaving your site - or falling off the sales funnel! You can use this information to make improvements on the pages with high exit rates.
- Determine your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - CTR will help you determine what keywords, meta descriptions, and titles are working well for your website. A fantastically-enticing meta description may encourage more clicks. Conversely, a plain, boring one may discourage clicks. If you're CTR is high, you know you're doing something right!
If, for example, you have a high CTR but your landing page has a high bounce rate, then you can be confident that something on the landing page is unappealing to visitors. They are not being persuaded or encouraged to explore your site further. The beauty of this is that when you're aware of it, you can take actionable steps to improve it.
#2 SEMrush SEO Toolkit
SEMRush is an established SaaS company that provides a comprehensive range of expert SEO tools. It's popular among small and large businesses alike.
SEMrush now has an impressive 4 million clients making use of its features. It has some well-known clients too, including eBay and Overstock.
If you want to become part of the SEMrush clientele, their subscription packages begin at $99 per month; it's a little more costly than Google's free options, but it arguably contains a wider range of tools that are designed for slightly more experienced users.
What is Included in the SEMrush platform:
A Technical SEO Audit
A technical SEO audit is ideally conducted before any SEO work begins. Its purpose is to see where your website stands on the SEO front. It includes testing aspects such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and links, to name just a few. In short, it tests every technical thing on your website that impacts your SEO.
A technical SEO audit gives you the technical information you need to find and fix errors that are holding you back in your SEO efforts. Once they're fixed, your site will be much more optimised for search engines.
Because of the technical aspects, it may not be ideal for someone without any prior technical SEO knowledge to conduct a technical SEO audit themselves.
Competitive intelligence is a high form of market and competitor research. It gathers and analyses various forms of data that you can use to maximise your SEO and marketing efforts. It includes things like analysing your traffic and a domain overview.
Keyword Position Tracking
If you've spent a lot of time on keyword research, it would be helpful to know exactly what keywords are working in your favour. Specifically, what keywords you're ranking for. SEMrush's position tracking tool shows you just that.
Number 3 on our list of best SEO tools is Yoast. Yoast is a WordPress plugin that concentrates on optimising your WordPress pages. Depending on your subscription (free or paid) it enables you to add keywords to your pages and gives you detailed advice on the content you've written, including:
- Its length - Yoast gives you a specific word count to aim for on each of your pages.
- Its readability - Each of your pages is given a Flesch reading ease score. The lower it is, the more difficult it is considered to be to read. Yoast will advise you on ways to increase your score to make it more understandable to a wider audience. Some ways to do this include shortening sentences and changing what are considered to be "complex words".
- Its meta description and title - Both your meta description and your title should include your primary keyword. Yoast will offer advice for making the most of the small space you have to write these.
- Its keyword density - Keyword density should ideally be between 1-3% for optimum search engine results. More than this, and Google could think you're keyword stuffing and consider your site spammy.
In addition to content-focused advice, Yoast also helps with the technical side of things including sitemaps and permalinks. It makes sure that everything is configured properly to boost your SEO power.
As its a WordPress plugin, Yoast is simple to use and incorporate into your WordPress website. Even the free option gives you plenty of tools to help with your SEO. This makes it easy to dip your toe in the water if you're just setting out on your website journey.
Of course, to use the Yoast WordPress plugin you need to have a WordPress website. There are lots of cheap WordPress hosting options out there to get you started. Once your site is up and running, you can install the Yoast plugin, and away you go.
Using the best SEO tools is just one aspect of marketing. If you need help with the strategy and execution - check out our digital marketing services.