Search Engine Optimization is the most critical part of web marketing. Modern SEO needs strong optimization skills, consistency, hard-work and patience. Developing real SEO skills is very important these days if you want to make a good living out of blogging, affiliate marketing, YouTube marketing or SEO freelancing.
Search Engine Optimization has main two parts, onpage SEO and Offpage SEO. To get the best results we must know how to do these properly while following the search engines’ guidelines. Most of the SEO techniques must be done manually but we can also use many SEO tools to analyze various things, like competitive keywords, website data, back-link data etc. which will help us to make important decisions and changes on/ off the site to rank our website on top positions of Google and other major search engines
Remember SEO tools must be used for data analysis purpose but not for executing optimization processes directly or link building. Over using online SEO tools or automating optimization process may create problems and even can penalize a website.
Here we are going to list 9 different SEO tools, their uses and benefits so that you can start using those for your website’s or blog’s Search Engine Optimization process. Couple of these tools are completely free to use and couple of these have both free and paid versions. Most of the time the paid versions of those SEO Tools are not that much needed, if you know how to use the free versions properly, and how to analyze the data efficiently.
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Keywords play a major role in SEO and ranking. Selecting right keywords with data not only helps to select profitable keywords but also helps us to plan and decide how to use those keywords on our webpages and contents.
Before starting a webpage optimization we must analyze the keywords matching with the intent of the webpage content. After we select the keywords we must start planning and developing the content using those keywords. And finally once the content is ready, we start optimizing the webpage and the content and finally we publish it on our website.
Some of the valuable keyword data are mentioned below.
Monthly average search volume data is the average number of times one keyword has been searched in a time span. The more search volume means the keyword is more profitable. Google Keyword Planner tool lists each keyword’s average monthly search volume data (in range) along with the keyword.
AdWords Keyword competition is the data given by Google Keyword Planner Tool to understand the demand of a keyword for paid marketing.
Keyword SERP competition data can be found on Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP), while searched with a keyword.
Keyword Efficiency Index is a formula to find out how easy the keyword is to rank for. The more KEI means the keyword will be easier to rank for.
KEI = (Monthly average search volume X Monthly average search volume)/ SERP competition
Google Keyword Planner tool shows each keyword’s monthly average search volume and AdWords keyword’s competition data. Additionally we can get the SERP competition data from Google SERP. KEI should be calculated manually using the formula.
For an effective keyword analysis Google Keyword Planner is one of the most used and effective tools, and must be used.
Google Trends is another free tool from Google which we can use to understand the current demand of any niche or topic. Google Trends shows us the real time data and can be used in a combination with Google Keyword Planner tool for best results.
Google Search Console is another very important tool an optimizer must use. Google Search Console shows us all the crucial website’s technical data which we must monitor periodically. Some of the data must be checked from Search Console tool are,
Crawl Errors – These data shows if there are any errors on DNS, server connectivity, fetching robots.txt file, crawling a page (404 and soft 404 errors).
Crawl Stats – Shows three graphs. Graph one shows pages crawled per day, Graph two shows kilobytes downloaded per day, and the third graph shows time taken in downloading a page in milliseconds.
Robots file – All errors on website’s robots.txt file will be listed here.
Sitemap – We need to add our website’s sitemap file here on Google Search Console. And whenever there is a change on our website’s sitemap file, we must resubmit that on Google Webmaster tool.
Security issues – Shows the data if the site’s security is compromised.
Index Status – Shows the graph and number of pages Google has indexed successfully.
Manual Action – Shows if there is any manual action taken by Google against a website.
Links to your site – Shows all the indexed backlinks pointing to the website. These data further can be used to analyze the quality of inbound links and referring sources.
Search Analytics – This is one of the most crucial data Google Search Console lists. We can see all the keywords we have impressions for along with the number of clicks, CTR (click through rate) and average position (ranking). This section can be analyzed to know the most profitable keywords we are ranking for. There are many additional filters available here, including pages, devices, country etc. which can be used to filter and generate different set of data and reports. We can even monitor and compare previous month’s data with current month’s data (impression, click, CTR and average position).
Google Analytics is another free Google tool for web marketing. We use Google Analytics as an SEO tool to analyze the traffic of a website. All traffic data along with their sources (organic, paid, referral, direct, social etc.), countries, cities, used devices are visible here. Google Analytics is mostly used to analyze website’s daily improvements and reach. This tool can also be used to generate SEO reports which freelancers used to send to their SEO project clients.
Google My Business tool is used to register one business’s information on Google for local Search Engine Optimization. Local SEO is crucial for small businesses operating in a single location or from multiple locations. Once listed and verified one business with its name, address, phone number (NAP) and website may start ranking on local box. Though only registering business details on Google My Business tool may not be sufficient, but we must start building NAP citation on local business directories, and start getting genuine customers’ reviews on Google My Business Google Plus business page.
Google page speed testing tool is another very valuable tool for all optimizers. Website’s loading time is one of the strongest ranking signals today. If the website loads very slowly on browsers and mobile devices then the business may lose lots of traffic and it may increase the bounce rate of the website as well.
Google Page speed testing tool analyze one webpage and suggests various speed optimization techniques which are not yet implemented on the site.
Once we launch our website or blog we must use Google Page Speed testing tool to know how much time our website is taking to get loaded on desktop and mobile browsers. Depending on the suggestions given by the tool we must start implementing those to make the site faster.
MOZ Open Site Explorer tool has its free and paid both versions. The free version itself is very good and should be used to analyze your competitor website’s acquired backlinks. Knowing the sources from where your competitor site has got the backlinks will help you to plan your link building and content marketing strategies.
Not only this but we must analyze our website’s backlinks using this tool along with Google Search Console’s ‘Links to our Site’ data.
Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml are two very important files on a website used by search engines. Most of the CMS (Content Management System) tools create and update the robots and sitemap files automatically. But for any non-CMS website we can use online robots and sitemap file generator tools to create our site’s robots.txt and sitemap.xml files.
Both these tools, Woorank & SEO Site Checkup are used to audit one webpage thoroughly to know the SEO errors which need to be corrected. These tools help us to know if there are any errors on our website’s page title, Meta description, link structure, headers (if missing), image alts (if missing or empty), loading time (with suggestions), mobile responsiveness, sitemap file and robots file etc. Auditing your website and landing pages periodically using these tools may get you some important error data which might have been missed and not yet corrected.
These are the 9 very important SEO tools we must use but there are many other SEO tools which we may use to accomplish the SEO data analysis. Online tools for data analysis are always good but online tools for executing SEO or building backlinks must be avoided from the beginning.
Learning how to do SEO and how to use these 9 SEO tools effectively will pay you off a lot in long run and will give you the full control on data analysis, decision making and your website’s optimization process.
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