In the age of computers and the internet, websites have become the new norm. And if you are someone who wants to establish and grow organic traffic for your website, then you need to know how to play with SEO to your benefit.
Whether you are an SEO expert or a beginner, mastering the craft of SEO can be tricky. There are thousands of SEO tools currently available on the internet. To help you, we have curated a list of six SEO tools for keyword research, link building, traffic analysis, and understanding the competition.
What is SEO?
SEO is a procedure to enhance your website to make them rank higher in the search results of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.
Studies show that the websites that appear on the first page of Google get more traffic. In Google, the organic search results are those that appear directly below the pay-per-click adverts:
In 2018, over 70% of the traffic on the web was made up of popular search engines. Therefore, SEO and use of SEO tools must always be a part of your marketing strategy.
Google uses the PageRank algorithm to estimate how popular a page is. Thus, your SEO needs to contain a good number and quality of inbound links (links that comes from other websites to your website) to focus on your product online through good content or digital PR. This process is known as link building.
If relevant and reputable websites link to your website, then it is a strong sign to Google that your content may be of interest to the users, and can be trusted to appear on the search results for applicable queries.
Types of SEO
Based on technical and creative activities, SEO can be grouped as Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO.
Onsite SEO improves the organic visibility of your website by focusing on the content to enhance access, relevancy, and experience for the users. This group includes:
- Keyword Research to analyze the keywords and its frequency used by the people who search for products/services that you offer.
- Technical Auditing to ensure that the website can be crawled and indexed is correctly geo-targeted and is free of errors.
- Onsite Optimization to improve the website’s structure, navigation, content relevancy to the target keywords that are most applicable for your product.
- User Experience to make sure that your content is easy-to-use, trustworthy, and provides the best user experience.
Offsite SEO improves the organic visibility of your website by focusing on the activities outside your site. This is where link building comes from. This group includes:
- Content: If your content is exceptional, reputable websites will link to it. Creating amazing content requires research, guide, good visualisation, and story.
- Digital PR includes writing for external publication, original research, expert interviews, amazing product placement and more which ultimately helps create a PR with other websites to link to your website.
- Outreach and Promotion is where you contact journalists, bloggers, influencers of your niche to create coverage about your product/service.
The most sustainable way to rank higher on the search results is by providing authentic and compelling content. This way reputable websites can cite and link your brand and content for the services you provide.
Also read: 12 tips for Creative Marketing on a budget.
Once you know the importance of SEO, the next step is to find the right SEO tool that caters to your needs. To market your website, you need to know your niche and your target audience. The keywords that your audience is typing in the search engines play a vital factor in diverting the traffic to your website. Here are six SEO tools that can help you:
Google Keyword Planner
Google is the primary search engine that people use to find answers to basically everything nowadays. Google Keyword Planner is a tool that shows you the right keywords that you can use for your website and gives you an analysis of how these keywords act. You can use the analysis to achieve a higher ranking in Google.
Firstly, this SEO tool lets you search for the keywords that apply to your product or website. Next, you can pick the keywords that you would like to use from the statistics it presents you with. The statistics also predict the clicks and impressions for a thirty-day ad for a particular keyword.
Google Keyword Planner SEO tool is free. All you need is a Google account to start using it.
Our recommendation: Since there are tons of resources online to get you started with it, this is the best tool you can start with as a beginner to SEO.
One of the best alternatives to Google Keyword Planner, KeywordTool.io focuses not only on Google but also on other platforms such as YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Play Store, Instagram, and Twitter.
You can search for a keyword and choose a region using this SEO tool. It then lists several long tail keywords based on your search for any of the platform it offers.
The SEO tool is free to use, and creating an account to use it is optional. However, if you want to view your monthly search volumes, related keywords, and export the keyword list, you need to opt for the PRO version.
Our recommendation: This is the tool for you if you want to optimize your websites for not only Google but other search engines as well. However, you need to use the Pro version for added benefits.
One of the popular online SEO tools for marketing, SEMrush lets you track different traffic to your websites like social media-driven traffic, desktop traffic, mobile traffic, and more.
Other prominent features of this SEO tool are:
- Finds the right keywords for your SEO
- Analyzes competitors keywords
- Targets the right audience
- Maintains quality of the backlinks that point to your domain
- Analyzes your potential customers’ behavior and media usage
Our recommendation: Use this tool if you have been working with SEO for some time and want to give a bit more depth to your analysis.
Ahrefs is one of the most extensive SEO tools that goes through each page of your website and generates a report on them. Moreover, it aids you in finding why your competitors are ranking high and what steps you must take to outrank them.
One of their best features is the backlink checker tool. Claiming to have one of the world’s largest backlinks, this SEO tool enhances your website rank with the help of these links.
You can also search for keywords for your site and create email notifications for your keywords and backlinks.
You can test this tool for a 7-day trial period.
Our recommendation: Use this tool only if you are quite experienced with SEO and want to give a lot more depth to your SEO analysis.
Once you start using SEO on your website, the next step is to check whether or not your SEO is working on Google. What better way to find this out than using Google itself.
Google Search Console helps you check your website’s traffic and performance, and also generates an analysis report of your data. Additionally, it sends you an email notification every time it finds issues on your site. Fixing these issues will enable you to rank higher in Google search results.
The Google Search Console SEO tool is also free of cost.
Our recommendation: Use this in conjunction with the Google Keyword Planner.
What once started out as a blog about SEO, Moz now offers a better way to market online with its own SEO tool. Moz’s SEO tool helps you audit your website, which also consists of monthly search volumes and SERP analysis for your keywords.
Additionally, Moz Link Explorer searches whether or not there are issues in your website’s structure. This SEO tool reviews backlinks of your website and gives you information about your competitor’s link structures. It also verifies if Google is indexing all your links.
Moz consists of the free as well as the paid version.
Our recommendation: Use this tool if you want a detailed audit report of SEO in your website.
Going through all these tools can be a chore, especially when you aren’t familiar with them. Therefore, we’ve created the following table which you can use to compare the pros and cons of the tools and decide on which one will suit you the best.
|Google Keyword Planner||You can see the keyword data all the way back to four years||Has only a limited number of keyword filters|
|KeywordTool.io||Focuses not only on Google but Bing, YouTube, Amazon, eBay, PlayStore, Instagram, and Twitter as well||You need the Pro version to view your monthly search volumes, related keywords, and export the keyword list|
|SEMrush||You can track the traffic across desktop as well as mobile||Paid version only|
|Ahrefs||Audits your website and generates a report about it||Paid version only|
|Google Search Console||You get an email notification every time an issue is discovered on your website||It needs other Google tools for optimum results|
|Moz Link Explorer||Provides monthly search volumes and SERP analysis for your keywords||You need to use the paid version for better results|
Online marketing has been proliferating day by day, and one cannot ignore it anymore. It is crucial to create an SEO strategy that works best for your product/service and website.
For amateurs, using a free SEO tool that helps you to research keyword, check backlinks, view traffic, and analyze competitors is the fundamental basis to start learning about SEO. However, if you want to find long term goals, then it is worth paying for a useful SEO tool available.
Once you start using SEO on your website, you need to be more aware of the changes in your traffic, and record results. You must never forget to update your SEO strategy as Google algorithm changes.
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