Search engine optimization is an effective way to acquire more traffic to your website by ranking higher on search engines. There are many specialist SEO tools that help and as such, it’s not rare for SEO professionals to use dozens of tools to build a comprehensive program. Today we are highlighting a few popular ones to get you well on your way to better rankings.
Making sure your site is search engine friendly
Solving technical problems is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization. Many tools fail to find all the errors and may even identify problems that are irrelevant in terms of search engine visibility. Manually finding and solving technical problems is far too laborious to be a viable option for most people.
At the minimum, you’ll want to find out if your website is closed-off from search engines and that the language targeting is correctly configured for the right countries. In addition, a good tool should identify non-functional links and duplicate or missing page titles.
Moz handles this superbly, distinguishing issues in terms of severity. It allows you to track improvements and monitor their impact on search engine rankings. Moz also enables you to compare your search terms to those of your competitors. Reports are also automated, clearly demonstrating the changes that have occurred.
Keywords are the specific words you intend to target and which are related to your website. Keyword selection is one of the most important steps when it comes to search engine optimization, and identifying them is one of the hardest tasks. Tools are essentially necessary for this process, both to save time and to find more keywords than you could possibly think up on your own.
While there are hundreds of alternatives available for the job, there’s a lot of variance in performance. For example, tools significantly differ in the precision with which they estimate search volume.
SEMRush is the best tool for keyword research and analysis. It enables you to identify just the right keywords and their variants for both search engine optimization and PPC advertising. With just a few clicks, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of what’s happening on the web with any given keyword, in terms search volume, different variants, search results and AdWords advertising. SEMRush also helps you assess keyword difficulty when you’re trying figure out how much content to add to your website.
While other tools also offer comparable features, SEMRush provides results that are considerably more accurate than most. On top of everything, SEMRush is fast, giving you results practically instantly. This allows you to quickly improve your content to achieve your goals efficiently.
Link-building and off-site optimization are still an important part of good search engine visibility. While high-quality links to your website will increase its trust, bad links from poor or spammy sites can quickly ruin it. They can even lead to removal from Google search results altogether. This makes link analysis crucial.
The biggest issue is that practically no tool is able to find every link: their server capacity is simply insufficient to go through them all. It has been estimated that at best, the largest link analysis services only find about 40% of all links. This means that results are inevitably inexact and should merely serve as indicative guidelines.
In my experience, Ahrefs identifies links with the highest percentage and also rates them most realistically on the basis of both URL and domain. With this tool you can get well started on off-site link building, by analyzing your rivals’ links and, if possible, building better ones.
SEMRush has recently added a feature enabling direct comparison of website-specific content and keyword concentration with your rivals. This clearly shows how many times a certain keyword is repeated in text on your rival’s site. It also gives recommendations about other relevant keywords your competitors are using, but you’re not and it breaks down how keywords are used in different page titles.
These and countless other features make SEMRush the single most effective solution for content optimization. This kind of information empowers you to create the best and most relevant content you can. Use it to your advantage and you will see results.
Naturally, constant evaluation of results is vital in order to verify progress and to enable proper decision-making on possible future steps. Almost every big SEO software offers quite a wide range of possibilities for this purpose
In terms of content and keywords, you’re able to track keyword ranking progress and your rivals’ keywords. You can also classify website traffic on the basis of search engines and monitor its development. In my understanding, what’s missing is the ability to compare keyword and website-specific click-through-rates (CTR). This information can nevertheless be easily acquired via the free Google Analytics service.
Moz also handles technical problem-solving and link analysis reasonably well, even if website indexing may take a while. In any case, it always gives you a clear overview of general progress, making Moz well-suited for long-term website monitoring.
Typically, the biggest issue in selecting a single SEO tool revolves around the trustworthiness of results and data. How to trust just one when, after all, their designers don’t fully know how search engine algorithms work. Website reliability ratings, for example, are in reality just best guesses about how Google views things.
If you are looking a single SEO tool to get started, I would heartily recommend either Moz or SEMRush. Both offer a wide range of data on keywords, technical problems, links and content functionality and are good at what they do. While it is possible to accomplish your goals without the help of tools, they certainly make the process easier. You can save yourself a lot of time and headaches by utilizing these to their full potential.
About the Author
Samuli is a digital marketer and entrepreneur, who is interested in trends and opportunities in the industry. He is also a founding partner at SEOSEON LTD, which offers online marketing and SEO services in Nordic languages.