SEO Tools

SEO Tools To Use For 4 Tasks

One of biggest stumbling blocks for web owners is understanding which SEO tools to use. There are a lot of them out there, but let's go over the basic functions you need to do for optimizing your site, and the tools that can help you do these tasks.

Here are four SEO tasks or high level functions that are done faster, easier and better using SEO tools:

Website Audit

An audit should be done on your content periodically to make sure you don't have HTML errors like duplicate meta data, 404s that you didn't set up, accidental "no index" robots.txt files and more.

Use an SEO on-page audit tool to do this work for you automatically. If your site is really small (a handful of pages), you can do the audit manually, but if your site has been up for awhile and has hundreds of pages, you don't have the time or the energy to manually complete an audit.

Here's more information about what to look for in an SEO audit.

Keyword Research

I truly hope you are not guessing at what keywords and phrases relative to your products and services to use on your pages. Please do not tell me this, please! Keyword research tools can show you search volume, competition difficulty and more. Spend some money on using a tool that will eliminate the guess work and help you make better SEO decisions on what phrases to optimize content for.

Besides, keyword research tools can show you what's trending, variants on keywords and phrases that may not have occurred to you to use, and the list you compile can be the basis of your content marketing strategy by assigning phrases to pages, blog posts, videos, webinars and podcasts.

Learn more about how to do keyword research.

2 More SEO Tools To Use

Inbound Back Link Analysis

This is a critical SEO task you do not want to avoid. I recommend at least once per month that you use an SEO tool to download and analyze the links pointing back to your site to determine if there are text links that could get your site penalized by Google. This is a sophisticated analysis, and trying to eyeball the links and manually doing this is impossible in the Google Penguin era we work in.

Link analysis tools can show you if your anchor text is in danger of triggering a Penguin penalty. They can also highlight "toxic," "poisonous" links on spam sites that you may not have been aware of.

Keyword Ranking

Please don't tell me you sit at your computer, logged into your Google account, plug in your preferred keyword terms, see that you are on page 1 and declare victory, because that is not checking your ranking, that's just personalization of search, sorry.

There are keyword ranking tools that will compare how your pages are doing in search engine visibility vs. those of your competitors by keyword and by engine. You simply can't do this yourself.

Notice that thus far I've not named any tools. I have ones I use, but I try to be tool-agnostic for my students, because budgets vary, and some of these tools are damned expensive. However, you can set up your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for no cost, and you can get most of this information from that dashboard except for knowing how your competitors pages rank against yours, and specific keyword data that shows volume and the number of competing web pages. But it's a start if you're on a tight budet!

If you want to know about SEO tasks in-depth, consider registering for Invenio SEO's basic or advanced SEO class. You'll walk away with the skills and knowledge to start optimizing all of your web content right away.

Or, if you'd rather get SEO training online, we offer that as well!

Until next time...keep it between the ditches!

All the very best to you,

Nancy McDonald

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