If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know from my Ultimate Guide to SEO that a lot of what happens when search engines decide to index your site is technical. A lot of it happens behind the scenes, hidden behind what most people consider the most important part: the text on the page.
SEO changes with each update to Google’s algorithm. These changes reflect the times we live in and most importantly – what is the best user experience possible? Google doesn’t want to send people to shitty websites, even if the content on that page is valuable.
In order to make sure that you are winning – and not struggling with – your SEO strategy, here are a list of tools and resources that you can use to up your game.
#1 Google’s Keyword Planner
Not to contradict myself immediately, but keywords are still a central part of any SEO strategy. Therefore, you have no choice but to identify which keywords are competitive to realistically attract traffic to your site. Keywords like “insurance” and “new york” are so saturated that there is no way for you to come out on the first SERP (search engine results page).
Smart keywords in 2018 are at least 4 words long, so if you’re not already exploiting one, niche up to grow, and let the Keyword Planner guide you. It was originally designed to help search engine marketers pick the best keywords for their campaigns, but the strategy of selecting keywords is the same for paid or organic results, so take advantage!
#2 MOZ Tool Bar
MOZ is an entire suite dedicated to winning search, and they have paid subscriptions that can do pretty much anything that you need to develop, adapt, and iterate your SEO strategy. They also offer a free Chrome extension called the MOZbar. It shows you valuable information about websites that you visit – including your own.
The best part is that it calculates Domain Authority, which is something that factors very heavily into how well a site is regarded by search engines. Up your Domain Authority to move up the search results rankings.
Install the MOZbar here.
#2.5 MOZ’s Educational Whiteboard Friday Videos
MOZ has been winning their own SEO game with their blog and have become known for their Whiteboard Friday videos that explain so many things about SEO tactics that it’s hard to keep up – and very impressive that they keep churning out valuable content that’s available to everyone.
Grab a nice cold IPA, bring your laptop onto your balcony and watch as many videos as you can.
#3 Neil Patel’s SEO Analysis Tool
Digital Marketing Guru Neil Patel is well known for producing tons of content about how to generate more traffic to your website. He has developed a free SEO analyzer that you can use to evaluate how well your site performs. Just plug in the URL and the tool will analyze the technical aspects of your website, spitting out a fairly comprehensive list of things to optimize – as well as any errors that are causing you SEO trouble.
Quick note that it doesn’t work that well for all websites, but you can compare other established websites to see what they are doing that’s working.
#4 Google’s Web Speed Tool
Loading times are extremely important for a positive website experience. Websites lose up to half of their visitors because pages take too long to load. Search engines are all about speed (which is why Google shows you that they delivered a billion results in a fraction of a second). They want to make sure that the websites that they send people too are also fast, to ensure the best possible experience.
Does your site load fast enough? Are there redundant scripts that are getting in the way of your readers and your content? This is especially critical for mobile versions of websites because connections are not always perfect. Google’s Speed Test will let you know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
An SEO consultancy, SEOlium offers paid services to websites and blogs looking to optimize for search. And like the good SEO experts they are, they understand the need to provide valuable content in order to build up authority – and that’s something we can benefit from.
I strongly recommend reading this very complete overview of SEO that talks not just about techniques and basics but the reasons why, what SEO managers do, and provides a vision of why SEO is only going to continue to be more important as the years go by. Fascinating read.
Even though Google cracked down on link farms during a recent update of its search algorithm, links are still the foundation of determining credibility on the web. Buzzstream can help you manage your link building outreach in one centralized tool.
You can test the free version to see if it fits your style, but it is very handy to have to make sure that you are properly executing your link building strategy.
#7 Check my Links
Broken links are a bad user experience, and search engines will punish you for having them on your pages, and if you are more focused on building your content than going through and checking all of your links, there is a tool for you. Check my Links is a free Chrome extension that will verify all of the links on your page in an instant and let you know if there are links that need to be fixed.
Simple and efficient.
#8 Guest Post Tracker
In today’s web, you need to spread yourself out in order to generate the types of links that will help your site gain traction. This means guest posting content to reputable sites that will provide you with a backlink. The catch is that not all sites accept guest posts…
Guest Post Tracker is a paid service (one time fee of $99) that gives you a database of over 1500 blogs and websites that accept guest posts, you can even submit articles directly through their dashboard. Honestly, if you can land 5 to 7 guest blog posts, I would say the fee is definitely worth it.
If you are constantly performing outreach to other sites in an effort to share content and build links, you know that it can be grinding. So when you do succeed in getting a back link, you should know about it. Linkstant does just that, sending you an email notification each time a new link points to your site. It’s paid but at $7 per month it is definitely something to consider.
Like I mentioned before, Google is a real stickler about links. You need them for credibility, but bad backlinks can hurt your credibility even more. Removing those backlinks can turn into a migraine of endlessly searching for webmasters and the WHOIS database to get people to remove links.
Or you can use Rmoov, which automates the removal of bad backlinks as much as possible. Enter your URL. Rmoov will identify the bad backlinks, search automatically for as much contact information as possible, provide you with a template email, and help you send those messages and follow ups.
Still a pain in the ass but not as bad as going it alone.
What SEO tools do you use?