What The Blueprint looks for in a great SEO tool
The best SEO tools are the ones that make the SEO specialist look like a wizard. They are the ones that are capable of acquiring the right data to uncover the hidden truths and visually presenting their findings in ways that tell a compelling and credible story. They are also the ones that save the SEO hours of time by automating tasks that would otherwise be impossible or very time-consuming.
Search engines will not tell you what you did wrong or what you did right. When you search by keyword in a search engine, your site might appear or it might not; the search engines won’t tell you why. The tools that are able to move through thousands of data points to highlight the ones that may provide an explanation are the ones we like — those that uncover precious data that we couldn’t otherwise see.
The Google Keyword Planner is freely available to use for anyone who wants to do keyword research. The Google Search Console provides you with a view of the keywords you rank for. Clearly, any tool in the market that you will pay to use should add significant value on top of what you can easily get for free. We look for proprietary data and smart data aggregators in a great SEO tool.
An SEO audit can take 2 to 3 days to perform. During that time, every aspect of a site’s characteristics will be checked and evaluated. Tools that can add productivity to making that SEO audit, producing optimized content, identifying the most important places to improve a site’s response time, or generate insightful reports are highly appreciated.
How your business can benefit from using SEO tools
In many people’s eyes, SEO is about “getting free traffic,” and they are disappointed to not get more than they do. In reality, the value lies in the O for Optimization: Getting the most out of what you have.
Targeting the right people
You may dream of more traffic to your website, but for certain types of websites, more traffic can be detrimental to the user experience or even to profitability. Thousands of robot lookups of your homepage cost you more in hosting expenses, and users who come to your site to buy a product you don’t sell are not good for business.
What is important is who is behind that traffic. Are you attracting the right people and reaching your target group? Finding the right keywords and optimizing content with the right wording to generate the right traffic is one of the benefits of SEO tools.
Finding obstacles you couldn’t see
A website is a structure of data and commands, and it travels on the internet in little packets of information that are reassembled in another place. As we know with computers, things can go wrong. Right, Hal? A missing character somewhere in the code may create a problem or a difficulty in relation to load speed, page parsing, or error codes.
A website can appear to work perfectly fine even when something impedes search engines from crawling it correctly. SEO tools can simulate crawls and identify obstacles and imperfections you can correct to improve how your site is indexed.
Getting inspiration for your communication
Competitive research is always useful for improving your business. With SEO tools, you can get inspiration for content, for keywords to address, for page designs that work, and for ways to generate backlinks. SEO tools compute enormous amounts of data to give you access to what is important for your business.
One of the most commonly used expressions by SEOs is “It depends.” It is a standing joke in the industry. What SEO tool you need depends on your main pain point. Perhaps you need SEO monitoring software to see where you stand, or perhaps you already know which of the three pillars you need to improve on. If you have a physical store, perhaps you need to focus on local SEO.
The right tool for your SEO is the one that can address the problem you are facing. Not facing one? You don’t need a tool, then.
Many SEO tools have a free version or a free trial. A good place to start is with the search engines. Google provides a free keyword tool called the Google Keyword Planner. It is meant for search advertising, but can also be used for SEO as it suggests keywords and provides traffic volume estimates.
If you want to see which keywords you rank for, Google also provides the data via the Google Search Console and its integration with Google Analytics. You need to be aware that most free SEO tools are free for a reason. Maybe your data is being used, maybe your contact details are being commercialized, or maybe you are installing something on your computer which does more behind the scenes than just provide you with SEO data.
Backlinks are links on other websites that point to your own site. They can drive traffic from people clicking on them, and they are also used by search engines to determine whether you should rank on certain terms. The three most important things for backlinks are the anchor text in the link, the authority of the page that links to your site, and the page it links to on your site.
What is the purpose of rank tracking?
Rank tracking, also called position tracking, is the process of querying search engines with specific keywords and checking the results page for the position in which a site appears. Once a page appears in the top 30 or 50 for a keyword search, SEOs have hopes that they can tweak and improve the three pillars of SEO to improve that position, and make the page appear closer to the top positions which drive all the traffic.