SEO is a difficult science to master and often results are hard to measure and quantify against your efforts. There are however, a number of useful tools for marketers to help improve your website’s search engine page ranking- increasing the visibility of the site in search queries.
Here are 5 of the best tools to monitor and improve your website’s search engine optimisation.
A desktop program that is easy to download and install, Screaming Frog is a crawling tool that spiders a website’s links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. Particularly useful for larger websites where manually checking each page would be too labour intensive, Screaming Frog gathers key onsite SEO elements and organises them into tabs by type, allowing you to easily filter them for common SEO issues.
Key onsite SEO elements such as URLs, page titles and meta descriptions can quickly be exported into an excel spread sheet allowing you to make recommendations and reports. Some of the SEO elements that Screaming Frog reports on include:
- Errors – Client & server errors (No responses, 4XX, 5XX)
- Redirects – (3XX, permanent or temporary)
- External Links – All followed links and their subsequent status codes
- Duplicate Pages – Hash value / MD5checksums lookup for pages with duplicate content
- Page Title – Missing, duplicate, over 65 characters, short, pixel width truncation, same as h1, or multiple
- Meta Description – Missing, duplicate, over 156 characters, short, pixel width truncation or multiple
- Meta Keywords – Mainly for reference as it’s only (barely) used by Yahoo.
- H1 – Missing, duplicate, over 70 characters, multiple
- H2 – Missing, duplicate, over 70 characters, multiple
- File size
- Inlinks – All pages linking to a URI
- Outlinks – All pages a URI links out to
- Images – All URIs with the image link & all images from a given page. Images over 100kb, missing alt text, alt text over 100 character
- Custom Source Code Search – The spider allows you to find anything you want in the source code of a website. Whether that’s analytics code, specific text, or code etc.
- XML Sitemap Generator – You can create a basic XML sitemap using the SEO spider.
BoostSuite is designed specifically with helping small businesses work on their SEO in mind. The tool analyses data from your website from an SEO perspective and produces a list of simple SEO to-do’s.
Boostsuite is very competitively priced and starts with a basic free plan for those wishing to explore SEO options. The tool can help websites to find and attract visitors, build quality links to the site and also has a feature to promote your website on other reputable sights using your own original content.
There is also a revenue tracker which shows how much money your website could be bringing in (in terms of qualified leads and conversions) if you follow the SEO suggestions made by the tool.
A tool aimed at educating users on SEO best practices, MOZ analyses your website, provides recommendations and helps you manage your SEO.
Moz also includes a free tool bar that shows you different SEO metrics of the websites you browse online- making this ideal for competitor research, giving you an idea of how your site sits compared to rival sites.
Moz also has a number of downloadable guides, such as The Beginner’s Guide to SEO. These guides are easy to follow and understand, providing you with a sound base of knowledge to begin transforming your website’s SEO.
An SEO tool to overhaul your content, Scribe lets you optimise your content, social feeds and search engine results.
When it comes to improving your content, Scribe comes complete with research tools to help you discover the topics being searched for by your target audience, along with the style of language they use when discussing this content on social media channels. This allows you to tailor your content to your audience’s needs, making it more relevant and shareable.
Scribe works on the basis that improving your shareable content and social engagement will attract more attention to your content creating ‘signals’ for search engines. These signals show search engines that your website is useful to visitors and full of high quality content that people want to share- an important feature that new algorithms are placing more emphasis on for improved search engine results.
Google Keyword Planner
Keywords are an important part of SEO in terms of content, meta descriptions and much more. Google keyword planner will generate a range of statistics for keywords entered into the tool, helping you to see which ones are regularly searched for and how high the competition is for them in terms of Adwords. The keyword planner will also suggest related search terms that you may not have considered as part of your SEO strategy. And we should mention that there’s also a keyword planner for Bing too 🙂
SEO is still an important part of digital marketing and there are no quick fixes when it comes to getting it right. You should avoid using below-the-board tactics that could cause search engines to penalise your website such as link schemes and prioritising keywords above quality when creating content. If your website falls on the wrong side of search engine algorithms it could be difficult to re-gain its integrity.
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