I try in so far as possible not to make SEO – search engine optimisation sound like a black art. Good quality SEO delivers sustainable rankings for the keywords that matter to your business and if you produce the right content and employ the right outreach strategy you will in time see a rise in rankings.
Of course these tactics are only as good as the strategy that sits behind them – so today I thought I would share some of the tools I use to research and quantify not only keywords that matter but also the search volumes and traffic associated with them.
For keyword research I like to use Google’s keyword tool and a free site at ubersuggest.org.
Google Keyword Tool
This is a handy tool from Google which is free although a little more unwieldy than it once was. . Google makes it available to allow users to do research for PPC campaigns. It is also very useful in finding well searched keywords to target. You will need to create or log in to your Google Account and use the bits of the tool most relevant to you. It also makes sense to bind your keywords in square brackets; thus [my keyword] to be sure that the results returned are exact match rather than broad match.
Ubersuggest will return keyword ideas which expand on your original suggestion, so if you type in motorcycle – it might return hundreds of variations…motorcycle dealers, motorcycle helmets, motorcycle clothing, motorcycle reviews, motorcycle manufacturers etc. This saves you the laborious task of thinking and typing all possible combinations of keywords.
Multi coloured, easy to use tool to sneak a peek at your competitors links and traffic. Might not be 100% accurate on numbers but still a very useful comparison tool to see what other sites in your sector are doing.
If you want to have a look at the on page SEO factors affecting your own sites or a website owned by someone else Neil Patel’s – Quicksprout site has a very nifty website analyser tool, that gives you the skinny on various on page ranking factors and flags up where improvements might be made.
Screaming Frog will crawl a website’s links, code, videos, images and scripts – identifying on page errors as it goes. This enables you to find any errors in terms of tags, broken links or duplicate content on your site.
Google Webmaster Tools
You should already have your site linked to your Google webmaster tools which sits on your Google account. If you don’t – now would be the time. It provides information on crawlabilty of your site and flags errors. It would also be useful to add Bing’s version of this tool which you can find at www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster.
SEOmoz SEO toolbar
SEOmoz or Moz as they have recently renamed themselves have created a superb portal featuring advice, training and free downloadable tools that will enable you to view and manage your SEO efforts more readily. The toolbar gives you immediate feedback on critical SEO metrics.
Do you want to know where your site stands in the search engines for certain keywords? Having tried most tracking tools I usually point clients in the direction of serpfox. Easy to use and understand and allows you to track keywords and how your site is doing. Updates a few times per day and you can focus your results by country.
Barry heads up Outbox 4 – providers of pay on results seo