What Businesses Need to Know About Using SEO Tools
Ashley Bryan |
Comments Off on What Businesses Need to Know About Using SEO Tools |
April 18th 2019
The world of SEO used to be all about manual effort. You’d have to do everything yourself. Carry out research yourself. Track websites and rankings yourself. Crunch the numbers yourself. But with time came the development and release of SEO tools that make all these tasks easier, and there’s a wide variety of them across the gamut of SEO-related needs.
This piece isn’t about any specific tools — it’s about why they’re so crucial to ensuring your website is optimized properly for search engines. Let’s go through all the things that SEO tools can do for you, seeing how they can help you achieve better rankings.
They Can Help You With Keyword Research
When you visit Google, it’s usually because you want to find the answer to a question quickly. That answer can be text. It can be an image. It can be a video. Or it can be a product that’s sold online. The bottom line is, you have a problem, and you’re coming to Google to find a solution.
Whatever you type into that search box — the words you use to conjure up that solution — is called a “keyword phrase.”
Keyword research is the bread and butter of search engine optimization. It allows you to identify keyword phrases that aren’t targeted by many other websites, or those you feel you can outrank other sites for. You can then build your content around those keyword phrases.
Good keyword research software can automate this process a great deal, which is why you should focus on this front first before you do anything else.
They Can Show You Where You Rank
One does not simply guess whether the Thanksgiving turkey is done or not. You don’t just open the oven at a random time and say “Let’s eat!” — instead, you check the internal temperature of the bird with a thermometer. And you do so over time, checking progress until the turkey is finally cooked, and then you can finally get down to the business of eating it.
Search engine optimization works in a very similar way. You may have selected some keyword phrases you want to rank for and started creating content to rank for those terms, but that doesn’t mean you have it in the bag and can relax. You should be using an SEO tool to track where your site ranks for your selected keywords, and you should check on a regular basis to ensure you’re making progress.
If you are, keep at it. If you’re not, you should take time to explore exactly what’s going wrong. That’s the only way you’re going to end up with a properly-cooked turkey.
They Can Locate Dead Content to Replace
The internet is not unlike the business world in one notable sense: just as new businesses open and old business close with every passing day, websites appear and disappear. This is particularly common with blog sites or ecommerce stores for entrepreneurs but more just close down and never return. A long-running site that felt like a permanent placement can simply vanish one day with no warning — and that’s great for those paying attention.
Why? Because those disappearing websites often have extensive collections of backlinks that will suddenly stop working. When that happens, you have the opportunity to jump in and lend a hand by providing content to fill those gaps. You’ll often find that a website with a dead link will be more than happy to replace it with one of your links if you simply ask.
Every good SEO package will include a tool to help you find dead sites that are linked to by influential websites. It’s a quick way to start improving your website’s search engine rankings, and an even better way to come up with content ideas when you’re in a slump.
They Are Great For Auditing Sites
Many entrepreneurs build their own website from the ground up because they have the time and skill, but you don’t have to. If you’re keen to start your own business or diversify your portfolio, buying an existing website will allow you to skip the labour-intensive period of building links, optimizing pages, and driving traffic. And SEO tools mean you won’t be ripped off.
Running the website you’re thinking of purchasing through site auditing tools will allow you to spot issues and generate a report that details everything that needs addressing. Some of the most crucial issues that need analysing include checking for page load and speed issues, keyword cannibalization, and site-wide duplicate content.
Like having a household survey performed before taking out a mortgage, arming yourself with this information can help you determine the price you’re willing to pay. If there are serious issues, for example, you can step away or use the information to bargain for a fairer price. Plus, you know exactly how much time and money is needed to make the purchase as profitable as it needs to be.
Expanding on the topic of links, you may hear negative stories about them. Today, plenty of people will claim that backlinks aren’t worth bothering with anymore — that Google has de-emphasized them. This is demonstrably untrue.
To this day, links from authoritative websites are as valuable as they’ve ever been, and a good package of SEO tools will provide you with options for finding websites with great authority. Once that’s done, you can start reaching out to them to let them know that you have content that might interest them — or you can create content so catered to their preferences (and generate so much hype and buzz) that they’ll have to link to it.
In the long run, your aim is to get links from universities, government entities, and/or trustworthy news outlets. Those are deemed to have the utmost “authority” in Google’s eyes. Consequently, they’ll do the most to help your site reach high rankings.
They Can Tell You When Links are Dangerous
You’re going to want an SEO tool for seeing every site that links back to yours, because though most links are highly useful (and it’s good to get more links overall), some links aren’t worth having, and can even damage your SEO performance.
It wouldn’t make any sense for every website to be considered an authority, obviously, the difference in quality goes way beyond that. Some websites are actually considered bad for the internet — net negatives once you’ve factored everything in. They steal content, and/or try to push malware on unsuspecting users, and Google punishes them justly.
Getting a link from a site like that (for whatever reason) doesn’t look good for you. It can lead Google to assume that your websites are somehow related, or of comparable quality. But you can’t simply avoid seeking backlinks from such sites. Sometimes people just link to you of their own volition.
When that happens, the ability to identify these bad links is key, because it allows you to “disavow” the backlinks with Google — making it clear to Google that you don’t associate with them, and protecting your site’s authority. So make sure your SEO package has a way to find links that hurt your cause, because if you’re unaware of bad links, your job is going to be a lot more difficult.
If you’re just starting out on your SEO journey, try finding a comprehensive SEO suite that can do all of these things for you. Read some reviews, get some recommendations, run some trials, and pick the option that works best for you. And if you need some assistance, find an expert to provide it. You don’t need to work alone.