In essence, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was developed as an extension of web accessibility following HTML 4 guidelines, to better identify the purpose and content of a document.
This meant ensuring that web pages had unique page titles that adequately reflected their content, as well as keyword titles to better highlight the content of individual pages, and that other tags were treated in the same way.
This was necessary, especially since web developers often only focused on whether their coding worked, rather than the user experience, much less follow the web publishing guidelines.
This changed slowly as it became increasingly known that search engines used these “on-page” signals to provide their “Search Engine Results Pages” (SERP), and that there was an advantage to obtaining a ranking. Higher in these to take advantage of free organic and natural traffic.
The Internet has evolved a lot since those early days, and major search engines such as Google now process much more information “off-page” by determining their search results, particularly through semantic processing, user data collection and the application of neural networks for automatic learning of patterns, trends and personal preferences.
Even so, the core ideals of SEO remain the same as always: ensure that pages have the correct tags to target keywords, not only for natural search results, but also for PPC (Pay Per Click) and other campaigns marketing, where The Call to Action (CTA) and conversion rates are essential indicators of success.
But how does a company know what keywords to target on its sales pages? How does a website filter the transactional traffic of general site visitors? And how can that business increase its ability to capture targeted traffic from the Internet? Here we list a number of tools that will help do exactly that.
1. Google webmaster tools
Who better than the search giant Google to improve your SEO?
Ideal for beginners.
Easy access to key metrics
Free live support
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is an excellent way for novice webmasters to start using SEO. The arsenal of tools includes & # 39; Fetch as Goole & # 39 ;, which allows you to view URLs in the same way that Google does. This is a very simple way to detect and troubleshoot search engine optimization problems. You can then modify your page accordingly and even review the code to make sure your site has not been hacked.
& # 39; PageSpeed Insights & # 39; allows you to perform speed checks on the desktop and mobile versions of your site. As mobile traffic now consumes a considerable part of web traffic in general, this is crucial to ensure that mobile visitors access and remain on their pages.
The & # 39; structured data test tool & # 39; It is also useful to verify that the data has been entered correctly, performing validation routines to verify that they are in the correct format.
Google also generously offers a free chat with a personal representative through Hangouts. You can use this function during normal business hours to get help with site problems, such as mastering the various tools and detecting malicious activity. More help is available, visit the GWT forum. This is a place for webmasters to connect and share troubleshooting and performance suggestions.
GWT has received universal praise in line with the only criticism that is a slight delay between the time the data is published and when it is reported.
2. SEMrush SEO toolkit
Advanced SEO tools, all accessible from a master board
Analyze the metrics of the competitors.
Robust information board
Use some complicated terminology
SEMrush SEO tools were originally developed in 2008 by SEMrush. In 2018, the project received funds of $ 40 million for expansion.
The keyword research tool can be accessed from the super-elaborated dashboard of SEMrush. You can view detailed keyword analysis reports, as well as a summary of the domains you manage.
More importantly, the SEO toolkit allows you to compare the performance of your pages to see how you rank against the competition. For example, you can analyze backlinks from other websites to yours. (This process is sometimes like & # 39; link building & # 39;).
Traffic analysis helps identify the main sources of web traffic of its competitors, such as the main reference sites. This allows you to delve into the details of how the sites of you and your competitors are compared in terms of average session duration and bounce rates. In addition, “Comparison of traffic sources” gives you an overview of digital marketing channels for one group of rivals at a time. For those new to SEO jargon, the & # 39; bounce rates & # 39; They are the percentage of visitors who visit a website and then leave without accessing any other page on the same site.
The domain overview generally does much more than provide a summary of your competitors’ SEO strategies. You can also detect specific keywords that have been targeted, as well as access the relative performance of your domains on desktop and mobile devices.
SEMrush has received many positive mentions online, but has been criticized for the use of SEO jargon, such as & # 39; SERP & # 39 ;, which can alienate inexperienced users. A subscription & # 39; Pro & # 39; It costs $ 99.95 (£ 74.52) per month, which includes access to all SEO tools.
3. SEO Spider
SEO Spider is an effective web crawler, but the free version is slightly limited
Used by industry leaders.
Excellent tracking features
Free version suitable only for small websites
SEO Spider was originally created in 2010 by the euphemistically called “Screaming Frog”. Clients of this noisy reptile include important players like Disney, Shazam and Dell.
One of the most attractive features of SEO Spider is its ability to perform a quick search for friendly URLs. SEO best practices dictate that search engines are much more likely to index simple, relevant and human-readable URLs over addresses that are a string of meaningless characters, so this feature is a great advantage.
SEO Spider can also crawl your site to search for broken pages. This saves you the trouble of manually clicking on each link to rule out & # 39; 404 errors & # 39 ;.
The tool also allows you to search for pages with missing title tags, duplicate meta tags, incorrect length tags and any other feature that is not in line with SEO best practices.
SEO Spider also verifies the number of links placed on each page to avoid the bad SEO practice of publishing too many on one page. This generally confuses visitors to your site, which makes them go elsewhere and Google also ranks pages with more than 100 & # 39; external links & # 39 ;.
There is a free and paid version of SEO Spider. The free version contains most of the basic functions, such as trace redirects, but is limited to 500 URLs. Nor can you customize robots.txt and there is no Google Analytics integration. This makes the version & # 39; Lite & # 39; SEO Spider is suitable only for smaller domains. The version pays $ 180 (£ 149) per year and includes more advanced features, as well as free technical support.
4. Majestic SEO tools
A real offering for all backlink inkers
Large amount of backlink data
The user interface is a bit dated
Majestic has consistently received praise from SEO veterans since its creation in 2011. This also makes it one of the oldest SEO tools available today.
The main focus of the tools is on backlinks, which represent the links between one website and another. This has a significant influence on SEO performance and, as such, Majestic has a large amount of backlink data.
Users can search both a & # 39; Cool Index & # 39; which is tracked and updated throughout the day, in addition to a & # 39; historical index & # 39; He has been praised online for his speed of lightning recovery. One of the most popular features is the & # 39; Majestic Million & # 39 ;, which shows a ranking of the top 1 million websites.
The version & # 39; Lite & # 39; Majestic costs $ 50 (£ 39.99) per month and incorporates useful features such as a massive backlink verifier, a reference domain registration, IP and subnets, as well as the & # 39; Site Explorer & # 39; Majestic integrated. This feature that is designed to give you an overview of your online store has received some negative comments because it seems a bit dated. Majestic also does not have Google Analytics integration.
5. Moz Pro
Search marketing tools compatible with the community
Wide range of tools
Large amount of data
Moz.com is an SEO tool platform that aims to help you increase traffic, rankings and visibility into search engine results.
Key tools include the ability to audit your own site using Moz’s professional spider, which should highlight potential problems and recommend actionable ideas. There is also the possibility to track your site rankings in hundreds or even thousands of keywords per website.
There is also a keyword research tool to help determine which keywords and keyword combinations may be the best for targeting, and there is also a backlink analysis tool that combines a combination of metrics, including text anchoring in the links, as well as the estimated domain authority.
The price for Moz Pro starts at $ 99 (£ 80) per month for the Standard plan that covers the basic tools. The Medium plan offers a wider range of features for $ 179 (£ 150) per month and a free trial version is available. Please note that plans have a 20% discount if they are paid annually. There are additional plans available for the agency and company needs, and there are additional payment tools for local listings and STAT data analysis.
Even if you don’t sign up for Moz Pro, there are several free tools available. There is also a large support community ready to offer help, advice and guidance in the full range of search marketing problems.
Although we have highlighted the best paid SEO tools that exist, several websites offer more limited tools that are free to use. Here we will see the free options.
Even if you’re not stubborn with SEO, whatever the size of your site or blog, Google’s laudable Search Console (formerly Webmaster Central) and the countless easy-to-use tools under your hood should be your first port of call. The toolkit gives you valuable information about your site at a glance: you can evaluate the performance of your site and see possible problems to solve problems (such as negative spam links), help you make sure your site is compatible with Google and monitor Google indexing of your site.
You can even report spam and request a reconsideration if your site has incurred a fine. Also, if you don’t refer to your Webmaster Guidelines from time to time, well, you’re only to blame if you’re wrong. Search console It is constantly updated and there are new features on the way, such as the new URL inspection tool or the new sitemap report.
SEMRush SEOQuake is one of the most popular toolbar extensions worshiped by millions. It allows you to view multiple search engine parameters on the fly and save and compare them with the results obtained for other projects. Although the icons and numbers produced by SeoQuake may be unintelligible to the uninformed user, expert optimizers will appreciate the large number of details provided by this add-on.
Calculate the details about the number of visitors and their country, get the traffic history of a site in a graph and more. The toolbar includes buttons for updating a site’s Google index, backlinks, SEMRush rankings, Facebook likes, Bing index, Alexa ranges, web archive age and a link to the Whois page. There is also a useful cheat sheet and diagnostic page to get an overview of possible problems (or opportunities) that affect a particular page or site.
Knowing the correct keywords to target is very important when preparing your web copy. Google’s free keyword tool, part of Adwords, couldn’t be easier to use. Connect your website’s URL in the box, start reviewing the suggested keywords and voila. Jill Whalen, CEO of HighRankings.com is a fan and offers advice to those new to keyword optimization: “Be sure to use those keywords in the content of your website.
It’s really about being descriptive, since keyword phrases generally describe what it offers. Think about the fact that you are trying to answer someone’s question at the other end of the search engine. They usually search on Google because they have a question or problem to solve. Have your website answer those questions and solve those problems and it will be the one that will be displayed in the search results. “
Another Google tool on that list (it’s not a surprise, it isn’t). Optimizing is not for the faint of heart and will make even experienced SEO experts feel uncomfortable. SEO is not just about rankings and without the right balance of content that interacts with your visitors and drives conversions, your serious optimization could be wasted.
Google’s free service helps eliminate the guesswork from the game, allowing you to test the content of your site: from the simple A / B test of two different pages to the comparison of a complete combination of elements on a given page. Customization features are also available to spice things up a bit. Keep in mind that to run some of the most complicated multivariate tests, you will need adequate traffic and time for the results to be actionable, just as you do with Analytics.
Any experienced search engine optimization specialist will tell you that keywords are important, and while simply searching for keywords in your text can arbitrarily do more harm than good, it is worth making sure you have the right balance. Live keyword analysis is very easy to use: simply enter your keywords and then paste the text and your keyword density analysis will be done on the fly. Don’t forget to try and edit your text accordingly for optimal readability. Essential for website editors, especially because you do not need to register or pay anything.
Google’s Pagerank algorithm supports most of what makes today’s global network work the way it does. Understanding backlinks (sites that link to you) allows website owners and publishers to understand what link opportunities they might be missing. Enter Ahrefs, possibly one of the most powerful players.
They maintain one of the largest live backlink indexes currently available with 16 billion known links, covering 200 million root domains. While Ahrefs is not free, the function of the backlink checker is free, which provides a useful snapshot that includes the rating of your domain, the 100 main backlinks, the 5 main anchors and the 5 main pages, the Strict minimum to provide an idea of what Ahrefs has to offer.