My 5 Favourite SEO Tools & Why You Should Use Them
As someone who works with websites everyday in order to gain more traffic and sales, one thing I need is tools. Without the required tools, there is only so much an SEO can do to optimise a website effectively. Now, there are various tools for various activities, of course. Some tools are used solely for monitoring a websites performance, others are used for on-site SEO, off-site SEO and more.
Whether you are just starting out in SEO or you are quite experienced, there are tools out there that can be used by beginners, intermediate individuals and experts.
In this blog post, I will go through 5 tools that every SEO should be using. Of course, I use plenty more tools then what you will see in this post, but these are my personal favourites that I use every day. Without using these tools, you are preventing your website from growing and expanding into what it could be.
In order to monitor and analyse a website’s performance, you need Google Analytics. In my opinion, this is one of the most, if not the most important tool for a website. And it’s free!
Google Analytics reports on numerous factors of a website that an SEO needs to consider. Some of these factors are your websites best performing landing pages, traffic signals, website page speed, website tracking, website conversions and much more.
One of the first things to do for a new website, or a website that currently isn’t tracked, is to add Google Analytics. For WordPress websites, this is simple through the Monster Insights Google Analytics plugin.
Simple install and activate this plugin. Then verify it with your Google Analytics account. Head over to the installation page for more information. This is one of many plugins that can assist you installing the Google Analytics tracking code.
Google Search Console
I personally prefer Google Search Console to Analytics because it’s easier to understand and there are less components involved. Granted, Analytics offers more features to help you track and monitor a website.
What I love most about Google Search Console is the ability to crawl and index a page instantly. This is done through the ‘Fetch as Google’ feature. What this does is once you have made changes to a webpage and you want to notify Google immediately, you can use the fetch as Google feature to do this.
Head to Crawl > Fetch as Google
Here, you can see how I have recently asked Google to index my pages immediately.
In addition to this feature, you can also monitor your search analytics for clicks, impressions, CTR and average position. These features help because it gives an idea of how your website is performing and for which queries.
One of GSC’s core features is the HTML improvements section. This notifies a webmaster of any issues on their website and where they are.
Head to Search Appearance > HTML Improvements.
This reports on missing title and description tags and duplicate title and description tags.
These are just some of the features that GSC can help you with. To verify a property within GSC, head here.
Screaming Frog crawls a website and reports back on numerous factors. You can use Screaming Frog to detect whether your website contains any 404 errors, 302’s, 301’ and all other types of response codes.
It is a paid tool, however, the information it gives you is worth the price. It also displays the word count for your pages. Page under 300 words are low, you can identify these pages and add extra content to them. Navigate to the ‘Word Count’ column and filter the tab to preview all pages under300 words. The same goes for title and description tags, Screaming Frog identifies any duplicate tags on your website which makes it easy to go in and fix them.
You can also create and generate XML Sitemaps for your website within this tool. An XML sitemap is simple a map of your site that contains all your URL’s and images. Once you have generated sitemap, this can be added into Google Search Console for better indexation. Here is a useful guide to getting started with this tool and how you can use it.
Google’s Keyword Planner
If this isn’t the most popular SEO tool, I would love to know what is.
Keyword planner is a toll provided by Google AdWords, you do need to have a campaign up and running and spending over a certain threshold to use this tool.
Ultimately, keyword planner tells you how many people are searching for a keyword. You can set this by your location, so you know how many people in your arear are searching for specific terms. This toll is the number one solution when conducting keyword research. In addition to search volume, it also gives you CPC information, as well competition for keywords.
This tool is important because if you are unsure of how many people are searching for a keyword, you would be taking a risk by using it.
SEO Meta 1 Click
I absolutely adore this tool because of it’s instant results, like the name suggests, in one click. The information you get from this tool is on-page SEO signals such as Title and meta description, H1 headers, nofollow links, canonical tags, robots tag, author, publisher, images, links and options to open the robots.txt and XML sitemap. All in one click.
Head over to the Chrome store to install this extension for free.
Again, there are several other tools out there that will benefit your SEO activities. Limiting yourself to a certain set can prevent you from mastering certain techniques and also prevent you from learning critical information about your site. These are my personal top 5 and I do recommend trying them out to see whether you benefit from them as well.