6 Tools to Improve Your SEO Game in 2018
Digital marketing may be constantly evolving, but one thing that doesn’t change is the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Climbing the search rankings means more organic traffic coming to your website, and that means greater revenues.
If you’re handling your site’s SEO, there are plenty of tools that can help. Here are six that will bring more people your way in 2018.
Speed is essential in how your site ranks for two reasons. First is that search engine bots take page speed into account when ranking sites. Second is that slow page speeds lead to a higher bounce rate, which is bad for your SEO and your sales.
The PageSpeed Insights tool by Google Developer makes it easy to check your site’s speed, as all you need to do is plug in the URL. It then assigns a speed rating for both the computer and mobile versions of your site on a zero to 100 scale, with an 85 and above being good. The tool also recommends fixes to improve your site’s speed and explains how to do them.
2. Cruft Finder
When search engine bots assess the overall quality of your site, it takes all the pages into account, which means that low-quality pages and junk URLs lower its overall quality score. The fastest way to improve your site’s quality score is to remove those pages, also known as the cruft.
That’s where Inflow’s Cruft Finder can come in handy. Simply provide your site’s URL and, if you want, choose the e-commerce platform you’re using. Cruft Finder then shows you the pages you can noindex to improve your search ranking.
3. Yoast SEO
To do well in the search results, you need content that’s search engine-friendly. It’s not enough to just create something informative. It needs to be optimized for specific target keywords and it needs to be readable.
Yoast SEO allows you to set target keywords for your content. It also rates your content based on its readability and its SEO, and it provides suggestions on how you can improve the content in both of those areas.
4. Keyword Tool
Yoast SEO can help you optimize your content for specific keywords, but you still need to figure out which keywords to choose. If you choose something with little traffic or one that’s too competitive, it won’t do you any good.
The aptly named Keyword Tool is perfect for brainstorming new focus keywords. Just enter a keyword and Keyword Tool will come up with suggested long-tail keywords that have less competition and are easier for rank for.
Backlinks from relevant, high-quality sites have long been one of the best ways to improve your own site’s authority and, in doing so, its SEO. The challenge is finding the right sites to target for backlink opportunities. You don’t want to waste your time reaching out to sites that have low-quality scores.
With the Moz Open Site Explorer, you can type in a URL and pull up the domain authority and page authority, giving you an idea of how the search engines see it. If a site has a high domain authority, then you know that getting a backlink from it will be great for your site’s SEO.
When you’re improving your site’s SEO, it’s important to keep in mind that this is ultimately a competition. For your site to climb the rankings, it needs to surpass other sites in the same niche, which means competitor research must be a part of your SEO strategy.
For competitor research, there’s no tool better than SEMRush, as it provides a wealth of useful information. After you enter the URL you want to check out, SEMRush will show you how much organic and paid search traffic the site is getting, how many backlinks it has, its top organic and paid keywords and its main competitors. With this information, you can see where your competitors excel and where they’re weak.
If you use all six of these tools, you’ll have a lightning-fast website without any cruft holding it back. Your content will be search-engine friendly, readable and built around good long-tail keywords. You’ll be able to choose the right backlink opportunities and see what your competition is doing.
Best of all, each tool is either completely free or has a free version available. Many also include premium versions with upgraded features. You can start improving your site’s SEO without spending a thing, and then upgrade later if you need more options.