Having to invest in SEO tools might annoy you at the start. As a small business owner, you’re already paying for website hosting, domain name, digital ads, and more. You might think why use SEO tools at all?
SEO tools allow you to collect, view and sort a range of data into an actionable plan in minutes. It would take hours to gather this data manually. You can use this data to measure your website’s KPIs and see what is performing and which pages need work.
Also, SEO tools allow you to spy on your competition. You can see what keywords they are targeting, who links to them, and if their website has any errors. All of these pieces can help massively improve your strategy.
Here are just a few reasons why use SEO tools to develop your website’s content marketing strategy and tactics.
#1 Easily track your SEO progress and KPIs
SEO success is more than hitting the top spot on Google. And while this is a part of it, there are plenty of metrics that are worthy of consideration. Ranking in the top spot for a keyword that doesn’t convert visitors to customers is an outcome best avoided.
Calculating your conversion rate can be difficult or time-consuming without a tool. Counting the number of lead generation forms that are submitted each week can also be tricky. Fortunately, SEO tools can do the heavy lifting, allowing you to clearly see if your SEO strategy is paying off.
If you make your key performance indicators (KPIs) easy to measure, there’s a greater chance you’ll check on them regularly and use the data collected to inform your strategy.
Your KPIs will depend on your business and what marketing activities you do. But you could measure:
- Keyword rankings
- Number of backlinks
- Unique visitors
- Bounce rate
- Time on website
- Form fills
- Social media comments
By picking two or three KPIs to measure per channel, you can easily see if your SEO efforts are paying off. Plus, using the right SEO tools will make tracking the data far simpler, allowing you to spend more time executing your plan.
#2 Find keywords that convert for content
With a couple of keystrokes, you can find thousands of keywords ideas. But finding keywords that will convert is another subject altogether. You have to consider the intent of the keyword and where it fits within the buyer’s journey.
You can’t simply pick a random industry term out of a hat and create a piece of content about that topic. Instead, you need to break down topics into a meaningful series of articles that educates and helps move the reader toward making a purchase.
Does your article:
- Help to inform?
- Solve a problem?
- Encourage a purchase?
It should be easy to identify your content’s purpose and how it works with the rest of your website to drive sales and keep customers satisfied.
Turning topics into keywords you can target
Using an SEO tool, your seed topic can become a list of potential keywords, some of which you would have never thought of by yourself.
Find your prospects’ questions
Your topic can easily become a list of questions asked by your prospects. A free tool like Answer the public is excellent for this.
Uncover what your competition is targeting
As you can view what keywords your competition is ranking for, you can harvest a list of potential phrases to target in minutes. Plus, you can gather plenty of data about each of your competitors.
Boost your current rankings
You could see what terms your website is already ranking for and look for keywords you’re not targeting. You might find a page is ranking better for a term you haven’t considered and with a few tweaks could rocket up to the first page for that new keyword.
Find gaps in your content
SEO tools can also point out gaps in your content. You might feel your article fully answered your user’s question, yet your tool could suggest a keyword for a section that you haven’t written but is critical to cover the topic.
#3 Quick and painless SEO audits
No one likes seeing your 404 page, especially if they bookmarked the original page as a valuable resource. Similarly, your visitors don’t want to see broken images or pages without the basics (title, meta description, thin content, etc).
Manually auditing your website will take hours, and you’ll like to miss a few things, regardless of how strong your SOP or checklist is. SEO tools make it easy to identify website issues.
Many SEO professionals use Screaming Frog, which is a free crawling tool that searches through a website to find issues, such as:
- Orphaned pages
- Missing page titles
- Missing meta descriptions
- Broken links
- Thin content
- Page server errors
- Slow loading pages
You can also use a paid tool suite such as SEMrush or Website Auditor from SEO Powersuite. Both offer on-demand and schedule website crawling. The final report highlights what needs fixing, allowing you to maximize the return on your time.
#4 Spy on your competitor’s SEO Strategy
It can be impossible to know where to start when creating an SEO strategy, particularly if you’re not a digital marketer. After reading a few blogs and articles, you’ll be even more confused as there are plenty of marketing and SEO tactics you could try.
Before you stray to the dark side and try quick-win tactics that will eventually see your website burn down flames, it’s worth building a better plan by studying your competition and companies you admire.
Many SEO tools, such as SEO Powersuite and Ahrefs allow you to explore any website’s SEO strategy. You can see what keywords are driving traffic, who links to them, and how many errors their website has.
Few websites are completely free from issues. By identifying what your competitors are doing wrong, you can improve your website and watch your rankings and conversions rise. For example, if they haven’t focused on site speed, you can ensure your website loads in under 2 seconds.
Building backlinks can be a bore, and you need some to rank. But you can make the process slightly easier by spying on where your competitors are getting links and asking those websites for a link.
Within a few minutes, you can have a list of prime link targets, compete with content details. All without needing to manually research each website or the headaches that go with that.
The best keyword opportunities take time to find, and the larger your website, the harder it gets. If you’ve hit a wall and can’t find any new ideas, you might be able to find loads by looking at what your competitors are ranking for.
With SEO tools, you can view the existing keywords your competitors are ranking for. These can help expand your list and help you build out an even more comprehensive keyword plan. SEO tools can help generate thousands of keyword ideas.
Why use SEO tools?
SEO tools allow you to build a greater understanding of the strategies and tactics used by your competitors. These insights can help you build a stronger strategy to dominate the search results.
Of course, any SEO tool suite will help you track your rankings and uncover new keywords to target, but also so much more. If you haven’t invested in SEO tools, consider buying SEO Powersuite, which is affordable and powerful.
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