SEO Tools: Which Do You Need for Your Site?
In terms of SEO, there are countless ways you can improve your website, draw in traffic, and increase conversion rates. As a newcomer to SEO (search engine optimization), it may be difficult to know just what your site needs, not to mention how to carry out whatever action it does need, whether that be creating keyword-based content, updating title and body tags, or acquiring inbound links. Fortunately, you can utilize a variety of tools to help you through the process. From checking your site’s backlinks to finding the most effective keywords, there’s a tool for everything these days. But which SEO tools do you need and how do you use them?
At StatCounter, our number one goal is to help our valued members understand their visitors. This way, they can make informed decisions in optimizing their site and generating more traffic. However, in order to carry out those decisions, we know some members will need a little help. With this in mind, we’ve mapped out a few areas of your site to monitor as well as some helpful and efficient SEO tools you can utilize to maintain it accordingly.
Keyword Research Tools
Keywords play a large role in SEO. In fact, quality, keyword-based content is one of the most important aspects of SEO—and its effect on your website’s success is crucial. In other words, your selected keywords and the according content for such will directly affect how well your website ranks on various search engines. The better you rank on search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the more visible you are to web users. A main component in that visibility and ranking is proper keyword research and usage. In short, the content on your site needs to be optimized around keywords relating to your brand or business. But it should also best match the user’s search intent. So, how can you find the right keywords? Keyword research tools!
Now, you can find a range of free keyword research tools online, but in order to truly find effective and plausible keywords, paying for a service may help you achieve better results. Keywords should be well thought out and geared for lengthy content, but they should also relate directly to the user’s search intent—as previously mentioned. Nonetheless, we’ve laid out some useful keyword research tools below, both free and paid. Take a look:
- SEMRush: Though it does offer some free usage, SEMRush is a paid tool that offers great keyword research. Here, you can find phrase match and related keywords, but you can also monitor your current rankings for specific terms.
- Moz: Similar to SEMRush, Moz is also a paid tool, providing you with the volume, difficulty, and opportunity for any given keyword. However, with Moz’s Keyword Explorer, you can get 2 free searches a day.
- SERPS: A free tool, or free capabilities at least, SERPS will show you related search queries for any keyword, as well as give you the volume and cost-per-click (CPC) of the term.
To get an idea of what a keyword tool looks like, check out the screenshot below from SEMRush:
As you can see in the figure above, SEMRush shows your ranking keywords according to position, search volume, cost-per-click, and keyword difficulty. It will even show you which page on your site is ranking for a specific keyword. For further information regarding keywords and how to utilize them, check out the pages provided below:
Duplicate Content Checker
A common area for penalties, duplicate content can send the wrong message to search engines. Whether the content is duplicated throughout your site or somewhere else on the web, search engines will struggle to determine each page’s relevancy to the search query. For example, many dentists have duplicate content since they all offer the same services for the most part. So, a page on braces for one dentist could be the same information for another. When someone searches for a braces-related term, the search engine may have trouble determining which page to rank first. To give yourself the upper hand, ensure your content is unique and add a little something extra to get the higher ranking.
Simply put, you’ll need to ensure there’s no duplicated content on your website. If there is, rewriting the content will be necessary. In avoiding duplicate content, you’ll first need a duplicate content checker. Take a look at the free ones provided below:
- Copyscape: Though it does offer some free usage, SEMRush is a paid tool that offers great keyword research. Here, you can find phrase match and related keywords, but you can also monitor your current rankings for specific terms.
- Duplichecker: As with any duplicate content checker, Duplichecker allows you to search URLs, text, files, and more. With the Similar Page Detector, you can compare any two pages of your site to avoid duplicate content.
- Siteliner: Quite in depth, Siteliner will show you duplicate pages, broken links, redirects and more. In terms of duplicate content, it\’ll show you each page with similar content and what percent of the page is duplicated. Running the test here will bring up a graph like the one provided below:
Once you click to see your duplicate content, you’ll see something similar to the image below, which you can then delve deeper into and figure out which pages share the same content.
If you're unsure of what a backlink is and why you should check them, now's a great time to find out—and we'll gladly fill you in. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are essentially links from other webpages that direct back to your site. In other words, if another website makes a post about your business and includes a link to your site on their own, you'd then have a backlink. As most experts will tell you, backlinks play an important role in how your site ranks, so it's a good idea to get some backlinks to your site.
In the meantime, you should first check for any existing backlinks for your site. If it's a brand new site, you can rightfully assume no backlinks exist quite yet. Regardless, a quality backlink checker will show you the number of backlinks to your site, as well as the strength of the page hosting your backlink. Check out some backlink tools below:
- SEMRush: As mentioned, SEMRush isn't a free tool, but it may be worth the money, as it offers a backlink checker, keyword research tool, and more. Of course, you can even use it, as well as any other backlink tool, to check the backlinks of your competitors.
- OpenLinkProfiler: A free tool, OpenLinkProfiler can check all of your backlinks, and it allows you to export them in CSV. As far as free tools go, this is a solid one.
- Backlinkwatch: Similar to OpenLinkProfiler, Backlinkwatch.com will simply report all your backlinks with the sites they're linked from, as well as the PageRank for each site and its total number of outbound links (the less, the better).
Page Load Speed Tools
As search engines progress, user experience is becoming a more powerful ranking factor. If users are having trouble on your site and leave shortly thereafter, your bounce rate will increase and affect your rankings on Google. Google has also incorporated site speed and page load speed into its algorithms to rank pages. Either way you look at it, slow pages hurt your rankings.
By The Numbers
To get a better idea of just how big of an impact site speed can have on your traffic and search engine rankings performance, view the stats provided below:
- 47% of consumers feel a website should load in under 2 seconds
- 40% of people will leave a website that takes over 3 seconds to load
- By reducing site speed by 1 second, conversions can decrease by 7%
- According to Amazon, they’d lose over $1 billion in sales if they decreased site speed by just 1 second.
With this, it's essential you monitor the load speed for each page of your site, and plenty of tools can help you do so. In an effort to help our members keep their pages quick-loading and user-friendly, we've laid out some page load speed tools for you to try below:
- Pingdom: Pingdom provides reports in several sections, focusing on a performance grade and page analysis. The full page test shows the amount of request for that page, the page size, and the load time.
- Google PageSpeed Insights: Offering reports for both desktop and mobile versions of your site, if you have both, PageSpeed Insights grades your site on a 1-100 scale, noting anything above 85 is great. It'll even provide you with suggestions to improve your page load speed . Take a look at the example of test results below:
From here, you can click “Show how to fix” and take the necessary action to optimize your page speed, as well as users' experience on your site .For further reading on page load speed and how it affects your site's traffic, you can view the pages provided below:
Monitor SEO with StatCounter
Once you've utilized some of the tools listed above, you can easily track your SEO strategies and efforts with StatCounter! We offer a wide range of metrics within our analytics so you can effectively optimize your website and better your business. Simply put, SEO is an important part of every business these days, and the tools for such can go a long way in your endeavors.
Whether you’re interested in our Growth Plan or you’re already a valued member of StatCounter, you can reach us for support by filling out the form provided below.
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