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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Tools for Your Trip to the Top of Google

    Posted by Angela Suico

    The Best Online SEO Tools for Business Owners


    SEO is a mysterious maze of keywords, links, and SERPs. How can you hope to get through it all alive, let alone make sure you’re ranking well for your keywords? Besides the numerous optimization tutorials available online, there are also specific websites that can help you. Using the following online SEO tools will light the way as you fight to make it to Google’s Promised Land (i.e., the first page).

    Keyword Spy

    Remember when you were a kid and you played baseball or softball? You knew what to work on and what other teams’ weaknesses were by going head-to-head with different teams, right? You should do the same when it comes to your business. You can do this by using a site like Keyword Spy. The site lets you enter keywords and which of your competitors ranks for them. You’ll have limited access to some of its features for free. The rest you’ll have to pay for, but you may find the money you pay is worth it for what you gain. 

    SEO by Yoast

    This WordPress plugin helps you optimize your blog by tracking how you use the keyword in your content. Using a checklist of different items, like keyword density, readability, and your use of links, the plugin rates the SEO-friendliness of your blog. An indicator will appear red, yellow, or green to show how primed your content is. The checklist appears right below your content, so you can easily tweak and improve it until that indicator turns green. 

    Google Analytics

    With Google Analytics, you can get a specific breakdown of who’s viewing your site, where visitors live, and what they’re looking at. Using this information, you can track what posts are the most popular and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Some of the features on Google Analytics are pretty straightforward, while others are a little more complex. To help you learn the website, Google has a series of presentations you can watch to master its SEO tool.  

    HubSpot Marketing Grader

    To use another analogy from childhood, improving your marketing is a lot like taking a test: You can’t know where to improve unless somebody grades what you’ve done. HubSpot designed its Marketing Grader for this very purpose. You run your website through the tool, and it will in turn report what parts of your site are solid and what parts need improvement. In addition to grading your website, it can also track your social media presence and let you know how well you’re doing there, based on your frequency of Twitter and your mentions on Facebook.

    Google Trends

    Given that it’s the No. 1 search engine in the world, Google goes with SEO like biscotti goes with coffee. Knowing that, the site has given us Google Trends, which lets you know where a keyword is trending most in a country, as well as showing you popular alternative keywords. This list of alternatives can be useful for shaping your own campaigns. Working off of this list, you can see which keywords may be good magnets for drawing visitors to your site. And speaking of Google, we have one more resource from the search engine giant:

    Google Web Master Tools

    For more specific data on how people are finding your site than what Google Analytics shows you, there’s Google Web Master Tools. This website gives you an in-depth look at what keywords are leading people to you,  giving you a better idea of what sort of keywords you can rank for in the future. Not only that, but Google Web Master Tools also lets you view a page on your site through the eyes of the Google search spiders, thanks to the “Fetch As Google” feature.

    Bing Web Master Tools

    Though this article has focused mostly on Google, Bing is another search engine to think about. While it may not be as commonly used, it’s still a site that you don’t want to ignore. Bing’s own web master tools show the same sort of info as its Google counterpart, but these results are specific to Bing. Its webmaster tools also has an SEO Analyzer that checks what parts of a page aren’t optimized correctly. Much like SEO by Yoast, this tool shows you the red flags of your content so that you can fix them.  

    A majority of the sites listed above are free, so dominating SEO doesn’t have to cost you much money at all. What it may cost, however, is time. It may take a few hours of surfing around each website and learning how the tools work. This can be done as long as you hang in there and don’t try to learn everything at once. Tackle each site little by little, so that you don’t get too overwhelmed from the beginning. With a little time and patience, you can proudly plant your flag on Google’s results page. 

     

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    photo credit: MarcelGermain via photopin cc

    Topics: SEO