SEO Tools for Leverage
The first most important tool for SEO is yourself.
- Write Code
- Manage Hosting
- Create Graphics
- Create compelling content
- Know what to do and when (discovery)
Let's look at a process I use every day when working on SEO on the Gold Coast.
Discovery is very important. Say I have 20+ Gold Coast SEO clients and 17 websites I own myself, that is roughly 40 sites to monitor and work on.
Multiply that by the number of pages and social media accounts for each site and we have a serious logistics issue.
Many SEO's may have sites they link on or people they cooperate with or they may even approach people to find linking opportunities.
All of these approaches can work. My preferred method is to create related sites to backup my clients content and place meaningful content on these sites.
From the get go it is about efficiency - having consistent tools to work with.
This means with a lot of sites to consider I need to 'discover' what content or page needs attention.
- Which keywords rank
- Which pages rank (which are about to rank)
- Which keywords add the most value
Tools which can help in the discovery process-:
Raw server stats - sometimes the simplicity or stats like Awstats can be really helpful. These present information in a one page per month format. An example of a good stat to check is the Google clicks and the number next to it like 200/460. This may indicate that we received 200 clicks from Google and that created 460 page views. I may be wrong here however the second number is always an indication of more activity.
If compared to a number like 200/230 this may indicate people are bouncing from the page. Even that is not a bad thing - for example one client has a yoga timetable and gets lots of hits on that timetable. People have got the information they need and they leave (and hopefully go to the class).
Google Search Console - will give a click number for a period say 3 months or 28 days (which never exactly matches the AWstats) and more importantly it will give impressions and pages. So from that information we can discover which pages are nearly ranking and may need some extra attention. Google Search Console only displays clicks for Organic search results.
Google Analytics can help discover pages that are performing well. These are pages (top pages) that hold people to the site. Say for example a really good article has on average another 30 pages that are visited per session - you are on to a success. A 'sticky site' is the ultimate because people stay and form a relationship with you.
An SEO Profiler tool - currently I use https://www.seoprofiler.com which has a huge number of useful functions. You may discover pages are working on Bing.com or Google (desktop) or Google (mobile). There are a number of tools that can tell you where you rank and the volume of traffic generated for that keyword. Very useful information at your fingertips, so you may notice a page improving or stagnating and decide to create some content for it. The value of a tool like this is time saving. Virtually everything in this tool can be discovered for free, however to have the information at your fingertips allows better analysis, strategies and leveraging of the information.
A page and a site needs some attention, an SEO will then decide what sort of attention. When you use the tools mentioned above you may notice some sites with massive numbers of links. You may also notice some sites with a handful of links that outperform other pages. The job of the SEO is to work out what content is working and why. It may be a simple image or a fully researched article on a relevant site that works.
An SEO with a good memory or instinct can be useful.
Just about anyone could improve the rankings of a site given enough time. The real value is improving the rankings of a site without charging a fortune.
Other Tools for SEO
Spreadsheet - a spreadsheet is really useful to record a to do list but also as a technique for quickly monitoring SEO updates. I use a system of "SEO Units" where if I do a unit of SEO I record it. You may not want to write an essay on every piece of work you do so a simple effective technique is to record graphically in a spreadsheet. This at a glance technique is great for quick comparisons. Some sites stick to the top of Google, using an at a glance technique you can create a larger piece of SEO periodically rather than constant updates to a site struggling.
Text Editor - don't laugh a really good text editor can help achieve "Exponential SEO" improvements. I like Edit Plus as it is very fast, you can load many documents, make site wide changes quickly and even programmatically change text using search replace on RegEx. This essentially allows you to do something like at the end of every line if you see this character do this.
Database Management - my tool of choice here is SQLYog it allows me to connect to all databases on a single server. SQL is a language of sorts, so upgrades to sites can happen quickly.
Social Media - I subscribe to a great piece of software that allows management of social media accounts in one location. I also created an application to take those social media posts and turn them into SEO ranking content. The value of this is Google is competing with social media companies for revenue (SEO's too for that matter) so there is limited co-operation (in my opinion).
Adobe Software - a complete suite of tools for content creation. Audio, video, images and it just seems to get better.
Servers Hosting - a lot of effort goes into setting up private servers with the best hosting mobs in Australia and Overseas. Websites are constantly fending off hacking attempts. Speed is a large ranking factor in Google. read Why is my Content Management System so slow?
Networking - if you are an SEO it is important to be able to write interesting articles. Networking and listening to others helps here. I recall in my early days of programming being quite happy to sit in a corner and just program. It didn't take long to realise if you programmed the wrong application you were going no where fast. Networking, talking to businesses, doing some sales coaching can really help. Some businesses really thrive on referrals. Sales coaching also helps recognise where a browser turns into someone who makes contact. A client is more interested in the number of contacts a website generates than the number of hits, page views or statistic.
Often you will hear people discuss websites and say "you can do everything yourself now".
That is true however as an SEO with over 20 years experience of web development the tools discussed above allow for "Exponential SEO" improvements.
Good tools work for you at any proficiency level.