You don’t have to be an SEO expert to assist in the optimization of your website. Sometimes, you simply need tools to help you out. While these aren’t all of the tools our SEO experts use to make optimization recommendations, they are a good start for anyone interested in assisting in the improvement of their website’s SEO.
Some of our simple go-to SEO tools include Google Webmaster Tools, Google’s Cache, Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. Read on to learn more about how you can use these tools to improve your website’s SEO.
Marketers can use Google Webmaster tools to gain a bird’s eye view of how Google views your website from an SEO perspective. This includes items such as crawl errors (Is Google having issues crawling your website?), a sample of other websites linking to your pages (as seen by Google) and improvements you can make to your meta data.
Google Webmaster Tools also enables you to see the search terms that your site is ranking for, an extremely beneficial tool in the age of “not provided.”
If you don’t already have Google Webmaster Tools set up, there are several options for doing so.
Many marketers are not aware that what they see when they look at their websites is different from what the search engines see. Strip away your website’s multimedia and complicated coding and what do you have left? This is closer to what the search engines see. To this view of your web pages, you can use Google’s Cache.
To access Google’s Cache, follow the steps below:
Then, you will see a text-only version of the page. This more closely resembles how the search engines see your content. If your content is “hidden” in imagery or inside of flash banners, there won’t be much for you to see. This means that the search engines may not be able to see your content either. If, on the other hand, your content shows up as text, your site’s content is easier for a search engine to see.
For example, this is part of the text cache version of www.morevisibility.com:
Google Keyword Planner enables marketers to gain deep insight into the keyword universe, including monthly search volume for “known” keywords, and suggested keywords based upon your industry or keyword ideas.
To access Google’s Keyword Planner, it’s necessary to have an account through Google AdWords. However, you don’t have to be actively advertising through the platform to access this tool.
Within Google AdWords, select Tools, and Keyword Planner.
From there, you will be able to search for new keyword ideas, get search volume for known keywords, and get new keyword ideas based upon your initial ideas. This can help you find new keywords, which can help you determine how to optimize your existing content.
If you’re looking for a higher-level view, including which keywords are “trending” over others, Google Trends is a great tool that anyone can access.
Through Google Trends, you can gain a visual representation of search volume for up to five search terms, enabling you to compare search popularlity for any particular topic over time. You can also see related search terms and the regional interest in each term.
While this information isn’t as in-depth as information obtained through the Google Keyword Planner, it is a great “first step” into the world of search, enabling anyone who is interested to get a bird’s eye view into the popularity of various search terms, over time.
Once you have gained familiarity with the tools above, it is important to pass the information along to those who can implement changes to your website. Whether you are passing crawl errors to your developers for futher investigation, or relevant keywords to your content team for new blog posts, it is important to move beyond analysis and into implementation.