When I first started working at my current marketing agency, I kept hearing my boss tell it’s customers that SEO was a multiprong approach. I used to sit right in front of him, and I always heard him use the world Multi-Prong approach. I always knew that SEO entailed so many factors, but now I see what he means. Search Engine Optimization involves social media, press releases, blogging, off-page SEO and technical SEO. SEO is indeed a multi-prong approach.
It involves many moving parts and it it is an ongoing job. Google always has updates, trends change, and keyword rankings go up and down. To get a handle on our SEO and to keep up with the algorithm changes, it is essential to use some handy-dandy tools. Here are 7 easy SEO tools to try in 2018.
#1. Google Tag Assistant
Where have you been all my SEO life? I have been teaching SEO for over five years, and I have just now discovered this nifty little Google Tool.
Ever wonder if you have the correct Google Analytics code installed on your website? Or if the current code is set up currently? The Google Tag assistant is a Google Chrome browser extension that shows you exactly which GA codes are active on your website and how many you have installed. You may be surprised at the answer so go and grab the Google Tag Assistant extension right now.
Ps. You really should only have one code and make sure it is tracking your website data. If you need full instructions on how to set it up, then visit their page. I will be going over how to use Google Tag Assistant in my upcoming Blogging Masterclass .
#2. Small SEO Tools
SmallSEoTools was my go-to free tool in the past. I still think it is a great free tool because there are over 60 things you can check on this website. My favorite features to check or do are:
- Check Keyword Position. This feature is my favorite tool to use because you can add up to 10 keywords and check your position which is different than pages. Click check position and don’t click on the ads.
As you can see Kandi is position 1 page 1 for 4 out of the 5 keywords I looked up.
Remember that position is different than pages. Page 1 has ten results so Position 1-10 = Page 1.
- Check your current Domain Authority – This is an overall SEO grade for your domain. It can takes years to move up. It is good to check your DA at least twice a year. When considering getting a backlink from someone, always check their DA. A good DA for a backlink would be 40 or higher but 30 and above works too.
- Check your current Page Authority – This is similar to Domain Authority. It scores your page’s SEO. So if you have important pages ranking, you may want to track the PA for that particular page.
- Check your PR. Page Rank as per Bruce Clay: PageRank (PR) is a calculation, famously invented by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, which evaluates the quality and quantity of links to a webpage to determine a relative score of that page’s importance and authority on a 0 to 10 scale. If yours says NA, do not panic. This happens with newer domains and websites that have very little SEO work done to them. So get on to work! Do note that once you hit a 2, you may start getting email requests to get a link on your website.
- Ping Your Website. This tells Search Engines that updates have been done to your website so I say let’s give them a hand. All you do is paste the link and hit ping now, then let it just keep on pinging and wait.
It has many other features like Plagiarism checker, Backlink Checker, and Domain Age checker, but the above is what I check the most.
# 3 SEMRush.com
SEMRush is my current favorite SEO tool. I use it for keyword research, tracking my rankings and for checking on competitors. There is a great paid version, but if you do a trial version, they will allow you to set up one project which you can keep on track after the trial is over. I still get updates from my free account so you I recommend you sign up and try it out.
There is a lot that you can do with this SEO tool, but there is a limit with the free version, so I recommend you do the following.
– Day 1: Look up your domain and see which keywords if any your website is being found for
– Day 2: Look up a main keyword of yours and find ideas/topics and other keyword suggestions.
– Day 3: Look up one of your competitors and see which keywords they are ranking for. The cool thing is that you can see the exact URL’s that they rank for those keywords. Make sure you visit those pages. Their pages will give you insight into any new types of new pages you need to create or any new text you need to add on to existing pages.
# 4 https://keywordtool.io
If you wish to have more keywords in your arsenal, this is a cool tool to check out. You can check keywords by platforms like YouTube, Google, Bing, Yahoo and even Amazon. It does not give you the exact search volume in the free but for that price point I don’t recommend that you sign up. Just use it to find new ideas for the phrases you want to be found for and that you want to blog about.
#5 Yoast SEO
If I was asked if I could only use one SEO tool, it would definitely be Yoast. It has been a game changer for my blog posts and overall website. You don’t need to upgrade to the premium version as the free version works just fine. Many bloggers and small business owners have heard about this awesome SEO WordPress plugin but most just install it and think that it will magically SEO everything for them. This is where people miss the mark and don’t utilize the full power of this free SEO tool.
You need to learn how to tweak your page titles and descriptions for it to work in your favor. It is still quite easy to use once you get the hang of it. The key is to choose the correct main focus keyword and always have one main keyword idea per post. If you are interested in learning how to master Yoast settings, then join my course- How to Get a Freakin Green on Yoast.
If you are new to DIY SEO and need a check list, sign up for my free DIY SEO Checklist here.
#6. Screaming Frog
Ever wonder what your page titles and meta descriptions really are; then you must download the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool. This is a completely free tool that you can use to check all of your web pages and find out which need tweaking or not. I recommend you check out the Page Titles Section. See if you have any super long page titles or super short ones. Also, see if you have duplicate titles. Upload the scan to Google Drive and tweak your Page Titles and Descriptions on Google Drive then you can upload it as an import in the Yoast bulk importer section. You can also check for missing alt images and check what should be turned off in your Yoast settings. Learn more about how to have a great website structure with my 2018 Blog Detox blog post.
#7. Open Site Explorer
Ever wonder where your competitors are getting backlinks from? Check out Moz’s free tool called Open Site Explorer. Here you can see where your competitor is getting backlinks from and you can also look yourself up. I use it mainly to check domain authorities of websites/blogs I am considering doing a guest post for.
So which easy SEO tool will you try in 2018? Are there any others that did not make the list?