My Top 5 SEO Tools in 2020
A successful SEO strategy requires input from multiple sources and a wide range of digital tools. These tools provide valuable insight into the performance of your SEO strategy as well as showing you the opportunities available to optimise your campaign.
We’ve seen quite a few articles offering the ‘44 most useful tools’ which we understand can be overwhelming. To avoid confusion, and choice paralysis, we’ve narrowed down our top 5 tools to help create and optimise your strategy – and these are tools which we use on a daily basis here at Invanity to help deliver real value to our clients.
SEMrush is a great subscription based tool that adds value throughout an SEO strategy. One of the key features is a keyword research tool that helps you plan and optimise your keyword baskets. It will provide endless keyword ideas and you’ll identify the key topics you should be focusing on in your content and aiming to rank for in search engines. It provides keyword data such as search volume, competitiveness, click potential, and trends.
SEMrush is also great for link building, a tactic that has become vitally important. With backlink analytics, audits, and a link building tool, SEMrush has you covered. A third, but not final, feature is competitive research. The insights that can be gained by analysing how your competitors are executing and performing their SEO strategies can be invaluable. With SEMrush you can insert a competitors’ domain and analyse their data – including their target audience, keywords and SERP features. This can help inform the way you optimise your strategy for greater success.
Google Search Console
With SEO we mustn’t forget or overlook the technical side of things – and Google Search Console is a very useful tool for ensuring your technical SEO is optimised. Search Console is a group of tools and reports that help you understand the technical performance of your site, covering aspects such as the indexing, crawling, SSL, site structure, and more. It will also aid you in fixing any issues and making enhancements where possible. An alternative platform that is commonly used is Screaming Frog, which is a great supplement to Google Search Console. These tools should be used on an ongoing basis throughout the life of your SEO strategy.
Another key advantage of Google Search Console is that you can track if your SEO is working and that your strategy is contribting to high listings in organic search. By monitoring how many impressions your website is getting you will be able to see how climbing up Googles ranking is effecting the visibility of your site.
Google Page Speed Insights
The attention span of a human is currently shorter than that of a Goldfish, according to a 2015 study by Microsoft. With that being the case, you can probably understand why it’s important that your website loads quickly. As humans, we’re becoming more impatient and more demanding of speed and quality. Ensuring your website loads quickly will help prevent users leaving your site and visiting a competitors, which can often be the case if users are left waiting even just 4 seconds for the site to load. Google suggests a target of 3 seconds maximum. Using Page Speed Insights, you’re able to understand the current load times of your site on both mobile and desktop, with the tool providing suggestions and insights on improvements.
Google My Business
While we often think of SEO as a nationwide, or even global, strategy for ranking highly in search engines, we also know that it can be a critical tool for local businesses, too. Google My Business enables you to manage your information online such as your location, products, services, and operating hours. This contributes to customers being able to find your business more easily and increases your chances of ranking highly, especially when local search keywords are used. For example, if users search for ‘legal advisors near me’, Google will prioritise businesses it knows are near that user, which it can identify thanks to their Google My Business pages. Without a GMB page, you’ll likely be missing out on website traffic and potential new customers.
Once the strategy is in place and has been running for a little while, it’s time to monitor and optimise. Google Analytics is one of the top free SEO tools available and helps keep track of performance and metrics, such as monthly search volume. It also enables you to discover opportunities for improvements. This may come in the form of needing to improve the bounce rate, exit rate, number of new users, or time on page. The tool offers valuable insight into both your website performance, as well as user activity. For example, you can track their journeys and understand where in that journey enhancements should be made to help achieve your goals. The reason we suggest using Google Analytics as well as SEMrush is because Google can offer insights not available anywhere else. The tool provides exclusive data generative from their machine learning capability, and so should be used in conjunction with other tools such as SEMrush for a holistic view of the data.
To create, execute, and optimise a successful SEO strategy, you need to have a cohesive stack of tools. Each tool should provide its own value, but also contribute to others to provide tangible insights into performance and how to improve. The 5 outlined in this blog are just some of tools that can contribute significantly, but are by no means the only 5, or even the best 5. For different business and different people, some tools will work better than others. As long as you have a stack that works for you, you’ll be able to keep developing your strategy and building visibility of your business online.