A tradesman is only as good as his tools, and the same can be said about search engine optimisation. SEO can at times seem overwhelming and confusing, however a methodical approach using the right SEO tools can break each task into much more manageable pieces and provide you with the information that you need in a clear and workable way.

The following is a list of some of the online tools and resources that we use in-house when working on SEO activities.

ON-SITE SEO

SEOquake This is an extension that allows you to easily view, check and compare various SEO parameters. SeoToolbar automatically displays SEO information for the page that you are currently viewing, which makes it really simple to compare different pages. The parameters displayed are completely customisable by the user, so you can set it up so that you are only shown the information that is relevant to your task.

The second part of SEOquake is that it displays your chosen parameters in the search engine results page (SERP) underneath each listing. The general parameters include Google Page Rank, Google Index, Alexa Rank and Google Link, but it also shows information such as if the robots.txt file exists and the date of the current Google cache.

Google Keyword Planner Researching the keywords that will be most valuable to your SEO campaign is essential for success. By using data (not just assumptions that you have made) you can determine exactly which terms are searched for the most, and the amount of competition on those terms. This data is also extremely important when planning Adwords campaigns, and deciding which keywords to bid for and how much they are worth to you.

Google Keyword Planner has access to the most data, and is therefore the best choice when looking for a keyword tool; providing ideas, historical data, and information on how keywords may perform against each other.

CopyscapeFresh and original content is an important ranking factor, and Google is likely to penalise your website if it detects duplicate content. Copyscape is an easy way to check if someone has plagiarised your site, and you can compare your webpage against all others by simply entering the URL into the search box. If another site contains similar text it will highlight the words that are the same, and give you a total percentage of how much identical content appears on both pages.

The basic service is free but you can upgrade to Copysentry, which automatically sends you updates if duplicate content is detected, or Copyscape Premium which allows you to check if content is original before you publish it (for example if you hire a blog writer and want to ensure that the content hasn’t been plagiarised). Urkund and Turnitin offer a similar SEO tool.

OFF-SITE SEO

AhrefsWe all know the importance of backlinks in SEO, and that they ideally need to be from trusted, high authority and relevant websites. Search engines are looking for quality not just quantity, so it’s essential that links are created using white hat SEO practices (ie. no dodgy link buying schemes).

Ahrefs is a SEO tool that helps you to quickly search through all of the available data to get an overview of not only where all of your backlinks are coming from, but also see what your competitors are up to with their own linking strategies. This data also tells you what content is being linked to by the most authoritive sites, so that you can focus on creating on more of the kind of content attracting the most valuable backlinks.

Fresh Web Explorer (MOZ)The team at MOZ are the authorities on all things SEO and digital marketing, and their Fresh Web Explorer tool allows you to track links and mentions of your content across the web. Their Freshscape index currently contains over 3 million RSS feeds, along with over 71 million URL’s, making it one of the most comprehensive data sources for keyword and mention tracking available. You can use it to search for mentions that you haven’t been linked to, while also checking where your competitors are being mentioned to create a list of possible link opportunities you could target. Using this data over time means that you can monitor your most shareable and engaging content, and apply the information gathered to your content strategy to ensure that you are focusing on creating content that will resonate the most with your target audience.

Open Site Explorer – Another great tool from our friends at Moz, Open Site Explorer is similar to Ahrefs in that it allows you to quickly and efficiently view all of the links attached to a URL. Key metrics that they measure include Page Authority, Domain Authority, the total number of root domains and the total number of links. The free version then allows you to scan through up to 1000 links, drilling down the data to find exactly what you need.

For more information on SEO for your business check out 10 Invaluable Tips for SEO Beginners

Or to discuss your project with our team call us on (08) 9381 4441 or email hello@birdbrain.com.au