You’ve likely read articles on how to boost your website’s search ranking using search engine optimization techniques. But how can you find out if what you’re doing is actually working? Shooting from the hip may check boxes off your to-do list, but a lack of strategy and data can be damaging.
Thankfully, there are tools and resources that you can utilize to boost your SEO ranking. Some resources come at a cost, while others are free to use. Review your options against your budget and capacity to manage them to determine which ones match your SEO strategy.
1. Blog-Building Platforms
If you’ve spent any time at all working on your SEO ranking, you know that content drives traffic. But where’s the best place to put your strategically formatted and linked content? And which platforms play nice with search engines?
In general, using well-known, secure, and reliable blog-building platforms is your best bet. Tools like WordPress are easy to use and allow for multiple editors, which can be helpful in managing workflows.
For industries where compliance and review are paramount, an intuitive platform helps users of any skill level engage in blogging. For example, if you’re developing a law firm SEO strategy, you may be asking attorneys to make their blogging debut. A friendly platform built into your web editing structure can make it easier for these fledgling thought leaders.
Platforms like Squarespace have an easy-to-add blog section. Both WordPress and Squarespace have a large market share and do well across search, making improving your SEO easier than ever. Develop a set of links and keywords to weave throughout the valuable content you create, and you’ll build more credibility.
2. Webmaster Tools
Understanding the intricacies of the web is a lot to take on. When you’re trying to drive search engine results in your favor, familiarizing yourself with the playbook of search is de rigueur. Better yet, you can use tools designed to tune your site to align with prevailing search algorithms. These webmaster tools are provided free of charge by some of the top search engines. Given that these tools are produced by the sources themselves, the effort of using them is worth any potential headache.
Google Search Console offers step-by-step resources that feel like TurboTax, making your journey through the process simple. You’ll need to verify your site ownership to get started, so make sure you have access to domain data. If you don’t, work with your company’s webmaster to get verified on the webmaster tools you need to analyze SEO.
While Google is certainly the leading search engine, don’t neglect other offerings like Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster tools. The more information you can gather, the more you can improve your ranking. Within the platforms, you’ll be able to identify which components of your site are helping your ranking and which aren’t.
For instance, you’ll be able to see your site’s crawling rate and what may be slowing down or speeding up your visitors’ searches. One of the most valuable tools, keyword search, is also included within most webmaster platforms. You can easily download statistics to pinpoint areas you need to work on and ways you can improve your ranking. Stay on top of your site’s performance and set up alerts for key components you’re working on optimizing.
3. Keyword Trend Analyzers
You know what you’re selling, but do you know what the world is talking about? While there’s a vast difference between clickbait and engaging content, paying attention to trends is just smart business.
Use keyword trend analyzers to ensure you’re using words and phrases to describe your offerings that your target audience understands. If you’re in a technical field and marketing to individuals who are comfortable with industry jargon, complex terminology can work. But if you’re marketing to the general public, keeping copy easy to understand is a better choice.
Tools like Google Trends will enable you to see what real-time chatter is happening on the web. Get charts and data within a few clicks, and you’ll be able to identify conversation opportunities for your ideal audience. If you run a bakery, for example, you would have been able to latch onto the banana bread phenomenon of 2020. Using popular keywords to share recipes, engage your customers, and — of course — promote products helps bring things full circle.
Beyond just finding out what others are talking about, use keyword search to see how your target keywords are performing. If you’ve been focusing your SEO around certain keywords for years, it’s possible their performance has waned. Track keyword performance regularly to ensure your SEO strategy has the best chance for success. If you see that your chosen keywords have dipped, you can easily identify new ones to pursue.
Boost Your SEO With Every Move You Make
The art of SEO may as well be a chess match, with each party making moves and analyzing one another through a myriad of options. As you construct your SEO strategy, keep in mind that it’s just that — a strategy. And with a strategy comes the need to adapt and adjust your methodology as things change.
Keep your SEO skills sharp by reading industry blogs, technology release notes, and SEO-related books that align with your industry. The more engaged you are with the evolving landscape of SEO, the more likely you’ll get results.