It’s no secret that SEO provides a higher return on your investment than other forms of search marketing (like pay-per-click). While it’s a complex, involved process, it boils down to three key components:
The entire process is much more complicated than just these three components, but with a good deal of time (usually 6-9 months at minimum) and some expertise, the resulting traffic and increase in conversions will be well worth the effort.
With the right SEO software the process can be made much easier, and rest assured there is SEO software for every single step of building a campaign available on the internet. Even better news is that all of the SEO software covered in this article is either mostly or completely free. So without further ado:
Before any SEO campaign is planned or implemented an audit needs to be performed to see where your site stands from an SEO perspective. This can also be a useful SEO software tool to check on a competitor’s website.
Recommended tool: http://www.seoptimer.com/
This completely free SEO software will quickly perform an audit and give you all the information you need for an initial SEO check-up. At the top of the audit page, this tool gives you the aspects of your website that you can improve upon. For example, if your site is missing something like an xml sitemap this SEO tool will let you know.
As you scroll down the page, you can view HTML and meta information, such as header tags, text to HTML ratio, and whether or not the images you have on your site have alt tags.
While this information may not mean much to the average business owner, it can help you be knowledgeable enough to speak with your web developer and ask the necessary questions about what might need to be improved to stimulate your SEO efforts.
This SEO software tool also tells you whether or not your site has a robots.txt file, an xml sitemap, and lists your internal and external links. The SEO software even goes as far as keeping track of social signals for your website. Although things like Facebook Likes and Twitter Retweets don’t directly effect SEO, they serve as online reviews and can generate a following for your business, increasing traffic to your website. These social signals are especially important for small businesses trying to improve their local SEO efforts.
Unlike some SEO software, that you can only use a certain number of times per day, you can use this tool as many times as you want. As you make improvements to your site or build backlinks, you can track your progress every step of the way.
In order to attack the keywords that your business is attempting to rank for (For example, this article is geared towards the keyword SEO software) you must first generate and analyze which keywords to choose.
A great tool to generate a huge list of possible keyword variations is: http://ubersuggest.org/
By putting a single phrase into the search bar, this SEO software will generate an almost unlimited list of possible keywords to use for your business’ SEO. Not only is it an extremely simple tool, you can use it for as many different keyword phrases as you’d like, free of charge.
After generating possible keyword phrases, the goal for choosing which ones to attack is to strike a balance between traffic and competition for that phrase. The reason this balance is so important is because you can attempt to rank for a highly trafficked keyword, but if there is too much competition surrounding that keyword making it onto the first page of Google or Bing will be a nearly impossible task.
On the other end of the spectrum, it will be easy to rank for a keyword that isn’t all that competitive, but chances are the reason for this lack of competition is a lack of traffic. If people aren’t searching for this keyword you can rank number one on the SERPs (search engine results pages) but if people aren’t actually searching for this keyword the resulting traffic to your site will be negligible.
Our recommended SEO software for keyword research has to be Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner. While it is used heavily in pay-per-click advertising it can be a great piece of SEO software for an SEO campaign as well. It provides information like average monthly searches, competition levels, and the average cost per click for any keyword you enter, and all of this information is provided in easy to read graph form.
All you have to do as a business owner (or aspiring SEO guru) is create a free Google AdWords account. After creating an account the keyword planner can be found on the Tools and Analysis tab. The keyword planner will also suggest synonyms and variations of keyword phrases to help you get the most out of your keyword research to use in conjunction with any other SEO software.
Understanding who your business is competing with is an important part of any SEO campaign. As stated above, competing with a multi-million or billion dollar company for a certain keyword phrase is going to be a losing battle simply because of the massive marketing budgets and resources these companies have.
While Google AdWords is somewhat of an all encompassing tool for all your keyword research needs, a great tool (and of course, free) is called Keyword Spy. They offer a paid service, but the free service provides more than enough information to find organic search competitors, similar keywords, traffic, and cost per click all in easy to read charts and graphs. The paid version offers even more features to hone in on your competitors’ SEO strategy and offers daily updates on the competition.
There are a multitude of factors that go into the on-page optimization of your website, so rather than using one piece of SEO software a few tools are necessary to tackle everything from an on-page optimization perspective.
The holy grail of SEO these days is content creation. Quality written content, optimized for your keywords is a staple in almost every business’ online marketing SEO strategy.
While there is no SEO software tool to replace a good writer, who knows how to write quality content that’s interesting and readable while still optimizing for a specific keyword phrase, the site Fiverr has plenty of writers who have experience in SEO writing and as the name suggests will usually complete the task for only five dollars. Choosing a writer who’s highly reviewed is extremely important to receiving a stellar finished product.
There are also multiple free tools to check things such as keyword density, which Google has downplayed as a ranking factor by preaching content written for readers rather than search engines, keyword density still remains important. While not as important as it used to be, a good rule of thumb is reaching a 2% density for the desired keyword phrase.
While your site may produce tons of useful, optimized content, if no one is sharing it, the content is wasted by remaining in obscurity. Generating and analyzing backlinks is a huge aspect of SEO, and the only way to do this is by offering content that people will want to read and sharing it in the right places around the internet.
While multiple tools in this article provide backlink checks the two best options for checking backlinks to your site are ahrefs Site Explorer and Moz’s Open Site Explorer. The reason these two SEO software tools are so useful for backlink analysis is because they provide the strength of individual backlinks that are linking to your site.
Not all backlinks are created equal, gaining backlinks from sites with higher domain authority (a scoring system developed by Moz to determine how highly a site will rank on SERPs), will in turn be valued higher in the eyes of the search engines than sites with a lower domain authority.
At bidpin, we try to provide business owners and even people just looking to learn about SEO with relevant information about the current SEO landscape and SEO software that’s available online free of charge.
As an online marketing agency, we use our own proprietary SEO software as well as a variety of the tools listed in this article. We strive to provide transparency, so if you as a business owner want to begin an SEO campaign with bidpin you can arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to go into a consultation knowing exactly what your business needs.