Seven SEO Tools To Help Improve Your Search Rankings

by Rob Warburton, Marketing Manager Green River Media

If there’s one thing that’s confusing when trying to improve your search engine rankings, it’s knowing which SEO tools to put your trust in. There are hundreds available, some paid, some free and often they’ll give you contradicting data, which is never good when you’re looking to get some solid SEO campaign stats.

To give you a head start in your digital exploits, we’ve decided to list the top seven SEO tools that we use on a daily basis here at Green River Media.

SEMrush

Coming in at number one on our list of the most useful SEO tools is SEMrush. This is a must-have for any marketing team serious about moving up the SERPS. If you’re not one for subscriptions, the $83.28 may seem a lot, but we think it’s well worth the money when you take a closer look at the number of tools you’ll have in your armoury.

The one tool that we find most valuable is the SEMrush position tracker. This allows you to add in all of your website’s target keywords to monitor their position rankings day-to-day and witness movement based on any SEO campaigns. You can also pit your own rankings against your competitors for your target keywords, which is always great if there’s a competitor that’s leading the way in the SERPs.

Aside from the position tracking tool, SEMrush can also provide backlink audits, raise any technical SEO issues on your website, help create SEO friendly content and provide full competitive domain reviews.

If it’s an all-round SEO tool that you’re looking for, you won’t go far wrong with SEMrush.

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GTmetrix

It’s widely known in the world of SEO that page speed is one of Google’s major ranking factors. Keeping your page speed down should be a top priority if you’re looking to quickly climb up the SERPs.

The first step in the process of optimising your site is simply knowing your current page speed and any simple tweaks you can make to bring the load time down. A quick run through GTmetrix can give you all of your page speed information and a tonne of technical recommendations, completely free of charge.

We particularly like how it grades the severity of your page speed issues, as it’s always handy to know what to tick off the list first. If image sizes are slowing down your website, the report even provides you with links to optimised image versions which you can simply download and swap for the originals. We use GTmetrix regularly as part of our client SEO audits, and we would recommend that you run your site through this tool once per month or following any development work.

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GTmetrix report showing recommended changes to improve page speed

Google Analytics

One tool which simply can’t be ignored when it comes to the analysis of website data is Google Analytics. It’s been around forever, and that’s no surprise as it reports solid data gathered right from Google itself.

When it comes to SEO, it may not be as defined as SEMrush, Moz or Ahrefs, but it certainly has its place when it comes to finding out how much of your overall traffic is being generated from your SEO efforts. You can even manipulate the reports to show exactly which keywords are driving traffic to specific landing pages.

Yoast SEO (WordPress Only)

Given that an enormous number of websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, we thought it was only right to include the number 1 WordPress plugin on this list. With over 26,000 reviews averaging 4.9/5 stars, there’s no doubting Yoast as an SEO tool that can seriously improve your rankings.

If you’re looking to improve the ranking of your WordPress site, by either creating better content or optimisation, Yoast is a brilliant place to start.

When plugged into WordPress, Yoast sits below your text editor and continuously analyses your copy and gives best practise recommendations for ranking for your chosen keywords. The recommendations are easy to understand and can stop you making any costly mistakes such as missing H1s or keyword stuffing.

Google Search Console

We always end up going back to good old Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools) when it comes to taking a closer look at traffic insights. From the main dashboard, you get a top-level view of clicks, impressions, CTA and average position in Google. From here, you can manipulate the reports to dive even deeper into search queries per page, searches per country and devices used.

In addition to search data, Google Search Console gives you an overview of your site’s health by conducting a full site crawl, identifying any errors that might need your attention.

Google has also created a report dedicated to Mobile enhancement, which is especially relevant now that over 58 per cent of site visits are from mobile devices. You can use this report to identify any mobile usability issues such as text being too small or content being wider than a mobile screen, things which you wouldn’t pick up otherwise without doing a full run through the site on your phone.

AnswerThePublic

If you prefer to look at something more visual rather than lists of data and keywords, then you’ll love AnswerThePublic. Content marketing has become fundamental in SEO strategy in recent years, as Google works hard to determine what content is satisfying the needs of those searching.

Input your chosen keywords and AnswerThePublic will generate a huge cloud of relevant frequently asked questions that are searched in Google and other search engines. Create content that answers these questions and you’ll have a great chance of increasing your rankings and maybe even picking up a featured snippet place. If you’re running out of useful content ideas or compiling an FAQ page, run your keywords through AnswerThePublic and you’ll be sure to uncover some new topics worth writing about.

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AnswerThePublic results for the search term ‘digital marketing agency

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

If you’re looking for the best crawling and auditing tool out there, you’ll find it hard to beat the Screaming Frog SEO Spider. It’s particularly useful if your website or Content Management System has thousands of pages that need crawling. Screaming Frog makes the whole process manageable without the need to go back and forth through multiple audit reports. Other tools such as SEMrush and Moz do have site crawling tools, however, you’ll find them far less intuitive if you’re crawling a site with thousands of URLs.

Screaming Frog is the first tool we use for crawling and auditing large websites. One of our clients has over 170,000 URLs that need periodic crawling, so you can imagine how hard that can be without a dedicated crawling tool!- Jalle Islamovic, Operations Manager, Green River Media

Hopefully, with the use of some of these tools, you’ll be able to continue climbing up the search engine rankings and generate more leads/sales from organic search. There’s plenty of SEO tools out there to choose from, and these are just the main ones that we use on a daily basis here at Green River Media.

Topics

SEO