Best SEO Software and Tools To Become More Optimized

There are over one billion active websites today. With this large number of websites, it is extremely difficult to drive a decent amount of traffic from Google, Yahoo or Bing if you don’t use a search engine optimization tool. This post will look into some of the best SEO tools and software that can help you become more optimized.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics enables you to understand your site’s visitors and know how they interact with the site. With this tool, you can have a quick overview of your online campaign strategies by reviewing conversion goals such as lead generation, sources of incoming traffic, interactions, return visitors and many others. You can also use the e-commerce feature to track your site’s revenue, transactions and other key metrics related to e-commerce.

SEMrush

SEMrush allows you to research your competitors and keep up-to-date with what they are doing across the internet. You can take advantage of more than 20 features provided by the tool to research various activities among your competitors. You can easily find the best keywords they use, best content, best backlinks and much more.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console allows you to get updates directly from Google. If something goes wrong on your site, Google will notify you through the tool. This is very helpful considering that a larger percentage of search traffic comes from Google itself. The tool will also help you get keyword-specific information such as the total number of impressions, a total number of clicks, manual actions were taken by Google and average position of the website in Google’s search ranking.

SEO Quake

SEO Quake helps you view Google’s SERPs. It allows you to see the age and authority of your domain and the number of external links to the domain and Google index. Such information can help you research keywords and optimize your site’s content more efficiently. The tool is free of charge, and it is easy to use and install.

SEOptimer

SEOptimer helps you know the bad and the good of your SEO by conducting a thorough audit of your site. It shows you the performance of your website regarding keyword usage and visibility as well as the site’s load speed and simplicity. It also shows other metrics, such as domain authority and backlink profile. Once it completes the audit, the tool will give you a detailed feedback and provide recommendations.

PageSpeed

PageSpeed helps you gain some insights into how long your website takes to load a page and how mobile-responsive it is. It also analyzes other factors such as browser caching, HTML minification, CSS and JavaScript minification and others.

Authority Labs

Authority Labs enables you to track the search rankings of your competitors. This, in turn, helps you come up with new strategies that will help you battle them for the top spot in search engine rankings. Other great features you can enjoy from the tool include weekly and monthly ranking reports and mobile rank tracking.

SEO Algorithm Changes You Need to Know About for 2017

One of the biggest shifts in SEO is moving away from huge algorithm updates and more toward small shifts in search engine results pages. In fact, Google says they make multiple algorithm updates every day now. However, there have been a few that have stood out in 2017. Read how the search industry has changed so far this year.

1. The “Fred” Update

While not an official update from Google and named more by the SEO community, the update deemed “Fred” definitely shook up the SEO industry. This update primarily targeted thin content. Specifically, it went after content that did not serve users. Google is focusing more on users, and this update reflects that.

2. Interstitial Penalty

Have you ever been on your phone trying to access a site, only to be interrupted by an interstitial (often in the form of a popup) on your cell? Many people have experienced this and find it to be an annoying experience, and Google seems to agree. They announced they would penalize sites that interrupt users from accessing the content they are trying to reach with a large and intrusive interstitial. Many sites were at risk for this interstitial penalty, especially eCommerce sites that offer deals or offers through interstitial once a user comes to their site.

There are some exceptions to this update, though. If your interstitial is smaller in size, Google is not likely to penalize this. Also, this interstitial penalty only applies on the first click from the search engine results page. This means that if a site were to implement an interstitial on the second or third page a user interacts with, this would be acceptable per Google’s guidelines.

3. Phantom Update

While this update was not given a formal name from Google (again, they very rarely announce or even name updates anymore), many people in the SEO community deemed an update that happened in early February as the “Phantom” update. This update seemingly targeted sites that were relying on spam tactics to improve their rankings in the search engine results pages. The Google Penguin algorithm, which penalizes sites that are relying on “black hat SEO” link building tactics, also penalizes sites with spammy links, but this Phantom update seemed to build upon that.

4. Continued Trend Toward Mobile Content

It’s no secret that Google is moving toward a mobile-first model. Their public relations spokesperson Gary Illyes even said as much at SEO conferences this year. Although they have announced that their mobile-first index–which means Google will start indexing content on phones as the primary content instead of the desktop–will not fully go into effect until 2018 at the earliest, they are still heavily focused on ranking content that is optimized for mobile devices. As more people are using smart phones, Google is ranking content to follow suit. Local map results are showing up more on mobile devices, reflecting the user intent most likely looking for store locations or hours.