Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases, relevant to what the site is offering.
That is one of the definitions I came across in Google when I asked, ‘what is SEO’. However, if it was really that simple, all businesses would be doing it right, everyone would be appearing on Page 1 of Google for their relevant key-terms, and no-one would need to employ a specialist firm, to work on their behalf.
An SEO agency does just what it says on the tin- it helps businesses with their search rankings. Any good, high quality agency will do more than just SEO. They will offer a vast array of marketing techniques such as social media, web design and content marketing.
So what tools should every agency be using? Just as lip balm is a girl’s best friend at wintertime, here are the 5 essentials that every SEO expert MUST take advantage of. Obviously there are a whole host of other tools available on the World Wide Web which are important, such as Copyscape; there are just too many to choose from.
Here are the top 5 that, in our experience, are the bee’s knees:
1. Majestic SEO Site Explorer
- Great for analysing backlinks
- Identifying spam/low quality links
- Quality of link profile
- Another great tool for analysing backlinks
- Comparing link analysis for number of websites
- Analysing Internal links
3. Screaming Frog – SEO Crawl Tool
- Crawl pages on a site
- Identify internal issues
- Identify duplicate content
4. Google Analytics – Traffic Analysis Tool (this is the holy grail)
- Analyse traffic data
- Analyse visitor data
- Analyse how well keywords are performing for your website
- Keyword rank tracking
- Identify site optimisation issues
- Analyse SEO visibility
- Competitor analysis
All of the above are popular SEO tools which you should already know. However, here are 3 tools which you may not have heard of…
6. Check My Links
This is a Chrome plugin that crawls a page and highlights working links in green and broken/non-responsive links in red with an error code.
It’s a great way to highlight if you have dead or broken links and occasionally uncovers server problems.
7. Pingdom Tools site speed checker
Site speed is an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, so you need to know you’re as fast as you can be. This tool tests your site from the US (where Googlebot comes from), and compares it to other sites tested.
Fair play, SEOMoz.
This checks a site to see if it’s really down or if it’s only you that can’t see it. Avoid looking like a lunatic when you tell a client that their site is down, or wasting a lot of time trying to resurrect your own site, when it’s working perfectly well.