In the third part of our Search Marketing Series we present selected Search Optimization Tools, how they can simplify SEO processes and which KPIs should be considered.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has definitely become the basic task in online marketing. Previously unreached target groups can be addressed in this way without “annoying” advertising. If the preferences and needs of customers and prospects are known, common sense should actually be enough to set appropriate keywords and publish relevant content on the website. But in the world of SEO, things are different. We optimize primarily for search engines and not for people, because search algorithms consist of complex formulas and hundreds of variables. Without the right tools, it is almost impossible to do sensible SEO. The key question is: Which tools for what? We present selected tools that simplify “life with SEO” for practitioners.
Why SEO Tools?
The purpose of SEO tools is the data-based optimization of so-called “organic visibility”. In contrast to “paid media” (paid advertising, e.g. online or social ads), this is the visibility “on its own” in the digital network, which results from a user-friendly design and top content. Here, too, goals are defined that are measured using suitable KPIs such as the visibility index or traffic value. The visibility index is roughly derived from the average monthly search volume of certain keywords and the position of the page in corresponding search queries. Tools such as SISTRIX, for example, regularly check how the ranking develops around decisive keywords and the traffic on the page. The traffic value shows how much it would cost to generate the traffic achieved by your own SEO measures through paid media (e.g. Google Ads).
All-in-one or Specialist Tool?
The size of the company is a decisive factor when choosing a suitable SEO tool, as the requirements of individual companies or SMEs are different from those of large companies with their own in-house SEO specialists. SMEs aim to increase their visibility on the web and therefore usually choose so-called “all-in-one tools” for good reason, which offer the essential basic functions such as website and content improvements as well as competitive analyses. Well-known suites that offer all this are, for example, SISTRIX or SEMRUSH. In-house SEO specialists, on the other hand, usually have larger projects to support, where they have very specific requirements. They therefore choose technically more complex tools such as Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl. Such tools often deliver even more extensive data, but are also correspondingly more complex to operate. According to the requirements and possibilities, the costs vary from the simple free variant to tools that can cost more than 1,000 euros per month. Most SEO suites offer modular pricing systems, graded according to various on-page and off-page factors.
Keyword monitoring is the basis
The basis for building organic visibility is the development of an accurate keyword set with keywords that are meaningful to the business. For this reason, most tools offer keyword research functions and also keyword monitoring. For tracking keyword sets, for example, AccuRanker or the Google Keyword Planner can be used, which shows SEO interested persons the monthly search volumes of keywords and related search terms and makes bid suggestions for ads. Google Trends also shows, over a defined period of time, which search terms are entered most often and when. This is particularly useful for seasonal products.
The source code must be “healthy”
Even the most beautiful page, the best content and a successful keyword strategy are of little use if certain technical parameters are not sufficiently taken into account. The basis for this “technical health” is the quality of the source code. The more readable it is for the search engine crawlers, the faster they can pass on the essential variables to the algorithms for processing. Among other things, the source code also determines the speed and user-friendliness of a page. It must also contain instructions for adapting to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. For search engines, “error pages” are an indicator of negligent maintenance. Your own site should therefore be regularly checked technically, e.g. with the help of crawling tools such as Screaming Frog or Sitebulb.
We have emphasized the importance of link building via backlinks in the second part of our series (read here). SEO tools therefore also check the quality of the links pointing to my website by checking the popularity of the domains, as well as the number of links and their change over time. LinkResearchTools (“LRT Smart”) is such a suite dedicated to exactly this so-called link audit. The suite does not only analyze positive trends but also identifies harmful links from low-quality sites. However, this tool is quite expensive. It is cheaper to use Majestic.
Tip: Use free Google tools!
What costs nothing is worth nothing? Well, definitely not with the Google tools listed here: For a check on organic site performance, take a look at Google Search Console. About tracking your site, you can learn a lot using Google Analytics. For tagging, go to Google Tag Manager. And if you are interested in visualizing data, Google Data Studio is worth a look!
In the fourth and last article we will deal with the exciting topic “Google Ads”. Here we were able to win Head of Competence Center for Marketing and Google Ads expert David Dobrowsky for a contribution.
This might also interest you:
Dr. Georg Feldmann
Head of City of Vienna Competence Team for the Digitalization of Communication
M: +43 690 40476118
Mag.a Melanie Gratzer
Coordinator Marketing Communications
M: +43 690 40476 080
Image: © Adeolu Eletu I Unsplash