For a long time, I was guilty of not using SEO. I just didn’t care, bother, or invest the extraordinary effort SEO seems to imply. In the face of Google’s regular updates and changes, SEO didn’t even appear to be a reasonable channel for us to focus on.
We don’t bother with it ourselves. We don’t claim to be good at it. We also don’t offer SEO as a service to any of our clients.
Despite my belief that digital marketing encompasses every single channel available to help grow your business, SEO was the only channel that I abandoned. If I ever did any SEO, no matter how little it is, it was for this blog (although it’s just a month old).
Because SEO takes time (and time — or patience — is something my clients don’t have), it was clear from early on that if it takes 2-3 minutes of SEO per blog post, so be it.
If it takes an hour or more to do a guest post, that’s fine. Anything beyond this is unreasonable. That led me to think about various tools that can help you do just that. A few minutes (while writing or after writing your blog post), and you are done.
I did realize this about SEO though:
- It’s not just about keywords, meta info, keyword density, and submitting to directories or dumping your website into blog aggregators (they might help, but they weren’t what they used to be).
- Link-building still remains a great way (when you do it right) to rank better.
- Fast-loading, mobile-friendly sites are mandatory. Use managed WordPress Hosting such as WPEngine (Get 20% off on your first payment, using this link) for your websites and make sure you get your website designed to go mobile first.
Here are some tools you should certainly try (I’ve excluded the regulars like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google’s Search Console since you’d already know about these):
I probaly don’t need to list this here. You might already be ruining Moz’s servers with your plays on “Open Site Explorer” to check out the link profile for your root domain or your pages (I do that all the time).
Moz isn’t just about its awesome set of free tools (they should really charge for that stuff).
Moz Analytics and Moz Local products are built to help you manage your SEO-related work. Each of the tools (or all of them collectively) helps you establish, run, and manage your total digital footprint (obviously focusing on everything Inbound along with SEO).
Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin is the gold standard, and if you had to choose just one for your very basic SEO needs, this would be it. Install the plugin, setup the basic configurations, and work on your post before you publish until you hit the green dot.
The Yoast SEO Plugin takes care of everything else. You’ll do well to ensure that you create SEO-friendly URLs, mention your primary keyword, and do whatever else the plugin suggests. The earlier verisions of this plugin had “basic” and “advanced” levels of optimizing your blog posts for SEO. The latest version has no such thing and it’s a single window to SEO greatness with your WordPress blog.
Delucks WordPress SEO Plugin
The basic version of Delucks WordPress SEO plugin works just like the Yoast Plugin. However, the premium version goes beyond “search”, “keyword density”, and “meta”. The plugin tries to goad you to publish in a way that both Google and your users would appreciate.
The Delucks WordPress SEO plugin is integrated into your WordPress dashboard to directly help publish and distribute content. It’s extensive and includes all relevant functions you need for advanced SEO. It’s fast due to its modular build and doesn’t weigh your website down, and it’s also safe.
With Delucks’ patented WDF*IDF optimization, it helps you optimize content precisely (and word-to-word), no matter what you try to write up — be it a post, a custom page, a regular page, or even your contact page.
The plugin also helps you create better links, establish your reputation (by optimizing your RSS fees), allow customers/readers to rate your content, products, or services, and more.
Loaded to the hilt with a whopping 30 databases, 120,000,000+ keywords, and tracking about 128,000,000+ domains, a growing total of 896,318 users can’t be wrong.
SEMRush is a super tool. It does more than what you think it does. In fact, for many agencies, companies, and blogs, SEMRush is an indispensable tool that helps spy on competition, and unearth keywords you didn’t think your target audience was searching for. You also get all kinds of data on keywords used for PPC, keywords used for SEO, and also a healthy amount of information on competition’s SEO efforts.
SEMRush also provides you with various analytics reports, tools, and run your SEO efforts as projects.
SEMRush offers second-to-none information on Keywords. It also helps you pin-point and uncover ad copy being used on your competition’s ads.
Positionly isn’t a plugin;it’s inbound marketing software (although it’s not entirely true since Inbound also has Social Media, email marketing, and PPC). Positionly guides you to help gain more traffic, improve search rankings, and gives you actionable suggestions (easy to apply).
After you set it up, it helps you keep note of “intelligence events” and present you with a list of insights you’d rarely get elsewhere. Positionly also has a marketplace so that you can integrate with many 3rd party tools such as Inbound Links Checker, Competitor Analysis, Ranking Tracker, an Website Optimization Grader.
ScreamingFrog is a small software program that picks, analyses, and displays data about every single page on your site (complete with Meta data, Alt text, sizes of each element or image, and all other information you’d ever need) to optimize your pages for SEO better.
ScreamingFrog is a Crawler tool. The “Spider” crawls your website the way Google would and this helps you to:
- Do quick site-wide audits
- Find temporary and permanent redirects
- Upload a list of URLs to audit websites during or after migration.
- Discover duplicate content
- Review your robots, directives, and XML sitemaps
- Work with your page titles and meta information
- Discover broken links on your site (and avoid embarrassing 404 pages).
I’ll be sure to keep listing awesome SEO tools here. Please let me know what your favourites are and why.