Search Engine Optimisation - tools everyone can use
All trades have the need for tools to create, maintain and test. SEO is exactly the same the tools we use are common to anyone that wants to search hard enough and then spend the time to use them. Below are some of the tools that we often use to test, alter and update our website as well as our customers. This is not the complete list but would be useful for anyone who wants have a go.
Using Google Analytics and Piwik track users
Analytical tracking gives an owner a strong grasp of a users movements around their website. Other statistics useful are how often search engines are referring to your website and its current global ranking. Google analytics is a commonly used tool by the Analytics Industry around the globe giving your business insight to customer movements.
Piwik analytics is great to use on clients websites that have information that you don't want the search engines to know about. For example, with a large intranet with sensitive data, you can install Piwik in your own personal cloud to track the users movements. I have been using this on my personal website for years and never had an issue with it and the Piwik API gives you an enormous amount of flexibility.
Google, Bing, Yandex and webmaster tools
All search engines have webmaster tools that will assist you to see how they as a search engine sees the content on your website. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Google webmaster toolsBing webmaster tools you have the ability to remove the URL from the index that no longer exists. Yandex gives you another perspective on what issues are affecting your website, this tool at times has picked up issues that the other webmaster tools completely missed.
Website SEO testing
There are some tools that you can use to test to see how search engines are viewing your website, these are:
- npmjs.com (for the geeks)
- drupal.org (for Drupal geeks)
- website.grader.com (This is great for clients to see)
Local Seo Testing
Testing business local SEO website ranking and health there are a number of ways to develop a long-term plan for great results.
Google Trends & Google Keyword search
Market research using keyword search or Google trends when creating phrases is invaluable. Having the ability to find terms that other users are looking for helps formulate a content strategy that will access future customers. These are not always exact but they are a great guide.
For example, we found Google Trends search use of the word Drupal in Australia was different. The keywords that trended were terms like Drupal 7 or Drupal Content Management System. By just adjusting those phrases in our normal text we made ourselves more relevant.
Validate website using W3C, HTML5, CSS
When your website loads and displays on your screen it adds a lot of code in the background so that search engines can understand the context of your content. It helps explain things like what is the most important information on the page. In effect, it is saying 'What should I as a search engine make the priority? What is it that you are trying to tell your customer about?'.
One of the biggest mistakes that website owners don't understand is this needs to be checked now and again to make sure that the rules that are created by industry standards have not changed. You could have great information but because the search engines don't apply that old set of rules it can affect your ranking.
Readability and duplicated copy
A website owner composes a lot of content at times and can start writing in patterns or in a stale manner you should not use this information. When reviewing the phrases you use in readable.
Your copy can be ranking so well others on the internet will copy in a place it on their website this duplicate information placed on the counterfeit website. Search engines get confused with this situation at time penalizing that business website Copyscape tests the internet for duplicate content and is very useful.
Revealing website copy issues
As content increase on your website the need to review it on a regular basis for broken links and overall patterns that could affect your ranking with the search engines like Google and Bing. Siteliner tests your pages for broken links and many other items. Many times this SEO tool has given me great insight on what is happening on a customer's website. Another tool you can use to find small business backlinks is seoabot.com.
When you have decided to create content on a certain subject matter you will need a killer heading so that your customer will want to click through and read it, www.portent.com is a tool that can make that difference. With a little research on the keywords in your content and this website's ability to generate interesting titles on that subject, it will increase your customer interaction.
Developer SEO tools
99webtools.com is a tool that allows you to check multiple issues, it is heavily designed for web developers and SEO experts. However, with patience, any website owner can get the sense of what is needed to assist them in the promotion of their website.
Is my newsletter email spammy
Email servers around the world rate give emails a rating on is an email is classed as spam. To check is your email domain is classed in the spam category this isnotspam.com domain tool will analyze and give you a thorough report on the state of your newsletter email account.
Check broken links
There are broken links all over the internet, and for search engines to get relevance about your website they rely on making connections between websites. Every now and again is a web designer or SEO specialists will use checklink on your website to see if there are a lot of broken links. There an on-line version and command line geek version of this tool both achieving the same thing.