Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of manipulating website content so that the website ranks high in a search engine’s list of results. It is extremely valuable, as the increased visibility usually translates to more visitors and, subsequently, an increase in sales or support. The right tool makes an enormous difference in how successful this process is. This article offers a set of questions you can use to analyse whether a specific solution will work for you and to compare what’s on the market.
Using a SEM tool increases the odds that the search engine will see yaw website as a good match for whatever an Internet user is looking for. The number of choices of solutions on the market can be daunting, however. To get good results and ensure good website visibility, you should evaluate the solutions available with a set of simple questions.
If you are serious about getting some online exposure take note that there are global, national and local/regional search results. For example if a search term contains a city or state in it such as SEO Bristol, then you’ll get results pertaining to that area in the South West of England. If your search is more generic, “seo strategies”, you’ll get a more global result. But also bear in mind that the country you are in will usually show up results from that country .com .us .co.uk .ca.
1) How big is the keyword database?
Larger keyword databases are more likely to return a bigger set of terms that are relevant to your topic. The broader range of keyword results means that you have much more flexibility in how you phrase what you’re saying, affecting both tone and flow of your content. Even if you don’t include all the keywords that come up, seeing such an extensive list can give you ideas for other sentences, paragraphs, pages or even entirely new websites.
2) How does the tool organize the keywords?
Ideally, the right tools will rank the keywords it shows you based on their popularity. On a basic tool, this might mean the tool shows you everything in one word list. Some tools, however, create more than one list for you. One might show you riot only the main terms, for example, but also a separate set of “helper” words you could consider-. The ability to see long-tail keywords (longer phrases, usually of three words or more, that are more specific to the topic) at a glance is also good. There’s less competition for these phrases, but their specificity means you can target individual target niches more easily. By some experts estimates’ as much as 70 percent of Internet searches use long-tail keywords.
3) Does the tool address both keywords and search context?
In the past, it was common for SEO professionals to “pad” or “stuff” websites with the keywords they knew people were using on a topic. This technique increased the rankings for the sites, but it meant that the content on the pages didn’t always truly connect to the topic in ways that the user expected. The end result was that users found it harder to find the information they really needed. Today’s major companies have adjusted the algorithms for their search engines so that stuffing doesn’t work anymore, and so that you have to think about the user’s search intent. The metrics the tool measures should keep you focused on your topic, showing you whether related but less relevant terms are claiming too much real estate in the content.
4) What is the platform for the tool?
Some Search Engine Optimisation tools are designed to work offline, requiring downloads or installs. This approach has its advantages, such as being able to work even if you can’t connect to the Internet and having good access or permissions control. More recently, however, companies have started focusing, on offering SEO applications as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options, basing the programs on the Internet. These options have advantages, too, such as being able to share work with team members easily or work on a project on different devices. Both methods, therefore, can be beneficial, but your individual goals and needs may dictate that one is more appropriate than the other.
5) What kind of analysis or metrics do you get?
At a minimum, your tool should be able to show you the percentage of the content used by your keywords, or even better, by each keyword. It also should show factors like word pair proximity, content length, conversion rate, which pages are visited most on your site, the number of referring visits, which referrals come from which search engines and which referrals come from specific keywords. These numbers let you direct your marketing efforts much more specifically, ensuring you don’t waste time, money or other resources.
6) Is the interface easy to understand and navigate?
Professionals tend to have their own preferences in terms of software interfaces, but the golden rule with any strategy is that it needs to be intuitive. The more elements are buried, the less efficient your work is going to be. Think about what you will be doing most when you evaluate the placement of features. A good help section or customer support accessibility can make the difference if you’re on the fence about a solution.
7) Can you import, export and save easily?
You should look for tools that include both manual and automatic save options. Import capability is vital, as you’ll likely want to get content from existing sites or other documents. There also should be multiple choices in how to export, such as HTML or plain text. The save, import and export options should be prominent on the interface and, ideally, take just one or two clicks.
Tools have flooded the market both here in SEO Bristol UK and around the world but that doesn’t mean all of them are stellar. Take the time to analyze them well when you need to buy one. Remember—in the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else uses. What matters is that the tool works for you.