Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the art behind optimizing content for search engines. SEO helps people find things on the web in the way they naturally search for that particular thing. SEO is simply the key to effectively connecting people to information and their corresponding websites on a regular basis.
Believe it or not, search engine optimization is actually a lot more simple than what some would think. In fact, the past two decades have seen plenty of people from all sorts of web development backgrounds use search engine optimization in some meaningful way. What’s the most meaningful way to utilize search engine optimization? Here’s a clue: it’s in the name.
Using SEO starts with understanding its fundamentals, which ultimately help webmasters target several different facets of search. As of now, SEO is used to target various types of search, including academic search, news search, image search, video search, local search and general keyword searches.
Thanks to the many types of search out there today, SEO’s undergone several changes over the years. Much of these changes have more or less made the whole search experience more refined for end users… with a cost to SEO-using webmasters. Fortunately, much of those costs are mitigated by the use of essential SEO tools that make utilizing the practice much easier.
The Must Have Tools for SEO Professionals
Every expert has their toolbox and it’s pretty much the same with SEO experts around the world. But you do have to wonder one thing: what tools are found in the toolboxes of SEO professionals? The following information depicts some of the must have tools for today’s SEO professionals in three categories: Google Tools, Link Building and the all important Keyword Research.
No webmaster is complete without Google’s own tool chest. Fortunately for the rest of us, Google has kindly continued to provide such services at no additional cost. Let’s go into a little more detail.
No SEO tool box is complete without this essential. This Google service keeps track of several aspects of a website, notably its web traffic, traffic sources and it even measures web conversions and sales. Going by that alone, it’s pretty easy to see why people use this essential tool. Google provides a free and premium version, which hosts advanced features.
This essential also provides visitor tracking from referrers, such as social networks and search engines. It also provides tracking for display ads, pay per click networks, email-based marketing and also tracks links within files.
Webmaster Tools is another Google service that gives webmasters everything they need to successfully optimize their web domain. In fact, it’s noted for allowing ‘webmasters to check their website indexing status and further optimize the visibility of their website.
This suite of tools is best known for its SEO essentials, including:
Allowing webmasters to view Google indexing statistics, including errors that may have occurred.
Recently, Google updated their Webmaster Tools suite to provide more detailed information to webmasters. It’s highly encouraged to check it out for yourself.
Other Google essentials include: Google Trends (tracks trending search topics), Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool (optimizes SERP snippets), Google Global Extension for Chrome (Chrome users can check worldwide site rankings).
Link building is a long standing practice that involves exchanging links with another website in order to build your back links. Good link building typically results in building a good reservoir of back links, but malicious practices over the years have more or less made link building more penalized than before.
While link building isn’t discouraged, having good quality back links are more encouraged than ever. One of the best ways to build quality back links is using the right tools to do that.
Majestic SEO — This back link checker tracks how sites in the web link back to one another. It’s probably the largest link intelligence database on the web so far, showing a lot of detailed information regarding how sites link back to one another.
Ahrefs — This cleverly named service (a href URL tag if you didn’t know) is a large index of links, updating every fifteen minutes. It’s easy to navigate interface has made it one of the most used tools for link tracing and data analysis today.
Buzzstream — If you want to actually build links, Buzzstream’s one of the best tools out there. It’s best known for helping webmasters organize a link building campaign and connect with like-minded websites to further bolster their network.
Keywords are essential—they’re what help connect prospects to your content via a search engine. When people naturally use a search engine, they type in information that pertains to what they might want to find. That same information is what becomes what we best known as keywords.
Keywords are pretty tricky, since not every keyword works for every webmaster. Highly competitive keywords, to provide an example, are often the least effective for those just starting out. Fortunately, several tools exist to help any webmaster of any experience level find the set of keywords that works best for their site.
Wordstream — This site is an entire database filled with keywords—over a trillion, in fact. It’s excellent for finding different combinations of keywords that may work best with your site.
Ubersuggest — Having trouble finding the right keywords? This tool provides suggestions for keyword ideas, so you don’t have to spend hours thinking of the perfect keyword.
HitTail — This tool grabs all the keyword data that Google may omit after some time. You might want to add this to your tool box if you want to know what’s worth targeting.
WordTracker — This tool reveals what keywords rank well in just minutes—seriously, try it for yourself. It’s an excellent way to see what keywords may garner some traffic over time versus others.
SERPIQ — Want to know why a competitor’s ranking well? This keyword tool will tell you why. It displays hundreds of keyword ops in just minutes, while also providing a detailed breakdown showing why competitors rank well with certain keywords.