Search Engine Optimization—aka SEO—is all about how and where you show up in search engines, primarily Google. While some organizations can afford to invest in professional SEO help, others can’t.
Fortunately, some tools can help you even if you’re a beginner. Here are five tools that I would recommend you use if you’re doing your own SEO.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you gather and make use of data from people visiting your website. It gives you data on how many users have visited your website, the pages they visited, and where they came from. It can help you learn what pages and blog articles on your website are the most popular.
There’s plenty more information you can uncover with Google Analytics if you really want to invest time in learning the tool.
2. Google Search Console
Google Analytics is great for knowing what people do once they’re on your site—and even where they came from—but what about before they’re on your site? How can you find out where and how you show up in Google’s results?
That’s why Google Search Console is available. It helps you see how your pages rank on Google, how many impressions they’re getting, how many people are clicking on them, and more.
The tool will also help you find out if there are errors on your site, better understand what Google sees when it looks at your website, and get your content indexed quicker.
3. Google My Business
Our third Google tool is all about local SEO, a strategy that helps you be more visible to local people searching for your business. If your customers visit your location, then local SEO should be on your radar.
Google My Business will help local customers find you. By claiming your listing, you can ensure your details show up correctly on Google results and Google Maps results. You can also reply to customer reviews and make sure your location is correct.
4. Redirection WordPress plugin
Over time it can be tough to keep track of links back to your website. Especially if you’re launching a brand new website, some of the old links may not work. That’s called a 404 error, and it can negatively impact your SEO.
Enter the Redirection WordPress plugin. It tracks 404 errors, among others, and allows you to redirect those old URLs to the appropriate new URLs. That makes both people and Google happy.
5. The SEO Framework WordPress plugin
Many popular all-purpose SEO plugins for WordPress suffer from something called feature bloat. Feature bloat means they’ve thrown every possible SEO feature they can think of in there. That can have many negative side-effects, unfortunately.
We’ve switched to using the extremely lightweight plugin, The SEO Framework. You should invest time in understanding the settings, but overall it’s much simpler than SEO plugins traditionally considered the best options.
If you’re just starting with SEO or haven’t checked all of these tools out, I highly recommend taking some time to learn how to use them. If your budget is low or nonexistent, they are indispensable.
Of course, if you do want to invest some money in your SEO efforts, we would be happy to talk with you. We provide training, consulting, one-time help, and ongoing SEO services. Let us know how we can help!