7 Tools For SEO Research & Successful Content Marketing
How do you conduct your keyword research? How do you ensure that all of your pages have valid links? Even more importantly, how do you guarantee your SEO efforts are actually working?
There are so many tools available that will help you optimize your content marketing campaign, not just for creating keywords, but also for every other aspect of search engine optimization. Online content marketing can be a guessing game or a well-educated tactic; it all depends on how you use the resources available to you.
These 7 tools will help improve your content marketing success, translating to more traffic, increased sales, and higher revenues.
The 7 Tools For SEO
1. Your Brain + Communication Skills
Your brain is a vital part of your person and it is also an incredible starting point to conduct keyword research. Ask yourself: what does your company stand for? What are some topics your target audience might be looking for when seeking out your niche of services or products? You can likely come up with a pretty good idea on your own, but it always helps to ask your customers directly what they are interested in. You can use a questionnaire, or ask people face to face. Struggling to get people to participate? Simply offer product discounts to those that give feedback.
2. Use Free Keyword Tools
Once you have a list of topics and keywords your target audience is directly interested in, take these words and phrases and plug them into a keyword tool, such as the one provided by Google @ http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner.
The latest Google keyword tool is different than the original, but it offers more options to personalize your search. All that you need to access the tool is a Google account, such as Gmail.
Once you log in, Google will ask you what you want to do, offering you a few different ways to determine new keyword or ad group ideas, as well as search volume for keywords. This tool is so helpful, as it clues you to the search terms that are and are not popular, often times surprising you! Using this free tool grants you the opportunity to start ranking better on search engines.
Google is not the only site where you can conduct keyword research. There are a lot of different sites that offer SEO keyword tools, many of which are free. Some sites do charge a fee though, even if at first it appears free.
3. Scoop The Competition Using Any Search Engine
Using the search engine you like best, or maybe even trying them all, start typing in the keywords you are planning to use to see what comes up. Are there ads all over the page, or are there little to no ads on the results page? More ads signify a more popular and lucrative keyword, which also entails more competition.
Who is on the first page? Check out their content, and see what tricks they may have utilized to score a top rank on Google. You never want to copy their content but you can get good ideas from looking it over.
Once you know who your competition is, you can use other online tools to further investigate and know what you are up against. One site in particular, www.builtwith.com, allows you to type in any site in the world and find out a number of things about it including:
- Web server
- Name server providers
- Email services
- Hosting providers
- Widgets programed into the site
And much more, all of this information can be very telling, and give you clues as to how you can further enhance your own site to remain competitive.
4. Use A Back Links Tool To Find Potential Links
Back Link Analyzer was a popular tool by Microsoft Search and Yahoo! Search, but this popular service is no longer being offered. Leaving many to question where they can access this same information now. There are other sites that still offer the same type of service, and an array of options show up with a simple search.
These tools allow you to see which sites are linking to your competitors’ sites. This is beneficial because it lets you know what sites you could potentially score a link from. As we have discussed before, a link to your site from a reputable site makes you rank higher on search engines because it is an indicator that you have high quality content. Otherwise, why would a reputable site link to your information?
Where can you start using back link tools in order to score this information? Google and Bing both offer a back link search tool. There are also a number of other sites on the web that offer their own version of the tool, sometimes for free and sometimes not for free.
If you do find a free site that offers access to back link tools, there is no warranty or guarantee. The only guarantee is that it might be a process that takes some time to figure out. That’s the perk in hiring a team of web experts to take care of link building and other content marketing tasks.
5. Find & Fix Broken Links With A Few Clicks
It would take forever to go back through your entire site on a regular basis, clicking each and every link to make sure it is still working. Thankfully, there is a better way to avoid dead links polluting the quality of your website.
Once you’ve got your website up and running with plenty of content, you will need to conduct frequent checks to make sure all of your links are still working. If you have broken links or links that redirect, this is a red flag to search engine crawlers and can also be irritating for the people that visit your site. By using an online tool to find the broken links you can save time and quickly address the issue.
6. Track Your Performance
If you hire a company to take care of your online marketing you receive up to date information about what progress is being made. But if you decide to take on your own content marketing campaign, how will you know if your efforts are paying off?
If you have a really high traffic rate, you can use the site Alexa.com to see who is coming to your site (or any site), including traffic demographics, bounce rates, and time spent on the site. For websites that do not get thousands of page views each day, you can track the action-taking place on your site using a platform such as Bitly.
Bitly (http://bitly.com) is well known for its tool that allows you to take a long and complicated web address and shorten it into something cleaner that still directs you to the same page. Although this is a very cool feature, Bitly has even more to offer including detailed analytics about the performance of your site. You can see who is on your site right now, or “real time traffic,” including which states or countries draws the largest amounts of traffic.
You should also check with your hosting provider to see if they provide free web analytics, as many do.
7. App Analytics By Google
In the very mobile world we live in today, traditional search engine marketing is not the only concern. Since over half of all people are going to access your site from their phone, apps have become a popular tool for many businesses. Once you have taken the time to develop an app of your own, you are equally concerned about sharing this with the world as you are your website.
So for the number 7 important content marketing tool, we just had to mention Google Analytics for Mobile Apps.
You can optimize your app for better results using the Google Analytics tool, which will give you a real time data about the use and popularity of your app, such as:
- Who uses your app?
- Where do they come from demographically?
- What device are they using to download your app?
The Google Analytics for Mobile Apps can also help you create short and long term goals. This will also help you better identify which content marketing strategies are working to promote your app, and which are not.
The Secret To Great Content Marketing Campaigns
These 7 tools and tips are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optimizing your website (and app) so that more people find you, and stick around after they do. Understandably, a solid content marketing campaign includes a plethora of details that call for a good deal of time, effort, and expertise.