In this day and age, with technology rapidly advancing and most businesses catering to online sales, search engine optimization (SEO) is a rapidly growing market. That said, there are a large number of SEO tools out there that are designed to help improve a website’s SEO value.
Many SEO experts will argue over which platform or program is better or more functional. This raises the question, are SEO tools worth it?
What Is Search Engine Optimization and Why Is It Important?
If you are new to the SEO scene, you’re probably wondering why search engine optimization is important in the first place. SEO has become a necessity when it comes to websites and online businesses.
SEO helps search engines determine which sites are important and relevant to a specific search. Search engines use bots to constantly crawl a website (and the web) to look for relevant information to sort and rank a site.
Say you performed a Google search for “fitness center.” You would get multiple pages of organic search results, and, as the searcher, you can usually find what you’re looking for on the first page of Google.
The purpose of SEO is to get a website to show up first in a long list of competitors and relevant websites. The main goal should always be to get your site to appear on the first page of Google. Believe it or not, a lot goes into this process, including keyword research, linking, and optimizing web pages to utilize SEO settings.
What Are SEO Tools?
Search engine optimization can get repetitive, and sometimes, writers will need to perform a complicated page analysis that can take a long time to complete without the help of a program.
SEO tools are used to streamline the processes involved with search engine optimization. Search engine optimization tools save time and provide website owners with the best usable material for their SEO needs.
SEO tools include keyword research tools, webpage analysis tools, and site audit tools. Many of these programs provide monthly or yearly fees, which can get pricey.
Are There Free SEO Tools?
Most SEO programs will offer a free version that allows users to try them and see if they them. However, depending on the website that you need to maintain, there could be a lot of downsides to using the free version of an SEO tool.
Free versions of SEO tools usually limit the amount of work that can actually be completed. If a program is free but only lets users search for three keyword terms or run one site audit a day, this can become time-consuming and slow the SEO process to a lull.
Free versions are definitely worth a try. But in terms of productivity and getting SEO dialed in correctly, SEO writers will likely need to purchase an SEO tool that works efficiently for their needs.
Tools for Search Engine Optimization
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the right SEO tool to deliver an effective SEO strategy. Ultimately SEO writers will need to determine what their SEO strategy is going to be and how they are going to achieve it.
Most SEO experts want to appeal to their target audiences and rank higher than their competitors. There is a lot of work involved in getting a webpage to that point.
Difficult and Time-Consuming Site Analysis
Sometimes, a low ranking is due to a collection of errors or broken links that are found when a search engine crawls a site. These errors could be anything from low on-page SEO, broken links, duplicate meta descriptions or meta titles, redirected pages, and more.
Unless someone is aware of these issues, it will be difficult for them to find and fix these errors or site warnings. Doing this without a program could take a very long time, and some errors could even be overlooked.
This is where an SEO tool can become very useful. Most SEO tools will have a way to audit a site, as is the case with SEMRush and Uber Suggest. These site audits will tell the user exactly which errors are being thrown up for a page.
This allows the SEO writer to fix these issues and improve the overall health of the site. This feature saves time and resources, making it an invaluable tool in an SEO writer’s arsenal.
Keyword Research Benefits
If you are writing SEO content for a webpage, it is important to include as many relevant keywords as possible. But how does one find out which keywords are the best to use when deriving great content?
There are a variety of SEO keyword tools that can help. Usually, there will be a place to enter your desired keywords. The tool will then show the monthly volume that the keyword offers as well as the difficulty to rank for it. SEMRush, Moz, and Uber Suggest all have a “Keywords Ideas” (Keyword Magic Tool on SEM & Keyword Suggestions on Moz) ability that shows all the keywords related to the entered keyword that could work well within the writing.
This means that SEO writers are now able to scroll through a variety of keywords until they find one that will work for their page. For instance, maybe we are researching keywords related to “SEO Tools” or “Search Engine Optimization Tools.”
After running Uber Suggest, the results may show that:
- “SEO Tools” has a monthly search volume of 6,600 but is difficult to rank for because it has an SEO difficulty ranking of 84.
- “Search Engine Optimization Tools” has a much lower monthly search volume of 590 and is also difficult to rank for, with an SEO difficulty of 86.
We ended up scrolling “Keyword Ideas” after tailoring the results to only show low-difficulty keywords. This is a great way to sort out keywords that you want to rank for without scrolling through unrankable keywords.
We chose to utilize the keyword “Tools for Search Engine Optimization.” This keyword has a monthly volume of 590 and an SEO difficulty of 8, making it a prime keyword to use. It has low difficulty but holds a high monthly volume appeal.
Competitors and Ranking
Some SEO tools can also help determine what a site’s competitors are ranking for. SEMRush offers a convenient “domain overview” option. This is where SEO writers can input a website address that they’re competing against to see what keywords they are using and ranking for currently.
This is a great jumping-off point to get a page ranking in the right direction. It’s also a great place to find relevant keywords to go after.
So, Are SEO Tools Worth It?
It all comes down to what the SEO writer is trying to accomplish. If you have an extremely small site and are content just slowly scraping away at it, you may not need a devoted SEO tool.
However, if you’re competitive and want your website to be successful, utilizing an SEO tool is pretty much priceless.
We use Uber Suggest, Moz, and SEMRush; however, if your operation or needs are smaller, using only one of these programs should suffice. Take a look at what each one has to offer to determine which will be most beneficial to your needs. Make sure to give the free versions a try to make sure that the usability is to your liking.
In the end, the ability to confidently choose keywords, monitor a site’s health, and research keywords based on updated data is priceless. Whether you’re focused on content marketing, blogs, Google analytics, e-commerce websites, or informational landing pages, SEO is always a necessity, and dialing in a website with confidence is key!