Every autodidact that wants to do all the online business stuff by his self will eventually reach a point where SEO becomes the very next thing on his list of priorities. He will realize that the aesthetic look to his website is great for keeping people on his website for a longer period of time, but that to actually get folks to reach his actual homepage – for his main page to be visible to web surfers – something else must be done. That something is what we call Search Engine Optimization. Getting near the top page of search engine search results will increase the chances of one’s website being viewed and clicked on by someone surfing the web.
The autodidact who is interested in delving into SEO has a good deal of work cut out for him. Google’s algorithm is not just dynamic, but unpredictable, and for that reason, employing the very best SEO tools is absolutely necessary to a website’s position ranking on search engine search results. There are a bevy of these tools, and becoming familiar with each and every one of them might take years, so we won’t go through them all – just the very best ones for those who are still SEO neophytes.
Google’s Wondrous Webmaster Tools
Who would have thought that the search engines themselves would have several of the greatest tools around? It makes sense, doesn’t it? Those who know the most about something are those closest to that thing. While it may be difficult to decide where to start, many have found that becoming familiar with Google’s suite of webmaster tools has expanded their SEO ken to an ineffable quantity. All those “do-it-yourself” type of folks will absolutely fall in love with said tools, and it will be the quickest route to success in the SEO domain. For those who are not quite the autodidacts, Google has a fabulous webmaster help forum and guide that will more than likely answer every one of your possible questions. Sometimes I think Google can read my mind, or that I accidentally tattooed all my thoughts on my forehead, or something crazy like that. That is how good they are at predicting what questions will be asked – and then answering those questions.
Of course, you know that Google has a ton of resources that are 100% free. They always do. And for the lone webmaster who is doing everything on his own, things aren’t any different – all the resources are there for Mr. or Mrs. Webmaster’s taking. This grab bag of tools that we mentioned briefly can help you do the following crucial SEO tasks:
- Point out the parts of your site that Googlebot can’t effectively crawl
- Create the necessary robots.txt files expeditiously
- Analyze keywords that can help get you more hits
- Get rid of duplicate content
- Get Google to become aware of your XML site-map submission
Also, Google offers this very valuable metrics tracking tool known as Google Analytics. There’s also an extremely powerful app called the Google Website Optimizer that helps you track conversion alterations. These two, by themselves, make the Google suite incredibly valuable. Although the Google suite isn’t all-encompassing, it is a fantastic place to start. Your journey to the SEO top has to start somewhere, and so why not with Google suite?
Keyword Research Tools
There aren’t many things that are as important in your SEO strategy than deciding which keywords are the most effective. For this reason, keyword research tools are an absolute must. The sooner you become familiar with these tools, the faster you will see successful and fruitful results. There hasn’t been one SEO expert who isn’t also an expert when it comes to keyword research. One just cannot become an SEO expert without the requisite keyword research knowledge. The following tools are fantastic for keyword research:
- SEMRush: a tool that plots the most traffic-driving keywords for your site (and even your competitor’s sites).
- SEOmoz Term Extractor: by far one of the most trusted names in the world of search engine optimization. It has a slew of valuable tools, with Term Extractor sitting at the top. SEOmoz Term Extractor is best used by entering the URL of your competitor into search bar and then analyzing their keyword strengths vs. their keyword weaknesses.
- Alexa: an emerging tool that every search engine optimization expert is beginning to love and adore. It provides your traffic score, but besides just that, it also gives you indispensable search analytics and keyword query info.
Backlink Analysis Tools
Link building is another very important piece of the puzzle if one wants to have excellent search rankings. It’s not easy, because it is fairly difficult to identify how well your backlinks are faring. Regardless, once you become familiar with some of the more basic stuff, looking into backlink analysis tools can be of great value. There are two tools that most folks recommend; those being: Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz. It is generally recommended to learn about the former before you even worry about the latter. Majestic SEO is a lot easier to use is also much more intuitive than Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz.
The web is filled with these free indispensable tools. It’s all about just finding out about them and taking the time to become familiar with them. It may be a bit more time consuming than, say, learning CSS or HTML, but in the long run, it is the SEO knowledge that will take your website from unknown to a household name. The cliché out of sight, out of mind is absolutely true. You don’t want your site to be out of sight. You want it to sit right where web surfers can see it – on the front page of every SERP. All the SEO masters use these great tools, and if you want to be an SEO master, it is time that you follow in their footsteps. It is time that you take the time to read through the concepts of each tools, to learn more about the specifics. After that, go ahead and try using them. The best way to learn and remember is by doing.