SEO is an essential aspect of having a successful website, but it can be a difficult one to master. With so many SEO tools and techniques out there, how do you know which ones are the best? And how do you not get overwhelmed with the surplus of resources out there? If you're feeling this way, you're not alone, and you're in the right place.
We've thrown together this blog post to serve as a top-level comprehensive guide that will cover the basics and provide you with the best SEO tools to set you and your website up for success.
We'll start with keyword research, move into technical SEO, touch on some SEO-focused content creation, and finish with Core Web Vitals upkeep. That might sound like a lot, but it's just enough for you to get started with producing some of the best web content out there and excelling in SERP rankings. And, if you need a refresher on what SEO is and why it's important, we've included a section at the bottom of the page for your benefit. Let's get into it!
Here are our top picks for the best SEO tools out there in 2021 (so far).
Keyword Research: SpyFu
SpyFu is one of the most popular keyword research tools on the market with strong features like competitive insights, in-depth SEO reports, and rank tracking. SpyFu is excellent for finding 'quick-win' opportunities through scoping out where competitors are falling behind in their keyword rankings with the Competitor Insight tool. For example, if you notice that a competitor in your industry is losing out on keywords you'd like to rank for, you'll be able to seize the opportunity and implement those keywords to your own website when the competition is low. In doing this, you'll likely see an increase in your own site traffic. You can also take a look at keywords that are rising quickly and have high search volume - these you can reference and use when creating new content or updating existing web pages.
Additionally, SpyFu gives clear insights to what keywords your website is currently ranking for. This is crucial for laying the foundation for your keyword implementation and SEO journey. Oftentimes, you'll find your website is coming up for terms completely unrelated to your brand- having this information is helpful so that you can refocus your content in the direction you wish to grow in.
In sum: SpyFu is a must-have for quality keyword research that paves the way for a successful SEO process.
Technical SEO: SEMRUSH
SEMRUSH is a fantastic tool for technical SEO and On-Page SEO, with incredible insights. The platform conveniently organizes all websites you manage in your dashboard, and provides a variety of data points for each site that can help you improve performance in search engines. A few of the features we use most here at Eternity are the Site Audit and Position Tracking tools.
The Site Audit tool allows you to run a full audit of any website, and instantly highlights errors, warnings, and notices to take care of. Another perk of SEMRUSH is that if you're unsure of what a particular issue is or don't know how to resolve it, the platform breaks down each alert and explains in detail how to fix it. We 10/10 recommend SEMRUSH if you're just getting started with SEO and want to learn as you practice.
The Position Tracking tool is another feature we love, because it allows you to track specific keywords for individual websites, and gain live insight to how your site is ranking for those keywords. This allows you to better understand how users are interacting with content on your webpages, as well as gives you quality information about keywords' rankings so you know where to put your focus next.
In sum: We love SEUMRUSH, and we hope you will too.
Content Optimization: Frase
Frase is an incredible content tool that is fairly new to the market, but incredible for website content creators who are looking to optimize their webpages and make them SEO friendly. This online platform serves as a live interactive editor for writing content, and allows you to optimize for specific keywords, topics, and word counts as you write.
Also, if you've got writer's block, need some fresh content on your website, or are looking for new blog topic ideas - Frase has an excellent feature that allows you to plug in what keywords you'd like to target, and it informs you on what questions web users are searching for that lands them on these topics. This is extremely helpful in terms of search-intent, which is super important for strong SEO. The live editing tool also allows you to see exactly how the content you're writing compares to similar content on the internet. You can use this data, and the questions Frase produces, as framework for blogs or other website content to and to ensure you're producing high-quality content as you write.
In sum: This is an awesome tool you should totally try out if you want to produce effective high-quality content for your website.
Core Web Vitals: Google LightHouse
If you haven't heard, Core Web Vitals became an official ranking factor in May 2021. This is a big deal, because it means search engines now take into consideration your website's Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) when ranking your website. For greater detail on Core Web Vitals, check out our blog post here. The point is, Core Web Vitals now have an impact on how your website ranks, and whether that impact is positive or negative, is up to you.
Luckily, LightHouse makes checking your Core Web Vitals easy by simply downloading the plugin for free, and using it on individual web pages to gain insights. LightHouse's visual interface is clear and simple to use, making it easy for you to see how well your website fares against the Core Web Vitals metrics mentioned above.
In sum: You'd be missing out by not downloading this free tool when it comes to a simple and clear way to check any webpage's Core Web Vitals. Definitely give it a go to ensure your SEO efforts continue to be rewarded with this new ranking factor!
Back to the Basics: What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing technique used to improve quality and quantity of website traffic. When done right, SEO can significantly increase website rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs), increase conversions, and improve user experience (UX) overall - which is excellent for all parties involved.
While the concept of SEO may seem intimidating at first, it is extremely crucial to learn if you want to be successful in web design. In today's world where businesses are moving more and more towards digital, an understanding and implementation of SEO techniques will be a major asset in any web designer's toolkit. Effective SEO can allow for a significant increase in market exposure, visibility, and recognition at an extremely low cost. You've just gotta put in the time to learn, and not be afraid to fail. SEO is truly an endless-learning opportunity, with much trial and error involved. Search engine rank factors change often, so it's key to keep up with your SEO knowledge to maintain and improve your site's rankings in SERPs.
Above all, SEO is extremely UX oriented, meaning the quality of your content must match search intent to be rewarded. While keyword stuffing and other Black Hat SEO techniques may up your rankings initially, you'll ultimately be penalized in the long-run. Search engine crawlers are becoming increasingly intelligent and detect these tactics quickly, penalizing sites accordingly. Catering to the user first is the safest and best way to go when crafting quality content that will be successful long-term. Think of th
e best possible content for your target audience out there, and find a way to be 10x better. We believe in you.
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Onward and upward!