How To Choose an SEO Tool
Search engine optimization (SEO) can seem complicated; beginners are confronted with massive amounts of data, confusing acronyms, unfamiliar terminology, and meaningless numbers. We promise that SEO will get easier once you understand the basics.
You need to improve your website's rankings, but you don't know where to start. You need an actionable plan that is supported by meaningful data. You need to know how to choose the best SEO tools for your business. Like many aspects of digital marketing, there is an abundance of platforms to choose from, many promising the world, telling you how easy they make it to climb to the top of search engine results pages (SERP) and how much better their data is, and how easy their tools are to use.
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SEO Tools for Your Business
Before choosing the right SEO tools for your business, you need to understand where your company fits. You need to determine:
- What is the size of your business?
- How much competition does your business have?
- Where is that competition? (local, regional, national, or international)
However, the best SEO tools for a small business might differ from those used by larger organizations. Some companies run data-driven operations in highly competitive industries. Success for these businesses requires them to be on the ball with their SEO and keep up with the times. Conversely, industries in less competitive markets have more leeway with their SEO because fewer businesses are vying for the top slots on SERP.
Top Search Engine Optimization Tools
Have you ever purchased an SEO tool, or any other product, because the marketing was too good to ignore, only to be left disappointed? Perhaps there was a great offer that swayed your decision, or they made promises, and you believed the hype.
We've all been there. Finding the best SEO tools can seem daunting, but a little guidance from us will make it easier. We've noticed that the best SEO tools share similar attributes, so once you learn what to look for, you should be able to determine whether or not an SEO tool is worth your time and money.
The most crucial aspect is a tool's ability to help you climb to the top of the rankings. According to HubSpot, 17% of search traffic is organic. The top SEO tools can help your business improve its rankings regarding organic search traffic.
1. Accurate Data
The most important part of SEO is data, and you need accurate numbers to formulate a winning strategy. How do you know whose information is valid when the data for the same metrics vary depending on which SEO platform you are checking. The easiest way to make this assessment is to look for anomalies.
For example, if ten SEO platforms claim the average monthly search volume for a keyword is 300-500, and one suggests that it is 2500, then the odds are that it is most likely the smaller number. Avoid the anomaly.
2. Teams and Collaboration
Large businesses with multiple marketers will want to monitor how collaborative and accepting of multi-users a tool is. Most SEO tools offer different membership levels, and the more users you have, the more it costs. Additionally, if multiple people are working on the same projects, you need the ability to collaborate and see what others are doing to avoid any confusion or duplicate work.
3. Reporting Capabilities
Many businesses invest in the best search engine optimization tools because of the in-depth and automated reporting suites. Creating, running, and analyzing SEO reports is a timely and arduous task. Usually, marketing managers have to do this monthly or quarterly to update their superiors on progress.
Choosing systems with in-built reports that can be automated to run and send to the relevant people makes a marketer's job much more manageable. Additionally, if you like to have maximum control and want to analyze specific metrics, you should be looking for customizable reporting.
No tool is worth blowing your entire budget. Some powerful tools do everything an SEO marketer needs, and then some, but not every marketer needs the same bells and whistles. Choose an SEO tool that gives you what you need, but you shouldn't pay for services you will never use.
Furthermore, most platforms provide multiple membership tiers, enabling you to register more users and giving you access to premium tools. As you'd expect, these come with additional costs. Smaller companies or teams can probably get by with a basic package with all users utilizing the same log-in information.
5. Dashboards & Usability
There's nothing worse than opening up a digital tool to be faced with spreadsheet after spreadsheet, column after column, and row after row of data. Even if you know what you are looking for, you may not be able to find it.
We're marketers, not data analysts. We need systems that crunch the numbers, making it easy to monitor the most critical metrics, keeping us focused on goals, and maintaining organization. You need SEO tools that have eye-catching and user-friendly dashboards. You need a snapshot of the vital information; that gives a clear overview and saves marketers time by not making them dive into multiple reports and having to cross-reference them.
6. Customer Support
Every system is unique, having its workflows, slightly different terminology, and varying levels of customization, meaning there will always be at least minor problems when you first get started. Customer support that is easy to access and rapid to respond to is imperative for you to get the most out of any SEO tool.
Should you ever encounter an issue, bug, or need some additional training, you should be able to find a solution quickly. Live chat, phone calls, and active forums are particularly beneficial as you can get answers straight away.
Finding the perfect platform is challenging and time-consuming but is almost always worth it. The list above is all of the essential characteristics that the best SEO tools share. These are the same attributes that an SEO agency looks for when choosing the top SEO tools.
Remember, SEO tools can be costly, and as an in-house marketer, it's unlikely you'll have access to the same caliber of tools an SEO agency has. Should you wish to talk about tools, SEO strategy, or how a top SEO agency can help your business, get in touch today.
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