Five Tools Everyone in the SEO Industry Should Use

Mar 18, 2014 | SEO

"SEO" with tools

Have you ever invested in stocks? Do you know someone who has? What if you (or whoever you know) didn’t track how their stocks were doing? I don’t think that would be a very wise method of investing, do you?

Likewise, if you have invested in a website, you should be tracking how it is doing. But, how do you do that?

The first tool you should use is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the industry standard for tracking your site’s visitors, page views, time on site, most visited pages, conversions, and more. How is this data useful? Well, let’s say you have an online apparel store, and 90% of your sales are sweatshirts. But, when you look at the analytics, only 40% of your visitors are on the sweatshirt pages. Now you can learn where people are going and get a better look into why you may be losing visitors—and sales.

The second tool for you to invest some time in is Google Webmaster Tools. This program gives you a lot of great information, like keywords that have been searched to get to your site, what pages turn up the most in search results, submitting your site to Google, and if you have any “page not found” (404) errors. If SEO is part of your strategy, need I say more about this?

Bing Webmaster Tools is the third tool and is very similar to Google Webmaster Tools. On its home page, it has a few statements summarizing what Bing Webmaster Tools is all about:

  1. You want traffic and we can help you find it.
  2. You need to know why people came to your site.
  3. You want to improve your site, but don’t know where to start.
  4. You need to know what areas to expand on your website.

The last two tools are not as much for acquiring data about your site as optimizing the user experience—which is an area where Google is putting stock on ranking results.

Your site should load fast. Google does factor in page speed when computing a site’s rank. How do you know your site loads as quickly as possible? There are two tools for this—Google’s Pagespeed Insights and YSlow. With both tools, the higher the score, the better. If you’re not a web or front-end developer, you’ll probably need to find someone to help you with this.

The last tool that you need to use during your SEO practices is W3’s HTML Validator. Having good, valid code makes your website stand out as legitimate. It also means that you’re more likely to deliver a good user experience to more people, since your code is valid.

Which of these tools is your favorite? Which do you find the most effective when examining your SEO efforts?

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