Long gone are the days when good SEO guaranteed you a top spot on Google Page 1. Below are some tools that can help you stay visible and compete.
1What’s the Competition Doing?
Analyze the competition and learn about their strategies for finding sites that will link to them. I’ve used some great tools out there like moz.com Follower Wonk, Buzzstream and Arefs to name a few. And don’t forget Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), it’s free. See Google Webmasters for how to use Google Search Console
2Falling Behind on Google?
These tools give you an idea about the competition level for a given keyword based on whose ranking in the “Top 10”. In other words, Page 1 of search engines. Tip: Look carefully at the page itself. There’s a reason it’s on (e.g. Google Page 1) page 1. It’s got “Page Authority”. A considerable number of “authoritative sites are linking to it. A Link Explorer using a MOZ analysis (Step 1 above) will give you a jump start.
3How Do You Stack Up?
Your site versus everyone else: A good rank tracking tool will take into account ongoing changes in the rankings out there as search engine algorithms change. Be sure your tool scans the web and updates its own algorithm on a regular basis, say weekly. Read the documentation or ask the vendor to explain how the tool keeps up with the evolution of Google Algorithms.
#4: Something Wrong with Your Product Pages?
On-Page Optimization tools. This kind of tool can has been my own personal Search Optimization specialist. You put in the URL of a page you want to check along with a Keyword, and it will grade the page based on factors like Page Title, Headline, Image names, keywords in the body of the page, and certain meta data. The MozBar is great for inspecting any page and clearly showing you what’s missing, or not. Read Search Engine Watch 21 Tools for On-Page Optimization.
4How Are They Getting Traffic?
Moz.com is one of my favorites for uncovering link opportunities. Link research tools allow you to compare your web property against competitor sites. You’ll see which sites are linking to your adversaries so you can consider if the sites and the communities they serve are right for your business. The best Link Research Tools will rank the links by how much influence they have on search engines. Search engines, like Google, prefer substantive content and will rank it high. Search Engine Land’s Using Competitive Links To Inform Your SEO Strategy will help teach you how to get in the game.
5How Should You Be Using Social Media?
You may want to be an observer, learn what your customers are looking for, or engage in the conversation. In any case, you’ll want to know what people are talking about. These tools also scan blogs to monitor mentions of your offering or your company specifically. Social Mention, Talkwalker, Topsy, Twitter, and of course the ubiquitous Hootsuite. For strictly business and professional (Social) networking, LinkedIn is the King in my opinion. Read Social Media Examiner if you want to stay on top of what’s going on with Social.
6Does Your Site Have Technical Problems?
Does your site have problems? Google search console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is a must since it specifically relates to how Google sees your site. Best part, it’s free and included with your Google account. Not all digital media marketers have access to Google Search Console since larger companies seem to see this as an IT responsibility. This is one particular area where team building and collaboration between IT and marketing is critical. Educate yourself and become an influencer. This can help gain you the “keys to the kingdown”. In other words, more access to the managing your web property.
Are you creating content? Content Marketing is hot. You and your competitors are listing similar products. But the competition may not be creating substantive content showing their product knowledge and their staff can help them solve. See why Content is King!