Beginners can go through a number of phases with SEO. Initially, trying to understand the basic terminology and concepts of SEO can be extremely confusing. Gradually, though, it begins to make more sense and the idea of ranking becomes increasingly realistic. However, the further you delve, the more opinions about technical SEO and more advanced ideas can lead to confusion.
Beginners don’t need to learn every aspect to rank, with a basic understanding and a number of important tools being enough to get results. Choosing the right tools for the job is an important decision as most people end up sticking by the products they familiarize themselves with. The following SEO tools will be enough for most beginners, providing quality products that won’t overcomplicate the process.
Free Tools from Google
Google offers a number of free tools that most people doing SEO will use at some point. Google Analytics will help you understand where traffic is coming from, which pages are proving popular, the bounce rate, and various other factors. Google Search Console lets you check indexing, linking pages, security issues, keywords searched by visitors, and more. Keyword Planner allows you to search for keywords in your niche, assessing search volume, cost per click, and other factors. Finally, PageSpeed Insights will score the loading time of a page, offering suggestions for speed increases.
Ubersuggest is a free tool for researching keywords and analyzing the results. You can generate a list of keyword ideas, looking into search volume, competition levels, and cost per click. The tool also lets you analyze a website, finding top pages and keywords for the domain. Additionally, you can study the backlink profile of a site so you can find quality keywords to target based on your competitors’ results.
The MozBar is a free Chrome extension developed by the SEO company Moz. You can browse pages across the web, using the extension to gain valuable SEO data as you go. The data includes page authority, domain authority, number of backlinks, and a spam score. If you want to get more from the product, the premium version also lists a keyword difficulty rating, page optimization help, and more.
Tracking rankings is an important part of SEO. You need to know the keywords your pages are ranking for, with the ability to monitor progress over an extended period of time. Authority Labs is a rank tracking tool that lets you monitor hundreds or thousands of keywords based on your price plan. It is possible to narrow down to local and mobile searches, offering a detailed and reliable report.
BrightLocal focuses on local SEO so it will be suitable for businesses or agencies targeting a specific area. BrightLocal allows you to submit a site to data aggregators, ensuring business contact information and citations are consistent across the web. You can also perform a complete SEO audit, focusing on the factors that help pages rank for locally relevant terms.
BuzzSumo offers a range of options for social and content marketing. These promotional activities have become integral to an SEO campaign, so it is important to have an appropriate tool. BuzzSumo lets you uncover the content that is getting shared online, allowing you to create articles, videos, images, and more based on competitive research. You can also see who shared a piece of content, making it easy to find outreach partners who might link to your own output.
It is hard to run any serious SEO campaign without the assistance of tools. In the past, optimizing your site and building backlinks tended to be a simpler process, particularly for less competitive search terms. Now, however, there is a serious amount of competition, with Google often ranking single pieces of content for a huge number of keywords. SEO tools let you be strategic and competitive, analyzing what other sites are doing before you begin. With competitive research and analysis, you can give yourself the best chance at reaching the top spots for your target terms.