Why is it important now?
With the increased competition in all industries, reaching more audiences has become relevant today. Businesses construct different strategies to increase their recognition levels and credibility. Increasing website traffic is one of the fundamental ways to do that. Rather than paid channels, businesses can boost their website traffic for free with appropriate SEO strategies. According to a 2019 BrightEdge Research report, organic search constitutes 53% of website traffic while paid channels form 15%. Thus, it is preferable to focus on improving organic traffic by using SEO software.
Paid channels can give results faster compared to SEO strategies, but they require constant spendings and don't guarantee the desired success. On the other hand, SEO also requires continuous effort to give successful results. However, if done correctly, it provides a much higher return on investment (ROI) with a higher chance of expected results as it improves organic (i.e. unpaid) search traffic.
What are the key capabilities?
SEO tools help your business reach a greater audience by improving your website performance. Here are the key capabilities of successful SEO solutions. A single SEO solution may not provide all of these capabilities, and most companies rely on multiple SEO tools in their SEO strategy. For example, Google offers numerous free SEO tools that most SEO professionals rely on.
- Keyword research: Using optimal keywords in web pages is critical to reaching a broader audience. While SEO software shows you the monthly search volume, the evolution of search volume, commercial attractiveness (e.g., cost-per-click), and competition for each keyword, it should also be able to recommend you useful keywords that would boost your website performance.
- Competition analysis: You can also analyze your competitors' website performance to discover their strengths. These capabilities can help you understand what you are good at and what you should do better than your competitors.
- Website content auditing: Your pages' title, meta description, other content define whether users will choose to click on your website and the time they will spend there. And these are some of the most important criteria for search engines. For example, you might have a missing meta description, or a page's title may not be in line with the rest of the content which can prevent you from attaining a high rank on search engine results.
- Website technical SEO auditing: SEO tools also measure website speed, help you explore if the back-end of your website is optimized, and notify you of any necessary actions.
- Improving your website's technical SEO performance:There are constantly new developments in SEO, and companies need to keep up. For example, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) allows companies to serve their pages faster to mobile users. Software that enables these capabilities can be an essential part of your SEO approach.
- Monitoring website performance: A successful SEO solution should report the website performance by monitoring metrics like search rankings, search traffic, and CTR. From the insights gained from these reports, you can discover new opportunities (such as new keywords, page structure optimization) for your website and make accurate changes to improve its performance. You can also track those changes if they have a positive impact on your website in real-time.
- Smart recommendations: It is easy to create a list of hundreds of SEO actions to take for any business. However, it is not easy to prioritize three optimal actions for a company from an implementation cost and impact perspective. There are emerging tools such as Millimetric.ai that use machine learning to help guide users and focus their SEO efforts.
What are types of SEO software?
There are different types of SEO software that specialize in providing specific SEO capabilities. However, this is a high-level categorization: not all SEO tools fit these categories, and some SEO suites include multiple SEO tools.
- Keyword tool: This type returns metrics like cost-per-click, monthly search volume, and the historical trend of keywords. As a result, you can choose the correct keywords on your website to reach a broader audience. It also helps you to find to discover new keyword opportunities.
- Ranking tool: These tools track your website's rankings to allow you to understand what works for your website and doesn't.
- Website audit: These tools search for SEO problems by looking at technical aspects such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and recommends ways to fix them. The SEO problems can include missing keywords, incorrect meta descriptions, broken links, and duplicate pages.
- Content SEO: This type focuses on the content of your website and recommends new keywords and topic opportunities. It also allows you to track if people are sharing your content on social media.
- Technical SEO: While this type focuses on the technical part of your website, it evaluates your meta descriptions, links and suggests improvements, if needed. Its functions also involve image compression, HTML compression, and Java scripting rendering.
Purchase guide: What is important to consider while choosing the right SEO software solution?
There are hundreds of free and paid SEO solutions to choose from. This is an area where it is difficult to provide a comprehensive list. Important aspects to consider while choosing the right SEO software are:
- Availability of capabilities: You should check if the SEO solution has the capabilities listed above. However, these are broad capabilities. Within these, you may need specific capabilities. For example, an ideal keyword search solution should provide recent search data, including the last month. Your vendor should be able to satisfy such capabilities necessary for your business. Do not expect a single tool to provide all the capabilities. You can follow a best-of-breed approach and use a combination of free and paid tools to achieve your SEO objectives.
- Comprehensive reporting: The right SEO solution should include a summary of the most relevant metrics, like keyword rankings, competitive analyses, link analysis, and audit pages. The tool should show historical performance, making it easier to evaluate the success or failure of your SEO strategy.
- Data accuracy: While analyzing keyword data, be sure that your SEO solution provides recent and accurate data on rankings and search volume information.
- Integration options: Your SEO solution should be able to integrate with new third-party apps and add-ons as necessary. For smaller companies, this is not a big concern, but for example, larger companies may want to pull in data from SEO tools for improved and integrated reporting.
- User-friendly interface: SEO can be complicated, and the software should have a simple interface that is easy to use. This would reduce misunderstanding or confusion.
- Multi-lingual support: If your website also targets for non-English markets, your SEO vendor should be able to handle different languages.