If your site isn’t earning many clicks, it’s time to evaluate your SEO strategy.
Short for search engine optimization, SEO refers to the process of improving your website to make it more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) for queries about products, services, or information associated with your company or brand.
The better a web page's rank, the higher its visibility. High-ranking web pages often draw the most attention and are considered reliable brands because Google places them at the top of the search results. People trust the browser to show them the most relevant content first.
Ranking on the first page of Google is easier said than done. But with the help of SEO tools, you can optimize your website’s content and improve your website’s chances of ranking.
How does SEO work?
Google, Bing, and other search engines use algorithms to crawl web pages on the internet. The algorithm has bots that move from site to site, gathering data and indexing them.
Imagine an indexing database as a huge library where you can search for a specific book or topic. The librarian is the algorithm and, having read every book in the library, can pinpoint the exact books to help you find the necessary information.
SEO is commonly grouped into three categories:
On-page SEO: As the name implies, on-page SEO includes the content on your web page, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords. Keywords are topics and themes that describe the subject matter of your content, also known as "search queries," as they refer to the words and phrases people type into search engines to find information.
This text-based content, plus other on-page factors including links, images, site navigation, and page responsiveness, shape SEO. If your web page has high-quality, informative, and relevant content, it will generally rank better.
Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO includes the content not on your site. Having backlinks — places where other websites link back to your content or webpage — significantly improves your SEO. Search engines like Google view these links as votes of confidence in your content. If someone wants their content to redirect to your website, it's because they see value in your page's content and trust a reader can rely on your site for additional information.
Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves "behind-the-scenes" factors like page speeds, responsive web design, image optimization, and more. Google penalizes websites with slow page loading times or images that aren’t optimized for multiple devices. This is the process of indexing — the Google crawler analyzes the page for content and meaning, then stores it in the Google index according to its quality and relevance.
To avoid a poor ranking by Google and other search engines, follow these best practices and trends for all SEO types.
Why you need tools for your site’s SEO
Quality content is the foundation of SEO. The words, pictures, links, and videos on your website are the primary information it shares with visitors. Visitors search for high-quality content and accurate information, and search engines know this — that’s why SERPs prioritize pages that meet rigorous expectations.
With the help of SEO tools, you can identify which keywords and content satisfy search intent and which don’t so you can tweak the latter to improve your site's ranking. The best SEO tools also offer insights into your website's performance compared to competitors and allow you to filter search metrics by country, language, age, and other relevant factors.
If you run multiple websites, SEO tools help evaluate each site's performance at a glance. They take away the tedious and time-consuming task of manually entering data and metrics in spreadsheets, a method that can produce inaccurate results. SEO tools save you hours of work and instantly generate precise data with a few clicks.
Ultimately, the objective is to rank high, draw people to your site, and increase conversions. SEO tools support you in this process and even make your work more efficient, effective, and meaningful. They cut out the labor of trying to optimize content on your own. Instead, the tools act as guides and resources, showing you where and how your rankings can be improved.
5 SEO tools you should know about
Available SEO tools come with different features and pricing. We’ve shortlisted five of our favorites that suit a variety of experience levels and budgets to help narrow down your search.
Ahrefs is an excellent web crawler to improve SEO. One of its best features is the Site Audit tool, which highlights the areas of your website that need improvement to rank higher. It’s great for conducting competitor analyses for SEO to identify competitor backlinks.
Ahrefs SEO tool also checks your website for broken links, which are void links that have been moved or changed. It also provides an in-depth report of your best-performing web pages so you can examine and replicate the content attracting the most traffic. With this information, you make informed decisions about which content to drive traffic toward and change existing content to perform better.
Plans and pricing:
- Lite (starts at $99 per month)
- Standard (starts at $199 per month)
- Advanced (starts at $399 per month)
- Enterprise (starts at $999 per month)
SEMrush is a useful tool that evaluates your domain authority, alerts you of movements on SERPs, and provides insight into new ranking opportunities.
SEMRush checks for broken links, HTML tags, and your site's suitability for crawling. HTML tags function similarly to keywords, but instead of words and phrases, they specify how a web browser will structure and present content. These tags help a browser tell the difference between "regular" keyword content and HTML content, then display them accordingly.
Once the tool identifies issues related to links and tags, it provides recommendations for improvements. Plus, you can use the tool’s search functionality to filter content and find exactly what you want, including keyword difficulty, monthly search traffic, search volume, and more.
A stand-out feature is the 360 View Competitive Analysis, which uses competitors’ SEO reports to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing content on the web.
Plans and pricing per month when billed annually:
- Free trial (for seven days)
- Pro ($99.95)
- Guru ($191.62)
- Business ($374.95)
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3. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the best free SEO tools available. It allows you to track and analyze your website's SEO performance on Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is a huge advantage, as Google is the largest search engine on the internet with over 8.5 billion daily search terms. Simply add a verification code to authenticate your website and upload your sitemap.
A sitemap is a file that contains information about your website’s content, including pages, text, images, videos, and more. Based on the content, the sitemap informs Google about your site’s eligibility for crawling. If there aren’t any broken links or void HTML tags, you’re good to go.
Search Console also provides insight into how people using Google — and Google itself — perceive your website. Based on the data, you can optimize your website's content for Google’s SERP to achieve a higher ranking. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on the best dog shampoos, Google might recognize that you don’t have as many keywords as competitors and recommend adding a few more.
It’s worth noting that Search Console is compatible with Google Analytics, which is another free Google tool that provides information on your site’s web traffic with data, insights, and reports.
4. Moz Pro
Google frequently updates its search engine algorithm, making it challenging to plan content ahead of time. Moz Pro stays on top of Google's algorithm and studies its behavior to give you the best route for SEO optimization.
The search engine ranking tool offers standard features, such as site crawls and keyword suggestions, but it also boasts the free MozBar toolbar which allows you to view SEO metrics like page and domain authority in real time. Domain authority is a score that Moz developed to provide information on a page’s potential ranking in SERPs.
The toolbar is convenient to use with a free Google Chrome extension that you can add to your browser. For additional features, you can upgrade to MozBar Pro.
Plans and pricing per month when billed annually:
- Free trial (for 30 days)
- Standard ($79)
- Medium ($143)
- Large ($239)
- Premium ($479)
SEO experts love WooRank’s popular SEO tool as it provides free and paid features for tracking and reporting digital marketing data. It scans your website's technical and content efficacy and provides recommendations for improvement based on the data.
WooRank's SEO analysis allows you to enter competitors' names to find the keywords they're using, which you can study to optimize your content.
As an SEO powerhouse, WooRank is suitable for most niches. However, we recommend it for websites with marketing resources and blogs. It’s best for content optimization and checking for duplicate content to ensure you’re hitting all the right keywords to increase organic traffic.
Plans and pricing per month when billed annually:
- Free trial (for 14 days)
- Pro ($53.25)
- Premium ($133.25)
- Enterprise (Custom pricing depending on your needs)
Optimize your SEO with Webflow
SEO optimization is crucial to maintain a relevant digital presence for your brand in an ever-shifting landscape. It’s challenging, but Webflow has the tools to support you.
With Webflow’s no-code visual development platform, you can create a dynamic website with stunning, clean, and relevant content and a user-friendly interface. We even offer our own in-house SEO tools to help you improve performance.
Get building — before you know it, you could be ranking on Google’s first page.