Selling products online in 2017 is challenging and competitive for everyone. For your site to stand out from the rest, you need to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques and best practices. The reach and effectiveness of these techniques and practices will depend on the online tools you use to implement them.
If you want your SEO to be truly effective, and improve your online reach and bottom line, there are five types of SEO tools you should use on a consistent basis. These tools are highlighted below, along with examples for each.
1- Analytics Tools
Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, provide necessary insight into who visits your site (age, gender, and physical location) and how these visitors reached your site on the web. You’ll know if a user visits your site multiple times, as well as how many people view your site each day, and who then becomes a paying customer. This type of tool will also provide detailed reporting on what visitors are clicking on and engaging with on your site, how long their visits last, and what type of devices they’re using to view your content.
Analytics tools are essential to understand the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, shape accurate customer funnels, and create quality content that converts.
2- Tools for Rankings
It is important to know where your page ranks in relation to other ecommerce sites across popular search engines. Ranking tools such as Moz, Google Search Console, and SEMrush are helpful in tracking and understanding not only where your site ranks overall, but which keywords (used in the content on your site) are ranked highest. Use these tools to gather keywords your site should target and use, and track how they’re being used in various pieces of content on the web.
These tools will essentially prove whether your SEO techniques and practices are working at all and what you’re currently known for across the web (if your content is coming up in relevant searches at all). And if you’re ranked lower than most of your direct competitors, you’ll know that you need to tweak your SEO and keywords so that your site ranks higher and is differentiated from others. Your reach, credibility, and traffic will increase when you increase your ranking in search engines.
3- Link Analyzer and Removal Tools
You should always verify the quality of all the links on your site. Whether it’s an inbound link or an outbound link, use a tool to verify that it’s working properly and that it’s displaying only information that is useful and relevant to your brand.
Use tools like Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO to know the number of links on your site, how they’re functioning, and the quality of the anchor text that each link displays. You’ll also want tools that will de-link and remove inbound links to your site that are unnatural or that you don’t want to permit, such as Google’s Disavow Tool and the Cognitive SEO tool. To maintain your online standing and reputation, it’s imperative that you only have quality links on your site and that you know what they link to on the web.
4- Backend and Technical Tools
While having appropriate images, links, and keywords displayed on your site is important for it to be ranked well in search engines, it is just as important to carefully manage the backend SEO of your site. Tools such as Woorank and Screaming Frog will sweep your site to check for inconsistencies and compile reports for you on its overall performance. They will check for inconsistencies in page titles, meta descriptions, status codes, and much more. Some of these tools will even provide you with a checklist for things you can do to improve the performance of your site and offer information on how your site is performing against your competitors’ sites.
You’ll want to use these tools to optimize the performance of your overall site so that you can easily locate what is faulty and fix it immediately.
5- Social Media Tools
Posting content from your site to social media channels is critical to the SEO of your site. Your content and product pages will not lead to conversions if they’re not being seen and shared by others across different channels. Assessing who is sharing your content on social media, what types of content they’re sharing, and how your competitors’ content is performing against yours, is very valuable. Use tools like Quick Sprout, BuzzSumo, and SocialCrawlytics, to review how many people have shared your content on various social media sites, how often, and what keywords in your content are performing well.
All SEO practices and techniques are fundamentally linked to the value of your content (dated posts, anchor text, images, videos, product descriptions, etc.). And the value of your content depends on what keywords and links it consists of and how many people are reading it and sharing it.