Search engine optimization in today’s world is becoming more complex and highly competitive. One area where you can gain a slight advantage over your competition is by using the correct SEO tools properly. There are many SEO tools and plugins out there that if used properly will allow you boost your SEO rankings over your competition. With the most recent changes to search engine optimization you really should be focusing on these key 4 key areas.
- Author Rank – You maybe wondering what Google Author Rank or Authorship is. Well, in a nutshell it is where Google allows you to link your online content to your Google Plus page and in return Google will credit you with the content. The quality, length, frequency of posting and the level of expertise communicated on the subject will boost your author rank on that specific subject matter.
- Link Building – All most everyone who is running any type of SEO campaign is doing some type of link building. You need to make sure you are doing this the right way. So many times people try to cut corners when running a link building SEO campaign by purchasing links, running automated link building tools or use services from offshore companies that do not use quality control or proper link building guidelines. Often times these campaigns are fruitless and a waste of money. Now and then these efforts have a short term benefit in the rankings however, once Google and other search engines figure this out they will penalize you and will make it extremely difficult for you to ever ranked again. A phrase often used for these sites that are penalized is being added to the “Google sandbox” The idea is to scale your link building efforts. Focus on quality and trusted sources and then expand out to build a variety of links from related industries. Link building can be done effectively though directory submissions, press releases, guest blog posts, article submissions, info graphics etc.
- Keywords – Keyword research and how you go about ranking for those keywords is extremely important to the success you are going to have. Make sure the keyword has a difficulty that your budget can compete with but at the same time you must make sure that the keyword gets enough searches to make it worth your time. Going after long tail keywords and also be very beneficial and often times be a lot cheaper. What are long tail keyword? A long tail keyword is one that is longer but a more specific keyword that is less commonly searched but add up to a large amount of search engine traffic and often times result in more targeted visitors due to the specificity of the long tail keyword.
- Content – I know you heard it a billion times but content is still king. You need to make sure that your onsite content is optimized but be careful about over optimization. Post content frequently, make sure they are have enough substance in them to be beneficial to the end user. Your content should indicate you are a subject area expert or at the minimum be useful to the visitor by providing insight, facts, strategies or be useful in other ways.
With so many different things that you have to not only do but do well when it comes to SEO it is wise to use tools to help you with your campaign. Let’s take a look at some tools and plugins that will help you improve your search engine optimization campaign.
- Virante’s Author Rank – This is still in beta but offers you a ton of great information especially when it comes to your Author Rank. Their algorithm takes into account things such as; Use of Google, Diversity to sites to which an author contributes, link value of sites to which an author contributes, volume of content produced by author and link value of content produced by author. This tool is free to signup for and then only will cost you $9.95 per month.
- XML-Sitemaps – Why spend all the time and effort to create great content if the search engines are unable to find it? That is why it is important that you create a XML sitemap for your website. With this tool it will allow you to create a XML sitemap for your website in 4 very easy steps. Basically all you have to do is to enter your website URL, Press Start, once your website has been crawled it will redirect you to a details page and the final step is to login to your webmaster tools to upload your sitemap.
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer – This is a great tool to use to see what your competitors for a particular keyword is getting for back links. Then you can go sign up in similar places which will help you create high quality back links. This is a free tool but for the free users you will only get limited information and will only be able to pull 3 reports a day.
- Google’s Keyword Planner – This is a free tool that will allow you to do keyword research so that you can see how many search’s per month a keyword gets, it’s competition level and you will even be able to see how much it would cost you per click if you were to run a pay per click campaign using the same keyword.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – If you have a WordPress site then this a definite must have plugin. The great news about this plugin is that it is free. You will be able to make sure that your content is optimized by using its built in content analysis too, you can easily optimize your sites titles and descriptions with the snippet tool and you can even create a sitemap for you site. This is a great tool and a must have for anyone who has a WordPress site.
- WordPress in Depth Article Markup Plugin – What is an in depth article? Well, Google is now showing a special section for articles that go more in depth on a particular subject. Once this plugin is installed your articles will have the necessary rel=article for the Google in depth articles already installed. This makes it easy and in most instances there is nothing else for you to do. You will be able to set it and forget it.
- Google Authorship for Multiple Users – Google has created a plugin for WordPress websites that allow them to properly claim authorship easily.
- Google Publish Plugin – I am sure you are noticing there are a lot of Google tools and plugins in this list. Well that is because Google is a great resource for things that will help you with your search engine optimization campaign and the Google Publish plugin is no different. With this plugin you will be able to use Google tools such as Google Ad Sense and Google webmaster tools.
Search engine optimization is absolutely vital in today’s world. If you are not competing in the online world then you are likely struggling to grow you business online against the many businesses that already do. This applies even more to retailers and businesses in the service sector. Even though you may not realize it you are competing with businesses all over your city, state and even the country in some cases. Yes, you may be the only shop within 10 blocks but people nowadays do a lot of their shopping online. You have probably lost business to customers that have came into your store and compared your prices online using their smart phone. Once they found a better deal they likely left or if your website doesn’t have trusted reviews they may have opted to go with another more trusted local service provider. This is why you must start competing in the online world. Search engine optimization is a great way to do this but it can be extremely difficult to rank for keywords that will make a difference to your bottom line. That is why you need help and if you don’t want to hire a professional SEO company to help you then I suggest using the tools and plugins above.