Three Free Tools to Help Track SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and the content on your site so that a search engine, (like Google), will show it as a top result for search queries. It’s important to know that SEO takes time and is an ongoing process — (you want to implement this early and often).
Keep in mind that you are competing with hundreds of thousands of other businesses like yours who are also looking to be on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
To move up to the third, second, or even first page of Google takes time and a lot of continuous effort.
To rank high in search results (or to be number one on Google), there are various factors to keep in mind, especially that majority of tactics to improve SEO take place off your website (such as social media).
SEO integration ensures that your website is fully optimized to be indexed by search engines (this tells search engines or lets Google know that there is a new site on the web that needs to be crawled/indexed). However, because you are a new website on the web - this means it will take time to build SEO.
For more on the basics of SEO, check out our blog Everything you need to know about SEO.
There are some things that you can do to improve SEO on your website - such as blogging. Blogs are great for SEO as they give you the space to include relevant keywords, phrases, and questions; and they help to position your site as a credible and useful or helpful site that has the answers to your customer or client's questions (think FAQs).
Another example of how to drastically improve SEO is through social media and content creation. Content creation influences SEO because strategic content marketing helps to drive traffic to your site and helps to keep people interested and engaged with your brand. It also helps to increase shares of content; and therefore overall awareness of your business.
Other examples of factors that influence ranking:
Keyword Selection: the right keywords and phrases will help you to populate in relevant search results and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
Page Load Time: Google’s job is to provide the most useful, relevant, and timely search result possible - therefore, slow websites won’t cut it. People would rather exit or leave a website rather than wait for it to load. And this ultimately hurts your SEO as slow speed increases the 'bounce rate' on your site which negatively impacts your ranking in SERPs.
And because there’s so much that goes into influencing your ranking in SERPs, it’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t. Therefore, utilizing the free tools mentioned below will help to make your life so much easier when it comes to tracking keywords and overall performance of your site:
Google My Business (or Google Business Profile)
Google Search Console
Why should you do this?
Because understanding more about SEO helps you to understand more about what pages, keywords, content, platforms (and so much more) drive traffic to your website.
It will help with business decisions later down the road (by tracking KPIs or key preforming indicators, CTRs or click through rates, and much more).
When you do hire an SEO expert somewhere down the line – this will help them out tremendously as you’ll already have data that they can pull from to better optimize your website for you.
Google Analytics collects information and provides a wealth of data including things like keywords, how people come to your site, how long they stay on your site, and how they interact with your website and the pages of your site.
This goes much deeper than the analytics provided by most website platforms.
Google My Business (GMB) or Google Business Profile (GBP):
Google My Business, more recently known as Google Business Profile, is more so for physical and service-area-based businesses, however, even if you service clients globally, it doesn’t hurt to set this up to increase brand awareness in your local area.
This tool will make it so that your business appears on Google Maps and in Google Local Pack.
Google Local Pack:
The Local Pack is what appears at the top of SERPs when a user makes a search query with local intent. The three most relevant results (which are determined by Google’s algorithm) are featured in the ‘local SERPs pack’ and are distinctly separate from the remaining organic search results. (If you own a brick-and-mortar, you definitely want to appear here!)
Why should you care?
Recent studies from Google show that there are 2.4 million Google searches made per minute. Out of those 2.4 million searches, 46% of those are people seeking local information. That’s nearly half of all searches being made on Google consisting of people searching for businesses, products, or services in their local area.
So, even if you service customers/clients globally, it is still very much within your interest to have this set up to increase being found within your local area.
Tips to optimize local SEO:
Ensure that ALL contact information and any information regarding your business is up-to-date and accurate anywhere that it might be located on the internet. This is because if Google comes across conflicting information (such as incorrect phone number or business address) this hinders your rankings as Google will not be able to determine which address or phone number is the correct one.
This is especially important if you have several locations – make sure each location is up-to-date and accurate and include storefront photos of each location if possible as people appreciate images and/or visuals.
Respond to ALL reviews that you receive (both positive and negative). You cannot delete a negative review, but you can reply to it and try and amend the situation so that the reviewer will possibly modify their negative review or delete it altogether.
Google provides a Q&A section – make sure to set time aside each month to go through this and respond to ALL questions. This will enhance a person’s experience (as they will get their questions answered immediately and people love instant gratification); AND this increases the chances of a person clicking on your website which positively increases the click-through-rate (CTR).
Google Search Console:
This is a Google Web Master tool; it’s known as the window between your website and Google. You show Google what you created (or the pages on your site) and Google shows you more technical information such as any errors, issues or red flags that you may need to fix.
Google Search Console is also where you will go to submit your sitemap. A website's sitemap is just as it sounds. It is a map of your site or a list of the pages of the website; and guides the robots that crawl and index your site through the most important pages. You can submit your sitemap to Google Search Console so that robots can find your website more quickly and be able to crawl and index it for relevant SERPs.
Tips for when to re-submit your sitemap:
any major changes within your site
anytime you change the “theme” of a page (Headers or Title Tag)
if you add a new page to your site
Not sure how to submit your sitemap? Check out this TikTok for a quick tutorial. -----
Using these three tools will provide you with accurate data that can help you to make future business decisions to grow and scale your business. And did we mention that they’re FREE? :)
But if you’re completely stuck and overwhelmed because SEO can be somewhat complicated, don’t worry, we’re not — schedule a Clarity Call with us today!
Chief Creative Officer