Website optimization can be a big project and will likely mean working with a team to ensure no critical technical areas are missed. Luckily, there are some parts of the process you can deal with yourself if you’re okay with learning along the way.
Many tools can help you tackle a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) project and ensure you have a working website that Google will be happy to crawl. The market is filled with different plugins and software platforms that promise to make everything easier. Here are some of the favorites that should be used in any project to build an SEO-friendly website.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the process by which companies try to rank as high as possible on a search engine results page (SERP). Unless a user wants something specific, you can be guaranteed a large slice of the Google traffic pie by reaching the top of its results page.
The rules have changed dramatically over the past decade, and Google continues to provide a list of basic guidelines to follow so no one falls into any unwise traps or shortcuts. The world’s biggest search engine wants you to create engaging, valuable content that rewards users and helps to inform them based on the keywords they use.
The rewards of the highest spots on Google are supposedly reserved for the most creative, useful, and helpful sources, although there still seems to be a lot of flex when it comes to bending the rules. Regardless of the current situation, here are the core group of SEO optimization tools that you should have installed when taking on your next project:
With WordPress making up a ridiculous amount of the world’s websites, it seems like a good call that you’ll be working with something WP-related. And if that is the cause, you will want to have Yoast SEO at your disposal.
Yoast is an easy-to-install plugin for WordPress that makes it possible to assign important SEO indicators to individual pages. A tool that can help optimize your site’s content and keywords will greatly help when taking on a much bigger project.
Yoast will analyze a page, provide guidance on where things can improve, and add an easy-to-use section where you can make important updates that will improve your Google Search ranking. These include assigning the page with a/an:
- Focus keyword
- SEO Title
- Page slug
- Meta description
Yoast uses a very easy-to-follow traffic light system that will flag any bad practices and push you toward following the best guidelines. Yoast comes in a free and premium version, meaning you can decide how much you get from it before deciding whether to upgrade.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Depending on the website you’re planning to build, Google Analytics will be one of the most essential tools you can have. Not only will it tell you how many users are visiting your site, but it will also help to answer the big questions surrounding why. The Universal version of the tool is shutting down in 2023, so you must ensure you have the new GA4 up and running.
The functionality has changed between the two versions, and it will be worth reading up on how Google will track data in the future. But as a baseline, GA4 will be crucial to finetuning your website. Following what the most popular pages on your site are is vital and will make it possible for you to duplicate the success.
Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console is another source of essential data that goes hand-in-hand with your findings from GA4. While GA4 makes it possible to work out your most popular content, GSC gives you the rundown on what queries are used to find those pages. The tool is a hodge-podge of tabs and information, making it hard to work out its ultimate website optimization usage. It provides important data on how your pages and content perform on a Google page, breaking down how many people click through alongside how many impressions it has made.
But it also boasts technical tools essential to running your site and can help you stay updated with issues curating user experience. The best way to learn about GSC is by using it, and with so many different tools included, you’re guaranteed to find something to keep you busy.
It won’t be for everyone, but any free tool that offers the vast amount of information Google Trends does should at least be mentioned. It analyzes search queries from Google Search across various regions and languages and provides the information using easy-to-follow graphs. It’s a great tool to compare the information you have found on those other tools mentioned above and determine what new opportunities there are. The data provided can be a little shallow at times, but being able to track spikes and dips from the previous five years speaks for itself.
Spotting emerging trends can open a treasure trove of opportunities, especially if you can be one of the first to cover them. Deep-diving trends will offer all kinds of keyword ideas, some of which will be short-lived. However, there will always be plenty of information to sift through, and with Google Trends offering up what users are searching for as impacted by time and location, this will help inform most marketing strategies.
Finding The Right Tools & Partners
Many website optimization tools will prove as helpful as the ones mentioned above. It’s brilliant to know some of the most important items you will need can be installed and made available without spending much. Make sure you research before starting your next big project to have everything you need to succeed. And if more assistance is needed, you can contact Perfect Afternoon for that added support.
Photo Credits – Envato Elements: