Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video SEO tool goals, part of Learning SEO Tools.
- [Instructor] SEO is an ongoing effort. And if you want to succeed at this race, you'll be evaluating, tweaking and refining. It's nearly impossible to do this without leveraging tools. To gain the necessary visibility into your SEO, both as a way to understand problems as well as successful efforts, you're going to leverage resources. Without tools, it would be like being dropped in a brand new city without a map, and being asked to drive your car to a specific destination. Sure, you could drive around just fine, but eventually you're going to either need to pull over and ask for help, or better yet, pull out a map and get detailed instructions.
SEO is much better when you aren't driving around aimlessly. You'll use tools to identify where you are, what paths are available, what roadblocks lie in the way, and to track your progress. Unfortunately, SEO Tools haven't gotten as smart as turn-by-turn directions, but they're close. In this course we're going to talk about a variety of tools that fall into a particular category. When we think about SEO, we are primarily concerned with four areas.
Technical structure, content on the site, offsite visibility and competitive research. So first off, search engines are built around their ability to index pages. So it's very important that your site is accessible to crawlers, and that crawlers can get to every page on your site. Your site's usability and accessibility on a mobile device are very important as well to Google. Technical issues will cause Google to take detours and the more detours, the more frustrated Google gets.
The more frustrated, well, the less you'll rank. We'll be using technical tools such as Google Search Console PageSpeed Insights, Structured Data Tester and Screaming Frog SEO Spider to help highlight these errors. Search engines love text. It's the easiest for them to parse. Text helps Google understand what your site is about, what you're trying to tell your users, and Google will use your content to match your site to the queries people type into Google.
In our maps analogy, you might describe to someone where you're trying to get. Based on that description, they're going to take a stab at pointing you to the right direction. But what's more helpful? Saying, "I'm headed to a large tree somewhere in town", or, "I'm visiting the largest oak tree in this city, "and I know it's located right next to Town Hall." Your content needs to be descriptive, properly formatted, and displayed in a way that allows Google to know exactly what you've got. We'll use resources like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Keyword Planner, Siteliner, and SEMrush to evaluate content.
Next, you'll be working through offsite issues. Offsite factors focus primarily on achieving links to your site from other reputable sources around the web. The more people that are talking about your site from contextually-relevant sources, the better. If you sell airplane parts, and airplane-related websites link to you, Google knows you're legitimate, and it can understand your category better based on who links to you. It's not just quantity, it's quality. And, we'll use tools like the Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMrush to help evaluate these offsite characteristics.
And finally, what the heck is your competition up to? You don't want them to arrive at the destination before you. And if they're leading the pack, you want to know why. Did they find a shortcut? Did they have a better description of their destination? Are more people supporting them? You want to spy on your competition and understand what they're doing, how you can do it better, and where you have the competitive advantage. We'll be using almost all of the same tools to run an audit on the site, but we'll also leverage the capabilities deeper in SEMrush to reveal even more interesting data.
The goal of our time together is to learn how to use these tools to maximize your SEO. I'm going to expect you have a fairly good idea of what you're trying to accomplish. So if you need to brush up on your SEO, take a look at SEO Fundamentals here on lynda.com before diving in.
- Setting SEO goals
- Configuring Google Search Console
- Evaluating the Google index
- Using PageSpeed Insights
- Interpreting results and leveraging reports
- Using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Generating a site map
- Getting started with Keyword Planner
- Multiplying keyword lists
- Structuring data
- Using SEMrush
- Conducting keyword research