My husband and I are setting up a self-catering holiday home business in France. We’ve created our site using WordPress and thought all was hunky dory. But after using Google’s Keyword Tool to review our site’s performance, we were somewhat surprised to discover that more people looked at our site using the keywords “moving to France” rather than “summer holiday in France”. The free-to-download tool also shows monthly activity and we noticed heightened activity for January. Is this because many people book their summer holidays at the start of the year? Whatever the reason, we now know we have some work to do and a deadline to work towards!
Talking to other site owners, it became clear that many failed to take into account the power of SEO or the new spectrum of available tools for SEO. Here are five websites every site owner should visit if they want their online presence optimised beautifully.
Google Webmaster Tools can offer a great number of insights into how effective your site is. To access this you’ll need to have a Google account, which you can create at google.com/accounts. Log in at google.com/webmasters and submit the domain you want to manage. Google will need to verify that you own the said domain. On the dashboard you’ll see high level information including what problems Google has encountered while crawling your site (resolve these!) and you can also look at the search queries reports which provide details about search visibility, clicks per keyword, and the average position your site was ranking for different keywords over a given period of time. You can also take a look at Bing webmaster tools for an alternative view.
2. MOZ PRO
A clear, logical site structure is imperative – it makes it easier on search engines and users alike.
Consistency of the URL, title and content on a page also enables search engines to understand and find pages quickly.
The MOZ PRO toolset shows how optimised a page is for each target keyword. Not only that, it offers a Grade my Page section so you can see how well your page is optimised and then implement the suggestions for improvement.
Search engines can struggle to understand some types of content – think of a short product review, an embedded video or a recipe with a list of ingredients. These are awkward for search engines to understand. Fortunately, Schema.org provides search engines micro-formats for loads of different types of content to explicitly tell Google what they are and that they are consistent with the rest of the site.
How does it work? Schema.org provides a collection mark-ups – or schemas – that webmasters can use to tag HTML pages in ways recognised by the likes of Bing, Google and Yahoo!.
On-page mark-up enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web.
Not only that, mark-up also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.
Even if your site is logical, consistent and ticks all the boxes, it will not climb the search rankings if it does not contain links to other reliable and respected websites.
Majestic SEO’s Link Intelligence database is a great resource for discovering how all the websites on the internet link to each other. In fact, no other site or search engine gives you as much detailed information about how the fabric of the web is knitted together.
5. Raven Tools
All the SEO in the world doesn’t help if visitors don’t convert. Raven’s SEO Metrics section helps you make more educated decisions for more qualified traffic and, in turn, more conversions. This clever site not only allows you to see key Google Analytics data for organic-only visitors and find out which backlinks pay off best, its link manager function, keyword ranking tool and site auditor function allow you to double check your SEO efforts will bear fruit.