A successful SEO strategy is essential to business success in the 21st century. Increasing numbers of consumers are sourcing both services and products over the Internet – and this number is growing.
As recently as 2017 it was estimated that over 9 percent of all retail sales in the United States was as a result of e-Commerce activity. According to research house Statista that percentage is expected to jump to 12.4% during 2020.
The growth of the Internet as a preferred avenue for purchase has motivated many traditional businesses to re-examine their marketing and communications strategy – and it is now clear that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key to attracting new customers to websites.
A solid SEO strategy enables the organization to appear high on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – and that in turn is key to success.
For many businesses that are new to SEO, developing that strategy can seem an intimidating exercise. The good news is that there are a variety of free tools available on the Internet to make the task much easier.
Here are some of the most popular.
Google Keyword Planner
One of the most powerful is supplied free of charge by search giant Google. This is the Google Keyword Planner (caveat – you’re going to have to have a Google Adwords account to use the tool – but it’s easy to set up).
It’s as simple as logging into your Google Ads account and clicking on the ‘Tools’ icon. This will enable you to select options that include finding keywords – and also (usefully) to get an estimate of search volume. The results can return a myriad of keywords – but make sure to select your input keywords carefully.
You can enter multiple keywords, just separate them with a comma. The volume forecaster is useful if you really have an extensive list of keywords – it allows your business to focus on the sorts of searches you expect. But again – knowledge of your customer demographic is essential. This is important because the tool also allows you to select a target location among other options.
Woorank’s SEO and Website Analysis Tool
The second useful tool is ‘Woorank’s SEO and Website Analysis Tool’. This tool will allow you to refine your keywords in order to make them more effective. It’s a great Chrome extension. It provides you with easy to follow instructions on how to tighten up the SEO content of your site by using a checklist.
If you already have an SEO optimized site it’s never a bad idea to revisit it from time-to-time to see if you can make improvements and increase interest in your site. ‘Animalz Revive’ allows you to look closely at old content and take a long hard look at content (for instance blog entries) that may benefit from some sprucing up. It provides easy to understand graphs and other data that will show you exactly how traffic has fallen off when compared to when the content was first published.
Mobile-Friendly Test Tool
It’s an open secret that many people are using their mobile devices to both surf the Internet and make buying decisions. In fact, it has been estimated that around 50% of those buying decisions are now being made by consumers using a mobile device. That figure makes it hard for businesses to ignore mobile as a valuable channel for e-Commerce.
Here’s another statistic that makes mobile hard to ignore. Around 230 million Americans own a smartphone, 100 million own some sort of tablet device. Also, within the last 6 months, over 79% of online users have made a purchase online using some sort of mobile device.
In the last 6 months, 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using those devices.
It’s clear mobile is important. Google makes a Mobile-Friendly Test tool available so that business owners can see if their sites (and SEO content) are optimized for mobile. It points out problems that may need urgent attention such as issues surrounding the loading of pages.
It will also provide mobile usage reports and some hints and tips about how a business can ensure that they are making the most of the mobile opportunity.
SEO is an extremely important part of ensuring that the business attracts the customers that it needs to succeed – and maintain a competitive advantage. These are only some of the tools that are available. However, running these will provide insight into the effectiveness of a site in feeding a sales funnel – every business should be using them (or similar products).