“If you build it, they will come” has never been a reality for websites. Search engines are the yellow pages of the 21st century. Customers look for services by typing words into the search field at Google and Bing. If your site isn’t showing up when they hit “enter,” they probably don’t know you exist.
Search engine optimization (SEO), the art of improving your ranking in search results, is an ever changing target. Making around 500 changes a year to its algorithm, Google keeps everyone on their toes trying to keep a website ranking high to be found by searchers. Despite the constant change, there are core principles that consistently drive successful SEO campaigns.
To excel at organic search, keyword research is a core component. Competition for keywords is high, so to really target the right words requires the right tools. Get inside the mind of your potential customers and see how you rank by using these 3 tools to research key phrases and see how your website ranks against your competitors.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Considered to be the number one tool used by SEO experts, Google’s keyword tool shows exact search volumes every month for every term. To help determine which keywords to set on which match types, it gives you the ability to change from broad to exact or phrase match volumes.
Completing the initial information needed; keyword or phrase, website address and business category, Google gives you back a list of relevant keywords. Additional information specific to each keyword is available, such as the competition level, global monthly searches, and local monthly searches. A competition level of “high” indicates there are a lot of searches being conducted for them along with a lot of websites targeting them. The objective is to find the right targeted key phrases for your business that have a good amount of traffic, but not a lot of competition..
Local Search Trends is another useful aspect of the tool that takes data from Google Insights and displays in the keyword tool. The bars show the search trend for the previous twelve months. Choosing key phrases that are increasing in popularity over time is another way to be successful in ranking in search results.
To see how your site is currently ranking, SEMrush will show you a snapshot of the current placements for your site & your competition. This tools shows organic search as well as pay per click over time. Free to use, this service provides a wide array of tools for in-depth competitor research for SEO, Adwords, and general advertising.
Research of a specific website in SEMrush shows the competition in search for Google in several countries as well as for Bing. Competitor rankings, ads, ad budget, and campaign effectiveness, percentage of traffic from specific ads and keywords, competitors’ competitors, and more are all part of the information provided in the tool.
Keyword research with SEMrush shows related keywords, phrase match keywords, keyword information such as cost-per-click (CPC), volume, CPC trends, and competition; in addition to who ranks for the keyword and where, who pays for the keyword and how much, what traffic goes where from the keyword, and much, much more.
Marketing Grader allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and those of your competitors over time. Looking at more than just your website, The tool analyzes social, mobile, blogging, email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics. The objective of the service is to show how marketing impacts your entire sales and marketing funnel. All aspects of your marketing efforts are graded, letting you know where you’re succeeding and what you need to spend more time improving.
Areas ranked include:
- Competitive Benchmarking
- Lead Generation
- Mobile Marketing:
- Social Media
- Overall Analysis
SEO can be daunting and the factors affecting your site ranking are changing all the time. If you are looking for expert help, be sure to check out Newtek’s Internet Marketing Services. For a busy entrepreneur whose time is better spent elsewhere, putting your site into expert hands is ultimately the best way to go.