As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
The 7 Best SEO Tools: These Are the Ones We Use Every Day
For many companies, increasing organic traffic can be a struggle. First, you develop a content strategy, which can take months, not to mention a ton of your time and resources. Then, you deploy that strategy, and start to launch offers and publish blog content. After that, it's a waiting game. Within a few months, you either see substantial results from your efforts, or you don't. Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle.
Regardless, it can be a frustrating effort, especially if your results come up short. Thankfully, with the right tools and process, you can quickly turn your performance around. In fact, one of our clients went from about 500 organic website visits a month to more than 15,000 organic website visits a month.
It's more straightforward than you think. All we had to do was create a better content strategy using the right SEO tools. If you know which tools to use, you can put yourself in a position to crush organic traffic.
How The Right SEO Tools Help Drive Insane Organic Traffic
Even though it's a much more difficult endeavor, companies still prioritize and trust organic traffic over paid traffic. Why? Because in our experience, the lead quality tends to be better. And given that 70% of visitors ignore ads in search results, if you're not trying to improve your organic traffic, you're missing out on potential customers.
Conservant Bio, a company that sells human tissue samples to researchers, even saw a 700% increase in the quality of their leads from traffic that came through organic traffic. It's proof that if you have the right approach, strategy, and mix of tools, you can generate the kind of organic traffic you need to grow. Here are the ones we use religiously to improve our content and marketing efforts.
SEMrush is a digital marketing tool that companies use to inform their PPC, social media, and video ad research. We use it choose the right keywords for SEO, which is critical for creating a marketing or blog content strategy.
I'd recommend using the tool to extract keyword volume and difficulty score when selecting your keywords.
If you want to try something new, Long Tail Pro is a similar keyword research tool that Eric McCarty, an Inbound Marketer here at Lean Labs, recommends.
"Long Tail Pro is a lean, easy-to-use tool which is great for solo bloggers and those looking to get traction with organic traffic."
You can start with SEMrush 14-Days for free or Long Tail Pro for a 7-Day Trial.
Moz is marketing software that companies use to improve their SEO, inbound marketing, link building efforts. We use Moz's Keyword Explorer to generate ideas for keywords, and their priority score to measure the potential impact of those keywords and corresponding article or offer titles.
"KWE takes you all the way through the keyword research process — from discovering keyword ideas to getting metrics to building a list, filtering the keywords on it, and prioritizing which ones to target based on the numbers that matter." - Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz
We also use Link Explorer to generate a quick roundup of our backlinks. You can start with Moz for free with a 30-Day Free Trial.
We use HubSpot for everything, but one useful feature it has for SEO is the ability to organize and strategize new and existing website content. The Content Strategy and Topic Cluster features help us optimize the content we already have, and identify gaps.
It's an essential tool for our blogging efforts, which are critical for growing organic traffic and getting new leads.
"There is no disputing the power of blogging when it comes to organic growth, search engine optimization, and domain authority. With ready-access to all the information they need to take the next step in the buyer's journey, blogging helps convert one-time viewers into lifelong customers." - Tyler Naples, Inbound Marketer at Lean Labs
HubSpot also provides a lot of subject matter expertise about SEO and blogging, through their courses and certifications. You can start with HubSpot on a 30-Day Free Trial.
Google Analytics is crucial for studying your marketing performance. We use Google Analytics to identify and measure our organic search traffic metrics, which provides insight into all of our marketing and content efforts. It's also an easy SEO tool to use for beginners.
"Businesses want to investigate if SEO will really have a positive return on their investment of time and money. But they often must pay a big sum up front for a digital marketer or consultant to analyze whether SEO is the right marketing channel for them in the first place. But it doesn’t have to be that way — this is where Google Analytics comes in!" - Patrick Han, Founder of Humanlytics
For us, the ability to gauge ROI from campaigns is critical to keep us on track with our marketing goals.
Another way to use Google to help with your SEO is with their Google Trends tool, which is amongst Neil Patel's favorites. The tool helps match real-world keyword trends and search patterns. Google Analytics and Correlate are free to use.
Monitor Backlinks is what it sounds, as you can use the tool to monitor the quality of your backlinks. We use Monitor Backlinks to organize research and alert us when links are deleted or broken, which is extremely helpful for improving rank.
A lot of companies also use it to conduct competitor research, which is an essential part of blog marketing.
"It was hard getting journalists and high authority blogs to link to us. My biggest issue was that I didn’t know what was newsworthy. What would they want to write about us? When I saw that Monitor Backlinks would show me where my competitors got their links from I thought it could really help me to narrow down great places to target for PR and give me ideas for stories to pitch." - Kat Quinzel from Vintage Cash Cow
Monitor Backlinks is a paid tool, but you can start with a free trial.
Keywords Everywhere is a free Google Chrome plug-in that automatically populates search volume around whatever you search for in Google, Amazon, and more. The tool extracts the quantity right from Google Keyword Planner, so it's useful for generating keywords for content, PPC ads, and more.
I use Keywords Everywhere to get new ideas for keywords while I'm working. Since they come up in literally every search box, whenever I search for something on Google, the traffic is there. I can jot down a note about a keyword and come back to it later.
The recommendation to use the tool came from a sub-Reddit thread (r/blogging) talking about how to conduct keyword research.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console helps monitor search data and is a go-to tool for us. You can use search console to identify what search terms are being used to find your content, and then use those insights to optimize, add content, and rank even higher for those terms.
It's amongst one of Neil Patel's recommendations for how to gain success with SEO through blogging.
Similar to Google Analytics and Correlate, you can use Google Search Console for free.
Bonus Tool: SpeechPad
SpeechPad isn't technically a tool for SEO, but it can help you transcribe your videos. Seeing that video is now a huge ranking factor, you can use SpeechPad to transcribe them quickly and create full-text posts. You can also use the tool to generate captions, which I would recommend.
(I use Facebook and YouTube to post videos, and both of their caption tools can be difficult to use.)
You can add these transcriptions to blog posts, or within the descriptions of your videos on YouTube or Vimeo. It gives Google’s spider has something to crawl and rank, and provides context about the video's subject matter.
Transcription pricing starts at $1.00 per minute at a four-day turnaround, and captions begin at $1.50.
Increasing Organic Traffic Will Make or Break You
By investing in improving your organic traffic, you're investing in compounding traffic month over month. When your budget dries up, and your paid ads stop generating results, organic traffic will still be there, growing and increasing. That's why investing time and effort in developing content and inbound marketing strategies are so worthwhile.
We know that these tools are a part of creating that foundation because all of our clients experience substantial growth using our organic search strategies. In fact, one of our clients even went from about 500 organic website visits a month to more than 15,000 with our 12 proven tactics. We explain our methodology and each of these tactics in our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Organic Website Traffic.
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