Guest submission by Tom Donohoe
As an entrepreneur or co-founder, you're no stranger to the importance of using good tools to help improve your business. As technology becomes increasingly intertwined into our daily lives, digital marketing continues to play an essential role in a small business. So, to help the startup community, here's a list of my personal favourite SEO tools that have helped transform not only my business, but hundreds of others around Australia.
1. Google Page Insights
Site speed and usability are crucial to your website's SEO and page ranking. At a glance, Google Page Insights gives you this on both desktop and mobile. Simply drop the URL of the website you want to check into the tool, and within seconds, a test is run and you have a score out of 100.
For reference, any score above 80 for mobile, and 85 for desktop is decent.
My favourite feature is the opportunities and suggestions Google provides to improve your score. This is extremely valuable, and you should definitely heed this advice, and implement these SEO changes wherever possible to improve your Google Search Page Ranking.
2. Screaming Frog SEO Insights
This is by far my favourite SEO tool. Again, with a simple URL drop, the tool will crawl your website for broken links, which can damage your SEO and page ranking and credibility. If you're working with a large website, this can be a useful way to spot-test your website health, fast. On the other hand, if your website is small, it's a greay to to identify any missing meta descriptions or page titles.
3. Google Search Console
Another excellent tool from Google. This tool gives you the ability to constantly analyse your website and identify crawling issues. This tool requires a bit of technical set up, but there are plenty of guides to help you through it available online. I can promise you now, the pain is well worth it!
My favourite feature is the 'search analytics' function, which gives you data on the keywords that you are ranking for, or better yet, nearly ranking for. This is invaluable for startups, as you try to grow of course you want to monitor your SEO ranking. Google Search console puts this information at your fingertips, allowing you to identify keywords that if you put more effort into, you can rank higher for - bringing more organic search traffic to your page.
For more information on inbound marketing and how to supercharge your startup's marketing:
4. Google Keyword Planner
Yet again Google provides another amazing SEO tool for startups. Simply type in your website URL or keyword ideas, and Google Keyword Planner (GKP) will give you monthly search volumes for your keywords. It will also suggest other keyword ideas broadly related to the one you put in. This is a great way to discover new keywords to give your website an organic search boost.
GKP will also give you seasonality trends, which can be a good way to help identify when to push harder on your offline campaigns, such as PR and events.
5. Yoast SEO
Unfortunately, this hidden gem is only available as a Wordpress plugin, but it is the ultimate tool for entrepreneurs and startups to boost their SEO. It allows you to easily determine your meta description, page title and URL slug. If you're not technically savvy, this SEO tool is a fantastic support. It uses a traffic light system to tell you how well your web page is optimised for Google search rankings. Advanced features that are super handy include its ability to generate XML sitemaps automatically, which help Google crawl and index your website and increase site reputation.
6. Portent SERP Preview
Continuously working out of excel to write title tags, meta descriptions and URL structure can drain your creativity. I love using this tool to visualise what I’m writing I find it helps to write awesome copy.
7. Notepad ++
This is a great little desktop app that allows you to edit or write HTML and .txt files with ease and fluidity. While it sounds technical, it's a really handy way to quickly edit a page, and then paste it directly back into Wordpress. As entrepreneurs, we are all equal parts ambitious and time-poor, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the challenge (and massive reward!) of this tool.
Google has been strict with duplicate content in recent updates, and will penalise your site accordingly, which can seriously damage your SEO and ability to rank on Google and attract new customers to your business. Copyscape is a great way to combat this, to ensure all your website content is unique! You should also use this tool to audit your own pages to make sure no one is copying content from your website without your knowledge.
9. Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) is by far the best analytics package on the mkaret. It's unbelievable that it's still free! To get the full understanding of the behaviour on your website this tool is a must-have for startups. Not only can you understand your user experience, but you can track all your online campaigns to get a complete understanding of what's working and what's not with your audience. GA is the ultimate full stack growth marketers tool for startups looking to boost their SEO presence. In terms of SEO, some key metrics to look at in GA are bounce rate, page views and time on site. These metrics will give you a clear indication if the keywords driving traffic to your site are aligned and relevant to your content.
Pingdom offers you the chance to get a second opinion on your SEO and page insights. A tool very similar to Google's Page Insights, Pingdom goes into far greater detail about your page performance. By combining these two powerful tools, you'll be rewarded with extreme clarity and deep understanding of how to improve your digital marketing.
So there you have it, my top ten favourite SEO tools for entrepreneurs and startups looking to grow their business.
About the author
Tom Donohoe is a digital marketing consultant at Tom Donohoe Consulting. Tom is an evangelist of all things digital, tech geek and frequent blog contributor.