When you start optimizing your website, you would probably think first about what can be done on the web pages itself, or simply on-page optimization. It is a crucial factor that decides whether your website will rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs) and stay there for long. Google’s algorithmic updates (Panda and Penguin) penalize sites that use on-page optimization techniques such as article spinning (rewriting existing articles by replacing words or changing paragraphs) and indiscriminate use of keywords. To stay compliant with Google guidelines and achieve better SERP ranking under these algorithms, you need to focus on the following on-page optimization techniques.
- No keyword overuse in the title tag and Meta description while using them in the URL
- Original content (rich content instead of mere text) with relevant keywords, without overstuffing
- Headers (H1, H2, H3 tags) should be used correctly and images should have alt tags
- XML sitemap installed into the site (linked up with Google Webmaster Tools if possible)
- No broken or dead links
- Implement rich snippets if relevant
- Robots.txt file should be uploaded
So, how can you focus on all these things during your on-page site optimization? Here are the ten top search engine optimization tools that can help to achieve these goals.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Google recently replaced its keyword tool with Keyword Planner, (which has the functionality of both keyword tool and traffic estimator) and is an excellent tool to find new keywords, devise ad group ideas and get performance estimates for those keywords. The tool will help you identify keywords with appropriate bid and budget from those estimates and add them for your campaign. Just log into AdWords account for free and select ‘Keyword Planner’ under ‘Tools and Analysis’ so that you can click on the options (as given below) to search for keywords and ad group ideas, get search volume (know the average monthly searches for each keyword and their competition level), get traffic estimates (daily estimates of clicks, impressions, CTR, cost and average position of each keyword) and multiple keyword lists.
Word Tracker Keywords Tool
This is another tool that figures among the most authoritative keyword tools on the web. There are seven day free trial, monthly ($69) and annual ($449) subscriptions available. This tool can generate thousands of high-performing keywords within less time and research further for high-value keywords, especially long-tail keywords very specific to your products or services and what consumers are looking for. It can identify and target profitable markets relevant to your business. The two metrics namely ‘Competition’ and ‘KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index)’ can help you find keywords that are popular and have low level competition.
This is an efficient plagiarism checker tool by which you can ensure that your content is original. It will let you enter the url of your page and search for its copies on the web for free (as given below).
If you want to check whether your content is unique before publishing it online, you can use Copyscape Premium. This provides you with the opportunity to perform unlimited scans for your pages’ copies (only 5 cents for per search). There is Copysentry (plans starting at $4.95 per month) to protect your site against online plagiarism, which can monitor the web copies of your pages automatically and send e-mail to you by the time they appear.
Google Snippet Preview
This tool will help you visualize the snippet (Title, URL and description usually taken from Meta tags) displayed to the searchers on Google so that you can optimize it for maximum click-through rate. Enter your URL, Title and description into the fields provided by the tool to see how it will appear in the search results (as given below).
Image SEO Tool
This tool will help you examine how well the images on your web page are following basic image SEO techniques. If you enter the URL of your page into the field provided by tool and click the ‘Submit’ button (as given below), the tool will check the alt text of all the images on that page and inform whether they are following Google guidelines or need to be more descriptive.
This tool will check image name and dimensions as well. It will also provide alerts in case a potential problem is identified.
When search engines crawl your site, they will look into the robots.txt file (a short file that resides in your home directory) to locate the files/file types and/or directories they are not allowed to see. Robots.txt Generator, a free Webmaster tool will help you to create robots.txt files for your sites with ease.
The search engines have created a structured data standard known as schema.org by which they make sense of the content in your HTML. The schema.org is not that easy to grasp in most of the cases. The Schema Creator tool will help you build schema.org microdata and get started with it quickly. You can build schema microdata for person, product, event, organization (given below), movie, book and review with this tool.
Structured Data Testing Tool
This is a Google Webmaster Tool that can verify schema.org or any type of structured data type markup if you enter either URL or HTML tag.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth
This is a free PC (Windows 95/NT) based software which can check your website for broken links. It can carry out the validation of text links, images, frames, local image maps and backgrounds.
Google Sitemap Generator
Sitemaps can not only provide easier navigation but also better visibility for search engines. Google Sitemap Generator is a server plug-in (can be installed on both Linux/Apache and Microsoft IIS Windows-based servers), which can be used to create a sitemap for your site using the Sitemap Protocol. It is possible to generate regular XML sitemaps using this plug-in.
Though these tools are extremely useful, you will surely benefit from the service of an SEO professional who can interpret the results more accurately and optimize your site efficiently. Getting support from a professional SEO company having a dedicated SEO team is a good option as they will constantly monitor your website, use the right tools and strictly adhere to the latest on-page optimization methodologies.