Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about establishing your presence on Google. When users search online, you want your website to appear as close to the top as possible. The simple fact is that 90% of Google’s users don’t scroll past the first page. That’s why SEO is such a crucial element of your digital marketing strategy.

So, how exactly do you leapfrog your competitors, and get yourself on Google’s first page? What you need is a series of tricks and techniques that optimize your site for search engines. SEO is all about establishing your relevance, and authority. To build that foundation, you need a series of fantastic tools to help. Here are some of the best.

1. Google Keyword Planner

To rank websites, Google sends out millions of crawlers to every website on the planet. One of the most important things they’re looking for is keywords. These are targeted words or phrases that help Google determine your relevancy. It’s up to you to fill your site full of the most searchable keywords. To do that, use Google’s free Keyword Planner. It’s a tool that lets you test and find the best keywords. You simply put in a phrase, and it will tell you how many searches that term gets a month. It will also make suggestions for similar keywords. Use it to find the most relevant words and phrases for your site.

2. Google Analytics

It’s no surprise that we’re listing two Google tools in this list. If anyone knows how optimize for SEO, it’s Google! Analytics tracks every visitor to your website. More importantly, it tracks their activity on your site. It shows you how they arrived, and where they came from. Use Analytics to determine how many people are discovering your site through search engines. You can also see what search terms they’re using to find you. It shows you whether your SEO efforts are more effective than your social media strategy. Analytics is a good indicator of what’s working, and where you should focus your SEO efforts.

3. Varvy image SEO tool

A lot of website owners, and even SEO experts, ignore one crucial aspect on their sites: images. We tend to think that Google is only scanning our text and wording. Images can’t possibly be crawled and indexed by Google, can they? Of course they can! It’s Google, they can do everything! Using Varvy image SEO tool, you can see whether your images are letting you down. It looks behind the scenes at your image tags, metadata, and alt tags to see if they’re SEO friendly.

4. Pingdom speed checker

Savvy SEO experts know that Google really care about the speed of your website. They know that slow loading sites are frustrating and bad for user experience. And Google doesn’t want to send people to frustrating sites. Instead, they rank slow sites lower. Use Pingdom to check how fast your site loads, and see if it’s up to scratch.

5. Ahrefs backlink monitor

One of the Google’s most important metrics is backlinks. If lots of websites are linking to your content, Google will rank you higher. But, how can you possible know who’s linking to you? Use Ahrefs backlink monitor to find out who’s sending traffic to you.

Those are our five favourite SEO tools on the web. Have we missed any others?

Image Credit Flickr

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