Fool Proof SEO With 4 Free How-To Survival Tools

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is always changing and evolving. It can appear to the average web user much the same way an iceberg appears to a passing ship.

The visible part can be studied and understood. Then there’s the rest of it, the 90% or so that lies submerged and invisible. The bigger the ship, the more that 90% matters.

Four main phases of SEO control where your website ranks in search results. If your business operates entirely offline, that calls for a small online open boat. Pretty easy to operate and steer clear of hazards. Just make sure you know where you are, where you’re going, and stay awake at the tiller.

But what if you depend on internet visibility for business results (marketing, direct sales, prospecting, community building, customer relations)? Then you need to scale up within these 4 areas. This could require a decent-sized commercial online vessel. Maybe even a global ocean liner or container ship of immense size and value.

4 Steps to SEO Full Steam Ahead

The machinery of SEO works like other machines. Certain parts transfer power to other parts, which produce a secondary motion. The 4 main connected moving parts, regardless of size, are:

  • Technical — HTML, CSS, sitemap, architecture, robots.txt, mobile ready, internal links.
  • Content — on-page, keywords, titles, tags, metas, Schema, topics, design, media.
  • Links — off-page, dynamic social connections, backlinks from networks to content.
  • Analysis — gather, sort, and evaluate data about website usage and web traffic flow.

These 4 components can be simple and straightforward, or complicated and intense. It depends on your needs and goals. Choose a DIY approach or work with an SEO expert. Either way, these variables will drive the performance you can achieve.

Technical SEO Floats Your Boat

Most and other free websites have solid site structure and operability. And a basic level of technical SEO should be built right in. For example, popular themes will include mobile-ready operation. So, you can trust the site automation to keep things in order, and react to any problems if they come up.

This works fine as long as the purpose of the website is not mission critical for business results. Otherwise, you need to test and maintain at least the basic technical SEO elements.

One key element is an XML sitemap, which acts like a cargo manifest for search engine web crawlers. An up-to-date sitemap gets new content and other website changes noticed. That improves search results. And it helps you analyze and optimize the structure of your site. It also promotes healthy, well-organized growth.

You can create a sitemap using this cool free tool. It also converts the search engine map to a human-readable HTML page to add useful content to your site.

SEO Constraints in Content Loading

Content on the internet is increasingly multimedia (video, audio, images, text, movement). It uses streamable and fast-loading formats suitable for mobile consumption. Deliver these effectively to cultivate engagement with consistent network updates. Make a deep pool of website resources available on-demand.

Do these things and you can have a state-of-the-art content marketing platform. How much of this you need or want, however, depends on your individual journey.

Whether it’s HD video or simple text and pictures, your content needs 2 cardinal qualities:

  • It has to be useful to your target audience. Offer any combination of practical, interesting, and entertaining information.
  • It has to get noticed, both by search engines and by human beings. It needs a compelling headline and SEO-friendly presentation style.

The key to producing this type of content on any scale is to start with keyword research. This will help develop a content strategy that relates to the interests of your audience. Search results improve with this kind of interaction.

You should ensure that your cargo of content can be efficiently delivered. Your website’s technical capabilities will determine this. A slow page load drives off potential consumers. This in turn hurts your search standings. One of the simplest free page speed tests runs on Google. And it checks mobile first, which is the new standard for Google search rankings.

Google page load speed test screenshot

Link Building Looms Large On The Horizon

Link building can be one of the harder parts of the SEO process to master. Unless you’re willing to risk bouncing off the iceberg (ie, cheat), you can’t control external backlinks. But backlinks are still central to Google’s ranking algorithm. And the algorithm has been much refined over the years.

Smaller companies achieve better results when they focus on a local orientation. This includes local reviews, citations, community involvement, and directory listings. SEOs can produce dramatic business improvements by optimizing local connections and networks.

Larger companies with national or international profiles have corresponding brand strength. So, they can attract celebrity backlinks and links from high-authority influencers and websites. This process can open up new audiences, and boost traffic to meet growth objectives.

For every business, there is an ideal link building approach and set of tactics. These will align with desired results and available resources. At the least, links management should identify any broken or low-quality, “spammy” links. Update or remove these. It should also provide a step-by-step program for adding higher quality links. One of several available options, OpenLinkProfiler offers powerful free link analysis. free link analysis tool screenshot

Analysis of Website Usage and Traffic

The need for data tracking and analysis is self-explanatory. You have to know what’s happening and why to find problems and opportunities. This will show where to make necessary changes. Naturally, Google provides a suite of useful analytics to show website performance.

But a more thorough overview offers more detailed insights. The free version of this leading web analytics tool is a great place to start. It provides traffic sources, volume, keyword share, and many other digital traffic metrics. And not only for your own website, but for any competitors you want to spy on study as well. Armed with the right information, you can target SEO maintenance and improvements. This ensures smooth sailing for the operational elements of your website. free web traffic analysis tool screenshot

SEO Expertise Sets the Right Course

You can see how happy my customers are with the services I have provided in the SEO bridge and engine room. Together we can navigate a course to safe harbour. Wherever your intended destination might be.

About the Author

Paul Teitelman - SEO Consultant

Paul is a well-respected Canadian SEO consultant and link-building expert with over 15 years of experience helping hundreds of companies rank for competitive keywords on Google. He is a Toronto-based SEO consultant who is passionate about search engine optimization and link building. Over the years, he has made a reputation for himself as a leader in the industry by consistently delivering phenomenal results to his growing client base.