It’s easy to get geeky about SEO — after all, it’s a topic concerning granular data analysis, enigmatic algorithms, and countless potential technical tweaks. But even if you love taking a deep dive into the fundamentals of SEO work, you don’t want to be spending all your time on calculations. It’s much more interesting to get to the hypotheses. Thankfully, there are some amazing SEO tools available that you can use to great effect. They can’t do everything for you (and it wouldn’t be fun if they could!), but they’ll certainly cut down the most boring aspects of your SEO work and give you more time to do the good parts.
Let’s take a look at 6 geeky SEO data tools you’re going to love:
Every good SEO journey starts with some in-depth keyword research, and while there are plenty of solid keyword tools available, I inevitably start with Ubersuggest. It functions quickly, has an exceptionally clean interface, and provides a lot of useful information. Start by selecting the location you want to search in (by default the United States, but up to you) and entering the search term you want more information about. Ubersuggest will return data from Google’s autocomplete function, giving you a fast look at what people most commonly search for. You also have the option to provide negative terms to filter, which can be tremendously useful if you keep encountering terms that aren’t relevant to your needs.
If the information you get from Ubersuggest isn’t enough to satisfy your curiosity, Soovle is the next place to go. Soovle aggregates autocomplete information, much as Ubersuggest does, but it draws information from a wide range of search functions (see below). When you enter a term into Soovle, it runs that term through search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing, as well as the internal searches of sites including Wikipedia, Amazon and eBay. You then get all the information in one place, allowing you to compare and contrast the different selections. The interface isn’t very appealing, unfortunately, but does that really matter when you’re getting so much utility?
When you’re running a manual investigation into some SEO information, you don’t really want to be going back and forth between windows, trying to copy and paste data. SEOquake works directly from your browser (as a Chrome extension or a Firefox plugin), giving you vital SEO stats for the links you encounter while surfing. The added utility of this is obvious. You don’t need to remember to carry out a particular SEO procedure for a page that sparks your curiosity, because the information is already there waiting for you. It does take up a fair amount of space on the screen, admittedly, but that’s a small price to pay — especially since you can simply turn the extension off whenever you don’t need it.
Every SEO business or professional has a different approach to matters such as domain authority, and there are plenty of proprietary metrics going around as a result — but if you’re going to stick to one overall SEO suite, go with Ahrefs. Featuring a gigantic and regularly-updated link index, it’s not only exceptionally user-friendly but also remarkably detailed. You can easily get a breakdown of where your competitors are outperforming you and identify ways in which you can surpass them. Every decent SEO campaign needs a reliable analysis tool, and there’s none better than Ahrefs at the moment.
Speaking of geekiness, microdata is a dream for the detail-obsessed SEO geeks among us. It can be configured in so many different ways, and used to communicate so many things, that is has an astonishingly high ceiling for performance — and a lot of sites don’t use it at all! Schema.org documentation is the most commonly supported, and Schema App provides you with a way to assemble accurate and fit-for-purpose structured markup in very little time. You don’t even need to spend hours trawling through Schema documentation or trying to get the parsing exactly right, which gives you more time to think of inventive ways to use schema data.
You can make use of the software on a manual basis, or seek broader integration to use it at scale (if you built your site on WordPress or using a hosted eshop builder, you’ll be able to use an official plugin, add-on, or extension). However you implement it, you’ll build a coherent microdata strategy and structure — something most companies (even giant brands) still lack.
High-end content production is really challenging, particularly since it’s an area that’s typically been very difficult to automate. Improving content marketing has long felt like a task that demands a lot of time and resources. For this reason, it often gets overlooked. But Market Muse is out to change that.
In recent years, natural language processing (NLP) has improved enormously, and it is now possible for AI-driven systems to accurately compare and access passages of text. Market Muse can review a page of your content and compare it to content from your competitors, ultimately giving you clear feedback about things you should change to beat them (increase your word count, use more keywords, etc.). The rest is up to you!
There’s no shortage of robust SEO tools out there, so while I definitely stand behind these ones, I could have included so many more. And since SEO technology is in a constant stage of flux, that’s a great thing — if an algorithm update leaves a particular tool ineffective, there’ll be a viable replacement out there to be found. Try these tools, then, but keep an eye out for new options in the future. That’s the way to go!
About the Author
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce geek a Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the small business sector. Check out the latest news on Twitter @myecommercetips.