And sometimes those details are enough to drive normal, average folks mad. It can be messy and muddy because much of it is objective.
Nonetheless, SEO is the online task master and dictates what will and will not be found online. It is the source of traffic for your website. Like or not, you have to be aware of SEO and you need to practice it on and off of your website.
I tend to lose my patience with SEO. I definitely recognize its value in generating traffic, yet feel like I’m twisting my brain about 80 degrees just to begin the SEO thinking process. The popularity of keywords ebb and flow. Search engines continuously tweak algorithms creating shifts in results. And social media is becoming more ingrained in search results increasing the importance of SEO in everything you do online. The bottom line is you can’t/shouldn’t ignore SEO no matter how difficult it may be.
So what are you to do if you’re not an SEO ‘natural’?
Do what I do. Cheat! Yes, I am not embarrassed to admit it. SEO is not my strength. To compensate, I use every SEO tool I can to make the process easy, automatic and self-explanatory. It saves me time and the headaches from brain twisting.
So what tools do I use to cheat? Here are the most important and they’re all FREE SEO tools and can be easily to your WordPress blog by doing a plugin search and downloading or by visiting the WordPress Plugin Directory
FREE SEO Tools
This is a WordPress plugin I have come to love. After I’ve written the blog posting, I input my keywords into InboundWriter and it tells me a lot. It may suggest that the title needs to be reworked to optimize one more popular keyword over another. It also tells me if I have a sufficient number of keywords in my post or if I need to add more. At the end, it gives me a score for the post. If a post gets a score of 90 or more, I feel I’ve done well. This one tool has really altered my writing style and has helped to generate more traffic for my posts.
All in One SEO Pack
Don’t know about you, but I really like things that work automatically and that’s how All in One SEO Pack works. Behind the scenes, it automatically generates meta tags and optimizes your titles for search engines. Set it once and it works. It’s been downloaded well over 9 million times, making it one of the most popular WordPress plugins for SEO. If you want to achieve a better response with search engines, you should definitely use All In One SEO Pack.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
A bit like InboundWriter, SEO by Yoast allows you to double check how search engine friendly your content is before you actually post it. There is a preview of how your post will look in Google. You can input focus keyword(s) to see how many times the keywords appear throughout the post, title, URL, etc. You can also enhance how the title appears in Google, as well as the description ensuring your content SEO friendly. You can do all of this enhancing on post editor page, and it just becomes a part of how you finish up your posts, along with tags, excerpt, category and featured image.
An SEO tool can’t guarantee your post will reach the top of the rankings…but the combination of these three FREE SEO tools gives me some comfort in knowing I’ve done all I can to optimize the keywords in my posts.
Periodically I like to analyze my website to see how I’m doing. For that I use Stat My WebSite and HubSpot’s Marketing Grader. Again, both of these services are free and provide different perspectives of how well your website is doing.
For those of you who really want to delve deep into SEO and don’t find it at all frustrating, I’d suggest two resources.
If you’re new to SEO, you might be interested in Wordtracker’s FREE Guide to SEO – SEO Made Simple. Be forewarned that this simple guide is over 90 pages. It is not a quick read, but it is a good SEO resource and Wordtracker also offers an Academy for those wanting to really understand SEO and how it works to generate traffic.
SEOBook is an alternative to Wordtracker. SEOBook also offers a FREE SEO Keyword Tool ebook, but you do have to register to gain access. You should check out their other free SEO tools as well.
I hope this post has been helpful and you may have uncovered an SEO tool you weren’t previously aware of. Let me know if you are using other free SEO tools, keyword tools or website review sites to help generate traffic back to your website. Share in the comments section below.