Here’s 3 Free SEO Tools to Help You Look at Your Site the Way Google Does
If the traffic your website gets is important to you, SEO should be where you should start first. Here are 3 free SEO tools that will help you view your site like a search engine does.
1. Google WebMaster Tools
Google’s Webmaster Tools suite is a comprehensive set of diagnostic tools that will help you in correcting all that’s wrong with your website from an SEO standpoint. This is where you want to start if you are working on Search Engine Optimization. These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems important. Search appearance in the SERP, back links, and keyword concentration are just a few areas that Webmaster Tools focuses on.
2. Moz.com Pro Tools (free for 1 month)
If you sign up for the Moz.com Pro features, you will receive the first month for free. You will need a Google Analytics account in order to use most of the custom reporting features. With Moz.com, you can work on your on-page SEO, view your current competition, and you can track your position in the search results. With Google now using your IP address to display listings, you might want to use a third party application like Moz.com to track your position.
3. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
This is an SEO’s best friend. Designed specifically for the SEO-minded, this program crawls the websites you specify examining the URLs for common SEO issues in an attempt to make site optimization easier. Not only does the Screaming Frog SEO Spider make crawling your website and finding all that’s wrong from an SEO standpoint easy, it’s free! Download it here and just dive in. There’s a ton of useful features.
3 Free SEO Tools for Google Search was last modified: September 4th, 2018 by Jeff
If you are writing a 600 word article on Google AdWords tips, and you place the 3 word keyword phrase, “Google AdWords tips” in the article 10 times, you would have a keyword density of 0.6% for that article or page meaning that out of 600 words, 0.6% of those words are the focus keyword. The title tag, description tag, and content are all considered when determining the keyword density. You can say the entire page is considered. The focus keyword for this article is “keyword density percentage.” As of January 31, 2014, it is the second result of the organic results on page 1 of Google. The keyword density percentage is 0.2% and my SEO plugin for WordPress is telling me it’s too low. The keyword is found 2 times. If you are not familiar with the Yoast SEO plugin , check it out. It’s a great tool and definitely makes optimizing WordPress easier . To rank this article on Page 1 nationally, I did nothing more than write the article and make the Yoast analyzer dots turn green. There was nothing done off-site and I didn’t submit the URL to Google or Bing. It’s in this website’s sitemap and search engines first crawled it there.
The Formula for Keyword Density
Density = ( Nkr / Tkn ) * 100
‘Keywords’ (kr) that consist of several words artificially inflate the total word count of the dissertation. The purest mathematical representation should adjust the total word count (Tkn) lower by removing the excess key(phrase) word counts from the total:
Density = ( Nkr / ( Tkn -( Nkr * ( Nwp-1 ) ) ) ) * 100. where Nwp = the number of terms in the keyphrase.
This general formula allows that the total word count will be unaffected if the key(phrase) is indeed a single term, so it acts as the original formula.
In this post, there are 810 words. The focus keyword contains 3 words and it’s found 2 times throughout the entire page including the URL. The meta description, content, headings, and alt tags are all included. Here’s the SEO analysis for this post. Notice the keyword density and the fact that I did not use the focus keyword in any subheading.
Analysis from the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
Overdoing Keywords Is Bad for SEO
Recently a friend of mine’s rank in the Google SERP dropped dramatically (from page 1 to page 13) and he called me and asked my opinion of his SEO. The first thing I did was crawl his site so I could take a look at his site’s SEO as a whole. Besides having several broken links and images with un-optimized titles and alt tags, and just generally poorly written meta tags, I notice he used the word “shuttle” 6 times just in the homepage’s title tag alone. In this case, this would be considered “keyword stuffing,” and wasn’t the only reason that Google removed his website from the search results. But, I’m willing to bet it contributed heavily. There were lots of different problems with this particular site. Either way, his site’s keyword density as a whole was well over what it should have been and he paid the price for it in the Google SERP.
Taking Google’s Advice is a Safe Bet
What’s the Ideal Keyword Density for Google SEO?
There is no such thing as “ideal keyword density.” On many occasions, webmasters have contacted me questioning their SEO and asking what I felt the ideal keyword density is for their particular site or webpage. Every site is different, however more times than not, keywords usually only have to be used a few times per page. It’s more about where your keywords are on the page then the number of times they are found. If you read your post and find yourself repeating the same phrase over and over, you’re in fact hurting your SEO.Focus on creating good content that answers questions and addresses the needs of your target user base instead of keyword density percentages. Put your efforts into making sure your site is useful and original. If you try to force your users into taking anything else, they will go elsewhere every time. And, once you lose them, they’re not coming back. You can read more on the fundamentals of online marketing here.
Don’t Focus on Keyword Density
“Grey/Black Hat” SEO techniques like keyword stuffing with white text on white backgrounds worked years ago but are now obsolete after Google released their latest algorithm updates like Penguin and Hummingbird. Google has evolved into a highly intelligent being and is much smarter than people give credit for when they focus on keyword density. Here’s 5 SEO copywriting tips that will help you get started on writing quality content instead of keyword density percentages.
Keyword Density Percentage and Google SEO was last modified: September 4th, 2018 by Jeff
Disavow “Spammy Links” with Google’s Disavow Links Tool
When webmasters attempt to drive traffic to their website by means of spammy back links, it can hurt your ranking on Google Search. Here, Matt Cutts explains how to have the almighty Google ignore those SPAMMY back links. In turn, Google will not hold these page rank-degrading back links against your website. When I say messy or bad back links, I’m referring to links to your site from either porn sites or other notoriously SPAMMY sources. Mass blog commenting and/or article marketing/spinning are a couple of ways to get a messy back link profile. Please keep in mind, unless you or your company practiced improper or poor internet marketing strategies and have caused you to have a negative back link profile that is hurting your page rank, in most cases, it isn’t necessary. Improper use of the Disavow Link Tool can hurt your site’s current rank with Google. I recommend that only advanced users that are knowledgeable on this topic use this tool. Most of the time, it’s not even necessary. Simply cleaning up the bad links will help improve your site’s ranking with most search engines. The Google Webmaster Tools Disavow feature is a last resort for webmasters that have really poor back link issues that are directly hurting their site’s rank.
Disavow Links with Google Webmaster Tools | Video by Matt Cutts
Google Webmaster Tools Disavow Feature was last modified: January 20th, 2018 by Jeff
After Google’s release of the Hummingbird update, SEO copywriting is just well-written copy with well-placed keywords and accurate and useful, descriptive metadata attributed to it. There once was a time when keyword stuffing and other grey/black hat techniques would actually work temporarily, but those days are over.
SEO Copywriting Post Hummingbird
The entire integrated spectrum of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) relies on the creativity, expediency, and efficacy of content creations. SEO copywriting, since its inception, has been comprehensively dependent on the algorithm practices of Google. Over the years, this search engine giant has come up with increasingly complicated algorithms to exterminate every possible manipulative optimization technique, poorly written or low quality content, and spam on its search results pages. Google’s vision perfectly aligns with quality web marketing practices.
SEO Copywriting Landscape Prior to Hummingbird
Even a few years back, the concept of SEO copywriting entirely concentrated on maximizing the use of keywords. The whole industry crystallized around the concept of incorporating a certain percentage of generic and specific keywords in their content while selling messages and managing content creativity around the key phrases. The content world was jolted into the harsh reality of Google Hummingbird. After this algorithm, if you are still focusing on keyword density percentages instead of creating the best content possible, you have a long way to go.
How Copywriting Evolved
To be more precise, Hummingbird has been preceded by Panda and Penguin – two of the earlier Google algorithm versions. These two algorithms were completely revised and re-engineered to launch Hummingbird in 2013. This new algorithm made it nearly impossible for malicious spammers to infiltrate and upended most of the Search Engine Optimization copywriting practices of the yore. With Hummingbird, Google is consistently transforming the comprehensive search dynamics. It expects the user to search in ways that includes –
Question – searching by inquiring different questions
Mobile search – searching while on the move
Anticipate – anticipating what a user is looking for even before the search strings are finished to increase the speed of information delivery
These steps will usher in new changes in the process of copywriting and help in establishing unique nuances in content. This algorithm is also a stride towards processing ‘real’ speech pattern where the search engine generates results even by processing conversational queries.
Page Authority, Keywords, & Semantic Relevance
Building on page authority is important as Hummingbird rewards authority. It advocates depth over surface, information over fluff, backup over bluff, and a compelling collection of facts, data, and information. Each of these ingredients meshed together propels the authority of page by establishing its content quality. Keywords, so far, play a significant role post Hummingbird. However, the outdated technique of employing a same keyword and keyword string repeatedly throughout the content is the biggest faux pas that can ruin the credibility and ranking of your page. The long tail searches are highly likely to be characterized by human needs and desires and not just keyword strings. Keywords still remain a fundamental strategic tool but the writer must find interesting methods to redefine the keywords in meaningful ways. Most notably, content writers must move beyond the limiting constraints of keywords to offer depth and breadth in their content and copy. Page authority and intelligent use of keywords are intrinsically related with semantic relevance. Your content must communicate to a precise need with in-depth knowledge in a particular topic or area. In hindsight, Google’s Hummingbird is a step that will encourage serious content creation which upholds and endorses the value of quality over mindless gimmick and spam content.
5 Google SEO “Hummingbird-friendly” Copywriting Tips
Good content usually has 1 primary focus and should always be more relevant than creative. It should always keep the reader’s attention. It is important to stay on point so that your article does not seem cluttered or difficult to read. When you write, don’t worry about impressing your competitors or anyone other than the reader. The main goal should be getting your point across clearly and directly to the website’s user. Everyone should be able to read and understand your website. A good rule of thumb is to write at a 9th grade level when you’re writing website content. If the words you’re using are not commonly said or the sentence structure of your sentences is too difficult for the average person to read, chances are your website will not appeal to everyone and in turn this will only hurt your ranking with the search engines.
1. Write for People and Forget About the Search Engines
That means make bullet lists, give lots of white space between paragraphs, and make headings worth reading. People don’t read at first, they scan. Write and format in a way that is easy for them to see the important words. Expect people to skim instead of reading line per line. Break each paragraph into bit size reading. Use a format that is visually appealing with images, colors, and language.
2. Use Headline Formulas
Headlines work by bringing the reader in and getting them to stop scanning and start reading. The best SEO copywriting is using what works and headline formulas do work. A good headline formula to follow is the “who-what-why.” For example: “Have You Been Secretly Penalized by Google?”
3. Users Read 24% More When You Use Numbers
Numbers grab the reader’s attention. For example: “The Top 5 Tips To Gaining More Readers Through SEO Copywriting.”
4. Use Bold and Italic, Instead of CAPITALIZATION
That’s pretty much all I can say on that one.
5. Use Power Words
Power words are usually adjectives that draw the reader in. For example, the phrase “Must Read” works well along with “Free.” A power word in a title should be written at the beginning like this: ” 5 Free Must Have WordPress Plugins.” The power words are “Free” and “Must Have” in this case. Put some thought into this and you will see your click through rate increase.
5 SEO Copywriting Tips for Google Hummingbird was last modified: June 22nd, 2017 by Jeff
Let’s take it easy this week with a quick review of what’s important to focus on, and why it’s important to stay focused on impressing your customer. We’ll start out with a quick review of top things to invest time in and wrap up with some broader thinking around understanding, and catering to your customer.
1. The basics of SEO need covering
– well written headings, depth of content, relevant linking to related content/topics, images, etc. But these days, most of this is so well-known, and so easily adjusted, it just shouldn’t take much time to account for. For some it’ll be more work, and for others less, but the fact remains that this work needs doing, and will return results on a somewhat limited basis on its own.
Incorporating human ranking in the Hummingbird update was vital to Google’s advancement in the search engine tech arena and was just one of the many great strides they have taken to keep their position as the leading search company. Most Black Hat SEO techniques are dead. Stuff that once worked great is now ineffective at best and downright dangerous at worst.
The definition of “White Hat” SEO is solid, user-useful content that addresses the needs of your users with properly written meta descriptions, titles and tags. Plain and simple, that’s on-page SEO these days. There’s a lot more involved when taking a site from 0 to 100, but essentially, it’s an optimization and reoptimization process that never truly ends. So, be sure to stay on it.
2. Social Media –
You can’t escape this – you’ve got to have a voice these days. More followers than following on Twitter, solid engagement on Facebook helps, etc. There are no hard and fast rules with social – it’s about engaging in conversations with people, and by doing so, you position your business as a go-to resource, which then they tell friends about, they build links to, and the engines take notice off all that activity.
The #1 place to invest time/money/effort is in creating content people want. People don’t wake up on Saturday AM and say “I think I’ll go type words into a search engine and see what happens”. No, they say, “I just bought a new car, where should I road trip?”, or “I need a new dishwasher, which is the best value and most efficient?” Build content that solves a searcher’s needs. Start with keyword research to understand what phrases people search on most, check your own analytics to understand what pages on your site they consume the most and get cracking on fill in the blanks.
If I am choosing where to invest budget (time/money) – SEO, PPC, paid social, it’d be right here. Do usability studies, learn what works and doesn’t work on the site, then fix the problems and run with the winners. This is by far the best investment of time and money for most websites today.
The old saying “more than the sum of its parts” has never been more applicable than in the world of online businesses. SEO helps, content helps, social media helps, links help, images help, videos help, paid ads help and so on. But individually, as so many businesses approach things, the results can often be limited.
Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
Every time you sit down and think “I have N and want people to X.” you’ve already lost the game. When you start thinking “People clearly want N, and I can deliver X…wait, I need to deliver N.” you’re on the right path. Think from your customer’s POV and you’ll move in the right direction. Your customers want what THEY want, and if you happen to have that, it’s a match. If you try to make them take what you have, they’ll look elsewhere.
The Fundamentals of Online Marketing was last modified: September 9th, 2018 by Jeff