The principles behind Google’s core practices for judging the relevance and utility of websites for visitors have not changed much over the years. But the way in which Google ensures that these principles are followed has evolved over the years. For the correct enforcement, Google keeps on making improvements to the algorithms used for its searches. At various points in time, Google has introduced updates like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird to drive out spammy and irrelevant contents from the web.
A website which wants to score well on Google’s search algorithm and make its way to the top of the search results pages needs to keep abreast of the updates and changes to Google’s algorithms. Some aspects of search engine optimization which you need to take care of to keep on scoring well are correct keywords, content tools, and technical tools. Let us take a look at some of the popular tools for optimizing websites.
When a visitor searches for something on Google, he usually types in a few words or a phrase, and the website that has those words or phrases gets shown in the search results page. Although the algorithm for Google has gone way beyond keyword matching now, but keywords still remain a vital part of the entire procedure. That is why the selection of the right keywords is still considered important in anyon-page optimization effort. There are several tools which help you do this easily.
Wordstream : This tool has a mammoth bank of useful keywords and you can get exactly what you need with this tool. There are more than a trillion unique keywords available in this tool. That’s why this tool is much more useful than many other ones.
YouTube Keyword Tool : We know YouTube as the world’s biggest collection of videos. But this tool from YouTube is great for generating keyword ideas. You need to insert the keywords, and it will give you back the ideas for the same. You have the option of selecting the language and the country you are searching for.
Keyword Eye : This tool works in a different way compared to conventional tools. It helps give a visual representation to the relative attractiveness of different words in the context of their visual appeal (size, color etc.).
Ubersuggest : Google and other search engines have a ‘suggest’ option. The data from these is utilized by this tool to come up with long tail keywords.The newer algorithms favor these longer key words / phrases and so this tool is quite useful.
Over the years, Google has cracked down on duplicated or reworded content in webpages. The Panda update was one which moved the algorithm towards better content. There are several tools which would help you have content that would meet the stringent standards of the algorithm.
Anchor Text : Every website’s URL has an anchor text which gives a summary of the contents of the website or that particular webpage. Webmasters use keywords inside the anchor text to increase their chances of a good rank on search pages. This tool pinpoints and highlights examples where the keywords have been overused.
Copyscape : Duplicate content or copied content is dealt with very strictly by Google. This tool has become one of the most commonly used, to highlight and correct plagiarized text. You start by entering the URL of the website that you want to check, and this tool lets you know the extent of plagiarism, if any.
Convert Word Documents : This is a brilliant tool for those who do not know coding. A regular document created with Word and other similar packages can be copied and pasted onto this tool. You will get cleaned up HTML for that text which is free of invalid tags, so that it can be easily used inside a webpage.
There are several technical parameters that a search engine looks at, and a non-technical webmaster might not find it easy to align his website to those parameters. The tools listed below can help a website be reworked technically where needed, so that good SERP ranks can be achieved.
URI Valet : This tool helps to check the headers of websites, and can provide you the download time of your pages and the number of http requests received by the website. You can also use this tool to get a complete list of internal links, and also the server details of all the external links.
Fiddler : When you create a website, there is supposed to be a stream of visitors to your website, and all the transactions or queries of those visitors and the responses of the website would be recorded as coded traffic between the visitor and the website. This would give a good idea of what optimization the SEO efforts should include.
Google Snippet Preview : When you search for a keyword or phrase on Google, you usually get a list of results and one of them is displayed as a snipped. This tool previews the snippets so that you can have a view of what the visitor would be seeing, so that you can modify your meta tag accordingly to get the snippet display you want.
Image SEO Tool : Most websites contain a lot of videos and images apart from text content. While you can modify the text to align it with SEO requirements, even the images on the website have many attributes which can aid or mar the SEO of the website. The dimensions and alt attribute of the image can affect the SEO, and the Image SEO tool can help you assess the SEO value of the images on the website. You need to submit the URL of the website, and get all the details.
Link Sleuth : It is a crawling software that assesses websites for broken links. The text links, images, maps, backgrounds, frames and backgrounds need to be checks to ensure there are no broken links. The tool will also give you details of redirected URLs and orphan files. The tool is brought to you by Xenu.
Title and Description Optimization Tool : This tool makes it easy for you to get a view of what your competitors are doing. Your title tags and meta descriptions can be improved using this tool. These two are very important aspects of any website’s on-page SEO.
Structured Data Testing Tool : You are already aware of how important structured data markup is for your website’s SEO. These are available from schema.org, and this tool will verify the markup used on your website. You can either enter the website’s URL or you can submit the HTML code for validation.
Pingdom : Code, content, images and videos all have their own importance in the SEO of a website, but you should be aware that user experience is one of the important factors in the Google algorithm, and this depends a lot on the webpage loading speed. This tool helps you check the loading time of the pages on your website, and suggests solutions.
XML Sitemap Inspector : The sitemap of your website is created using XML, and this tool will go over your website’s XML sitemap to point out any gaps or errors therein. The URL of your website’s sitemap would be pinged to all major search engines by this tool.
Schema Creator : This is another handy tool which helps code the website with the right data markup from schema.org. Once you submit the URL and other required details, you can get a preview of the structured data markup.
Robots.txt Checker : The Robots.txt files are used in websites to ensure that certain directories or files of a website are not accessed by the search engines. But if you want to be sure if the format of the file being used by you is correct, you can use this tool. It will point out errors in both syntax and logic, and even simple errors in spelling.
XML Sitemap Generator : We already spoke about the importance of a sitemap for your website, so that the search engine spiders can be pointed to the right places on your web pages. This tool helps you generate an XML sitemap and can collate the list of URLs in a file.
Robots.txt Generator : This is a file which can inform the search spiders which areas of the site are to be left alone. This tool also prevents unwanted spiders from crawling across your website.