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3 Use Cases for SEO Tools

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Recently, I wrote an article on the top 10 features that I need in an SEO tool. I received a lot of wonderful feedback since I wrote the article, but one of the most important questions has been: why use an SEO tool in the first place? And that got me to thinking about SEO tool use cases.

So to bring some clarity (no pun intended for those of you who read the first article) to the situation, I developed the following outline that illustrates the different use cases for SEO tools.

Performance Reporting

An SEO tool should be the main hub of SEO reporting and should be capable of delivering the following metrics (at a minimum):

Search Rankings Including recent trending of those listings
Search Traffic Via Omniture, Webtrends, or Google Analytics Data
-brand vs. non brand
-historical year over year
-month over month

Traffic / conversion performance
Competitive analysis Rankings, keywords, and link data for competitors
Link acquisition metrics Number of links acquired in a given time frame
Quality Assurance (QA) Did recent optimization result in gains or losses? Were all recent recommendations implemented?

Identify Opportunities

One of the big values of an SEO tool across large sites and/or data sets is the ability to distill the huge amount of data into tangible opportunities for search engine optimization. These opportunities include:

New Keyword Discovery Identify new opportunities for optimization
New Pages Identify new pages to be optimized
Existing Optimized Pages Identify which optimized pages are under-performing
Duplicate Content Identify duplicate content or redundant URL structure
Duplicate Page Titles / Meta Data Ensure title and descriptions are unique for each page
404 / 403 Errors Make sure you aren't missing pages of content
Internal Link Opportunities Identify opportunities for additional internal links
External Link Opportunities Identify and prioritize external link opportunities

Site Optimization

Keep track of recommendations Historical record of all optimization recommendations
Workflow management tool Assign tasks and keep track of who did what and when
Link Management Tool Manage all aspects of link acquisition process

These are the most common activities that a strong SEO tool can add value to, especially for large sites with enormous data sets. Leveraging the automation technology that these kinds of tools provide can save you hundreds of hours of time and in some cases, allow you to do things that are just not possible to do manually (like tracking traffic changes over time across thousands of pages and aligning that data with changes in the site optimization to understand SEO performance).

All of the activities described in this article are important components of a successful SEO campaign. If you want to improve your campaign, especially if you have a very large website, it may be worth your time to investigate what modern SEO tools can do to make your SEO campaign more efficient and help you attain better results.

If you have something to add to this list, please let me know in the comments.


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