SEO tools have become one of the major weapons in the search marketer’s arsenal. There’s no question whether to use software for SEO or not. Even those few advocates of fully manual SEO also use different tools in their daily optimization activities. And although skills and knowledge are extremely important, equipment is also high up on the priority list.
There are so many of SEO tools and software packs out there that just looking through them can take up days, if not weeks. So how do you choose the right tool that will deliver the results, helping you get the job done faster and make your investment into it worthwhile? Ask yourself these 7 simple questions. The answers will help you make the educated choice and pick the right SEO tools for your optimization needs.
Things to consider when choosing SEO tools:
1. How many people will be using the tools?
The thing is that different SEO tools and services have different licensing options. If there’ll be just one person using the tools, you can go for a single-person license. If you want to equip a group of people you’ll need to provide each one with a license. Many software providers have flexible licensing options allowing you to get multi-user licenses with a nice discount.
2. Where will the tools be used?
Will you be using the tools just on your office PC or do you intend to work with them at home, on your laptop when travelling, etc? Some tools are licensed per computer, others – per person meaning you can install them on several machines, given you only work on one SEO group buy tools at a time.
3. Will all SEO jobs be done by one person or not?
If you have just one SEO guy who’ll be taking care of the whole optimization campaign you may opt for an all-in-one SEO package. However if you have an in-house team of several members who specialize in different aspects of SEO (one person does keyword research, another one is responsible for link building, etc.) you’ll be better off with task-specific SEO tools.
4. Do you need client reporting?
If you do SEO yourself for your own website you don’t really need advanced reporting facilities with pretty graphs and eye-candy charts. However if you provide SEO services or intend to start doing this in the future, you need to pay close attention to the tools’ reporting functions: which formats do they support, can you brand and customize the reports, etc.
5. Is the project ongoing or to you need the tools for a certain time period?
Some SEO tools are subscription based, others are sold on a one-off-payment basis. When you know the time frame of your project it’s easier for you to choose the right subscription period.
6. What goals you want to achieve with the tools?
It’s important to remember that ranking on top for your keywords is not the ultimate aim. You don’t need search rankings; you need visitors, subscribers, clients and sales to grow your business. It’s important to clearly set your goals from the very beginning so that you are able to tell whether the tools you’ve purchased really drive you towards your goal, or if you need to try something else.
7. How will you be measuring success?
To be able to estimate the value that your SEO tools or subscription service brings you need to decide how you’ll be measuring success. There may be several success metrics such as: rankings, traffic, conversions, ROI, etc. The success metrics may differ depending on the SEO task: e.g. if you managed to unearth some really lucrative keywords but failed to get good rankings for them that means, you have a good keyword tool but you need to search for a better link building tool.
It’s important to come up with success metrics before you start using any SEO tools, so that you can measure your manual productivity and evaluate how your SEO tools help you boost your efficiency and whether they are worth the investment made.