Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to improve its visibility and rankings for search engines (primarily Google).
But, if you run a website, you probably already knew that.
Today, SEO is a crucial element of digital marketing. And if you're not actively optimizing your website, you're at major risk of disappearing beneath waves of competitors who are...potentially never to return.
Needless to say, strategic SEO is not to be overlooked. But, does it have to cost you a fortune?
Not necessarily a fortune, no. But, while SEO shouldn't break the bank, it's an absolute must for your business. My personal opinion is that, yes, you should invest in it prudently. When used to its full potential, SEO software is a game changer that can rocket your business forward in incredible ways.
How much you'll spend on SEO and which software you'll ultimately select will depend on your business' size, marketing strategy, and goals. It will also hinge on your (or your team's) SEO knowledge and comfort level. For some businesses, free SEO software tools may be sufficient, while others will prefer a powerful all-in-one platform with all the latest bells and whistles.
In this post, we'll take a look at exactly what SEO software is, the top benefits of using it, and some of its biggest functions. We'll finish off with a look at some current SEO software trends and provide suggestions for further reading.
What Is SEO Software?
Plain and simple, SEO software is software that's designed to streamline and enhance the process of improving a website's organic search rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Also known as organic search marketing software, SEO software supports users in researching, organizing, monitoring, and analyzing data related to website performance.
The SEO software market is currently a crowded one. Standalone SEO tools can be found alongside comprehensive platforms and price points can range from 100% free to hundreds of dollars per month. Some SEO software options are centered around a specific core tool or strategy (such as keyword research, link building, or technical optimization), while others are broader in their scope. Select offerings have evolved over many years, while others have just hit the market. Not all are appropriate for SEO novices; not all are suited for SEO experts.
What each and every SEO software program has in common with its competition, though, is that it's meant to bolster your search engine results as well as your digital marketing savvy and overall SEO experience. How exactly does SEO software achieve those goals? Let's take a peek.
Top Benefits Of Using SEO Software
It probably goes without saying that the number one top benefit of using SEO software is that it can increase your website's rankings on search engine results pages (and thus your business and revenue). That being said, there are a whole lot of elements that go into attaining this outcome.
Google's algorithms evaluate websites based on more than 200 ranking factors and an effective SEO strategy must take into account on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO--not to mention optimized, high quality content generation that fits into the calculated architecture of your website.
With you (or your team) at the helm, SEO software can holistically inform all of these areas and benefit your website (and revenue generation) in the following ways:
In 2022, BrightEdge Research reported that more than 53% of trackable website traffic is sourced from organic traffic, making organic traffic more impactful by far than paid traffic (which accounted for just 15% of trackable website traffic in the same year). Not only that, but this number has risen slowly but surely over the past 8 years.
Statistics like these underscore the vital and long-lasting importance of increasing your website's organic traffic, and SEO software can assist you in doing just that. By using various optimization techniques, it can help to grow your website's traffic by making it more visible to search engines.
The bottom line is that increased traffic is symbiotic with higher rankings. As one increases, so does the other. And, in the end, both convert to greater profits for your business.
Improved Conversion Rates
Increasing organic traffic to your website is great, but ensuring that that traffic is as rich in legitimate potential customers as possible is even better. SEO software can help you to focus on attracting visitors who will actually complete desired actions on your website (such as filling out a form or making a purchase). Improving your conversion rates is much more of a guessing game when you don’t have dedicated software to assist you.
Better Site Performance & User Experience
By analyzing a website’s content and overall structure, SEO software can bring technical issues to your attention (and, in many cases, automatically repair them on the spot). Less glitches make for an improved user experience…which results in higher rankings. Don't underestimate the power of site performance and user experience when it comes to attracting more visitors. And what could be better than software that does most of the heavy lifting for you?
In-Depth Competitor Data
One of the golden keys to successful SEO is to know thine enemy--in this case, your competitors. Scoping out the competition is an accepted and fundamental aspect of effective search engine optimization, which is pretty challenging to do without some help from trusted SEO software.
SEO software tools can deftly provide insight into your biggest competitors' keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and more. This one is a biggie.
Real-Time Reporting & Analytics
No matter how confident you are in your SEO strategy, accessing accurate and comprehensive statistics to back it up (and tweak it as necessary) is absolutely crucial. Relevant data can help you to stay abreast of, and act shrewdly upon, current trends--sometimes right down to the minute. Fortunately, access to real-time reporting and analytics is a foundational component of virtually all competitive SEO software. It usually includes metrics such as keyword rankings, traffic statistics, conversion rates, and much more.
In addition to all of the benefits of real-time reporting and analytics listed above, let's include one more: Automated reporting. If you run an agency where clients are relying on you for timely SEO progress reports, then the automatic report generation that is a feature of many SEO software programs can be a massive boon.
Instead of scrambling to gather, compile, and send off relevant data to clients at regular intervals, you can simply delegate that task to your SEO software. By saving you time and stress (and likely being more thorough, organized, and punctual than you would have been on your own), SEO software can free you up to focus on higher level tasks such as communicating with your clients to help them interpret the reports they've just received.
SEO involves a plethora of moving parts. Sure, you may be able to cobble together multiple tools and manual strategies to handle them but, while this approach may save you a little money, it will almost certainly also leave you breathless, disorganized, and discombobulated. Comprehensive SEO software can offer a dramatically less frenzied approach.
When you've got access to all of your tools, projects, and data in one place, your time is more efficiently spent and your SEO strategy remains more cohesive and attainable. This applies exponentially more in the event that you're managing multiple websites.
This last one is anecdotal, but worth a solid mention regardless. For me (and many of the website owners I work with), it's motivating to be able to track the positive impact an SEO strategy is having. Progress may be incremental, but SEO software allows you to note and celebrate every step in the right direction over time. Positivity is contagious and can fortify you and your team, helping you to stay focused on and committed to continued SEO efforts.
How SEO Software Can Help Improve A Website's Search Engine Ranking
Now that we've covered a few of the major benefits it has to offer, let's delve a little deeper into how SEO software improves your website's rankings. Below is an abbreviated overview of some of the most common optimization tools found in SEO software (not even close to being an exhaustive list):
On-page SEO refers to practices that optimize content and other elements within a website to increase organic traffic and search engine rankings. Check out our guide on how to do on-page seo.
Keyword research is one of the most major and hard hitting components of any SEO software platform. It can encompass a truly massive amount of data and features such as keyword suggestions, difficulty analysis, search volumes, competitor keyword research, and much more.
Optimizing your website for the right keywords is critical to your SEO strategy.
Many SEO tools include features that can help you to build out content with high-ranking potential around specific keywords. Based on trends and statistical analysis, content ideas generated by SEO software are generally much more strategic than the ones you might have thought of yourself.
Meta descriptions provide a short and informative summary of a web page and have an SEO impact. SEO software can help you to consistently create, organize, and implement meta descriptions throughout your website.
Internal Link Building
Some SEO software offers tools and features that can enhance and streamline the internal link building process. This is an important SEO task that can become time consuming and tedious without software assistance.
Off-page SEO refers to tactics that optimize elements outside of a website to increase organic traffic and search engine rankings.
A strong backlink profile is one of Google's most significant ranking considerations. With SEO software you can dive deeply into the world of backlinks with features such as backlink quality analysis, competitor backlink analysis, link building support, and much more.
Many SEO software platforms integrate with various social media channels and allow you to manage and monitor the performance of your posts. In today's world, the inherent value of these types of features cannot be overstated.
Some SEO software encompasses review generation and reputation management tools. Online reviews can have a notable impact on your business' SEO presence, so keep these features in mind.
Technical SEO refers to actions that directly impact how search engines crawl and index your website.
Site audits can reveal in-depth suggestions for how to optimize the technical components of your website. While SEO software can automatically manage some of these components, regular site audits can really help you to track and stay on top of your site's technical optimization.
Site Speed & Mobile Responsiveness
Google favors quick-loading, mobile-responsive sites that won't frustrate users. SEO software can help to speed up your site and optimize it for mobile devices.
SEO Software Trends
In a landscape that is constantly evolving and shifting, The Future Of SEO & How To Stay Ahead Of The Curve">staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the SEO industry is imperative to your website's long-term success. SEO software can provide insights about industry trends and best practices that would be almost impossible to stay on top of and interpret yourself. In turn, these can keep you confidently informed and set you up to weather even the toughest storms, secure in the knowledge that your website is proactively optimized.
After reading about some of the benefits of SEO software today, I'm fairly confident that you’re starting to understand why businesses shell out money to invest in such products. SEO software has a phenomenal amount to offer and it's virtually impossible (as well as incredibly time consuming) to consider recreating these types of tools and features from scratch.
It goes without saying that I'm a major proponent of SEO software for every kind of business--from one-person startups to fully staffed agencies--but that doesn't mean that the same SEO software will be the right choice for everyone.
Discover your ideal SEO software today!