Search engine optimization (SEO) software, or organic search marketing software, is designed to improve the ranking of websites in search engine results pages (SERPs) without paying the search engine provider for placement. These tools provide SEO insights to companies through a variety of different features, helping identify the best strategies to improve a website’s search relevance. Many tools also offer competitor data and broad industry analysis.
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What is SEO Software?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of driving user traffic to a given website or piece of content via search engines. SEO includes knowledge of best practices as algorithms change, differences between search engines, and the various software tools and metrics used to implement changes and monitor performance. Many SEO software options will bundle metric testing and monitoring in one solution, but there are numerous point solutions available aimed at and designed to handle, specific metrics such as keyword research or link removal.
SEO products tend to be built to cater to a single search engine. As such, make sure you have an idea of the search engine(s) on which you wish to be found. While Google has the biggest audience, that also means there is more competition, especially for highly sought-after terms. If you choose to target another search network, you should ensure that the tool you use will help you increase your rank there.
Key Benefits of SEO Software
- Optimize your website(s) to best perform on the search engine result page (SERP)
- Research the best keywords to target in search marketing efforts
- Stay up to date with search engine algorithm changes
- Receive comprehensive reports on website performance and ranking
- Conduct research on competitors’ strategies and keywords
Why Use SEO Software?
Search engines revolutionized how people found information on a day-to-day basis, and they still strive to put the best content at the forefront of a user’s search. With the standards of the space in constant flux, keeping up with the best practices of SEO is an ever-evolving challenge. SEO software offers myriad benefits for businesses looking to optimize their website.
Visibility — Improving visibility via search engines will ultimately drive website visitors to an e-commerce site. SEO software can help with selecting the right keyword that will generate the most traffic, creating good content from scratch, reworking middling content into good content, and generating both quality and quantity of linkbacks. SEO software can also maximize the presence of a small e-commerce business across multiple channels, including local directory listings and mobile.
Analysis — The vast majority of SEO products allow users to analyze how their content or websites are currently performing, as well as ways they can optimize them, such as keywords they should try to rank for and formatting recommendations. Additionally, many offerings also track changes in ranking, allowing users to make changes to content that has begun to perform poorly.
Competitiveness — SEO has become a buzzword in the marketing world because organizations are implementing it en masse. Some of the most successful businesses have taken a lead in their share of the market because they’ve invested in SEO practices and software. Investing in SEO strategies has become a critical component of developing a thriving online presence capable of competing with others in a space.
Who Uses SEO Software?
SEO can make or break the success of content, but not all levels of an organization will need to be involved in the SEO process. Instead, the responsibility of SEO typically falls on specific individuals within an organization. Additionally, plenty of content creators who are self-employed will rely on SEO to ensure their content ranks well and can be found easily via search engines.
Content Marketers — SEO has become a staple within content marketing. Search engines are a primary channel through which potential buyers will find services and products, and within organizations, it typically falls on content marketing teams to optimize their content. Some businesses will even employ dedicated SEO specialists who can dedicate most of their time to make certain their content is performing the best it can.
Content Creators — The term “content creator” can apply to everyone from bloggers to YouTube stars to Instagram influencers. Individuals from all these backgrounds want to ensure their content is performing the best it can on a given platform, and SEO tools can help with features like hashtag tracking and brand mentions. Content creation is a highly competitive space, and SEO software can help their content perform in a potentially saturated environment.
SEO Software Features
The features listed below are commonly found in SEO solutions, but this list is by no means exhaustive.
Backlink Tools — This provides tools that help you build additional linkbacks to your site and allow you to understand what your existing linkbacks are and how they are impacting your SEO.
On-Page Analysis — Analyze a URL based on the keywords you are targeting for the page.
Site Audits — Crawls all pages on your site, pointing out potential issues search crawlers may have with your site.
Local Marketing — Provides tools to help manage listings in multiple local search engines (Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Local).
Keyword Analysis — Helps find the right keywords to target to drive appropriate traffic to your site.
SERP Rank Tracking — Tracks organic rank for keywords that you are targeting for a specific URL and provides history reports for multiple search engines.
Brand Alerts — Provides reports of when your brand or domain is mentioned or linked to from other domains.
Social Analytics — Provides tools that analyze social mentions and linkbacks relative to SEO.
Competitive Comparisons — Enables side-by-side comparisons of how you are doing versus competitors for key metrics such as backlinks, SERP results, domain strength, etc.
Integration with Website Analytics — Integrates Google Analytics, webmaster tools, etc.
Other Features of SEO Software: Content Optimization, Keyword Research, Link Building, Rank Tracking, SEO Audit
Trends Related to SEO Software
Bundling — Many SEO software options have begun adding more features to their offerings. SEO encompasses several metrics, and businesses would be hard-pressed to buy different tools to monitor disparate measures. This is reflected in the most popular SEO software options, with the most inclusive products floating to the top in terms of widespread usage. While point solutions still exist, SEO suites are more common in the current market.
Potential Issues with SEO Software
Consistency — SEO standards are constantly changing. Popular search engines are always changing their algorithms to present the best and most relevant information for a given search term. With additional metrics like featured snippets coming into play, businesses have more and more to account for when optimizing their web pages for SEO. While SEO tools can help track how well a website is ranking, they may not always be updated with the latest and greatest in SEO practices without consistent updates from developers.
Software and Services Related to SEO Software
Local SEO Software — Local SEO software functions like any other SEO tool but specifically targets local customers. This can be especially critical for small businesses, such as restaurants, services, and small retailers, that need to rank well in and advertise to their immediate community.
Search Advertising Software — Search advertising software, like SEO, is concerned with ranking for keywords in popular search engines. However, search advertising tools are concerned with ranking for the sake of presenting marketing material and ads within search engines. SEO software ensures that a business’s main website is ranking well in search engines.
SEO Services Providers — SEO services providers allow businesses to optimize their websites without purchasing a dedicated SEO software tool. For some businesses, particularly small ones, the upfront cost of SEO software can be high, and they may not need to monitor their backlinks and rankings often. An SEO service can optimize a website once, and for some businesses, that’s more than enough.