11 min read
You’ve done niche-specific keyword research, learned about optimizing your page speed, and built your domain authority with quality internal and external linking strategies.
You finally feel like you’re getting the hang of this whole SEO thing.
Where should you focus next?
Your SEO is only as good as the tools in your toolbelt.
That’s why we recommend putting your newly created SEO strategy into action by first finding the right optimization tools. No matter if you are focusing on next-level keyword research or lightning fast site speed, you’ll find tools to help you get there.
But first, let’s start with the SEO features found in your website platform to monitor SEO performance.
You may be surprised to know how many SEO capabilities are already built into your website management platform.
No matter if you host your website on WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify, you’ll be able to improve your SEO in a few small tweaks to your content optimization process. Which platform is best for SEO? We’re reviewing each of the platforms in terms of SEO below.
WordPress is the most popular website platform and CMS (or content management system) on the web with over 74.6 million websites. Some of the web’s most influential websites are hosted on WordPress, including The New York Times, CNN, Mashable, and eBay. It’s not only for top media companies but for new and expert bloggers alike. You can host a blog for free with WordPress.com, which has limited features, or self-host your website with WordPress.org.
When choosing to optimize your SEO on WordPress, most users trust the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s the number one rated SEO plugin on the web, and its features help you improve your rankings and optimize your blog and website content in a user-friendly way. We will use the rest of this section to review Yoast SEO with WordPress.
Free to use Yoast. Advanced capabilities are offered in their Premium plan for $89 for a single website.
Squarespace has become an instant favorite among creative entrepreneurs and bloggers who want to DIY their own website. You don’t need to know how to code with Squarespace’s easy-to-use templates. Squarespace makes the basics of SEO as simple to understand as their design platform, but it’s not as robust as WordPress.org’s capabilities.
Starts at $16/month for personal websites and $30/month for ecommerce shops.
Built specifically for ecommerce, Shopify has become a top choice for those who want to sell products through an online shop. Similarly to Squarespace, no coding skills are required when creating a Shopify website. While its SEO features are built into the tool, it does have some limitations.
Starts at $29/month for their basic plan.
Platform-specific SEO verdict
While each of these website building platforms incorporate several features that help you amplify and optimize your SEO efforts, you may be interested in more advanced tools.
You can get by with the built-in tools we’ve discussed so far, but if you’re serious about improving your SEO and attracting quality leads, we recommend looking into specialized site speed and keyword research tools.
When analyzing your site speed, there are a multitude of options to choose from. Some are more advanced than others, so it’s good to establish what you specifically need a site speed tool to do before you dig into these recommendations.
Do you only need to test your basic site speed, or would you like in-depth suggestions on how exactly to improve your site speed? This will determine which tools may be best for you.
If you’re looking for a free, easy-to-use tool that can assess your site speed, PageSpeed Insights is your one-stop-shop. You can simply input your domain name into the search bar, and the tool will rate your site from one to 100 for overall speed. It will also give you some recommendations to help you optimize your site for better speed performance.
Free to use.
For users who are looking for more features than what Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool offers, Webpagetest is an option worth considering. The report generated from the speed test is incredibly detailed, giving various areas of your website a letter grade from A to F. It also locates the root of the site speed issue, giving you specific recommendations for exactly how to fix it within your website.
Free to use
If you’re still on the hunt for a site speed analysis tool that has a clean, user-friendly dashboard with advanced results, GTMetrix can be that tool for you. Webpagetest gives more of a page-by-page breakdown than GTMetrix, but this tool makes up for it in other ways.
Free to use.
Now that you’ve tested your site speed and are making tweaks to optimize your website, you’re ready to look into keyword research tools. By doing keyword research, you will be able to write optimized content that engages current readers while attracting a new audience.
Google Keyword Planner is the most popular keyword research on the web, making it the clear choice as you start your keyword research. It is used by SEO professionals and newbies alike, but it has some drawbacks worth noting.
Free to use with Google Adwords account.
We are huge fans of the Moz Keyword Explorer at ConvertKit and regularly use it when creating our blog post and website content. Moz is one of the top leaders in the SEO industry, so it’s no surprise they are leading in terms of keyword research resources. To learn how to get started with keyword research using this tool, read our article on creating content for search engines and people.
Free to use basic features. More features within the Keyword Explorer tool are available with a Moz Pro account, which starts at $99/month.
Leading the pack in international search capabilities, SEMRush has become a favorite among PPC and SEO professionals. They specialize in gathering relevant, long-tail keywords in multilingual environments.
Free to use with an SEMRush account, with advanced pro features starting at $99.95/month.
What are the main aspects of your website that you want to improve? Take the time to think it through then decide which tools will best fit your needs.
We want to hear what keyword research, site speed, and website platform SEO tools you are excited to experiment with this month.
Let us know in the comment section below. We will help keep you accountable!