As with anything tech-related, there are plenty of software options available for your search engine optimization efforts. There are also plenty of articles on other websites talking about each individual piece of software. Instead of duplicating those articles, my goal is to introduce you to the types of software available and give you an idea which type might be right for you.
WordPress and SEO: Plugins Required
WordPress is the current “go-to” website development platform for a LOT of website developers. An oft-quoted advantage of WordPress is that it is SEO friendly. It can be, but you’re going to need plugins to add SEO functionality to the default WordPress installation to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
WordPress SEO Plugins: What They Help With
There are many factors that go into top ranking pages. There are currently no SEO plugins for WordPress that manage EVERYTHING that affects how search engines rank sites. If you’re committed to doing everything you can to get top rankings you’re going to need plugins that assist with the following:
- Creating SEO friendly titles and page descriptions
- Analyzing content for SEO
- Internal link setup and broken link checking
- External link (backlink) checking
- Sitemap creation
- 301 redirection
- 404 / bad visit checking
- Caching to increase site speed
- Image optimization to increase site speed
- Readability checking
- Adding structured data (schema)
- Database cleanup
- And more!
If you’re using the pro or premium versions of these plugins, expect to pay a few hundred dollars a year in software license fees. That will get you access to plugin updates and support. If you want to keep your plugins functional and secure, this is a no-brainer.
SEO for Non-WordPress Websites
SEO on Other Open Source CMS Platforms
Approximately 35% of websites are built on WordPress. The other 65% are built on different Content Management Systems (CMS). Some like Joomla or Drupal are similar to WordPress in that they’re open-source CMS platforms with their own ecosystem of plugins. This means you’ll need to find appropriate plugins for your particular CMS to handle the tasks mentioned above.
SEO on a Propietary CMS
There are also proprietary CMS systems like Duda, Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly, to name a few. Each of these systems give you control over most basic on-page SEO requirements. What they often do NOT do is help you with more advanced SEO techniques like internal linking, link checking, or even analyzing your content for readability or SEO friendliness. When using these systems you will have to rely on what they provide for you or hire a SEO professional to be able to optimize the site fully.
SEO on a Static HTML Website
If your website is older and is built purely in HTML, you can still rank well in search engines. Google and company don’t care whether a site is static or dynamic per se. They can index anything that’s online.
What’s different about a static HTML website is that there are no plugins to guide you on your quest for top rankings. Instead, there are online services that provide various levels of website analysis that you can use to improve your SEO. We’ll talk about these next.
Online SEO Software Tools
To be clear, we’re talking about online SEO software that can work with any website. Whether your site is built on WordPress, some other open source or proprietary CMS, or it’s just a static HTML site, these software tools will be able to analyze your site’s SEO characteristics. You can expect to be able to do the following with these types of tools:
- Check current site rankings in Google and other major search engines
- Analyze on-page SEO characteristics
- Guide on-page SEO optimization
- Check internal link structure
- Broken link checking (internal and external)
- External link research
- Keyword research
- Keyword suggestions
- Analyze competing websites
- And more!
Popular online SEO software tools like Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and others have a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Expect to pay around $100/month CAD for any of these online software solutions. After you’ve signed up you’ll need to spend time learning how to use the tools and making the changes they suggest. In addition, you’ll probably find that there are some tools available in other software packages so you might have to use more than one system. You may find that it is easier or more cost-effective to hire a SEO professional who has these tools already.
Regardless what platform your site is hosted on and what tools you use to guide your search engine optimization process, keep in mind that these tools are only guides. You may find that even though your pages are “fully optimized” with one tool, your pages don’t budge in the rankings. Being guided to follow basic SEO principles is helpful but you still need to do the work. To get the best result, you’re still going to need to educate yourself and practice, practice, practice.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post on SEO software. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading!