Tools for Getting Started (and Getting Serious) With SEO

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Most content creators and marketers have an understanding of search engine optimization basics. The problem is, the rules of SEO are constantly changing (Google has made four major updates this year alone, including “Mobilegeddon,” the release of a new mobile-friendly algorithm that boosts mobile-friendly pages in search results). With more than 200 ranking factors for SEO on Google, keeping pace with SEO changes and making sure best practices are adhered to throughout the organization doesn’t fall on one individual or even one group, such as marketers versus editorial. It’s an enterprise-wide responsibility.

At today's ABM/CISD Digital Media Council meeting, Ankeet Patel, director of technology with Northstar Travel Media, and Jonathan Ray, director of analytics with Access Intelligence, talked about the evolution of SEO (the rise of long-tail searches with multiple keywords and the decline of legacy tactics such as stuffing pages with keywords or buying links) as well as  the best practices they use in their organizations. ABM, CISD and SIPA members can access the deck and a recording of the conversation here.

Patel and Ray also shared some of their favorite tools and resources for SEO, ranging from free starter kits to in-depth solutions. According to a recent poll of ABM/CISD members, half of respondents have an SEO budget of $2,500 or less.  The good news is there are a lot of free tools to get you started until you find it necessary to invest in an enterprise service.

Tools for Getting Started

Google Analytics (of course): The go-to for most publishers but don’t forget Google Trends, Pagespeed Insights and Google Alerts.

Yoast: A plugin used by Access Intelligence that allows some of the content managers to manipulate SEO factors.

Moz: “This is a great resource for all things SEO but real value is the community,” said Ray.

Tools for Getting Serious

Google Webmaster: A great resource for seeing what’s happening with your site—including how many bad links you have, managing tags, and a mobile friendly test.

Bing Webmaster Tools: “Bing is not as big as Google but it's come a long way and now offers some key word insights that go beyond Google,” said Patel.

BrightEdge/Conductor: Two enterprise services (the price is is higher but so is the level of support and functionality).

Additional resources recomended by Ray and Patel include,

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.