As noted here last week, ranking highly in search requires writing great content, making smart use of Google Webmaster Tools, and building or earning high-authority backlinks.
But there’s more involved in generating high, and highly relevant, organic search traffic.
At its core, search still relies on words, whether typed or spoken. How can you identify the highest-value keywords for your content? Which keyword research and other SEO tools are most effective? What tactics are most valuable for local SEO success?
Find those answers and more here in 10 expert SEO posts.
SEO Keyword Guides and Tools
How to Find Keywords Your Competitors Don’t Know About by Feldman Creative
Writing that “By strategically implementing long tail keywords, you’re far more likely to rank high, attract the audience you desire, and show motivated prospects the way to your website” but “Your challenge is to identify the right long tail keywords,” Barry Feldman outlines six sources for finding those valuable-but-undertargeted phrases, including tables of contents on Wikipedia and common questions on forums.
Fast SEO Competitive Analysis by Search Engine Watch
Ben Goodsell explains how to identify top competitors in search, how to use SEMrush to discover how people are finding competitors in search, and how to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool along with Excel to identify search trends and quantify search volume.
Google Didn’t Want Us To Use The Keyword Planner This Way. But It Works Nicely. by Advanced Web Ranking
***** 5 STARS
Noting that “This landing page tool in keyword planner is primarily designed for when you have created a landing page, and you want to place ads to get paid traffic to that page specifically,” Dan Shure proceeds to demonstrate eight other “unintended” ways to use this tool for keyword research, such as by entering competitor sites, then using filters to find high volume / low competition phrases from the resulting list.
70+ Keyword Research Tool Alternatives to Google Keyword Planner by Small Business Ideas Blog
Updated for 2015, this bookmark-worthy post from Brian Lang now includes reviews of more than 90 keyword research tools, ranging from tools provided by the search engines (e.g., Google Correlate, the Bing Keyword Tool) to online research tools like Advanced Web Ranking to keyword suggestion tools, other desktop keyword tools, competitive analysis tools, browser add-ons and plugins, analytics tools, and “other ideas.”
Free Keyword Suggestions Tool by SerpStat
This simple free tool lets you search for general keyword ideas as well as questions only (e.g., what is…? type terms), and export results (with registration).
Since “the demise of Google’s Keyword Tool, the most popular of its kind, has left marketers scrambling for alternatives,” Pam Dyer helpful reviews 10 other options here, including both free tools like Ubersuggest (which “makes good use of Google Suggest and other suggest services. You can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries. It also offers vertical results for images, news, shopping, video, and recipes”) and paid tools such as KeywordSpy.
Other SEO Tools
This free downloadable SEO analysis tool offers five different crawl modes including keyword intelligence: “This crawl option will crawl all the keywords from website. This mode takes keywords from titles, headings and anchor texts and do analysis on them either they are conflicted with any other webpage’s keywords or are good to go.”
SEO Tools: The Definitive Excel Plugin for Digital Marketers by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal
Guest author Joe Cox delves into the functionality of Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools plugin for Excel, which he believes “is without doubt the most outstanding and powerful Excel add-in available for SEOs.” Among the tool’s capabilities, the Google Analytics API “literally puts the power of Google Analytics into your Excel Workbook,” and “from HTML Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, H1, H2, H3 and Canonical URL Meta, the on-page section of Bosma’s SEO Tools is absolute dynamite.”
Local SEO Guides
Jeremy Walker writes that regardless if its shortcomings as a social network, “Google+ sits at the center of local search.” He outlines four steps for local businesses to make the most of Google+, from creating a Google+ account and verifying ownership to enhancing the content on your Google+ Brand Page: “you can add a custom cover photo, create posts, add photos and even videos.”
10 Local Marketing Myths Hamstringing Your Business by Search Engine Land
Chris Silver Smith lists 10 “local marketing myths that you should become familiar with (and banish from your own thinking),” such as as that your primary keyword must be part of your domain name; that Twitter and Facebook are worthless for certain types of local businesses (“social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook pages provide you with assets to help proactively manage your online reputation, and they may help you outrank your competition”); and that mobile optimization isn’t important.