After successfully managing hundreds of website projects for our clients, we know creating a meaningful connection online requires code, sweat, and tears expertise. With hours in the lab spent fine-tuning the design that brings the brand to life, it’s easy to overlook that most user experiences don’t start on the homepage, but with a Google search.
Of course, this isn’t news to you… or really anyone in the digital space. Our search engine optimization experts have been auditing and improving websites for more than 15 years doing their part to outline relevant and attainable SEO strategies that maximize the investment in your new site.
While Liam, Aaron, and the rest of our SEO experts know the industry best practices like the back of their hands, they don’t tackle comprehensive strategies on their own. Primacy’s SEO practice leverages a number of third-party tools to compile competitive assessments, hash together ranking insights, and recommend the most valuable course of action for near-term and long-term improvement of client sites.
We weren’t paid to mention these platforms. In fact, we pay to use most of them. But since they’ve helped us build better work for our clients for the past decade, consider this our way of saying thank you!
Tools for Fast SEO Overviews:
During the early stages of a relationship, these tools help us to quickly evaluate how well a website adheres to SEO best practices, and identify any areas in urgent need of attention.
Lighthouse is a web extension that provides a rapid report of site performance in about 2-3 minutes. Ideal for gathering a perspective of the current state, Lighthouse reports back on metrics like page load speed, technical attributes, and SEO signals (think meta data, title tags, and alt text for images) that contribute to how Google will “grade” a site for particular searches.
Another web extension, SEOQuake provides greater insight on adherence to industry best practices on a page-by-page level. Because of the more granular attention to detail, we find SEOQuake to be ideal for reviewing just a small number of highly valuable pages instead of the site as a whole.
Tools for Comprehensive Site Audits:
For us SEO nerds, our ideal scenario is having hours to dig in to the nitty-gritty of website builds and performance. These tools help us do just that, identifying the large-scale trends that can help guide a full-scale redesign or content migration project.
Screaming Frog is an SEO Spider that mimics the searching and indexing process used by major search engines like Google. Geared more towards SEO pros, this tool provides a mass of exportable and sortable data on web pages, files, and images—offering a 30,000-foot view of site trends and paths for optimization.
While other tools on this list are more targeted towards new site reviews or audits, it’s hard to beat Google’s own Search Console for current site maintenance and upkeep. With critical error warnings and actual user search queries by page, this is the one-stop shop for growing existing traffic, planning new content development, and ensuring premium performance after launch.
Tools for SEO Keyword and Ranking Insights:
There is no such thing as a perfect A+ mark for search engine optimization. Since keyword trends and Google algorithms are always changing, it’s imperative to keep up with the competition and understand where your site ranks in comparison.
Moz has been a thought-leader in the SEO space for quite some time. (If you haven’t yet, check out their Whiteboard Friday series!) With both free SEO tools and a paid Pro subscription, Moz offers keyword suggestions by site or by topic, alongside competitive reports for target keywords and detailed link metrics.
Like Moz, SEMRush offers free and paid plans with more information about keyword ranking opportunities, estimated keyword value, and branded vs non-branded searches. While no tool is going to provide 100% visibility into competitor activity, using both Moz and SEMRush in conjunction allows our team to create directional insights about the most likely opportunities within the search realm.
We hope you can find value in using these tools for yourself, but don’t worry if it’s overwhelming at first—that’s why we’re here. Connect with our SEO experts for any questions you may have, large or small.