Ok so this question has been playing on my mind for ages now.
What software do SEO analists use as this had baffled me for years now, so they just know what to ask due to training or is there software that they use.
If so what is it?
I believe most professional SEO experts don't use a single software to understand the market. In most cases there are a variety of tools involved. One such tool that I've come across is https://ahrefs.com but there may be more, including proprietary software not available publicly.
We have at least one award-winning SEO expert-member (@bigredseo). If he notices this thread and decides to chime in, that'd likely be the best advice you'd get.
www.semrush.com/ - good soft for analitics
I hope he replies :) so from what I gather an SEO specialist would use this to analyse a website for a client and then begin work?
Also thank you for the links
We've used Moz Pro Tools to identify the crawlability factors such as duplicate content and redirects for our website and this is one of the best tools which helps us to increase the SEO performance. :)
While there are lots of good tools out there that can help you to gather information and provide some pointers, there is no replacement for a thorough understanding of current SEO practices.
When all is said and done, one of the most effective things you can do is to build an attractive site with good content that delivers a good user experience and therefore holds the user's attention (easier said than done I know lol). User factors/signals are said to have a massive influence upon SEO since the leading search engines are able to spot sites that perform well. For example, if you have a page that visitors land on and immediately hit the back button on their browser, this is a strong signal to the search engine that the visitor certainly didn't find what they were looking for on the page and that the page may therefore not be relevant on that SEPR (search engine results page). Ideally you want the visitor to terminate their search when they arrive on your site.
You can read Google's guidelines at:
https://seositecheckup.com is another useful scanner you can use to make technical optimisations and avoid mistakes.
Let's not forget SpyFu, and I second the recommendation of Conor and Kimberly at BigRedSEO.
There are multiple tools available online which helps SEO. For back-linking, keyword research, indexing and for all other techniques various tools are available.
SEMRush, MOZ, Google Analytics are popular among them.
We use 6 different "tools/softwares" initially, but we have a number of things we've created in house to make our life easier.
On the grand scheme of things here's the top software;
ahrefs.com - great for links
semrush.com - adwords information
brightlocal.com - local check Google Places & Directories
Yext.com - we're a partner - useful for NAP checks
raventools.com - great for reports
screamingfrog.co.uk - quick site audit
Xenu - link check within a site
copyscape.com - verify unique content
Google Analytics - everything you coudl want to know in a site
Google Adwords - check market penetration and potential marketing
Google Tag Manager - create your own A/B split tests without editing the site
Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) - what's happening on the site directly
Excel - export everything and compare
Our #1 tool however is "logic." If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you look at everything through the eyes of how Google would like to present it to someone, you'll be 1000 steps ahead of your competition. People think they need to rank for the search engines, but you're really wanting to show information for PEOPLE - the search engines are looking for that same angle too.
This is the "quick" run down on what we use regularly. How deep we get in an audit and how much time a person has purchased for doing research. We perform both the on-site and off-site audits, competition research and keyword research.
Along with all of this, there are a few browser plugins that also help when reviewing sites.
You'll notice that I didn't put MOZ on my list and this is my own personal preference. They're a great tool for thousands of people, but they're not good for how we do our job at BigRedSEO.
As far as learning things - Moz, SearchEngineRoundTable, SearchEngineJournal, and a number of blogs and search influencers is what I read. I spend 15+ hours per week just reading blogs from others and then we spend countless hours testing and re-testing to prove the article right or wrong. This is the key! Gaining information is worthless unless you can prove/unprove what they suggest.
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