Many firms struggle to make the decision between managing SEO in-house or outsourcing to an agency. If you plan to invest in resources to manage your own SEO strategy, you need to ensure those people have the proper tools at their disposal. Just having the expertise to understand SEO isn’t enough – experts rely on platforms that help them to research, implement, and measure SEO efforts. Here are 12 tools that equip SEO professionals to do their best work.
1. Category: Keyword Research
Popular tools: SEMRush, Brightedge, Moz
Keyword research is really the backbone of your SEO strategy. There are many tools to choose from, so we suggest choosing the one that feels easiest for you to use. You can try combining a third-party tool like Moz with Google Keyword Planner for a deeper dive and more variety.
2. Category: Rank Tracking
Popular tools: Ahrefs, Moz, seoClarity
Once you’ve developed a keyword strategy, you’ll want to understand how you’re pacing to page 1 rankings for the inquiries that you care about. When choosing a tool, ensure that it tracks desktop, mobile, and local rankings in the cities and regions where your firm operates.
3. Category: Technical SEO
Popular tools: SEMRush, Screaming Frog, botify
It’s important to know what’s going on with the back-end of your website, but even the best SEO minds aren’t always trained to monitor the technical elements. A technical SEO tool will crawl your site and identify potential issues that could be having a significant impact on your results.
4. Category: Local Listing Management
Popular tools: Bright Local, Yext, Moz Local
Local marketing is imperative to law firms. You need to be sure that your firm is represented accurately across Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yelp, etc. These tools automate your processes and provide insights into any inconsistency in your law firm’s data. Before choosing a solution, make sure you understand the data management aspect.
5. Tool: Google My Business
This free tool helps companies to optimize their local SEO. Some firms make the mistake of setting up their account and then never revisiting it, but you should review periodically. Make sure that categories are correct and that photos are updated and that you have a method for encouraging and responding to reviews.
6. Tool: Google Search Console
Formerly known as Webmaster Tools, the Search Console is a must-have. We suggest firms check in with this platform daily. This is where you will analyze keyword-level data, look for errors, and see how often Google crawls your site. This is also where you’ll submit XML sitemaps and where you’ll receive notifications if anything goes wrong (like a Google penalty).
7. Category: Backlink Analysis
Popular tools: Majestic SEO, Moz, Ahrefs
Backlinks are incredibly important and understanding your site’s backlink profile is imperative to evaluating performance. These tools will help you to review your backlink quality, if you have spammy links, and how you rank next to competitors. Find a tool that has alert functionality so that you get notified if there are any changes in your backlink profile or quality.
8. Category: SEO Plugins for CMS
Popular tools: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, Yoast
Today’s CMS platforms are more robust and offer plugins. Several tools out there promise to make your content management system more SEO-friendly. Tools allow for things like sitemap generation, keyword-friendly URLs, meta tags and more. WordPress is the most used in the CMS landscape and is very versatile.
9. Category: Marketing Outreach
Popular tools: Buzzstream, BuzzSumo, Pitchbox, Klout
Content creation is critical but it’s not enough. Effective promotion of the content you produce is just as important. There are several tools that can help you with social media outreach. A tool that integrates with your email system is likely most helpful.
10. Category: Workflow Management
Popular tools: Jira, Wrike, Monday, Smartsheet
If you’re handling your law firm’s marketing function in-house, then you need a tool to help you manage the various people and processes. A workflow management tool will help you to track and provide transparency on all the elements of important projects.
11. Category: Website Analytics
Popular tools: Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Core Metrics
Your website analytics offer some of the most valuable data available to your firm. The insights you gain from an analytics platform can inform your marketing efforts across your entire digital strategy including paid search and social media marketing. Google Analytics is free and the most widely used, providing key metrics across several channels.
12. Category: Competitive Analysis.
Popular tools: SEMRush, Moz, BrightEdge
Legal SEO is very competitive, so it’s essential to know what’s going on with other firms similar to yours. What rankings do they have and for what keywords? Where are there backlinks coming from? What is your organic market share in your town? This is all valuable information that third-party tools can give you.
It takes significant time and effort to create an SEO strategy that will actually be effective. If you’re not using these tools to improve your performance, start looking into them. Or, if you don’t have the bandwidth to manage getting the most out of these platforms, rely on an experienced partner who has access to all of these tools and can apply them to your SEO efforts.
Contact us today if you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy and implementing these tools to boost your client’s search visibility.