What’s the point of creating a website if Google and users can’t access its content? It’s incredibly important to check everything from your robots meta tags to robots.txt file to XML sitemaps and more. It’s highly recommended to check the robots.txt and robots meta tags since they usually restrict access to certain areas of your site. Just be sure to check them manually and ensure that everything is in good shape.
It’s important to note that entire websites don’t rank for keywords — pages do. With big brands, we often see the homepage ranking for many keywords, but for most websites this isn’t usually the case. Many websites receive more organic traffic to pages other than the homepage, which is why it’s so important to diversify your website’s pages by optimizing each for uniquely valuable keywords.

There are many tools that can be used here as well to show you the SEO strategy of your rivals. Use this section to see where their strategy is working and build upon it, and where it is failing them, and then talk with your digital marketing firm about how to avoid those same pitfalls. This section should include actionable next steps for you and your firm to follow.

2) SEMrush- This tool offers fantastic competitive research around domains to find what keywords could be driving traffic for your competitors. Looking at paid keywords ad spend can also help you know which keywords might have monetary value worth pursuing organically. If a competitor is willing to spend a high ad budget on terms and you think they do a good job running their ad campaign, then its a good indication it is worth organic ranking effort.
First, make sure that you have an XML sitemap for your website and have submitted it to Google Search Console. This will tell the search engine where all your webpages are so that they can be crawled. And it also establishes you as the original author of your site content, which can stop it being removed from search engine listings for duplicated content.
1) Ahrefs to quickly see “the big picture” when it comes to any keyword I'm researching. I can instantly see the top holders in the SERPs. I then immediately take the top holders list and go check out their sites. I need to make sure I can beat them content-wise, otherwise I will search for another keyword to try and rank for, or perhaps go down the long-tail route. The Ahrefs tool and data quality get better and better every year. It's one of my favorite tools.
3) Google: This is pretty straight forward but it’s the main reason I like it. I search for my main seed keyword in Google, and use the keywords that Google itself highlights in bold on the search results, plus the “Searches related to” section at the bottom to get keyword variations or LSI. That’s basically what Google is telling you that topic is about. No need for a thousands other tools. I use these to optimize the on page of my target pages as well.
At this point, it could be that your site is on the bad side of Google, maybe as a result of an offense and the like. The very first thing you should know is that Googlebot works differently from site to site. For instance, a well-known company with a lot of content have a higher chance of being indexed in no time as opposed to personal bloggers who post occasionally.

They also seem to be getting this wrong often enough that I've got less confidence that the keywords that make up these groups really belong there. I recently tried to check the volume for the keyword [active monitoring] (the practice of checking on a network by injecting test traffic and seeing how it's handled, as opposed to passive monitoring) and the Keyword Planner gave me the volume for [activity monitor] (aka Fitbit).
You can also indicate which pages don't need to be crawled or are not important. You call the Googlebot to crawl and index your site from inside the Google Search Console. However, do note that although Google "looks" at your sitemap - Google is more interested in doing a raw crawl of your site - jumping from one link to another to spider all the pages in its database. By doing that, it also forms a link map of your site into its own index - which tell it which pages on your site are the most important pages (they are the ones that have the most links - the most prominent links).

I like to start with Google first, because Google looks at more of the words within our blog post and tends to keep content evergreen longer. This method is so simple and I learned it from Lena over at WhatMommyDoes.com. Simply go to Google and start typing in a couple words related to your blog post. It will give you suggestions of what people are searching for – hello, keywords!
Yes Jaaxy has it all really. Not just Keywords and an Awesome new Rank Checker but also competition information and other methods for searching. Much More under the hood than what is a first glance..Highly recommend getting in with Pro Or Enterprise BEFORE SEPTEMBER so you can keep the current price structure. Those in after September will be subject to new prices..I am Glad you like jaaxy, keep using it and you will see how accurate the data really is.
I like to start with Google first, because Google looks at more of the words within our blog post and tends to keep content evergreen longer. This method is so simple and I learned it from Lena over at WhatMommyDoes.com. Simply go to Google and start typing in a couple words related to your blog post. It will give you suggestions of what people are searching for – hello, keywords!
3. Finally, there's just good old research through trends and news. Google Trends, keeping up on industry news of the business, and even newsjacking (if there are relevant topics). These all require different resources depending on the business, but once you find the leaders in their news you can not only leverage them for keyword research but also glean insights into how you can become an industry leader yourself (and dominate SEO).
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Keyword research is a constant process. Trends change. Seasons change. Popular terms and catch-phrases change. SEO and marketing agencies are a great resource for ensuring that keyword research is done on a regular basis. You should refresh your research at least quarterly, ideally monthly, to stay ahead of your competitors. Partnering with a reputable SEO agency is a great way to ensure you’re always ahead of your competition.
3. Finally, there's just good old research through trends and news. Google Trends, keeping up on industry news of the business, and even newsjacking (if there are relevant topics). These all require different resources depending on the business, but once you find the leaders in their news you can not only leverage them for keyword research but also glean insights into how you can become an industry leader yourself (and dominate SEO).
Anjali, I think you should start with the Keyword Planner from Google. As a free option it is one of the best. SEMRush is great but you need to pay for it to be really effective. After GKP (Google Keyword Planner) I would also take a look at the other, more unknown suggestions Ankit talked about like KWFinder or Keyword Eye – they are quite good and will sometimes reveal keywords you wouldn’t find otherwise (for free).
Brian, thank you for all of these informative guides! I started out as a digital marketing intern and everything that I learned from your site has helped me land a job as a marketing specialist. I’m truly grateful and enjoy everything that you published so far. If you have a chance, I’ve started using this tool called SEOClarity, I was wondering what’s your take on it? Have you used it before or know anyone that has?
You can improve your site speed by a ton of methods, but the overall goal should be to test your site from different geo-locations using a tool like pingdom and then attend to issues. You could go for a CDN provider like Cloudflare or install caching plugins that speed up your site by reducing database queries and therefore the server load. Choosing the right hosting company for you is a critical decision and is based on many factors including your CMS, expected site traffic, and what your goals are for the site amongst others.
1) Ahrefs to quickly see “the big picture” when it comes to any keyword I'm researching. I can instantly see the top holders in the SERPs. I then immediately take the top holders list and go check out their sites. I need to make sure I can beat them content-wise, otherwise I will search for another keyword to try and rank for, or perhaps go down the long-tail route. The Ahrefs tool and data quality get better and better every year. It's one of my favorite tools.  

The relevant keywords that you target with your ads will bring the right audience to your website. Showing your ads to people that type relevant keywords will result in higher click-through rate (CTR), lower cost-per-click (CPC) and higher conversion rates for your business. As a result, you will spend less money on advertising and generate a better return on investment.
Given you have a good idea of where to start and are fairly confident you are speaking the same language as your client, jump start research by generating related keyphrases and long tail variants with the ever so easy to use Google Autocomplete. This tool makes predictions based on what you are typing that are a reflection of Google search activity.
However, this does not mean you cannot topple them. It just takes more of an effort in terms of content as your page has to build the trust. That is why you will see the "Google dance" happening for fresh content from a site that is not yet trusted or is not very authoritative. Google gives your page a chance and measures user click-throughs when it pushes you to certain spots in the SERPs and then measures user engagement levels when the traffic hit your site through those positions in the SERPs.
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