1. AdWords Keyword Planner - It's still the standard, although Google keeps making changes that just aren't helpful. I get that they want us to treat closely-related keywords in such a way that we're not creating multiple pages when we should just have one, but I'd appreciate it if they'd still break down the volume for each keyword that makes up a group (or at least list the keywords they're clumping together into a group).
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
I recently paid to use the moz keyword tool, and its been really insightful. (but expensive!) it helps find synonyms and other wording that i never would have thought to include in my post. also, i’ve realized the importance of allowing comments on blogs, as people discussing the topic seem to add those terms naturally to the post. thx for the post!
Keyword research should come first in your digital marketing strategy. Increasing web traffic remains the most important criteria for measuring marketing success and all search begins with keywords. According to Hubspot, more than 60% of marketers identify increasing their organic search presence as their top digital marketing priority. Though SEO continues to evolve, keyword research and content strategy remain the cornerstones of digital marketing.

Competitor analysis should be an important part of your keyword research. It’s important to know how your competitors are ranking. Competitor analysis can reveal holes in your own content. Also, you should steal ideas from your competitors. However, never use the same content. Duplicate content will also be penalized by Google and is frowned upon generally. Emulate success, but be cognizant of keyword difficulty, which measures your chances of ranking with a keyword phrase due to significant competition. Also, be aware that Google almost always rewards brand keywords to the owner. You’re unlikely to trick Google into ranking you with your competitors’ brand names.


QSR (Quoted Search Results) – This is your competition. This is the number of websites using the same exact keyword you searched for.  If you aim under 400, you have a good chance of getting ranked (300 is ideal). I try and keep mine below 150 so I have a much better chance of getting results much quicker  The opportunities are truly endless for keywords and having this information is extremely helpful
You can also block certain files or folders with passwords to the public or from certain bots. For example if you are still setting up a site and don't want it accessed - you can block it. This is very useful when building your Private Blog Network, because you can block tools like Ahrefs and Majestic from crawling your PBN site and hence hide any backlinks to your main money site from being discovered by your competitors (and therefore hide your PBN entirely). You can read up on Private Blog Networks and how to build them in my PBN guide.
Ali Jaffar has been building dazzling websites and creating amazing online experiences for over a decade. His mastery of the latest innovations in web development results in world-class website experiences set apart by show-stopping style and seamless functionality. A Google Mobile Sites and Google Analytics qualified individual and award-winning web development guru, Ali lends his talents to build and bolster digital experiences for a wide array of clients. When Ali’s not helping his clients grow, you can find him doing yoga, walking his dog, and enjoying a nice bike ride around Philly.
An SEO audit that just includes some marketer telling you what they think is wrong might be helpful, but it’s not a true audit. You should require professional tools involving research and algorithms to be used in addition to professional opinions. Why? Because those tools were created for a reason. Whether your SEO audit pulls from sites like SEMrush or Screaming Frog SEO Spider, they should have data backing them up.
I just have the free version right now so I don't know all that the pro one can do. But even the free version has A LOT of tools you can use, I haven't even figured them all out yet. But one that I have used is their Content Optimizer. You can take a new or existing content piece of yours, and compare it to one of your competitor's pieces on a similar topic, and see where you might be lacking based on the keywords that are used in each piece.

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?
The WA Keyword tool works well also and I am glad you like it. I use it as well. The reason I prefer Jaaxy is because it is an entire suite of tools in one package for an affordable price. Good choice to wait until you can budget for it. The free version gives a good taste of what is available but the paid versions both Pro and Enterprise are truly game changers. Once you make the leap you wont go back.
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Very true about Jaaxy and the relevant results, I see to many tools providing graphs and PPC info that has little to no impact on how to maintain good rank standings. Jaaxy has it all in one place and really delivers the goods. The updated rank checker is fabulous as you can track your progress over time and see how you are doing. The price is very reasonable if you consider it is for a business, and it should really be the only keyword tool you need once you learn all the perks within, which will ultimately save money. The interface has changed and is even more user friendly than before.
I recently paid to use the moz keyword tool, and its been really insightful. (but expensive!) it helps find synonyms and other wording that i never would have thought to include in my post. also, i’ve realized the importance of allowing comments on blogs, as people discussing the topic seem to add those terms naturally to the post. thx for the post!
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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