The internet’s explosive popularity has created a huge demand for talented writers to create web site content. Google’s adoption of Panda in 2011 expanded these opportunities, which include blog ghostwriting, authoring SEO articles, and creating advertising copy.
All well and good; but for authors to succeed in these fields, they need more than just solid writing skills. They must also be skilled in the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO), including keyword selection, traffic analysis, and social media marketing. Fortunately, a number of online services have appeared in recent years which offer invaluable support in these areas. Here’s a look at two of the most popular ones:
1. SEOmoz – This site offers a comprehensive suite of powerful tools for boosting a site’s search engine rankings, including link building, keyword research, and site analysis apps. The keyword research tool shows which sites are ranking for a particular term, and includes other data, such as domain authority and number of searches. Keywords are ranked from easy to hard, based on the number of sites already using them. SEOmoz offers other resources, including:
- On-page analysis – This tool scours a site, ranking it according to criteria such as broken links, 404 errors, and keyword density. It assigns the site a letter grade and offers suggestions for improving its SEO ranking.
- Competitive analysis – This tool gives SEOmoz subscribers the ability to see how their competitors are doing, tracking their campaigns and providing metrics on their site’s effectiveness in a number of areas.
- Keyword tracking – Lets subscribers know how particular keywords are ranking on Google, with status reports updated weekly.
SEOmoz offers a number of different plans for subscribers. They range in cost from $99 to $499 a month. This link provides more information.
2. Raven Tools – While SEOmoz is geared towards dedicated SEO specialists, Raven Tools is designed for webmasters who need a one-stop tool for gauging their site’s metrics. It has less depth than other services, but its dashboard design makes it easy for busy professionals and internet entrepreneurs to get a quick update on how their sites are performing. Some of the capabilities it provides include:
- Keyword research – Raven Tools draws data from a broad range of sites, including SEMRush, Alchemy and Google AdWords. The diversity of sources consulted make this a powerful tool for keyword research.
- On-page analysis – This is a fantastic resource for Google AdWords users. It allows them to know how their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are doing at any given time.
- Subscriber support – For those with a limited knowledge of SEO, Raven Tools provides training and support from both its online community and its extremely knowledgeable customer service reps.
Raven Tools offer a 30 day free trial to new customers, after which they can subscribe to the company’s Pro plan for $99 a month or its Agency plan for $249 a month. Details are available at this site.
No Substitute For Know-How
As powerful as their services are, these online tools can’t compensate for poor writing skills or unfamiliarity with SEO techniques. But, for freelance writers who are looking for a competitive edge, they’re great to have in one’s corner when seeking new clients.
Bill W is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.