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Increase visibility. Make it so that your company is on the top of the first page of search results, so your prospective customers are more likely to find out about you. This is the goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is such an indispensable service that agencies charge a hefty fee. For people looking for a career in IT, SEO can serve as a gateway, and it’s often a service provided by freelancers.
Some start-ups may not have the budget to solicit help from an expensive SEO agency or a freelancer. They may, at least in the beginning, need to optimize their online content themselves. It’s not easy. But there are accessible platforms and tools that, when used right, go a long way towards leveling the playing field.
If knowing is half the battle, then Ahrefs is where that half of the battle is won. Ahrefs allows you to know how your competitors are doing, how they could achieve their success, how you fare against them, and what steps you need to take to catch up.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It is also an easy and common way to catch up to competing websites that rank above yours in search engine results. With Ahrefs, you’ll get insight into what steps top-ranking websites have taken to achieve their success. Thus, you’ll know what steps you need to take to achieve similar, if not better, results.
- Get insight into your competitors’ backlinks – Backlinks – links to your competitors’ site from an outside source – are a vital element to a website’s search engine performance. Ahrefs allows you to see the extensive network of your competitors’ backlinks, see which drive traffic, which sources you should target, and which you should not.
- See what keywords are driving traffic – Ahref lets you see what words are being searched for and what words drive traffic to the websites you are competing with. It even allows you to track keywords based on geographic location and whether a mobile device or a computer carried out the search.
- Audit your site for strengths and weaknesses – Ahrefs gives you a comprehensive analysis of your site’s traffic, where it comes from, what kind of device it comes from, and whether the traffic is organic or paid for. This is especially useful if you’re spending any amount of money on marketing and want to have a precise idea of just how well that investment is translating into traffic or sales.
- Track your progress – To get a clear idea of how well your efforts are paying off, simply input a list of keywords, filter by location, and Ahrefs will track the data and send you regular updates.
Ahrefs offers a free trial, and a subscription starts at $99 a month.
Imitation is only part of the game. Anticipation is another key component to success. In order to optimize your website’s search engine rankings, you need to anticipate what tangential searches could possibly bring in traffic.
Answer the Public is a consumer insight tool that gives you an idea of what words or topics certain searches lead to. This allows you to target certain keywords (that may otherwise be too difficult to rank high for) from various tangential searches.
See what questions the “the public” is asking. See what rabbit holes they go down. See where their searches lead them, and possibly you can meet up with them along the way.
Surfer conducts a comprehensive analysis of pages that rank high in search engine results. It correlates their common features then creates a sort of template or guideline. This includes keywords and their frequency, the word count, the number of headings, paragraphs, and images, and much more.
Surfer then analyzes the content you create. It’s given a score, and you are shown ways you can make your content more attractive to search engines.
You could hire an SEO agency to help you gain online visibility, or you can save money, do the work yourself and use the same tools and techniques those agencies use.
While these tools are by no means a shortcut – there will still be a lot of work to be done – they will enable you to work smartly and effectively. And with these tools and a lot of hard work, there is no reason your start-up can’t rank high for all the queries your potential customers are likely to conduct.