Yoast – SEO for WordPress

Yoast – SEO for WordPress

There can be few WordPress developers out there who have not heard of Yoast. It is one of the most useful plugins for a WordPress site that I have ever found and, just to make it even more attractive, it is free of charge, at least at the entry level.

What does Yoast Do?

When you write copy for a website you want people to be able to find in on search engines when they search for whatever subject it is that you are writing about. Nowadays that means that the content has to be properly structured and optimised for the keywords or phrases that are relevant to it.

Yoast SEO For Everyone

Yoast is a tool to help authors and content writers to optimise their WordPress articles and blog posts around a “focus keyword or phrase” and it gives the finished content a rating ranging from “Needs Improvement” up to “Good”. It does this by comparing the article or post against a checklist of benchmarks including the total word count and how many times the focus keyword is mentioned in the text – this is known as the “keyword density” and Yoast looks for it to be between a minimum of 0.5% and 2.5%.

That’s just one of many checks that Yoast makes of your text. Have you used any H Tags? Have you written an effective Meta Title and Meta Description for your page or post? Search engines look at all these things and, to a greater or lesser extent, they all affect your ranking in the search engine results.

As you may have gathered by now, I’m a massive fan of Yoast. It doesn’t do anything that I couldn’t do for myself but that’s just the point – it makes sure that I do the things I should do when composing a piece of content for a client’s website or one of my own. It’s the nagging piano teacher looking over my shoulder and waiting to tell me when I hit a bum note – or miss one out altogether. I love it.

Yoast SEO Tools

Yoast is, as I have said, available as a free of charge WordPress plugin so you don’t have to think long and hard about it. Get it today and see how much more efficient and effective it makes you. There is a “Pro” version which gives you more superpowers like the ability to optimise a page for more than one focus keyword. That won’t matter to everyone but it’s great value for $79 per year.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in raising your glasses and drinking a toast – to Yoast!


Where To Find It
Product Type
SEO Plugin for WordPress
Free with Paid Pro Version
Free Trial Available
N0 – It’s completely free
Free with Pro Version option $79

Searchmetrics – SEO Tools, Reporting and Analytics

Searchmetrics – SEO Tools, Reporting and Analytics

Searchmetrics – SEO Tools, Reporting and Analytics

Searchmetrics is a market leader in the provision of top-end SEO tools and resources for digital marketing research and reporting.

Searchmetrics data is often used as a reference point or a benchmark for digital marketing research and reports and there is a high level of respect for them in the industry.

This is a very comprehensive SEO platform covering almost every aspect of digital marketing and online, or partially online, business. We have listed the service for a full in-depth review and there is a link on the right hand side for that which will be activated when the Searchmetrics review is complete.

Here is a brief summary of what to expect from the powerful  Searchmetrics SEO Platform

Searchmetrics Local SEO

Searchmetrics currently lets you analyse your local SEO rankings for a total of 14 countries including, of course, the UK and the US. With so many searches now being carried out on a local basis, and Google placing much more emphasis on local searches, this is an important area to address for many SEO professionals.

Research Cloud – Data for Search & Content Marketing

The Searchmetrics Research Cloud comprises over 250 billion individual items of information that are constantly updated, covering Search, Content, PPC, social and mobile marketing.

Website Performance Monitoring with Searchmetrics “Visibility Guard”

The Visibility Guard function is useful in that it monitors your site(s) 24/7 and reports immediately any issues that will adversely affect performance and which may incur losses in traffic and conversions.

Make your Content Measurable with Searchmetrics Content Performance

How well does your content work and does it meet your audience’s needs? With Searchmetrics Content Performance your content becomes measurable and these questions may be more easily answered.

Social Media Optimisation

Searchmetrics Social SEO helps you to interpret social media popularity which is measured by social signals in a way that you can use to integrate your SEO, social media marketing and content marketing strategies. This enables you to detect, track and measure the social impact of your domains, landing pages and other digital communication.

Searchmetrics Backlink Analysis

Backlink Analysis can be found in most SEO platforms but they vary tremendously in terms of quality, quantity and accuracy with the benchmarks being set by such providers as Majestic and Ahrefs. Searchmetrics’ backlink analysis will provide you with a clear view of your website’s backlink structure. Metrics included are link type, link source, industry, popularity, and link strength. You can also analyse incoming backlinks in order to evaluate their potential use in optimization. Searchmetrics claim that their database offers more than 150 billion links which certainly puts them well ahead of many of their competitors.

Keyword Research

There’s a Keyword Discovery function to help you to see which keywords your competitors are using and to create keyword lists with which to try and dominate the search results. There’s also a PPC research module with the suite of tools available to you. These are essential elements of any SEO toolkit.

There’s so much in the Searchmetrics platform, you really need to check it out – they offer a free demo but not a free trial, as far as we can tell. If you need top-end SEO tools then this is probably where you need to be looking. As to pricing, well they are a bit secretive about that, publishiong only the very basic “Essentials” plan which costs $69/month and is only available if you pay a year at a time – or so I’m told. It doesn’t give you many of the features and time restictions apply as to the amount of historical data you can use.

Every other plan requires you to contact them so maybe that’s the best option. They haven’t geared this up for the smaller business and maybe that’s deliberate, if you need this level of data and research capability then the price probably won’t matter.





Where To Find It

Search Metrics Home Page


Paid, Various Options

Free Trial Available?



Essentials Plan $69/month. Higher levels not published.

SheerSEO – All In One SEO Tools Platform at a Reasonable Price

SheerSEO is an all-in-one SEO tools platform that gives webmasters and marketers a wide range of SEO tools for a very reasonable monthly fee.

SheerSEO does have most of the “normal” facilities to be found in this kind of subscription service, with the exception of an SEO Audit Tool and a keyword research module. That’s a shame because SheerSEO is good value for money and would be even more so if there was an SEO Audit tool included. It would also give users less of a reason to go elsewhere but, in my case, that would be inevitsble since I carry out an SEO Audit for all of my clients, at least once a month.

As to the lack of a Keyword Research Tool, well, that’s baffling. The number one must-have facility for most SEO and PPC practitioners is not there – many people will dismiss SheerSEO out of hand for this omission.

On the other hand, however, SheerSEO does offer some facilities that you don’t often find in these all-in-one platforms. In particular there is a directory submission tool which, if used carefully, (most of the directories listed are of limited , or no, SEO value), could be a useful accessory for many users.

The other very noticable thing about SheerSEO is the fact that they will give you a free 60 day trial, yes, 60 days! I’ve never seen that before – some miserly platform owners limit their trials to as little as 7 days which is nowhere near enough to properly evaqluate a product or service with a large number of options. For this reason alone I’d have to say, “why not give SheerSEO a go – at the very least you’ll get 60 days of free SEO tools usage”. Not bad at all!

The downside however is that, for some reason I’ll never understand, they have taken most of the useful facilities out of the free trial – they clearly don’t really understand the nature of the “freemium” model – let people taste whats on offer, all of it, and in doing so whet their appetite so that they will want to buy more. You often can’t decide whether to buy something that you haven’t tried. Close – but no cigar!

Screaming Frog – SEO Spider & Site Audit Tool

Screaming Frog – SEO Spider & Site Audit Tool

Screaming Frog is best known for its SEO Spider tool which is a is a website crawler that allows you to crawl websites and find SEO problems to be fixed.

What many people do not realise is that Screaming Frog is actually published by a full-blown marketing agency based in the delightful riverside town of Henley-on Thames in Oxfordshire. Not that that matters to most people but anyone from an agency who is considering using the package may want to consider the question of competition and whether it is a good idea to use the product of a potential competitor.

Leaving that to one side, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool lets you to crawl, analyse and audit a site from for the purpose of improving onsite SEO. If you have a website to optimise, and that site is a reasonable size, or bigger, then manually going through and checking every page would be a major task, if not an impossible one. Screaming Frog is particularly well suited to that kind of task and comes highly recommended and respected in that context.

Screaming Frog SEO

Just A Few Of The Things You Can Do With Screaming Frog!

Identifying such offences as incorrect redirects, broken links, duplicate page issues and problems with page content, titles and meta descriptions becomes much more agreeable when the frog does the work and you take the credit.

Another major factor in Screaming Frog’s favour, bearing in mind that there are many website auditing packages out there right now, is the fact that, for most users, it is completely free. Don’t let that put you off though – this is not a chopped down freebie that is designed to get you to upgrade to a paid version that actually does something. Instead it is a full-blown, fully working SEO website auditing tool and if you are seriously into SEO then it, or something very much like it, is probably a “must-have.”

So, the pricing section of this mini Screaming Frog review is easy – it’s free although there is a paid licence option for really heavy duty users who need to manage more than 500 URL’s but that’s only £149/year so hardly likely to break the bank.

Great product, great value – if only we could end our reviews like that a bit more often. Good old Screaming Frog.

Screaming Frog

Where To Find It
Product Type
Website Auditing Tool
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
No – its free anyway

XOVI – SEO Tools For The Discerning Marketer

XOVI – SEO Tools For The Discerning Marketer

XOVI is a bit of a find actually. They are a German Saas, (software as a service) company, based in Cologne, who produce one of the most grown-up, joined-up and powered-up suite of SEO tools I’ve yet seen that does not have a lairy price tag attached.

XOVI provide very good software at a very fair price and that’s why they are scheduled for a full review in the Digital Marketing Directory as soon as we can get it done. Their whole approach is one that says to me that they really are tuned in to what the small business, and even small marketing agencies, need.

XOVI focuses, although not exclusively, on helping local businesses who are competing online with other local businesses where the competition for business can be very aggressive.


The above screenshot shows you just how comprehensive the XOVI SEO and Social Media Monitoring suite of tools is. There’s nothing of any great importance that is not included. It is particularly good to find a good Social Media Analytics module, a backlink analyser – complete with a Google Disavow tool – and a report writer, so often missing in these all-in-one platforms.

My honeymoon period with XOVI is still going on and I’m sure that there will be issues further down the line – I’ve already found one thing that irritates me, if I click on the help button it provides help all right – in German – not much use to most of us outside of Germany.

Notwithstanding that, I really do urge you to give XOVI a try, they have a great blog and the resources provided for free, including an “expert panel” who provide wisdom around a host of relevant subjects, is top notch.

There’s a completely free 14 day trial – no credit card required – and I think that should seal it for most people seeking a good quality all-in-one marketing analysis and reporting platform together with an SEO toolkit that includes all of the tools you are likely to need day-to-day.

If you do decide to subscribe after the trial it doesn’t hurt too much, entry level plans for XOVI start at €99/month – less if you pay quarterly or annually.



Where To Find It
Product Type
SEO Tools & Reporting
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – 14 days
From $99/month.

<a href="http://www.xovi.de/ref/DigitalPitstop/b249a6bc.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="//partner.xovi.net/accounts/default1/banners/b249a6bc.png" alt="XOVI Online Marketing Suite" title="XOVI Online Marketing Suite" width="300" height="250" border="0" /></a><img style="border:0" src="http://partner.xovi.net/scripts/imp.php?xovi_aid=DigitalPitstop&xovi_bid=b249a6bc" width="1" height="1" alt="" />

Serpstat – SEO & PPC Tools

Serpstat – SEO & PPC Tools

Serpstat is a well-thought-out and pleasant to use SEO platform containing tools for Keyword Research, competitor analysis, Rank Tracking and a lot more.

If you are looking for a set of analytics and research tools to help you to monitor and plan your digital marketing strategy then Serpstat would be a great place to start.

However, all of that having been said, Serpstat is up against some very stiff competition when it comes to attracting new customers for itself. In particular, I have noticed a lot of similarities between Serpstat and SEMrush and the pricing is also very similar yet the latter, SEMrush, offer quite a bit more bang for your buck as it offers a wider range of tools without additional charge, most notably, a backlink tool which Serpstat does not have at present.

When looking at the competitive analysis tools however I found Serpstat to be, if anything, a bit stronger in this regard with a more comprehensive set of tools for evaluating competitors although their”domain vs domain” tool only compares three domains whereas SEMrush’s (almost identical) tool gives you up to 5 competitors.

Seriously, if I were in the market and starting from scratch in a search for a suite of SEO/PPC tools I would look very seriously at Serpstat but I would also b looking cosely at MOZ, Raven and, of course, my marketing weapon of choice right now, SEMrush.

For many people it will boil down to cost in the end, given that most of the packages out there offer very similar facilities, and in that regard I would have to give it to SEMrush who offer a bit more functionality for the same price of $69 per month whereas Serpstat also offer an entry level plan at $19/month which may well be enough for many small business and it would make sense to check this out first before commiting to a higher cost plan. MOZ and Raven, both excellent and full-featured platforms, come in quite a bit higher than these.

Both SEMrush and Serpstat offer a limited free account so try them both and see what you think.

The ability to white label reports and other benefits make this an ideal candidate for small agencies but I suspect most such agencies will be looking for a bit more functionality, along the lines offered by the likes of Hubspot and Marketo but both of those cost quite a lot more to implement and run.

Serpstat is definitely one for your shortlist – use the free trial facility and really check it out to make sure it’s going to give you what you need.


Where To Find It
Product Type
SEO & PPC Tools
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
From $19/month.