SEO Tools

There’s no shortage of services to help you analyze and improve your site. Now, instead of being overwhelmed by all the tasks required to create an optimized site for your law firm, you can be overwhelmed by all the tools to learn!

I recommend adding tools one-by-one. Give yourself a month to learn each tool, spending an hour or two each week learning a new part of the tool.

At a minimum, you need to be comfortable with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The other tools can be useful for competitive research, but they’re quite powerful tools that are really targeted at SEO agencies and have a steep learning curve.

Free

Google’s business depends on a strong, open web that is the first stop for consumers researching produts and services. This is great for you – it means that Google is incentivized to build excellent, free tools to analyze your site.

Google Analytics

Best for: understanding your users’ demographics and how they use your site.

Google Analytics is the de facto standard for tracking visitors to your site. Use it to:

  • discover how many visitors you get, and how you get them – organic search, paid ads, social media, or referrals from other sites
  • track goal conversions, like a user submitting a lead form, signing up for an email campaign, or clicking to call
  • measure if content engages users or causes them to “bounce”

Better yet, you can slice and dice all of this data. Are your paid ads converting? Are sponsorships of local businesses sending you useful traffic? Do some keywords have worse metrics than others?

Google Search Console

Best for: discovering how you rank in the SERPs, opportunities for new content, and technical issues with your site.

Formerly Google Webmaster Tools, the Google Search Console is how Google communicates ranking data and indexing problems.

Use the ranking data to discover keywords that real clients are using to find your site. Google tracks your historic performance, which lets you quickly assess if new articles are helping you rank higher or not:

Google Search Console tracking average position for a new keyword

If nothing else, you’ll want to check in at least monthly to see if Google has reported any problems crawling and indexing your site. Some errors are easy to fix - for example, a typo in a link. Google will also report issues with your hosting provider, usability of your site on mobile devices, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Best for: monitoring your site’s speed for desktop and mobile users.

Google PageSpeed Insights provides a fast gut check on the speed of your site. Put in the URL to your home page and Google will test how fast your site is for desktop and mobile users, give you a score from 0-100, and enumerate specific tasks you can do to speed things up.

Some of the tasks will require engaging your technical team, so you’ll probably want to use PageSpeed Insights more as a tool to direct your contractors than to implement its proposals yourselves:

Google PageSpeed Insights results, with suggestions

Paid

Many of these services operate extensive infrastructure to regularly crawl the Internet. They then archive and analyze these crawls to provide speedy answers to questions like “who links to my competitor?” and “what kind of content do gets links?”

These are generalist tools designed to be used for any kind of site, which means that their user interfaces have to be all things to all people – as a result, the learning curve can be steep.

⟵ Black Hat SEO