SEO Tools for Content Creators
The skills of a writer have to dovetail perfectly with the technical requirements of SEO for the best results in search engines. As a result, the best digital content creators like to use some clever SEO tools for better performance.
SEO tools are not just useful when you want to get better search results, they can make you a better writer too.
The tools on this list can help by enabling you to more easily spot bad or weird habits in your writing style and optimise your workflow.
1. Google (or another) keyword planner
The key to good, high-ranking content is a solid keyword. So you will need a good keyword planner or research tool. With a planner writers can do the following:
- Get an insight into what people are searching for
- Find reliable related searches
- Run competitiveness checks
- Get inspired with other keyword ideas to use in future content
We use a host of great paid SEO tools including SEMRush but the Google Keyword Planner is an excellent free tool. It is great to trust for content marketing too as you get accurate keyword rankings straight from the horse’s mouth.
Keyword research tools are good for content publishers too, as they can allow you to spot your main competitors and find opportunities for link building and boost your number of backlinks.
2. SERP simulator
Another thing that is key to good, clickable content is the meta title and description. Writers think they can just prove their knowledge as soon the user clicks, but you have to get them to do so first and the meta data is the first thing they will see. As a result, you are going to want a SERP simulator to be among your trusty SEO tools.
A simple free organic search simulator like the one available on Mangools is an excellent example of one of the most useful SEO tools for content. It can help you do the following:
- Check length: Meta data is largely about getting the keywords you need ranking and clickable, aside from the Google Ads on the page. The key to this is having a solid length that covers everything you need but does not roll off the page. There is no need to max out the length.
- Mobile friendly test: Mobile search is an ever-expanding phenomenon, with the habit of accessing the web exclusively (or even primarily) via a computer waning in popularity. So, a SERP simulator is also good for a mobile friendly check, which makes them a top SEO tool for content creators.
- Character and pixel count: While best practices change all the time, content teams can more easily manage requirements from an SEO department with a precise character and pixel count. This exact count helps you to keep compliant with technical SEO requests, which is excellent for things like testing what works.
SERP simulators have been around forever and your other SEO tools will often feature some form of SERP simulation. Writers can be accused of forgetting what their content will look like on the page, so you can use this type of tool to check every piece and boost quality control in your work.
It might be a fairly commonplace writing assistant at this point, but Grammarly offers very good help for writing accurately at speed. It is more of a writing tool for content marketers than it is a marketing tool for SEO’ers, but it dovetails nicely with essential writing skills and SEO requirements in many cases.
For example, you might have completed your keyword research and come up with some options that make sense in a keyword explorer but not on a written page. Plurals and proper nouns are good examples of SEO inaccuracies among keywords that Grammarly can easily catch.
On top of that Grammarly offers some interesting features that go well beyond your average spellchecker. Great features for content writers include the following:
- Concision: On the paid version of Grammarly you can get insights on how to shorten up wordy phrases you might fall into relying upon in your work. ‘Prior to’ can be ‘before’ in most cases, and you will be surprised others the AI can spot. Grammarly updates frequently so you will spot many new errors.
- Inclusive language: Most writers can easily find gaps in their writing habits in terms of inclusive language. For example, using neutral terms for words like ‘workman’ and ‘chairman’ are simple ways to do this when you are working on content for B2B, trades and the construction industry. Grammarly sees and highlights these words so you can easily ‘inclusify’ your work as style guidelines allow.
- Tautologies: If you fall foul of tautological roadblocks frequently, Grammarly can help spot them. It is a very clever and evolving tool. So, if you find yourself in a ‘close proximity’ perhaps among ‘unmarried bachelors’ or ‘armed gunmen’, then you will at least become more aware of them. Grammarly helps iron out many different phrase and word crutches.
The cleverness of this simple tool is part of its charm, but it is also excellent as it is available as a free tool, which means it is great for thrifty freelance writers or developing agencies unsure of whether enterprise level tools will serve their department.
Another excellent aspect of Grammarly is that it can be useful for all kinds of editorial and publishing work. With Grammarly’s browser plugin (it is unfortunately a bit buggy) you can check for mistakes in search boxes, comments and other comms.
4. Google Trends
One of the best SEO tools for creating better content is Google Trends, which is especially important for people in the editorial space who have to build briefs for writers. It gives you related searches, more keywords and much more!
You can use Google Trends to simply throw in a keyword when you’re scratching your head at the primordial stages of a new piece of content too. What is also very cool is how you can discover adjacent topics or piggyback onto an upcoming event.
Trends is also excellent for content planning, which is ideal for when you are tasked with maintaining a coherent content strategy. Google Trends also gives you milestones that help gauge your success in ranking content.
Google Trends is one of the best SEO or marketing tools, but apart from initial ideas and maybe some more keywords it will not help greatly in the writing itself.
5. Logical Content Flow
When you are creating and publishing content without the luxury of an initial editor or a copy edit team the Logical Content Flow tool will give your brain a bit of an untwisting, which is great when writing long pieces of in depth content.
It works by figuring out the hierarchy of your headings. This is more of an SEO reporting tool so it is good for once a piece of content is out there and you are in the updates process of managing the content on your site.
After running your URL through it, you will get warnings for things like title length and font size, which is great for when you want to make a very quick change. Logical Content Flow is completely free too.
6. Flesch Kincaid calculator
You will see fewer readability tests that offer more accurate results than the Flesch Kincaid score. Originally, it was created by the U.S. Navy to assess the complexity of their training manuals so it really helps cut through the density of your content.
There are many free Flesch Kincaid calculators you can search for, and if you are doing your work using Microsoft Word you can get a convenient score along with your routine spell checking. This calculator from GoodCalculators is very useful.
Making something more readable expands your potential audience, so think of the following to keep your Flesch Kincaid scores a little bit lower:
- Shorten your sentences: Wordy phrases and long sentences will lower readability, so try to keep them short. Tips for breaking up content include adding more bullet points, tables and lists.
- Avoid large paragraphs: Large blocks of concise sentences can still be a challenge to read. Keeping your ideas separate is a good rule of thumb, but to hit lower scores you can try to keep sentences around 5 lines.
Try to aim for a score of around 70 or 80 on your work, which will cover your bases if you are covering complex pieces of content in areas such as health and scientific research. Flesch Kincaid scores can also help you avoid the enduring problem of overly dry B2B content.
Great SEO tools for content writers
You can invest in some of the best paid and unpaid SEO tools, used by experts to help enhance the performance of your website. With our list of great free tools and imaginative content creators, you can keep your content fresh, high-ranking and most importantly clickable.!
If you have a paid or free SEO tool that helps in your content, feel free to leave a comment. We are always looking to try new things and see what works, so check out the rest of our blog for more information on our work in digital media. Get in touch to learn more about how SEO and content can help your website.