By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder
Captivate Search Marketing
I’ve noticed a trend in my consulting
business lately that more and more
businesses are interested in my SEO
coaching services rather than a full-on
Hiring an SEO coach to complement
the DIY SEO efforts can be ideal for
some businesses that have a marketing
staff with technically savvy employees.
DIY SEO helps keep costs down
over hiring a professional SEO
consultant to manage your entire
campaign, as long as you’re able
to efficiently manage the SEO
That said, I’ve put together this
list of 5 must-have tools for DIY
SEO, should you choose to keep
your SEO efforts in-house.
1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
If you’re conducting a DIY SEO
campaign, you’re most likely
already in-tune with who your
potential customers are and what
they might be searching for to find
With that said, the first task to
address in DIY SEO after you’ve
identified your target audience and
come up with a rough draft site map
of your website is to conduct
keyword research around your
business’ products or services.
A great tool to conduct this keyword research is the Google Adwords
Keyword Planner. It’s free of charge easy to use.
Then simply start typing in relevant keyword phrases at the top of the
page, and click on the “Search” button to get a list of suggested keywords to
target and what their monthly search volumes are.
2. An SEO Friendly Content Management System
Most companies don’t have a full
time development staff to manage
their website content updates, so it’s
more than likely your marketing team
will need a dynamic website that’s
built on an SEO friendly content
management system (CMS) in order
to make site updates.
It’s important to make sure that the
CMS platform your company
chooses to build its website on is
fully equipped with everything you
need in order to execute your DIY
If you’re using WordPress, you need to
make sure you have a reputable SEO
plugin such as the Yoast WordPress SEO
pack or the All-in-One SEO pack.
Both of these SEO plugins give DIY
SEOers the ability to manage the
essential on-site SEO elements for DIY
SEO including Meta Titles and
Descriptions, SEO Friendly URLs,
Canonical URLs, etc.
You could also choose another SEO
friendly CMS such as Exponent CMS,
which is my personal favorite. It has its
own SEO friendly features within the
3. Google Analytics
Another great free tool provided by
Google is the Google Analytics, which
allows you to continually monitor your
website’s traffic to help you identify
trends and traffic sources.
For those who are conducting an DIY
SEO campaign, Google Analytics is
essential for tracking the organic search
traffic that comes to your website from
your DIY SEO efforts.
In addition, you can set up Goal Conversions that track important visitor
conversion activity such as an online sale, a contact form submission, or an
email newsletter signup.
Staying on top of your website’s analytics can give you the information you need
to make any necessary tweaks to your DIY SEO plan and to track its progress
4. Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools are an essential
configuration resource for DIY SEO
that you’ll need to effectively manage
how your website is indexed by the
Once you’ve verified ownership and
installed webmaster tools onto your
website, you can get access to a bevy
of information of how Google sees the
overall health of your website.
You can get information on
crawling errors and Robots.txt
notifications on what a search
engine spider encounters, as well
as get a better picture on what
relevancy your website has on
certain keywords and the
traffic/impressions that you’ve
garnered from them.
You can also submit XML
sitemaps for your website that tell
Google about each page on your
website, how often they’re
updated, etc. Webmaster Tools
also allows you to request that
certain pages be removed from
the search index.
5. Moz.com Pro Tools Suite
No I’m not a paid endorser of Moz.com’s Pro Tools, but I’ve found them to be a
great resource for a variety of on-site and off-site SEO metrics, and if you’re doing
a DIY SEO campaign, I highly recommend you subscribe to them.
Yes, there is a cost to the Moz.com Tools, starting at $99/month for up to 5
campaigns, but I’ve found the insight they provide to be well worth the cost.
There are multiple features to the Moz.com Pro Tools, which include:
• keyword ranking and organic traffic data reports that run once a week
• a letter grading (A to F) on the effectiveness of the on-site SEO that
you’ve done for certain keywords on a page by page basis
• crawl diagnostics that identify critical errors, warnings, and notifications
that you need to be aware of on your website that might hinder your DIY
• competitive link analysis that allows you to compare your website’s link
profile authority with up to 3 of your competitors
• the Open Site Explorer tool which allows you to analyze your back link
profile, as well as the link profiles of your competitors
• a social dashboard that tracks social engagement such as
Retweets, Fans, Likes and Traffic
If you’re going to take on the task of planning and executing a DIY SEO
campaign, make sure you’re well equipped with helpful tools that can
assist you along the way.