March 31

12 SEO Resources: Get More Constituents to Your Government Website

Author: Dani Esterline

Resident viewing gov site on ipad

SEO might seem overwhelming at first, but understanding SEO helps the authority of your site and attract residents to your site. There are many free resources that can help you learn the bases of SEO if you don’t have familiarity, like the free SEO Certification Academy by HubSpot.  SEO is a long-term journey, and there are so many resources- free and paid- that can help you along the way. Let’s get into it then to set you up for success.

Side note:  Most of these resources have paid and unpaid versions- as a good rule of thumb, try the free products first to see if your needs are met and then upgrade as needed. 

Best Practice SEO Tools

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Moz
  3. SEMrush
  4. Google Analytics
  5. Google Trends
  6. Google Search Console 
  7. Screaming Frog
  8. Remove’em
  9. Keyword
  10.  Accuranker
  11. Haro
  12. Bottle 
1. Ahrefs

Ahref’s offers both paid and unpaid plans that illustrate data relating to SEO features.

Helpful Ahref Elements:

    • Site Audit
      • Ahref’s site auditing provides many benefits like crawling data to show any SEO mistakes and how to fix them. For example, the system recognizes outgoing links on your website that may lead to a broken page. Another great feature of the site audit is that  Ahrefs offer the audit for the mobile version of your site too. 
    • Site Explorer
      • The explorer feature identifies three high-level points of interest for SEO
      • Organic search- Helps you identify which keywords your competitors are ranking for and the pages that have the most traffic.
      • Backlink Checker- See the websites that are linking to your competitor's websites and the quality of those websites
      • Paid Traffic: See if and where your competitors are using paid traffic.
    • Dashboard
      • Track your site’s SEO metrics like domain rating, health score, organic traffic & keywords, and referring domains and backlinks
    • Keyword Explorer
      • Get ideas for high ranking keywords and accurate search volume for these keywords
    • Rank Tracker
      • See if your site ranks in SERP features
      • Track ranking progress over time visually
    • Content Explorer
      • Find out what content in your industry is performing well, and sort results by social shares, organic traffic, referring domains, etc.  MOZ FREE Domain Analysis SEO ToolImage Source
2.  Moz

Free and Paid Options. Free Moz Benefits:

Link Explorer: Find broken backlinks to your site, research the scope of competitor backlinks, check your domain authority, find lost and new links, research high-performing content, find opportunities for link building, and check spam score from your backlinks. 

Keyword Explorer: Keyword Explorer is an excellent tool for analyzing keywords by search volume, reviewing SERP details, finding keywords in question format, checking keyword difficulty, performing competitive analysis, and seeing your SEO strategy. All the while, you can generate and save keyword lists and export data into Xcel sheets. 

Competitive Research:
In the world of SEO, it’s important to replicate SEO for your competitors that are ranking well. With Moz, you can learn about your top SERP competitors, find leading industry content, spot opportunities for missed keywords, and monitor overall site metrics

Domain Analysis- Find out your site's most important pages based on page authority, your top linking domains, discovered and lost links, and estimated keyword clicks. 

Mozbar- A Chrome Extension! Platform! This is a toolbar created by Moz made to save time and find instant SEO metrics like page authority, domain authority, spam score, etc.

More Free SEO Moz Tools

SEMRush Grow your online visibilityImage  Source

3. SEMRush
        Paid tool
Semrush is a well-known SEO tool and most of their resources are paid features, these resources feature the following resources:
    • Keyword search
    • On-page SEO
    • Local SEO
    • Rank Tracking
    • Link Building
    • Competitor SEO Analysis 
Google Analytics Four Properties - The whole lot You Ought to Know
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Google Analytics

          Free resource

Google Analytics is a widely used SEO resource completely free, that automatically collects data on your site. Find out where your traffic is coming from, see what content visitors are actually spending time on your site, and how those visitors convert to your goals.
      • Filter referral traffic
      • Compare organic vs. paid traffic

5. Google Trends

        Free resource

This is a great resource for market research and identifying missed keyword opportunities. It’s important to note that this resource isn’t robust as other SEO services, but helps you get started in the identifying right directions for industry trends.
Google Trends can help you find: 
Trends: Identify trends in areas around the globe
Popular Topics: Find popular topics and the long tail words that accompany them
Comparisons: See how trends compare and contrast over a period of time

 Search Console Discover report now includes Chrome data Google Search Central Blog Google Developers
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Google Search Console 

        Free resource

Google Search Console helps with optimizing and enhancing your site to perform to a high capability.
Search Console elements:
  • Check your sites responsiveness- See how your site performs on mobile devices and find new ways to improve responsive web design
  • Keywords: Find what keywords are ranking on your pages
  • Crawl errors: See if there are any issues with crawling on your website
  • Analytics and Metrics: Find which website features are performing the best or worst by viewing impressions, reach, click rate, etc.
  • Google Index: See how many pages are being indexed by Google or apply for one
7. Screaming Frog

        Paid tool

Another SEO resource that crawls URLs and identifies issues with the site that might prevent it from increasing optimization.
The site also office tutorials on different SEO topics for a hands-on experience to sharpen your SEO saw.
 Self Service - Remove'em Professional Backlink Removal Tool   Image Source

8. Remove’em

Paid Tool

As the name tells, this is a professional service that removes bad links and helps monitor your backlink profile. 
Scan your backlink profile and find out who is linking to your site, you can also find contact information from the sources to reach out for deletion.
You can also export your backlink data and disavow these links by asking Google to take away these “bad” links. Free google longtail keyword finder
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        Free/Paid Options Tool

This resource is user-friendly and caters to high-performing keywords on different platforms like Google, Youtube, Amazon, etc. 
    • Find keywords that relate to your topic
    • Receive accurate search volume data
    • Speed up and optimize the process of finding keywords 
    • Export data into spreadsheets like Google Sheets or Excel
 AccuRanker - The Worlds Fastest Rank Tracker
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           Free and Paid Tool Options

Another platform that lets you track ranking keywords and keep real-time updates. The perfect tool to build organic traffic.
    • Target organic traffic through SERP and find what features attract the most users
    • Filter and organize your data to make SMART goals for your organization

The last couple of tools focus on press request alerts (requests that journalists send out asking for sources of information) and help with link building. The success of an organization's link building depends on the right people linking to your site, which develops through relationship building.
Help A Reporter HOME PAGE
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11. HARO
So we know that link building depends on relationship building with the right people, but what are the resources for this method? There are different platforms like HARO where you can submit quotes as a thought leader in local government.
HARO connects journalists seeking quotes from experts in different fields,  making link-building faster and cultivating a potential relationship. As a local gov employee, consider submitting quotes from different people within your organization to this platform. This creates good PR for both you and the journalist.
You can sign up for subscriptions to these media outlets and receive media inquiries when the journalist is looking for a source.
You may receive many emails, but you can filter out which ones seem more promising. 

 Free publicity for expert sources and PR professionals - connecting journalists reporters bloggers and writers with sources
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12. Source Bottle 

Another extremely user-friendly press request alert service that allows you receive notifications from journalists/media sources seeking quotes. The beauty of these platforms is you can put as little or as much work into it as you like since you are receiving all the press request alert services at your disposal.

Bottom Line: 
Local government websites are a niche industry, but that doesn’t mean SEO is not important for them. Constituents receive essential information from these sites, and well-developed government websites are phase one of the process. SEO helps drive economic success and more residents visiting the site translates to having positive feelings towards their community. Use these resources to optimize your SEO and increase site traffic, and pay attention to resident feedback before, during, and after the process. 

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