If you work in SEO, you’re probably always on the lookout for any tips and hacks to generate more traffic. One effective method we’ve found very useful is to create a tool.
It sounds quite simple, but building an SEO tool can be more of a challenge than you think. However, if you can nail it, the rewards can be significant.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at creating online tools in more depth. We’ll explore ways to come up with ideas for your own and how to go about making them. We’ll also take a look at ways to promote your tool.
But first, let’s take a look at what we mean exactly when we say “online SEO tool” and the benefits that they can bring to your website.
Why Are Tools Useful For Generating Traffic?
The main aim behind any SEO strategy is to create quality content that people find helpful. We don’t just have to limit that content to blog posts, videos or podcasts. We can also create tools that people can use.
One of the best and most common examples is a mortgage calculator, usually offered by banks and brokers. This tool is hosted on a webpage and can be freely used by people in the process of buying a house.
Other examples include tax calculators, quote generators, and name generator tools for babies and fictional characters, amongst other things.
The main point to underscore with all of these tools is that people find them useful. Naturally, they’re going to seek them out. And that means traffic to your website.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Website Tools
As well as generating traffic to your site, creating a helpful tool that people love means it’ll be organically shared.
Those shares may happen on social media, which can not only boost traffic to your site but provides your content with something called “social proof”, which is a signal read by search engines meaning it’s easier to rank higher in searches.
If you’re lucky, you may also get backlinks from other websites, some of which may be more powerful than your own. This means that your website will benefit from their ranking power which should boost it overall, making your pages more dominate in search engine results.
How To Come Up With Ideas For Tools
There are lots of ways to come up with ideas for making a tool for your website. Let’s look at a real-life case study that encapsulates them all.
The fantasy writer Richie Billing has a website dedicated to creative writing tips and guides. He also looks to create resources to help writers, like lists of publishers, which encourages users to return to the site.
However, Richie hit a wall with his traffic. While targeting a lot of long-tail keywords was effective, it didn’t launch those visitor figures to the next level. So he did some research and asked some questions, which you may find useful too:
● What are competitors doing that I’m not?
● What functions or features does their sites have that mine doesnt’t?
● What would make your own life easier?
Richie also did some keyword research using tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io (all of which have free versions you can try) to see what people were searching for.
And an invaluable step he took was to ask his followers on social media, his mailing list and Discord community—what did they want to help make their writing lives easier?
Something that emerged wasn’t a particular topic on writing, but a tool—a fantasy name generator. The global traffic for this tool exceeds 100,000 searches per month and branching off it are hundreds of other high-volume keywords. Best of all, the ranking difficult he discovered was quite low.
So he set about exploring ways to make a tool that users could freely use (which we’ll cover next). Once it went live and additional content was published, the traffic to the site took off.
So, in summary, you can come up with ideas for tools for your own website by:
● Looking at what your competitors are doing
● Asking your followers what they need to make their lives easier
● What would make your own life easier?
● Carrying out keyword research to see what people are searching for
● Don’t forget the user!
How Do You Make A Tool?
Making the tool is perhaps the trickiest part. Generally, to host it on your website you’ll need HTML code. And that’s usually where a developer comes into play.
However, for some tools, particularly mortgage calculators, you may find code free to download and embed in your website. These tools have been around for a while and the code is widely shared. This method could, therefore, prove quick and effective. But without knowledge of coding, you may find it tough to customise and adapt to your site.
If you wanted to persist with the do-it-yourself approach, you could try enlisting the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Chat GPT can generate code for different tools. However, the situation is very much the same as above—without knowledge of coding you may struggle to integrate it effectively into your site.
Another approach you can take is to enlist the help of a developer. Websites like Upwork, Freelancer and People Per Hour are great locations to post jobs and interview potential candidates.
You can set your own budget for the tool, create milestones to ensure everything’s on track, and if anything does go wrong, you’ll have the protection of the platform.
Promoting Your New Tool
Once your tool is working properly (don’t forget to spend some time testing it first), it’s time to promote it.
The best place to start is with your mailing list, if you have one. Your followers will no doubt be keen to try out something you’ve created to help them, and they’re also much more willing to provide feedback than most people.
You can also share the tool on social media. Use relevant hashtags when posting on Twitter and Instagram. However, you may find the response limited. It could therefore be worth messaging accounts or profiles with lots of followers in your niche to see if they’d be willing to share it for you. Influencer marketing tactics like this can prove very effective.
The most effective method of promoting your tool, however, is SEO. In the long-term you can generate steady traffic to your site through organic searches.
It’s therefore wise to spend a good bit of time writing quality content to support your tool. And don’t just settle for the one page your tool is found on—write supporting content to prove to users and the search engine that you have the expertise to support the service the tool offers.
So if you’re looking to crack the golden egg of generating more traffic to your website, try making a tool. You never know, it might help launch your site to the next level.