A quick Google search of the term “SEO tools” will give you a list of countless apps and software all claiming to help you get higher rankings.
For SEO specialists and digital marketers, this can be both good and bad news. Good, because it’s a sign that the industry is constantly evolving. Bad, because finding that perfect SEO tool is pretty much like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Even with dozens of options, it’s difficult to find that one tool that will address all your SEO needs.
But here’s a crazy idea:
If you’re still looking for the perfect fit, why not consider building your own SEO tool from scratch?
Read on to know how you can start your own SEO software project.
1. Focus on what you could be great at
The best SEO tools are those that work particularly well for a specific task. Instead of trying to make your SEO tool do everything, try focusing on one task that you could be great at.
Whether it’s in-depth keyword research or rank tracking, your goal should be to create a tool that surpasses all the other tools that are out on the market today.
To figure this out, think of all your frustrations with the tools that you have already used in the past. What pain points would you like to address and what sort of improvements would you like to make to those tools?
2.a. Hire an amazing development team
The success of your SEO tool lies in your development team. You may be the brains behind this operation, but they’re the ones who will work tirelessly to turn your dreams into reality. Apart from technical skills, you need a team with a positive attitude to keep you going when it starts to get tough. Because you can bet your bottom dollar that it will get tough!
You can start off with a couple of talented programmers if you’re developing an in-house tool. If you want to enter a competitive market, you’ll need to involve a lot more people just like what rankactive.com does. They hire a slew of software developers, UI and UX designers, project managers, and application architecture specialists for every project. Or if you want to take a shortcut…
2.b. Purchase a white label solution
White label refers to products built by one company and sold to another.
The products are fully functional and sold without branding. This way, the purchasing company can customize the product with their own branding before passing it off as their own.
The best thing about purchasing a white label product is that it’s the fastest way to get your SEO tool to your target market. You might not have exactly built it from scratch, but you can usually consult with the company that developed it if there are features that you want to add.
Some white label solutions allow users to send contracts from the tool once a deal is struck. From here, they can manage deals and scope from a single place so they can improve their efficiency.
This may not be a necessary white label feature, but it certainly helps users to get things done faster and better.
3. Leverage external APIs for data
APIs is the core of every SEO tool or software. But since Google’s API isn’t for sale, you’ll need to leverage external API to extract SERP data. Luckily, there are a few APIs that will allow you to access Google search data.
Google’s analytics.js API for example, gives you information about user-site interaction while Bing’s web search API retrieves SERP data for you.
API providers often charge an arm and a leg for access to data so you need to know beforehand the kind of data you’ll need for your SEO tool. Are you looking for rankings? Keyword data? Search volume? Cost per Click?
4. Work on your UI and UX
User interface and user experience may not seem significant when you’re designing an SEO tool for internal use. However, if you’re planning to charge a fee for its use, then these are two things that you should pay close attention to. Function alone isn’t going to cut it, especially if you expect people to pay for your SEO tool.
Your tool should be attractive and easy to work with. At the very least, it should be user-friendly. Users won’t care that it has amazing architecture if it will require them to watch a dozen video tutorials before they can use it. It has to make their lives easier or else they will look elsewhere for solutions.
5. Partner up with SEO practitioners
Once your SEO tool is up and running, who best to test it out than the actual people who are going to use it? Partnering up with SEO companies like www.seoexplode.com
for a test run of your SEO tool will give you valuable insight into how you can further improve it. Don’t think of them as critics, but as partners who will help you produce an outstanding product.
Most SEO practitioners have experience creating their own SEO tools so you can also ask them for advice on how to launch your product. These days it’s easy to connect with just about anyone using social media. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Don’t worry – they won’t bite!
6. Brand and promote your SEO tool
Since you’ll be selling to a very specific market, branding your SEO tool shouldn’t be that complicated. As long as all your branding elements attract your target market, you shouldn’t have problems getting your first batch of signups.
As for promoting your SEO tool, You need to use both inbound and outbound marketing techniques to get the word out there. But if you were to put effort into one strategy, make sure that you create an awesome landing page.
It might take a few months before you come up with a killer idea or produce a prototype for testing, but don’t feel discouraged. Your product may seem very similar to other SEO tools, but you can always make it unique to some extent.
Also, don’t forget that SEO tool builders are made, not born. More than skill, it takes an extraordinary amount of perseverance to create an SEO tool that will change the face of the industry.