Got a great idea for an SEO tool? Awesome. SEO is a complex science that’s always changing and evolving, and as such we need more tools to help us get to grips with our SEO campaigns.
On the flipside of things, what’s also true is that a lot of tech tools that are created aren’t successful. To increase the odds of your tool being a success, foresight is your friend.
Fortunately for you, I’ve been there and done it. I’ve created an SEO tool and learned lessons along the way. So let’s take a look at 5 things you should know about before developing your SEO tool.
Why an SEO tool?
This seems like an obvious question, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who say they want to create a tech tool … but then can’t explain its real purpose.
Before you begin, you need to know why you’re even creating an SEO tool in the first place. SEO is complex, exhausting and it changes often. It gives us a headache. So why are you getting involved with it like this?
Fine-tuning your vision will help you achieve your goals. It will help you map out the direction you want to take, and it will also help you know when to scale.
Know what problem you want to solve
What SEO problem(s) will your tool focus on? Backlink monitoring? Competitor research?
If you fail to identify the specific SEO problems you want to solve, you might find that your “new” SEO tool is too similar to ones that already exist. For this reason, it’s a good idea to put together what is called a problem statement. Identify the problem, as well as who is experiencing it — small businesses, SEO agencies and so on.
Then, take a look at the market and carry out a market analysis of your rivals. Is a tool already addressing your problem? If it is, is it addressing it well, or could your tool be an improvement?
Once you’ve got your problem, research it some more. Learn all you can about the problem, the user, and the area before you start working on the tool itself.
The more intimate you are with the problem, the easier it’s going to be for you to solve it.
Hire a team
It will certainly save you cash to do this all by yourself, and you might even think you’ve got all the skills and know-how required to do this all by yourself. But it’s the wrong way to go about it.
I was a developer, and even I couldn’t create my SEO tool all by myself. In short, you need help.
There’s no need to build a huge team — just a small one will do. What you need to focus on is quality and work ethic over quantity. Hire a small, highly skilled team of web designers and programmers. These will cost a fair bit of money, but it’s going to be money worth spending.
When hiring workers, look for professionals who care about their work and who are enthusiastic about your project. This is key because if someone doesn’t care all that much about your project, there’s no guarantee that they’ll even stick around.
Design is everything
What you need to know is that developers are developers — and not designers.
It’s the same with SEO experts. We know SEO, but we might not know design.
It’s going to be problematic if you hire a developer who doesn’t understand the importance of usability and design. If your SEO tool is hard to use, hard to navigate and if it looks plain dull, it’s not going to be a success.
It’s absolutely crucial that your developer is able to create the best user experience possible. For them to do this, they need to understand design.
It’s the same with usability. The easier your tool is to use, the happier your users will be.
Create a sample tool for users to test
Once you’re up to speed with the technology you’ll be using, what your problem is and who your target users are, the next stage is to create a sample tool — or a beta version of your tool.
A sample tool comes before you bring your tool into full development, and it shows you how your tool will look and work, and what needs to be improved on. Creating a sample SEO tool will certainly save you money, as it lets you and your users identify weak points that you can eliminate before you properly take the tool to market.
What you should know is that beta testing is a lot harder than it sounds, largely because it’s not easy finding the right testers. Make sure to get as much feedback as you can, and when you get that feedback — make sure you listen to it and act on it.
These are 5 things that will help you create a better SEO tool. Discover your reason for doing this, learn more about the problem you want to solve, hire a team of enthusiastic workers, and test your tool before taking it to market. And good luck!