Proper SEO is vital in today’s world. It is no wonder that there are many SEO tools out there that are designed to help you evaluate and improve your search engine optimization. However, it is essential to remember that these SEO tools certainly aren’t so powerful that you should entirely rely on them and not be on the lookout for things that need improvement. There is some data that SEO tools won’t show you that you’ll have to keep track of on your own. Here’s what you should have in mind.

Negative SEO

Negative SEO is the result of sabotaging the optimization of a particular website, intentionally or otherwise. As far as data that SEO tools won’t show you, negative SEO is not something you will be able to directly observe, but there are indirect signs that should raise red flags. Unfortunately, even the best moving company websites are prone to experiencing negative SEO, as long as their competitors are skilled in digital marketing and prone to using any advantage that comes their way.

No matter the kind of SEO tools you’re using, noticing that you were the victim of one such attack is at first hard to do. You need to be constantly vigilant and on the lookout for indirect signs of these harmful attacks. Attacks like this can lead to unusual and seemingly unprovoked deindexing and scraping of website pages, which can undoubtedly have a negative influence on the acquisition of potential moving leads.

Three cubes, together forming the word "SEO".
You’ll have to be vigilant for any signs of outside attempts to produce negative SEO.

The first red flag is a large number of inbound links that seem like nonsensical spam. These kinds of links can appear even if you’re not under attack from hackers and/or competitors. However, coupled with DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, they are a clear sign of an attempt to create negative SEO. DDoS attacks consist of several different machines, often from all around the world. And they can simultaneously flood your system and temporarily drain its resources.

Luckily, even if you are a victim of negative SEO attacks and your website is deindexed, there is a solution. It doesn’t mean that you can’t rehabilitate it back to its former glory. Performing an SEO audit, removing all the suspicious inbound links and reporting them to Google. And then, explain your situation and ask for the penalty to be abolished should be enough to get you out of trouble.

Schema markup

Next, among the data that SEO tools won’t directly show you is the improper use of schema markup. That is a code that you insert on your website’s under-the-hood interface. And it helps Google and other search engines provide better results for their users based on specific searches. You can use schema microdata to better describe your articles to Google search bots, making them more eligible to pop up on that first page, complete with snippets, a brief description, etc. The good news is that there is a Google tool that you can use to test your structured data.

Another fact that we should mention here is that structured data is not a must-have. It can definitely help your rankings if you implement it properly but nobody will penalize your website for not using it. It’s not like you participated in fraudulent online actions such as purchasing links on other websites, hiding pages from users, spamming your content with keywords, etc.

Google search engine, whose schema markup misuse is among the data that SEO tools won't show you.
You wouldn’t type “restaurant in New York” in Google’s search field because you were looking for one specific restaurant.

So, if you have implemented this useful feature on your website, but Google isn’t displaying your information, it could be that you have done this in the wrong way. Still, you can fix this even if that has happened. Consult with Google’s page on structured data. And look for examples that show how to implement schema markup on your website properly.

Sitemap

As your website evolves, so should its sitemap. Unfortunately, the data that SEO tools won’t show you also include the information on whether the sitemap is up-to-date or it needs to be updated. Still, unless you have taken specific measures, your website’s sitemap won’t refresh automatically. So, if your site is running for a few years or longer and you haven’t updated the sitemap yet, then you can be sure that it is outdated. The good news is that you can use SEMrush to check whether or not there are pages missing from your sitemap, in addition to pages that shouldn’t be there, to begin with.

Why is having an up-to-date sitemap important?

Primarily because of search engines, as they use the sitemap to discover your website’s structure and to come upon links. However, if the said structure is no longer the same and the site has changed significantly, search engines will discover plenty of broken links, which certainly won’t have a positive influence on your SEO (on the contrary).

A sketch of a sitemap.
Whether your sitemap is up-to-date or not is among the data that SEO tools won’t show you.

You can solve this problem in two ways. The first way involves manually creating an updated sitemap and then sending it by using the Google Search Console. The second solution is automatized. By using generators that produce sitemaps automatically (here are the ones Google recommends), you can eliminate some of the work you’d otherwise have to do by yourself. Taking the time to implement such generators will surely prove to be beneficial in the long run.

Content and marketing

One has to tread carefully when dealing with SEO tools. Using fundamental tools such as SEMrush and Google Search Console can definitely offer a lot of insight int your optimization efforts. However, not all the data you might need will be as directly available. There is still a lot that you will have to analyze and interpret based on experience and knowledge. And this is usually the case with your content and marketing. Certainly, there are proven ways to overcome such limitations:

Ultimately, the best way to gauge your website’s accessibility is to get honest opinions from your clients. Was your website easy to find and use? Could they see all the information they needed? Did they like its “look and feel”? What can you improve? These are all the questions that will, arguably, provide you with the most critical data. Of course, SEO tools are convenient to have. And all the things we’ve mentioned that you’ll need to find out are undoubtedly well worth looking into. The more data you have, the easier it will be to reach new customers. So, start digging!

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