When I say, "Search Engine Optimisation”, do you feel your brain fading into sleep mode? Stop! SEO doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. In this post, we're going to provide you with 7 free and easy-to-use SEO tools.
We understand professional SEO management is a big investment for many businesses. Yet, getting your website on the first page of Google is one of the most effective marketing tactics. Ranking organically in the top-3 gives small businesses instant credibility in the eyes of consumers. Besides, it’s one of the best ways to get found online and grow. So, even if you’re not ready to invest in an SEO management service, there are ways to work on SEO on your own!
While many elements of SEO are highly technical, the everyday user can manage most on-page techniques. We have put together this list of 7 free SEO tools that anyone can use. These 7 tools are our favourite DIY SEO tools to start improving your rankings and user experience.
1. Google Analytics
Before you get deep into keyword insertion, first it’s crucial to get to know your traffic.
Google Analytics is a web-based analytics tool that you can install for free on your website. You can also link it to your GoogleAds account. It's a hefty little tool for learning about the intricacies of your audience’s online behaviour.
Here’s what information Google Analytics can tell you:
- The geographical location your audience searches from
- Peak traffic times on your website
- How users are finding you
- On what device users are finding you
- The most popular pages on your website
- How long users spend on your site
And much, much more. So, why do you need all this information? Well, it’s important to know what your customer looks like as an online user. Information on your customers helps you make the right decisions for your SEO strategy. Is there a page that makes users bounce right back to Google Search? Then it’s time to improve on that page!
2. Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner, which can be found in your Google AdWords account, helps you find the keywords that are most relevant to your business. You can start by searching with any phrase you’re interested in using. The Keyword Planner will not only show you the keyword search volume for that phrase but will also suggest other similar phrases and outline their search volumes.
After searching for all your desired keywords, you’ll be able to compile a list of relevant search terms, their projected search volumes and an estimate of how competitive it is to use each keyword.
3. Google Trends
Particularly useful when deciding on topics for blog posts, Google Trends can tell you exactly what is trending on the net in real time. Google Trends is also useful when completing keyword research by determining the interest in a keyword over time.
Google Trends shows the relative popularity of a search. It eliminates repeated searches from the same user in a short period of time to give you an accurate depiction of the term's popularity. Note, tough, that it only has the most popular search terms. If you’re looking for something more specific, then the Keyword Planner's estimate of the average monthly searches is where you can look to.
4. Keyword Tool
If you’re wanting to go even deeper into your keyword research, this Keyword Tool is your next step. It’s perfect for researching keyword variations. The free version provides you with more than 750 long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term.
What are long-tail keywords, you may ask, and why should you be using them? Long-tail keywords are phrases with 3-4 keywords used together. Including long-tail keywords in your content is important, as they help you concentrate on a niche.
Usually, these long-tail keywords attract users who are in the late stages of the buying cycle and ready to act. For example, instead of just using a generic keyword such as “personal trainer” you might use “one-on-one female personal trainer Brisbane” too. People using this type of specific searches are likely past the research phase and already know what they want. Long-tail keywords are also easier to rank for than the simpler keywords!
5. Mobile friendly checker
Earlier, we talked about how Google Analytics can show you what device your visitors are using. Now, you might want to pay attention to how many are on a mobile device. Ensuring your website is mobile optimised is crucial, as mobile is quickly becoming the preferred device for web searches. In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices. If your site is not easy to use on mobile, it’s guaranteed to show in your bounce rate.
Mobile-friendliness also affects your ranking on Google. Google considers accessibility and usability when ranking sites. Because of this, you need to ensure your pages perform well on all devices. Luckily, Google has a free tester online – you can find the mobile friendly checker here. Enter your page URL and see how well you score!
Not so good? We can help fix your mobile friendliness.
6. Load speed checker
Your web page load time is also considered when determining your SEO ranking. A slow page equals poor user experience, once again affecting your bounce rate.
Google’s Page Insights developer tool analyses your website’s performance, giving you suggestions for improvements. It compares your website against best practice techniques and gives you a score between 1 and 100. It categorises your score as good, medium or low, giving you suggestions relevant to your score. Check your websites load speed here.
One of the SEO stumbling blocks that are easiest to avoid on your own is making sure your website has no duplicate content. Duplicate content can harm your SEO work and damage your website's authority.
Even if you have copied and pasted parts of your own content across different pages or platforms, Google will still look at it as plagiarism. Duplicating content a big issue as it can make things confusing for Google. It can’t tell which website is home to the original content, which version to show in a search, or where to direct the link metrics.
Copyscape is a very handy SEO plagiarism checker tool. It’s fine to take inspiration from other sites when writing, but make sure to use Copyscape after to cross-check that your content is original. You can also see if other websites are stealing your content and republishing it as their own. Copyscape is particularly useful if you are purchasing content from a contributor. With a couple of clicks you can see if they have sold identical content to other websites.
Now, start optimising your website with these SEO tools!
Now that you have 7 free SEO tools at your disposal, you’re set to start doing SEO on your website! While there are many digital marketing methods available, there’s no denying SEO is one that comes with huge growth opportunities. Viewers associate organic high rankings with trustworthiness and reliability, building your brand up as an authority in your industry.
Even if you’re considering engaging an SEO management service later, it’s worth it to have a look at these tools. If you take the initial steps and see how far you can go, you'll have strong foundations to build upon. The better your starting point is when you go to the professionals, the quicker your progress will be! Getting to page 1 requires consistent effort, so every step along the way counts.
If these tools have your head spinning or you're not sure how to use them in your SEO strategy, then give our team of SEO experts a call and we can make sense of your data.
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Jessica is the founder of Gordon Digital and a specialist in e-commerce digital marketing. She helps business owners in the fashion, decor and lifestyle industries to grow their online stores traffic and convert that traffic into paying customers and repeat business.