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There are a number of tools out there to help you optimise your site in regards to SEO. If you are on a budget you may be looking at trying some free SEO tools. There are hundreds of free SEO tools out there. In order to save you the time and the effort we have selected 13 tools that we would definitely recommend.
Here they are…
1. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a valuable keyword visualization tool and uses a combination of Google and Bing suggested searches to come up with relevant keywords.
Enter a search term and choose your country and it will generate a map of keyword suggestions, including related questions, prepositions, comparisons, alphabetical and related terms. Eye-catching visual keyword maps are generated allowing you to quickly identify useful keywords.
Clicking on the keywords suggestions will take you directly to Google’s search results so you can see which articles are ranking for that particular keyword.
The tool is perfect to find out top questions that users are searching for and allows you to optimise relevant posts for long-tail key phrases.
You can easily download the results in CSV format to a spreadsheet to analyse later.
The number of social shares and links an article has received is a good indication of how popular it is. A article with lots of social shares will also generally mean it has a high level of traffic.
If you’re deciding on what content to write, it is important to know potentially how popular and engaging it may be. This is where BuzzSumo comes into play. The tool tells you how many social shares an article has received on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc and who is linking and sharing the content.
Enter a keyword and filter by a number of criteria such as date, country, content type (article, how-to article, video, infographics, list etc), word count and it will display the best performing pages and it will list the social shares. You can also search by URL and it will display the best performing articles for that particular site which will be ordered by social shares. An perfect way to spy on your competitors.
If you’re interested in finding relevant influencers within your niche, you can filter by “influencer” in the tool for a particular phrase which you entered. With this information, you can then contact them to see if they would be interested in sharing your content. Not only can you filter by “influencer”, you can also filter by “guest content”. Use this to find sites which allow guest posting. Get an article published on another site and get a backlink which is a great way to boost your site’s SEO especially if it’s from a high authority site.
3. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is a website crawler which audits your website in regards to SEO for broken links, images, CSS, meta data and it also checks for duplicate content.
Install the desktop app, enter the site that you want auditing and then click on the “Start” button. Within a few minutes it will have fully crawled your site and it will provide in-depth information regarding each page. Fix any technical issues that Screaming Frog has located and you may get a search ranking boost.
If you find that nothing is being generated after you run the tool, check your site’s robots.txt file in case it’s blocking it from crawling your site.
Enter a keyword and select the country you want to rank in and Ubersuggest will provide a list of related keywords which users are searching for.
It will provide you with the monthly search volumes for each keyword, including CPC, the estimated competition in paid as well as in organic search. It also provides the top sites that are ranking for the particular keyword and it will also tell you what your chances are for ranking in the top 20 for the entered keyword.
5. Google Analytics
Knowing your site’s statistics is vital. Without knowing these details you can’t optimize your site.
You should know how people are finding your site, how long on average they are spending reading your content. What your bounce rate is, if it’s particularly high there could be an issue with your site i.e. it’s too slow.
With Google Analytics you have all this data in one place. If you want to increase conversions and traffic you should regularly be checking your stats on Google Analytics.
6. Google Search Console
Not sure what keywords your site is ranking for? Or not sure why one of your posts is not appearing when you perform a Google search? If you want to know the answer to any of these questions, you definitely need to set-up Google Search Console.
The tool allows you to see how your website is performing, know what your page impressions and click through rates are and what your average ranking position is. It also allows you to find out your site’s mobile usability.
Go to the Index Coverage report to find out which pages are not being indexed and find out the reason for this which you can then later fix.
A tool no site owner should be without and one you will definitely need to improve your SEO strategy.
7. Google Trends
Google trends is a useful tool to find keywords that are raising in popularity. Ideally when you are writing a blog post, you want to identify trending topics that others have not written about yet. This way there will be less competition and your article is more likely to rank better.
You can also use the tool to determine the demand for a particular product or service. If you find it’s popular in a certain location, you can run a Google AdWords campaign targeting that particular area.
8. Google PageSpeed Insights
A slow loading site can have a negative impact on your SEO. For this reason it’s important to keep track of your site’s speed.
You can use Google PageSpeed Insights tool to measure this. Enter a site’s URL and it will determine the speed of it on desktop and mobile platforms. It will also provide suggestions on how to improve your site’s speed.
9. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Having an image laden site can slow it down especially if you’re not optimising your images before you upload them. Smush is a really simple and useful plugin that you can use to optimize your images without losing quality.
Simply download the Smush plugin and any images that you upload to your WordPress site will be optimised automatically. For any old images that have not been optimized yet, you can perform a bulk Smush which will compress up to 50 images in one go.
Not only will your pages load quicker after installing the plugin, your conversion rates should improve especially with mobile users as your site will be more responsive. Your site will also take up less server space and your bandwidth costs will be reduced.
10. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a definite plugin to get installed. Use the plug-in to make your content as SEO friendly as possible. Write a post and the plugin will give you pointers on how to improve your content so that it ranks better.
A traffic light dashboard will inform you of what improvements you can make to fully optimize your post. You can set focus keywords so that you can improve your on-page SEO and it also creates a sitemap file. Not only does it also allow you add meta descriptions to your posts, pages, it will show you a Google search result snippet so you know exactly how it will appear within the search engine.
With over 5 million downloads it’s an extremely popular plugin and one that you should start using if you’re not already.
GTmetrix is a good alternative to Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool.
Not only does it use Google’s performance score metrics to determine a site’s speed it also uses Yahoo’s YSlow as well. It will also provide a number of recommendations which you can try in order to speed up your site.
It will recommend you solutions for various issues that slow down your website loading.
12. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool
More and more people are now using mobile devices to browse the net and the trend is only likely to increase. In some countries, smartphone web traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. If your site is not mobile friendly, you’re at risk of losing a large chunk of your audience.
In order to determine how well your site works on a mobile device you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Enter a site’s URL that you would like to test, and after a few seconds it will display a screenshot of how the site looks on a mobile device. If it encounters any usability or page loading issues it will list these.
The tool is a keyword and competitor research tool. If you want to check on your competition, enter their site’s URL, the tool will then display what keywords they’re ranking for, including their total traffic and who their main competitors are. Another useful feature is it will also display their back link profile.
Not only is it a great tool to spy your competitors, you can also use its Keyword Magic tool to come with thousands of related keywords. Enter a keyword and it will display keywords including their monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, the level of competition and much more.
There you have it, 13 free SEO tools that we would definitely recommend. Which ones are your favourites? Are there any other free SEO tools not on the list which you find indispensable in your arsenal of SEO tools?