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May 3, 2021

Our Favourite Free Tools For SEO

Looking to improve your SEO workflow but don’t have a huge budget?

Guess what.  We’ve rounded up some amazing free SEO tools that will get the job done quickly and effectively, so you can look after your budget while they look after your website’s performance.

AnswerthePublic

This keyword research tool is basically an automated autocomplete resource.  It visualises search questions and provides suggested autocomplete searches.

It’s perfect for generating heaps of long-tailed keywords that contain similar words to what people use in their searches.  Digital marketers around the world use AnswerThePublic to help them to identify blog topics, create relevant content which answers the questions being asked and ultimately increase their visibility on Google search.

Google My Business

This is one of the best free tools for improving your business’s online visibility.

If you have a bricks and mortar business or offer a local service, GMB helps customers find you by featuring your site on key locations like Google maps, the Knowledge Panel and the Local Pack.  When optimised effectively and updated regularly with fresh content, videos, reviews, FAQs, opening hours etc, GMB can drive growth on the SERPS and put you ahead of your local competitors.

Google Analytics

No marketer should be without this fantastic free tool.  It’s probably the best cost-effective site analytics resource out there which enables businesses to analyse and hone their SEO and traffic generation strategies.

Google Analytics provides detailed statistical evidence on a website’s performance such as where traffic comes from, unique visitors, conversions, number of sessions, how visitors engaged with the site, where they exited and the devices they used.

Google Search Console

If ranking well on Google is a priority or if you want help with planning your growth strategy, you need this tool.  It basically highlights the same issues that Google comes across when it crawls and indexes your site, so it’s the ideal go-to tool for diagnostics regarding your site’s position on the SERPS.

Amongst other things, Google Search Console provides insights into your website’s SEO performance in terms of clicks, CTR, impressions and individual keywords’ average positions.  It also inspects URLs to identify any stumbling blocks to SERP performance, uncovers security issues, identifies coverage errors and gains insights into backlinks and internal links.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to see the topics that people are searching for around the world, almost in real time.  It analyses the popularity of the top Google searches and presents the data in graphic form, providing SEO strategists with an easy-to-use resource for finding keywords, uncovering topics for content creation, discovering local search trends etc.

SEOPress WordPress Plugin

According to the SEO Press website: ‘SEOPress is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin to optimise your SEO, boost your traffic, improve social sharing, build custom HTML and XML Sitemaps, create optimised breadcrumbs, add schemas/Google Structured data types, manage 301 redirections and so much more.’

We love it because it’s an all-in-one easy-to-use SEO plugin with a host of features in the free version.

Smush WP Plugin

Images are a must on your website, but unless you optimise them properly, they can slow down loading speeds, erode the user experience and impact your SEO efforts.

Enter Smush WP Plugin.  It’s easy to use and allows you to optimise images without any loss in quality.  It works by stripping off metadata from JPEGs, optimizing JPEG images and converting GIF to PNG format and you can do it automatically or manually.  This is a highly recommended tool for resizing, optimising and compressing any, or all, of your images so that they load faster than before.

Sourcebottle

SourceBottle is a clever online connection platform that helps journalists and bloggers find knowledgeable sources for features, stories and events.  It identifies interview requests and media call-outs and small businesses in particular can benefit from editorial exposures by  listing themselves as being a source in their relevant category eg technology, lifestyle and fashion.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This powerful desktop-based crawler gives great insights into any technical SEO issues with your site.  It allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs for free to find broken links, audit redirects, analyse meta data, highlight duplicate content etc and it works on sites of any size.  Best of all, it allows easy transfer of data into a spreadsheet making it a valuable tool for your long-term SEO strategy plan.

GTMetrix

This free tool has a suite of features for monitoring and analysing your website to ensure optimum performance.

It summarises a page’s key performance indicators, providing actionable insights using graphs and other visual displays and alerts you when pages aren’t doing well.   It comes in both a free and a paid version, and we love its performance analysis tools and its clear and easy to implement recommendations.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Having a mobile-friendly website is a critical part of your online presence.   This free tool lets you test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device simply by entering a page URL.  It provides test results for that page and identifies any mobile usability problems (eg small font sizes and images that are too large).

This information can then be used to optimise your website for mobile devices.

My SEO Audit

This is an awesome tool from The SEO School that can help your website get found online on Google.

The free SEO Audit analyses how effective your website is in five key areas namely SEO, Usability, Performance, Social and Security and provides you with a detailed report and step-by-step recommendations on how to improve your results.

Brokenlinkcheck.com

Broken links, ‘page not found’ messages and 404 and similar errors on your website aren’t just annoying to users.  They can negatively impact your online reputation, affect your website rankings with the major search engines and prevent new customers from finding you.

This free website validation tool makes it really easy and quick to locate and fix dead weblinks across your entire site.   And unlike many other similar solutions, this one only reports on the ‘bad’ hyperlinks so you get to the nub of the issue right away and can fix up problematic tags quickly and effectively.

Mozcast and SEMRush Sensor

These two free tools are great for tracking real-time changes in Google’s volatile algorithm, ensuring you keep abreast of updates etc.  They take all the mystery out of the technicalities of the calculations and present the data in an easy-to-read graphic format.  They also analyse you and your competitors on the SERPs, plus you can segment data by SERP feature, country, device used and HTTP results.

Hotjar

Hotjar is an easy-to-use tool that gives you greater insights into what’s actually happening on your website.  It helps you get behind the statistics, providing information on what users are really doing on your site and why they’re behaving in a certain way.

Hotjar complements traditional web analytics tools by providing some of the context behind the numbers.  And we love the way the data is presented.  It’s clear, easy to understand and user-friendly.

In conclusion….

Every SEO professional has their own set of favourite free tools for SEO and luckily for smaller operations and those which are budget-conscious, there are plenty of free and easy-to-use ones which deliver excellent results.

Whether you want technical SEO tools, keyword ideas and research tools, rankings and search results tools or ones for internal and external links, redirects and status codes and page optimisation, there’s a free resource out there that you can take advantage of.

The tools listed above are some of my trusted favourites which I have used extensively over my many years as a Perth SEO specialist, helping businesses to get found online.  I have recently launched an innovative self-managed modular SEO course – The SEO School – designed for small business owners and in the course, I delve in much greater detail about a range of important online resources, including free SEO tools.

If you’d like any information about The SEO School or simply want a friendly obligation-free chat about digital marketing and SEO, you’re welcome to get in touch.

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