The following 10 free seo tools, which all are easy and free to use, are available to help you supercharge your SEO efforts and increase your organic Google rankings and qualified web traffic.
How do you feel about the performance of your SEO campaign? As the year winds down, it won’t be long before you’re reviewing the good and the bad and making goals for the following year. Like me, a Toronto SEO specialist, I’m sure you want to review your 2016 performance and realize that you made some improvement. Fortunately, even if you hit a snag, there’s always time to catch up and do things the right way. Here are ten free SEO tools that will help you do things right and identify areas that are in need of improvement.
If you could only choose one tool on this list, Google Search Console is the plum choice. It helps you find out if your site has a manual penalty, spot crawling issues and broken links, identify the number of pages beings indexed, download links, test your robots.txt file or structured data, and see what keywords your website is ranking for. It’s a peek into how Google views elements of your site. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Bing Webmaster Tool. There’s a lot to be gained from this free tool because Google is not the only search engine on the World Wide Web.
Google Trends is another must-have tool for comparing traffic for different organic keywords on Google and YouTube, including historic, geographic and related terms. It helps you determine if a term is a rising or falling topic and could prove valuable for creating enticing content for your blog, especially when you cannot think of a topic. There’s extra data within the Google Zeitgeist section, detailing the year’s most popular searches. Also worth checking out is the Hot Trends list, to see the most popular searches right now.
It is crucial that your website is mobile friendly. In fact, Google takes the “mobile-friendly” element into consideration when ranking websites for highly-competitive keywords because the number of searches on mobile has surpassed those on desktop….and Google is all about providing its users with a user-friendly experience. This free tool will help you determine if you pass the mobile-friendly test. It provides you with a screenshot of how Google views your website’s page and you will receive feedback based on whether the site is ready for mobile or not.
Enter a URL, and the free tool will test the loading time and performance for desktop and for mobile devices as well as spot opportunities to improve. If there is nothing to improve on, they will give you a thumbs up with all green checkmarks. The mobile results also come with a user experience score, grading areas like tap targets and font sizes.
This tool is available to you via Analytics and allows you to analyze the data to see organic traffic as well as how your rankings are in comparison to in the past. The great thing about this tool is that it will tell you when Google updates have struck and if your site has been affected. Filter between Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, or structural (Phantom) updates. Be proactive and check in once a week as opposed to when your traffic drops.
Google is cracking down on plagiarists. If you have duplicate content, you may be penalized by Google Penguin as it goes against the policies identified in Google Webmaster guidelines. It is thereby crucial that you use a plagiarism detection tool like Copyscape to scour the web to find websites with content that mirror yours. Competitors have been known to steal content.
The free version of Copyscape identifies the top ten culprits. At this point, you could do one of three things: 1) contact the culprit and ask them to take it down; 2) rewrite the content and make it unique (you need to do it every few months anyway); 3) issue a takedown notice to Google.
The Wayback Machine is the best historical archive pm the World Wide Web and lets you see what a website used to look like historically. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this free tool for detective work to solve cases of missing content. For that reason, the Wayback Machine holds a special place in my work routine. If the numbers for a site have changed and something about that site has changed but you don’t have a site back-up available to figure out what – the Wayback Machine is there for you. Plus, it’s always cool to see what a website looked like 10 years ago.
Google’s Keyword Planner, the tool previously known as the Adwords Keyword Tool, is equally as important to use for SEO as it is for PPC advertising. It lets you pull monthly Google search query volume estimates for keywords in seconds. As well, you can use the tool to spy on competitors and see which keywords they are ranking for and emulate. My recommendation: anytime you want to use a keyword on your blog or landing pages, check the Google Keyword Planner first to see how competitive the term is and if it will get you the traffic you desire. If not, take a look at the suggested keywords that Google Keyword Planner provides.
Know more about Keyword Planner by watching this video.
SEOQuake is a browser plug-in/extension that is available for Google Chrome and Firefox users. It displays a number of SEO parameters for any webpage you visit, including Google PageRank, Google Index, Bing index, Alexa Rank etc. You can use that information to determine the quality of the website you are visiting and perhaps even reach out to them for link building purposes.
Moz’s Open Site Explorer helps you reveal and analyze all the links currently pointing to your site and disavow them when necessary. This is incredibly valuable for determining your domain and page authority growth, as well as spying on competitors to determine what sites they are targeting for their link building campaigns.
The best thing about these 10 tools is that you don’t have to pay a single dime to use any of them. Each one is powerful, full of features, and free of cost. There’s no reason to avoid any of them over the last few months of the year.
iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto based digital marketing agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and Internet marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and Social Media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.