Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a daunting prospect. With so many factors affecting it, and algorithms changing all the time, tackling it on your own can seem a mammoth task. You can outsource it of course, at Koreti we have SEO experts who can take all the hassle away from you. But if you want to tackle it yourself, here are some of the best free tools on the market which will help you to optimize your site.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console has a number of tools to help you appear in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for the keywords and phrases your target audience is looking for. It monitors, debugs, and optimizes your website — and there’s no coding knowledge necessary.
Here are some examples of website elements Google Search Console will teach you about and help you optimize.
- The keywords that currently rank on your website.
- Any crawl errors, which are errors in the way search engines look at your website, that exist on your website.
- The mobile-friendliness of your website which is important for user experience and Google ranking.
- The number of your web pages that are in Google’s Index (if they aren’t in Google’s Index, you can use the tool’s URL Inspection Tool to submit a page for indexing).
- The website-related metrics that matter most to you including clicks, impressions, average click-through-rate, and average position.
Google Analytics is a free tool that no marketer should be without. The fantastic insights it offers on what visitors do once they are on your site, along with some information about where they came from, can help you in almost every area of your SEO strategy. If you pair Google Analytics with Google Search Console all of your website’s SEO data will be centrally located and compiled, and you can identify areas for improvement with the keywords and phrases that you want your web pages to rank for.
Other ways that you can use the free version of Google Analytics to understand and improve your SEO are:
- Remove spam traffic — or filter your referral traffic — to get rid of the traffic that has the potential of ruining SEO reports, such as fake referrers (which bring fake traffic to your website).
- Compare organic vs. non-organic traffic to your site.
- Identify which of your web pages receive the most traffic so you’re able to understand what you can do to improve SEO on those pages.
- Use site content reports to determine engagement on each web page, where visitors go, which pages they leave etc.
- Identify the source of your traffic, such as paid and organic search or referral sites — which led to the most sales or conversions, and the value of those sales and conversions for your business.
For Keyword research Ubbersuggest is a great free tool which works with Chrome. Just type in a keyword and it will give you the top-ranking alternative words and phrases searched for. It will also tell you
- The volume of searches for each keyword/phrase.
- The cost per click if you were to pay Google to be seen as an ad.
- How competitive each keyword is.
- As well as keyword suggestions it will tell you the top questions, comparisons and prepositions.
- You can also see which keywords your competitors rank for, how many backlinks they have and how many social shares which will give you an idea of what you need to achieve on your site in order to rank highly.
Seoability is a free SEO-checker tool. With it, you can test your website’s level of compliance with SEO guidelines. By simply entering your URL, your site will be analyzed and you’ll receive tips on how you can better optimize your website. In addition to a detailed SEO audit of your website, you will also get email reporting tools and alerts, and keyword monitoring.
Here are some more advantages of using Seoability:
- You can find technical errors and other on-page SEO issues so you can resolve them quickly.
- Identify areas for improvement regarding your page speed and quality.
- Understand how your page and link structure can be improved by getting data about your headers, internal links, incorrect anchor text, and number of links.
Seolyzer is a free site crawling, log analysis, and SEO tool that helps you determine how search engines like Google view your website. Seolyzer pulls information that crawling bots leave in your server’s log files while browsing your site to identify and create your SEO key performance indicators. The tool also identifies error codes, redirects, and page speed and performance.
Additionally, Seolyzer can help you:
- Quickly identify, and continually monitor, SEO issues on your website such as poor response time, error messages, and crawl volume so you can resolve them before serious damage is done.
- Manage and analyze your page performance, crawl volume, active and new pages, and desktop versus mobile responsiveness.
- Determine what your most crawled pages are.
- Compare your web pages that Google deems as the most important to the ones that you deem as the most important.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools gives you access to important SEO data for your website. You’ll be able to find what keywords your website ranks for, download your backlinks and audit your sites without spending anything.
The Site Explorer Tool gives you a complete overview of-
- The keywords you rank for along with their search volumes and difficulties
- Your backlink profile, the number of links pointing to you and from where
- How the number of organic keywords you rank for has grown or shrunk
The Site Auditor allows you to:
- Monitor the SEO health of your website, flagging up any issues
- Find out how to fix any problems
Google PageSpeed Insights
Site speed is not only a ranking factor, but it also impacts the user experience (UX) of your site. Slow pages can prevent conversions and damage rankings, so Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool is a great way to keep on top of this.
What it can do:
- You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to understand your site’s PageSpeed Score – a score given by Google of between 1 and 100 to indicate how fast your site loads – and learn how to improve it by fixing highlighted issues.
- Even if you are not overly technical, you will be able to see the main areas that are affecting the speed of your site, such as image load time or server issues, as well as the areas that are performing well.
- It gives you clear suggestions for improvements to your site, and also indicates how much time can be saved by making them – it’s a great way to fine-tune your website’s performance.
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that makes optimizing your site as simple and straightforward as it should be for beginners. Since it is fully integrated with the Gutenberg WordPress editor, Yoast SEO gives you complete control over your site’s optimization for specific keywords. Its built-in support also means that complex tasks are made much easier.
- Yoast SEO makes it incredibly straightforward to manage your on-page optimization yourself, so it is great for people who run their own business.
- Once you have entered the focus keyword for a page, the tool gives you a number of pointers for must-fix problems and improvements, but it also shows you what you have already optimized correctly.
- It uses a simple traffic light system that shows where improvements can be made on a page-by-page basis, so it is a great way to look after the individual elements of your onsite optimization efforts.
Google My Business
If you run a business with a physical store or one that serves customers at their locations, use Google My Business (GMB) to claim your business listing and appear on Google Maps and local searches.
What it can do:
- Unless you create and optimize your GMB listing, you are not going to be able to appear in key locations on local SERPs.
- If you want to stand out against your competitors for local searches for opening hours, photos, videos, reviews, Q&As, and more on Google, then Google My Business is the only way.
- It allows you to see how customers connect with your listing via clicks, calls, bookings or follows.
SERP volatility is fairly common. We all see fluctuating results from time to time, but it can be difficult to know whether this is caused by an algorithm update that’s getting rolled out or by new competitor activity. SEMrush sensor tracks Google’s volatility each day and helps you see how much rankings are fluctuating in your market.
What it can do:
- You should always be keeping a watchful eye on the SERPs you are ranking on, but such a task is made easier with a tool that does it for you.
- You can use SEMrush Sensor to see whether or not there are significant fluctuations in rankings and to look for signs of a Google algorithm update, which will prompt you to check your own site’s performance in more detail.
- It gives you the bigger picture of fluctuations on the SERPs by allowing you to not only drill down into details of the keywords you rank for, but also see movements in other sectors.
- You do not need a SEMrush account to use the tool, it is completely free.
Algorithm updates can affect any site that is deemed to be offering a poor user experience, but fluctuations on the SERPs don’t always make sense to everyone at first. The Panguin Tool is the ideal free way to investigate these fluctuations.
What it can do:
- The tool allows you to quickly see whether or not your site has been impacted by a recent or historic update to Google’s algorithm.
- Within seconds, you can connect your Google Analytics account to the Panguin Tool and overlay numerous algorithm updates onto your traffic graph, which will let you identify any potential causes for drops in traffic.
- What could take hours manually only takes a few minutes with the Panguin Tool, which means you have an excellent free way to help you deal with past and future algorithm updates.
This is just a small selection of the numerous free SEO tools on the market. But with these you should have all you need to optimize your site. But if it all seems like a lot of hard work Koreti can help!
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