10 Essential (& Free) SEO Tools to Boost Your Website
As a small business owner, and presumably a hardcore multitasker, you probably know that doing it all on your own is no small feat. Creating a website is the easy part (at least with Wix). But you still need to work on getting your site out there while running your biz. You may have heard of an acronym that can be of service: namely, SEO. Search engine optimization will allow you to attract a more targeted audience and bring more people to your site. Think about it this way: most of your prospective customers are trying to find your product or service on Google. If you don’t appear among the first results, your website may get lost in the abyss of the web.
So, how do you give your website more SEO mojo? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go at it alone. First of all, you may want to read up on some top SEO tips and current SEO trends to brush up on your SEO knowledge. In addition to that, this article will provide you with awesome extensions, simple platforms and neat apps to help you out. Like Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes, Robin to Batman, Zazu to Mufasa, these SEO tools will be your great and trusted sidekicks. From finding keywords to measuring your organic traffic, we’ve rounded up the best free SEO tools just for you:
Wix SEO Wiz
Google Search Console
Answer the public
Google.com in Incognito
01. Wix SEO
We can’t help but be biased, but this free tool is like a one stop shop of SEO tools. It basically has everything you need all in one place. After answering some simple questions, the wondrous Wiz analyzes in a few minutes the SEO state of your website, and automatically issues a personalized plan with simple steps to improve your Google ranking. Everything is covered by this user-friendly tool, from writing the optimal SEO titles and descriptions to filling in your image alt text. Plus, if you’ve got a personalized domain, you can easily connect your website to Google and get indexed in just a click. It’s so good, even our friends at Google are talking about it: “For the Wix users, this [Wix SEO] is a pretty cool experience because they can see their page in the search results immediately after they have created it. There is no waiting, there is no wondering, ‘Am I on search or not?’ Within seconds, they’re on Google.” said Mariya Moeva. You can read more about the Wix & Google collaboration in this informative article. We know how daunting SEO may seem at the very start but with the Wix SEO on your side, you’ll be following the SEO brick road to success. Give it go, over here.
02. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service brought to you by Google. It’s a key tool any website owner should check out if they want to get serious about their SEO. Once you claim ownership, you’ll get access to a whole array of features that can help optimize your website, such as crawl reports, ability to submit a sitemap, and more. The juicy stuff happens in the ‘Search Traffic’ section. Click on ‘Search Analytics’ to find the top queries and pages that are getting the most clicks from Google. That’s valuable info right there, as once you understand which keywords you’re ranking for, you can focus on optimizing those pages or you can create new pages to cater to those search terms, and get even more traffic. And you must know that more traffic equals more mojo.
03. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a platform used to analyze your website’s performance. It enables you to track all sorts of info about your site such as, how visitors arrived on your site, how many people visit a specific page or how much time they spend viewing it. Knowing how your website performs will help you produce better content for your audience, which in turn will have a positive impact on your SEO. It’s also the place where you can get a sense of your organic traffic, meaning site traffic that wasn’t paid for through online promotion tactics. Not sure where to find it? Head over to the ‘Acquisitions’ section to understand the state of the organic traffic you’ve obtained. You can play around with the dates to see how your website’s organic performance has increased over time. Google Analytics might seem a bit technical at first, but it’s actually very intuitive. Check this out to discover everything you need to know about how to use Google analytics.
This is a very cool and free keyword tool that gives you plenty of ideas and suggestions for search terms you may not have thought of using. A quick reminder: keywords are two to five word phrases that are used by searchers when looking for something online. It’s super important to add the right terms to your website’s content, so that Google’s bots can identify you as a relevant result for a specific search. That’s exactly where Ubersuggest comes in. The tool is based off of Google’s Keyword Planner and Google auto-complete function. However, as opposed to Google’s planner (when not running active paid ads), this one gives you a more precise search volume, and you’re able to filter results. It can guide you to find better and more searched for terms that you can insert into your website’s content. For example, if you’re a landscape artist trying to get your website found online, you may discover that ‘gardener’ is a term that is more frequently used, and therefore preferable to add in your website.
This cool Chrome extension will make it seem like you’ve got a sixth sense for seeing keywords. They will start popping up in all sorts of places such as Google search results, Google Trends, Answer the public (see next tool) and more. How does the extension work? It essentially gives you the ‘global’ (not geographically specific) search volume of keywords that appear on pages. The search volume, which is the amount of average monthly searches, lets you know how popular search terms are. And the higher the number, the better your chance of more people potentially finding your website or blog’s content on Google. Be careful though, as higher also means more competitive. If you’re a photographer, the search term ‘photography’ may have a high search volume, but it would be too difficult to rank for.
Don’t be intimidated by the impatient fella’ on the homepage. This software lets you find out which questions people are asking about pretty much any topic on the planet. If you’re stuck with content ideas for your next blog post, it’s bound to come in handy (so is the Ubersuggest tool mentioned above). Just write a broad topic in the search box, related to your business of course, and click ‘Get Questions’. You’ll get access to a huge list of questions and topics that can be a great source of inspiration. Why it so valuable? Knowing what people are asking about your biz’s topic will allow to get a better insight about what your audience’s needs and questions are, and how you can provide them with solutions. Let’s say, you own a plant shop and you’re looking for your next article topic to post on your website’s blog. Just fill in the tool’s search box with the word ‘plants’, and it will start raining keywords. Halleluyah!
07. Google.com in Incognito
Using the incognito option in your Chrome browser makes you feel like a detective on CSI. But actually, it’s one of the greatest ways to get Google’s unbiased results page. You see, when you use Google Chrome to surf the Net, you’re probably signed in with your personal email and you don’t regularly clear your browsing history or cookies. This means that Google knows a lot about you and your preferences. Creepy, but true. So when you open an incognito window, and you ‘Google’ something, it’s like browsing on a clean slate. This way you’ll get access to the impartial results, and you’ll be able to better suss out your competition. By searching ‘incognito’ you can check out the content that is currently ranking and understand if there is anything you can do to create something that is more complete, or more valuable to searchers.
Buzzsumo is a great tool to find out how well your content performs on all social media channels. How does it work? You enter the web address of a piece of content, and it shows you how many shares you’ve got on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin. You might think to yourself, “What does this have to do with my SEO?” You’re right, the links that you get from social media channels don’t have the same power as the links from external websites. But they do help bring more traffic to your site, and more traffic is awesome for SEO. In addition, if many readers share a certain piece of content, it means that they’ve enjoyed it and spent more time on your site. Again, a great SEO boost. Public notice: do not underestimate the power of social media.
09. Moz toolbar
This handy toolbar is an essential SEO tool to get really good insights about any website, including your own. It analyses the competitiveness of a domain by giving it a score (1 to 100) called Domain Authority (DA). The score is calculated using various metrics, and will basically tell you how much SEO juice a website has. You can use the extension when trying to figure out if you’ll be able to rank with your content or if it’s too competitive. How? Check your own domain authority score, and compare it to those that appear on the search results for your keywords. If the score of the pages that appear is around the same range, then your chances of ranking will be better. Aside from this, you can go into full nerd analysis mode and check all sorts of other information about a site such as: on-page elements, including title and description, headlines, and amount of characters for each element.
10. Email Hunter
Always wanted to be a stalker? Now you can! Just kidding… well sort of. This tool allows you to find anyone’s email address in a click. It comes in handy when reaching out to bloggers and online influencers. Indeed, website owners don’t always have this info readily available on their ‘Contact’ page. But why would you get in touch with strangers in the first place? Nowadays influential bloggers and online magazines can seriously amplify your content and help increase your website’s exposure in the realm of the Internet. More than that, when high-quality websites refer to your site, Google will take notice and grant you with a generous SEO boost. If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can check out our guide to find the best outreach marketing tactics.
By Ruth Eschenheimer SEO Content Specialist