After presenting SEO and Online Presence assessments to customers, many ask which tools we use to gather data and whether any of these tools are free.
Although there are a countless number of SEO tools available, our experience is that many are misleading and ineffective. And if you’re making business and investment decisions based on these tools, chances are that you’re misusing resources.
As a guide for Blogging Painters readers, we’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of our top favorite free/free-trial tools to use in identifying and implementing SEO and online presence improvements. The caveat being, as with any tool, the more experience you have, the more you’re able to get out of them.
Plus, although Google Analytics is great, one area that frustrates its users is the increasing number of organic search results listed as ‘not provided’ (not helpful when you’re trying to find out what people are searching for). Google Webmaster is an excellent alternative to help you better understand which keywords users are entering to find your website.
Which keywords are driving visitors? What city are those visitors searching from? How long do visitors stay on your website? Which pages cause users to leave? Just a few questions that this powerful tool can help answer. This is the most popular of all the analytics tools available. Google Analytics features many different components including ‘Data Collection and Management’, ‘Data Consolidation’, ‘Data Analytics & Reporting’, and ‘Data Activation’. Don’t have Google Analytics? Stop reading this article and get it now J
Google Mobile Test
This test will determine whether your website is mobile friendly according to Google’s standards and provide a detailed report on any needed improvements. Plus, this tool will help answer questions like ‘What are the top 3 things I should know when building a site for mobile devices?’, What are the top mistakes beginners want to avoid?’, and ‘How do I make my existing site mobile friendly?’.
Google PageSpeed Insights
A slow loading website or webpage will negatively impact your website visitor’s user experience and in turn your search engine ranking. This tool will provide website speed data and identify opportunities for improvement which may include optimizing image size and leveraging browser cashing.
Want to see which websites are linking to your website and how valuable this is for your search engine rankings? Interested in seeing which links your competitors have? This is a great research tool, offering a large index and effective anchor text distribution charts.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Similar to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing offers a portfolio of interesting research tools and resources for webmasters.
Buzzstream Tools Suite
Once you’ve identified linking opportunities, this tool is excellent for managing outreach programs to achieve additional links.
Internet Marketing Ninjas SEO Tools
Ever wonder what your website or webpage looks like from Google’s perspective? This on page optimization tool is helpful for analyzing your internal links, your meta information and your page content in order to develop better on-page SEO. Once you have this information, you can compare it to your competitors and see where the opportunities are.
This toolbar from Moz lets you create custom searches, compare link metrics, highlight links and keywords, quickly expose page elements, and access other powerful SEO tools—all with your browser.
At a high level and as a first step, it may be interesting to see how you stack up against your competitors on relevant keywords and then dig into their page elements and linking to get a better understanding of why their site is more valuable on those search terms.
Ever wonder which keywords your competitors target in their advertising? Or which competitor ads have been most successful? This tools is extremely good and comprehensive and can help you avoid costly paid advertising mistakes others have made.
One of the most popular tools, The SEO Toolbar puts a lot of key SEO information at your fingertips including backlinks and competitive research.
Do you know how much your competitors spend on Pay Per Click? Or how many monthly organic clicks your competitors are receiving? SpyFu may be the best competitive analysis tool available. When DK Marketing Group starts engagements, we frequently begin with SpyFu to get a clearer sense of the competitive market.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list of available quality free SEO tools, this will hopefully be a beneficial resource in your SEO improvement efforts. Questions on how you can better leverage any of these tools? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .