Is your business on the first page of Google?
In your quest to drive traffic to your website, grow your online following and build your bottom line, you’re likely employing some form of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Along the way, how much are you spending on paid SEO tools that promise to help expedite your journey to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)? While a portion of your budget should be allocated toward your SEO campaign, it’s always smart to take advantage of the free resources at your disposal.
Today, we’re sharing some of the top online tools that can help you optimize your SEO strategy, attract the audience you want and generate the numbers you deserve, all without the sky-high subscription costs you’re used to paying.
Read on to discover the web’s best-kept secrets and how you can take advantage of them today!
1. Google Analytics
If you want to climb to the top of the world’s biggest search engine, it pays to go straight to the source. Thankfully, Google makes it easy to see how your site is doing and where you can improve.
Google Analytics is a free analytics platform provided by Google that tracks and reports on key web metrics. With these insights, you can better track your digital marketing ROI and make sure your efforts are producing the results you expected.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key features available through the platform.
This is the most basic function of Google Analytics.
At its core, it’s designed to deliver up-to-the-minute data on the traffic your website receives. How many site visits do you get every day? What sources are driving this traffic? What are the location demographics of your web visitors?
You can use this feature to track trends over time and modify your advertising strategy accordingly.
If you’ve ever wondered what people are searching for when they find your site, the Keyword Referrals tab of Google Analytics will tell you. You can use this information to direct your long-tailed keyword strategy and appeal to your target audience.
Ideally, your site should be full of conversion points, including:
- Contact forms
- Purchase buttons
- Live chat
- Email/newsletter sign-up
- Whitepaper download
Once you’ve identified these points, you can track them using Google Analytics. The tool will show you the point where someone converted. You can also determine the traffic source that referred them to your site and other insights.
Third-Party Website Referrals
Organic backlinks should play a significant role in your SEO campaign. The more high-authority sites that link to yours, the better.
To this end, Google Analytics shows you which third-party sites are driving traffic back to yours. This way, you know which websites to focus your efforts on moving forward.
These are only a few of the helpful, free features available through Google Analytics. Check out the platform yourself to uncover more valuable insights. Other practical SEO tools offered through Google include:
- PageSpeed Insights
- Search Console
- Keyword Planner
2. Mobile-Friendly Test
Did you know that Google’s search engine algorithms are designed to reward sites that are mobile-friendly and penalize those that are not? As nearly 60% of online queries now originate from a mobile device, it’s critical that your website looks and functions well on any screen.
Another helpful tool from Google is the Mobile-Friendly Test.
This simple, free tool allows you to see which parts of your website are optimized for mobile use and which need to be tweaked. In addition, if there are any page loading issues, you’ll find out about them here.
This section is crucial because it’s essential to ensure that Google can access all of the resources available on your web pages. If not, you could be missing out on valuable traffic.
3. Answer the Public
To rank higher within search engines like Google, your website must achieve one important goal: relevancy. For any topic that you’re targeting, you need to know what people are searching for to find that information. Otherwise, you could spend hours on content and graphics but still miss the point.
This is where Answer the Public comes in.
When you input a keyword into this free tool, it will generate a list of more than 150 commonly asked questions and search phrases relating to it. The best part? It delivers these phrases in a cool graphic that you can save and reference as often as you need.
In addition to commonly searched questions, you can also view:
- Comparisons (e.g. “iPhone vs Android”)
This is an excellent way to get into the psyches of your target audience. When you know what they’re looking for, you can craft your site to be as compelling, relevant and helpful as possible.
4. Woorank Chrome Extension
Want to instantly review and optimize your website for free? You can do so easily with Woorank!
The site provides a free SEO Analysis and Website Review Google Chrome extension that provides instant visibility into the SEO performance of any website, including your own.
When you visit a website in your browser, it instantly crawls its on-site and off-site data to reveal a complete picture of its SEO optimization. The data points it measures include:
- Structured data
- Website technologies
- Social media
- Website traffic
With these metrics, it then generates a comprehensive report, which measures a given site’s overall:
In addition to helping you optimize your own SEO efforts, you can also use the Woorank extension to monitor how your competitors are doing. When you visit their sites, you can perform the same SEO review detailed above. You can also view their backlinks, so you know where their online traffic is coming from.
5. Animalz Revive
Sometimes, improving your SERPs rank can be as simple as updating the content on your site. If yours is full of outdated and irrelevant data, it could work against you. Known as content decay, this signals to Google (and your web visitors) that you’re no longer an industry authority on your subject.
Rather than recreating everything from scratch, there are myriad ways you can refresh and repurpose the hard work you’ve already created.
Animalz Revive is a unique tool that helps you identify any old content on your site. While Google Analytics also provides similar data, you’re required to comb through all of your pages to identify them individually. On the other hand, this resource does it in seconds.
The most important data point revealed is the traffic loss you’ve experienced since a particular URL peaked. Available as both a percentage and number of views, this is a clear way to see how much your outdated content is costing you.
You know that search engines crawl your site, but have you ever wondered how exactly it looks from their vantage point? With BrowseSEO, you can see that view.
This one-click tool is easy to follow and full of data-rich insights. To use it, you’ll simply type in your URL and click “browse.”
This is a stripped-down version of your website, devoid of any stylistic features. By viewing and working in the underlying, backend structure, you can glean technical insights into key SEO metrics, including:
- Internal links
- External links
- No-follow links
In addition, you can also see which pages or content Google is having a hard time accessing. From here, you can make the technical adjustments yourself or team with an SEO services provider to make the appropriate changes.
You can also see how your site looks in search results via the BrowseSEO SERP Preview tool. This way, you can make sure your titles and meta descriptions are correctly optimized.
If you’re a digital marketer, you’ve likely asked yourself this question more than a few times: Can I rank for a particular keyword? You want to appear on the first page of Google, but is it even feasible?
CanIRank can tell you the answer.
While some tools will simply tell you whether a not a keyword is competitive, this tool tells you precisely whether or not your specific website can rank for it.
The ranking probability percentage clearly indicates your likelihood of showing up on the first SERP for that given term. It also uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to suggest ways that you can better optimize that keyword in the future.
While the platform includes multiple tools and paid subscription plans, you can create a free account in seconds to gain access to some of the most important features, including:
- Your 40 highest ROI opportunities
- 20 link opportunities
- 200 keyword recommendations
- Five competitive analysis reports
- Five on-page SEO analyses
In addition to the resources above, a free account also gives you access to the platform’s ongoing member support tools, which include weekly progress reports, action recommendations, and expert support.
8. Check My Links
Check My Links is another Google Chrome extension that can be a powerful resource in your SEO toolbelt.
Google link penalties are very real and can have a significant impact on your SERP ranking. If any of yours are broken, it can work against you instantly.
This extension simply scans your website and identifies any broken links so you can fix them immediately. It’s an especially helpful feature for content editors, as well as web designers and developers. Yet, it’s simple enough that any digital marketer can also discern areas of improvement. The helpful colour-coding mechanism breaks down broken links by type, using the following designations;
- 200 status codes: dark green
- 300 status codes: light green
- 400 status codes: red
You can copy all of these bad links to your clipboard in a single click, so you can quickly make the necessary edits.
9. Keywords Everywhere
It’s no secret that performing keyword research can be a time-consuming endeavour. Yet, it’s a can’t-miss part of your SEO strategy.
Keywords Everywhere can make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
This extension is compatible with both Chrome and Firefox and includes many free features, as well as paid, premium ones.
How does it work?
It performs a scan of more than 15 sites to determine the top keywords that are trending on those platforms. Some of the heavy-hitters among this list include:
- Google Search Console
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
It pays to know what people are searching for on these websites. That way, you can create content that caters to those interests. In addition to keyword search volume, you can also learn the following metrics for these sites:
- Monthly search volume
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Competition data
10. Google Search Console
We couldn’t end this list without mentioning the always-helpful Google Search Console. Even if there were no other features to this tool, the very fact that its data comes straight from Google makes it worth checking out.
The good news? It’s full of valuable insights that you can use to direct and optimize your SEO strategy.
With this resource, you can learn the following metrics about your website for free, among others:
- Search traffic
- Index coverage
- Backlink origins
- Top linked pages
- Keyword performance
- URL performance
- Indexation issues
- Mobile usability status
- Sitemap status
To begin, verify your website to Google Search Console and submit your sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling. This way, Google can start collecting data from your site immediately, so your stats are always up-to-date.
Use These Free Tools to Optimize Your SEO Campaign
The path to the top of the SERPs doesn’t have to be dotted with dollar signs.
While it pays to invest resources into your SEO strategy, you don’t have to break the bank to stand out in your space. These free online tools can help you take your SEO campaign to the next level, starting today.
With these insights, you’ll have the data you need to optimize your website for maximum visibility and traffic. Yet, don’t stop there. We can help you leverage these resources and others to create a professional, comprehensive strategy that incorporates all aspects of SEO, including technical, on-page, off-page, and local considerations.
Contact us today to learn more and let’s connect.
I have been working as a web designer for several years. I’m continually learning better ways to rank websites within reputable search engines. When I’m not working or studying, I’m spending time with my family exploring random activities.