A website without proper marketing is like a Formula 1 sports car with no engine. It looks pretty impressive, but is going nowhere fast.
You can have the best product in the world, but if no-one can find your website it is almost pointless. That’s where SEO comes in. Optimizing your websites for the search engines increases your web presence, and can help drive organic traffic to your site.
But with a limited knowledge of SEO and a limited budget at your disposal, how can you SEO your website like a professional?
SEO tools for business
Luckily for you, there are a whole host of online tools you can use to boost your online marketing efforts. And while many incur monthly costs, there are a handful of great tools you can use free of charge.
These great tools might be free, but they are just as useful and powerful as their paid-for counterparts. If you have a limited knowledge of SEO, but are looking to boost your website, here are our top 5 free SEO tools and some top tips on how you can utilize them:
1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Keyword research is the basis of any great SEO campaign.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is your perfect keyword research companion. This tool can help you identify the best keywords you can use when optimizing your website; showing you the global and local monthly searches, and keyword competition.
This comprehensive tool also tells you the cost of each keyword, should you use them in a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign. This cost is based on how popular the terms are, and will give you an idea of how easy – or difficult – ranking for these terms will be.
There is more to your website than just creating the HTML and forgetting about it. Over time, websites require regular maintenance to make sure everything is working as well as it could. Broken links are one of the most common web maintenance issues, but it’s not just web visitors that you can inconvenience with too many.
Dead and broken links result in 404 errors, which can have a negative impact on your SEO. To ensure your website is free from 404’s, you should use Xenu’s Link Sleuth. This handy, free SEO tool scans your website and tests all your links to make sure they’re working correctly.
The software then generates an easy-to-understand report, letting you manually check your links and repair them if needed. You can customize this analysis, too. This way, you can always get the right results for your website.
3. Quirk Search Status
Designed for search engine marketers, the Quirk Search Status toolbar is an extension for Firefox or SeaMonkey, and is a great free SEO tool.
This comprehensive extension allows you to see how each and every website in the world is performing; providing extensive search-related information. All this information is displayed in a compact toolbar, ready for analysis. This discreet extension won’t have any impact on your Internet searches, unless of course you want it to.
Search Status lets you view a wealth of information about the sites you visit including:
- Google PageRank
- Google Category
- Alexa popularity ranking
- Compete.com ranking
- SEOMoz Linkscape mozRANK
- Alexa related links
- Backward links
- and more
This comprehensive information lets you see the link importance and traffic importance of a site, giving you a balanced overview of a sites performance. To use this extension, you need to be running Firefox or SeaMonkey.
4. Screaming Frog
Available for both PC and Mac users, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a great desktop application that ‘spiders’ a website. Much like the search engine crawlers would, the Screaming Frog spider crawls a websites’ links, images, CSS, apps, script and more – all from an SEO perspective.
These are all key elements of your onsite SEO, and the software allows you to check for common SEO issues, filter data, and analyze results. More than this, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider, allows you to perform a comprehensive audit of your site from a professional SEO perspective.
This tool is great for large sites where manually checking every page would be extremely time consuming. The spider ensures missing redirects, meta data, and duplicate pages are all flagged up, for example.
5. SEOMoz Toolbar
SEOMoz offers a whole host of amazing paid-for SEO tools that marketers and business owners alike can benefit from. But if your budget is tight, they have a free tool that works just as well.
The SEOMoz Toolbar, available for users of Firefox or Chrome browsers, allows you to completely streamline your SEO process. It provides easy and effective access to hugely powerful SEO tools and date, all while you surf the web or analyse your site.
Particular highlights of the MozBar include:
- Access to SEO metrics at a glance
- Ability to create custom searches by search engine, region, country etc
- Highlight no-follow and do-follow, and internal and external links
- Keyword analysis
- Comparison of Google, Yahoo! And Bing link metrics with the SERP overlay
- Analyze Page overlay to expose and inspect page elements
There are a whole host of great – and free – SEO tools you can use to boost your online marketing efforts. As these have demonstrated, you don’t always need to be a complete technical whizz either. If you’re looking to boost your SEO efforts, why not try these tools today?