SEO has always been an important and useful tool for businesses. However, in the past many companies were guilty of overlooking its importance, or simply not understanding how and why it can help a business.
More recently, many companies have begun to start trying to create and improve their SEO approach. Of course, this has been accelerated by the ongoing crisis. Now, potentially more than ever before, it is vital for a company to have a strong online presence.
If you are one of many businesses starting SEO campaigns, the tools below will help you to better understand SEO. They will also help you gain an upper hand on some of your rivals. If you need to gain more understanding of SEO, you can download our Local SEO Guide for Small Businesses.
Unsurprisingly, Google offers several tools that are vital if you want good SEO for your business. Google Search Console is helpful in optimizing the visibility of your website, as well as checking your sitemap and seeing which keyword searches led to a site being visible in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). You can also view your organic search results.
Google Keyword Planner, although in fact included in Google Ads, is another key tool in obtaining quality SEO. As the name suggests, you can use it for keyword research and planning Google Ads campaigns. For example, you can find out data on any search query in Google, and it will even suggest potential keywords that you may want to use.
In terms of Local SEO, one of the most important tools, especially if you have actual stores in certain locations, is Google My Business. It lets you create a business listing that, once verified, can give potential customers useful details about your business, such as opening hours, location and phone number. This needs to be updated regularly, as it is what people will see when they make searches such as ‘digital marketing company barcelona’.
Finally, the most important Google tool, and perhaps the most important out of any of these tools, is Google Analytics. This tool is mainly used to track website traffic, but can also be used to keep track of session duration, bounce rate and other details about website visits such as conversions and the quality of your landing pages. Essentially, it can tell you which pages are performing well or badly, and has even recently launched a feature where you can gain information about users who are currently using your site.
Screaming Frog is a useful website crawler that crawls websites and enables you to conduct on-site and technical SEO Audits. It gathers all the data from the URLs provided, therefore telling you where the main issues are on your website. It will pick out various things, from missing title tags or meta descriptions to broken links and duplicate content, and will even rank them based on their importance. Furthermore, it provides the clearest indication of what may need changing on your website.
You can download Screaming Frog here.
Yoast SEO is actually a WordPress plug-in, and so can you can only use it on WordPress. Nonetheless, many sites do use WordPress (according to a Forbes article from 2016, 75 million websites use WordPress – this has probably increased even further since). Certainly, for WordPress, it is easily the best tool for supercharging your SEO. It’s extremely useful for making sure your individual website pages are optimised for SEO (whether it be through enabling you to customise meta descriptions or directing you towards SEO and readability problems) and can also help to apply Structured Data and an XML sitemap for your website.
SEMrush mixes many of the good parts of the aforementioned tools. It carries out site audits, shows search traffic and you can evens it as a keyword research tool. It gives information on the main keywords for a page, which keywords send traffic, main competitors, number of backlinks and the amount of traffic on the site. You can even analyse 2 different domains and see how they fare against each other. If SEMrush looks good to you, you can download it from this website.
Unfortunately, Ahrefs isn’t actually a free tool, although it does offer a free trial period. However, it is certainly worth using the trial if possible. In fact, it is worth the premium price if you do eventually end up purchasing the full version. Ahrefs is an extremely useful keyword research tool (you can also use it to find competitor keywords), and you can also use it for finding content ideas, backlinks and guest post opportunities. In addition, like several of the tools above, it can help to carry out site audits. However, perhaps its most helpful feature is the many blogs and articles that offer tutorials and help on many SEO-related topics and processes, such as how to conduct keyword research or how to analyse backlinks. Fortunately, most of these articles can be accessed by anyone for free.
Of course, the free tools detailed above are not the be-all and end-all of high quality SEO. Many of the tools above also have premium features that you can access for a price. There are several other tools, such as Ahrefs, that can be equally if not even more helpful.
However, the tools detailed above are some of the best free tools on offer. Importantly, anyone can use them to conduct high-quality SEO and gain valuable insights into how your business is performing online. They will also be extremely helpful in improving your SEO and leading to more traffic, visits and hopefully more conversions.
If you want to find out more about SEO, or any of our services, you can check out our blog.