5 Useful Free SEO Tools

May 6, 2020 | Megan Kinnaird
Given the current digital climate, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more important than ever and the only thing better than an effective SEO tool is a FREE effective SEO tool. Thankfully, there are tonnes of free tools available for beginners and experts alike. Below we run through a few of our go-to favourites.

Google Advanced Search Operators

When it comes to advanced Google search operators, the opportunities are endless. First, a definition. Google Advance Search Operators are special commands that allow you to narrow searches and drill deeper into results. These commands are entered directly into the Google search box, just as you would a regular text search.  When using a search operator correctly, you’re instructing Google to refine the results in a particular way. So instead of getting loads of unrelated results, you only receive ones relevant to what you’re looking for.

View all results from one particular website or figure out which pages on your website have been indexed (site:www.focusonline.co.za). Figure out how much content a competitor has published on a certain topic (site:www.focusonline.co.za “keyword keyword”). Discover pages with a particular word or words in the Meta Title (intitle:keyword) and narrow it further to receive results containing all of the specified words, not just some (allintitle:keyword). These SEO opportunities, and so many more can be revealed when utilising Google advanced search operators.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is a tool which allows you to crawl website URLs to analyse and audit onsite and technical SEO. With the free version, you can download and crawl 500 URLs on either the website itself or on the desktop app. Quickly identify any issues your website might have and gather important onsite data to make informed decisions about your SEO. Find broken links, analyse page titles and meta data, generate XML sitemaps, visualise internal linking and URL structure, discover duplicate content and evaluate redirects.

WebPageTest

In the world of website page speed testing, WebPageTest is in a league of its own. With this impressive tool you can test not only your websites page speed, but also its performance. Choose to run website speed tests from multiple locations around the globe using various browsers – a list which includes Chrome, Brave, Firefox and Canary. You can also test at real consumer connection speeds, from Cable to 4G. Utilising advanced settings you can capture a video of your website loading, run up to 9 tests at once, and much more.

Your results will provide rich diagnostic information including Page Speed optimization checks and various suggestions for improvements. Optimization grades range from A – F and it’s useful to keep in mind that anything that isn’t an A or B needs to be looked at. An extremely useful feature is the waterfall chart which provides you with every resource on your webpage, the order in which those resources were loaded and the time it took for each resource to load. Take a look for yourself: www.webpagetest.org.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is arguably one of the most powerful free SEO tools out there. Defined, it is a free service that allows you to monitor and troubleshoot your website’s appearance in Google search results.

Use this dynamic tool to improve rankings for underperforming keywords, compare branded vs non-branded keyword performance, view opportunities to optimize pages with low click-through-rates but high keyword rankings, fix sitemap issues, find mobile keywords and gauge which pages are losing organic traffic over time.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most successful digital marketing out there and his website www.neilpatel.com offers an array of SEO tools to help get you ranking. With the free version you receive a basic domain overview including a list of organic keywords, organic monthly traffic, an overall domain score and total backlinks. View 100 keyword ideas when you type in search phrases: their monthly volume, average cost per click, paid difficulty and SEO difficulty.

Explore your top 20 traffic pages and view up to 20 content ideas on a variety of topics, how many backlinks each existing article has and how much traffic they receive from Facebook and Pinterest. Finally, with the SEO Analyzer, you can discover critical errors, warnings and recommendations, basic site speed and a list of the top SEO issues. While the paid options obviously provide much more comprehensive data, the free option is sufficient for an all-in-one SEO snapshot.

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