Free SEO Tools
When looking to improve your website's online visibility, many businesses look to search engine optimization (SEO) as a starting point due to its simplicity and inexpensive nature. Luckily, there are a number of free SEO tools available that can help you develop a sound digital marketing strategy for your website. However, you'll want to utilize a variety of different tools to develop your strategy, as there are many moving pieces involved in SEO. Not only that, but you should also track your efforts and results to ensure your strategies are performing as planned, which is where StatCounter comes in.
With StatCounter, you can track the performance of your SEO strategy to see where your website's traffic is coming from and how visitors are interacting once they are on your site. You can utilize many of the metrics and tools on StatCounter to help develop a strategy, but you'll also want to utilize some of the free SEO tools available to you. With this, allow us to share some of our favorite, free SEO tools and explain how they can help you develop an effective SEO strategy for your website.
Types of Free SEO Tools
SEO is not something you can use one tool to complete properly. In order to develop an effective SEO strategy, you'll need to utilize a variety of SEO tools, such as those for keywords, backlinking, and reporting. Fortunately, some of the best SEO tools available are free or have free capabilities to help improve your website.
Free SEO Keyword Tools
As an example, keyword research tools can help you identify keywords you would like your website to rank for in search engine results pages. While many of the best keyword research tools cost money, like SEMRush or Moz's Keyword Explorer, they often have some basic free capabilities to help you. Since keyword research is the backbone of a good SEO strategy, you may want to utilize numerous free keyword research tools. However, paying for the full features of any tool will pay off, as some paid capabilities are essential to a strong SEO strategy.
You can also use the related search suggestions at the bottom of search results to get a good idea of other keywords that may be applicable for your website. If you manage an e-commerce website, you can use the suggested search results in Amazon's search bar to get an idea of product keywords that could benefit your search result rankings. Simply type a potential keyword into the search bar, and a list of similar search queries will drop down. These tend to be common searches of other users, so you can imagine these terms are widely used and relevant.
Real World Application
In seeking keywords for your website, imagine you own an ecommerce website, selling men’s shoes. If you’re looking for keywords around “men’s dress shoes”, simply type the term into Amazon’s search bar. As you type, the search bar will suggest similar keywords, such as “men’s slip on dress shoes” or “men’s leather dress shoes”—two viable options for keywords. This process doesn't only apply to ecommerce sites. You can also use any search engine to find keywords in the same manner.
Free SEO Backlink Tools
In seeking free SEO tools, you should also search for one that can help you identify backlinks to your website. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, help build your website's domain and page authority which can then help contribute to higher search result rankings. In fact, in the early days of SEO, backlinks were the number one ranking factor for search results. While search engine algorithms have become more complex, a strong backlink portfolio is still essential in achieving high rankings for high volume and competitive keywords.
To determine your website's current backlink portfolio, you can use free tools like Moz's Open Site Explorer to check your backlink profile and see how many links point back to your site, how many domains link back to your site, and the quality of these backlinks. In terms of quality, we mean the type of site that's linking to your own. Quite often, spam-filled websites and link farms (a site consisting of a long list of random websites) are used to acquire backlinks, which is considered a black hat SEO technique. These types of sites and resulting backlinks are typically deemed to have a high spam score and will ultimately result in a site penalty from search engines. To ensure you're acquiring appropriate backlinks to your website, check out the pages below:
While keywords, backlinks, and tools for such are some of the more important aspects of SEO, there are plenty more tools you can utilize to further improve your website and strategy. For instance, adding an XML sitemap to your site is often good practice and can increase your chances at ranking higher for keywords.
Free XML Sitemap Generator
A free XML sitemap generator is another type of SEO tool that can be helpful. Sitemaps are essentially a page on your website that shows the hierarchy of pages on the entire site. While you can create an HTML sitemap, search engines prefer XML sitemaps for crawling purposes. Once you have created an XML sitemap, be sure to submit it to various search engines so they can index your website properly.
In seeking free SEO tools, pay mind to keyword research and backlink tools, as these are two of the most important aspects within SEO. Tools like SEMRush and Moz are great for both of these disciplines, especially considering the free capabilities. However, the free capabilities can still be quite limiting as your progress through SEO. As a recommendation, consider paying for the pro version of these tools so you can get the most out of your SEO strategy and according efforts.
Track your Progress with StatCounter
While we have covered a number of free SEO tools, you can find plenty more that may suit your site better—so be sure to do your research. Once you have developed a sound SEO strategy using these tools and start to employ such, you can then install the StatCounter tracking code to your site. In doing so, you'll be able to determine which areas of your site are working, as well as those that aren't. Then, you can use your findings to alter your SEO strategy and continue to improve your site.
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