There are lots of SEO tools available to help with improving a website’s position in search engine results.
SEO, search engine optimisation, is the process of increase the quantity and quality of the traffic to your website. The free tools in this article are divided into headings for ease of use:
Check how many webpages are currently indexed by Google
As a starting point, use search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo to see what comes up when typing in keywords, brand names, and so on. Typing a company name into Google may bring up results that include the website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and so on. You can check which webpages Google and Yahoo currently index by entering ‘site:www.yoursite.com‘ into the search box. You should also make note of your competitors to see what they are doing well.
Use Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool to look at information such as ‘Global monthly searches, by volume’, ‘broad/exact/phrase match’, ‘local monthly searches’, and so on. Tutorials on how to use this tool are widely available on YouTube.
SEO Chat has a number of free keyword density and suggestion tools you can use to analyse and find keywords.
Use kwfinder.com to find keywords and check the approximate monthly volume of searches.
It is becoming more and more important to have a website that is easy to navigate and use on a mobile device. If your website is not mobile friendly it will most likely not be displayed in mobile search results. This free tool lets you check whether Google considers your website to be website friendly.
Hubspot’s website grader tool checks the current marketing grade of a website and shows information on how to improve website score.
Google Free Tools
A useful tool is Google’s Webmaster tools, which is now known as Google Search Console. It includes a number of useful tabs that are worth clicking. These include ‘your site on the web’, and ‘search queries’ – an analysis of common keywords used by people to find a website. This tool is useful for: submitting a sitemap; checking whether a website works well on mobile; seeing which sites link to a website; checking for broken links; identifying website security issues and more.
Google Trends is a tool that shows terms that a lot of people are currently searching for on Google. You can then use these terms on your own website to generate traffic. You can use it to find out whether or not a keyword is getting more or less popular.
Google Alerts allows you to monitor important activities going on in a certain marketplace or niche.
The new tool is currently in beta version and is available at web.dev.
Google uses your website’s loading speed as a ranking factor. Google’s free tool PageSpeed Insights gives you an idea of mobile and desktop website speed and provides suggestions for speeding up your website. Alternatively GTMetrix is another free tool that gives insights into how to speed up your website.
A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organisation of your site content. Free online sitemap generators are available which can create an XML sitemap to submit to search engines to help them when they crawl a website.
Backlinks are important for SEO. Search engines such as Google favour websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. They consider those websites more relevant than others in their search results pages.
You can check backlinks, and competitors’ backlinks, using tools such as Open Site Explorer.
Google Analytics is useful for checking website information. For example, it can check crawl errors, which pages are viewed most, landing/exit pages, keywords, html suggestions (eg duplicate titles). It can be used to see which are the most popular pages, where users are located and the devices they use.
This article lists some of the other things that you can measure using Google Analytics.
Hopefully you will find these SEO tools useful.
Why not take a look at our SEO checklist?