The 7 Best Free SEO Tools You Can Use for Your Small Business Website
If you want your business website to be found in any search engine results pages for anything OTHER than your business name you need to optimise it for SEO. Not every business can afford a full-time SEO consultant or agency so this blog is going to outline some free SEO tools you can use to get things started!
There are two tools from Google that every website should be using one is Google Analytics which we will discuss below the other is Google search console. Both these tools combined offer a valuable insight into how your website is performing both visitor numbers and how much of your website traffic is coming from Google searches.
Google search console has benefits beyond just knowing where your traffic is coming from it is also where you tell Google to find your website via your sitemap and also where you can find out if your website pages have any issues that are preventing it from being indexed. We would go as far as to say if your website is NOT utilising Google search console then the rest of your SEO efforts are going to be in vain!
Google Analytics is where you can see an overall view of your website’s traffic, what pages are being viewed and where they came from. Google search console tells you where they came from in terms of Google searches – Google analytics tells you where they came from all sources. Installing Google analytics and setting it up properly can give you very valuable insights into your marketing efforts overall not just for SEO but also for social media, email marketing and other search engines other than Google.
Your Google Analytics account can track more than just clicks on your website and page views, if set up correctly it can also report on your eCommerce conversion rates, bounce rates, engagement rates and much more. Again if your business is NOT using Google tools such as Google Analytics and Google search console then 90% of your SEO efforts are going to be in vain.
Think of Bing webmaster tools as Bings version of Google search console, often overlooked as Bing is not as much used as Google is for internet searches, but it can be a goldmine of information and really help your SEO efforts. Despite Google handling over 8 billion web searches every day – they are not the only search engine people use, so ensuring that your website is set up and optimised for others is always a best practice.
Bing webmaster tools is set up very similar to Google search console as in you submit your sitemap, you can see where your website is getting clicks from in terms of search keywords and it also has some audit tools now built in to flag up any SEO issues that will need to be resolved.
Google Trends is what the name suggests – a tool for finding trends in the usage of its search engine and using it for keyword research. Google Trends should be used as part of your content marketing strategy to perform keyword research and keep your finger on the pulse. Like all SEO tools the data mostly comes down to how the user interprets the data and implements it into their SEO strategy, so just because 1000 people a day are searching for rubber chickens – does not mean you need to rush out and curate content for rubber chickens!
If your website is on WordPress or Shopify then Yoast SEO is one of the most valuable free SEO tools you can be using. It does a lot of the basic SEO tasks for you, such as creating your XML sitemap to submit to Google and Bing, it also helps you to optimise your content. It also has a handy feature of making it simpler for you to set up meta descriptions and meta titles etc making life much easier for you to upload content and have it fully optimised.
Yoast works on a simple traffic light system – and it can be tempting to head for all Green on the points that it offers, but even Yoast themselves say that all the points they bring up do not have to be green and it should never dictate the direction of some awesome content. However, there are a few that need to be green such as links, word count and header structure etc in order for your content to be SEO perfected!
Ahrefs is a paid SEO tool but it also has a free side too for use by business owners. You will need to have Google search console set up for your website before you can use it, however. You can sign up for the free webmaster’s tool that will perform a basic SEO audit on your website and also flag any major issues that are there and give some high-level advice on how to fix them. This should never be a replacement for a professionally done SEO audit – but it will give you an idea of any issues that might be holding your website back.
Most of the features in Ahrefs are paid features, so keep in mind when using it that not all features will be available to use, however, you can team it up with the WordPress plugin also to help you understand where your website traffic is coming in and what pages are being used. Again you need to have Google search console and Google analytics set up in order to use this tool.
Google My Business
If you do not have a Google My Business listing for your business – seriously go create one right now! One of the most powerful SEO tools for local businesses is free from Google and simple to set up! Setting up your profile is super easy by following the guidelines and then it’s live. GMB listings are the cornerstone of any local SEO strategy and if you are looking to attract new local customers you need to have it in place ASAP. Optimising your Google my business listing is a little more tricky, however, but this can be done over time. The main thing is to have one in place and be visible for local searches.
Despite some of the powerful SEO tools listed above they can be no substitute for a fully researched and implemented SEO strategy, however, if this is off the table the tools above can offer you some high level and useful advice on getting your website ready to rank in the search engine results pages. If budget allows we would always advise hiring an SEO or even upgrading some of the SEO tools you use to tools such as:
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