The web is a great place to be. It’s full of information and tools that can help you do just about anything you can imagine, from connecting with friends and family to finding the best place to eat lunch.
But if you’re trying to run a business online, things aren’t always so easy. When your website is built on some combination of WordPress and Joomla—or even just plain HTML—it can be difficult to get it ranked well by search engines like Google.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve your SEO without having to hire an expensive SEO expert. One of the easiest ways is with software that helps you optimize your content.
Submission Seo Software
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
Check the speed and usability of your site on multiple devices
Enter a URL and this tool will test the loading time and performance for that URL on desktop and mobile. It then grades your site’s performance on a score from 0 – 100. It tells you exactly how fast it takes to load the site according to different metrics, and also suggests areas for improvements.
Alternatives:Pingdom, WebPageTest, and GTMetrix
2. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
Run a technical audit of your site
Limitations: 5,000 crawl credits per project per month
Sign up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, verify your website and you’ll be able to audit your website for over 100+ technical SEO issues. The tool also gives suggestions on how to fix them.
After running an audit, it also suggests areas where you can improve your internal linking, which is helpful in boosting your rankings in search engines.
This tool also allows you to see your site’s organic keyword rankings as well as who’s linking to you.
Alternatives:Screaming Frog (audit), Beam Us Up (audit)
3. Answer the Public
Hundreds of keyword ideas based on a single keyword
Limitations: Two free searches per day
Enter any relevant keyword, and Answer the Public will provide a huge list of long-tail keyword opportunities, plus common questions asked.
Alternatives: KeywordTool.io, UberSuggest, Keyword Sheeter, Keyword Generator
4. Google Analytics
Complete web stats and search insights
Limitations: No limitations for its usage, but queries that are sending you organic traffic are hidden
Quite possibly the most powerful free analytics tool available, Google Analytics tracks pretty much every bit of traffic you can imagine on your website—where it comes from, which page is receiving it and so on.
While it’s not purely for SEO, it’s still a helpful tool to track if you’re getting traffic from organic search.
However, Google Analytics has since stopped showing which keywords are sending you those traffic. You’ll have to pair it with a tool like Keyword Hero to uncover what’s behind “(not provided).”
Alternatives:Matomo, Open Web Analytics, and Clicky
5. Google Search Console
Constant website analysis, alerts, and error reports
Limitations: Only shows a handful of technical SEO issues, the top 1,000 backlinks and top 1,000 organic keywords
Google Search Console gives you a taste of what the most used search engine thinks of your website. You can use it to check and fix technical issues on your website, see important SEO data like clicks, impressions and average ranking position, submit sitemaps and more.
If ranking in search engines like Bing and Yandex are important to you, then take note that they have their own “search console” too.
Alternatives:Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex Webmaster Tools
6. Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker
Comprehensive link analysis
Limitations: Free for the top 100 backlinks
The free version of Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker shows the top 100 backlinks to any website or URL, along with the total number of backlinks and referring domains (links from unique sites), Domain Rating (DR), and URL Rating (UR) where applicable.
A great way to use this tool is to paste your competitor’s website and find potential link building opportunities.
Alternatives: Moz Link Explorer
7. Google Ads Keyword Planner
Know what people search for
Limitations: You’ll need to run an ad campaign to see exact search volumes
Enter a keyword or group of keywords into the tool, and Google Keyword Planner will return all sorts of helpful stats to guide your keyword strategy: monthly search volume, competition, and even suggested terms you might not have considered.
Alternatives:Bing Keyword Planner
Preview how your web pages will look in Google’s search results
See how your meta title and description will appear in the search results before you even publish your web page. Works for desktop and mobile.
Check for truncation issues and fix them instantly.
Alternatives: Portent’s SERP Preview Tool
9. Google Trends
See the relative search popularity of topics
Google Trends shows the popular search terms over time, which is useful for uncovering seasonal variations in search popularity amongst other things. Compare multiple terms to see the relative popularity.
10. Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar
Check the broken links, redirect chains, nofollow links and on-page elements for any webpage
Limitations: Technical and on-page SEO features are free, but you’ll need an Ahrefs account to see SEO metrics within the SERPs
The Ahrefs SEO toolbar is a free Chrome and Firefox extension that allows you to check for broken links, trace redirect chains and highlight nofollow links for any webpage. It also generates an on-page SEO report that includes the webpage’s:
- Meta description
- Word count
- Hreflang tags
- OG tags
This makes analyzing any page much easier and faster.
If you have access to a paid Ahrefs account, you’ll also be able to see important keyword metrics like search volume, CPC and keyword difficulty within the SERPs.
Alternatives:Detailed SEO Extension, SEO Minion, LinkMiner (broken links), Ayima Redirect Path (redirect tracing)
essential seo tools
1. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is the crawler to have.
To create a substantial website audit, it is crucial to first perform a website crawl with this tool.
Depending on certain settings, it is possible to introduce false positives or errors into an audit that you otherwise would not know about.
Screaming Frog can help you identify the basics like:
- Missing page titles.
- Missing meta descriptions.
- Missing meta keywords.
- Large images.
- Errored response codes.
- Errors in URLs.
- Errors in canonicals.
Advanced things Screaming Frog can help you do include:
- Identifying issues with pagination.
- Diagnosing international SEO implementation issues.
- Taking a deep dive into a website’s architecture.
2. Google Search Console
The primary tool of any SEO should be the Google Search Console.
This critical tool has recently been overhauled. The new version replaced many old features while adding more data, features, and reports.
What makes this tool great for agencies? Setting up a reporting process.
For agencies who do SEO, good reporting is critical. If you have not already set up a reporting process, it is highly recommended that you do so.
This process can save you in the case of an issue with website change-overs, when GSC accounts can be wiped out. If it is wiped out, it is possible to then go back to all of your GSC data because you have been saving it for all these months.
Agency applications can also include utilizing the API for interfacing with other data usage as well.
3. Google Analytics
Where would we be without a solid analytics platform to analyze organic search performance?
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While free, Google Analytics provides much in the way of information that can help you identify things like penalties, issues with traffic, and anything else that may come your way.
In much the same way as Google Search Console works, if you set up Google Analytics correctly, it would be ideal to have a monthly reporting process in place.
This process will help you save data for those situations where something awful happens to the client’s Google Analytics access.
At least, you won’t have a situation where you lose all data for your clients.
4. Web Developer Toolbar
The web developer toolbar extension for Google Chrome can be downloaded here.
It is an official port of the Firefox web developer extension.
You can also see alt text, find broken images, and view meta tag information and response headers.
Page speed has been a hot topic in recent years, and auditing website page speed audits brings you to a plethora of tools that are useful.
To that end, WebPagetest is one of those essential SEO tools for your agency.
Cool things that can be done with WebPagetest include:
- Waterfall speed tests.
- Competitor speed tests.
- Competitor speed videos.
- Identifying how long it takes a site to fully load.
- Time to first byte.
- Start render time.
- Document object model (DOM) elements.
This is useful for figuring out how a site’s technical elements interact to create the final result, or display time.
6. Google Page Speed Insights
Through a combination of speed metrics for both desktop and mobile, Google’s PageSpeed Insights is critical for agencies who want to get their website page speed ducks in a row.
It should not be used as the be-all, end-all of page metrics testing, but it is a good starting point.
Here’s why: PageSpeed Insights does not always use exact page speed. It uses approximations.
While you may get one result with Google Page Speed, you may also get different results with other tools.
To perform an effective analysis, it is crucial to maintain the mindset that Google’s PageSpeed provides only part of the picture.
To get the entire picture of what the website is really doing, it is recommended to use multiple tools for your analysis.
7. Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
For any website audit, determining a website’s mobile technical aspects is also critical.
When putting a website through its paces, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing tool can give you insights into a website’s mobile implementation.
8. Google’s Schema.org Structured Data Testing Tool
The Structured Data Testing Tool performs one function and one function well:
It helps you test Schema structured data markup against the known data from Schema.org that Google supports.
This is a fantastic way to identify issues with your Schema coding before the code is implemented.
9. GTMetrix Page Speed Report
GTMetrix is a page speed report card that provides a different perspective on page speed.
10. W3C Validator
You may not normally think of a code validator like W3C Validator as an SEO tool, but it is important just the same.
Be careful! If you don’t know what you are doing, it is easy to misinterpret the results, and actually make things worse.
For example: say you are validating code from a site that was developed in XHTML, but the code was ported over to WordPress.
Copying and pasting the entire code into WordPress during development does not automatically change its document type. If, while during testing, you run across pages that have thousands of errors across the entire document, that is likely why.
A website that was developed in this fashion is more likely to need a complete overhaul with new code, especially if the former code does not exist.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.