Anyone who wants to market their business effectively in today’s increasingly digital world needs to understand how SEO and content marketing work. Forbes explains that SEO (search engine optimization) is a technical way to increase desirable website traffic, while content marketing uses words and graphics that are designed to encourage customers to take action. Strategizing these properly can increase brand awareness—and profits—but learning how best to do so can be challenging. Fortunately, there are free SEO tools you can use to give your website a competitive edge.
Free SEO Tools
Monitorbacklinks defines SEO as “the art and science of matching your information…with what people are searching for online.” So, if you are selling winter coats, you would want your website to appear when consumers enter “top winter coats 2020” into Google’s search bar. You could use relevant keywords, such as “warmest coats” or “best outerwear.” Keywords can be used several times on a webpage, but content should flow with naturally; free SEO tools can really help you understand keyword placement.
Internal links are also important; once a possible customer arrives at your website, they may want to find out about other products, buying guides, or about the company’s history. Links to articles, blogs, and other information on the website’s menu are good ways to direct them to your content. Pros also know the importance optimizing images; this can be done by using specific phrases (“warmest coat of 2020) as image file names and alt tags.
Content writing usually has the goal of influencing readers to make buying decisions, ultimately—building brand loyalty is a good first step. Content should contain relevant keywords and information crafted to target website visitors. Free SEO tools can show how Google analyzes content to choose relevant pages and to rank the content. With these resources, you can learn how to craft content to get better rankings.
Best Free Tools for SEO
There are countless free SEO resources online, and this can make finding the best free tools for SEO a bit time-consuming. Keep in mind that some tools are not as good as others. When searching, be cautious about providing personal details; many request this information soon after arrive at the site. Some also lure people in with promises of free resources, only to later reveal that they charge fees.
There are, however, some tools that are well reviewed by experts, including free SEO tools that help with website auditing. One in particular is Answer the Public, which gathers together questions that people are entering into their Google search engines, along with the autocomplete results. Fans use this tool and others like it to generate topics and new ideas for their sites.
One of the best free SEO tools is SEO Webpage Analyzer. Its free version looks at one webpage at a time, breaking down its content and structure. The tools analyzes the page’s quality from a search engine’s point of view. There may be green (good) or red (bad) marks, indicating which sections are fine or in need of improvement.
More Free SEO Tools
HubSpot shares a list of 15 free SEO tools, including their own Website Grader, plus Google’s Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, GrowthBar, and Woorank. Hubspot’s Grader was updated in 2020, and it evaluates a page’s speed, SEO metrics, page size, and mobile readiness. It can also determine whether or not the website is easily found by search engines and people, as well as whether the site is secure for users. Simply enter the webpage’s URL and your email: a score from 1 to 100 and a report will pop up in seconds.
Fetch as Google is another one of the best free SEO tools out there. This resource will consider how Google’s algorithms view the page and will share ways to make the page better. The Google page speed analysis is also important, because page loading speed impacts its Google ranking.
If you want to try a free SEO tool that is specific to your platform (such as WordPress), you can try one like Yoast SEO. Yoast claims that it will help your site will get more traffic from Google, and that it is more effective than hiring an SEO professional. While this may or may not be true, it is a valuable tool in a grouping of other resources.
Free Content Marketing Tools
There are plenty of free content marketing tools out there, as well, and Forbes describes some of their top picks. Canva is free, but you will have to pay a bit to use some of their graphics. It can be a cost-effective alternative to Adobe Photoshop, and it is easy to use.
Trello is another free resource. It features a management board that is good for tracking content projects. You can set categories for each stage in your pipeline and easily locate the information. Buffer is also great for scheduling, but it focuses on social media instead, and can help increase your site’s traffic.
Finally, Pixabay offers royalty-free images, which can save you a lot of money. Blog posts that have images are usually more appealing than plain posts that do not have them, and this free tool allows you to improve your content without having to shell out the big bucks. Like all the free SEO and content marketing tools, Pixabay might not meet your needs. Give yourself enough time to try a lot of these resources and before you know it, you may soon become an experienced webmaster.
Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for editing and graphics. However, if you can’t see yourself paying for the software and investing a lot of time into learning it, Canva is a great alternative. Canva is free to use, though certain graphical elements in their library do have a small fee.