To be found online is definitely key to every small business in today’s market, considering that more than 50% of Americans prefer to do their shopping online, with 30% of them purchasing goods, at least, weekly. However, getting your website to come up on the first page of search results is not always an easy task, especially if you are not using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.
Truth be told, though, there are so many apps created to help boost SEO and organic traffic, and twice as many SEO strategies to follow, that, in the end, most website owners feel overwhelmed by the available options. Not to mention the many SEO companies claiming to be trustworthy and honest. To help you out, we suggest the top 5 SEO tools that can grow your traffic and give your organic traffic a good kick. Don’t worry, most of them are completely free!
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a very powerful, easy-to-use, free SEO tool that allows you to monitor metrics and track the crawling and indexing stats from Googlbot so that you can optimize your website for organic visibility. It has 4 main areas within in that can help you gain insights about your website and reach your marketing objectives.
Once you have created a Google Search Console property for every version of your domain (including subfolders) and verified the site (usually through Google Analytics), you will find 4 main sections:
- Search Appearance – Has information about HTML improvements, structured markup, Accelerated Mobile Pages setup, and rich cards, which will allow you to understand how your site will potentially show up on SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The most important of all areas is HTML, which will provide helpful insights regarding non-indexable content and duplicate title tags and meta descriptions.
- Search Traffic – The Search Analytics tab is the key focus here as it shows the keywords your website is showing up for. There are plenty of subsections and metrics to dive into (i.e. see how your desktop keywords are performing compared to your mobile keywords) and guide the creation of your content plans, as well as re-optimize content that has multiple keywords ranking on the top of page 2 or the bottom of page one, to help increase organic visibility. The Mobile Usability is the 2nd most important tab here, which shows how mobile-friendly your site is.
- Google index – You will get a list of any resources on your website that are blocked from Googlebot and understand how many pages are indexed by Google. It is important to keep the number of pages indexed grows consistently, which is why this tool is particularly useful.
- Crawl – Shows information about broken files or pages on the site, URL parameter details, and crawl stats from Googlebot, along with tools to test your robots.txt file and submit both your sitemap and content to Google. The Sitemaps area is another useful tab that allows you to submit your sitemap to Google. This will make it easier for your website to be crawled and indexed.
2. Google Trends
With this tool you will be able to see the changes of search queries over time when users search for your keyword, as a means to analyze and understand the current interests of your clients and audience. For example, let’s assume you run a clothes store and you want to increase sales of gloves this winter. What term do people searching for gloves use – winter gloves or insulated gloves? Use Google trends to compare both keywords and you will see if people search for one keyword more frequently than the other (and when they searched for the term).
Discovering trending topics is also key. Google Trends gives you real-time data of current trending topics with a lot of search volume, as well as topics with high search volume during certain periods of time. You may filter the results by categories or country. So, in the above example, you could use the most frequently searched term on your website and blog posts to increase traffic.
Finally, if you want to dig into the data and explore the search terms with the best performance, keyword competitiveness, and more, try to combine the results from Google’s Keyword Planner with Google Alerts!
This tool will show you exactly how search engines see your website. The only thing you need to do is simply enter your site’s URL into the Browseo website and it will automatically strip your website down to a base level. Looking at your site with no fancy headers, fonts, or images can give you the chance to see what needs to be improved. One of the most important features of Browseo is the one that allows you to manage all your social media accounts with just a few clicks and give your website a lot of authority in Google for the keywords you are targeting by creating groups of so-called influencers (people that are considered authorities in their niche) and having them follow your website.
4. Rank Checker
Rank Checker is a great tool to see where you site lands in search engine results (Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live search results). On top of that, you will also get valuable tips to improve your ranking. In addition, you may upload domain name and keyword combinations directly in its interface and pull results from Google.com and international versions of Google, look up any of your keyword lists whenever you feel you must (from daily to as periodically as you want), and more. The best thing is that you can have easy access to all the information by simply installing a button on your toolbar.
GTmetrix will show you how fast your website loads, which is crucial to attracting and retaining prospects and customers respectively. Plus, pages that don’t load fast hinder SEO and affect search engine rankings. With GTmetrix, you will know If you have any page that takes too long to come up. You will also be able to check on the speed of your website at any given time. Just enter your URL into the GTmetrix website and you will instantly be provided with a page speed score, alongside suggested ways to improve it (i.e. resize images).
Now, if you want to find out how your site looks on a mobile device, CSSChopper’s tool Responsive Web Design Testing Tool will show you if your site is responsive.
And don’t forget to migrate your website to https. That’s something that Google is especially paying attention to nowadays as well.