With frequent Google algorithm updates and changes to SEO best practices, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Fortunately, there are a number of free SEO resources available online that help you analyze your efforts and make improvements on your current strategies. Combine those with competitor analysis tools to gain insight into your competitors’ strategies, and you’ll be on your way to building a successful SEO strategy and online web presence for your company. Here are our six free SEO tools that we fould to be the most useful:
On-Page SEO Analysis Tools
Google AdWords Keyword Planner – When it comes to ranking on Google, one of our favorite free tools for conducting keyword research is Google AdWords. This tool provides a great way to gain insight into the average search volume, search trends, and competition associated with each keyword or keyword phase that you’re looking to target. The key is to look for keywords/keyword phrases that have low competition and a high search rate. As you search keywords, this tool also let’s you discover new keyword combinations, in addition to helping figure out a reasonable budget for PPC campaigns.
Google PageSpeed Insights – Another free tool from Google is PageSpeed Insights. It analyzes your web page (or that of a competitor), and then suggests ways to make your page faster. Why is page speed important? According to Google Developers, “fast and optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions”. If your page takes forever to load, that may cause visitors to drop out and find another company’s website, both on desktop and mobile. The PageSpeed Score ranks both loading experiences from 0 to 100 – higher scores mean better performance and faster page speed. It’s recommend that you aim for a score of 85 or above.
SEO SiteCheckup – SEO SiteCheckup offers a free tool that will analyze your website and then rate it from 0 to 100 based on a range of on-page SEO criteria. Within less than a minutes, you’ll have get a pretty in-depth report on how well you site is performing, along with any weak points and issues, in areas ranging from basic and technical SEO, site speed, server and security, and mobile usability. If it picks up any issues, the report will provide tips on how to update your site to increase its overall performance and ranking abilities.
Web CEO – Another great resource for analyzing our own SEO efforts is Web CEO. This site offers 14 free SEO tools (out of 15 online SEO tools available in the Web CEO SEO Platform) so there’s a lot to check out. You can run basic SEO routines like automated rank tracking, keyword research, and SEO audits, or use their dedicated SEO tools for link detox, local SEO, and social media tracking. They’ll also send you SEO reports of your website via email, loaded with traffic analysis, SEO weak spots, and advice on how to fix existing issues. You can check out one of their sample SEO Reports here.
SEO Competitor Analysis Tools
Web CEO – While great for their on-page SEO audits, Web CEO also offers tools for performing competitor research and performance tracking. For example, their ‘Competitor Backlinks Spy’ tool will reverse engineer your competitor’s backlink building tactics and help you gain clues into how to outrank them. You’ll be able to research what kind of competitor-generated content gets the most backlinks (reviews, infographics, how-to articles, etc.), and use that information to establish your own content strategy to get more natural backlinks.
SEMrush – This free SEO tool provides comprehensive data analysis and insights into your competitors’ online strategies, including everything from display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building.. Why does this matter? By gaining insight into the keywords they’re ranking the highest for, and their most successful traffic sources, you can gain clues into how to structure your own SEO strategies moving forward. You’ll have access to their historical SEO strategies and mostly importantly, the ones proven most effective, which saves you time and resources when it comes to formulating your own plan.
SpyFu – Another great site for analyzing your competitors’ SEO efforts is SpyFu. This site’s main focus is on finding the most profitable keywords and ads used by your competitors, through both paid and organic search. It lets you see every keyword they’ve bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 9 years. Take this data a step further by leveraging your competitors’ lessons from historic hits and misses, discovering the competitions most lucrative keywords that you’re missing, and weeding out money wasting keywords with our negative match suggestions. You can view basic stats for free, or sign up for a monthly/annual plan to gain access to even more data and insights.
With these free resources, you can gain access to an incredible amount of data and insight into your site, as well as those of your competitors. By making note of the changes recommended in the SEO checkups, and using competitor analysis tools to jump-start your own online marketing strategies, you’ll be well on your way to improving your site rank. You’ll also be better allocating your time and money into online marketing campaigns that bring the highest return.