Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important, especially for cash-strapped small businesses. SEO should be one of the pivotal aspects of your online marketing strategy, since it allows you to maximize your website’s lead generation potential, while dedicating only a limited amount of monetary resources to the project.
There are a number of tools out there designed to help your company extend its online reach with effective SEO. Here are a few free options that we find to be particularly useful (click on the images to check them out for yourself):
1. Google Webmaster Tools is a robust tool suite offers a plethora of useful SEO tools, bundled under one interface. They offer many ways to start tracking your site, including something as simple as adding a metatag to your site or uploading a tiny HTML file to your server. Once you’ve verified your site ownership, you’ll be able to get diagnostic data that shows you exactly how Google sees your site online, analyze keyword search queries, review inbound and internal links to your website, and QA your site map to see how many pages of your site that Google has indexed.
2. Internet Ninja offers an interesting tool that will actually crawl your site for your targeted keyword and tell you how many times (and how many different iterations) your keyword or phrase shows up on a specific page. Keyword density is one of the main pieces of Google’s ranking puzzle, and typically the more targeted keywords you have on a specific page, the higher it will show up in Google’s search results. Just take care to not overly stuff your pages with certain keywords, as that is a red flag in Google’s eyes and they might penalize your site. Remember, useful content is key.
3. Google’s Keyword Tool is another great free tool can help you figure out what keywords to target with your site content. If you enter specific keywords or phrases, Google will show you an estimated number of searches that keyword generates across Google. It also helpfully lets you know how competitive that keyword is. This insight can be particularly useful if you are thinking about entering a space that is already littered with websites. It might make you think about targeting a subset of keywords that are more specific to your business and designing content around that (i.e. “cars” versus “Ford trucks dealer in Mobile, AL”).
4. GTmetrix allows you to test how quickly your page loads – one of the elements Google uses to determine your PageRank. It produces a nifty report, complete with suggestions for what you can do to improve your site’s page load time. It’s also a tool that’s helpful when it comes to competitive insight, as it allows you to search for your competitors’ sites and assess their strengths and weaknesses.
5. SEOQuake is an SEO plugin that you can use with Firefox, Safari, or Opera that shows ‘SEO parameters on the fly’. Essentially, it’s a tool bar that shows various key SEO metrics like keyword density, internal links, external links, website age, and PageRank on any particular page you’re on. You can simply click on the particular metric you’re looking for and immediately gain info.