One of the main goals of any website owner is to be well positioned on search engines. While it is true that you need to carefully monitor the progress of your SEO, you can understandably be interested in using free tools to optimize it.
In this article, the experts at our SEO agency in Montreal present 10 free tools that will help you optimize your SEO.
1 – Google Search Console: the benchmark tool to optimize your visibility on the search network
Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is a free tool in the Google suite that you can use to analyze your website’s performance.
This tool provides you with access to a wide range of information, including:
- How often your website appears in Google search results;
- Some of the keywords that people have used to access your site;
- Number of clicks: the number of times your site has been displayed in Google search results and a user has visited it;
- Number of impressions: the number of times your site has appeared in Google search results;
- CTR: the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions;
- The average position your website holds on Google for a particular search.
This insight into search requests and the most clicked pages lets you evaluate and optimize your SEO performance and determine where to focus your efforts based on what works best for your SEO.
Moreover, the Google Search Console allows you to analyze your website’s indexation and determine if any of your pages have been deleted or blocked in the robot.txt file, a file intended to block indexation located at the root of your website.
You can also use this free tool to detect errors in your URLs that could negatively affect your SEO.
2 – Google Analytics: a free tool to measure your goals and understand your audience
Google Analytics is another free tool in the Google suite that will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts by analyzing:
- Conversions: i.e. an achieved goal, which needs to be previously configured on Google Analytics.
A goal is achieved when a user has visited a specific page of your website, stays on a website for a minimum period of time, visits a specific number of web pages or takes a specific action on your site. You can choose and set your goals in Google Analytics.
- Traffic: the most visited pages of your website, the search engines that visitors have used to access your site
- Performance across different traffic acquisition channels: Google Analytics shows you which channels bring you the most traffic. You can find out if your SEO brings you more traffic than your online advertising, or vice versa.
3 – Google Keyword Planner: Google’s tool for choosing your keywords
Google Keyword Planner is a feature of the Google Ads tool that tells you the volume of monthly keyword searches that appear in Google search results. You soon won’t be able to do without this tool since it helps you choose your keywords, which will help you optimize your SEO on Google.
4 – Google PageSpeed Insights: Improve your site’s SEO performance
Google has been taking the loading speed of your pages into account when indexing them since 2010. If you want to increase your chances of being ranked first on the search engine, you need to make sure that your web pages take less than 3 seconds to load. If a user decides to visit one of your web pages and it takes considerable time to fully display, the visitor will probably leave that page and you will lose conversions.
Fortunately, with the free Google PageSpeed Insights tool, you can find out how long it takes to load your web pages on your mobile phone and computer and make changes to your pages if necessary.
5 – Answer the Public: a free SEO tool dedicated to search intent
The Answer the Public tool helps you understand the search intent of your users.
What is search intent? In a nutshell, it is the content that the user expects to see when entering a particular request on Google. Since the main objective of search engines is to offer users relevant results that precisely meet their needs, they will analyze your web pages in order to offer users the best content. Analyzing the search intent of users will therefore help you optimize your content marketing, i.e. create and deliver relevant content for your target audience.
This is where Answer the Public comes into play. With this free SEO tool, you will be able to test a specific request and see the questions that people ask the most about it.
In the illustration below, you can see what you would get if you were to look up the search intent for the keyword “SEO”.
6 – Soovle: find even more keywords for free
The free tool Soovle offers you keyword ideas via automatic suggestions not only from Google, but also from other search engines such as Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and many others. The suggestions from these different platforms help you to find varied and less competitive request ideas that you can position yourself on more easily.
Moreover, a user will not search in the same way on all platforms, so you will be able to better understand search intent according to different search engines.
For example, suggestions from Amazon will inform you about queries related to your keyword that Internet users type when they intend to buy. Whereas YouTube’s suggestions will allow you to identify video content related to your keyword.
7 – Yooda: a free tool for SEO visibility
If you want to improve your positioning, you will of course have to analyze your SEO visibility, as well as your competitors’.
Yooda meets these needs. This software allows you to analyze your competitors’ SEO performance and analyze and search for the most relevant keywords that can attract traffic to your website.
This tool will inform you about a variety of information including:
- Competition for online advertising on Google Ads;
- The monthly search volume of a keyword;
- The average CPC (cost per click);
- A website’s share of visibility on specific requests.
8 – Copyscape: an SEO tool that identifies duplicate content
Duplicate content is identical content that appears on more than one website or on several pages of the same website. This duplicate content can result from errors such as pagination errors, for example, but can also be caused by content appropriation.
Google wants to offer relevant content to its users, and as a consequence, it avoids offering pages with duplicated content. Moreover, even if you are the author of the original content, Google will not investigate who copied who and will simply position the website with the highest domain authority.
You should regularly check that your website does not contain duplicate content and, if you find any, fix content duplication issues to ensure that your visitors will read fresh content that encourages them to revisit your website and learn more. This can be done with the free anti-plagiarism tool Copyscape, which will quickly show you if your content has been copied.
9 – SEO Review Tools: Backlink Tool
An external link, known as a backlink, is a link published on a website that leads to one of your web pages. If the content you share is relevant, you will increase your chances of a website referring you to its audience. It is worth noting that if your website has been referred by other sites with strong domain authority, Google will notice this and tend to position you better.
The free Backlink Tool shows you:
- The number of links that point to your site;
- Which site has links on its pages pointing to your website;
- The nature of the links contained in these pages (DoFollow or NoFollow);
- The anchor text, i.e. the text that the link has been added to;
- The domain authority of the referring site.
10 – Panguin Tool: the SEO tool that informs you about Google updates
Google regularly updates its algorithms which can have an influence on your ranking.
The free Panguin Tool lets you know if these updates have directly affected your traffic, how and why, which allows you to fix the issue and reposition yourself on the search engines.
Free tools to optimize your SEO
These tools can be very useful in your SEO strategy and have the benefit of being free. However, as useful as they may be, these tools are substitute for years of experience in SEO.
If you need help optimizing your SEO strategy to better position yourself on search engines, don’t hesitate to contact us and our SEO experts will be happy to help you with this mission!