8 Free Must-Have SEO Tools for Better Search Engine Visibility & Ranking
Whether you are an online marketer, or a content marketer, or an SEO executive, only you understand the love-hate relationship you share with Google. You love Google when it lists your website on the first page, and you hate it when you find your competitors there. Of course, you want to get ahead of your competitors and secure good visibility and first-page ranking on Google and all other major search engines. So, it is quite reasonable to hate and love Google at the same time.
But, have you ever wondered how to enhance the visibility of your website and get it listed in the top results of search engines? Of course, you have thought about it because every business – no matter small or big – wants to be found on the first page of Google whenever users search for their services and products. In this huge digital space with cut-throat competition, getting listed on the top is not an easy task.
However, there are certain free tools that you must consider to get the insights on getting ranked and optimize your online presence:
Google Search Console
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tool, Google Search Console is a plum choice for your website SEO, which keeps everything running smoothly and spot the major issues quickly. If you can only use one tool from the entire list, I’d recommend this one without second thoughts.
It helps with identifying the manual penalty issues, crawling issues, download links, and broken links all for free. It also tests your robot.txt file and XML sitemap to keep your indexing going smoothly. In short, it gives you insights about how your website is seen by Google and what fixes/changes your website needs for better Google Rank and visibility.
Google Analytics is unarguably the most widely used web analytics service provided by Google. This is the best tool one can ever recommend to analyze and track the traffic, traffic sources, traffic locations, and how long your visitors stay on your website. One can integrate Google Analytics with Google Adwords to review the online campaigns by tracking the quality of the landing page and conversions (sales, downloads, views, lead generation, etc.).
Using Google Analytics come with a great advantage as you can analyze your content quality, user experience, the success of your online campaigns, and much more. If you want to stay ahead of the competitions, you must use Google Analytics.
Keyword Planner – Google Adwords
Keyword Planner is a free Google Adwords tool that enables new and experienced users to optimize their website and content for the keywords with the high volume searches. With the help of a keyword planner, you can search for any keyword and ad group ideas to get insights on how the keywords might perform. Along with the keywords, it gives you information about the monthly searches for the keywords and the competition you are going to face to optimize the keywords.
It is a place to start when you are doing keyword research. It lets you select your audience, locations, and multiply the keyword list to get a new list of keywords.
As an Online Marketer, I love automated technical audits. Almost everyone cringes at the thought of manually combing through the website to find the architectural issues, but it is not as complicated as it seems. The process of website audit can be time-consuming and daunting if done manually. But it can get easier with tools like Screaming Frog for both newbies as well as pros. This tool is explicitly intended for site optimization. When it comes to page-level elements such as heading tags and meta-tags, it digs a little deeper and can your entire site.
However, in its free version, the number of pages that can be crawled is limited, but it is a fantastic tool to identify the broken links and deal with crawling issues.
Google Tag Manager
This tool is an exceptional tag management system that allows you to update tags and code snippets quickly on your website or mobile application.
One of the most common difficulties faced in digital marketing is the delay that is caused by waiting in the queue for the development time. Google tag manager can easily get you through this by letting you update the common site tags without having to get any dev support. It is an advanced tool with out-sized benefits. You only need to install the code once on the site, and then the array of marketing tags can be edited without having to update the code further.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is a WordPress plugin that helps in generating a special XML sitemap that assists search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to index your blog more efficiently. XML sitemap makes it easy for the crawlers to retrieve the complete structure of your site more efficiently. It accepts all kinds of pages and custom URLs created by WordPress. Every time you create a page on your site, your XML file updates and notifies all the major search engines about it.
Yoast SEO Plugin
This plugin helps you with the SEO of your website on all major aspects. It goes an extra mile to take care of your SEO and technical optimization. Moreover, it helps you write better content, choose the focus keyword so that the search engines know what to rank your page for, optimize the keyword density, setting meta-description manually, and all other elements that determine the SEO of your page.
Google Places for Business
If you need better visibility for your online business, this is the tool that you can’t afford to miss. This is a free method that’s been proven to enhance the visibility and ranking of your website. This tool gives you control over the information that Google Maps and this information is used by Google to present the local results. If you are listed on Google Places for Business, you are likely to be listed in most relevant search results and get more relevant traffic on your website.