10 Free SEO Tools to Turbocharge Your Online Marketing

2 Mar

Most online business owners understand that SEO is critical to the success of their websites. A website with strong SEO will perform well in the search engines, which drives more traffic and sales. However, given today’s economy, many small business owners may not have the financial means to hire a professional SEO consulting company to run their SEO efforts. Good news is, there are a number of fantastic resources online that you can use to help improve your website’s SEO for free. Here’s a list of some of my favorite free SEO tools. If I miss any of your favorite SEO tools, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Keyword Tools

Good SEO is built on solid keyword research. Choose the wrong keywords to target and your SEO efforts will prove futile. To conduct keyword research on a budget, Google offers a variety of free keyword tools. Now, there are lots of other keyword tools out there (both free and paid), but most get their data from Google anyway. So why not get your keyword data from the official source and for free?

  • Google Keyword Tool – Provides keyword suggestions, query volume metrics and competition data
  • Google Search Based Keyword Tool – Plug in your website URL and get keyword suggestions matched to specific page on your site
  • Google Trends – Shows which trending terms people are searching for on a daily basis
  • Google Insights – Compare keyword interest across specific regions of the world, time frames and see top searches by related categories and topics
  • Google Wonder Wheel – Type in your seed term and see semantically related keywords, like this entry for weight loss

Rank Checker from SEO Book

Now, rankings aren’t everything in SEO. Traffic to your website and conversions are better barometers of the success (or failure) of your SEO efforts. However, you do need to rank well in your target verticals to drive traffic and sales. With the free Rank Checker from SEO Book you can see where your site ranks in Google, Yahoo and Bing search engine results pages (SERPs) simultaneously. Some of the nice features in this free tool include the ability to copy and paste multiple keywords, the option to export the results to a CSV file and you can save keyword presets individual domains as well.

Free SEO Report Card from DIYSEO

Wondering how your site’s overall SEO is doing? DIYSEO is a provider of SEO software to help empower small business owners to run their SEO efforts on their own. They have a robust paid offering that helps business owners quickly and easily develop a custom SEO strategy, take action and improve their search engine results. And they also have a fantastic Free SEO Report Card that grades your website on a number of critical areas–from on-page SEO elements, like proper title tags, to off-page factors, like backlink analysis–and produces a free SEO report. The report card shows areas of SEO that you’re strong in and areas where your site may be weak, so you take action to improve your site and thus improve your performance and rankings in the search engines.

seo grader report

Free Link Building Tools

Links are a key factor in helping your website outrank your competitors. The more inbound links you acquire from trusted and authoritative websites, the higher you rank. Both Buzzstream and Ontolo are two link building software companies that offer fantastic paid solutions as well as a number of free link building tools.

Now, one way to acquire quality inbound links to your site is to publish guest posts on authoritative websites. Ontolo offers a free tool called the Query Generator that website owners can use to uncover guest posting prospects in their specific businesses niche.

For example, say your company sells LED lighting online and you want to publish some guest posts on trusted blogs. It would make sense to target sites that focus on a related topic, like “green living.” Using the Ontolo Query Generator, I key in my topic/keyword and select “guest posts” as my assets and “blogs” as my content types.

ontolo query generator

The tool then generates a massive list of advanced search queries to help me scour the search results to find blogs where I can publish guest posts in my target niche.

ontolo query results

Another way to generate links to your site is to promote a compelling piece of content on your website–be it an authoritative guide or an intriguing infographic–by reaching out to bloggers or site owners in your industry. Buzzstream has a fantastic free Email Research Tool, which will help you find anyone’s email address by generating a series of Google searches.

buzzstream email research

This tool is really helpful for doing content marketing and outreach to try and generate publicity and links to help your SEO efforts. For example, say your company sells logo cookies to small businesses and you’ve just written an article on creative ways to show customer appreciation that features your cookies. You want to promote your article by getting the attention of a certain blogger, but you’re unable to find their contact information. With this free tool, you just type in their name and some of the websites they write for and it instantly generates advanced queries so you get that hard to find personal email address. For example, here are the query results for my contact information.

buzzstream email tool
Now, just click on any query and you’ll be taken to the corresponding Google search so you can hunt for contact information.

Google Webmaster Tools

With SEO, it’s often necessary to go beyond rank tracking and keyword targeting and dive deeper into your site’s performance in the SERPs. Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool that provides valuable insights into my visibility in the SERPs and provides valuable key performance metrics. One of the features I use often is the “search queries” tab, which shows organic click-through-rates of my top 100 keywords.

webmaster tools search queries
Webmaster Tools also contains slick suite of diagnostic tools that tells me if I have any errors with my website that may prevent search engine spiders (robots that crawl sites and collect data for search engines) from successfully accessing and gathering information from my website, which could hurt how well my site ranks.

webmaster tools crawl errors

What’s more, if your website is every compromised or hacked, Webmaster Tools emails you immediately to notify you of the security breach.

So that wraps up my list of some of my favorite free SEO tools. If you have your own favorites that didn’t make my list, be sure to leave them in the comments.

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