When undertaking any task, you need the appropriate tools and resources at your disposal to do it well. For digital marketing, the task of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no different. What makes having those essential tools even better is when the tools are free. Large enterprises may be using robust all-in-one sophisticated SEO toolsets that are scalable with built-in tracking, reporting, or workflow management, but that does not mean the smaller business cannot get the advantages of these large tools from smaller free ones. Read on for 8 free SEO tools to successfully optimize your digital assets.
Moz Toolbar: Data is a digital marketer’s best friend. Get Domain Authority, Page Authority, backlink details and other informative on-page SEO metrics for webpages and domains with this handy downloadable toolbar from Moz. The MozBar web browser extension is available for Chrome and Firefox.
Screaming Frog: Technical SEO audits are much easier to complete with this SEO spider tool. Screaming Frog crawls websites, analyzes key onsite elements and provides exportable insights for keyword research, site audits, link building tasks or competitive analyses. You can even create an xml sitemap or verify that you have Google Analytics added to every desired page of your site. *This tool offers a free version with limitations; it may only be able to crawl 500 pages. The paid licensed version removes the limitations.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin: If you’re looking to optimize your WordPress site, the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is a simple, yet effective tool to help you do just that. The web defines a WordPress plugin as “bits of software that can be uploaded to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site.” Essentially this means that Yoast is providing bits of software that expand your ability to adjust settings, include content and data that will automatically enhance the optimization of your site.
Chrome plugin: ‘SEO Site Tools': Google’s ever popular Chrome browser has numerous plugins to streamline almost any task. SEO Site Tools is a must-have to quickly reference data points ranging from external link analysis to Social signals. A very comprehensive tool that really enhances other tool sets we use on a daily basis.
WooRank: What a personal trainer can do for your fitness health, WooRank can do for your SEO health. Get an in-depth SEO analysis of your website, detailed SEO reports, compare your site to your competitors, and receive a task list of SEO best practices to help you rank higher. WooRank also assists with tracking and conversion optimizations. When it comes to technical audits, not all SEOs may exactly be on the same page on the tiny nuances, but if you are not that tech savvy, this tool might be a good place to start. *This tool offers a free trial and then it is a paid service after the trial period.
Moz- Open Site Explorer: Links are an integral part of SEO success. With Moz OSE you can research the link profile of either your site or a competitor’s site. You can also find out the quantity and quality of links that are directed to your site or see what links are broken and need to be repaired or redirected.
Xenu: Speaking of broken links…Xenu is a desktop application for Windows computers that not only helps you find broken links on your site but also can help you identify if your site has duplicate content issues. In addition, Xenu can be useful in analyzing your site’s architecture, finding 302 redirects and, like Screaming Frog, create an xml sitemap.
Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer: I have been using Rex Swain’s HTTP viewer for years. I enjoy its simplicity and non-commercial feel. It’s a snappy tool that provides a quick look to understand which response code your web server is returning for a requested URL. Returning the proper response code has significant SEO implications. Are we seeing a proper 301 redirect for any documents that have permanently moved locations, passing the URL link equity?
The Following are the most common HTTP response codes:
▪ 200: The page at the URL requested was successfully processed by the web server.
▪ 301: The URL requested has been permanently reassigned to another URL, and the page at that URL will be requested.
▪ 302: The URL requested has been temporarily reassigned to another URL, and the page at that URL will be requested.
▪ 404: The page at the URL requested couldn’t be found on the web server.
▪ 500: The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.
▪ 503: The web server is temporarily unavailable and cannot process the URL request.
While the list above represents only a handful of the numerous free SEO tools available, they are powerful resources to begin using immediately for optimization enhancements.