Digital marketing services for local businesses

9 Free SEO Tools and Their Benefits

As everyone knows (at least we hope) SEO is incredibly important to a business’ success. How do you expect customers to find you? Run into a major problem and then hop on their bike to find their local expert? No, potential customers go to search engines and start instantly searching for a solution.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some SEO tools you could use so you could be listed towards the top without being an analytics wiz? Lucky for you, there are! We have provided a list of a few that will certainly get you moving in that direction in order to get you higher rankings and more organic traffic.

9 Free SEO Tools for Small Businesses

1. Check My Business Listing by Moz

Check My Business Listing by Moz is a great online tool to see how your company listing is performing across multiple online platforms. You simply type in your business’ name and let this tool take care of the rest! A comprehensive search and cross referencing of your company’s NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) will begin to validate if it is a legitimate business or not. This is important to be aware of, especially because of geo-targeted searches (searches like, “air conditioning repair in Washington, DC”) in search engines that will choose to show or not show your business in their results

Upon reviewing your results, you will notice many key percentages that indicate how well you’re listed across different primary sources such as Google and Facebook, direct networks like FourSquare or Bing, and indirect networks such as Yelp.

These results provide insight on your company’s NAP listings and whether they are deemed as complete, incomplete, inconsistent, or if there are duplicate listings so you can manually clean up and monitor your listings.

Quickly identifying the effectiveness of your business directory listings is very important considering Google takes all of this into account when determining how they rank your website against your competitors and from an overall SEO perspective.

2. SEO Spider Tool by Screaming Frog

The SEO Spider tool provided by Screaming Frog is a very useful tool that you can use to determine a lot of different issues that could be prohibiting your website from performing at an optimal SEO level. After your website has been crawled, you will be able to quickly identify inhibitors such as:

  • Broken Links
  • Page Title & Meta Data Analyzation
  • Duplicate Content
  • Hreflang Attribution Evaluation
  • Robots Review
  • Audit Redirects
  • And More!

You may be thinking that your website is set up for success and you’ve doubled checked everything, but run your website through Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool to make sure.

3. Google Alerts by Google

The proper use of Google Alerts can provide you with some valuable information that you can apply to your SEO efforts. It’s easy, just type in an alert that you wish to be notified about and enhance from there!

Your alerts can be customized based on a multiple number of parameters that you could find useful such as mentions of your company, specific products/services, competitor/industry news, or a developing news story. All of which you can properly track and utilize to your SEO benefit. Whether that means changing your target keywords, updating content, providing new information, or more.

Staying up to date on industry trends and brand mentions is vital in order for you to stay relevant on SERPs and to closely monitor your backlink profile. You can improve upon your SEO practices if you are being alerted that people are specifically looking for your brand/company by directly reach out to them for backlink opportunities and ultimately increasing your authority.

4. RankScanner

The ability to identify and track your website’s SEO position on Google with RankScanner allows you to stastically see how effective you are in reaching your target audience with certain keywords.

Understanding your rank and how you stack up against your competitors gives you the proper information to see what you are successfully executing as well as the ability to identify what areas you’d like to expand on more. The better equipped you are to reach your target customers, the more positive impact you will have on your search engine results and SEO efforts. RankScanner is the perfect resource to properly track and analyze your website’s SEO performance using simple and easy to use tools.

5. Mobile Friendly Test by Google

As we all know, mobile phones are an essential aspect of everyday life. The ability to remotely obtain and connect with information instantly is a big advantage for businesses and a disadvantage for others. A recent study has shown that in the USA, 94 percent of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely present. This means that more people are searching for your products and services on a smartphone rather than a laptop or desktop computer. As a result, your website needs to be mobile-friendly.

Luckily, Google provides a resource for you to enter your URL to determine if your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, Google records that users are going to your site and leaving right away without any interaction (Bounce Rate) and it will negatively affect your SEO. Here are a few reasons why Google may deem your website not mobile-friendly:

  • Slow Loading Content
  • Content Displays Outside Mobile Parameters
  • Technical Errors
  • Poor User Experience
  • Or More

Don’t let the way of the world affect your SEO and ultimately, your business. Are you mobile-ready?

6. Open Site Explorer by Moz

Inbound links to your website from other websites gives your website authority in Google’s virtual eyes and ultimately affects your SEO. Search engines see these as a “vote.” The more inbound links to your website is telling Google that the content on your website is worthy.

This is helpful for analyzing your link profile and determining if you have a natural or unnatural link profile. Unnatural links give you a manual or algorithmic penalty and lead to a loss of indexing or ranking. Unnatural link schemes are one of the largest causes of penalties, especially post-Penguin.

Open Site Explorer is the ideal tool to use when not only identifying inbound links, but the quality of them. Merely type in your URL in the search bar and let your results generate. You will then be able to view your scores along with a comprehensive list of inbound links that are linking with your website. Whether they are positive or negative influences, you will be able to act accordingly and make the proper steps to augment your SEO.

7. Keyword Tool by Google

Properly identifying what keywords your potential customers will be searching for when looking for your business will be essential in your SEO efforts.

Keyword Tool allows you to discover a massive amount of new long-tail keywords pertaining to any topic. It will take your keywords and provide you with generated Google search suggestions based on search volumes and trends from real users. Instead of having to guess what your customers search for, use the Keyword Tool to help you target them properly, generate more leads, and improve your search engine ranking.

“It’s one word, who cares?” You should, if you care about your SEO efforts and obtaining business. By using this resource, you’ll be sure that you will be prepared to target keywords and/or phrases that will attract not just customers but the right customers for your business.

8. GTMetrix

Slow website responsiveness is annoying as a user. Additionally, Google factors site speed into your search rankings. Site speed indicates how quickly a website responds to web requests. In turn, if you have slow pages, search engines crawl fewer pages and this could have a negative impact on your indexation as well as how you are listed in search results.

GTMetrix is an easy resource for you to put your website through the test and see how it performs. This tool will provide you with different scores based on particular metrics including page speed, load time, cache validation, and more. Thus, giving you the insight you need to properly improve your website’s user experience and enhancing SEO efforts. So don’t let a sluggish site affect user experience and SEO.

9. Image SEO Tool by Varvy

Do you think that loading your website with fancy pictures, cool graphics, and dragons firing lasers out of their eyes will bring customers to your website? Well maybe to some degree, but they certainly did not get there via SEO.

Image SEO Tool is a great resource to use to check the names of your images, their alt attribute, image dimensions, and more. Factors such as these will affect your SEO and how search engines read your site. An image that is surrounded by related content helps your ranking and the keyword it is optimized for.

Another reason why this is a valuable tool, is to determine how the size of images affects your page speed. The larger your images are, the longer it will take the search engine to crawl your website. As noted before (GTMetrix Tool), the speed of your website can have a negative impact affect your ranking. Let images positively affect your user’s visuals, not negatively affect your SEO efforts.

SEO Tools Wrap Up

All of these 9 tools serve different purposes, whether it pertains to you how your business is viewed, who is linking to it, how your website is performing, or something else. Nonetheless, each of these tools can be used to help aid your SEO practices and the growth of your company. It is very important to utilize tools and resources to your advantage and ensuring you are doing all that you can to maximize your online real estate.

Enhance Your SEO Efforts Today!

There are plenty of other tools and resources out there that can help optimize your SEO and assist your business to bring in the more customers but we hope you find these useful. If you are looking to put this work in the hands of someone else, give Rank First Local a call and let us turn your website into a lead generating machine!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!