Ask 10 SEO experts what SEO tools they use or recommend, and you will undoubtedly get 10 different answers. No one answer will be right, nor will any be wrong. The truth is that there are lots of tools available, and not one of them can provide you with all the information you might want for SEO purposes.
One thing that is certain; the tools which these consultants might be using will mostly be paid tools. The cost of each tool will range from as little as $10 per month to as high as $1000 per month for agencies who need high capacity and multiple user access for specific tools.
If you’re just getting started or do not like the idea of paying out for these tools, then you need to consider some tools that come from the very source that all these other tools are trying to second guess; Google. They have three tools which can help you with your website SEO, and they don’t cost you a single penny.
You should be aware of how important keywords are to SEO, so one of your first tasks is to research the keywords you should be targeting within your industry or niche. The tool you need for this is Google’s ‘Keyword Planner Tool’. To use this tool is free, however, you will need to sign up for a Google AdWords account, if you haven’t already done so, to gain access to the tool.
With the tool, you can enter possible search terms and it will give an approximate number of monthly searches, and levels of competition for that term. Best of all, it will generate lots of suggestions for similar keywords that Google believes are relative to your main search term. To give you an idea of how powerful this is, by entering the search term ‘dog grooming’ it returned no fewer than 929 relevant keyword suggestions.
Imagine if you ran a dog grooming service and had no idea what search terms to try to rank for. With this tool, Google is giving you all those keyword suggestions, it provides search levels, how hard it is going to be to rank for them in terms of competition, and it does so in mere seconds. How long might it take you without this tool? Hours? Days?
Once you have your website built and it has gone live, Google has a free tool called ‘Google Analytics’ which helps you to track some very important data relating to your website’s performance. It does require a bit of setting up, but it is very easily learned, or you could pay someone on Fiverr to do it for you for a small fee.
Once set up it provides a ton of data which includes:
- Visitor/traffic numbers
- Pages they visit
- Most visited pages
- Time spent on site
- Your website’s loading speed
- Bounce rates
- Which sites visitors clicked from to yours
- Location of visitors
- Conversion rates for opt-ins or sales
- …and so much more
All this data is priceless in terms of you being able to further optimize your website for both your visitors and for Google’s ranking factors.
The third tool from Google is called Google Search Console. This provides information and feedback in relation to what Google sees when its spiders crawl your site. In other words, it tells what is helping you in terms of your search engine ranking, and where you need to improve.
Just think about that. For zero cost, you can have Google tell you exactly what you need to do to rank your website higher. There are SEO consultants who will charge you over $500 for that sort of information, and many will most likely be using the very tool we have just mentioned.