Have you been searching for effective and free SEO tools to help you maximize your exposure on the Internet?
I like to call search engine optimization or SEO a science because a great part of SEO is based on research, data collection, and the analyzation of the collected data. With an arsenal of different tools, you will be able to have a more accurate analysis and overall picture. Once the study is complete, you will be able to evaluate and devise a plan of action to fine tune your Internet marketing strategy.
Whether your goal is to improve your social media marketing efforts or to improve your website’s rankings, selecting the proper tools will make your job a bit easier and will save you valuable time.
To make the process cost effective, the following is a list of seven fabulously free SEO tools from the search engine giant, Google, with the highlights of each for SEO benefits.
Free SEO Tools From Google Everyone Should Use
- Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Purpose: To identify keywords and keyword phrases.
Requirement: Google Adwords Account
Google Adwords Keyword Planner is Google’s PPC (pay-per-click) product. You will need to set up a Google Adwords Account to use it. It will help you determine the top keyword or phrases to incorporate into your website and/or blog.
After you have signed into your account, type in the keyword phrase that you would like to target for optimization. The tool will return suggested keyword phrases and provide the competition for those phrases. To drill down further for more detailed stats, you can select the match type options of Broad, [Exact] or “Phrase” and sort by relevance with regards to keyword, competition, global monthly searches, local monthly search and extracted from webpage.
In addition, the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool is an incredible resource to glean keyword specific ideas for articles for your blog.
- Google Trends
Purpose: To identify keywords and keyword phrases.
Google Trends merged with Google Insights on September 27, 2012. The tool will show you how often a search term is searched over a period of time. It provides a graph that will help you to predict specific keyword traffic volume. It is an excellent tool to discover what people are searching for, a world map of where the search term is most searched and related search terms to consider.
The following is an example of related searches for the search term, SEO, in Google Trends.
- Google Analytics
Purpose: To evaluate detailed statistics about site visitors.
Requirement: Google Analytics Account
Google Analytics (GA) is an invaluable tool for analyzing and understanding how people use your website. When you have a GA tracking script installed on each page of your website and/or blog, Google Analytics tracks your website visitors’ activity from a number of different referrers including search engines, social media networks, display advertising and pay-per-click programs.
The tool provides a host of different statistics to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and to identify areas that might be improved.
Among the many features, is the bounce rate that will tell you of how many visitors click away and the number of pages visited.
It also provides data that you can use to analyze your website including:
- The search engines used that visitors to your site have typed in to find your site.
- The landing pages or pages that visitors use to enter your website.
- The exit pages.
- The number of page views
- The number of new visits.
- Mobile analytics and more.
- Google Search Console
Purpose: To evaluate site performance
Requirement: Google Search Console Account
Google Search Console provides options for site performance features to analyze. To use this suite of tools, you will need to verify that you own your site with one of four options:
- Add a Google generated meta tag to the home page your site.
- Upload a Google generated HTML file to your server.
- Verify it through your domain name provider by logging into your account with that domain name provider and adding a DNS record.
- If you have already set up a Google Analytics account, you can add the GA code.
Once verified, you will be able to submit an XML sitemap in your Google Webmaster Tools account. This is a special sitemap with all of your site’s pages. Then, you will be able to check your site’s indexing status, crawl rates and identify potential problems that might be damaging your SEO efforts.
You will also be able to: analyze:
- Analyze search queries that visitors use to find your site,
- Examine “Links to Your Site” that will show you what websites link to your website who links the most, your most linked content, and how your data is linked.
- Review your internal links.
- Check for duplicate titles, duplicate meta descriptions, 404s, and so much more.
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Purpose: To identify site loading time
In 2010, Google began using site speed in web search ranking. The speed of your web pages is not only important for SEO, but for your visitors. When a site loads quickly, visitors are more likely to spend more time there leading to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions.
PageSpeed Insights provides the speed of a website on a desktop and mobile device. It will also provide PageSpeed Score and suggestions to improve your website’s page speed on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Google Mobile Friendly Test
Purpose: To determine if your website is mobile friendly
On April 21, 2015, Google rolled out a specific mobile algorithm for mobile searches. This algorithm expanded the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile search results
Google’s mobile friendly testing tool will quickly analyze your site and tell you if Google considers it mobile friendly. For more information, please see:
- Google Plus
Purpose: To rank higher in search results for those you are connected with on the network and to get your pages crawled and indexed faster.
Requirement: Gmail account
Google Plus is Google’s social network and although not an actual tool, it should be included in our list of fabulous SEO tools. In simple terms, posting your website’s URLs on your Google Plus page will help them get crawled and indexed by Google faster. If you share your post publicly, it can appear as a separate page in Google’s search results.
Using these seven fabulously free Google SEO tools is a cost effective solution for those who would like to optimize their website and/or blog. They provide an arsenal of resources for researching, collecting, and analyzing data to help you with search engine optimization in a more educated process.
Have you used any of Google’s free tools for the SEO of your website? If so, what one is your favorite? If not, will you consider using them now? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.