Managing all of the moving parts that go into search engine optimization (SEO) can be exhausting and overwhelming. But who doesn’t love a free tool (or seven) to help them oversee a budding SEO strategy? We sure do! That is why we are offering you some insight into 7 of our favorite, free SEO tools.
Key Focus: Meta Data Length
Meta Page Titles and Meta Descriptions are vital components of any SEO strategy. They communicate to search engines what your pages are all about and help users decide whether to click on your website in search engine results. However, just having Meta Page Titles and Meta Descriptions for each page on your website is not enough. These Meta tags must be unique, keyword-rich and relevant. Additionally, they must meet specific length requirements! This free tool makes it easy for you to test your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions for length. We use this for our blogs and web pages all the time.
Key Focus: Duplicate Content
Copyscape is a great tool for avoiding plagiarism as well as accidental duplicate content. Whether you want to check your work to ensure that it is original or you want to make sure there are no duplicate content pages on your website, this is a handy tool to have. Just type in the URL of one of your pages or a blog post and wait for the results. If a page shows up as duplicate and you know that you did not plagiarize, contact your web developer. Correcting the issue may be as simple as adding a canonical URL.
3. Broken Link Check
Key Focus: Broken Links
Broken links appear all the time for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we remove pages or change URLs and forget that we had linked to that page somewhere else on our site. Other times we’re guilty of ‘fat-fingering’ and accidentally hit an extra letter when manually typing out a link. Whatever the culprit, broken links happen to the best of us. This free tool lets you scan your website to ensure that there are no broken links. If it finds any, you can dig deeper to see where that broken link is and what exactly is wrong with it.
Key Focus: Site Speed
Is your site loading as fast and it should be? GTmetrix will quickly scan your website to determine how fast (or slow) it is loading and what may be causing delays. With this tool it is so easy to keep track of your site load time and make changes as needed. They offer a variety of suggestions for speeding things up, always keeping you on your toes!
5. Webmaster Tools
Key Focus: Google Search Listings
Google Webmaster Tools, or Google Search Console, offers an extensive list of free tools for monitoring your website. Especially beneficial features include the ability to re-submit your site to Google search after making updates to content or Meta data, managing your keywords and monitoring the overall security and performance of your website. We highly recommend that if you are a site owner and you have not already set up Webmaster tools, you do so immediately.
6. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tool
Key Focus: Mobile-Friendliness
A piece of Google Webmaster Tools, this free tool does exactly what it says, analyzes your website to determine its level of mobile-friendliness. Unfortunately, having a responsive website does not mean Google views it as mobile-friendly if things were configured incorrectly. Quickly review your website and see how Google views it. If it is not mobile-friendly, Google will provide a list of issues with your site and what you can do to fix them.
7. Moz Local
Key Focus: Directory Listings
Many site owners struggle with inconsistent business information on the web. You may come across an old phone number listed in Yellow Book or an incorrect spelling of your company name in some directory you have never heard of! Unfortunately, you cannot just ignore these inconsistencies because they can harm your SEO. On the bright side, Moz Local is a free tool that helps you review and manage all of your directory listings. See how your company is displaying in directory listings using this tool then develop a strategy for fixing any errors and making all listings consistent.