Throughout the years, working in digital space, I have used almost all Search Engine Optimization related tools available on the internet. Some have cost me hundreds of dollars, and some software creators wanted thousands of dollars for something which you do not need.
If you are looking for improving your website search engine rankings and are technical enough to understand how HTTP and HTML works, then, here are some SEO tools worth using for website optimization.
Remember, SEO is NOT hard and you do NOT need to get expensive tools. You can use freely available tools instead of expensive paid SEO Tools such as ahref, semrush, MOZ, cognitive seo and others to achieve better results in search. Because, websites rank due to content, meaning, no tool will help Google rankings if you do not have the content.
Furthermore: on page SEO is easy, therefore, simply use these freely available easy to use tools only if you must.
Tools Worth Using for Search Engine Optimization
- Google Search Central (formerly Webmasters)
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Backlink Analyzer
- Google Chrome Web Developer Toolbar. Lighthouse. Measure
- Broken Link checkers
Google Search Console
I don’t think I should even mention this here because this one tool, is a must for all websites that want to improve their rankings in Google. I have created new videos detailing all the features of this tool Google Search Console and also here. Simply focus on fixing errors in Search Console as they directly affect rankings.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Very user friendly SEO tool because Screaming Frog SEO spider doesn’t overwhelm its users with worthless insights most other paid SEO Tools show. Instead it shows you important aspects for improving your websites optimization and as a result its ranking. Below is a screenshot of its user interface.
As you can see, if you are a beginner to the world of website optimization, you can use this tool and with just few right mouse clicks, then you can analyze web pages and remedy important issues which may be causing problems with your website’s Google rankings.
There are smorgasbord options for checking backlinks. Some are paid and some are free. For your own website you can use Google Search Console links to your site feature. Google Search Console only shows important backlinks, and for checking all backlinks to your website, use Majestic SEO (you can verify your own site and analyze backlinks for free).
NOTE: if you hired spam SEO services or got backlink packages, then Google Disavow Tool can be used to disavow spam backlinks. Remember, Google penalizes websites due to spam backlinks.
You can also use Google Advanced Search Operators like this:
- allinanchor:”Sample Keywords”
- “exampledomain.com” -inurl:exampledomain.com
Chrome Web Developer Tools. Lighthouse. Measure
Most modern browsers have Web Developer toolbar, simply press on F12 on your keyboard using Chrome (FireFox, IE). Within Web Developer Toolbar, you can analyze Network and Performance tabs. As well as the new Lighthouse Tab (Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages and has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO and others). If you find these complex, then, use the easier version called Measure.
Broken Link Checkers
Links are very important part for maintaining your website’s overall ranking in Google. Because links (hyperlinks) is what Google follows as well as analyzes for understanding what a particular website is about.
Also, it is just a natural part of a website to have links (internal or external) that may over time be changed or broken. When there are broken links, it creates bad user experience.
For example: when someone visits your site by pressing on a link from an external website, and if they encounter 404 Page Not Found error, its frustrating. Keep in mind that search engines follow links, using tools to check for broken links and fixing them is an important part of SEO. You can use Xenu link checker and for WordPress use Broken Link Checker Plugin (By WPMU DEV).
Video Tutorial Regarding SEO Tools
Other Tools to Consider
So far, I’ve shared easy to use search engine optimization tools that any website owner can easily use. However, there are many others you too may find useful for more in-depth analysis
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool
- Mobile Usability Testing Tool
- PageSpeed Insights
- HTML5 Outliner (this is great to use particularly for creating Heading Tags)
- Firefox Browser (CTRL+U view source code highlights broken code in red (to identify HTML structure coding issue easily)
- IE and Safari (to see if there are major web page rendering difference)
Yoast SEO Plugin (disable most features such as: readability analysis, focus keywords, Ryte, Corner Stone Articles, Link Counter). See how to use Yoast video by RankYa.
Google Advanced Search Queries You Can Use
Play around with Google Search Box because its your business website’s friend
- info:www.example.com (quick and easy information for a site)
- site:www.example.com (always go to last result page to see what is omitted (and compare that number with the first “About N Results”))
- “exampledomain.com” -inurl:”exampledomain.com” (to see where else is the domain name is mentioned) (can also be used on competitor domains)
- filetype:pdf (to see if there are PDF’s)
- define:samplekeyword (to find more about the keyword being targeted, as well as to find synonyms)
- SampleKeyword a, b, c, how to, what is, where is, does (to find long keywords perfect for blog posts and building authority)
Remember, its the content you rank for in Google. That means, only if you are an SEO specialist or thinking of becoming one should you learn to use complex tools as outlined above.