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You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on fancy SEO tools or platforms in order to have a successful SEO strategy. Not every small business has the funds to do so, the staff to manage it, or the interest in the super high-level info they provide.
Sometimes, the basics are all you need and there are must-have SEO tools that can help improve your SEO strategy – most of which are free! I like to call these freemium tools because although they are free, the insights and data they provide are very impactful when it comes to improving your SEO strategy.
So let’s dive into the best small business SEO tools!
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmasters Tools, is a free tool from Google that enables you to track the performance of your website on Google. In turn, the data provided by Google Search Console enables you to fine-tune and tweak your SEO strategy for optimum success to truly grow your website and blog traffic effortlessly.
For a free tool, you are going to get a wealth of knowledge about your website including the search queries people typed into Google to find you, your average position in Google search results, and insight on how to improve your overall SEO strategy.
The first and probably most important is that Search Console allows you to confirm that Google can find your website and crawl it. No, your website isn’t a baby learning to crawl. Crawling refers to the process by which search engines like Google discover and learn about your website. They look at all of the content and the code on the page and analyze it.
Google Search Console also allows you to submit your sitemap, fix indexing problems, and request indexing of new or updated content on your website. A sitemap is a file that provides information to search engines about the pages, files, images, etc on your website and the relationship between them. Search engines like Google can also see things like the last time a page was updated or how often a page is changed through a sitemap. Each of these items ensures that Google is up to date on everything about your website and can properly display it in search results.
Along with this, Search Console also notifies you of any indexing or spam issues with your website. Indexing, essentially the next step after crawling, refers to the process by which your website and/or web pages appear in search results. You are able to fix those indexing problems and request that Google re-index the new or updated content.
Next, Google Search Console lets you view all search traffic to your site. You are able to see how often your website is appearing in search results, which search queries show your website, what position your website falls at in search queries, how often users click through to your website from those queries, what sites are linking to your website, and so much more.
This info is really the guts of Google Search Console and where you can find ways to tweak and improve your website to get higher search results rankings. Knowing what search terms and queries people are actually typing into Google to find you will help you to improve your SEO strategy to get those page 1 rankings on Google.
Whether you’re into data and analytics or not, we’re guessing you’ve heard of Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that tracks and reports website traffic, website visitor behavior, acquisition (how people found your website), and so much more.
With Google Analytics, you’re able to get a deeper understanding of your website visitors (leads, customers) and analyze all of that data in one dashboard. If you are running ads, you can connect your Google Ads account to Google Analytics for even more data and reporting metrics.
The tool is incredibly detailed and there may be a bit of a learning curve if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person. There are plenty of guides and YouTube videos out there to guide you, though!
Page speed is an integral part of your SEO strategy. If your site is taking more than 2-3 seconds to load, especially on mobile, it is too slow and creates a poor user experience. Most people will lose patience and not wait for a site to load for 10+ seconds.
With PageSpeed Insights, you can see how fast your site is on both desktop and mobile. You’ll also see exactly what is causing any delays to the loading speed of your site, with clickable links for more information on what it actually means (they use some techy language non-SEO experts might not be familiar with). Images are usually the biggest culprit of a slow-loading website and PageSpeed Insights will identify which images are in the wrong file format and causing delays in page speed.
Google Trends is a tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search, or the keywords people type into the Google search bar. Google Trends allows you to see what people are (or aren’t) searching for essentially in real-time. For a data-loving person like me, this is very cool! You can use the information from Google Trends to explore what’s top of mind for your audience and figure how to adjust your content to meet them where they’re at in terms of what content they are searching for and when.
UberSuggest is a free tool that lets you conduct keyword research and competitive analyses to help improve your SEO and content marketing strategy. You can get an inside look into the exact keywords your competitors are ranking for, see their paid vs organic traffic, and so much more. The free version allows you up to 3 searches in a 24-hour time period so there is some strategy required to make the most of those searches (it isn’t as hard as it sounds, I promise). UberSuggest also has a paid platform option that is incredibly reasonable, starting at just $290 for lifetime access!
Another feature of UberSuggest is the Top Pages report. This report allows you to see which of your competitor’s pages are ranking for keywords (organic keywords of course) and which ones are popular on social media platforms like Facebook. This gives you insight into the type of content people enjoy consuming, so you can create “x10 content” aka a similar piece of content but 10 times better!
If you’re still struggling with content ideas, UberSuggest has an actual content ideas feature. You can see which pieces of content are getting the most traffic, social shares, and backlinks in your specific industry or niche. Again, this is invaluable info that tells you what content people enjoy consuming so you can create even more of it.
We talked about backlinks being an important part of your link-building strategy for improved SEO. UberSuggest provides a backlink data report so you can see the exact content that people in your niche are linking to. What do you do with that info? You then reach out to those sites and ask them to link to you and your (even better) content. Easy as that!
If you enjoyed this blog post, you’ll want to check out these additional SEO resources!
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Through strategic Showit website design and done-for-you search engine optimization, I work with innovative and creative business owners like you to build magazine-worthy websites that effortlessly attract your ideal client—so much so that they’ll never want to leave.
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