914 May, 2018
FREE SEO Tools
“Are you looking for the best FREE SEO tools of 2019?”
Probably the 2nd question I get asked the most is “What tools do you use for Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. You do not need to spend £1000’s on expensive SEO tools and subscriptions to boost you search engine rankings in Google.
Using the free tools below I have moved this site, at the time of writing, from page 8 in Google to the top of page 2, and page 1 in Yahoo! This is in a time frame of just under 8 months and it hasn’t cost me a penny!
SEO for small busineeses is critical so in this post I bring to you the TOP 5 free SEO tools I actually use day to day.
FREE SEO TOOL NO. 1 – Yoast SEO for WordPress
Yoast is arguably one of the best WordPress SEO plugins around with over 5 million active installs. It allows you to do your own on-page optimisation offering you all the basic tools you could ever need without having to code anything!
The free version of Yoast offers you the following features:
Choose 1 Focus Keyword Per Page. Yoast will display your keyword density, keyword distribution, and whether or not you’re content conflicts with any of your existing articles. This is crucial for improving your SEO rankings.
Readability Analysis: Your readers have to engage with your content. It has to read well and it needs a clear sentence structure which makes sense grammatically. Ranking in Google for small businesses is important and how your site visitors engage with your content will ultimately decide where you sit amongst search engine rankings.
Yoast have integrated into their plugin the Flesch Reading Ease Score, something educators have been using for a while now to determine how easy, or difficult it is to read a piece of text. This is an important trend right now. Quality content is essential. It is just as important as quantity and it matters to Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as your readers and followers.
Avoid Duplicate Content: Google does not like duplicate content. It upsets Google’s algorithms. For this reason Yoast creates canonical URLs in its free plugin. These are the friendly search engine URL’s that your site visitors see.
YOAST Paid and Free SEO Plugin: I use the free version of Yoast which offers some amazing capabilities. However, Yoast Premium has many more features for added optimisation including:
- A Redirect Manager to avoid those annoying 404s
- Suggestions for Internal Linking to boost your internal page optimisation
- Keyword optimization for multiple keywords
I can highly reccomend YOAST SEO for beginners. It has a great user interface and covers all of your on page optimisation needs with ease. There is also an enourmous amount of online support on how to use it. What are you waiting for…go get it! Its FREEEEEE!
FREE SEO TOOL NO. 2 – MozBar
MozBar is another free SEO tool I use all of the time. It is a free extension for your web browser that gives you instant metrics of any website you visit. It offers up information on 5 areas: on-page elements, general attributes, link metrics, markup, and HTTP status.
On-Page Elements: In the first category, the MozBar can tell you:
The H1 and H2
It provides the character count for each, as well.
Link Metrics and Other Information: The other three categories in the MozBar provide more information about how the site you’re visiting is structured, including:
Page load time
Page and domain authorities
External followed links
Much of this information requires creating a Moz account, which is also free.
Use the MozBar to Understand Other Sites: If you’re just getting started with search engine optimization, the MozBar is a great way to glimpse the back end of any website.
It does not, however, provide actionable information for your own website.
xample of what your list may look like:
What is SEO
How do I do SEO
SEO for Beginners
Beginners SEO 2019
SEO for BEginners 2019
SEO tips for beginners
Top SEO tips for beginners
SEO tips for small businesses
Obviously, the meaning of these words is very similar and can be used in your online content to
SEO TIP No.2: Optimise your page titles and meta-descriptions
When you have your keyword list you will want to optimise your page title. This is the HTML <title> element and not what is shown on the page. This is editable in your website control panel, SEO plugin or directly in the HTML if you know what you are doing.
We want our keywords to appear naturally rather than ‘stuffing’ them in unnecessarily. Page titles are what are shown in search results so you need to be clear what the page is about and engage the user to click!
Here is an example for a home page
Personal Trainer in Bromsgrove – James Dean Fitness Training
For a client services page:
Personal Trainer |Marathon Training | Free Quote | Dean’s Fitness Training
Personal Trainer | Worcestershire Area | 7 Days a week | Dean’sFitness Training
These titles serve as marketing ideas using keywords like free quote and 7 day availability. These are keywords that will increase the chances of someone clicking on your search result.
A search engine result is a free advertisement, so use it as a marketing and SEO opportunity. Engagement with your search result can improve rankings which improves marketing results, which improves rankings…!
Avoid cramming keywords into your titles. It affects readability and Google doesn’t like this.
Trainer | Personal Trainer| Fitness Training | Personal Training Services
The other key component to consider is your meta description. Again, this should be editable in your website’s content management system, SEO plugin or directly in your HTML.
Page titles can have a big impact on SEO, but, the meta description is a description of the content on your page. Your title grabs people’s attention and your meta description helps convince them to click.
The page title and meta description I have used for this post is:
SEO Guide for Beginners – 5 Great Tips for 2019
5 great SEO tips for beginners. Easily improve rankings and drive traffic by optimising your site for Google. By www.thewebgym.com
The title tells you what the article is about. The meta description provides more information and encourage the user to click through. I also include my business name to drive brand awareness.
Meta descriptions do not influence rankings directly. However, getting listed is only 50% of the job. You need users to click! Google looks at engagement metrics and the more clicks you have the higher your rankings. Results that are not clicked can lose position in the rankings.
Write descriptive titles and engaging meta descriptions using your key words to improve your organic traffic and search rankings.
TIP NO. 3: Optimise Your On Page Content
Your next task is to optimise your page content. SEO tip no.1, keyword research should have given you a list of relevant keywords. You now need to insert these into your page content in
There are several important page elements you need to consider.
- Header Tags – H1, H2, H3
- Body Content – the main text paragraphs on the page
- Images – the images you use to engage your readers
The MozBartool is useful to determine how good your on page content. Download the MoZBar tool for chrome here.
Headings and subheadings on the page should be optimised to include your keywords naturally. Ideally, you want just one <H1> tag, the visible on page title that tells users what your page is about. Subheadings should use <h2> tags and so on. This should improve page readability and allow you to include keywords naturally.
You need to create body content that describes and promotes your business aiming to use as many of your keywords as possible, but in a natural written style. Don’t be concerned about keyword volumes just write readable content that will engage and hold your readers’ attention.
Images can also be optimised for the purposes of SEO. The file name of the image, the image alt text (often missed out on many sites!), and the image description are the key areas to include keywords. Make sure your images are also placed next to the relevant text. Finally make sure image file sizes are kept to a minimum. Jpeg is best unless you need transparent backgrounds in which case use a .png. This will speed up page loading times an element Google considers when ranking your site. The quicker the better.
Designed well, your page should include many of your keywords and be written in a natural style that sells your services to your potential clients. Therefore, generating more leads and sales from your website!
SEO TIP NO. 4: Optimise Your Business Online
If not already done so you need to list your business online. Social media sites, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google Business, Google+ and business directories like Yell.com should all have the details of your business. Search engines use this information to build trust and authority. This will help increase your rankings. What are you waiting for…get signed up and logged in!
Make sure that you continue to update your online profiles and listings (called citations) so that they remain relevant to your business. Add your current address, contact details and use your keywords in the business listings.
Do the same with your social media profiles. You may not be able to add address and contact details but you can still tweet and post regularly to keep your followers engaged. Use keywords in your posts, tell potential clients how you can solve their needs and what makes you unique. If you have a blog try and write at least one article a week and share it across all of your online platforms. Social media will help to build your authority and trust.
SEO TIP NO. 5: Link Building
Building relevant links is essential if you are to improve your SEO visibility for your keywords. Link building has gained an ugly reputation. Links can both support and damage your search engine rankings.
You need to choose your links carefully and they need to point to your site. They help Google and other search engines decide upon your importance and help order search results using these metrics. Google’s link advice is to “make sure other sites link to yours”.
Links help web crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. Google interprets a link from one page to another as a ‘vote’. ‘Votes’ cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages rank.
Link building is the most challenging element of SEO and is where beginners fall down. However, here are some simple strategies to get some safe backlinks that will improve your visibility in search engine results.
1. Get Listed On Directory Sites
List your business on safe sites like Yell.com, Thompson, and business directories in your niche. If your potential clients are going to click on these directories it is absolutely worth getting your business added.
2. Competitor Link Analysis
Look at your competitors’ links to identify where you can improve your own site. Look up your top 5 or 10 competitors using the free tools in SEMRush or All-in-one SEO Power Suite. Go for quality rather than quantity. What are your potential customers likely to click on to find you.
3. Testimonials & Reviews
Writing testimonials and reviews for the businesses you work with are a fairly easy way to generate links. Try your web site designer, SEO company, social media handlers, existing suppliers and customers.
My final top tip is to register your site with Google Search Console. It will enable you to analyse your site and will provide feedback you can use to improve how your site appears in search results. This is information directly from Google so take advantage of it!
MY 5 TOP SEO TIPS
Here are my top 5 SEO tips that ANYONE can action right now. What are you waiting for! Your turn to reach the dizzying heights of #1 on GOOGLE!
- Do your research and choose relevant keywords
- Optimise your page titles and meta-descriptions
- Optimise your on page content
- Optimise your business online
- Link Building
If you haven’t already implemented these SEO tips then you will see real results in your traffic and search engine rankings.
Interested in finding out more?
I can highly recommend the following resources if you wish to delve deeper into the not so secret world of SEO.
- Googles own SEO guidelines
- SEO 2018 by Alan Clarke. One of the best books on SEO in my opinion. Easy to read and actionable results.
- SemRush SEO Blog
- SEO Tutorial For Beginners by LINKIO
If you have any questions about SEO, web design or digital marketing then follow The Web Gym on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and say hello! We are based in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and offer web design, SEO and marketing services.
Let us do it for you!
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