SEO tools are all over the ‘net, many of which you have to shell out a lot of cash to buy. Think that you have to spend a ton of cash on tools to optimize your website? Think again. There are so many free SEO tools out there that you can easily optimize your website without having to spend a dime.
It can be hard to deduce which tools are the best, considering there are so many of them. We’re cutting out the guesswork for you and have compiled a list of our favorite SEO tools on the web that will help optimize your website and boost both your traffic and conversion rates.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics has to be mentioned close to the top. For an SEO tool that’s completely free, you get a whole lot with it. It is often the top analytics tool on everyone’s list, and for a good reason. Google Analytics provides you with detailed reports on:
- Content visitation
- Traffic behavior
- Funnel information
- Conversion rates
…and much more. It also has a pretty clear user interface, and it can easily be integrated with a lot of other great Google tools, like Google Adwords (and if you have a blog, you gotta be using Google Adwords! If you’re not, then it’s something that you definitely want to check into).
TIP: You may also want to download and look at the Google Webmaster tool, too. When combined with Google Analytics, you’ll get a lot of other details information such as crawling rate, speed, backlinks, and highest Pagerank of your site.
The only thing that a lot of users don’t like about Google Analytics is that Google then has your information. There is a reason for it being free- they get all of your website data for free and in exchange give you information to help you improve your site. For small businesses this shouldn’t be a big deal, but there are other free analytics tools out there that you can use rather than Google Analytics too.
2. Bing WebMaster Tools
When we think of search engines, we think about Google. But did you know that Bing and Yahoo! still account for 30% of all searches? The Bing WebMaster tool is usually preferred to the Yahoo! Web analytics tool, simply because the Yahoo! tool required you to know someone who is a member of the Yahoo! Consultant Network. And really, there is no reason to need the Yahoo! tool since in mid-August of this year, Bing announced that they would be including Yahoo! search engine traffic data in their reports. This tool allows you to check out traffic, crawls, and with the index tab, you can check out your site’s directory pages within the Bing index.
SEOmoz is easy and quick to use, and it’s incredibly useful for finding your rankings for up to 5 keywords a day. It will also keep archived information for you.
This rank checking tool has a neat feature, the “browser button”, which can be installed. From there, the URL of the page that you’re visiting can quickly be rank checked. What really has kept people using the SEOmoz tool, however, is the SEO toolbox. With the toolbox you can:
- Check backlinks
- Review your PageRank
- Check the HTTP status code
- Look at indexed pages
- Determine which are the strongest pages on your domain
Make sure that you download the mozBar which is compatible with both Firefox and Google Chrome.
4. Fiddler Web Debugging Proxy
There are a lot of debugging tools out there, but many of them want to charge you a fee for it. If you’ve already turned your nose up at the Charles debugging tool (because they charge a fee) or the Tamper Data tool (because it seems to constantly freeze browsers) then Fiddler Web Debugging Proxy is what you want to use. Fiddler allows you to:
- Set breakpoint
- Check out the traffic to your website
- Literally “fiddle” with any outgoing or incoming data
The only real drawback to this tool is that it is only available for Windows and requires the .NET framework. But for a tool that can analyze any and all background communication that happens between the browser and the server, this free tool is a favorite.
There are a couple of great tools that WeBuildPages has come out with. First we’ll take a look at the “strongest subpages tool”. It’s hard to find free tools that will give you a thorough and organized list of all of the strongest pages on any website. It’s important to have that information, since you can then see which web pages of yours are carrying the most amount of inbound links. You can also easily use this tool to check out your competitor’s strongest pages, which is great for any webmasters since they can come up with some other creative ideas to help strengthen your page, too.
The other tool that we really liked from WeBuildPages was the backlink checker. It’s super easy to use and is very useful if you need start a linking campaign. You can also use this to analyze your competitor’s backlinks, as well as your own, using the WeBuildPages Neat-O tool (corny name, but it works!).
6. Xenu Link Sleuth
The last of our favorite free SEO tools is the Xenu Link Sleuth. It’s important to be able to locate any broken links on your website. This tool will check all of your links automatically, and it will generate a pretty thorough HTML report. The analysis that you receive can also be completely customized. The interface is really simple and easy to use, and the report can be emailed right to you.
The only drawback to this tool is that it can take a while to do any checks, and it has been known to crash a browser from time to time. But if you’re patient, it’s definitely worth running so that you can fully optimize your site.