SEO at its most technical level is all about the minutiae. The small, precise details that no-one else may notice, but can make the world of difference to your website’s place on the SERPs.
When your hours of tireless fiddling, reiterating and testing pay off with an improved ranking, it can be a genuinely exhilarating feeling. Especially when it results in direct traffic or revenue growth.
However, that doesn’t stop the work from being tireless, thankless or, at times, a bit boring.
Everyone needs a helping hand, and as an SEO you luckily have a wealth of tools at your disposal to help with your day-to-day maintenance and to speed up the research that goes towards keeping your site healthy.
To help you further – and to save you some money – here’s a list of the very best free SEO tools available, which has been compiled from recommendations given to us from our audience of SEO experts on Twitter, as well as priceless individual contributions from SEO consultant and friend of SEW, Dawn Anderson from Move it Marketing.
Caveats: all of the below tools have been recommended by third-party individuals, they are not officially endorsed by SEW. Some tools will carry out the same functions as others. Please do your own individual research before signing-up for or downloading the following products…
General site health
1) Search Console
Before anything else, make sure you’re signed up to Google Search Console.
Here’s where Google will communicate any issues with your site, and it’s also where you can monitor its performance, submit content for crawling, view the search queries that brought visitors to your site, monitor backlinks… there’s so much useful stuff here, you’d be crazy not to spend some time here every week.
— Liam Lally, Zaddle (@ZaddleMarketing) July 28, 2016
3) Google Keyword Planner
Despite it becoming slightly less accurate than it used to be, Google’s own Keyword Planner is still indispensable for all SEOs.
Keyword Tool is an alternative to Google Keyword Planner, the free version allows you to generates up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term.
— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) July 28, 2016
— Martin Albrechtsen (@Martinpalb) July 28, 2016
6) WordStream Free Keyword Tool
Our guest contributor Larry Kim’s very own keyword research tool comes highly recommended by an anonymous source.
7) Open Graph Generator
Web Code Tools’ Open Graph Generator is simply designed and easy to use.
Schema Creator helps you create markup according to the range of Schema options from person to event to movie and beyond.
And let’s not forget Google’s own Webmaster Markup Helper.
Joe Hall’s tool will help you quickly generate the correct JSON-LD for any page on your site.
11) Screaming Frog – Spider Tool
The Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider was perhaps our most prolifically recommended tool.
@sewatch Screaming Frog! Great analytics, provides very useful insight and very simple to use!
— Matt Churchill (@geetarchurchy) July 28, 2016
12) Crawler FX
From WebPage FX comes this tool that crawls your site based on a key phrase and send you a detailed report via email.
13) Audit My PC’s Sitemap Generator
This free sitemap generator not only allows you to build a sitemap discoverable to all search engines, but it also promises tools that “help discover problems that may be preventing your site from ranking well on search results.”
14) Online XML Sitemap Generator
With this tool, you can generate a sitemap.xml for free and it will report on broken links at no extra charge.
15) Free Sitemap Generator
Here you can create free HTML, RSS and Google XML Sitemaps for Windows, WordPress and Online. Compatible with Google, Bing, Baidu and Yandex.
16) Web Scraper – Chrome Extension
With this free extension you can create a plan as to how your website should be traversed and what should be extracted. Scraped data later can be exported as CSV.
DataScraping.co is a cloud hosted scraping “solution” that offers 1,000 free pages per month.
Billed as a web collection engine, Outwit breaks down webpages into their different constituents, then extracts informational elements and organizes them into usable collections.
19) Splunk Light
Splunk is a piece of software to allows you to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data. The Light version is cloud based, allows up to five users, processes up to 20GB of data per day and offers real-time search, analysis.
20) Loggly Lite
Loggly is a cloud-based log management and analytics service, the free version of which allows 200MB of data per day.
Crystal is a personality predictor that analyzes public data to detect your ‘DISC Personality Type” without a test. This can help personalize your communications for other people, so you can speak and write with their preferred communication style.
22) Ayima Redirect Path – Extension
Ayima’s HTTP header and redirect checker was also very popular amongst our followers.
@sewatch Ayima is a redirect & HTTP header checker Chrome extension I use a lot. Also, I probably use way back machine every single week.
— Tylor Hermanson (@MyNameIsTylor) July 28, 2016
Search view emulator
23) Lynx Browser
— Dawn Anderson (@dawnieando) July 28, 2016
Siteliner is an easy to use duplicate content and broken link checker.
— Innermedia (@Innermedia) July 28, 2016
Track down stolen or scraped content from your site around the web with Copyscape.
And perhaps most importantly of all…
26) Google’s Mobile Friendly and Speed Test Tool
People are five times more likely to leave your site if it isn’t mobile friendly, so run your site through Google’s site speed and mobile test tool.
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r search strategy and looked at why it is what it is? We’re much more likely to make necessary, iterative changes to our campaigns – but I challenge you to make 2017 the year you question everything.
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