Just last week, I wrote about the reasons you want to hire an SEO expert to help with your SEO instead of doing it yourself. While I stand by that set of recommendations, sometimes you just need to get a quick answer about the state of your website’s SEO health.
Some of you may opt to go it alone due to a lack of budget or internal disinterest in bringing in a consultant or agency. For those of you who are in this situation, or just want to pre-audit the website before bringing in a pro, below are some of the best SEO tools you can find for a “quick and dirty” analysis.
Best SEO Tools Online That You Can Use to Audit Your Website For Free
There are hundreds of possible tools to list here, but we decided to focus on website audits. If you want point solutions like deep link analysis, technical performance analysis, or other more specific data points, take a look at this exhaustive list of SEO Tools from Moz.
If you ask anyone in the search engine optimization industry what free tools are top of mind, you should expect at least half of them to mention SEO Book. Their free SEO tools have been available for years, and for DIY types, they are plenty good enough to run website audits.
While reviewing the free tools, you’ll find that SEO Book offers much more. Of course, there are premium tools, so you want to be sure you know which one you are clicking if budget is a problem. Since the tools can be bought individually, be sure to review the costs and compare against other paid tools, just to be sure you are not overpaying for the functionality.
You’ll also find links to SEO training at the top of the page. If you have the time and inclination to study in a self-directed manner, you will find a wealth of information about not only SEO, but also PPC and other areas of internet marketing.
Link: http://www.microsoft.com/web/seo (free software download)
Microsoft’s free SEO tool is a bit different in that it is not a cloud / SaaS based program. You actually need to download and install it on your PC.
I know installing yet another piece of software might be a problem for some of you. If that’s an issue, I recommend using one of the other services listed. That said, Microsoft’s tools are worth trying out, since they include a great set of crawl and audit options.
When you load the page linked above, you will also find good information about why and how to use this software package. In a video on the page, it outlines why you want to use this tool to optimize your website. Further down the page, there are links to detailed tutorials to help you get the most out of the product.
Especially those of you who use Bing Webmaster Tools or get a significant share of your traffic from Bing, this tool is worth having in your arsenal for quick-shot audits.
Internet Marketing Ninjas has an edgy name that may make you take pause, but you’ll get over that once you see the free SEO tools they offer on their website. Led by Jim Boykin, with solid SEOs on the team such as Ann Smarty, Internet Marketing Ninjas never fails to hit the mark.
Although they offer only four total tools at the link shared above, the tools are very useful. The high points for auditing purposes are the On-Page Optimization Tool; the Image and Link Analyzer; and the Find Broken Links, Redirects, and Site Crawl Tool. Go check it out and see what you think, and also give a look to the leadership team’s work on the web – you’ll find that they are engaging and smart, and worth reading.
For those of you with less SEO experience, a fully featured SEO Tool may be overkill. With SEOToolSet, you can run separate analyses for a range of data points such as Domain Indexing, Keywords Ranking, and Page Analyzer. Of course, these simple analyses are offered for free, but you’ll need to upgrade to their premium suite of SEO Tools to get them all in one package.
But if you need to figure out one SEO issue, this is a fine place to start. You can uncover whether further analysis is required by you or your professional search engine optimization vendor.
Angular is another vendor that offers a Fremium model, where you can try out the basic features at no cost. They also offer separate categories of audit tools: onsite, offsite, and other.
Their tools are pretty good overall, but they are very limited in functionality. But if you need to run a quick audit on any of the areas they cover (e.g. Duplicate Content Checker, Content Optimizer, or the Banned Sites Tool), it’s worth checking out as another option.
Small SEO Tools pales in comparison to many of the above services, but it does have a couple of quality analysis features that make it worth at least a quick look. For example, you can view your top backlinks, keep up with your keyword rankings, or have your website pinged right from their website.
I do want to point out that you should avoid using their Article Rewriter or Backlink Maker features if you are serious about staying within Google’s SEO guidelines. Article spinning can introduce a pretty significant Google Panda risk, and link building is not something you want to embark on without a solid and thoughtful strategy. If it’s this quick and easy, the content and links you’ll get are almost certainly high risk.
Offered as a free service directly from Google, you’ll find that there is a wealth of information available for optimizing your website strategy in Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). Any good SEO will tell you that GWT is a huge help for him or her in successfully doing their job.
I believe that every single website in countries where Google serves as a search engine should have GWT set up, and the webmasters should be looking at it monthly or more frequently. While it takes a little time to get used to what you are seeing, GWT can provide you with nearly everything you need to perform a good audit.
Don’t believe me? Here are some of the best features available in GWT:
- Full list of links visible to Google
- Official determination about whether you are battling a manual penalty or not
- On-page issues with your page titles, meta descriptions, or duplicate content
- List of server or crawl errors when Google’s spider explores your website
- How many pages on your website are indexed by Google
As you can tell, GWT can provide a wealth of data that will help you improve your online visibility. No matter whether you use the other tools listed above or not, make sure GWT is on your list of frequently used SEO Tools.
While I stand by my recommendation that outsourcing your SEO support is the right way to go strategically, it never hurts to be able to run a quick analysis or two in advance. Hopefully this list of Best SEO Tools helps you manage your own website optimization proactively and successfully in the weeks and months to come. Thanks for reading.
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