Free SEO tools to help you hit the top of Google

6 min read
Janah Jackman

Building a website is just the beginning. If you want people to find it, you’ll need to swot up on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is more than just stuffing content with keywords. In fact, keywords are just a tiny part of a huge collection of factors that come together to ensure that you show up in search engines when people search for a website like yours.

In this article, we’re rounding up eight tools that will help you do just that. And the best part – most of them are free!

SEO tool 1: Want to do keyword research?

The first thing to do on your journey to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is plan some keywords you’ll want to target within your website content. The Moz Keyword Explorer is a popular free tool that you can use to do this. Once you’ve created a free account, you can use the tool to analyse keywords and phrases. Moz will bring up a group of handy stats about the keyword such as search volume and difficulty - in other words, how hard it will be to rank for that keyword.

SEO tool 2: Need something WordPress-friendly?

If you are one of the many people that has a self-hosted website on WordPress, the Yoast plugin is a must-have to support your SEO efforts. Although the full version of the plugin is paid, many people get by on the wide range of features in the free version alone. The free version offers optimisation for just one keyword or phrase, but the plugin also has some handy additional features – it checks the readability of your pages, breadcrumbs, metadata, duplicate content and the technical configurations such as robots, sitemaps and permalinks.

SEO tool 3: Rather leave it all to an expert?

Some people would just rather pay to have a professional handle all of their SEO so they can focus on other things. If this sounds like you, you could check out GoDaddy's professional SEO services. A GoDaddy pro will do a full review of your site to see where you need help, and then conduct thorough research to come up with a keyword strategy. You’ll also have your offsite SEO optimisation taken care of, receive regular reports and reviews and even have custom blog content created for you to really maximise your efforts.

SEO tool 4: Looking for DIY SEO?

If you’d rather take care of your own SEO, Search Engine Visibility from GoDaddy provides a handy all-in-one solution to make the process more manageable. The SEO tool will suggest keywords and even submit an XML SiteMap for you. This is very important – a sitemap gives the search engine bots the data they need to help them crawl your site more efficiently.

SEO tool 5: Need to measure your results?

Measuring your results is a huge part of a successful SEO strategy. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, how can you improve?

Google Analytics is a free and easy to use tool that you can use to monitor many things about your website, including how much organic traffic you’re getting to your site and where that traffic is coming from. You can see what’s driving the most traffic to your page – for example, social media, ads or even links from other sites, and tailor your strategies accordingly. You can also see what keywords are driving traffic.

SEO tool 6: Want to make sure your content is original?

Duplicate content can massively harm your SEO – but sometimes, plagiarism is unintentional. You’ll want to stay on top of monitoring the content on your website to make sure that it is original. Siteliner is a tool that you can use to scan your website for duplicate content, broken links and similar domains.

SEO tool 7: Need to secure your website?

Did you know that the security of your website is a huge contributing factor to your SEO score? Search engines don’t want to direct people to websites where their online safety and personal information is compromised, so it’s important to show Google that your website is one that can be trusted. Malware, spam and not having an SSL Certificate can affect the security of your site and in turn, your Google ranking.

Show Google your site is safe

Google favours websites with SSL Certificates and now labels sites without one as ‘Not Secure’ – not great when you’re trying to attract visitors to your business! Installing an SSL can give your website an immediate boost in search engine ranking. Find out more about installing a GoDaddy SSL Certificate.

Protect your site from malware

Malware, also known as malicious software or a virus, can wreak havoc on both your website and your SEO score. In the worst cases, it can get you blacklisted from Google altogether. You’ll need to ensure you have the right security measures in place to scan for malware and remove it immediately. You could try Website Security from GoDaddy, which automatically scans for malware on a daily basis and quickly removes anything malicious before it has the chance to do any damage.

Monitor for spam

If you run a WordPress website with commenting functionalities, you’ll want to use Askimet to filter out spam comments. It’s so important that it comes pre-installed – all you have to do is activate it. Spam comments are very common, especially on popular websites, and too many on your website can harm your SEO.

SEO tool 8: Want to refine your strategy?

Similar to Google Analytics, Google Search Console is another free tool you’ll want to take advantage of to help you boost your SEO. Amongst many things, you see the sites that link back to yours and the search queries that your site is showing up for. You can also monitor your technical SEO – things like site speed and broken links can all affect your search engine ranking. Another handy thing about Google Search Console is that you can use it to monitor how your mobile site is performing. This has become increasingly important for user experience as many people use their mobile devices to browse - and with user experience being a ranking factor for SEO, this is something you’ll want to stay on top of.

So now you’re armed with these handy tools to help you boost your search engine ranking, you have everything you need to start giving your website the spotlight it deserves!