The Internet is teeming with SEO tools, both free and premium. Which ones are worth investing in for your site?
Creation of SEO tools is akin to an online cottage industry because of the huge demand for SEO out there today. Each week sees a new tool or two join the ranks of the must-haves, but not all of them are really must-haves.
Rather than spend time using tools that offer little benefit or cram your space with multiple tools where just one would do the job, examine this list to identify which open-source tools offer the highest ROI on your time depending on what you need to do for your site.
- Google Search Console
Until 20th May 2015, you knew this as Google Webmaster Tools, and it’s a tool that every webmaster should be using by now. GSC provides an array of tools to help diagnose issues with your site that could interfere with your SEO and general site performance. It also reports back to Google actions taken to correct issues, making for better communication between site and engine.
While a bit limited in nature of data provided and historical data retention, GSC is still very useful. Google is still adding new features to help make it better. You can get information about country targeting, backlink profiles, indexing levels, sitemaps, crawl stats and errors among others. Some new features include Mobile Usability, Search Analytics and Fetch as Google.
- Bing Webmaster Tools
While the most important, Google is by no means the only search engine you need to care about. BWT offers valuable insights on URL parameters, links, keywords, crawl data, sitemaps, search traffic and robot.txt files. However, it offers deeper SEO improvement insights that you get from GSC.
- Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is pivotal to the examination of a site’s technical SEO. You can get loads of information necessary for technical SEO audits in one location using this tool. A few insights include server errors, duplicate content, title tags, Meta descriptions, canonical tags among others. You can also add or remove URLs according to the string of characters if you’re trying to evaluate specific parts of the website. This is especially useful for the much larger sites.
The free version of Screaming Frog however limits the number of URL crawls you can carry out. However, for around $150 p.a. you can crawl unlimited URLS.
- Google Analytics
Just like the GSC, Google Analytics is a basic must-have for every webmaster. GA provides highly relevant information about sources of traffic and visitor profiles. You can track how users interact with your site, including entry and exit points as well as zero in on the source of all traffic.
You can also track your conversions, uncover underutilized opportunities and identify best and worst-performing pages. Other tools can also access your GA data to offer a more rounded report on rank tracking and marketing reporting among others.