It’s no longer enough to have mediocre content on your website stuffed with typical search terms to bring up your site’s search ranking.
Nowadays people have to create updated and high quality content to get search engines to find their websites, and even then, there’s no guarantee that their websites are going to be listed anywhere in the first page of the search results.
Fortunately, free SEO tools are available to help site owners reach more people. Before talking about the best free SEO tools you can use, let’s first talk about some common search engine protocols that allow a site to appear on their search pages:
XML Sitemaps or RSS Feeds
Imagine being told to search an entire area you’re not familiar with for a rare book. Chances are you’d be going around the city looking for malls, and inside those malls you’d look at the directory to find any stores that seem like they’d sell books.
Sitemaps are like this directory, telling search engines where they’d most likely find certain types of content in your website.
XML, which stands for Extensible Markup Language, is the most widely used and recommended format for sitemaps.
RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary, is like XML but is a lot easier to maintain since RSS sitemaps can be made to automatically update itself when new content is added.
This file allows site owners to tell automated web crawlers where the sitemap is. It can also block access to certain folders or pages of a site.
Robots Meta Tag
by using this tag: <meta name = “robot name” content = “argument(s)” />
You can tell search engines not to follow links on your page, not to generate descriptions based on what’s written in your site, etc. a quick search should give you the list of available meta names and arguments.
Two important elements corresponding to rel are Nofollow and rel = “nofollow” tells the search engine not to follow links referenced in your site.
This will prevent other sites from latching on to your site’s popularity. Rel = “canonical” on the other hand, prevents pages in your site from being treated as completely different pages, therefore preventing search engines from seeing your site as unoriginal.
Best Free SEO Tools of 2015
Now that you know the elements that help search engines find your content better, here are the best free SEO tools of 2015:
Being the most popular search engine to date, Google has created a bunch of tools to help webmasters see how their websites perform in their search engine. Here’s a couple of things it could help you with:
- Seeing which search terms would cause your website to come up on the search results page
- Seeing how your site appears on the results page of different countries using Google
- Seeing which sites link to your site
- Checking if Google can find your content
- Making sure that your site is malware-free
- Generating and checking your robots.txt file
- Submitting and checking your sitemap
In a sense, Google already has the complete set of free SEO tools that’ll get you up and running with regards to maintaining and optimizing your site.
A great popular tool for SEO, but nevertheless offers some interesting features that Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t offer, including:
- Head-to-head comparisons – this is a nifty tool that lets you compare two sites and see why one outranks the other.
- Social Media Check – a lot of site traffic comes from people sharing and liking content from social media. Moz Open Site Explorer lets you measure shares and likes in social media sites for a given URL. However Moz is on of the bests free seo tools avalable on the market.
So far, these are the top-ranked free SEO tools that have been proven to help webmasters push their sites to the first page of Google and other search engines.
Take note, however, that even the best SEO strategies won’t bring your website regular traffic if you don’t provide content that’s worth reading or watching.
Since the SEO tools we’ve talked about are free, there’s no excuse for you not to create or obtain quality content for your site. Do that and you’ll be getting more regular visitors in no time.