1. Google Search Console
The first tool everyone should start using is Google Search Console Tools. It’s Google’s own tool that is meant to monitor your Google visibility. In recent years the tool has been revamped for better user experience and is now easier to use. With this tool you can find out for example:
Which keywords bring traffic to your siteAverage rankings for your pages and keywordsHow often you are shown in the search results and how many times your results are clickedHow well your site is indexed to Google database
There are plenty of keyword tools to help you find keywords and check the search volume. Unfortunately, most of them require some sort of payment to be really useful. One exception to the rule is Ubersuggest that hosts a number of useful functionalities. And all of it for free.
This Chrome and Firefox add-on shows keyword search volume data next to Google search results and select other tools. These tools include Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Youtube.
The benefit of this add-on is that you get search volume for keywords without having to constantly use a tool like Ubersuggest for single queries that you are working on. Also because the add-on can just be always working on the background you get a sense of keyword popularity slowly without really thinking about it.
MOZ’s free Chrome add-on gives easy access to valuable information. With it, you can find out a page's Page Authority and Domain Authority. Additionally, you can use it to check your pages meta description, H1-headers, and page title without having to check them from the code.
5. Link Explorer
Another useful tool from MOZ. Link explorer allows you to look for backlinks 10 times a month for free. And for one query you get 50 rows of data. That isn’t terribly much for backlink research but it’s better than nothing. It can certainly help you get started.
6. Screaming Frog
A great basic tool that crawls through your site and records a staggering amount of useful information from each page. This tool alone can find out the most technical problems. For example:
Redirects404-pagesImagesTitles, meta descriptions, and h-headers
Screaming Frog tools allows you to crawl 500+ URLs for free which is enough for many smaller sites.
This Chrome built-in auditing tool can be found from Chrome developer tools. Either find it via the menu or simply press F12. Find the tool itself from the Audits tab. This tool can run 5 separate audits on the current page you are viewing. All with the press of a single button. As a bonus, it contains links to further explanations of all problems found.
8. Structured Data Testing Tools
Structured data is a useful way to mark information on your page in a way that search engines can easily read and understand. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the easiest to implement. Use this tool to find out if your implementation is done correctly.
9. Webpagetest. org
This browser-based tool loads your webpage a couple of times and then gives you detailed information on how fast it loads. As well as a listing of all files loaded and how long each one took to load. This is a great way to find out bottlenecks.
Remember also to check for Time to First Byte. You want the first byte to start loading inside 0.5 seconds.
10. Kraken. io and TinyPNG
Two useful tools for optimizing image file size. Both can be used to decrease image file size and speed up page loading times. The best part is you don’t have to necessarily reduce image resolution. Large images & photos tend to slow downloading times, especially on mobile devices. That makes image optimization one of the easiest and best ways to speed up your site.
11. What’s my SERP
Checking rankings for specific keywords is often only available to paid & free tools. Especially if you want to check hundreds of keywords. So far the nicest tool to check rankings for a few keywords for free is What’s my SERP. It’s easy to use and allows you to check multiple keywords at a time. Not hundreds but enough for occasional checking.
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