With the rise in popularity of Google Adwords or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, many small businesses have been priced out of this once cost-effective online advertising medium. Increasingly, the best option for marketing small business websites is to move to the top of search results pages.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques have emerged to help businesses do this, but many don’t know where to start. SEO doesn’t need to be a mystery – thankfully there are lots of tools out there to help. Here are some of the best free SEO tools which will help you gain a better understanding of SEO in order to climb up the search engine rankings:
Before you start implementing SEO techniques, you need to understand which terms your potential customers will be searching for, so you can ensure you’re using these keywords effectively on your site.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool offers alternative keywords based on your suggestions, and shows the search volume of each term. It was designed for use with Google AdWords, but is a great way to identify which keywords to focus your SEO campaign on.
Keywords aren’t the only important consideration in SEO. There are also many on-page factors that can affect the search engines’ crawling of your site.
SEOmoz will highlight any potential problems that could stop search engines from indexing or ranking your site. You can get a free 30-day trial and run a diagnostics crawl to spot issues on your site which could be holding you back. Alternatively, you may try the more user-friendly Woorank which provides graphic reports with easy tips.
If you’re aiming to rank for multiple search terms, you probably don’t have time to trawl Google in search of your site to see where you rank. Free tools such as CuteRank will do all the work for you – just enter your preferred search terms and it will show your latest rankings for each.
You’re probably curious to know if your business website is ranking for any search terms you haven’t considered, but unfortunately it’s not all that simple to find out. However, if you’re using Google Analytics and have enabled Google Webmaster Tools, you can use the search engine optimisation feature to identify which search terms visitors have used to find your site.
Step-by-step DIY Tools
If you use a website builder like bOnline to create your own business website, you can use the built-in SEO tools to get ahead of the competition. Just follow the simple steps to ensure your site is perfectly optimised for search engines.
When it comes to SEO success, the most important things are persistence, consistency and patience. Don’t be tempted to change your mind about which keywords you’re targeting or all your previous work will be wasted. Remember that it can take months to climb up the search engine rankings as there are many established websites above you.
As ever, make sure you’re always adding fresh content as an indication to the search engines that your website is active and relevant.