Search engine ranks are a pillar of digital marketing success. Today’s digital marketing strategy requires you to get ahead of your competitors by ranking higher in search engines. However, some things are easier to said than done, and this one is undoubtedly one of them.
Since Google is constantly updating algorithms, SEO tactics are frequently deviating too. While the principles remain the same, the rules of the game are constantly shifting. Furthermore, Google has 85% of the search engine market share, and experts are constantly on whatever Google changes.
That’s why tools are essential, as they can help elevate specific elements of SEO strategies. But, picking such tools can be a problem for some, as good tools aren’t free, and all free tools aren’t exactly effective.
So, let’s try to solve this problem by finding effective yet free SEO tools to help you rank higher in search engines.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the act of enhancing content in order for it to rank higher on a search engine—notably Google. Since Google has the most market share, marketers only abide by the rules set by this search engine giant.
The difference between common marketing tactics and SEO is that it depends on your effort and strategies rather than the investment. Granted, if you’ve got highly paid SEO experts, it would surely make a difference.
But if you understand key elements just enough, you may not have to pay a penny. That’s why SEO mainly targets unpaid channels rather than paid ones. This includes:
- Optimizing a website for performance, i.e., loading speed and device compatibility
- Optimizing content for search engine crawlers
The first point falls into the technical aspect of SEO, which includes the website’s performance. As it says, this aspect ensures the website’s loading speeds are optimal and that it is compatible with various devices, i.e., phones and desktops.
The content aspect of SEO is usually called on-page SEO. This involves a little bit of technical aspect. Besides adding keywords and content elements, such as subheadings, metadata, etc., it also involves technical details like backlinking.
This makes SEO fascinating as it involves a blend of both technical and content aspects. While more advanced domains require additional assistance, a beginner in SEO may not have to worry about it. As long as you pick the right keywords and optimize your website correctly.
Why Is Search Engine Ranking Important?
Search engine rankings are the number one factor in driving traffic to your website. If you wish for your website or blog to generate traffic, then it needs to be in search engine ranks. Moreover, it cannot be on any of the Google pages, as you need it to rank in the first top-10 results at least.
Because 90% of the web pages on the internet generate no traffic from Google—simply because they don’t rank high enough.
Now, search engine tactics that make your website rank higher need to be better than your closest competition, i.e., the web pages that rank in the first 5 or 10 results. And that’s why search engine ranks are important
How Do Search Engines Rank Pages/Websites?
A few essential factors count in a website’s rank in search engines. Google considers a few important elements. For example, here are a few factors:
- Keyword usage and relevancy
- Content’s informative value
- Website’s overall performance
- Domain authority (unofficially)
The tactics that analyze these elements are called algorithms, and search engine crawlers know just how to find a worthy website to rank it higher in specific search results. The primary page of Google or SERP (search engine result page) only features the pages that crawlers deem the absolute best in their particular category.
While Google doesn’t necessarily rank pages with categories or niches, it does count. For example, suppose you’re looking for SEO services in your local area. In that case, Google is undoubtedly going to analyze the location and the best possible websites in your immediate vicinity.
This ranking factor is called E-A-T, which stands for a website’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. While domain authorities aren’t Google’s official endorsement, they surely play a role in determining a website’s place in the online spectrum.
The Basic SEO & Content Tools You Will Need
Basic SEO and content tools will be one of the first things you will need in order to stand out in SERP. To make it easier for you, we’ve picked five of the best a beginner can use.
Three of these tools are content-related, while the other two tend to metrics and technical aspects. So, without further ado, let us talk about these five necessary tools:
PrePostSEO is one of the best websites for free SEO tools. While there are many offered by this developer, today we’re talking about two of their most favored tool by the content creators. These tools are:
- Paraphrasing tool
- Plagiarism checker
Both these tools are necessary to ensure the originality of your content and ensure the originality and integrity required to succeed in online ranks. First, let’s talk about the plagiarism finder:
This plagiarism checker is used by students and professionals alike. Mainly because it makes plagiarism-finding an easy task for writers. Since it’s one of the leading plagiarism finders, this should be in your arsenal of SEO tools.
The second one is the paraphrasing tool:
This tool is ideal for rephrasing your content after you’ve to find plagiarism in your content. However, you can still use it if you wish to change content tones, make your content shorter, or deviate it on various platforms.
If we’re talking about SEO tools, there isn’t a better tool to understand technical aspects than Google’s own tool called Google Analytics. This remarkable program helps you understand just what you need to stand out in online ranks.
Helping you understand specific metrics and aspects can ensure that your website and content are performing according to Google’s liking. That’s why this will be the third tool you will need in your arsenal.
Answer The Public is perhaps the best way to understand what your audience is looking for. But, on top of that, it’s one of the best keyword finders available today. In search engines nowadays, most of the queries are questions.
As the name suggests, this tool helps you find those questions so you can answer them in your content.
This keyword finder takes a specific approach, as it helps you understand the right keywords for your local audience. And it’s important to understand that local SEO is perhaps the most crucial factor in getting a brand to take off in SEO.
4. DA Checker
DA checkers or domain authority checkers are secondary tools, i.e., tools that aren’t officially impacting Google’s way of ranking. As mentioned before, Google doesn’t consider domain authority as a way of ranking a website, but it sure does matter.
That’s why you’ll be checking your website’s domain authority frequently. Either by using this tool by Moz:
Or this one by PrePostSEO:
Regardless of the tool that you choose, you can understand just where your website or page stands. Then, you have to get rid of spam, broken links, orphaned pages, etc., to ensure your website’s higher domain authority.
Using These Tools & How To Improve SEO Ranks
Using these tools is a straightforward affair to boost your SEO rankings. However, to help you out, we’ve prepared a little guide to nudge you in the right direction. Here it is:
1. Analyze Website with Google Analytics
Analyze your website’s performance by using Google analytics. Since the job of this tool is to help you understand website traffic, user behaviors, and content performance, you will soon grasp just how to analyze that data and improve your website.
2. Find Duplicity In Your Content
The plagiarism checker will come into play in this step, as before you either post your content or after you’ve posted it, you can use it to find plagiarism. Use the plagiarism finder to analyze the percentage of duplicity in your content and note down the original sources for citations.
3. Remove Duplicity/Plagiarism from Your Content
The next step is to remove plagiarism from your content, as it might draw your ranks lower. So, use the paraphrasing tool that we picked for you and rewrite content using it.
4. Why Citations Are Important
Citations aren’t only essential to avoid plagiarism; they can also help you acquire specific backlinks. This will ensure search engine crawlers deem your content as informative and valuable to the users.
5. Check Your Website’s DA
Once you’ve tended to these factors, check your website’s DA once more and see where it stands. Make sure you head for 60 or higher DA scores.
These are the factors you need to consider in SEO and the tools that you will need to tend to each one. The hope here is that this guide will push you in the right direction and help you comprehend SEO’s basics to make a formidable strategy.