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Top 5 Free SEO Tools For Bootstrapping Small Businesses in 2017

The Internet is an immensely competitive place, and when it comes to Search Engines, the competition can be flat out fierce. Everyone wants to be at the top of Google and other search engines. It’s not an ego thing, it’s all about the cash money. As such, websites and companies are willing to invest huge sums into their SEO efforts. This can leave startups and small businesses at a disadvantage if they don’t know about the latest free SEO tools available to them.

Don’t get me wrong – SEO is certainly worth the investment. Getting onto the front page of Google’s search engine can be immensely valuable.  You’ll gain a lot more traffic and thus a lot more business. Yet if you’re a bootstrapping small business or startup, you probably don’t have a huge amount of cash laying around that you can spend on advanced SEO tools. That’s why we put together this list. Check out these free SEO tools and get your search engine optimization efforts up to a “pro level” while running on a tight budget!

1. Google Analytics

Free SEO Tools - Google AnalyticsLet’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Google Analytics is an immensely powerful data platform that can be used entirely for free! All SEO strategies should start with Google Analytics. Make sure it’s implemented on your website, and then spend some time familiarizing yourself with the platform.

More so than just about any other tool, Google Analytics can provide deep insight into how visitors are using your website. Google Analytics can tell you what pages people are visiting, how much time they are spending on your website, and individual pages, what actions they are taking (i.e. clicking onto a call to action), and numerous other things.

Google Analytics can also provide you with insights into how people are reaching your website. Are they coming from social media? Search engines? Emails? Understanding how your current visitors are reaching your website is vital.

Honestly, we could write out a “War & Peace” length book on the many benefits of uses of Google Analytics, but there’s so much more out there to explore that we’d rather jump into other tools.

2. SEOquake

Free SEO Tools - SEO QuakeSEOquake is one of those rare free is free SEO tools. It’s a plugin for your web browser that can provide a load of SEO insights into any web page. Your web page, my web page, a competitor’s page, whatever. You can see search engine rankings, internal/external links, various SEO insights (i.e. is your metadescription the right length), the list goes on and on.

Install SEOquake right now. We’re serious. The plugin tends to run automatically on web pages, and it can get annoying. If you go under your settings, however, you can change the tools so they  only run on request. Do so, and the next time you’re curious about a website, just run a quick SEOquake audit!

3. SEObility

Free SEO Tools - SEObilityIf you’re only running one website, and you need to conduct an “SEO audit” (hint: you need to conduct an SEO audit), then SEObility might just be the best option out there. Their audits are free for one domain, and provide a wealth of information.

First, their SEO check service will run an automated audit on your website, and provide suggestions for how you can optimize your website. Next, their keyword check tool can be used to audit individual pages to see how optimized they are for specific keywords. SEO compare, on the other hand, will allow you to compare two pages and their SEO optimization for keywords. Finally, their ranking check offers an easy way to see your page’s ranking for given keywords.

There are tons of SEO audit tools out there. If you just have one website to monitor, however, seoptimize might just be the best tool.

4. Seed Keywords

This is a pretty nifty little free tool for getting into the minds of people as they are using search engines. Basically, Seed Keywords lets you run a short survey. You set up a “scenario” such as “Where can I find a great gyro in New York City?”, then you can send the survey out to people. They’ll think about your scenario, and then type in the keywords they’d use to search for that great gyro in NYC.

5. SEMrush

SEMrushFree SEO Tools - SEMRush Free Trial is one of the most useful SEO tools on the web. What makes SEMrush great? Most tools focus on your website. SEMrush, on the other hand, can be used to dig up information on your competition and their SEO efforts. Unfortunately, SEMrush is expensive, starting at $99 dollars a month.

Fortunately, they offer a free 14 day trial. Once you have your website up and running, and you’ve started to develop a digital marketing strategy, sign up for that 14 day trial and do some snooping into the competition. Competitor insights can be vital for gaining a marketplace advantage, and for moving up the search engine rankings.

About Michael Boguslavskiy

Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.

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