One of the most common reasons why blogs fail to gain traction is a lack of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without search engines, getting people to find your blog is incredibly difficult, no matter how good your writing is.
There are a ton of things to consider when it comes to SEO, including keyword use, research, link building, meta data, and much more. To tackle everything, you’ll need to use the right tools, preferably without breaking the bank.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to my five favorite free SEO tools for blogs. Armed with these tools, you’ll have all the data you need to grow your blog. Let’s meet your new best friends!
We’ve talked about Google Keyword Planner in the past. It’s a powerful tool that enables you to tap into Google’s wealth of data to find out what keywords people are looking for.
For each keyword you look up, you get a list of related queries, including how many people are searching for them on average. Keyword Planner also lets you know what the competition level is like for every keyword.
You can check out our guide on how to use Keyword Planner for free, which also includes some tips to help you narrow down the best keywords. Overall, if I had to stick with a single tool for keyword research, this would be it.
Most of us spend far too much time on Google search result pages as it is. Sorting through results requires a bit of finesse, even if you can trust Google’s ranking in most cases.
If you run a blog, Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are also great for research. You can look up what websites are competing with you for keywords, check out what their strategy is, and more.
With SEOquake, you can get a lot of that information right within the SERPs. It’s a simple extension that, once enabled, shows you data such as domain age, Alexa rank, keyword difficulty, and more.
At a glance, you get to check out how hard it is to compete for any given keyword, which can save you a lot of time.
There’s no escaping Google when it comes to SEO, so here’s yet another service from the search giant. Search Console offers a collection of tools you can use to monitor your website’s traffic, loading times, link profile, and more.
For example, you can use Search Console to crawl your website and submit a sitemap to Google. That makes sure the search engine doesn’t miss any of your key pages and it enables you to hide content you don’t want it to pay attention to.
Search Console also provides you with a much more user-friendly way to monitor your blog’s performance in searches. Compared with Google Analytics, for example, you don’t need an advanced degree just to make sense of the data.
With Search Console, you can keep an eye on clicks, impressions, what your click-through rate is, and what keywords are bringing in the most traffic. That’s basically all the data you need to figure out if your SEO strategy is paying off.
Ubersuggest is a tool that enables you to analyze both domains and keywords. When it comes to domains, Ubersuggest gives you an overview of how much traffic they’re getting, how many backlinks they have, and how many keywords they’re ranking for:
If you scroll down further, you can also check out what the most popular keywords are for any domain you research. When conducting research on your competition, it’s those pages that should give you an idea of what their content strategy is.
Moving on, you can also use Ubersuggest to research individual keywords. For any keyword you enter, the tool will give you an idea of how much traffic it’s getting and what the competition level is like:
That’s all data you can find using Keyword Planner, to be fair. However, Ubersuggest offers a much easier interface to navigate. It also gives you additional details for each keyword.
What I like to do is make a list of the keywords I want to target using data from Keyword Planner. Then I’ll look up each of those keywords using Ubersuggest to get more information and weed out the ones that aren’t worth the effort. It can be a bit time consuming, but it saves you from targeting keywords that are just too competitive.
Answer the Public is a lot different from the other free SEO tools for blogs we’ve used so far. The way the service works is you enter a search term and it finds the questions people are asking about it on search engines.
If you look up ‘blogging’, for example, here are some of the results you’ll see:
A closer look reveals several of those searches are pretty popular questions, in my experience. Some of my favorites include “Can blogging generate income?” and “Will blogging help my business?”
Answer the Public doesn’t just show you questions, though, it can also help you figure out if people are looking for comparisons:
That graph includes hits such as blogging vs vlogging, blogging vs instagram, and many more.
Answer the Public is a fantastic tool if you want to get an idea of what people are looking for in relation to any term. It throws a whole lot of potential keywords and phrases you can use for your content, but what it doesn’t tell you is search volume.
Ideally, you’ll take any search terms you think have potential and look them up using Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest. Check out what the search volume and the competition is like, and move on from there.
SEO is all about research and attention to detail. That last part is up to you, but armed with the right tools, you’ll have all the data you need to ensure that search engines love your blog. Combine that with a little patience and you’ll have a successful blog in your hands.
Let’s recap what our five favorite free SEO tools for blogs are:
- Google Keyword Planner: The best tool to look up hundreds of potential keywords at once.
- SEOquake: A powerful extension that enables you to analyze results within search pages.
- Search Console: A collection of tools for webmasters to keep track of their blog performance.
- Ubersuggest: With this service, you can analyze both domains and individual keywords.
- Answer the Public: Take any search term and look up what questions people are asking about it.
Do you have any questions about what the best free SEO tools for blogs are? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.