7 Best Free SEO Tools for 2021 (+ How to Use Them)
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- Hey, in this video I'm going to show you seven free SEO tools that can help you rank number one in Google. So, instead of me just firing a list of tools at you, I'm actually going to show you how to use each of these free SEO tools. So, make sure you watch until the end because SEO tool number four and five are two that I use every single day. Let's jump right in. (light electronic music) So before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this channel because you'll get notified when I publish new videos just like this one. So the first free SEO tool you should be using is Screaming Frog SEO Spider, and I simply could not live without this tool, because it's fundamental to performing effective SEO audits. Now let me take you to my computer, and I'll show you a few things that it can do. Okay so I'm inside Screaming Frog SEO Spider, and this is by far one of my favorite SEO tools, and I use it pretty much on a daily basis to perform SEO audits, to analyze competitors, to analyze my own website, it just really has so many capabilities, and I'm not gonna be able to hit every single detail of this tool in this short video, but I'll show you some of the high impact stuff that this tool can do for you. So the first thing I recommend you doing is connecting the APIs, so I recommend at least connecting Google Analytics and Google Search Console, and if you're paying for any of these tools, go ahead and connect them. So in this case, I'm gonna connect Google Analytics and Ahrefs. So then for this segment, I usually just select organic traffic, but you can mess around and use some of these other settings, but for the most part, we're just focusing on the SEO performance, so I would select organic traffic. So once you have the Google Analytics and API set up and the Ahrefs, or whatever link tool you're using set up, just go ahead and enter the domain that you wanna crawl, so in this case, we'll do GotchaSEO.com (electronic music) What I wanna do is I wanna show you how to find thin content, because thin content is one of the biggest issues that you'll encounter on a website. And so, Screaming Frog makes it super easy to find this particular issue. So while you're on this internal tab,
Just go ahead and scroll over. So once you see this Word Count column.
just go ahead and scroll over. So once you see this Word Count column, you can do a lot of stuff just from here alone. But what I like to do is I like to export, because then you can filter through these pages to see if there are any issues regarding Word Counts. Okay so I've added all the data from the Screaming Frog SEO Spider into a Google Sheet, And so I just wanna show you how I would go about this, and kinda my thought process. So the first thing you wanna do, you can collapse most of the columns that Screaming Frog is going to supply, so I collapsed the majority of them, and I only kept some of the most important columns, so I kept the Word Count column, which I'll go ahead and just highlight so you have an idea here. Word count column, and we wanna have GA Sessions which is how much traffic is going to these pages on your website, so we'll go ahead and highlight that in green. And then we also wanna have the Total Referring Domains from Ahrefs. So from here we can audit each individual page and determine if that page needs to be upgraded, it needs more words, it needs to be better, because, typically, if a page has a low Word Count, it doesn't have traffic and it doesn't have links, then there's probably some sort of issue going on here. Now in the case of my website, I don't have many instances of that because I'm pretty strict with the amount of pages that I publish, and also, if I do publish a page, I'm gonna try to acquire links to it, but if we were to take a couple examples here, so, like this one, which is a forget password page, and it has one link, and I don't know if that's actually a legit link, it could just be a scraper link, who knows? But in this case we wouldn't want this page to be indexed. I would much rather have this page and the login page not indexed because it's not something that people are going to be searching for, and it's very, very unlikely. Now, there are some cases where I might try some branded type of search or some navigational search, someone may search something like, Gotcha SEO Academy Login Page or something like that if they were a member, but that's pretty unlikely and that would be a very small amount of people, so it would be much better just to no index these pages.
But now on the other hand let's look at this page, this SEO Case Studies page.
But now on the other hand let's look at this page, this SEO Case Studies page. So when you look at this page, it's obviously very thin, I haven't really dedicated any time or effort to this page at all, so this would be a page that is a candidate to upgrade and improve, because then we could actually be able to compete for this primary phrase which is SEO Case Studies. And so in this case, this is a perfect situation where we can go through, add a bunch of unique value to this page, and hopefully attract more organic search traffic to this page by doing so. So then you just wanna keep going through, page by page by page, and look for opportunities to make your pages better. And so Screaming Frog makes it really easy for you because right away we can see we have 14 pages here that have less than 1,000 words. So we could go through these pages and beef them up, add more content, make them better, improve the design, anything that's gonna make these pages substantially different than what's already out there, is gonna be a valuable use of time and effort, and so that should always be the focus when you're trying to improve your SEO performance is focusing on your pages first, and once you've really done well there, then you can start to do other things such as promoting your site and acquiring links, but improving your existing pages and optimizing your existing pages is the best thing that you can do. So then one other thing you should look at is look at pages that don't have many links. So typically there's gonna be a correlation between low link counts and traffic performance and organic search performance. So when you look at this, you know, these pages have very little links, like I just published this 404 errors blog post, and it has a couple links. And typically websites are scraping my contents, so whenever I publish something new it immediately gets, like, a couple links just because people scrape my content and put it on their website and then they link back to my site, and actually in some cases, they're not actually linking back to my site as a source, it's just because I have internal links in my blog posts, so it actually ends up giving me a backlink to these new posts.
But regardless, these pages don't really have legit links.
But regardless, these pages don't really have legit links. So, any page here you can see, it has low link count, and it has low traffic. So typically those two things are pretty correlated. Now, the opposite is true as well. If we look at pages that have a lot of links, they have a lot of traffic. And so it's pretty systematic in that way, and you also notice that pages that have a high Word Count and lots of links have a lot of traffic. So there is a direct correlation there, now obviously, like, my homepage and my blog get a good amount of traffic, but that's all through branded search. So that's much, much different, but, typically, you're gonna see a direct correlation between Word Count and the total links that you're getting. So typically if you want to acquire more links, you need to create more in depth content. So this is just one use case for Screaming Frog. There are so many things you can do. I use it to really analyze content on a website, and try to figure how we can draw more organic search traffic to that content, but you can also use it for just pure technical SEO too. And so I won't get into that here, but I just wanted to show you a real quick example of how you can leverage this tool, and just play around with it, it's really an amazing tool, it's truly one of my favorite tools, and there's just unlimited capabilities for improving your SEO performance, and really if you just had this tool and no other tools, you could improve your SEO performance and get more traffic. The second free SEO tool you should be using is Ubersuggest because it can help you find key words to target for your SEO campaign. So here's how to do it. Okay so I am at the Ubersuggest website, and so this tool was bought out by Neil Patel, and this is still a really great tool, and there's a lot of great stuff that Neil has added to this tool that has made it much better, and so I'm gonna show you how to use it. But there are two primary ways to use this tool. You can either search by keyword phrase, or you can search using a competitor's domain. So let's start with a competitor's domain,
And I'll show you kinda how that works. So we'll look at Neil Patel's website.
and I'll show you kinda how that works. So we'll look at Neil Patel's website. So once the analysis is complete you can get some overview information of how your competitor is doing, and so you can tell that Neil has a ton of traffic, which is great, and it certainly helps that he has a million backlinks. But as we go down, the part that's really helpful, is you can actually see the key words that they're ranking for. And so, it's quite generous that Neil is allowing this data for free, this is very, very valuable data that you usually have to pay for. But you can go through each of these key words and see if they're worth going after. So one thing that Neil has done is he's developed this SEO difficulty metric, and it's a pretty good metric overall. But obviously, you need to do your own manual qualification. But this is definitely extremely valuable for a free tool. So you can just go through here and see all the key words that have low SEO difficulty, and then you can go after those key words. Now, keep in mind, just because it has low SEO difficulty doesn't mean that it's gonna be a cakewalk to rank for, but use this tool to analyze your competitor's key words, and then you won't even really have to key word research, you can just extract ideas from your competitors. So this tool makes it a lot easier. So the next you can do, is you can actually just enter a key word. So I just entered SEO and this is gonna show you the SEO difficulty, the paid difficulty, and even the cost per click along the search volume. But what you wanna do is you wanna keep searching for key words that are easier to rank for. So in this case SEO is a little tough, so let's try something like anchor text. So obviously the SEO difficulty is much easier for a term like this. And the cost per click is lower as well because it's probably not as valuable as a key word to rank for, for the companies that are going to advertise. So this tool alone can give you a ton of really great intel about what key words to go after, but like I said, this is more of just the preliminary process, you need to also do some manual key word qualification. And I'll talk about that in another video. But for now take advantage of this tool. It's 100% free, at least for now, and you can get a ton of great information from it. The third free SEO tool you should be using is AnswerThePublic,
Because it will help you find ideas for structuring your SEO content.
because it will help you find ideas for structuring your SEO content. Here's how to use it. Okay so I'm at AnswerThePublic and this is by far one of my favorite SEO tools and one of my favorite key word research tools. And I use this tool for every piece of SEO content I create because it's so incredibly powerful, and the best part is that it's free. So go in here and just enter your primary key word phrase. So then once the analysis is complete, click on the data tab, and then you're gonna be able to see all of these questions that are being asked about your primary phrase. And so you need to go through these, and then copy the ones that are relevant to whatever your content asset is, and this is extremely powerful because you're gonna be able to capture a ton of long tail traffic by answering these particular questions about your primary phrase. And so some are not gonna be relevant but some are, and so this tool just gives you all the intel that you need to be able to answer the right questions for your content. And one other thing you can do, is you can actually take a key word phrase like this and then run it through again and see if there are even more long tail phrases. So that way you can just keep stacking long tails into your content, but the most important part is make sure that the long tail key word phrase is hyper relevant to your primary key word phrase. The fourth free SEO tool you need to be using in Hemingway Editor. Now this may not seem like an SEO tool on the surface, but it's extremely powerful for creating incredible content. In fact, you can be a subpar writer, and still create incredibly engaging and readable content just by using this tool. Let me show you how it works. Okay so I'm in Hemingway Editor, and this might be the weirdest tool that I share, but this is what I would call my secret weapon for creating great content. Not only for SEO purposes, but just great online content in general. And so if you don't consider yourself to be a great writer this tool alone can make you 10 times better at writing because it is so incredibly powerful. And I use this tool for every single piece of content that I create, because it helps me create better content. So one thing that I like to do is, obviously I'll write my draft,
And then I'll put the draft in here to fix all the issues.
and then I'll put the draft in here to fix all the issues. But one thing you can do, is you can actually just go to your site and then copy a block of text, and see if that block of text is written well. So we'll just copy this one here on my homepage. We'll put it in here, and it looks like I have a sentence that's a little hard to read, so I could go through and fix the sentence. So now let's go here and do another one. So then once again, it looks like there's some room for improvement in this particular sentence and the words that I'm using. So just keep going through your site, and what I recommend doing is literally go to a blog post, and what you can do is you can just copy all the content, or at least copy some big sections, and then just go in here, and I always like to do paste special and make sure that it pastes to what it is 'cause then it can get a little weird. But go through with all your content and then just go through step by step and fix your content so that it meets this criteria, And I can assure you that it will make your content 10 times better, and the best part is, this tool is just gonna guide you through the process. And so it's so valuable and a lot of people don't do this, so highly recommend you take advantage of this tool. The fifth free SEO tool I highly recommend stacking with Hemingway Editor is Grammarly. And Grammarly's free browser extension will help you fix all your grammar and spelling errors within your content. Here's a quick demonstration. Okay so I'm inside Grammarly, and you can do it directly in their actual website or you can actually add the Chrome extension. Either way it's great, because the Chrome extension allows you to see issues while you're actually creating content. But one thing I like to do is I'll go ahead and click New, and then I'll go ahead and just add the content in here, and then you can change some of these settings up. Typically I will do expert, depending on what it is of course. This will depend greatly on the business itself. We'll do informal, and we're gonna do inform. Then we'll do done. And then what Grammarly's gonna do is it's gonna scan through this content, and you're gonna be able to see issues related to the copy itself. And so we'll click on this one and see what is says, and so I took an article from NeilPatel.com,
But I just wanted to show you what this was like. So, in this sentence it says.
but I just wanted to show you what this was like. So, in this sentence it says, and with the search rankings feature, you can automatically track how your rankings are changing on a daily basis. So, Grammarly's saying that it would make more sense just to eliminate this phrase and just use daily. And so what Grammarly's gonna do, it's gonna make your writing way more efficient, and you're gonna be able to eliminate a lot of grammar issues, a lot of spelling issues, and then when you stack Grammarly with Hemingway, it is so powerful. So I recommend editing first in Hemingway, and then bringing that content over and putting it in Grammarly. And just by using those two tools alone, your content will be 10 times better. The sixth free SEO tool you have to use is AM Institute's Headline Tester. So here's how it works. Okay so now I'm gonna show you AM Institute's Headline Tester, and so every single time you create a piece of content, you need to test your headlines in this tool, because your headline is pretty much the most important part of your content, believe it or not, because 80% of people don't even read past the headlines. So you need to do your best to create really captivating headlines and persuasive headlines. And so this tool can help you do that really, really well. So, what you need to do is select whatever category you're in, so in this case I'm going to choose Business. So I've already tested this headline so it's probably going to get a good score, so we'll submit it for analysis, and so it got an 80%. And so what they claim is that most professional copywriter's headlines will have between 30% to 40% in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50% to 75% in their headlines. And so one thing I've realized about this tool is shorter headlines tend to get better scores. But what I recommend doing is just keep creating new headlines until you at least get into this 50% range. You don't need to get as high as 80%, but just keep creating new headlines over and over and over until you get one that's really good, and then use that as your title for your blog post,
Or title for your homepage or whatever copy you're writing.
or title for your homepage or whatever copy you're writing. And so, this tool, I can't live without it, I use it all the time, and I highly recommend you use it if you're trying to create more captivating headlines. So the seventh and final free SEO tool you need to take advantage of is Neil Patel's backlink analyzer. Now while I do recommend in investing in a tool like Ahrefs, Neil's tool can help you get a lot accomplished. Let me show you how to use it. Okay so I'm here at Neil Patel's new backlink analysis tool. And so this is an excellent free SEO tool, now of course I recommend investing in a really high quality tool like Ahrefs, but if you're strapped for cash right now and you're a startup, you don't have a ton of money to invest in an expensive tool, then this can do the job. So just enter your URL and start the analysis. So this tool is very simple, it's just gonna show you who is linking to your competitor. So one thing that I like to do is just do one link per domain, so make sure that's selected, and then click follow. So then you can see right away all of the follow links that they have. And then what you can do is you can go through and see if you can actually get the same links as them. So let's say we wanted to get a link from NameCheap like Neil Patel did, so what you wanna do is you wanna look at what Neil produced. And so he created a blog post about the Science of Social Timing, and so he has a bunch of data, it's a good post here. And so what we'd wanna do is we wanna try to create something that's substantially different and better than this. So then what we have to do is just copy this URL, and then what we're gonna do is we're just gonna reach out to any website that has linked to this particular page. So you can actually just paste that URL in here, and then you're gonna see all of the websites that are linking to Neil Patel's blog post about the Science of Social Timing. And then your objective is to create an asset that is different and far superior than what he created. Now, that would be very challenging, in this case, 'cause he did a very good job, but there are certainly opportunities for you to come from a different angle, or maybe have more unique data. There's a lot of opportunity there for you to do that, but this tool alone can help you identify topics
That are highly linkable because, at the end of the day.
that are highly linkable because, at the end of the day, you need to acquire links to your content because the goal should be to build your site authority, and also, rank for the terms they are going after. So this is an awesome free SEO tool, and I highly recommend you use it if you don't want to invest in an amazing tool like Ahrefs, even though I recommend that you do. So those are the seven free SEO tools you should be using to increase your Google rankings. And if you enjoyed this video, please like it, and subscribe to my channel because you'll get first access when I publish new videos. Also, if you have any questions whatsoever, please leave a comment below. Thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.
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