I recently put out a call out on Twitter for new topics to write about, and SEO was quickly suggested. It’s a topic I’ve tackled before, but I realised that I had never shared a post about SEO tools for bloggers, and really what we all want is the toolkit to make SEO easier for us, don’t we?
SEO can be this scary, confusing thing that we put off but it really doesn’t have to be. It honestly doesn’t need to be hard work. Yes, it can be a bit of a faff, but these 10 (completely free) SEO tools for bloggers are about to make your life much easier.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool is an awesome tool that will crawl your site (just like a search engine would!) to find the following:
- Broken Links – for those times when old product links no longer work, or you’ve deleted old posts and need to redirect the links elsewhere.
- Page Titles & metadata – export a full list of every page and post on your blog to check the titles and meta descriptions are filled in properly.
It does a lot of other things as well, but they are less relevant to bloggers. I use this tool every once in a while to keep tabs on my blog and make sure I’m not slacking on the SEO basics!
My next SEO tools for bloggers is one you’ve likely heard of if your blog is on WordPress. Yoast SEO is a great plugin which lets you:
- Customise your post and page meta title descriptions to optimise them for search engines
- Change the images that will appear on social media when you share your blog link
- Type in the keyword you want to target for your post and it will show you through a traffic light system whether you are using the keyword enough
Yoast SEO also lets you set up some nifty settings to keep your blog in Google’s good books.
So I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Google Analytics nerd, and as far as I’m concerned it’s a crucial SEO tool for any blogger.
Google Analytics allows you to measure the traffic coming to your site so you can see which posts are doing well, where your traffic is coming from and soooo much more.
If you want to find out more about how ace Google Analytics is as an SEO tool for bloggers, check out all of my Google Analytics posts.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is often forgotten because the data you get from it isn’t quite as sexy as Google Analytics. However, Search Console is really key to making sure your site isn’t held back from ranking on Google.
You can also see some data showing the keywords people use to reach your blog – perfect for coming up with new blog post ideas or improving older blog content which is driving traffic.
Search Console also flags up any HTML improvements that can be made to your site for it to appear properly on Google, and will also alert you if your site is at risk of being penalised by them too. Don’t worry though, the chances of that are pretty slim!
Yep, another Google product (and not the last one either!). Google Adwords is one of the best SEO tools for bloggers because you can get access to data which shows you the keywords people are searching for online.
This can be invaluable for coming up with new blog post ideas, and also for choosing the right keywords and phrases to generate traffic.
AnswerThePublic is a fun visual tool that lets you search for keywords and it will show you a visual representation of searches people have conducted. It’s one of the best SEO tools for bloggers if you want to keep your SEO plans simple.
Although it won’t give you the number of searches like Adwords does, it’s great for finding longer queries such as questions that you can include the answers for in your content.
Oh yes, it’s a Google tool again! They do so many and (generally speaking) they are pretty easy to use! Google Trends is one of the most simple to get your head around because all you do is a search for a keyword and it will show you a graph detailing the search interest over time.
For example, when I searched “hemp cream”, it showed me there was a significant increase in interest in February. I don’t know why hemp cream got popular in February, but having access to Google Trends is going to be pretty handy in your content planning!
Broken Link Checker
So I mentioned Screaming Frog earlier as a great SEO tool for broken link checking, and although it is an awesome tool it’s more useful for a larger audit every once in a while (particularly if your traffic and/or domain authority has seen a dip).
However, the Broken Link Checker plugin checks your links for you, all through WordPress and alerts you when it finds one. Since installing it, I have managed to get rid of any old broken links and stay on top of links that used to be active but for whatever reason no longer are (e.g. a campaign link from a brand, or an old product link to something out of stock or discontinued).
Do you need to include NoFollow links a lot in your posts? if you work with brands for sponsored content, this is a handy plugin to have which allows you to simply check a box if you want the link to be nofollowed. It avoids the need to go into the HTML to add the nofollow attribute yourself, making the process so much quicker!
I included this in my list of SEO tools for bloggers because sometimes we simply forget to add the nofollow to sponsored links because it’s an extra task to do, but with this plugin it takes milliseconds!
Google PageSpeed Tools
My last tool is yet *another* Google tool – I know, I’m sorry. Maybe Google should stop having so many great free tools? Uh nah, please ignore that Google ily.
Anyway, the speed that your website loads is a well-known factor that Google considers when ranking sites in their search results. A slow website = poor user experience and so you could get bumped down to the bottom of the pile for being too sloooooow.
All you have to do to use the tool is head to the site, type in your blog URL and click Analyze. I did that just now and my site did not perform well, but luckily Google provides a list of improvements and links on how to make them. Some improvements may be down to your hosting providers (so give them a nudge and find out why their servers are slow!). Other changes may need to be made by the developer who designed your blog template.
So that’s ya lot – 10 SEO tools for bloggers that will help you improve your onsite SEO, come up with new content ideas and just generally help keep Google happy. Have you got any tools to add? Let me know in the comments!