In the world of SEO, we all love a hack, all the more so when it is free. With so many tools out there promising to make the lives of SEOs and digital marketers easier, it can be hard knowing which deserve your valuable time. Here are a few free favourites…
Answer the Public
The suggestion results of Google and Bing power Answer the Public, revealing some of the most searched for questions and queries around a given topic.
Content creators love the tool during their planning stage, unearthing the top questions focusing on specific products, services and more, allowing them to produce articles with search intent at their core.
Answer the Public also allows you to download the questions, prepositions and comparisons it generates into a spreadsheet, so filtering through what’s useful is quick and easy. Plus, in spreadsheet form, attributing search volume is as simple as a few clicks on the Google Ads Keyword Planner – one of the many SEO tools from Google.
When you’re on the hunt for keywords, myriad tools can help you out. Keywordtool.io is a great resource that not only scrapes data from Google but also YouTube, Bing, Amazon and Instagram to offer insights into search behaviour on a host of platforms.
The subscription version of the tool can reveal search volumes and CPC information, but if you can do without that and are just looking for keyword inspiration, the free offering is spot on.
BuzzSumo is a social tool that lets you discover influencers as well as analyse content and keyword performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. Enter a keyword, set the date range and see the best performing pages alongside engagement numbers. Or type in a URL to get all the stats for that specific page.
BuzzSumo is great because it allows you to filter down to a specific domain and then search for a topic. For example, you could search ‘rugby’ on the Telegraph’s domain and find the best-performing Telegraph rugby pages across various social channels.
Fake Followers Audit
Rand Fishkin’s SparkToro houses the Fake Followers Audit, which allows users to see the number of fake followers on a public social account. It also has a follower quality distribution graph and a ‘SparkScore’ that indicates total reach and influence across Twitter.
What is great about this tool is that it explains its metrics and how it comes to the conclusion of the data, eliminating any confusion. It also allows digital marketers to measure and compare Twitter accounts and how good they are.
You can generate 25 reports/searches per day, so pick the accounts that you want to analyse wisely – you ‘spend’ a report if, when visiting the site, your computer is logged into a Twitter account, so remember to be logged out.
Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider mimics search engine spiders to help you crawl a website for the purpose of auditing necessary elements to improve its search presence. You install it locally as a desktop app and the tool shows you what Google can see when it is trying to understand your site.
It looks at everything from a technical SEO perspective, including HTML tags, links, images and CSS – for every webpage – and records all detail in an easy-to-use interface.
From the interface it’s possible to audit page by page or by element, meaning that fixes for even the largest of websites can be prioritised.
The best thing about the tool is that the first 500 URLs are free, so if you have a small business website you can give it a technical health check without spending anything.