FREE Tools to Ease Your SEO Woes
No matter whether you are getting your feet wet with SEO for a new website or just trying to make sense of things for an existing site, there are a number of tools available to help you at a price you can afford…FREE.
Analytics is kind of a buzz word these days but in this context it refers to something very important to your site, you traffic. As the name implies, the tools allow you to analyze your site traffic so you can see the patterns of behavior that are hidden to the naked browser. There are many packages on the market to help you understand you website traffic but by far the most popular (and best choice for most users) is Google Analytics. It is robust, easy to use and best of all it is FREE. Not only is it great for individual site owners but developers love it because it allows you to track multiple sites within the same account.
Once you sign up for an account all that you have to do to get started is to add a simple script to any page you want to track (pretty much all of them). Once you code is set, just wait a few days and then take a look at the treasure trove of information available about your site traffic. The more time that passes the better your insights can become because the patterns that can emerge over time. And with the simple graphical display emerging patterns are easy to discern so you can concentrate more of your time on your business.
Now don’t be fooled by the simplicity. Analytics are great but getting the information is the easy part, it is what you do with it that counts. The tools available have hundreds of built-in ways to access your data and they are also easy to customize so you can see the information the way it makes the most sense for your business. And once you begin seeing the data in a meaningful way it will allow you to change the way you look at things enabling you to adjust your marketing and email campaigns accordingly.
Now that you know how to see who is looking at you, it is time to take a look at how you are seen. All of the major search engines offer what are known as webmasters tools to allow you to see yourself as the search engines see you. This is invaluable information because it allows you to truly maximize your SEO potential.These tools allow you to see what keywords you are ranking for, how often you come up in searches, what sites are linking to you as well as general performance information that will help you fix problems you may not know you had.
And although most things these days are geared toward Google, it is important to make use of the tools from Yahoo and Bing as well so you can get a more complete picture of how you are perceived across the net. Taking this balanced approach will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of any SEO changes that are made as well as giving you more insight for potential SEM campaigns that you might run in the future.
Those sound great but how do I get to them?
The tools are all technically Free to use, but as you know, there is no such thing as a FREE Lunch. In order to access the tools you will have to set up an account with each of the Search Engines. In general this is not a problem but you may want to make sure and bookmark each of the pages as you go because these tools are not exactly easy to get to. While you are at it you might also want to set up email accounts with the different providers for testing purposes. I like to set up Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail accounts during this process so I have them to use for testing email campaigns going forward (while you are at it, if you are thinking about email testing, you should also set up an AOL account as well just to round it out).
Use the links below to check out the different tools and setup your accounts now:
Used properly, these tools can help you to significantly improve the efficacy of your online identity as well as your ongoing marketing efforts.