The importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can no longer be ignored – even at a basic level. The good news is that in what can be a tricky field to negotiate there are many excellent tools, many of which are vying for your attention as an attractive entry level proposition. You will have the choice of paid tools or free tools, but unless you have cash to burn it makes great sense to choose from the great array of free options to begin with. The most effective SEO tools will make key information jump out at you, rather than you having to spend precious hours scanning a plethora of data to cherry pick. With all that in mind let’s take a look at some of the most sensible and effective picks for the beginners market.

Google Analytics

One of the market leading web analytic tools that is used by online marketers the world over as it offers a great amount of useful information about the specifics of your website’s traffic. You will be able to find out the demographic detail of your visitors and the search terms that led them to find your site initially, both of which are vital pieces of the online marketer’s big jigsaw.

GA also has a whole section that is dedicated to understanding social media referral traffic. You will be able discover which of your social media platforms is best performing when it comes to driving traffic to your main site. This sort of information can be parsed to find out which of your social media articles are best performing, which can help you narrow down the subject matter and presentation of your blog articles.

You might also want to have a close look at Google Search console which gives some good stats on keywords used to find your website. It also lets you know if there are any issues with your website. You can submit a sitemap to Google telling it which pages you want indexing.

Moz Open Site Explorer

Moz OSE benefits from being free and is a great tool that allows marketers to backlink a page’s data and also use domain and page authority data to find out who has been linking them. There is a cap on how much data can be used for free, but it will be enough in the short term to find out whether it will be a useful tool going forward and may well be enough in the longer term, depending on how you use it. One of the most attractive ways in which Moz OSE can help the beginner is by finding out who has published similar articles to you. You can use this to try and forge symbiotic relationships and get links and shares.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is a wonderful plugin service that targets WordPress users and allows all users to fully optimise their sites for SEO. Yoast will facilitate swift submission of pages to Google and yield efficient indexing. It also enables users to take advantage of a range of great features including meta keyword optimising, description management, xml site mapping and going through your site with a fine toothcomb to eliminate duplicate content where necessary.

FAQ Fox

Simplicity is key when it comes to SEO for beginners and FAQ Fox’s genius lies in its simplicity. It allows users to ‘scrape’ websites for questions based on the keywords of their choice. This enables marketers to come up with relevant and time sensitive ideas for content that will generate traffic. The questions that you unearth will provide the fuel to create content in the form of blog articles and ‘how to’ YouTube videos that will ensure your content is relevant and up to date.

Google Keyword Research Tool

The Google Keyword Research Tool is a great little tool that helps you to come up with the most effective keywords to integrate into the content on your site based on search terms used by real users looking for the sorts of services that you provide.

Screaming Frog

This is a tool that we use quite often. It helps us do technical audits of websites. There is a free version which allows you to audit a certain amount of pages but running an audit of the full site is our recommendation.

Google Pagespeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a free tool from Google that analyses the load speed of your website and provides recommendations on how to improve its performance.

Ahrefs Website Audit

Ahrefs is another one of our main SEO tools. It allow you to spy on your customers competitors. You can see what backlinks they have, what keywords they rank for and also provides you with tools that can track your customers rankings as well as offering an audit tool that can be scheduled.

Semrush

Semrush is similar to ahrefs and offers all the same SEO tools. We tend to use both Semrush and Ahrefs as some of the tool in Semrush are better than Ahrefs and vice versa.

Here are some new SEO tools

Clearscope

Clearscope is an AI-powered keyword research tool that helps you identify the most relevant and profitable keywords for your website.

Animalz Revive: Animalz Revive is an SEO tool that helps you revive old content on your website. It provides suggestions for how to update your content, improve its visibility, and drive traffic to your site. With Google liking fresh content this is a great tool to help you keep your website’s content fresh and relevant.

Google Lighthouse: Google Lighthouse is a free tool from Google that helps you audit your website’s performance for mobile and desktop devices. It provides insights into page speed, accessibility, SEO, and other important factors.