Whether you are an experienced website administrator or a start-up business owner launching your first site, a certified digital guru or an entrepreneur dabbling in a bit of DIY marketing, there is one thing you all have in common.

Everyone appreciates a little extra help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And the questions "what tools help me improve my seo" is something we get asked on a regular basis. 

Achieving high rankings for your sites on search engines like Google and Bing is a crucial aspect of digital marketing. Regardless of how good your site is, if people cannot find it, it counts for nothing.

With so much competition out there in web space, securing high search rankings is dog eat dog. Then you have the search rankings criteria themselves to deal with, the algorithms used to evaluate the relevance and quality of a page or site against a given search term.

With rankings based on keywords, organisation of content, navigability, page load speeds, mobile optimization and much, much more, satisfying the demands of the search bots is a science in itself.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free to use tools out there to help digital marketers of all stripes keep on top of the latest SEO trends. As the dominant force in search engine land, many of these tools are created and supplied by Google, but there are a smattering from elsewhere to check out, too.

Google Search Console

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Google decided to rebrand its famous Webmaster Tools suite, but the change in name has made Google Search Console no less essential. This is your all-in-one toolbox for carrying out an SEO MOT on your site, running checks to look for things like broken links and page loading issues which the search bots would penalise. Bing Webmaster Tools is Microsoft’s version and does a very similar job.

Keyword Tool

If you need help unlocking relevant keywords for your content, keywordtool.io will do the work for you. For every word or phrase you enter, Keyword Tool will give you other suggestions based on real search terms people are using in Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay and App Store.

Google Trends / Keyword Planner

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Google produces a whole suite of tools around keywords, but these are the two most commonly used. Google Trends shows historic, geographic and comparative data for how different search terms and topics are rising and falling in popularity, while Keyword Planner is a tool linked to Google’s AdWords service and shows keyword search volumes.

SERPs Rank Checker

Want to know how your SEO-optimized pages will perform against competitors? The SERPs Rank Checker is a nifty free tool which allows you to test search rankings for specific keywords on your site. You can test for Google and Yahoo search, and toggle between desktop and mobile devices.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Nowadays, how quickly your pages load is a critical factor in search rankings, so good SEO involves making sure everything is as smooth as possible on all devices. Google PageSpeed Insights not only allows you to test and analyze page load speeds, it also gives you actionable suggestions for improvement.

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Written by Emma Puzylo July of 2017