An effective SEO strategy often involves the usage of various tools and plugins to work effectively. These tools cover everything from performance monitoring to site optimization, ensuring that you are regularly updated about how your campaigns are doing. Many of these tools come at a premium, however, something that most newer startups may not have enough funds for.
Thankfully, there are a handful of alternative options which offer a good deal of support for your SEO planning without having to spend a pretty penny. There’s even a handful of tools that provide assistance without even costing anything. Let’s look at three free tools that can help your SEO, below.
Competitor research is an important aspect of digital marketing as it gives you a snapshot of what the others in your market are doing. Done properly, you can determine what keywords they’re targeting, the kind of content they go for, and what other methods they use to interact with their target audience. However, some sites can change their setups regularly; you may miss key changes that helped them grow in the past.
Fortunately, the Wayback Machine helps you backtrack for that. Originally designed to keep an archive of various web pages for posterity, it can also be used to observe how your competitors’ sites looked and worked during boom periods in their history. It can also offer you insights into your own website’s performance, giving you an archived reference point to see which of your older methods may be returned or reinvented to help with your current campaigns. Be advised that the Wayback Machine does not perfectly archive all pages on the web; certain gap periods may exist, or a website may not be on the database at all.
Let’s say you simply want to check your competition’s frontend, or you want to see if layout differences between browsers affect your site’s performance. You can take screenshots using your keyboard’s print screen function or you can use a snipping tool to do the same. This can be painstaking work as you have to repeat it on multiple pages and subpages at a time, and in some instances your screen captures may be cut off.
GoFullPage solves the issue by allowing you to take snapshots of everything on your currently open window. Just choose a desired page and click the snapshot button; the resulting image will be saved to a folder of your choosing. This plugin can be used for both desktop and mobile clients, allowing interoperability and ease. However, it is only currently available as an extension for Google Chrome.
Docs Online Viewer
Researching content for your next SEO campaign can lead you to pages that have PDF extensions on them. In some cases, these and other related file types can be viewed online via their home site’s native functionality. However, many websites instead automatically send the file on a download cue once you click the link. This can be an inconvenience for users, especially if you are pressed for time, data, and space.
There are many extensions that allow users to view download-only files on a browser natively. One such popular extension is Docs Online Viewer, which temporarily hosts such links so you can view them online. Uniquely, it also offers previews of certain PDFs that need an email signup before becoming viewable. This plugin is available for both Chrome and Firefox.
SEO can require some extra investment in order to work well, but it doesn’t always have to be a financial one. Be on the lookout for more free tools to help your digital marketing plans more effectively.