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A 758% increase.

It sounds like a bold number.

But with traditional outbound leads claiming an industry conversion average of just 1.7%, there’s room for improvement.

In contrast, leads from search engines have a conversion rate of 14.6%.

A monumental jump that all starts with SEO.

More than an unbeatable run of scrabble letters, Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results.

Ranking on the first page of Google can feel like rocket science at times. For a business, it’s tempting to give SEO a big miss and double down on the marketing approach you know. Maybe you’ve been successful using direct mail, cold calling, or dropping hundreds of tiny flyers strapped to hundreds of carrier pigeons.

Put the pigeons down.

Search Engine Optimisation can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

By using simple and free SEO checker tools you can tweak your own digital presence to take advantage of the latest ranking trends.

That’s like knowing who wins before the game even starts. With a little industry knowledge, slid to you under the table Search It Local style, you can beat the house.

Use each free SEO checker to speak directly to Google’s complex ranking algorithm and appear on Google.

That means more attention, more clicks, more customers and more business.

Money in the bank.

Even better, this entire list of free SEO checker resources can be applied to your online presence, for absolutely nothing.

Turns out you don’t have to spend money to make money after all.

Sounds good? Let’s go ahead and bet on a sure thing then.

Yellow box labelled SEO check tools

Free SEO Tool #1 :
Google PageSpeed Insights

Check the speed and usability of your website across all devices

This probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool measures the speed of your website. And that’s extremely valuable because the internet is a crowded place. If your website isn’t performing the way it should you’ll be left behind!

You can have the world’s greatest content on the Mona Lisa of websites, but if it isn’t responsive or loads too slowly then visitors will move on to your competition.

More than an issue of user experience, page speed is a major SEO factor with the load time of your website directly impacting your ranking. So it’s vital that you’re running at full speed.

Here’s how to make the most of it.

Enter your URL >>> hit ‘analyze’ >>> wait for the results. It’s that easy!

Google Logo and PageSpeed Insights Logo

You’ll instantly receive a…

  • Speed Score, rated as fast, average or slow.
  • Optimisation Score between 0-100, with higher scores reflecting how well your page follows common performance best practice.
  • Optimisation Suggestions, which provide a list of potential improvements that could be applied to your website.

A free SEO checker that can analyse the performance of your website as well as provide practical solutions to increase your load time. How good is that?

Google Page Speed Insights SEO Check Results

The turtle doesn’t beat the hare this time, so this free SEO checker should be high on your priority list.

Why is this important?

PageSpeed Insights gives you the ability to check the speed and usability of your website on multiple devices. With Google moving towards a mobile-first index – which means the mobile version of your website will be the primary version considered when determining your rankings, this is a great way to keep track of your performance across the devices that can make or break your online presence. If something isn’t up to par, your website is slow, or you’re not translating well to mobile devices, you can start working on it right away.

The best part? Google PageSpeed Insights doesn’t require you to be a customer of Google. You won’t have to fill out any forms, create any accounts or even provide an email address to use this Google site analyser. Simple.

Why you need this: Website load time and mobile responsiveness impact SEO. Stay fast to stay on Google.

Free SEO Tool #2 :
Google Keyword Planner

Know what your customers are searching for

Keywords are a vital part of SEO. For example, you can optimise a page on your website by placing keywords in the content, URL, page title and H1 locations. This tells Google what your page is about and helps you to appear when customers search for those same keywords. It’s simple supply and demand.

But, without objective data, choosing keywords is like trying to hit the bullseye. With the lights off. Facing the wrong way. And you’re holding a balloon and not a dart.

Thankfully, Google’s highly valuable Keyword Planner tool lets you enter a keyword, or group of keywords, in return for a mountain of data that can start to frame your keyword strategy. This includes monthly search volumes, competition for your chosen words, and suggested similar keyword options you might not have thought of. This Google SEO checker does it all.

Let’s say you’re a Sydney business selling homemade socks.

Sydney Socks Google Ads Search

Google Keyword Planner can help you to find the words and phrases your potential customers might use to find you. You might be building your SEO strategy around keywords like ‘Sydney socks’ and ‘Local sock maker’. But Keyword Planner could show you phrases with less competition, and are therefore easier to use to rank on Google, that could save you time and money.

It’s worth noting that Google’s Keyword Planner only comes free as part of an existing AdWords account, which means you’ll only have access to the entire range of features if you’re currently running an AdWords campaign.

We’ve got your back though. Simply set up a free AdWords account, add some simple info about your business, and you’re all set. You don’t have to run a live campaign to use Google Keyword Planner, just set up your AdWords account and you’re good to go.

If you want to put your business in front of customers using the same keywords, here’s what to do.

Step One – Log in to your Google AdWords account.

Step Two – Click on the ‘wrench’ icon in the top toolbar and choose ‘Keyword Planner’.

Keyword Planner Highlighted

Step Three – Use basic filtering to refine your audience.

You’ll be given two options in the form of ‘Find New Keywords’ and ‘Get Metrics and Forecasts for your Keywords’. Both of which are treasure troves of info waiting to be collected.

‘Find New Keywords’ is ideal for generating new keyword ideas while ‘Get Metrics and Forecasts for your Keywords’ will provide handy search volumes.

Used together you can identify both the words your potential customers are using online and the current volume they’re used in, as well as similar words that may give you a better chance of ranking.

Find keywords and Get search volume forecasts cards

On your Keyword Planner results page you’ll also have the option to target your results across location, language and search networks.

Remember, while a keyword may have high search volume nationally, the target filter can help show you if it’s worth building an SEO strategy around in your local area, so experiment with targeting to find the best fit for you.

From here you have a wide range of filter options. While many of these are more appropriate for an existing AdWords campaign, using ‘average monthly searches’ and ‘competition’ can help you to identify words that are commonly searched, but not attracting too much attention yet.

Google Keyword Planner SEO Check Sock Results

If you’re looking for the best SEO checker, this one is right up there. Use Keyword Planner to search for low-competition, high-volume keywords to form the basis of your SEO campaign and you’ll have a winning strategy in waiting.

Why you need this: Keywords define your content and help you rank on Google. Good, well-written and keyword rich content also attracts backlinks which are vital for SEO.

Free SEO Tool #3 :
Moz Keyword Explorer

Really know what customers are searching for

Higher rankings. Quality traffic. Measurable results.

Moz promises them all with their user-friendly keyword explorer and there’s so much you can do with this free SEO checker.

While this tool typically requires a paid subscription, you can run 2 free searches per day without an account, or a further 5 searches with a free community account, so the value is well and truly there.

Unlike Google’s Keyword Planner (which is a must-have starting point nonetheless), Moz’s Keyword Explorer provides a more detailed insight into the SEO opportunities of various keywords.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer includes a priority metric. This is useful as it calculates the opportunity of ranking for each keyword and the strength of competition for each keyword, not just the broad volume of current searches.

This is valuable as it guides you through the entire keyword journey. You can use Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords then feed them through Moz’s Keyword Explorer. By doing so you can uncover even more keywords, leverage metrics to build lists, filter your entire list of keywords, and prioritise which ones to target based on your likelihood of ranking!

Which means no more making content by shooting in the dark. When you write for a specific audience that you’re more likely to connect with, you’re more likely to speak to the type of people you want to turn into customers.

Here’s what to expect

Start off by entering your chosen keywords.

Remember to set your location as ‘Australia’.

Meet Keyword Explorer Hero Section

The keyword overview will then show a range of results for your chosen search terms.

This will include

  • the total monthly volume of your keywords within a 95% accuracy
  • the difficulty of ranking higher than your competitors for your chosen keywords, represented as a score between 0-100 (with higher scores a sign that you’ll struggle to rank for those keywords)
  • the estimated click-through-rate (CTR) for your chosen keywords
  • a Priority score that combines the previous metrics to create a score from 0-100. In this case a higher score represents the sweet spot of high volume and high click-through-rate, with lower competition. Meaning lots of people are searching for those words, with few other businesses currently trying to rank for them.

You’ll also be shown a range of alternate keyword suggestions with corresponding monthly volume. You can use this to tweak your keyword strategy in an attempt to find terms that are less competitive but still high volume.

Keyword Overview on Seo Sydney

Why is this SEO score checker important?

More than just raw volume, Moz’s Keyword Explorer allows you to prioritise your keywords based on a range of metrics. Imagine how much more valuable it is to know what keywords you have a realistic chance of capturing? That type of insider information is pure marketing gold and can save you serious time and money.

And as the cherry on top of it all, when keyword analysis is made so simple it means less time stuck in spreadsheets and more time generating quality traffic for your business. That’s free SEO for website driven results!

Why you need this: You can’t rank for every keyword. Some are too competitive. Finding high-volume and low-competition keywords can help you appear in front of a large audience.

Free SEO Tool #4 :

SEMRush is a competitor based tool with a unique approach to giving your SEO the edge.

We know what you’re thinking, “isn’t SEMRush just another keyword research tool?”

SemRush Hero Section

And you’re absolutely right, it is a keyword research tool. But organic keywords are the lifeblood of a successful online business.

So we say the more chances you have to tap into highly-targeted and low competition traffic the better.

Keyword Overview on Digital Marketing showing line charts

But with SEMRush you get exceptional value. Unlike the other keyword research tools on this handy guide, SEMRush is built around the concept of reverse engineering your competitors organic rankings to help you get ahead.

Here’s what to do.

Step one – Gather the URLs of your chosen competition and enter them into the SEMRush Dashboard one by one.

Step two – There is no step two. You’ll have mountains of data ready to break down.

Here’s some of the ways you can use this data to boost your own SEO.

Spy on the traffic statistics of your competition

SEMRush gives you a snapshot of their organic traffic, the average time per visit, average pages per visit and much more. In short, you’ll get to see what you’re up against and what bar is set for you to beat.

Steal their best performing keywords

Unlike a traditional keyword approach, SEMRush includes an ‘Organic Search Positions’ feature that displays all the keywords a certain domain is ranking for. You can see what keywords work for them and tailor your content and optimisation to steal them from right under their nose!

Quickly discover the difficulty of your chosen keywords

So you’ve seen what your competition are doing well, and you’re taking steps to do even better. That’s where SEMRush brings even more value. SEMRush includes a keyword difficulty (KD) for every search result. A way to easily identify which keywords are worth targeting and which would waste your time and energy? How good is that!

Related Keyword Report

Imagine checking the top performing pages of your competition, seeing what works for them, and tailoring your content strategy to steal their low keyword difficulty pages. Well now you can and it all works because of SEMRush.

Using a free account you can access up to 10 searches per day. This also limits you to 10 results per search. But for a small business this is a great starting point and should be a free tool you’re using to hack your SEO with regularity.

Why you need this: Your competition matter. See what keywords they rank for and use that to tailor your content and appear for those keywords instead.

Free SEO Tool #5 :
Google Trends

Find keywords the moment they matter

If you can predict your opponents move you’ll win a game of chess, or checkers, or battleships, or whatever game it is you’re playing.

The same goes for businesses who can identify trends before they happen.

It’s all well and good to research keywords that have been used, as is the case with Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer. But predicting the future keywords of your customers is the next step in your SEO success.

Google Trends Search Input

An extremely valuable and criminally underused resource to help boost your SEO, Google Trends is a free tool that can show you keywords that are being searched all over the world.

But don’t fall into the trap of seeing Google Trends as another keyword research tool.

While other keyword research tools provide exact monthly keyword volume and expected competition, Google Trends is a dynamic and fluctuating river of data across the lifetime of a keyword.

Here’s how it works

First, enter your chosen keywords, for example ‘Dog Walking’. Be sure to change the location to ‘Australia’.

Next you’ll see the results page with a graph showing the interest in your keyword over time.

Customise the time range to view the fluctuations in interest over time to see if your keyword is on the rise or not.

Dog walking search term interest over time line chart

Next, scroll down to see the level of interest filtered state by state. If you’re an online business you can use this data to focus on a location where your products generate the most interest.

Below these results you’ll see the ‘Related Topics’ and ‘Related Queries’ results. These can be filtered between ‘Top’ (the most popular search queries) and ‘Rising’ (results with the biggest increase in search frequency).

The results in the ‘Related Queries’ field show similar searches to your original keyword and can be used to connect directly with the search intent of potential customers.

For example, if your original keyword of ‘Dog Walker’ shows a related query for ‘Dog Harness for Walking’ then you’ve instantly got a new keyword to tailor content around. Even better, this type of niche search, known as a ‘long-tail keyword’, is unlikely to have a high level of competition and is then easier for you to use to rank on Google.

Dog harness for walking related search query

What does that mean for your SEO?

Using Google Trends, you’re not just seeing past usage like a traditional keyword research tool may show. You’re seeing the full flow of search intent from past to present and future.

When you see which keywords are trending, and which are likely to trend, you’re a step ahead.

More than that you’ll be able to analyse data in a much broader way than more traditional SEO tools can with the ability to filter trends based on:

  • Location
  • Product
  • Category
  • Content topic
  • Date

How you can use Google Trends to hack your SEO and look into the future

While more traditional keyword research tools will provide a broader set of data to use as the basis of your content and marketing approach, don’t discount the ability to gauge consumer demand before it explodes using Google Trends.

Offering a valuable real-time search function, Google Trends can mould your content strategy on the go. If interest in your keywords is one the rise, you can react first. When your content reflects the demand of consumers you’re more likely to attract clicks and attention. With more engagement you’ll be satisfying Google’s ranking algorithm and start appearing on Google. It’s the cycle of SEO made simple.

Which makes sense. The information available on Google Trends comes straight from Google’s own database of users. So use it to your advantage to blend the latest market research with SEO data to create unmissable content, all without paying a thing.

Why you need this: As a small business it can be hard to rank for well established words. Identifying trending terms can give you a chance to rank and appear on Google.

Free SEO Tool #6 :

Keep track of your content across the web

Like all of us, Google has a long list of likes and dislikes.

And when it comes to their least favourite things, duplicate content is right up there.

Which is almost ironic considering some estimates put the amount of duplicate content currently on the internet at around 29% of total content.

More than a frustration for search engine users who may encounter the same content time and time again, Google’s Panda Update in 2012 began to negatively impact websites with duplicate content by seeking to promote the original source.

Which makes one thing certain – if your content is duplicate there’s a chance your SEO rankings are suffering as a result.

Copyscape is a free plagiarism checker that gives you the power to scour the internet and search for copies of your content.

Just type your URL into the search box and hit ‘Go’.

Copyscape Landing Page

As a business owner you may be outsourcing content to make sure your website or blog is always packed full of the freshest information. But if the content you receive is copied or stolen from other sites, you could be hurting your SEO efforts without knowing it.

If the results show that you’ve unknowingly used copied content, this could explain why you’ve been struggling to attract clicks, especially if the original version is ranking and receiving the traffic that you’re trying to target.

Copyscape also has a free comparison tool that lets you compare two pieces of content at the same time. Copied areas of text are highlighted, giving you the simple way to make edits and ensure your content stands on it’s own two feet.

Remember, don’t just tweak a few words. Really look to add value to make your content original and unique.

Once you’ve got your content in order, you can get an extra peace of mind with Copyscape’s free anti-plagiarism banners. Choose a banner and add it to your site with the click of a button.

Protected by Copyspace Logos

That’s how you make your content king again. Easy.

Why you need this: Duplicate content will cause your Search rankings to suffer. Ensuring your content is fresh, original and relevant is highly favourable to your SEO.

Free SEO Tool #7 :
Google Analytics

Complete website statistics and search insights

Google Analytics is a free tool that tracks the way visitors use your website. Mining a mountain of data, this information is invaluable for an SEO campaign. More than tracking every piece of traffic you could imagine (and then some), Google Analytics provides valuable keyword insights to show you what terms people are using to end up on your pages.

In short, Google Analytics provides more information than you’ll know what do with. Lucky for you, we’ll tell you exactly what to do with it.

But are there benefits?


Google Analytics Logo behind two shades of orange background

Google Analytics is free.

Everything in this handy guide is free, so that shouldn’t really stand out. But with the incredible amount of functionality and the ability of the raw data to mould your marketing approach going forward, the cost to value ratio is immense. Plus, now you can invest your extra coin in other areas of your business. Win-win!

Complete Keyword Control

Keywords are a core part of an SEO strategy as they provide a way for people to find your website through search engines. Google Analytics reflects this importance with a dedicated ‘Queries’ section. The simple and clear breakdown of keywords that have driven traffic to your site is a goldmine. If you’re not getting the traffic you hoped, you can focus your optimisation efforts on different keywords.

Automated Data Collection

Once you’ve set-up your Google Analytics account it’s as simple as copying a piece of code onto your website. From there, the hard work is done for you. The data collected is automatically converted into reports that can be sent to you any time you like.

Customised Reports

Your free Google Analytics account will provide a number of reports for your convenience. Take this a step further by creating custom reports using the simple drag and drop interface. Pick the metrics, the dimensions and the display type, and you’re all set!

Measure Internal Site Search

Click on ‘Behaviour’ to access the ‘Site Search’ option. This allows you to track how your visitors explore your site once they’ve arrived. With your analytics flowing in you can fine-tune your website to take advantage of the raw data. If you notice a certain page isn’t attracting visitors or clicks, then it might be time to restructure your website navigation or add some compelling new content.

Google Analytics Behavior Tab Highlighted

Understand Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is one of the most important metrics impacting your SEO ranking with Google viewing this as a sign your website isn’t the most useful and therefore not worthy of appearing on the first page.

A high bounce rate can be a sign your content is not targeted to your visitors wants and needs, making it hard to rank. Google Analytics can show you which pages are experiencing high bounce rates, giving you a chance to make changes. Whether it’s making your landing pages more appealing or optimising content to attract the right customers, it all starts with the all seeing eye of Google Analytics.

Find Out About Your Audience

The ‘Audience’ section of your account provides valuable info about the people who visit your website. Age, gender, location, interests and devices used – it’s all there and all yours for free. This information can be used to optimise your website to suit certain people, places or behaviours and is marketing magic.

Google Analytics Audience Tab Highlighted

Tweak Your Content Strategy

Content is king, but how can you rule over your industry without knowing what type of content to create? Google Analytics keeps track of every piece of content you add to your website. By seeing which content receives the most views, clicks and shares you’ll know what your customers like. Create more of that type of content to continue drawing them in.

To Stay On Top Of Your Goals

Data is nothing without implementation. Google Analytics’ ‘Conversions’ tools let you set goals and track your progress as you move towards them. You can assign goals to reflect your business, from filling out a form, to signing up to a newsletter, or downloading an eBook.

Google Analytics Conversions Tab Highlighted

As a free and highly informative tool, there’s nothing that can beat Google Analytics. The valuable free SEO audit insights on offer can improve your website, increase conversions, and make a huge difference to your business, all without costing a thing.

Why you need this: Seeing how users interact with your site gives you a chance to tweak it. If they’re avoiding pages, work towards optimising them or making your website more user friendly.

Free SEO Tool #8 :
Google Search Console

Ongoing website reports, alerts and errors

Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) gives you a tasty insight into what Google thinks of your entire website. Think of this free tool as your digital guardian angel. If you’ve got any bugs, alerts, or indexing issues, Google Search Console will tap you on the shoulder with an automated report and let you know.

Search It Local tip – Google Search Console requires a bit of installation on your website. If you’ve got a WordPress website this is possible through a plugin like Jetpack or Yoast. But if it’s feeling a little too technical, we’re more than happy to help.

To get started with Google Search Console you’ll have to add and verify your website.

Adding your site is super easy. Start off by logging into your Search Console account and locating the big, red button titled ‘Add Property’. Enter your URL here and click the same big, red button and you’re good to go!

Welcome to Google Search Console Screenshot

Verifying your site comes next and can be done in a few ways. Adding an HTML tag, uploading an HTML file, verifying via your domain name provider, or adding existing Google Analytics code are all options. But don’t worry, if these feel a little too technical we’re more than happy to help here too.

If you’ve made it this far you might be thinking “Aren’t Google Analytics and Google Search Console just the same thing?” to which we say no!

Google Analytics is more focused on who visited your website – the number of visitors, where they came from and how much time they spent on your site.

In contrast, Google Search Console focuses on internal data – who is linking to you, whether you have malware issues, which keywords you are ranking for and so on.

You’ll also need to use Google Search Console to add your website XML Sitemap so it’s a vital free Search Engine Optimisation tool for any businesses with search ranking goals.

Why use Google Search Console?

  • To make sure that Google can access your content
  • To submit new content for crawling and remove content you don’t want shown in search results
  • To create and monitor content that delivers visually engaging search results
  • To maintain your site with minimal disruption to search performance
  • To monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean

It’s important to use your free Google Search Console account to let Google know when you add new content. Once you’ve used one of your free SEO checkers to find the perfect keywords, and created sparkling new content around it, update your sitemap to let Google know (don’t worry, we’ll show you how to do that below).

Search Analytics Line Chart

Outside of that, use your monthly dashboard as an off page SEO checker for a quick health check of your website. For example, you might see a dip in the number of clicks you’ve received. If that extends beyond a brief dip it might be a sign that your keyword strategy needs updating and your website needs new content.

Why you need this: If your site is infected with malware it will be removed from consideration on the first page of Google. Keeping your site clean is a simple and easy SEO boost.

Free SEO Tool #9 :
XML Sitemaps

If you build it they will come

A sitemap is a way of organising your website. It identifies each URL you use and the information belonging to that location. While there are 6 types of sitemaps, the most common come in the form of HTML and XML sitemaps.

By adding a formatted XML file with a sitemap to your website, you make it easy for Google to find your existing pages and crawl them accordingly – and that’s crucial if you want to appear on Google.

But you’re not here for a lesson in technology, you’re here to improve your SEO and grow your business!

So all you’ll need to focus on is your XML sitemap to help rank on Google. And we’ll tell you exactly how to do it.

The goal of creating an XML sitemap is to provide a way for Google’s crawlers to find and index your website in the quickest and most efficient way. The sooner your website is indexed, the sooner you can start appearing on Google for that amazing business you’re running there. SEO in its simplest terms.

How does it work?

The process couldn’t be easier.

First – Head on over to XML Sitemaps, paste your website URL into the search box and hit ‘start’.

Enter a sitemap screenshot