Let’s cut to the chase–many new marketers, business owners, and solo-preneurs have heard about SEO but wouldn’t know where to begin.
To clear out the clutter surrounding SEO, we’ve summarised why business owners and marketers at every stage should adopt basic organic search practices. Further to that, we’ve highlighted some of the best, free SEO tools that are beginner and budget friendly–so you can kickstart (or reignite) your digital marketing strategy today.
Why Beginners Should Deep Dive into SEO Tools
For those newbie marketers, small business owners, or solopreneurs who haven’t yet dived into the world of search engine optimisation, it can seem like a deeply complex world with limited ROI (return on investment) if you don’t know what to do.
Fortunately, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated–and even the simplest of actions taken (and free SEO tools used) can show impactful results. Among our top reasons for suggesting SEO strategies to even fledging marketing teams, there we like:
1. Automate new website traffic with Free SEO tools
Looking for more leads? SEO is a fantastic way to help search engines, like Google, better understand your business and contextualise your website. This means that Google is more willing and able to connect your business and website with highly relevant search engine users who are interested in your industry, products, or services.
While we always recommend updating and fine tuning your website SEO each month, once you’re set up and being informed by real-time user data, you can see increased website traffic flow to your business without having to commit too much time.
2. Collect real-time insight about your leads and customers.
Speaking of such–there is nothing that will be as invaluable to your business, marketing, and product efforts as real-time feedback, insight, and data about actual leads and converting customers. Fortunately, SEO strategies support this data collection and analysis and can help every business owner learn more about their target market. From online search engine behaviour to keyword research tools that can help you find and connect with new users, SEO offers all marketers an automated way to gain more (real) insight about their online viewers to better refine and define their website, marketing strategies, and products moving forward.
3. Make regular updates to your website to stay relevant and top of (search engine) mind.
Want to stay top of mind? Of course you do. A great SEO strategy that is continually (marginally) updated by real-time search engine data stands a great chance at ranking competitively on search engine pages; meaning, being one of the top Google search results that users see and staying top of mind.
Because of the ever-growing, busy online landscape, it’s important to make tweaks and changes to your SEO backend on a regular basis–this ensures your website and business are informed and highly relevant to users. Further to that, minor updates that align with your target audience help Google further contextualise, understand, and increase the ‘rank’ of your website–meaning, how likely your website is to offer a solution to their search engine’s users.
Google is in the business of delivering the best solutions possible to their users. This means that they want the best businesses and websites and regularly update their ‘rating’ or ‘ranks’ of each website–which heavily influences your website’s chance of being viewed, or shown, online.
We’ll deep dive into this topic another day but for now–know that it’s important (and easy!) to do a monthly review and tweak of your website’s SEO.
4. Support further digital marketing strategies and campaigns.
One of the top goals for every marketing campaign seems to be consistency. Regardless of your business stage, size, or product offer, having a consistent brand across all consumer touch points (from websites to social media and beyond) is incredibly important in building trust and authority with your market.
Further to that, a well designed marketing strategy should leverage the data and information gained from each platform to help better define the others. Confused? No need–in short:
- A great SEO campaign can collect real-time user data that tracks and measures online user behaviour, target market demographics, and key words used by your audience to describe and find your brand online;
- This invaluable information can help better define the marketing copy on social media posts and campaign landing pages;
- Further still, real-time engagement with your audiences on direct-to-consumer marketing platforms (such as social media platforms) can offer marketers clear insight into their customer’s needs, wants, and preferences. This information can then be used to better refine an SEO campaign.
See? Integrated. Just like any one product added to a business’ portfolio would be complementary and relevant to the brand’s overall target audience, each facet of your marketing strategy is complementary and relevant to the other.
If you’re convinced about the effectiveness of integrating SEO tactics into your marketing strategy, read on to learn more about the most effective, easy-to-use, and free tools below.
The Best SEO Tools for Beginner Marketers
Ready to get started? Here are the Edge Marketing team top recommendations for beginner-friendly and free SEO tools online.
Hosting a website on WordPress? You’ve likely seen Yoast–a fantastic SEO plugin with great free features built right into WordPress. From ranking on-page SEO to supporting your SEO-friendly copywriting, the free version of Yoast has a simple traffic-light system that makes it easy to see which pages on your site are well optimised and which need a bit of work. Better yet? The Yoast SEO analysis summary shows you exactly where things (might) have gone wrong!
2. Google Analytics / Google Search Console / Google Keyword Planner:
Never to be left out of the mix, Google supports its own search engine algorithm and best practices by offering website owners a host of cheap SEO tools they can use to optimise for the platform. Among our favourites are Google Analytics–a powerhouse of data about your target market and real-website visitors–as well as Google Search Console and the Keyword Planner. The latter two show you what content, keywords, and keyword ideas are actually bringing users to your site–so you can rinse and repeat what works.
A digital marketing and SEO super giant, Ahrefs has fantastic free tools that can give you good insight into how the whole ‘search engine optimisation’ world works. Because of its size, we recommend starting out with a site audit to see where your current site stands (as well as fill you in on a few invaluable website SEO insights) and checking to see if you’re currently ranking for any keywords. Although the latter may be unintentional–it can give you insight into what words Google currently thinks your website is ‘about’ and looking for competitors in that space. Further to that, you’ll want and need to conduct further keyword research so the keyword research tool will be paramount.
Another SEO and digital marketing mammoth, Moz is an all-in-one SEO tool that can grow with you as your business scales. Much like Ahref, we recommend starting out with the free features such as a website audit, keyword explorer, and to see if any ‘links’ are currently attached to your site. We’ll deep dive into backlinks and broken links another day but for now–know that these three, free features will give you plenty of insight to get started.
Lastly, another popular digital marketing tool is SEMRush–more specifically, we like SEMRush’s free SEO writing assistant. When it comes to optimising your website, the content and copy will have a huge factor in influencing your score. (Read: how well optimised you are.) If you struggle with putting words to paper–or have completed your research with a keyword research tool but can’t quite make them fit–SEMRush’s free writing assistant can help you write SEO-friendly copy that will connect and convert leads.
As with any new platform selection, we recommend reviewing what features each of the cheapest SEO tools offer and then trying out a few. If you haven’t worked in the SEO space before, chances are you won’t know which best suits your needs (and which you like best!) until you try 1-2 out, hands on.
Fortunately, each of the above offers fantastic premium, paid features that can grow with you once your marketing budget allows–meaning, you can kick start with one free SEO tool and then invest in it more as your brand grows and scales.
Getting Started with SEO and Strategising for Search Engines
Before kicking off with any new, free SEO tool, we highly recommend returning to your overall business goals and marketing strategy. (If you have one.)
Why? Because SEO is a highly impactful way to help achieve your digital marketing–and, ultimately, business–goals. Like digital marketing campaigns, blog posts, social media campaigns, and EDMs, search engine optimisation should be considered another marketing branch that helps you find, connect with, and convert warm leads to paying customers or engaged consumers.
Like any other marketing effort, SEO is most effective when it’s linked directly to an end goal or milestone that can be measured and tracked. Likewise, your top-level marketing goals should be directly linked to your overall business goals to ensure they’re moving your business forward. (And in the direction you would like!)
Here’s an example:
- Increase gross sales to $10,000 / month from $7,000 / month. (Increase of 42%)
Marketing Goals (to help you achieve your top level business goal)
- Attract 1,000 new website visitors per month via SEO campaign.
- Convert 30% of new visitors to warm leads. (Marketing qualified leads or MQLs)
- Engage with 50% of warm leads to convert to Sales qualified leads. (SQLs)
- Convert and close 25% of warm leads to sales equalling 37 new paying customers.
At an average sales point of $85 / customer, we expect to achieve a monthly growth in sales of 44.9%–surpassing our minimum viable goal.
From there, you can see how your top level business goal and marketing efforts link together. A great way to break down each individual customer, new lead, and re-engagement with past customers, you can easily take the ‘grey area’ out of marketing by including strategic markets, milestones, and steps informed by real-time customer data, keyword research, and SEO metrics.
All this to say is: SEO is just one more tool you have in your marketing toolbox to help achieve these goals. From the example above, you can see that additional website traffic is being sought through a targeted, automated SEO campaign–the first pivotal step in seeing an increase in your monthly sales.
How’s that for effective?
Learn the SEO Ropes with the Edge Marketing Team
Think you’re ready to dive in? The world of search engine optimisation and affordable SEO tools can seem daunting at first–but it doesn’t have to be. With significant opportunities to bring in new online traffic, leads, and customers, learning the basics of Google’s cheapest SEO tools can help you organically (read: affordably) find, connect, and convert new leads.
If kicking off your first SEO strategy seems like an arduous task–not to worry. The Edge Marketing team is as committed to levelling up our online community as we are designing and executing our in-house client marketing strategies. Because of this, our digital marketing experts publish new blogs each week that deep dive into key topics like SEO metrics, how to choose a keyword research tool, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and more.
For our readers interested in increasing organic traffic through digital marketing, SEO software, and technical SEO issues, we recommend following along with our blog to deepen your knowledge about online SEO tools and how you can get started bringing in more organic search results today.