google window browserIf you’ve been in the SEO game for a long time, then you probably know how important it is to expand your arsenal of SEO tools to help achieve your online marketing goals. There are countless choices on the market, and new ones seem to pop out from all directions on a daily basis. With the sheer number of options, how can you tell whether you’re choosing the right ones?

Many marketers will tell you that you should exclusively use premium tools because free ones lack the best features. However, remember that these tools are only as useful as how you use them. Keep reading to learn what free SEO tools to use and how to make the most out of them.

On-Page Optimization Tool

Optimizing your website should always begin with on-page SEO. Never make the mistake of putting all your time and effort into building links to your site. If your on-page elements aren’t well-optimized, your off-page optimization techniques may prove ineffective. Thankfully, there are plenty of on-page optimization tools that enable you to spot quickly areas of your website that need improvement. Different elements of your site will be checked including URL structure, error pages, headings, meta tags, and internal links. It’s worthy to note that there are plugins you can install directly on your content management system that provides this information.

Keyword Research Tool

Some SEOs have started to downplay the important of keywords following the Hummingbird update. However, keyword research remains an integral part of any SEO campaign. There are plenty of keyword research tools—both free and paid—that can help you discover the best search terms to target. While premium keyword tools come with more advanced features, there are free options that can surely suffice for your needs. Google’s very own Keyword Planner is an excellent choice to start with.

Backlink Checkers

Without question, backlinks are the most influential ranking factor used by Google and other search engines. This is precisely the reason why many webmasters spend a significant portion of their time building links to their website. Using backlink checkers enables you to see where your links come from. They can also be used when performing competition analysis. Finding out where your competitors get their backlinks can give you an idea about how to build more links to your website, increasing your chances of outranking them in the results pages.

Analytics Tool

It’s essential to keep track of your progress to determine whether you’re inching closer toward your goals. Using analytics tool allows you to glean useful information about different site statistics and metrics including traffic sources, bounce rates, and demographic information. These data can help you set up more efficient optimization campaigns, as you would know what elements need improvement.

Keep in mind that you don’t always have to go for premium tools. There’s nothing wrong with using free SEO tools especially if you’re just starting out. As you build your online income stream, you will have more freedom when it comes to using tools with more advanced features. Just try to use the free ones to their maximum potential until you can generate the good income from your online marketing venture.