MOZ Bar Chrome Extension

MOZ Bar Chrome Extension

MOZ Bar is a free-of-charge Chrome Extension to help you to see at a glance the Domain Authority and other data for the website you are viewing.

If you have a subscription to MOZ then more metrics become available on the MOZ Bar Chrome extension but the free version is useful in that you can see very easily the Domain Authority of the target site and assess its probable strength.

MOZ Bar is also available for Firefox.

MOZ Bar

Where To Find It
https://moz.com/products/pro/seo-toolbar/
Product Type
Browser extension showing website metrics
Paid/Free
Free. Enhanced functions with a paid MOZ account.
Free Trial Available
Yes – 30 days
Price
Free app but more features if you have a paid MOZ account.

Yoast – SEO for WordPress

Yoast – SEO for WordPress

There can be few WordPress developers out there who have not heard of Yoast. It is one of the most useful plugins for a WordPress site that I have ever found and, just to make it even more attractive, it is free of charge, at least at the entry level.

What does Yoast Do?

When you write copy for a website you want people to be able to find in on search engines when they search for whatever subject it is that you are writing about. Nowadays that means that the content has to be properly structured and optimised for the keywords or phrases that are relevant to it.

Yoast SEO For Everyone

Yoast is a tool to help authors and content writers to optimise their WordPress articles and blog posts around a “focus keyword or phrase” and it gives the finished content a rating ranging from “Needs Improvement” up to “Good”. It does this by comparing the article or post against a checklist of benchmarks including the total word count and how many times the focus keyword is mentioned in the text – this is known as the “keyword density” and Yoast looks for it to be between a minimum of 0.5% and 2.5%.

That’s just one of many checks that Yoast makes of your text. Have you used any H Tags? Have you written an effective Meta Title and Meta Description for your page or post? Search engines look at all these things and, to a greater or lesser extent, they all affect your ranking in the search engine results.

As you may have gathered by now, I’m a massive fan of Yoast. It doesn’t do anything that I couldn’t do for myself but that’s just the point – it makes sure that I do the things I should do when composing a piece of content for a client’s website or one of my own. It’s the nagging piano teacher looking over my shoulder and waiting to tell me when I hit a bum note – or miss one out altogether. I love it.

Yoast SEO Tools

Yoast is, as I have said, available as a free of charge WordPress plugin so you don’t have to think long and hard about it. Get it today and see how much more efficient and effective it makes you. There is a “Pro” version which gives you more superpowers like the ability to optimise a page for more than one focus keyword. That won’t matter to everyone but it’s great value for $79 per year.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in raising your glasses and drinking a toast – to Yoast!

Yoast

Where To Find It
https://yoast.com/
Product Type
SEO Plugin for WordPress
Paid/Free
Free with Paid Pro Version
Free Trial Available
N0 – It’s completely free
Price
Free with Pro Version option $79

SERPs – Keyword Rank Tracking & Other SEO Tools

SERPs – Keyword Rank Tracking & Other SEO Tools

SERPs, (serps.com)  is a USA company offering a range of paid for, and some completely free, tools for keyword rank tracking and keyword research.

I realise of course that you are probably aware that there are a great many such tools out there, some free, some not and varying a great deal in terms of quality and cost. So how do you find the best one for you, for your projects, your campaigns and is SERPs or SERPs.com the one for you?

Would you use the same tools for a ppc campaign that you use for a content marketing campaign, or an SEO ranking project?  Probably, yes, but not always.

One thing is for sure however, no matter what your digital marketing strategy is, you will almost certainly need to carry out keyword research at some point.

Inevitably, when comparing keyword research tools, it is necessary to take into account Google’s free of charge Keyword Planner. It is probably the most widely used keyword research tool out there and forms the basis for many other such tools because it is actually the source of the raw data that they use. So, if you decided to go for one of the market leaders, such as Market Samurai, you would find that their raw data actually comes from Google Keyword Planner.

This is also the case for the subject of this mini SERPs.com review.

However, like Market Samurai and many others, SERPs does bring something to the party. In particular, I like their free Keyword Rank Checker Tool, https://serps.com/tools/rank-checker/, which lets you check a keyword or phrase and see the top 250 websites that rank on Google for that phrase. You cn do this by geographical area as well, which is very useful for local seo.

SERPs.com Free Keyword Rank Tracker

Check keywords for free with the free SERPs keyword Rank Checker

The above search would give me up to 250 listings for websites that met the crieria entered into the SERPs.com free Keyword Rank Checker tool:

SERPs.com free keyword rank checker

Using this list to identify which of my competitors in the geographical location entered, Cambridge, England in this case, I can see which of my competitors are getting the top positions and then do some further rearch to find out why.

The free rank tracking tool only lets you check one keyword at a time and you would need a paid subscription to check multiple keywords, all fair enough I suppose.

SERPs.com Free Keyword Tools

The current range of free tools from SERPs.com

So far, so good. The free tools are excellent, if a little limited, and the Geographical Location search option is particularly useful to anyone doing local seo.

But what if you need to upgrade to a paid service? Well, that’s when you have to do some serious thinking. $49/month is the entry level price with the ability to track just 300 keywords, the next level, “Agency” plan increases that to 1,000 keywords and, if that’s not enough which it won’t be for most agencies of any size, additional keywords may be tracked at a rate of $100 per 1000 words. This tool could start to get expensive.

There’s a free trial of the full range of SERPs tools which I certainly suggest you take advantage of but when making your mind up about a paid subscription there are many more tools to try, some offering considerably better value for money.

SERPs

Where To Find It
https://serps.com/tools/
Product Type
Keyword Rank Tracker
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options plus some free tools
Free Trial Available
Yes – 30 days
Price
$49/month entry level

Skitterphoto – Free Images For Any Purpose

Skitterphoto – Free Images For Any Purpose

Skitterphoto is a free to use image library with a great selection of royalty free images, even for commercial use.

Skitterphoto Free Image Library

High quality images for free from Skitterphoto

The Skitterphoto website was launched in 2014 by a pair of talented amateur photographers from Groningen and Drenthe in The Netherlands. They continued to work at their “day” jobs whilst launching the site, with their own images, in their spare time. The founders decided to make their pictures available online on their own website because good quality free photos are hard to find and they had a good selection of their own to offer.

Soon afterwards they saw their photographs popping up on websites all over the world and this motivated them to do more and create better pictures. After around two and a half years they opened up the website to enable other photographers to upload photos as well.

That’s a cool story and it’s a cool website with some glorious high definition images. The owners describe the content as “public domain” and seem perfectly happy for their images to be used for whatever purpose you require. Go fo it.

There isn’t much around for free that is anywhere near this kind of quality and I’d be proud to have just about any of the Skitterphoto images on any of my websites.

I’m not saying that paying for images is a bad thing. Sometimes we have to do that in order to get exactly what we need for a specific project but oftentimes services like Skitterphoto come up trumps and save us some real cash – thanks guys. The choice is not massive compared to the Shutterstocks and Getty Images of this world but those sites really know how to charge and are out of the reach for many website owners.

We recommend that you add Skitterphoto to your list of freebie image sites – its one of the better ones out there!

 

 

Skitterphoto

Where To Find It
https://skitterphoto.com/
Product Type
Royalty free image library
Paid/Free
Free
Free Trial Available
N/A
Price
Free

Pixabay – Free Image Library

Pixabay – Free Image Library

One of the best known sources for free images – Pixabay – is a real asset to web masters and other creatives in that its contents are released under Creative Commons CC0. This means that it is completely safe to use their images without any need to ask for permission or pay any royalties. There is also no need to give credit to the photographer or artist, even if you are using them for commercial purposes, although it would be the polite thing to do.

Pixabay Free Images

Pixabay is easy to use with a simple search facility.

In addition to a really excellent selection of photographs, there are vector images and videos as well. If you are an artist or photographer yourself you can easily join and become a Pixabay contributor – a great way to get your name out there and gain some awareness for the work you do.

Pixabay images are organised into simple categories that may take a bit of navigating in order to find what you are looking for but, hey, it’s free so there’s nothing to complain about there.

Pixabay Image Categories

You’re probably thinking that all of this is too good to be true, and that’s understandable. After all, how can anyone afford to run such a service for free?

Good Question. The answer is that Pixabay do include some images that are “sponsored” from Shutterstock – probably the market leader in online paid image libraries, or certainly one of them – so if youwant one of those images there will be a fee. It’s easy to avoid those images however, they are clearly marked.

You can use the images wherever you need them, including Social Media. It’s a treasure trove and well worth checking out.

As we said, Pixabay is free and we all need images from time to time so why not sign up for an account today?

Pixabay

Where To Find It
https://pixabay.com
Product Type
Image Library
Paid/Free
Free
Free Trial Available
N/A
Price
Free

Console Rocket – Enhanced Analytics from Google Search Console

Console Rocket – Enhanced Analytics from Google Search Console

Console Rocket describe their free add-on to Google’s Search Console, which is also free, as “Search Console on rocket fuel.”

That’s a fair enough description, I suppose, although you might be forgiven for thinking that the rocket fuel reference might imply that it performs better than Search console, or faster, and neither of those suppositions would be true. What Console Rocket does do, however, is provide a better and more in depth understanding of the relationships between your keywords, rankings, and your website pages – something which Google Search Console alone fails to provide; leaving you with a blind spot that could be holding you back.

Console Rocker for Google Search Console

Console Rocket’s Page to Keyword Report

Console Rocket claim, rightly so, that the data provided as standard by Google Search Console is fragmented and doesn’t do a very good job of presenting your website data. So what have they done to fix that? Well, it’s mainly down to presentation and analysis, there isn’t any new data, just a vastly imporved range of reports and dashboards to help you get valuable insights from that data that would be difficult to do without Console Rocket.

Some of the features offered by the system include:

Analysis of keywords for pages across your choice of time period
Page Cannibalisation Reporting (not sure what this is)
Click Through Rate (CTR) Modeling
Keyword Flux and Ranking / Page Relationships
Historic reporting for your Search Console data – extends Google’s 90 day limit
Grouping of keywords into Brand / Non-brand groups for easier analysis

I’ve used Console Rocket and found it easy to use and the site offers plenty of help and support in the form of videos, blog posts and tutorials. Setup is easy but it takes a while before data starts to appear. They warn you of this so I just left it for a day to do its stuff and that worked fine. I’m a big fan of Webmaster Tools / Search Console and I am very imporessed by the additional insight and reporting power that Console Rocket brings to the party.

In terms of cost, well that’s the best bit – it is completely free. Not just a limited period free trial but a totally free product that you can keep on using without reaching for your credit card. Excellent. The company explains its generosity by pointing out that they are part of a company called Linkdex – a very sophisticated data analytics platform that is used by larger businesses and marketing agencies. Naturally they expect some users of Console Rocket to become users of Linkdex as well although the relatively high cost of the big brother product will undoubtedly put it out of reach for most small businesses. Shame, I’ve taken a look and it looks really good but it will probably only be a case of window shopping for most, having, as it does, an entry level of £600/month.

Nonetheless, it’s never a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth and Console Rocket is a top-class product that any business, regardless of size or bank balance, can use for free. Thanks Linkdex, nice one!

Console Rocket

Where To Find It
https://www.consolerocket.com
Product Type
Search Console Analytics
Paid/Free
Free
Free Trial Available
N0 – totally free
Price
Free