Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. –-Wendy Piersall
These three SEO tools for free will help you take your blog to the next level. Read up to the end as the third one will blow your mind.
Let us accept it. Google not only dominates but controls the web. these three SEO tools for free will bring more free quality traffic to your site. One may talk about paid traffic but organic traffic is the one which gets you the best quality leads. You consider your own browser habit. Don’t you have tendency to ignore the Ads and click the normal search results when you search for a term in google? My point here is that you just can’t ignore organic traffic and hence you can’t ignore a correct SEO strategy for your blog or site.
Last month I implemented 2 of the ideas as suggested by google and the result was mind boggling. It surpassed all my expectations. That’s when I decided to write about my top three free SEO tools. By the way, these strategies are my own experience and are not something bookish that I interpreted from a few reports.
Also, I was inspired by SEO super star Neil Patel when I saw that his site appears on the first page of Google if you search the term “SEO”.
First in my Free SEO tools list is:
There are thousands of SEO tools available on the web. What makes Yoast different is that they change very fast with respect to changes in Google’s algorithm. They have very smartly incorporated the readability score of your article in addition to usual keyword placements, meta description etc. It didn’t stop here. In one of their updates, they started pin pointing where you need to make change. I will give an example of that.
Below is the screen shot of one of my post that I was writing.
They have very clearly created 2 separate sections for readability and keywords. Under readability, a list of problems and improvements is provided point by point. If you click the point under improvement where it says where I can make improvement by reducing a few passive voice sentences, I get the following result:
It has not only recommended that I should reduce the number of passive voice sentences but it exactly pointed out which sentence needs to be changed.
I use it for my WordPress sites where it is available as a plugin. Instead of going into all its features, I will recommend you use this plugin and explore all its features. Although, Yoast plugin has a paid version with many other great features, I am still using free version which suffices my current needs.
2. Google’s PageSpeed Tool
If our aim is to satisfy Google, why not use the tools suggested by Google itself. Today, Search engine optimization is not only about keywords but about speed also, not only for computers but for mobile devices as well. And google not only recommends where the site needs to be optimized but it also points out how to do it.
Click Here to check your website loading speed and Google’s recommendations.
When you analyze your site, google will generate your speed score which will determine the speed at which your site loads. Google will also recommend what portions of your site needs optimization in order to improve your speed score like image optimization, eliminate render-blocking java scripts and CSS etc. (Don’t worry if you are not familiar with these terms because I have a solution to fix all this without knowing about them). By the way, Following is speed score of my site before and after I optimized the site by following these steps:
If you are using WordPress, all these problems can be fixed by free Plugins.
So, I suggest you to download and activate the following plugins.
a) Plugin AMP by WordPress.com VIP, XWP, Google, and other contributors. This plugin optimizes your website for mobiles. You should not have any doubts about this plugin as it is jointly developed by giants like Google, WordPress and others.
Click on Settings after activating the plugin, check all the boxes as below and save it. Its all done.
b) Next plugin in this list is Autoptimize. Add it and activate it. When you click on setting, you will find three tabs, Main, Extra and Optimize more.
select each one of them and copy my settings as below.
c) Next very important plugin is to optimize your images and the plugin’s name is ShortPixel Image Optimizer. add this plugin, activate it. There are a few extra steps to configure this plugin.
First you need to create an account in ShortPixel by clicking here.
Login and copy the API key as below.
Click on settings and the plugin will ask for the API Key. Copy it as shown above and paste it on the setting page as below.
Select compression type as “Lossy” copy all the settings as I have done below under general setting.
Click on “Save and Go to Bulk process.
It will take a few minutes for ShortPixel to optimize all your images.
Next, click on Advance tab and copy all the settings as below.
d) Next plugin is important only if you embed lots of YouTube videos like I do. If you don’t embed videos in your blog, you may ignore this plugin. The plugin is WP YouTube Lyte. Add it and activate it. This plugin also uses YouTube API Key which you will need to enter before you can use this plugin. The plugin itself provides a link to take you to YouTube API key page. Once you have done that, Go to settings and copy the settings as shown below.
Congratulations, you have just optimized your site as google wants.
3. Does your site use secured version of Http?
Do this simple exercise to rank your pages higher in google search. Not only that, if you don’t do it now, in near future all your above mentioned strategies will be flat on ground. And that is to convert your http sites to its secure version https (having SSL certificate). It is free and very easy to do. Login to your control panel of your hosting account. Somewhere, you will find a section which is related to security, there on wards it should be self explanatory. You may ask for help from your hosting companies help desk if you get stuck. I am not going in detail here as every hosting company’s control panel is different. But point is your site should be https://onlinejobs.org.nz rather than http://onlinejobs.org.nz
Below is the screen shot of my control panel where https (SSL) certification is obtained.
Gone are the days when SEO was a one time job. You simply hired an SEO expert, asked him to optimize your site, pay him and once for all job is done. Now, SEO is an ongoing process. Any new post or an image can spoil over all search engine optimization. But the good news is, google, WordPress and other players have brought lots of automation to make our job easier. It is question of what data to look for and where to look for. Reason for this post was to compile these data and present it in step by step fashion so that the site owners like me, are able to do SEO by themselves in an effective way.