13 Free SEO and Social Media Tools

content marketing, search engine optimization, SEO, social media analytics, twitter, web analytics

February 11, 2013 by

Whether you’re a B2B marketer, focused on social media or someone who draws upon a wide range of online marketing skills, we’re all looking for ways to save time measuring the return on our digital efforts and welcome any services that make researching and analysis more efficient.

There are many out there, but below is a list of a few of my favorite SEO and social monitoring tools to get you started. No matter if you're a small business owner or a vast marketing department in the B2B industry, you can use these tools to gather valuable insight.  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools

Keyword Research

1. Keyword Density Checker: This service scans your URL to tell you what the most used words are on that page and presents the data in a keyword cloud.

2. Screaming Frog: This is a java program that you download and install on your computer which will scan up to 500 URLs for free (if you're interested in researching more, you'll need a license). It will present the data in an interface with the option to export to CSV. It will not provide insight on what to do next (unlike paid services such as SEOmoz), so you'll have to have a bit of understanding of what the results mean.

This service is great to use anytime a new website launches to identify internal issues. Especially with larger sites, sometimes things get missed. You can use the tool to locate any 404 pages, 302-redirects, page titles over 70 characters, ones with missing meta data or duplicate content.

It is also useful when you're curious about what keywords your competitors are focusing on. Use it to spider your competitors' websites and browse the tool's tabs for H1 tags, meta descriptions, page titles, etc. Export the data to Excel and sort by A to Z to see which terms are being used in the highest volume.

Which leads into the next set of tools, competitive research.

Competitive Landscape Research

Domain Authority and Backlink Measurements

3. OpenSiteExplorer: Use this to find out if that mommy blog that boasts 100,000 unique visits per month is something you’d actually want linking to your site, or use it to create a benchmark for your client to measure their rank against their competitors.

Competitor Paid Search Campaign Insight – Free Now While in BETA

4. SpyFu Recon Files: While it’s still in beta, SpyFu is giving free access to their PPC recon file reports. Uncover what words your competition is most likely to spend money on, and what they used for ad copy. Hey! It might be a useful addition to your SEO content strategy. SpyFu will require you to register an account, and it’ll take about an hour for the report to generate, but for some industries this report proves very useful.

Measure the SEO Health of your Website

5. WooRank
This service focuses on the technical aspects of SEO. It will provide a score (0 to 100) for your website and explains what the current problems are and how to fix them. You can run a report on one website per day per IP address otherwise WooRank will prompt you to sign up for a paid account.

6. Marketing Grader
Hosted by HubSpot, this service points out many ways you can improve your current website. It also focuses on blog success metrics, which is something that WooRank does not report on.

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Monitor Sentiment

7. Social Mention
This tool is pretty self explanatory. Enter in the term you want to monitor, 'search' and browse the results. You can sort the results by date or by format. See something negative? Respond. See something new? Read it. Located brand advocates? Connect and share their content.

You can also export the list of mentions to a CSV file, which includes the date it was shared, name of who shared it (if applicable), title/description of share and a link to where the share can be found. Pretty important stuff when measuring the reach of a campaign.

Services to Count Social Mentions

8. Shared Count
Use this service if you’d like to export reach result data and import into Excel to add as part of a larger report. Click on "Multi-URL dashboard" in the top navigation, add all URLs and click on 'export to CSV' to retrieve the report.

9. HowManyShares.com
Use this service over Share Count if you want to see the data in a visually appealing graphic. Then take a screen capture of it to use in your reach report.

Link Tracking on Print Media

Link Shorteners

10. Bit.lyOnce you create a free account, this service allows you to edit the ugly numeral and digit combination trailing most shortened URLs with an easy to read vanity URL - perfect to include on flyers.

11. Google URL Shortener: Similar to Bit.ly, Google's URL shortener provides similar analytics in a different format—Google plots your traffic in a line graph. Plus, the Google name adds some authority as well.

QR Code Creator

12. Kaywa: Even though many marketers question the effectiveness of QR codes, they may prove useful to the correct audience. To create the QR code is free, but if you want the analytics data from Kaywa directly, you’ll need to pay them. Or, you could just use UTM tracking codes on your URL and measure success by looking into campaign traffic sources if you're using Google Analytics.

Just for fun

13. Check out what other websites are sharing your IP using Neighborhood Checker.

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What other tools and services do you love having in your digital marketer’s toolbox?

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