Free On-page SEO Tools For Founders
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Any founder, owner intern or staff member can check on-page SEO off the to-do list in just a few hours for free without hiring a freelancer or SEO agency (like us).
Grab traffic from your competitors faster by doing your own SEO fundamentals using just 7 free on-page tools. In this article, we will look at the 7 tools and how to use them to do a quick on-page SEO review, update your on-page SEO areas and monitor and review how the changes affect your page and customers.
The Free On-page SEO Tool Stack
Articles about on-page SEO tools regularly include all-in-one tools like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, or SEMRush when specialised tools are often given away by marketing companies as a lead magnet or on a freemium model. Beating out the all-in-one tools for those on a budget.
Let’s take a look at the free on-page SEO tools for doing your own SEO;
1. Singularity’s SEO Checker
Our Free SEO Checker scores your webpage from A to F and breaks down everything wrong. So you can focus on improving your site immediately.It evaluates everything from meta tags to page speed and gives you a clear list of recommendations to fix. Perfect as a beginning and end benchmarking tool for your optimisation efforts.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console shows you what Google knows about your site. It provides data on search traffic, performance, and crawling or indexing issues affecting your site’s search presence.
It’s crucial for tracking your website health as Google sees it.
3. Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic, providing detailed insights into visitor behaviour, source of traffic, and user engagement.
4. Google Keyword Planner
Tucked inside Google’s Ads platform the Google keyword planner costs nothing to use. It doesn’t even require you to run any ads. It’s one of the best free resources for finding keywords when you’re on a budget.
Hotjar offers a unique set of tools for understanding user behaviour on your site through heatmaps, session recordings, and feedback polls. It does have a freemium model which means that to get more data you might need to update to a paid subscription eventually. But, if you’re on this guide you’re probably looking for your first clients from SEO before you worry about that.
This Chrome extension highlights the alt text for every image on any page you visit. While it’s only a simple, one-trick pony what it does, it does well.
Key Fundamentals of On-page SEO
On-page SEO is the most directly leveraged form of SEO you can do. Making a change to your on-page factors can quickly result in a noticeable change in Google search results pages. So before we get into the workflow let’s review the fundamentals.
The fundamentals of altering your on-page SEO are to ensure;
- Your page is optimised for one target keyword: To help identify the right keywords for your content you’ll need a tool that can give you search volume, competition and similar keyword for you to use on your page. On-page optimisation should be in aid of ranking for a particular keyword we must have a tool for confirming if our keyword is valuable or not.
- Your Meta Tags are set up for success; Effective meta titles and descriptions should be enticing, keyword optimised and the right length so that they don’t get truncated by Google. Meta tags are critical for keyword consistency and user click-through rates.
- You have comprehensive content for the page topic: Google’s goal is to send you to a page that solves your query. Sometimes, query intent is vague so comprehensive content allows Google to both better understand you and, gives you and them a better chance at pleasing a user. Having a tool that could help us write good content, make sure its unique and that it lines up with Google’s understanding of a topic is then valuable to us.
- Your page loads fast: These tools analyze your site’s loading times and provide suggestions for improvement, which is crucial for both SEO and user experience. Like Google’s Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse.
- You have structured data and schema markup: They help in implementing structured data, making it easier for search engines to understand and display your content in rich snippets. Like Detaileds Chrome Extension and Schema Generator
- Your page is mobile-friendly: As mobile traffic dominates the web, these tools ensure your site is optimized for mobile users, a critical aspect of modern SEO. Again, Google’s Page Speed Insights.
How to Use Onpage SEO Tools (SEO Workflow)
1. Use Singularity’s SEO Checker to Audit Your Page:
Start your on-page optimization with an audit of the page you want to improve. Our SEO Checker will give you a quick A to F score for your webpage and identify focus areas for improvement broken down into categories.
This will set the tone for where you can focus your attention for the rest of the on-page optimization. Identify areas for improvement such as on-page, links, usability and more. Focus on the recommendations section as it will give you the to-do list for the rest of your on-page optimization.
2. Keyword Optimization:
Keyword optimisation is the most vital part of any on-page optimization workflow. You can’t improve your site for SEO without first choosing a target keyword.
Your target keyword will live in key places on every page to make sure you pass the right signal to Google. Your target keyword will show in the URL, your page title, your first H1 and in your content.
How to choose a target keyword
If you don’t have a target keyword and need to do some research we recommend using the Google Ads keyword planner tool. It’s free and you don’t need to be running ads to use it. Just set up an account, go to keyword planner in the top menu and start to look for keywords.
If your content has been up for some time you might also want to look at your keywords in Google Search Console to identify what keywords you are ranking for already. Alternatively, there are 3rd party keyword tools also which I have listed below.
ChatGPT Sucks at Keyword Research.
It’s tempting to have AI do this for you, but ChatGPT isn’t a good tool for it. For two reasons; 1) It’s not connected to any data. So you can’t tell if the keywords it chooses get any search volume or not and 2) Its suggestions for SEO are generally horrible without the right prompts. Try Google Keyword Planner or, one of the tools below instead if you want to do free keyword research.
Free 3rd Party Keyword Tools
- Wordstreams Free Keyword Tool
- Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator
- Answer The Public
- Keyword Tool
- Keyword Surfer (Chrome Extension)
OnPage Keyword Optimisation
Once you have a keyword you should optimise your page for your focus keyword by including it in the URL, the Page Title and meta description of your page as well as the H1 (or main heading) and in your content.
Rule of thumb; Include your keyword but make sure it is readable by users. Close variants are fine. For example, if my keyword is; “SEO Tools”. Using the phrases “Tools for SEO” or “Search Engine Optimisation Tools” is considered fine.
Meta tag optimization
Keyword optimisation for your meta tiles is best done using Moz’s meta title tool you can find on this page. You want to include your keyword in the title and meta description in the tool featured here and make sure your titles are readable in Google search results.
Keyword Image Optimization
Next, use the alt text tester to check the alt text behind all of the images on your page and make sure that you are using something relevant to your main keyword.
3. Content Analysis and Improvement:
Run your content through Yoast SEO’s real-time content analysis and set your focus keyword. What you want to do here is make sure you make some of the suggested edits from Yoast’s recommendations without going overboard. You can also match up your page title and meta description here to check how well it matches with the rest of your page.
If your content was written by a freelancer and not you, check it’s not copied from somewhere else. Using a tool like Copyscape you can ensure content originality and Copyleaks can help you detect if they’ve used a significant amount of AI to write the content for you.
When you’ve completed the above you can hit publish on your newly optimised content. While you wait for Google to index it and re-rank it you should start thinking about how to track, measure and improve user experience with your content.
4. Enhance User Experience
A good vs a bad user experience can be hard to define if you don’t have the right tools set up. While you can read some insight into this in your SEO reports using Google Analytics recording tools like Hotjar are going to give you a more robust look at how people interact and feel about the pages on your site.
While it may not be directly related to ranking for SEO what users do on your page (and after) affects your conversions and customers. An engaged, interested user is likelier to become or recommend a customer than an angry, confused user.
The best way to monitor your page visitors is to install Hotjar and check in monthly to see what the most engaged and least engaged users are doing. Hotjar has many features and training on this but suffice to say that their click maps and visitor recordings are very useful.
Apply insights from Hotjar to understand user behaviour and adjust your on-page elements accordingly.
Don’t forget to use Google Page Speed Insights to check your site speed, a slow-loading website is something both Google and users don’t like. When you’re done with your on-page optimization you’ll want to optimise your site to load as fast as possible on mobile. If it doesn’t you’ll find that many users won’t even stick around long enough for you to get any data from your Hotjar recordings.
5. Regular Monitoring and Adjusting:
Once you’ve hit publish and set up Hotjar settle into a monitor and adjustment schedule. Most people think content is a one-and-done thing but if you want to achieve and hold onto your website traffic you need to make sure no one pushes you off the top spot.
The cadence of your monitoring and adjusting period will depend on your niche and how much time and resources you can dedicate to it while still keeping the new content flowing.
Competitive niches like self-publishing require more constant updates than others like say, local plumbing services. A site like Reedsy in the self-publishing space required us to be reviewing and updating content on a fortnightly basis whereas local pool installer MFP Easy only required quarterly content updates to maintain our results.
For most sites starting at a monthly cadence is a great place to start. Set up an internal reporting day and review your content rankings and identify any drops or rises since your last content update. You can monitor your search engine rankings using our free Google Console rank tracking template here in Looker Studio. Otherwise, any standard paid SEO tool will help you do this like Ahrefs, SemRush, Moz or Ranktracker.