The Best SEO Tools for Small Businesses - The Definitive 2022 Guide
How to use search engine optimization to grow your business.
When it comes to your small business’s website, it’s vital that your company appears on “page 1” of search results. Afterall, the more eyes on your website, the more exposure your business gets to existing and potential customers.
But it’s important to know that your website won’t automatically appear at the top of the search results just because you want it to. First, you need to prove to Google that your business is worthy of that front-and-center positioning.
So, how does Google decide if your website is worthy of page 1 search result status? It actually isn’t any one thing that does it. In fact, it’s a mix of sharing the right kind of information with Google to demonstrate that your website offers informative, valuable, relevant, and authoritative content. Some things that fit the criteria, like publishing quality content and properly formatting your webpage, may seem obvious. But there are other strategies that might not be as intuitive, like performing keyword research and analyzing your website’s speed.
Considering the many factors that contribute to optimizing your website, it may seem impossible to keep tabs on them all. To be fair, Google doesn’t expect you to single-handedly monitor or manually inspect each aspect that contributes to optimization. This is where SEO tools save the day. These tools do the heavy lifting, helping to identify areas where you can improve your website to potentially boost your rankings and increase traffic to your website.
To help optimize your business’s website, we’ve rounded up a list of the best SEO tools for small businesses, including Google products, site crawl tools, all-in-one options, and browser extensions. Employ one—or several—of these tools to build a more research-driven and effective SEO strategy for your small business website.
The following are some of the top Google-powered tools that can help strengthen your small business’s SEO strategy.
Google Analytics (GA)
What it is: Google Analytics, or GA, is a website analytics platform that tracks a website’s performance based on user behavior.
What it does: GA monitors your webpage and provides you with data regarding your website metrics, such as who is visiting your website and how they’re interacting with it. The platform lets you monitor important factors, such as traffic, conversation rates, bounce rates, and session duration. You can then analyze and track this data to better understand user behavior and more effectively target your customers.
Why it’s important: One of the major perks of GA is that it allows you to customize your dashboards so you can focus on the data most valuable to your business. Monitoring and tracking this data can get you closer to achieving your business KPIs.
Google Search Console (GSC)
What it is: Google Search Console is a tool designed to help improve a website’s visibility in the search results.
What it does: GSC gives you a bigger picture perseptice of how your website is performing on the Google Search results page. It provides you with the tools and insights you need to improve your website’s ranking, as it troubleshoots and helps you resolve issues.
Why it’s important: This is one of the best SEO tools for small businesses because it provides you with crucial information that can fuel your SEO strategy. For example, it might reveal unindexed pages, broken URLs, or pages that aren’t mobile-friendly. Addressing these issues can impact your web performance in a big way.
Google Business Profile
What it is: Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), refers to the business listings that appear at the top of Google Search and Google Maps results.
What it does: When you create and claim your Google Business Profile, the platform lets you control and manage how your business appears across Google Search and Maps. You can include details about your business, location, hours, services, products, photos, and even reviews, to make your profile more robust and visible.
Why it’s important: Your Google profile has its own special spot at the top of Google Search and Google Maps, helping to get more eyes on your small business. Competing for a space at the top of the results page can take a lot of time and effort, and that’s what makes your Google Business Profile such an important factor in your overall SEO strategy.
What it is: Google Trends is a tool that analyzes popular search queries in Google Search.
What it does: This tool tracks Google search terms and related searches across different regions, providing insight into popular topics and trends. It lets you compare different keyword searches and data over time to help you identify patterns in search behavior.
Why it’s important: When it comes to your marketing strategy, this is one of the best SEO tools for small businesses. It helps you predict seasonal trends and determine what your customers are most interested in at any given time. Forecasting like this allows you to create more targeted marketing campaigns that sync up with your specific audiences behaviors. For instance, you might discover that a certain search term related to your business spikes every year during the same month. Knowing this, it would make sense to create fresh content around that topic to capture that search intent during that specific time period.
Google PageSpeed Insights
What it is: PageSpeed Insights, one of the many tools available through Google Developers, evaluates the performance of a webpage or website on mobile and desktop devices.
What it does: This tool assesses your site’s performance and generates a score based on several factors—many of which are focused on loading time—such as Speed Index (SI), Total Blocking Time (TBT), and Time to Interactive (TTI). After analyzing your site, it then provides a report with recommendations on ways to improve your score.
Why it’s important: Nobody wants a slow website. In fact, if your web content is slow to load on a computer or mobile device, your customers are likely to lose interest and leave your website. PageSpeed Insights is an important tool because it identifies exactly what is slowing down your website so you know what to fix or change to optimize for speed.
What it is: Keyword Planner, one of the many tools available through Google Ads, is a helpful resource that identifies high-volume search terms and phrases related to your business.
What it does: Keyword Planner provides data around specific keywords, such as search volume and cost per click, to help you determine their competitiveness. It lets you see what your customers are searching for, an important piece of data. Knowing what your customers are searching for gives you a better understanding of what keywords your web content should include to rank high in a Google search.
Why it’s important: This tool offers insight into what consumers are searching for in relation to your business. With this information, you can create a more strategic marketing and SEO plan that targets those specific keywords.
Price range: Free
Site Crawl Tools
A site crawl tool refers to a program that scans website content and adds it to the search engine index.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
What it is: Screaming Frog is a site crawler that scans websites and reports on SEO-related elements that could impact the site’s search engine ranking.
What it does: This tool audits your website, looking for issues and abnormalities, such as 404 errors and duplicate content. It delivers a performance report, which identifies specific areas you should address to improve your on-page SEO strategy.
Why it’s important: A lot of issues can affect your website’s performance, but you can’t address them if you don’t know what they are (or that they even exist). The beauty of this tool is that it pinpoints your issues for you, so you can focus on fixing them instead of blindly making changes or manually inspecting each aspect of your site.
Price: There’s a free version of Screaming Frog that lets you crawl up to 500 URLs. However, the paid version, which is $198.70 a year, allows you to crawl an unlimited number of URLs and offers more advanced data and insights.
All-in-one options feature advanced platforms with various SEO and marketing tools in one convenient place.
What it is: SEMrush is an SEO tool suite that includes a variety of marketing insights to help improve a website’s visibility.
What it does: This software is your one-stop-shop for all things SEO, as it audits your website, tracks keywords, identifies trends, conducts link building, manages social campaigns, and much more.
Why it’s important: SEMrush is a crucial tool because it delivers the insights you need to better optimize your website. It gives you a big picture perspective as it monitors your website’s performance and SEO health so that you can build a stronger, more informed marketing and SEO strategy.
Price: SEMrush offers four pricing packages: Free, Pro ($119.95/month), Guru ($229.94), and Business ($449.95/month). The more expensive the package, the more keywords you can track.
What it is: Ahrefs is another all-in-one SEO program with multiple features geared toward improving a website’s performance and search engine rank.
What it does: First and foremost, this platform is a backlink checker that analyzes your linking profile. However, it can also monitor your keywords, determine your domain rating, track referring domains, and assess your competition—all valuable information that can influence your SEO strategies and future marketing campaigns.
Why it’s important: Understanding your linking profile may help you improve your ranking position because Google favors websites with authoritative backlinks. The linking profile analysis can help you keep track of your domain health and build more reputable backlinks.
Price: Ahrefs has a free version, but it also offers four pricing plans that correlate with your business size and goals. The Lite plan, suitable for small businesses, starts at $99/month, while the Enterprise plan, best for large companies, costs $999/month. The Standard plan costs $199/month, and the Advanced plan is $399/month.
Browser extensions refer to programs you can add to the Google Chrome browser to customize your browsing experience.
What it is: Keywords Everywhere is a web browser add-on extension that offers keyword metrics.
What it does: This browser add-on helps with keyword research and planning. When you conduct a keyword search in Google, the tool gives you the search volume and cost per click for that keyword and associated keywords.
Why it’s important: This extension delivers valuable keyword analysis, which can help you identify related keywords and long-tail phrases associated with your business. When you know what your consumers are searching for (and what your competitors are ranking for), you can develop a more targeted keyword approach.
Price: There is a free Keywords Everywhere version with limited features and a more advanced option, which lets you purchase credits to see additional information like monthly search volume and competition numbers. Using the credit system, the average user pays $10 a year.
What it is: SEO Minion is a Google Extension that analyzes a website’s on-page SEO.
What it does: This extension is a three-in-one tool that includes on-page SEO analysis, SERP previews, and a link checker to evaluate your website and pinpoint opportunities for optimization. It can check for broken links, show how your page titles appear in the Google search results, and even download People Also Ask (PAA) results.
Why it’s important: SEO Minion makes you more efficient when it comes to your daily SEO tasks. Because it features several tools in one, you can more easily (and quickly) analyze your pages and address any issues that could negatively impact your rankings.
Combine Your SEO Approach with Your SMS Strategy
These SEO tools can provide you with valuable information about consumer behavior and other trends that should influence how you approach your SMS campaigns. If you’re not already taking advantage of SMS marketing, contact us here at EZ Texting to learn how our SMS platform can benefit your small business.