Before You Use The SEO Resources Page ……..
On this SEO Resources Page you will find the very best of the free and paid for tools to help you with your rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
If you click on any of the links they will take you to the website or app of the corresponding resource. Some of these links are affiliate links.
If you click on an affiliate link and then go on to make a purchase, SEO Steamroller will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Where I can, I will actually save you money by including any available discounts, coupons or offers.
Please note that I would never recommend to you or suggest you buy anything that will not be of an advantage to your SEO and blogging activities and I would never recommend anything just for the sole purpose of earning the commission fee.
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Best Domain Registrars
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With Namecheap you can register your .com domain for 8.88 USD for 1 year. When you come to renew in 12 months time, it will not cost you more than 11.88 USD at current prices.
Other domain registrars will offer you something like 0.99 USD or even free .com domains for the first year, but will hit you with 25 USD or more when it comes to renewal. It doesn’t sound like much but over time and if you go on to own multiple websites, it can result in you spending hundreds of dollars that could be spent on something else, such as paid keyword research.
Namecheap also gives you for free the all important WHOIS privacy for life, along with the equally important SSL certification for a very reasonable price.
Note the other options on the shopping basket page. These are by default unchecked, unlike some other registrars where you need to be vigilant and untick the options you don’t want before checking out.
If and when you do checkout with Namecheap, I recommend definitely choosing the PositiveSSL option and also to consider the EasyWP Hosting option. EasyWP uses cloud based servers which means the loading of your website is not slowed down by other users on the same server as you.
I use Namecheap and EasyWP for my websites. I’ve never had any problems with loading speeds and, on the rare occasions that I have had a technical problem (usually of my own making), their 24/7 customer service is second to none.
Free Keyword Suggestion Tools
There’s plenty of free keyword suggestion tools available online for you to quickly build a list of viable keyword phrases for further research. Here’s my pick of the best.
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When you first attempt to make a search on Keyword.io, a pop up will urge you to open a free account. Accepting this has the advantage of allowing you to download your suggested keywords, which can save you a lot of typing.
When you have signed up, or not, the home screen reappears with a search box, above which is a menu where you can choose your search engine provider. I would stay with the default, which is the world’s most popular, Google. Keyword.io uses Google autocomplete to find you hundreds of long tail keywords.
There is an option also to choose your country. Unless you are looking for keywords for a local business, I would again stay with the default, the United States.
The one thing I don’t like about Keyword.io is the amount of pop ups that hit you while you are on the site, but it’s free, so we can’t complain. One of the pop ups invites you to sign up for the paid for version. I advise not to do this. There are more accurate tools available for a similar outlay.
Kparser has a similar home screen to Keyword.io with a similar choice of search engines and search countries. Again, unless you have a local business and you only want local customers, I would leave the settings on the default of Google and the United States.
When you enter a seed keyword and press the green “Start” button, it will change to a red “Stop” button. The software will carry on until either you click the “Stop” button or it exhausts itself of information to crunch.
Within seconds I had over 140 suggestions back from my seed keyword “Find keywords”. The number in the blue oval on the right refers to Kparser’s own ranking system and doesn’t mean much to us at the initial research stage.
You will notice at the top of the results screenshot a small pop up enticing you to upgrade to the pro version. I advise you not to part with any cash at this stage, it isn’t necessary.
You can download your suggestion as a text file or a CSV file with a choice of downloading suggestions from the current view, all data or sorted into groups
Compared to Keyword.io and Kparser, this keyword suggestion tool has a more primitive feel to it, both in the name and the plain looking website, but I had to include it in my list of favorites just for the simple way it churns out hundreds of keyword phases related to your seed keyword.
Before you start your search, there are two filter boxes. In the positive filter you can enter words that you want included in each returned keyword suggestion and in the negative filter you can write any words that you do not want to appear in the results.
For example, if you are looking for keywords for a page where you are promoting a product, you might want to type “free” in the negative filter to prevent any suggestions appearing containing that word.
After Keyword Shitter comes to the 700 to 800 mark, the returned keywords become less and less related to your seed keyword, until they bear no relevance whatsoever. This is why I usually hit the “Stop Job” button at around 750 keywords.
Clicking the “Download” link will convert your results in a text file which you can then copy and paste into a document on your device.
Free Keyword Research Tools For Refining Your Keyword Lists
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How To Open A Google Account To Access Google Ads Keyword Planner
This is a quick walk-through of how to open a Google account for the purpose of using the Google Ads Keyword Planner. You only need to do this if you do not already have a Google account or you want to start a separate one for your business. With a Google account, you can use all of Google’s free services.
- Enter the term “google ads” into the search box.
- Click the magnifying glass or press “return” on your keyboard.
- Click on the heading “Google Advertising | Advertise With Google Now”.
- Click “Got it” to accept cookies or “Learn more” if you’re not sure.
- When you’re ready, go ahead and click “Start now”, or “Sign in” if you already have a Google account.
- Unless you are signing in to an existing account, DO NOT put anything in the “Email or phone” box.
- Instead, go ahead and click the “Create account” link.
- The “Next” button becomes redundant in this case.
- Choose whether you want to open your account “For myself” or “To manage my business” by clicking on the appropriate option. If you are working on your own, I would open a personal account to keep things simple.
- Enter your first and last names in the corresponding boxes.
- Either use an existing email address that you have or choose a brand new Gmail address.
- In the left-hand box type in a secure password of your choosing at least 8 characters long including a mixture of letters, numbers and common punctuation symbols. Re-type the password in the right-hand box to confirm it. Click on the crossed-out eye symbol if you want to see what you are typing.
- Click on “Next” to proceed.
- If you used an existing email address, a verification code will have been sent to this email. If it’s not there, check your spam folder. Either copy and paste or type this code into the box provided.
- Then click on “Verify”.
- For extra security, and to prove that you are a real person, Google would like your cell phone number so that they can send you a text. Go ahead and enter your cell phone number here.
- Then click on “Next”.
- Enter the code sent to your cell phone here.
- Then click on “Next”.
- Your email address will appear here.
- Your cell phone number will appear here. You can delete it if you wish, but I would leave it there for future security purposes. It is also for security reasons that Google also asks for your date of birth and your gender.
- Enter your date of birth here.
- Enter your gender here. There are options for “Rather not say” and “Custom”.
- Then click on “Next”.
- Choose whether or not you want your cell phone number registered across all of Google’s services. Click on the option of your choice.
- You will then land on the Privacy and Terms page,
- I recommend that you read this page, or at least give it a meaningful glance-over before agreeing to the terms of service …….
- …… and agreeing to have your information processed.
- Then, at last, you are ready to click the “Create Account” button.
- There is just one more step in the form of a pop up where you can adjust your personalization settings if you so wish. Click “Confirm” when you are ready.
- A few fancy Google graphics will appear on your screen as your account is created. You are then taken to the Google Ads opening page. How you get from there to the Google Ads Keyword Planner is the subject of the next walk-through.
How To Find The Keyword Planner Tool In Google Ads
Here’s a walk-through getting you to the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool from the Google Ads landing page. It takes a while to get there, but when you do, it’s worth the effort.
Finally, The Google Ads Keyword Planner!Finally, The Google Ads Keyword Planner!
- This is the landing page you will find if you search for “Google Ads”. If you’ve come to this walk-through from my Google Account sign up walk-through, you can skip to step 3. Here in step 1, click “Got it” to accept Google’s cookies, or “Learn more” if you need further information.
- Click “Start now” to proceed.
- You next land on the Google Ads New Campaign page. This has no relevance to us keyword researchers, but Google is proceeding as though we are starting an Ads Campaign with them. We aren’t, but we have to go through the procedure to achieve our aim of free use of the Keyword Planner tool. The “Get more calls” campaign is ticked by default.
- Change this by clicking on “Get more website sales or sign-ups”.
- Click on “Next”.
- We’re using Google’s tools, so it’s only fair that we let them know a bit more about our business. Enter your business name here.
- Enter the URL of your business here.
- Click on “Next”.
- To keep Google happy, enter a few locations here where you think your main audience will be. I would make an honest estimation here. Although you’re not going to start an Ads campaign now, you never know, you may use this medium later on.
- Click on “Next”.
- Google wants you to add at least one keyword theme relating to your business.
- So go ahead and add a few relevant head keywords.
- Google will suggest a few more keyword themes based on the ones you have entered.
- When you’ve finished, you guessed it, click on “Next”.
- Now Google would like you to write an ad. Although you are not going to run an ad campaign now, you need to write something relevant here to please Google. Now’s your chance to test your creative writing skills!
- Write 3 different headlines here. It’s good practice to use up all of your 30 character limit if you can.
- Write 2 different descriptions here. If you were writing for real, your description should include a CTA, or call to action. There’s a 90 character limit for each description and, again, it’s good practice to use it all up.
- Click on “Next”.
- Now Google wants you to set your budget. Again, don’t worry, you’re not going to spend anything.
- But to be on the safe side, click on “ENTER YOUR OWN BUDGET”.
- Although you can cancel your ad at any time, it’s best to set the budget as low as possible just in case something happens, such as you lose your internet connection, before you can remove the ad and avoid any charges.
- On the resultant pop up, move the slider as far left as possible, which should set your budget at 2 USD per day, the minimum possible.
- Ignore any warnings from Google.
- Click on “SET BUDGET”.
- Check your custom budget is set at 2 USD.
- Then click on “Next”.
- Review your campaign settings.
- If you’re happy, click on “Next”.
- Now it is necessary to put in some payment information. If you continue to follow these steps, you won’t be charged anything. First, check that your country of residence is correct.
- Enter a promotional code here, if you have one.
- Tick this box only if you want to receive promotional messages from Google.
- If you are always going to be the sole user of this account, change this setting to “Individual”, but if you envisage expanding in the future and taking on staff, you may want others to use this account. If this is the case, leave it on the default “Business” setting. Once you have left this page, you cannot ever change this setting, so choose your preferred option thoughtfully.
- If you chose the “Business” option, enter your business name here.
- Enter your credit or debit card details here.
- Enter your billing address here. It must match exactly the address held by your card issuer.
- Choose whether you want to keep the default setting of “Automatic” or whether you want to change it to “Manual”. Google will take any payments automatically unless you change it to manual. If you do opt for manual, you will have to pay in advance. So, to avoid any charges at all, leave it set on automatic.
- When you are happy, click “Submit”.
- Google says “Congrats! You’re all done”, but for us, not quite, I’m afraid. Click on “EXPLORE YOUR CAMPAIGN”.
- Immediately go to the top right-hand corner of the panel containing your new ad, click on the three dots and select “Remove” from the drop-down menu. You will be prompted to confirm this action. When you have done so, you will have no ads running and will not be charged a cent.
- Click on the spanner icon and from the preferences, change your account to and “Expert” account.
- Now, when you click on the spanner icon again, you will be presented with a more extensive drop-down menu.
- From this menu select “Keyword Planner”.
- As the Keyword Planner page loads, a pop-up will invite you to “Refine your Keywords”. Click the “X” to close this.
- At last, you have reached the Keyword Planner tool! Bookmark this page and you won’t have to go through any of this procedure again to access the Keyword Planner.
The MozBar Chrome Extension – How To Install It
Here’s a walk-through showing how to install the MozBar Chrome extension and how to sign up for a free Moz account. You will then be able to use Google Chrome together with the MozBar extension switched on to assess keyword competition for free.
First, open up the Google Chrome browser and make sure that you are signed in to Google.
- If you’re signed in to Google, the “Apps” icon should appear on the left of the toolbar. Click on it.
- In the Apps tab, click on the “Web Store” icon.
- In the Chrome Web Store, type “MozBar” into the search box and press the return key.
- Click the blue-colored button to install the MozBar Extension onto your Chrome toolbar.
- The clickable icon for the MozBar Extension now appears on the right-hand side of the Chrome toolbar.
- Clicking the MozBar icon once turns it blue. This indicates that the MozBar is active. While the MozBar is active, Google personalization settings and location settings are switched off to allow for accurate and unbiased search results.
- The MozBar by default appears at the top of your Chrome browser, just under the Google toolbar. This can be a little inconvenient, especially when you are editing in WordPress as it blocks out the top menu. The MozBar can be moved to the bottom of your Chrome browser, where it will be less in the way, by clicking on the bar icon to the right of the MozBar.
- Open a new tab with Google search, and go ahead and search for anything you like. Scroll past the sponsored results (marked with “Ad”) to the organic results. The first of these organic results will have a black bar underneath. This bar contains the essential competition data that you need but it will remain hidden until you open a free Moz account and log in to it. You can open your account by clicking on the yellow “Create Account” button at the right-hand end of this black bar or use the similar icon in the actual MozBar.
- This brings you to the Moz welcome page. In this box, fill out the email address that you want to use for your account.
- Write in this box the name that you wish to be displayed on your MozBar. This can be your actual name, an alias, or your business name.
- Enter a unique, strong password here. Make a note of this password somewhere secure in case you forget it.
- Tick this box to agree to the Moz terms of service and community etiquette.
- Check this box to prove that you are a real person.
- Make sure all of the details you have entered are correct, then go ahead and click the yellow “Create an account” button. A verification message will then be sent to the email address you provided, with a link included. Click on this link and you will be taken to an account confirmation page. Log in, and you’re ready to research your keyword competition with the help of the MozBar.
- Now that you are logged in yo your new Moz account, go back to the tab with your previous search results. Now notice that the black MozBar appears under each individual ranked result, featuring PA (Page Authority) score, DA (Domain Authority) score and the number of backlinks the featured website has.
Formerly known as Ubersuggest.io, this keyword research tool has had a complete makeover since it has been bought by SEO “guru” Neil Patel in early 2017.
The free version now gives you much more information about your seed keywords and the keyword suggestions generated from your seed keywords.
Although you will still achieve better quality free keyword research using the combination of the Google Ads Keyword Planner and the MozBar extension, the Ubersuggest tool in combination with a Google search is perfectly adequate when you have only access to mobile devices to work on. Mobile devices are where the other two tools stutter.
You can always go back to the Keyword Planner and MozBar when you do have access to a desktop to give a final check your Ubersuggest research before you commit yourself to writing content around your keywords.
How to use the Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool and some of the main features.
- The default search is in English, with statistics from the United States. You can change that here if you so wish.
- Enter your seed keyword here ……..
- …….. then click the “SEARCH” button.
- You will then be asked to sign in with your Google credentials. You probably already have a Google account but if you don’t, click the blue “Sign in with Google” button anyway and then the “Create account” link in the bottom left of the next page. Alternatively, you can follow my step-by-step guide here.
- As you can see here, I’ve conducted a search for “best seo keyword tool”.
- This keyword phrase is entered into search engines 90 times per month on average, which is adequate.
- Ubersuggest’s “SEO DIFFICULTY” rating is low at 11, indicating that this keyword should be easy to rank for. It would be worth now initiating a survey of the competition by making a Google search of this keyword and examining the top 10 results.
- The search volume and search difficulty figures are the only essential information we need from this tool. We can further assess the competition by performing a simple Google search and investigating how many times the exact keyword has been used by the top 10 sites in their meta titles.URLs and meta descriptions.
- Here, Ubersuggest gives an average figure for the number of backlinks referring to each of the top 10 search results. This figure alone is not of much use as it says nothing of the quality of these backlinks. By that I mean are these links coming from quality, established websites in the same or a related niche? Generally speaking, though, the lower this number is, the better.
- The domain score is approximately equivalent to the DA score given by MozBar. The score given by Ubersuggest is the average across the top 10 search results. It’s not the most important metric but worth taking note of.
- This graph is a comparison of how many of the searches are made from a desktop and how many from mobile devices. These days, mobile devices are going to come out on top in most cases, emphasizing the need to make your websites mobile friendly.
- Scrolling further down, you arrive at the “KEYWORD IDEAS” section. Click on the appropriate tab for either suggested or related keywords.
- Bizarrely, clicking this “VIEW ALL KEYWORD IDEAS” button takes you to a page with the top 100 search results for your seed keyword rather than actual keyword ideas. There is data given for the top 10 of these results but if you want to see data for the remainder, you are invited to upgrade your account to a paid account. You don’t have to do this, the further data you need can be obtained for free with a simple Google search.
- Scroll even further down and you come to the “CONTENT IDEAS” section. Again, you can learn more from a Google search than you can from here, particularly because ……..
- …….. clicking on either the “SHOW KEYWORDS” or “SHOW BACKLINKS” tabs takes you to page with “No data”. I presume you need to upgrade to see anything here.
The Best Of The Paid For Keyword Research Tools
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In my humble opinion, Long Tail Pro is the best paid for keyword research tool that will allow individual bloggers to discover keywords that will rank on page one of the SERPs and compete favorably with the big, established brands. It all comes at a reasonable price, too.
Here’s a quick run-through of what you can expect to see when you go through the sign-up process with Long Tail Pro and what you can expect to see when you log-in for the first time.
- When you click on one of our Long Tail Pro links, this is where you are taken. If you are already decided you can click here to choose your subscription plan at 30% off of the regular price.
- If you would rather read a little more about LTP first, you can scroll down the page for more information. The next item you will find on the way is this brief, introductory video.
- Below the video, there is more information on what you can expect if you join LTP, Scroll further down and you arrive at the pricing plans. For the individual blogger just starting out with one or two websites, the Starter plan is more than adequate. Annual prices are shown here but if you don’t want to part with over 200 USD at this time, there are monthly options available.
- If you scroll back to the top of the annual plan options, you will find this tab. Just click on the one marked “Monthly” to reveal your options.
- Scroll back down to the Starter plan to see the price of the monthly subscription.
- The 800 keywords per 24 hours, plus their KC (Keyword Competitiveness) and Google SERP lookups are more than enough to occupy an individual blogger for a whole day as long as you are sensible with your keyword searches. Also note that if you sign up for LTP and then decide it isn’t for you, you can claim all of your money back within 10 days.
- TIP: To get the most out of your 10 approval days, don’t sign up until you are ready to perform a block of keyword research.
- When you click on the yellow “Save 30% Now” button, you land on the account set-up and payment page, the top of which is a checklist of exactly what you are going to get for your money.
- Scroll down and you reach the sign-up form. Fill this in and ……..
- …….. click the “Create Account” button. If payment is successful you will be sent an email to the address that you provided. This email will contain a verification link. When you click on this link it will take you to ……..
- …….. the log-in page. When you log-in to Long Tail Pro for the first time, you will be presented with one or two pop-ups offering to show you through the various functions. You will also be offered some up-sells, but it is not necessary to take up any of these.
- After you have navigated your way through this initial welcome, you arrive at the default opening page which is on the “Keyword Research” tab.
- Also by default, the search area is set to the United States and the language as English. You can change these settings by clicking the adjacent inverted triangle.
- Again by default, the tool opens up within a project named “Default“. To open a new project, click on the plus sign. You can have as many ongoing projects as you need, there is no limit.
- To receive keyword data customized to your website, enter your domain URL into this box. The green and yellow Keyword Competitiveness score to the left will then change, The new figures will be the lowest and highest KC scores to aim for if you want your keywords to rank.
- You can enter up to five seed keywords in the box on the left. In the box to the right, you can set the number of results per keyword you require, up to 200 per keyword. Bear in mind that 200 is 25% of your 24-hour allowance. The default is 20 results per keyword. I generally find 40 to be a good number that will return enough suggestions to find a possible gem.
- After clicking the blue “RETRIEVE” button, your suggested keywords, together with all of their relevant data, will appear here.
- The remaining usage of your chosen plan is displayed here.
- Clicking on the “SERP Analysis” tab brings up this screen.
- For demonstration purposes, I have entered the keyword “demo” and clicked on the blue “Retrieve” button. You can either enter keywords manually like this or if you click on any single keyword on the Keyword Analysis page. This latter action will bring you to the SERP Analysis page with all of the information for that keyword.
- Here we can see that the keyword “demo” is searched for 90,500 times per month and that it has a KC score of 54. The red coloring around this number is LTP advising us that this keyword would be difficult to rank for.
- To reach the number one ranking on Google, you are going to have to out-perform your rivals. Here, LTP provides at-a-glance information about the strongest of these rivals, including page rank, KC score, trust flow and citation flow. The lower the score of the last three items, the better.
- So that you know what type of material is appearing on the results page for this keyword, LTP shows you a breakdown here.
- Scroll down the SERP Analysis page and find all of the information you need on the page one ranking organic search results for your keyword. Click on the links in the left hand common to find out what content your rivals are publishing.
- The “Rank Tracker” tool allows you to follow the ranking progress of a limited number of keywords for any domain of your choice. With the “Starter” package, the limit is 30 keywords at any one time. If you reach your limit, you can delete a keyword and add another.
- The “Backlink Analysis” tool is for studying the quality of backlinks referring to the URL of your choice, either your own or any other. You can study the URL of the referring domain and the quality and relevance of that referring domain. With the “Starter” plan, be careful with this one as you only have 100 backlink look-ups in total.
- The page featured in this image is the “Video Tutorials” section, otherwise known as “Long Tail Bootcamp“. With 14 lessons lasting a total of 2 hours 40 minutes, it’s worth looking at, especially if you are a complete newbie.
- Clicking the “Help” tab will open a new window or tab offering you four different sources of help:
- Submit a support request.
- Quick Guide to Long Tail Pro
If you have been thinking of signing-up for Long Tail Pro, I hope that this walk-through has helped you to make a decision. As a reward for enduring this walk-through, if you click on the link below you will get 30% off of the normal price of any Long Tail Pro plan, Starter, Pro or Agency. annual or monthly.
Or if you’ve already decided the Long Tail Pro is the keyword research tool for you ……..
Image And Design Tools
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It helps your SEO to have related images included in your content. They break up the text, making it easier to read, keep the visitor engaged and you can also use your target keyword to your benefit in the Alt. Text data. This is the descriptive text that appears if your image fails to load.
There are many sources of free, perfectly usable, royalty-free images covering many niches and topics. In my experience, the websites and apps offering free downloads mostly tend to be offering the same range of images as each other. After you have written a few articles it’s hard to find an image that hasn’t been used already, either by you or by your competition.
To widen your choice exponentially and to find new images that aren’t the same as your competition is using, it is a good idea to join a paid for image download service. There are several really good ones to pick from but for me, none of them offer the same quality of image and graphic editing software at no extra cost. In fact, the subscription for Canva Pro is almost half that of other image-grabbing services.
Templates And Images For Everything!
There is no software to download with Canva Pro, it’s all done online. There are over 450,000 templates, readily sized for popular social media and personalized branding needs or you can specify your own custom dimensions.
Once you have opened a project you can add to it from a choice of over 60 million stock, royalty-free images, photos, graphics and videos, or you can upload your own. You can edit these and add to them to your desire, meaning that you are sure to end up with something unique.
There are several professional image editing effects that you can apply to your project. The star of the show is the Background Remover, which is worth the price of admission alone!
Among other notable features included with Canva Pro are the Branding KIt and the 100GB of storage space.
The Branding KIt allows you to store all of the images, fonts and colors that you use for your brand logos and profiles so that you can easily adapt them for hosting, messaging and social media needs.
You can download any of your projects at any time, so if you were to run out of the generous 100GB of storage space, it wouldn’t be a problem to free up some more space.
Canva Pro really is a great combined image grabbing and design tool that comes at a very affordable price. You can opt to pay monthly or yearly.Click here for Canva Pro price plans.