Optimizing one’s website is one of the most important steps that any small business can take.
Even brick-and-mortar businesses that are looking exclusively for local customers will need a website to improve company awareness and keep customers coming back time and time again.
This can be a daunting and potentially expensive process, but there are free and easy tools out there that every small business owner could benefit from.
Here is a closer look at 5 of the most effective free tools that will improve the quality of one’s website and keep them in the top rankings with all of the leading search engines.
1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
There are two primary forms of optimizing a small business website including organic SEO and paid advertisements. While some companies only use one of these methods, they can both be useful to the small business. For those that wish to invest into paid advertisements in order to attract potential clients, the Google AdWords Keyword tool can be extremely effective.
This tool allows the website owner or operator to take an in-depth look at keyword trends and then make decisions on where best to invest their time, energy, and budget with their website. Users can search by exact matches, close matches, time frames, and even by geographic location.
2. Page Load Speed Checker
Very few things can be as aggravating as a website that does not load quickly, and this may be one of the first things that turns a customer off from a company. This can be especially difficult for those that may be getting internet users from mobile gadgets or slower internet connections. With a page load speed checker, the website operator can go through a 100 point system on how well their website stacks up.
Google will also offer suggestions to improve the load speed of pages. As an added bonus, the speed to load a web page is also a major factor when it comes to improving one’s search engine rankings.
3. Google Analytics
Very few free tools offer as much data as Google’s Analytics. Much like their Keyword Tool, this program is offered as an addition for anyone that would like a robust look at the statistics regarding their website. Google first offers a small activation key and line of code to place in the website. Google will then begin the process of regularly checking on all data regarding the website itself.
This data can become exceptionally important as it includes statistics such as where traffic is coming from, which keywords are being searched, who is recommending the site, if other websites are quoting the website, and how long various parties are staying on the website and its pages. This information can then be further broken down into eye-catching graphs that are perfect for advertising specialists and beginners alike.
WordPress remains one of the most popular forms of freeware that has ever been placed on the internet and millions of companies around the world use this tool. WordPress offers basic domain names and website templates for sites of all kinds and within all industries. Users can opt for the free use of a server (wordpress.com) or pay for their own server space and domain name (wordpress.org). The templates range from simple layouts for newer businesses to complex code that the user can break down piece by piece.
WordPress is the core software system that runs the blog, but there are thousands of free/paid templates and plugins that users can add to their WordPress-powered website. This includes options such as moving graphics, code to imbed media files, vibrant themes, streaming news, Twitter feeds, links to social media websites, designs for buttons, and much more. You can find a plugin for just about anything. The price for these tools ranges from just a few cents for basic options to pre-made websites that will take all the guesswork out of become a webmaster.
5. Social Media Websites
Few outside factors have as much of an influence on the success of a small business website as social media websites. From Twitter and Facebook to YouTube and LinkedIn, these third-party businesses are often the fuel that can drive a mediocre website into the top search engine spots.
Not only are these websites some of the best tools when it comes to connecting with potential and existing customers and clients, they also have a huge impact on the ranking that the website will have due to referred internet users. All small business owners investing time into their website should also create professional accounts with these social media companies and include easy-to-find links that will direct the user directly to the primary website itself.