Free web tools
5 of the best free web tools to boost your performance
Did you know that there is a wealth of free tools you can use to improve the performance of your website? From a mobile-friendly website checker to free Twitter analytics, there are many ways you can boost your performance, at absolutely no cost. [Updated October 2017]
Here we outline five of the best free resources that you can start using today to enhance your digital presence.
Twitter provides three months’ worth of free analytics. This will give insight into your top performing tweets, the number of impressions per tweet and levels of engagement such us likes, retweets and profile visits. You can also access interesting stats on audience demographics including gender split, age, top ten lifestyle interests, country of residence and mobile footprint.
High quality stock photography
Searching for free stock photos online can be frustrating. A huge portion of the stock photo market is owned by professional companies which charge you per download and many of the free images that you do find are often low resolution, watermarked or blurry.
Thankfully there are a number of reputable websites that provide high-quality stock photography free of charge. Two of our favourites are Picjumbo and Pixabay. Both offer high resolution images and feature a search bar where you enter keywords based on the type of image you need. Even better, there is no attribution required meaning you can use the image without having to credit the owner.
Use marketing evaluation tools to monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaigns and report on various KPIs including engagement levels and the number of followers on each platform.
Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer provide basic, free versions that enable scheduling of social media posts at the best times throughout the day to maximise the chances of followers seeing your updates. With Hootsuite’s free plan, you can manage up to three social media platforms in one place and use analytics to track follower growth and see which content resonates best with your audience.
Establishing the keywords and phrases that you expect customers to use when looking for your services on Google is an essential part of search engine optimisation (SEO). It will help you determine which content to feature within your page title, description and heading tags. Some free keyword planning tools for SEO include Wordstream's Free Keyword Tool or SERPs Keyword Research Database.
If you're planning to use your keywords for advertising, use the Google Keyword Planner (KWP) to help you identify which ones will work best for that purpose. The KWP evaluates monthly global and local search volumes for keywords, competition levels and an estimated cost per click.
In order to use the Keyword Planner, you need to have an AdWords account. To do this, simply go to adwords.google.com and register. Enter your basic information and you are ready to start using the Planner tool. If you already have an account, you can go directly to adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner.
Mobile friendly website checker
An increasing number of people are now accessing the web from mobile devices. Google is also rolling out its new mobile-first index which means it will primarily look at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals. Clearly the need to provide a responsive version of your site has never been greater.
Google’s mobile friendly test tool is a quick and easy way to test whether a page on your site is mobile-friendly. The tool is easy to use: all you need to do is type the URL of the page you want to test into the search bar.
The test result will include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device. It will also feature a list of any usability problems it finds such as font sizes that are too small, or use of Flash which isn’t supported by most mobile devices.
View the full list of free tools to help you squeeze more performance out of your website.
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