11 of the best DIY e-commerce SEO tools for retailers

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Help your business shine – and boost your SEO ranking – with these clever tools. Some are even free.

 

There’s no shortage of ways to attract new customers. But at a time when 80 per cent of all purchases start with online research, search engine optimisation (SEO) is one approach that simply can’t be ignored.

 

What is SEO?

 

SEO is all about getting better traffic to your website from search engines like Google. Knowing what words to use, and where to place them, is the essence of SEO.

 

And it’s important for all retailers and small businesses – whether you’re a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand selling clothes or a bricks-and-mortar store such as a florist or hair salon.

 

SEO expert and founder of the Australian School of Copywriting, Bernadette Schwerdt, says it’s a common misconception that SEO is only for online retailers.

if customers can’t find you, then what’s the point?

- Bernadette Schwerdt, SEO expert and founder of the Australian School of Copywriting

“It doesn’t matter how talented a florist you are or how gorgeous your hair salon is, if customers can’t find you, then what’s the point? And that discovery process is increasingly starting online, so optimising your online presence should be a priority for any retailer.”

 

And, yes, she adds, that means you need a website. “A Facebook page is not enough,” explains Schwerdt. “A website makes you more discoverable and a search engine optimised website will go a long way to getting your business ranked favourably by Google – making it easier for potential customers to find you.”

 

Fortunately, although SEO is a vast area of specialised expertise, Schwerdt says that it is possible for small businesses to manage their own SEO “with relatively little effort and expertise”.

 

Best of all? “It’s still a largely untapped area of opportunity for small businesses, so even a little will still be more than most of the competition is doing.”

 

Here are 11 SEO tools to help you on your way.

 

Heads up: most of the pricing for these tools is in US dollars so bear that in mind if you sign up for a service.*

 

Google Search Central

 

Check out this comprehensive guide to how Google Search works and how to use SEO to get your business seen and ranked. It covers the basics right through to advanced techniques.

 

Cost: free

 

Moz Meet Link Explorer

 

Use this quick-and-easy tool to check your Domain Authority (DA), which is a figure that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).

 

The higher the figure, the better the ranking. The aim is then to improve the number and quality of inbound links to your website to up your DA. Ensure, for instance, that your business is linked on any industry association pages you’re a member of or charities your business supports. Hot tip: use it to check your competitors’ DA so you can scout for potential link-building opportunities.

 

Cost: create an account for free to access 10 link queries each month.

 

Ubersuggest

 

Check out Neil Patel’s free Ubersuggest tool, which specialises in generating new keyword ideas. With a clean and simple interface, you’ll get an overview on your selected keyword along with related content ideas.

 

Cost: use the free trial to take a look around, then check out the competitive monthly or lifetime payment options. You’re looking at $29 per month for the most basic level.

 

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

 

Ahrefs Webmaster Tool will audit your website for SEO technical issues and suggest ways to fix them. Think of it as a speedy little SEO detective who will hunt out every slow, orphan or broken page, duplicate meta description and non-optimal H1 tag. It’s a useful way to make sure customers and prospects get the best-possible experience on your website.

 

Cost: Sign up for free limited access or choose a membership option to take advantage of Ahrefs’ other SEO tools. The $179 per month plan is the most popular.

 

Answer The Public

 

Like other free keyword tools, Answer The Public helps you generate more keywords. The point is to dig deeper into what your customers are looking for and how they might be searching for solutions your retail business can provide. Think long-tail key words and commonly searched questions. As the website says, 20 per cent of the three billion Google searches made every day have never been seen. Use Answer The Public to help you reach that 20 per cent.

 

Cost: the free trial is handy and you can upgrade to pro for more comprehensive insights. You’re looking at between $99 and $399 per month. Answer The Public also offers ebooks, video courses and personalised training.

 

Moz Meet Keyword Explorer

 

Type your keyword into the Moz search bar, and voila! Everything you ever wanted to know about that keyword appears – possibly even more than you ever wanted to know. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by organic CTR and monthly volume figures, check out the Priority feature, which aggregates all the other metrics to give you a single score. The higher the number, the better your keyword. Plus, you get a comprehensive list of suggested keywords that can be great for kickstarting some blogging ideas for your small business website.

 

Cost: With the free version you get 10 queries per month. Upgrade to access all the keyword research tools; the $179 per month option is the most popular.

 

Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker

 

Have some brilliant content to upload to your blog but can’t remember if someone on your team wrote it or if it was lifted from another site? Or perhaps you’re new to writing content and feel on shaky ground when it comes to inspiration versus imitation. Use this plagiarism checker to put you and your content in the clear – so your SEO can work its magic.

 

Cost: free

 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

 

Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool gives Ahrefs’ audit a run for its money by sending out its website crawler to check your SEO health across 500 URLs for free. The thought might make your skin crawl, but this is one spider you’ll be happy to have around. Can’t decide which audit option to go for? TrustRadius is a handy resource for software reviews and comparisons.

 

Cost: Upgrade to a paid membership to access even more sophisticated insights and tools. Expect to pay around $280 for an annual licence.

 

Linkody

 

With Linkody you can find out who’s linking to your website, discover what keywords they’re using and ‘disavow’ links you think might undermine your SEO. This is useful if you’re trying to improve your Domain Authority, plus you can monitor your website’s social shares and connect to Google Analytics. Link building should be a key part of any SEO strategy, and this is a good place to start.

 

Cost: Start with a 30-day free trial before checking out their five pricing options ranging from $14.90 per month to $153.90 per month.

 

Ontolo

 

If you’re really committed to building up those all-important backlinks, this tool takes SEO beyond keyword research to help you identify backlinking and guest-blogging opportunities. It can unearth prospects from more than 80 sources for you to then pitch to. Great for retailers looking to supercharge their blog content.

 

Cost: plans start at $97 per month, and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

SEMrush

 

This is a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that will help you with keyword research, organic traffic insights, backlink opportunities, social media management and heaps more.

 

Cost: because of its extensive capabilities, it’s more expensive than some of the other SEO tools out there. We suggest using the free trial before signing up.

 

*Terms and conditions apply, fees may apply (and may differ from the summary provided above). Afterpay does not have any control or involvement with any of the listed services.

 

Tess Durack is a copywriter who has written for a range of brands from fashion businesses to insurance companies.

All references to any registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Afterpay does not endorse or recommend any one particular supplier and the information provided is for educational purposes only.