Free Tools SEO

$100M SEO for Startups Course

Written by Jan-Oliver Seidenfuss

Here are the 5 easy steps to find free tools SEO opportunities.

If you want to get more customers with free tools, you'll love this guide.


Here are the 5 easy steps to find free tools SEO opportunities.

If you want to get more customers with free tools, you'll love this guide.


Here are the 5 easy steps to find free tools SEO opportunities.

If you want to get more customers with free tools, you'll love this guide.


About this Course

Course Chapters
Course Chapters

This is chapter 12 of our SEO For Startups course.

If you aren't following along, don't worry.

I'll include links to previous chapters for context. This way, you can easily catch up on any necessary background information.

Enjoy! ✌️

This is chapter 12 of our SEO For Startups course.

If you aren't following along, don't worry.

I'll include links to previous chapters for context. This way, you can easily catch up on any necessary background information.

Enjoy! ✌️

This is chapter 12 of our SEO For Startups course.

If you aren't following along, don't worry.

I'll include links to previous chapters for context. This way, you can easily catch up on any necessary background information.

Enjoy! ✌️

Step #1: Topical Keyword Research

As we know by now, the customer journey separates potential customers into distinct stages of awareness, from unaware to realising they have a problem & choosing a solution.

Free tools can fall into any of these stages. That's why we didn't cover it when mapping the customer journey.

So let's see how we can find & prioritise free tool ideas that people are actually searching for.

One thing upfront though. It can be that people aren't searching for any tools related to your offering.

For Flappie, there are basically none.

But if there are, here is my bulletproof "free tool ideas" finding blueprint.

Step A - Brainstorm ideas

The goal is to come up with a list of potential free tools you could offer.

Think about your product. What are features you have people could search for online as free tool?

What could your target customer be interested?

For Spexia I came up with something like this

  • Topical Authority tool

  • Keyword Clustering tool

  • Analytics tool

  • SERP Intent Comprehension tool

  • SEO Outline Generator

  • Technical SEO Audit tool

  • Internal Linking Suggestions tool

  • Free Keyword Research tool

Step B - Look at Competitors

Go and check your competitors. See if they have any free tools. If so, add them to the list.

In Spexias case, this is not hard to do.

Ahrefs has a lot of free tools.

Same for KeywordInsights.

I add all of them to the list.

Pro Tip: Put some of the tool names you find back into Google and check the ranking pages.

Chances are they have more free tools as well.

This way you can find companies you haven't even heard of (like Quattr) that have a great selection of further tools.

Step C - Page based Keyword Ideas

Google Keyword Planner offers us keyword suggestions based on a website url.

To find free tool ideas, we'll use the free tool page of competitors.

Navigate to Google Ads and open the Google Keyword Planner.

Select the start with a website option and paste your competitors url in there.

Make sure to select the correct location, language & only this page.

Hit the get results button.

Now you see a list of keyword ideas based on the free tools page. This is a lot!

To get a better overview I like to cluster them into groups. Click on the keyword view dropdown and select grouped view.

Great!

Now we have a nice overview of Keywords grouped together in an easy to understand way.

Go through them and find more ideas. Add everything to your list.

Pro Tip: If you are not sure what people are looking for with a keyword, plug it into Google and check the intent.

For example, I was wondering about "wordstream keyword tool".

Are people looking for a tool? And if so, what eaxctly would this tool do?

I had never heard of word stream before.

Turns out, it's actually a brand. Not the intent we need.

Step D - Keywords in, Keywords out

Fantastic, you should now have a list of search terms.

We can use Google Keyword Planner to find more.

I call this keywords in, keywords out.

Use the start with keywords tab and add up to 10 keywords of your list from Steps A-C.

Click get results to receive a list of keyword ideas.

Add everything that comes up and you think makes sense to a your list.

Iterate on the keywords you use as starting point.

Grow your list. Rather add too much than too little. We'll filter out in step 6 again.

Step E - Cluster Keywords to Topics

Remember, topics are the new keywords.

So we now want to cluster the keywords into topics by intent.

If you don't know the relationship of topics and keywords, check out my previous chapter on it.

For free tools, you can easily do it by hand.

How?

It's simple. First use your intuition to group similar keywords together. For example, it's not hard to see that free keyword generator tool and free keyword generator have the same intent.

Then, double check your grouping via Google. Make sure the keywords you put into the same cluster have a url-overlap of at least 3+.

In case you want to use an automation tool, Keyword Insights might be a nice fit.

Here is an example topic I get.

I only show a subset of all of the cluster keywords.

Step 6 - Doublecheck the Intent

It can easily happen that you go through this process and end up with one or more topics with a wrong intent.

Something where people don't exactly want to find a tool.

That's why it's important to doublecheck the intent.

What we are looking for are other free tools showing up when we put the topic into Google.

Let's check that for the example above.

Looks good from an intent perspective.

But could be pretty hard to compete. I think we should prioritise the topics.

Which brings us to the next section.

As we know by now, the customer journey separates potential customers into distinct stages of awareness, from unaware to realising they have a problem & choosing a solution.

Free tools can fall into any of these stages. That's why we didn't cover it when mapping the customer journey.

So let's see how we can find & prioritise free tool ideas that people are actually searching for.

One thing upfront though. It can be that people aren't searching for any tools related to your offering.

For Flappie, there are basically none.

But if there are, here is my bulletproof "free tool ideas" finding blueprint.

Step A - Brainstorm ideas

The goal is to come up with a list of potential free tools you could offer.

Think about your product. What are features you have people could search for online as free tool?

What could your target customer be interested?

For Spexia I came up with something like this

  • Topical Authority tool

  • Keyword Clustering tool

  • Analytics tool

  • SERP Intent Comprehension tool

  • SEO Outline Generator

  • Technical SEO Audit tool

  • Internal Linking Suggestions tool

  • Free Keyword Research tool

Step B - Look at Competitors

Go and check your competitors. See if they have any free tools. If so, add them to the list.

In Spexias case, this is not hard to do.

Ahrefs has a lot of free tools.

Same for KeywordInsights.

I add all of them to the list.

Pro Tip: Put some of the tool names you find back into Google and check the ranking pages.

Chances are they have more free tools as well.

This way you can find companies you haven't even heard of (like Quattr) that have a great selection of further tools.

Step C - Page based Keyword Ideas

Google Keyword Planner offers us keyword suggestions based on a website url.

To find free tool ideas, we'll use the free tool page of competitors.

Navigate to Google Ads and open the Google Keyword Planner.

Select the start with a website option and paste your competitors url in there.

Make sure to select the correct location, language & only this page.

Hit the get results button.

Now you see a list of keyword ideas based on the free tools page. This is a lot!

To get a better overview I like to cluster them into groups. Click on the keyword view dropdown and select grouped view.

Great!

Now we have a nice overview of Keywords grouped together in an easy to understand way.

Go through them and find more ideas. Add everything to your list.

Pro Tip: If you are not sure what people are looking for with a keyword, plug it into Google and check the intent.

For example, I was wondering about "wordstream keyword tool".

Are people looking for a tool? And if so, what eaxctly would this tool do?

I had never heard of word stream before.

Turns out, it's actually a brand. Not the intent we need.

Step D - Keywords in, Keywords out

Fantastic, you should now have a list of search terms.

We can use Google Keyword Planner to find more.

I call this keywords in, keywords out.

Use the start with keywords tab and add up to 10 keywords of your list from Steps A-C.

Click get results to receive a list of keyword ideas.

Add everything that comes up and you think makes sense to a your list.

Iterate on the keywords you use as starting point.

Grow your list. Rather add too much than too little. We'll filter out in step 6 again.

Step E - Cluster Keywords to Topics

Remember, topics are the new keywords.

So we now want to cluster the keywords into topics by intent.

If you don't know the relationship of topics and keywords, check out my previous chapter on it.

For free tools, you can easily do it by hand.

How?

It's simple. First use your intuition to group similar keywords together. For example, it's not hard to see that free keyword generator tool and free keyword generator have the same intent.

Then, double check your grouping via Google. Make sure the keywords you put into the same cluster have a url-overlap of at least 3+.

In case you want to use an automation tool, Keyword Insights might be a nice fit.

Here is an example topic I get.

I only show a subset of all of the cluster keywords.

Step 6 - Doublecheck the Intent

It can easily happen that you go through this process and end up with one or more topics with a wrong intent.

Something where people don't exactly want to find a tool.

That's why it's important to doublecheck the intent.

What we are looking for are other free tools showing up when we put the topic into Google.

Let's check that for the example above.

Looks good from an intent perspective.

But could be pretty hard to compete. I think we should prioritise the topics.

Which brings us to the next section.

As we know by now, the customer journey separates potential customers into distinct stages of awareness, from unaware to realising they have a problem & choosing a solution.

Free tools can fall into any of these stages. That's why we didn't cover it when mapping the customer journey.

So let's see how we can find & prioritise free tool ideas that people are actually searching for.

One thing upfront though. It can be that people aren't searching for any tools related to your offering.

For Flappie, there are basically none.

But if there are, here is my bulletproof "free tool ideas" finding blueprint.

Step A - Brainstorm ideas

The goal is to come up with a list of potential free tools you could offer.

Think about your product. What are features you have people could search for online as free tool?

What could your target customer be interested?

For Spexia I came up with something like this

  • Topical Authority tool

  • Keyword Clustering tool

  • Analytics tool

  • SERP Intent Comprehension tool

  • SEO Outline Generator

  • Technical SEO Audit tool

  • Internal Linking Suggestions tool

  • Free Keyword Research tool

Step B - Look at Competitors

Go and check your competitors. See if they have any free tools. If so, add them to the list.

In Spexias case, this is not hard to do.

Ahrefs has a lot of free tools.

Same for KeywordInsights.

I add all of them to the list.

Pro Tip: Put some of the tool names you find back into Google and check the ranking pages.

Chances are they have more free tools as well.

This way you can find companies you haven't even heard of (like Quattr) that have a great selection of further tools.

Step C - Page based Keyword Ideas

Google Keyword Planner offers us keyword suggestions based on a website url.

To find free tool ideas, we'll use the free tool page of competitors.

Navigate to Google Ads and open the Google Keyword Planner.

Select the start with a website option and paste your competitors url in there.

Make sure to select the correct location, language & only this page.

Hit the get results button.

Now you see a list of keyword ideas based on the free tools page. This is a lot!

To get a better overview I like to cluster them into groups. Click on the keyword view dropdown and select grouped view.

Great!

Now we have a nice overview of Keywords grouped together in an easy to understand way.

Go through them and find more ideas. Add everything to your list.

Pro Tip: If you are not sure what people are looking for with a keyword, plug it into Google and check the intent.

For example, I was wondering about "wordstream keyword tool".

Are people looking for a tool? And if so, what eaxctly would this tool do?

I had never heard of word stream before.

Turns out, it's actually a brand. Not the intent we need.

Step D - Keywords in, Keywords out

Fantastic, you should now have a list of search terms.

We can use Google Keyword Planner to find more.

I call this keywords in, keywords out.

Use the start with keywords tab and add up to 10 keywords of your list from Steps A-C.

Click get results to receive a list of keyword ideas.

Add everything that comes up and you think makes sense to a your list.

Iterate on the keywords you use as starting point.

Grow your list. Rather add too much than too little. We'll filter out in step 6 again.

Step E - Cluster Keywords to Topics

Remember, topics are the new keywords.

So we now want to cluster the keywords into topics by intent.

If you don't know the relationship of topics and keywords, check out my previous chapter on it.

For free tools, you can easily do it by hand.

How?

It's simple. First use your intuition to group similar keywords together. For example, it's not hard to see that free keyword generator tool and free keyword generator have the same intent.

Then, double check your grouping via Google. Make sure the keywords you put into the same cluster have a url-overlap of at least 3+.

In case you want to use an automation tool, Keyword Insights might be a nice fit.

Here is an example topic I get.

I only show a subset of all of the cluster keywords.

Step 6 - Doublecheck the Intent

It can easily happen that you go through this process and end up with one or more topics with a wrong intent.

Something where people don't exactly want to find a tool.

That's why it's important to doublecheck the intent.

What we are looking for are other free tools showing up when we put the topic into Google.

Let's check that for the example above.

Looks good from an intent perspective.

But could be pretty hard to compete. I think we should prioritise the topics.

Which brings us to the next section.

Step #2 - Prioritise the Free Tool Topics

To prioritise, I'd first use hard constraints to remove topics. Then use soft constraints prioritise.

Hard Constraints

Free tools are free to use.

Obviously.

So you don't make any direct money off of them.

So we should check if we can even afford running them. We don't want to go broke!

For that I'd first estimate the cost per user of such a tool and then remove the ones that are too expensive.

What too expensive means depends on your budget.

Another hard constraint might be that you can't build the tool. Remove these topics as well.

At the end you should have a list of feasible free tool topics.

Soft Constraints

To prioritise the topics, I score them for different factors.

The factors I consider are

Cost/Time to build the tool [lower is better]

Often, there are tools we have already implemented as feature. So it takes very little time to turn them into a free tool.

Cost of running the tool [lower is better]

The less we spend per user, the better. We already filtered out the ones we'd go broke on but it's still important to take the running cost into account.

Keyword Difficulty of the topic [lower is better]

Keyword Difficulty (KD) gives us an easy metric to figure out how competitive ranking for a free tool topic will be.

Ahrefs has a free Keyword Difficulty checker you can use. Alternatively you can also set up the free Ahrefs Webmaster tool.

What we are looking for are topics with a KD of less than 25. Anything above can be hard to rank for if you have a low Domain Authority.

Topics with a KD of less than 10 are a great opportunity.

Search Volume of the topic [higher is better]

The more people search for the free tool topic, the more traffic you can potentially get.

With an assumption of a fixed conversion rate, you'll have more conversions with higher search volume.

Easy math.

Time to build the tool [lower is better]

The faster you can ship the tool, the better.

To prioritise, I'd first use hard constraints to remove topics. Then use soft constraints prioritise.

Hard Constraints

Free tools are free to use.

Obviously.

So you don't make any direct money off of them.

So we should check if we can even afford running them. We don't want to go broke!

For that I'd first estimate the cost per user of such a tool and then remove the ones that are too expensive.

What too expensive means depends on your budget.

Another hard constraint might be that you can't build the tool. Remove these topics as well.

At the end you should have a list of feasible free tool topics.

Soft Constraints

To prioritise the topics, I score them for different factors.

The factors I consider are

Cost/Time to build the tool [lower is better]

Often, there are tools we have already implemented as feature. So it takes very little time to turn them into a free tool.

Cost of running the tool [lower is better]

The less we spend per user, the better. We already filtered out the ones we'd go broke on but it's still important to take the running cost into account.

Keyword Difficulty of the topic [lower is better]

Keyword Difficulty (KD) gives us an easy metric to figure out how competitive ranking for a free tool topic will be.

Ahrefs has a free Keyword Difficulty checker you can use. Alternatively you can also set up the free Ahrefs Webmaster tool.

What we are looking for are topics with a KD of less than 25. Anything above can be hard to rank for if you have a low Domain Authority.

Topics with a KD of less than 10 are a great opportunity.

Search Volume of the topic [higher is better]

The more people search for the free tool topic, the more traffic you can potentially get.

With an assumption of a fixed conversion rate, you'll have more conversions with higher search volume.

Easy math.

Time to build the tool [lower is better]

The faster you can ship the tool, the better.

To prioritise, I'd first use hard constraints to remove topics. Then use soft constraints prioritise.

Hard Constraints

Free tools are free to use.

Obviously.

So you don't make any direct money off of them.

So we should check if we can even afford running them. We don't want to go broke!

For that I'd first estimate the cost per user of such a tool and then remove the ones that are too expensive.

What too expensive means depends on your budget.

Another hard constraint might be that you can't build the tool. Remove these topics as well.

At the end you should have a list of feasible free tool topics.

Soft Constraints

To prioritise the topics, I score them for different factors.

The factors I consider are

Cost/Time to build the tool [lower is better]

Often, there are tools we have already implemented as feature. So it takes very little time to turn them into a free tool.

Cost of running the tool [lower is better]

The less we spend per user, the better. We already filtered out the ones we'd go broke on but it's still important to take the running cost into account.

Keyword Difficulty of the topic [lower is better]

Keyword Difficulty (KD) gives us an easy metric to figure out how competitive ranking for a free tool topic will be.

Ahrefs has a free Keyword Difficulty checker you can use. Alternatively you can also set up the free Ahrefs Webmaster tool.

What we are looking for are topics with a KD of less than 25. Anything above can be hard to rank for if you have a low Domain Authority.

Topics with a KD of less than 10 are a great opportunity.

Search Volume of the topic [higher is better]

The more people search for the free tool topic, the more traffic you can potentially get.

With an assumption of a fixed conversion rate, you'll have more conversions with higher search volume.

Easy math.

Time to build the tool [lower is better]

The faster you can ship the tool, the better.

Step #3 - Fulfil Intent & Convert the User

People search for free tools. And that’s what you have to give them.

A free tool.

No registration. No adding credit cards. Nothing.

Reduce the hassle as much as possible.

If you don't do that, you fail to fulfil intent and will not rank.

To defend yourself from abuse, reCAPTCHAs are generally fine. People are used to this.

But how do you know what the free tool should do exactly?

Great question.

As always in SEO, steal first, then innovate.

What I do is the following.

First, Search for the free tool topic on Google. Then check out all of the top 10 organic results.

What features do these sites offer? Note all of them down. Ideally you'd include them all in your tool as well.

Also take note of the UX & other elements they have on the site.

For example, Dashword's free meta description generator has great UX. It's clear what you have to do. Also, they offer a unique "Keywords" feature. Other tools lack that.

Besides the free tool, they also added a "How it works" section. If people are wondering about this, they directly find the answer.

Building the most comprehensive tool with as little friction as possible will fulfil the intent best.

But please don't think this will guarantee you a #1 spot on Google. Nope. For example, if you try to go for a very difficult topic, you'll likely not stand a chance even with the best free tool.

That's why the prioritisation is so important.

But now let's assume we actually get traffic.

How can you convert the user with a free tool?

There are 2 different ways people do it.

Convert through Advertising

The idea is to provide the user with the full tool functionalities but convert them through advertising.

Let's take HeadshotPro's free profile picture generator as an example.

You can upload a picture and get a profile picture in one of 5 styles.

The nice thing is that you don’t even have to go through a reCAPTCHA process. You just get one try per day.

No friction.

In the next 20 seconds the picture is generated and you can download it.

So far 0 advertisement.

But as soon as you actually download, a popup opens.

Pretty smart. If people are satisfied, they likely download the picutre.

Then it makes sense to put an ad and try to convert.

But you can also display the ad constantly. That's how Dashword does it.

Convert through Restricted Version

You provide enough to fulfil the intent but not everything. If the user wants all, they have to do something (create account, etc.).

Ahrefs' free Keyword Difficulty checker is a great example of this.

They fulfil intent by providing you with the score.

But to see the full data of the top 10 results you have to create an account.

Another good showcase is Backlinko's free keyword tool.

You see a lot of the keywords. But to see all, you have to open Semrush.

People search for free tools. And that’s what you have to give them.

A free tool.

No registration. No adding credit cards. Nothing.

Reduce the hassle as much as possible.

If you don't do that, you fail to fulfil intent and will not rank.

To defend yourself from abuse, reCAPTCHAs are generally fine. People are used to this.

But how do you know what the free tool should do exactly?

Great question.

As always in SEO, steal first, then innovate.

What I do is the following.

First, Search for the free tool topic on Google. Then check out all of the top 10 organic results.

What features do these sites offer? Note all of them down. Ideally you'd include them all in your tool as well.

Also take note of the UX & other elements they have on the site.

For example, Dashword's free meta description generator has great UX. It's clear what you have to do. Also, they offer a unique "Keywords" feature. Other tools lack that.

Besides the free tool, they also added a "How it works" section. If people are wondering about this, they directly find the answer.

Building the most comprehensive tool with as little friction as possible will fulfil the intent best.

But please don't think this will guarantee you a #1 spot on Google. Nope. For example, if you try to go for a very difficult topic, you'll likely not stand a chance even with the best free tool.

That's why the prioritisation is so important.

But now let's assume we actually get traffic.

How can you convert the user with a free tool?

There are 2 different ways people do it.

Convert through Advertising

The idea is to provide the user with the full tool functionalities but convert them through advertising.

Let's take HeadshotPro's free profile picture generator as an example.

You can upload a picture and get a profile picture in one of 5 styles.

The nice thing is that you don’t even have to go through a reCAPTCHA process. You just get one try per day.

No friction.

In the next 20 seconds the picture is generated and you can download it.

So far 0 advertisement.

But as soon as you actually download, a popup opens.

Pretty smart. If people are satisfied, they likely download the picutre.

Then it makes sense to put an ad and try to convert.

But you can also display the ad constantly. That's how Dashword does it.

Convert through Restricted Version

You provide enough to fulfil the intent but not everything. If the user wants all, they have to do something (create account, etc.).

Ahrefs' free Keyword Difficulty checker is a great example of this.

They fulfil intent by providing you with the score.

But to see the full data of the top 10 results you have to create an account.

Another good showcase is Backlinko's free keyword tool.

You see a lot of the keywords. But to see all, you have to open Semrush.

People search for free tools. And that’s what you have to give them.

A free tool.

No registration. No adding credit cards. Nothing.

Reduce the hassle as much as possible.

If you don't do that, you fail to fulfil intent and will not rank.

To defend yourself from abuse, reCAPTCHAs are generally fine. People are used to this.

But how do you know what the free tool should do exactly?

Great question.

As always in SEO, steal first, then innovate.

What I do is the following.

First, Search for the free tool topic on Google. Then check out all of the top 10 organic results.

What features do these sites offer? Note all of them down. Ideally you'd include them all in your tool as well.

Also take note of the UX & other elements they have on the site.

For example, Dashword's free meta description generator has great UX. It's clear what you have to do. Also, they offer a unique "Keywords" feature. Other tools lack that.

Besides the free tool, they also added a "How it works" section. If people are wondering about this, they directly find the answer.

Building the most comprehensive tool with as little friction as possible will fulfil the intent best.

But please don't think this will guarantee you a #1 spot on Google. Nope. For example, if you try to go for a very difficult topic, you'll likely not stand a chance even with the best free tool.

That's why the prioritisation is so important.

But now let's assume we actually get traffic.

How can you convert the user with a free tool?

There are 2 different ways people do it.

Convert through Advertising

The idea is to provide the user with the full tool functionalities but convert them through advertising.

Let's take HeadshotPro's free profile picture generator as an example.

You can upload a picture and get a profile picture in one of 5 styles.

The nice thing is that you don’t even have to go through a reCAPTCHA process. You just get one try per day.

No friction.

In the next 20 seconds the picture is generated and you can download it.

So far 0 advertisement.

But as soon as you actually download, a popup opens.

Pretty smart. If people are satisfied, they likely download the picutre.

Then it makes sense to put an ad and try to convert.

But you can also display the ad constantly. That's how Dashword does it.

Convert through Restricted Version

You provide enough to fulfil the intent but not everything. If the user wants all, they have to do something (create account, etc.).

Ahrefs' free Keyword Difficulty checker is a great example of this.

They fulfil intent by providing you with the score.

But to see the full data of the top 10 results you have to create an account.

Another good showcase is Backlinko's free keyword tool.

You see a lot of the keywords. But to see all, you have to open Semrush.

Step #4 - Optimise the Page (On-Page SEO)

Now that we know what should be on the page, let's optimise it.

We’ve previously seen that Google uses Keywords to understand our content.

Check their “How Search Works” page for more details.

But this doesn’t mean you should spam the keyword.

Please don’t do this.

“Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

To give you a better idea, here is a Keyword Stuffing example by Google.

So, where should you we add keywords and which ones?

Well, you should add the topic name in the following places:

  • H1, H2 or H3

  • First 150 words

  • Title Tag

  • Meta Description

  • Url

H1, H2 or H3

H1, H2, H3 are abbreviations for Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3.

If you’re non technical, this is how you logically structure your website into main heading (H1), subheadings (H2), and sub-subheadhings (H3).

As Google states about keywords: “If they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant”.

Thus, the H1 is the most relevant place to put a keyword. Followed by H2, H3 & finally other text.

In the previous chapters we saw that for landing pages, feature & solution pages it often makes sense to not put the topic into H1.

Why?

Well, the most important aspect of these pages is to convert visitors to customers. For that, you need a great copy. Just look at practice.do’s landing page.

But for the free tools pages, it does make sense to add the topic name into the H1. It directly meets the intent of the user and helps with ranking.

Revisit the previous sections and take note of that. Every page has the topic name in their H1.

So I would do that as well.

First 150 words

According to Backlinko, Google pays more attention to the first 150 words of a page. So, if possible, include the topic name here as well.

Title Tag

The title tag is the title you see in the preview of a page.

Add the topic keyword to the title tag.

You want to put your keyword in the front of your title tag whenever possible. This is called front loading.

But you don’t just want to have the topic keyword as title tag. You want to add other things to it as well. Things that make the people click.

To improve the share of people clicking on your page, make sure to make your title tag irresistible and stand out.

An example for the topic “seo for startups” could be:

Bet you would click on that!

The length of the title tag should not be too long. Use this SERP simulator tool to check how it’d look like.

Meta Description

The meta description is the description you see in the preview of a page.

Google sometimes automatically replaces it with other parts of your content. This is nothing to worry about.

Generally the meta description is not a ranking factor.

But if you have the keyword the user searches for in the meta description, Google highlights it.

This increases the chance the user clicks on your result over others.

Again, the length should be fitting. You can use the same SERP simulator to check that.

Url

Here is what Google recommends the url to look like.

To summarise, the url should

  • be short & descriptive (=keyword rich)

  • UTF-8 encoded & localised

  • use hyphens to replace spaces

Great!

But what exactly does this now mean for the url of our free tool pages?

There are two different approaches.

Either you use a Root Directory Layout or a Subfolder Layout.

The difference is that with a subfolder layout, you have an additional subfolder (e.g. "/tools") in the URL that groups all tools together. Similar to what you do with "/blog".

The slug is the topic name.

Generally, having a subfolder makes sense to help Google understand the structure of a page.

But only if you have more than a few thousand URLs.

So it does not matter what directory structure you go for.

Some people also like to shorten the slug. Again, do it if you prefer, but it does not matter for SEO.

Add Cluster Keywords

Besides the main topic name, also add the cluster keywords in other places of the content where it makes sense.

Some people call the cluster keywords LSI keywords. If you ever hear somebody say it, now you know what it is;)

Don’t overdo it however. Only add the cluster keywords where it makes sense.

Remember: “Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

Now that we know what should be on the page, let's optimise it.

We’ve previously seen that Google uses Keywords to understand our content.

Check their “How Search Works” page for more details.

But this doesn’t mean you should spam the keyword.

Please don’t do this.

“Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

To give you a better idea, here is a Keyword Stuffing example by Google.

So, where should you we add keywords and which ones?

Well, you should add the topic name in the following places:

  • H1, H2 or H3

  • First 150 words

  • Title Tag

  • Meta Description

  • Url

H1, H2 or H3

H1, H2, H3 are abbreviations for Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3.

If you’re non technical, this is how you logically structure your website into main heading (H1), subheadings (H2), and sub-subheadhings (H3).

As Google states about keywords: “If they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant”.

Thus, the H1 is the most relevant place to put a keyword. Followed by H2, H3 & finally other text.

In the previous chapters we saw that for landing pages, feature & solution pages it often makes sense to not put the topic into H1.

Why?

Well, the most important aspect of these pages is to convert visitors to customers. For that, you need a great copy. Just look at practice.do’s landing page.

But for the free tools pages, it does make sense to add the topic name into the H1. It directly meets the intent of the user and helps with ranking.

Revisit the previous sections and take note of that. Every page has the topic name in their H1.

So I would do that as well.

First 150 words

According to Backlinko, Google pays more attention to the first 150 words of a page. So, if possible, include the topic name here as well.

Title Tag

The title tag is the title you see in the preview of a page.

Add the topic keyword to the title tag.

You want to put your keyword in the front of your title tag whenever possible. This is called front loading.

But you don’t just want to have the topic keyword as title tag. You want to add other things to it as well. Things that make the people click.

To improve the share of people clicking on your page, make sure to make your title tag irresistible and stand out.

An example for the topic “seo for startups” could be:

Bet you would click on that!

The length of the title tag should not be too long. Use this SERP simulator tool to check how it’d look like.

Meta Description

The meta description is the description you see in the preview of a page.

Google sometimes automatically replaces it with other parts of your content. This is nothing to worry about.

Generally the meta description is not a ranking factor.

But if you have the keyword the user searches for in the meta description, Google highlights it.

This increases the chance the user clicks on your result over others.

Again, the length should be fitting. You can use the same SERP simulator to check that.

Url

Here is what Google recommends the url to look like.

To summarise, the url should

  • be short & descriptive (=keyword rich)

  • UTF-8 encoded & localised

  • use hyphens to replace spaces

Great!

But what exactly does this now mean for the url of our free tool pages?

There are two different approaches.

Either you use a Root Directory Layout or a Subfolder Layout.

The difference is that with a subfolder layout, you have an additional subfolder (e.g. "/tools") in the URL that groups all tools together. Similar to what you do with "/blog".

The slug is the topic name.

Generally, having a subfolder makes sense to help Google understand the structure of a page.

But only if you have more than a few thousand URLs.

So it does not matter what directory structure you go for.

Some people also like to shorten the slug. Again, do it if you prefer, but it does not matter for SEO.

Add Cluster Keywords

Besides the main topic name, also add the cluster keywords in other places of the content where it makes sense.

Some people call the cluster keywords LSI keywords. If you ever hear somebody say it, now you know what it is;)

Don’t overdo it however. Only add the cluster keywords where it makes sense.

Remember: “Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

Now that we know what should be on the page, let's optimise it.

We’ve previously seen that Google uses Keywords to understand our content.

Check their “How Search Works” page for more details.

But this doesn’t mean you should spam the keyword.

Please don’t do this.

“Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

To give you a better idea, here is a Keyword Stuffing example by Google.

So, where should you we add keywords and which ones?

Well, you should add the topic name in the following places:

  • H1, H2 or H3

  • First 150 words

  • Title Tag

  • Meta Description

  • Url

H1, H2 or H3

H1, H2, H3 are abbreviations for Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3.

If you’re non technical, this is how you logically structure your website into main heading (H1), subheadings (H2), and sub-subheadhings (H3).

As Google states about keywords: “If they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant”.

Thus, the H1 is the most relevant place to put a keyword. Followed by H2, H3 & finally other text.

In the previous chapters we saw that for landing pages, feature & solution pages it often makes sense to not put the topic into H1.

Why?

Well, the most important aspect of these pages is to convert visitors to customers. For that, you need a great copy. Just look at practice.do’s landing page.

But for the free tools pages, it does make sense to add the topic name into the H1. It directly meets the intent of the user and helps with ranking.

Revisit the previous sections and take note of that. Every page has the topic name in their H1.

So I would do that as well.

First 150 words

According to Backlinko, Google pays more attention to the first 150 words of a page. So, if possible, include the topic name here as well.

Title Tag

The title tag is the title you see in the preview of a page.

Add the topic keyword to the title tag.

You want to put your keyword in the front of your title tag whenever possible. This is called front loading.

But you don’t just want to have the topic keyword as title tag. You want to add other things to it as well. Things that make the people click.

To improve the share of people clicking on your page, make sure to make your title tag irresistible and stand out.

An example for the topic “seo for startups” could be:

Bet you would click on that!

The length of the title tag should not be too long. Use this SERP simulator tool to check how it’d look like.

Meta Description

The meta description is the description you see in the preview of a page.

Google sometimes automatically replaces it with other parts of your content. This is nothing to worry about.

Generally the meta description is not a ranking factor.

But if you have the keyword the user searches for in the meta description, Google highlights it.

This increases the chance the user clicks on your result over others.

Again, the length should be fitting. You can use the same SERP simulator to check that.

Url

Here is what Google recommends the url to look like.

To summarise, the url should

  • be short & descriptive (=keyword rich)

  • UTF-8 encoded & localised

  • use hyphens to replace spaces

Great!

But what exactly does this now mean for the url of our free tool pages?

There are two different approaches.

Either you use a Root Directory Layout or a Subfolder Layout.

The difference is that with a subfolder layout, you have an additional subfolder (e.g. "/tools") in the URL that groups all tools together. Similar to what you do with "/blog".

The slug is the topic name.

Generally, having a subfolder makes sense to help Google understand the structure of a page.

But only if you have more than a few thousand URLs.

So it does not matter what directory structure you go for.

Some people also like to shorten the slug. Again, do it if you prefer, but it does not matter for SEO.

Add Cluster Keywords

Besides the main topic name, also add the cluster keywords in other places of the content where it makes sense.

Some people call the cluster keywords LSI keywords. If you ever hear somebody say it, now you know what it is;)

Don’t overdo it however. Only add the cluster keywords where it makes sense.

Remember: “Just think: when you search for “dogs”, you likely don’t want a page with the word “dogs” on it hundreds of times.” ~ Google

Step #5 - Fulfil Technical Requirements

There are only a few technical aspects that actually matter.

Here’s the checklist.

Internal Linking

It is very important to link to the newly created tool pages. Otherwise the Google bot can’t find the page.

Here is what I would do.

I'd create a tool overview page which lists and links to all of the free tools you have. Here is the tool overview page by Ahrefs.

Then, add a link to this page in the Footer.

If it makes sense you can also link to the most important tools from the Header.

The idea is to tell Google: "Hey, these pages are actually very important and very relevant". Ideally this increases the page ranking when somebody searches for it.

It 100% does not hurt.

Besides that, you should also interlink the individual free tools. See for example Pallyy's Pinterest Photo Resizer page.

The goal is to keep the links as relevant as possible. You want to show the user the most relevant other free tools you offer.

For example, Pallyy's image caption generator links to this other set of free tools.

One last thing.

Generally it’s recommended to use keyword rich anchor texts.

So if you are linking to a page for the topic “free meta description generator”, I'd just use this or the shortened version ("meta description generator") as text of the link.

Page Speed & Responsiveness

Page Speed is the amount of time it takes your webpage to fully load.

Responsiveness is the ability of your website to adjust its layout and content to different screen sizes and devices.

Google does evaluate these aspects. They are generally referred to as Core Web Vitals.

Google Search Console tells you exactly how you perform for all your pages.

Head to the “Core Web Vitals” tab and see the performance for Mobile and on Desktop. But if you’re using the newer website builders like Webflow or Framer this should be all good.

And even if something isn't great, I wouldn’t stress too much about this.

Graphite found that the Core Web Vitals actually have low direct impact on ranking.

Even Google themselves state that “when all things are relatively equal, content that people will find more accessible may perform better”.

That’s a lot of "if" and "may" in my opinion.

But what does matter from my experience is how the user interacts with your page.

If a person get’s annoyed because your site loads for 4 seconds, hits back and clicks on your competitor.

Well, that’s a bad sign and a lost lead.

We want to avoid that.

So just make sure the page loads quickly and is responsive (=can be accessed from smartphones).

There are only a few technical aspects that actually matter.

Here’s the checklist.

Internal Linking

It is very important to link to the newly created tool pages. Otherwise the Google bot can’t find the page.

Here is what I would do.

I'd create a tool overview page which lists and links to all of the free tools you have. Here is the tool overview page by Ahrefs.

Then, add a link to this page in the Footer.

If it makes sense you can also link to the most important tools from the Header.

The idea is to tell Google: "Hey, these pages are actually very important and very relevant". Ideally this increases the page ranking when somebody searches for it.

It 100% does not hurt.

Besides that, you should also interlink the individual free tools. See for example Pallyy's Pinterest Photo Resizer page.

The goal is to keep the links as relevant as possible. You want to show the user the most relevant other free tools you offer.

For example, Pallyy's image caption generator links to this other set of free tools.

One last thing.

Generally it’s recommended to use keyword rich anchor texts.

So if you are linking to a page for the topic “free meta description generator”, I'd just use this or the shortened version ("meta description generator") as text of the link.

Page Speed & Responsiveness

Page Speed is the amount of time it takes your webpage to fully load.

Responsiveness is the ability of your website to adjust its layout and content to different screen sizes and devices.

Google does evaluate these aspects. They are generally referred to as Core Web Vitals.

Google Search Console tells you exactly how you perform for all your pages.

Head to the “Core Web Vitals” tab and see the performance for Mobile and on Desktop. But if you’re using the newer website builders like Webflow or Framer this should be all good.

And even if something isn't great, I wouldn’t stress too much about this.

Graphite found that the Core Web Vitals actually have low direct impact on ranking.

Even Google themselves state that “when all things are relatively equal, content that people will find more accessible may perform better”.

That’s a lot of "if" and "may" in my opinion.

But what does matter from my experience is how the user interacts with your page.

If a person get’s annoyed because your site loads for 4 seconds, hits back and clicks on your competitor.

Well, that’s a bad sign and a lost lead.

We want to avoid that.

So just make sure the page loads quickly and is responsive (=can be accessed from smartphones).

There are only a few technical aspects that actually matter.

Here’s the checklist.

Internal Linking

It is very important to link to the newly created tool pages. Otherwise the Google bot can’t find the page.

Here is what I would do.

I'd create a tool overview page which lists and links to all of the free tools you have. Here is the tool overview page by Ahrefs.

Then, add a link to this page in the Footer.

If it makes sense you can also link to the most important tools from the Header.

The idea is to tell Google: "Hey, these pages are actually very important and very relevant". Ideally this increases the page ranking when somebody searches for it.

It 100% does not hurt.

Besides that, you should also interlink the individual free tools. See for example Pallyy's Pinterest Photo Resizer page.

The goal is to keep the links as relevant as possible. You want to show the user the most relevant other free tools you offer.

For example, Pallyy's image caption generator links to this other set of free tools.

One last thing.

Generally it’s recommended to use keyword rich anchor texts.

So if you are linking to a page for the topic “free meta description generator”, I'd just use this or the shortened version ("meta description generator") as text of the link.

Page Speed & Responsiveness

Page Speed is the amount of time it takes your webpage to fully load.

Responsiveness is the ability of your website to adjust its layout and content to different screen sizes and devices.

Google does evaluate these aspects. They are generally referred to as Core Web Vitals.

Google Search Console tells you exactly how you perform for all your pages.

Head to the “Core Web Vitals” tab and see the performance for Mobile and on Desktop. But if you’re using the newer website builders like Webflow or Framer this should be all good.

And even if something isn't great, I wouldn’t stress too much about this.

Graphite found that the Core Web Vitals actually have low direct impact on ranking.

Even Google themselves state that “when all things are relatively equal, content that people will find more accessible may perform better”.

That’s a lot of "if" and "may" in my opinion.

But what does matter from my experience is how the user interacts with your page.

If a person get’s annoyed because your site loads for 4 seconds, hits back and clicks on your competitor.

Well, that’s a bad sign and a lost lead.

We want to avoid that.

So just make sure the page loads quickly and is responsive (=can be accessed from smartphones).

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.