SEO tools are expensive. And when you’re a small-business owner (like me), gets tough to manage expenses.
Moreover, most free tools you use earlier are limited; making you feel stuck! Switching to learn new tool is the last thing you do.
So, I come up with a toolbox, ‘a full-stack solution’, to help you with:
- Content ideas & Keyword Research to rank higher
- Writing and structuring to curate better
- Copy Editing to publish stuff quicker
- Lead gen to make you wealthier.
And I’ll walk you through how to use them, so you curate SEO friendly content.
I promise you won’t need any extra tool ever.
Let’s dive in!
For performing the content research
Answer the Public – for finding reader’s problems
Answer the Public fast-tracks content research, filtering those queries people are constantly asking on Google. Hence, you’ve a closer look to audience’s pain-points.
How to use
Just enter a broad keyword. 100s of question phrases… arranged in a flowchart.
1. Never ran-outta content ideas – As we discussed, a single phrase can generate 100s of content ideas.
2. Creating content relevant to your audience – you’re answering what they’re looking for.
3. Why, How, What queries in one tab– saves loads of time.
Ubersuggest – For keyword research and generating content ideas
It’s the best available freemium tool to make your blog writing & SEO analysis better. Ubersuggest 7.0 has become a full-stack SEO tool.
1. Extract exact keyword search volume.
Enter the relevant keyword, Ubersuggest will show you the keyword volume.
2. The tool divides keywords based on the nature of query; to decipher search intent.
Scrolling down in the Ubersuggest, you’ll find more keywords related to the keyword entered.
3. Helping SEO writers to estimate high-traffic content opportunities.
Enter the competitor’s URL >> Content Ideas >> Pick ones which are getting high traffic
Google Keyword Planner – To steal competitor’s keywords
A free keyword research tool by Google. Just sign up to Google Adwords account.
PS – You don’t need to run any Ads to access Keyword Planner.
How to Use
Step 1 – Copy the blog’s link you want to outrank.
Step 2 – Click ‘Discover New Keywords’ option >> Start with a website >> enter the URL >> use only this page
Step 3 – Click “Get Results” and will show you Relevant keywords wrt the blog.
Step 4 – Select the targeted country.
My targeted countries are India & the USA.
Step 5 – Now, Select all >> Download as CSV >> Now manually filter relevant keywords.
A) To Generate Keyword Ideas
Enter 3-4 keywords you want to target.
Generates piles of long-tail keywords to optimize for… sorted with relevancy (alikeness wrt keywords you entered)
Adding up in Keyword Clustering, an advanced keyword research strategy, where you need 30-40 relevant keywords. For uncovering such an exhaustive list, GKP comes more than handy.
B) To find Clicks & CTR for the keyword
CTR is important as one the prime ranking factors, declared by Spark Toro.
And clicks to get you the idea, how much organic traffic you’ll get.
Go to the ‘Get Volume and search forecast’ tab. Enter the keyword (preferably broad keyword)
Imp. Remark – these are clicks by Ads; expect 3x better results for your blue links.
Rand Fishkin ran an experiment with ‘lightning consultant’ and ‘types of lightning’… where AdWords was misleading the data, promoting ‘lightning consultant’ (money keyword) to drive higher bids.
“We looked at the AdWords impression, know that these can be dead f’ing wrong, totally misleading, and throw your organic campaigns off.”By Rand Fishkin.
Google AdWords mislead data such to invite visitors to bid more on the money keywords than informative keywords.
That’s why I ALWAYS use a combination of Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and Auto Suggest.
PS – Click on this guide to learn how to find Keywords from Autosuggest.
C) To determine the Commercial intent of the keyword
Skip the High, Medium, or Low tussle.
Focus on how much they’re paying… Higher the bid = more advertisers are bidding for the keyword, stronger the commercial intent.
Now, you’ve selected topics to write.
And ideally, found the primary keyword you wanna target. And atleast 30-40 variations of it.
Now, you’ve to convert those keywords into a topic.
This brings me to the writing part! And for this process, most clients pay you. So… read this carefully. 👨🏻🏫
Tools for Structuring & Writing the stuff
Notepad – hassle-free blog structuring
I prefer Notepad before transferring the content to MS Word or G Docs.
Reason – clutter-free interface.
Also, I don’t like MS Word marking red lines all over the sheet while I’m writing. Poof! After this, your content should look like this.
The content structure (or I call it content skeleton) is done.
It may look few lines but I guarantee your job is at least 50% done.
Pro-Tip to structure your blogs:
Convert every content topic into a sub-head. And interconnect those subheads such one sub-head leads to the other at synchronous manner.
That being said, let’s beef those sub-heads. By performing Content Research 😀
Moz DA Checker – to gauge the authority of the website
To tell you it’s importance, let me ask you this…
Have you read a particular website content… and felt spooky?
Me – Yes! And I’m sure you too.
Albright did a study, estimated 40% fake information on Search Engines.
For SEO, after the E-A-T update, Google is focusing on ranking sites that “present accurate and fresh data”.
Moz DA Checker is the Authority analyzer, helps you exactly with this. It saves you from the sketchy websites.
How to Use
Install the chrome plugin >> Google any query >> click the Extension >> Will show DA, PA and Backlinks of the SERPs. Higher these three factors… more authoritative the content.
And you can also go to any website, click the extension, will show you PA, DA and backlinks of that webpage.
Fun Fact – embedding links of high-authority websites (known as outbound links) improves the authority of your web page.
Side Note – If you want to find low-competition keywords… Moz DA is the perfect tool for this. Read this guide to learn how to find low-hanging fruits in SEO.
Conducting research from high-authority sites (like facts, definition, or, notions) for every sub-topic… and put it on my Notepad.
So, the Topic is Beefed! Shit done.
Google Docs – to paraphrase and refine
MS-Word – Paid (comes inside the Office 365 package @ $150)
Google Docs – Free
I use this when I’ve completed my entire research work. Transfer the stuff into the MS Word.
And then I start paraphrasing it. For this, I use the bucket-brigade method by Brian Dean.
The concept behind: present the best benefit info (brownie points if you’ve stats) upfront. And then show that how the reader can achieve the same. This keeps the readers in the loop to read further.
Acc. To Databox, 2-3 minutes is the industry standard avg. session duration.
And my avg. session duration (= broadly speaking time spent on page) is quite above. 😉
Adding up, in this phase I curate the introduction and conclusion of the article.
For refining the doc
I use tricks:
- Ctrl + F to determine the repetition of a particular phrase.
- Listen the audio to pick the awkward flow in the content.
For more – Read this guide – Proofreading tricks.
Tools to transform content from Meh to Memorable
Merriam Webster mobile App – To check the correct word usage
I can vouch for Merriam over Google synonyms at any day. It shares meaning in several versions and gives atleast 2 sentences using them.
Best offline app for writing the blog posts.
Accessing via the internet, you can listen to pronunciation in both the US and the UK dialect.
Fun Fact – Rand Fishkin, Founder at SparkToro, also uses Merriam Webster… wanted to share this with you. 😊
Word Hippo Mobile App – to add emotions
This app for writing blog posts was recommended by my fellow freelancer, Abhijeet Kumar.
Word Hippo, an amazing tool, for finding synonyms and antonyms.
But, Why not Google it? How Word Hippo Works?
Because Word Hippo go beyond just similar meaning words… shares slangs, idioms, informal words which Google will not (due to Community Guidelines). Adding emotions and word diversity in the content.
Hang in there, I’ll show you the gem of a tool in title writing. So, scroll further.
My every article goes through the three-tier screening system. Here’s the checklist, which I use for editing my every client work.
Tools for Copy Editing
Grammarly is the best proofreading tool (and the most popular one) in the business.
Plug-ins to your G Docs or MS Docs. Hence, you don’t have to switch tabs between the writing software and Grammarly.
Experts like Neil Patel, Alex Cattoni, Ankur Aggarwal uses Grammarly in their writing business.
Errors Grammarly detects:
I did the survey of my latest articles (aggregate 10,000 words)… here’re the mistakes Grammarly detected.
PS – If you’re a newbie and not a native English speaker… you may find a lot of red marks, but it’s fine. It will get corrected. 😁
I’m stressing so much on proofing and refining part because Google has found a strong correlation between Top 10 SERPs VS Grammar & Spellings. Better the rankings… lesser the mistakes.
This open-source software, Smart Editor, 2x my copy editing process.
- Those parts where word length is more than normal and present them in one tab. Sentence length < 10 words; works well for me.
- Counts the words frequency. Anaphora is bad for readability.
For Live Demonstration (in Hinglish)
In this video, I described:
- Trimming text,
- Erasing weak verbs,
- And squashing out repetition,
Bonus: 11 Copywriting Tips inside.
Just before publishing the content
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – For Title Writing
It’s the most popular Heading Analyzer among Bloggers and Content Writers.
How CoSchedule Heading Analyzer Works
The tool breaks down the title into detecting: Common Words, Unique Words, Emotional Words, and Power Words. This makes the Ai title-analysis more systematic and accurate.
PS – My Co-Schedule score is between 65-75. Sharing the number… so, you get the idea. Don’t fret much, go with the gut. 💪🏻
1. Identify impactful words in your title
2. Unlimited usage (in exchange for your email)
3. Gives a Quantifiable score to judicially decide.
1. Despite a blog-heading analyzer, no consideration into keywords when analyzing the title.
SEO Tip – Backlinko found a direct correlation between inserting keywords in title and Page 1 results. Thereby, must insert keywords in the title.
2. In their latest update, it doesn’t share the title preview.
3. No Ai title suggestions are shared.
Pro TIP for writing titles – make atleast 4-5 variations of it. To see more – follow this copywriting book review.
Yoast SEO Plugin – For Readability & Technical SEO
If you’re a WordPress blogger too, you’d agree Yoast is made from heaven.
Bloggers like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Eb uses it daily!
To setup the Yoast plugin, follow this tutorial:
For a Content Writer, Yoast SEO Plugin helps with:
- Title Preview
- Fischer readability score
- Passage break for better readability.
For WordPress SEO, Yoast SEO Plugin enables:
- FAQ Schema
- Sitemap handling
- Cornerstone content
- Rich Pins verification
- Breadcrumbs Enabling
- Preparing Robots.txt file
- Meta description insertion
- Submitting the image sitemap
- Reminding internal links to embed
- Enabling published date to show in SERPs.
Other intangible perks:
- Compatible and timely updated,
- Free tutorials on YouTube,
- Built by a Reputed site.
Counting these many benefits, Yoast does the work of 6 plugins in one.
PRO TIP – Take green-red light just a guideline. Nothing more.
Now, it’s time to put skills to benefit clients. And for that, we need to find clients.
Top 2 picks for lead generation.
Email Hunter – For Cold-Emailing & Outreach Campaigns
Email Hunter, a freemium email finder, taking the boring part away from your outreach campaigns.
First, download the chrome extension and sign up.
How to Use
Just go to your prospect’s website >> Click the hunter’s logo >> Navigate till you find the editor’s email.
Copy the address, make a killer pitch (can be for work, guest post, or links), and wait till they reply.
But obviously, not all editors will reply. And that’s okay.
That’s why I use the Streak to track my email. And once they read the email, but didn’t reply… I’ll shoot a follow-up
Streak – Best Email Tracking tool
I got the recommendation of it from Vaibhav Sisinty, a growth hacker.
A chrome extension, download it here. Once signed in, make sure to check “only for email tracking” and now, you’re ready to use it.
It turns green when someone viewed your mail
The device used, the time, and the location. And if the prospect viewed n times, it would show timings for n times.
Tracks the email but secretively. Other tools (like, CloudHQ) leaves a footmark, but nothing with Streak
1. Not very accurate in checking the location of the device.
2. Be cautious while viewing the sent emails from the handset.
Suppose you sent the email, you later reviewed it via phone… Streak may count this as a view. So, I review my sent mails via laptop only. Would suggest you the same.
Strong limbs of Blacksmith can’t hold a rod without toolbox. He clutches tongs and put the rod into forge with same limbs.
Likewise, experience adds weight but you need tools to weave magic of your words.
So, I presented 14 free content writing tools for SEO to rescue.
- Answer the Public to find content ideas.
- Ubersuggest for exact keyword search volume.
- Google Keyword Planner to steal competitor’s keywords
- Notepad to prepare content skeleton
- Moz DA checker to do the research
- Google Docs to structurize the content
- Merriam Webster and Word Hippo to polish it
- Grammarly & Smart Editor for Proofreading
- Co-Schedule to make a click-worthy title
- Yoast SEO plugin for readability score and Technical SEO
- Email Hunter to find emails of your prospects.
- And Streak to track emails, eases to follow-up.
Topping it with disclosing hard-way learned tricks to get most outta free tools.
No, it’s not. In fact, it’s the golden age for new websites to vest interest in SEO marketing.
With SERP features and upcoming Google’s updates, making it easier for newer websites to enter into the Page 1 and drive huge traffic. Blogger now have to dedicate efforts in curating answer-targeting HQ content and providing good user experience than on PBNs or massive-link outreach.
To include SEO in content writing: Add keywords in H1 andH2 tags, title tags, slug, Alt tags, structurize your blog to make it scannable. Answer queries audience is looking for.
This ensures your blog is relevant for both readers and search engines. Hence, improving the organic visibility
Content writing is a minimal self-investment job. That being said, skills required:
Avid reader. More you read, deeper the research would be. Hence, better content you’ll produce.
Cleverness. Good content writers summarize one page content into a para, cleverly.
Patience. More patiently you read your own content, better you proofread.
Decent Grammar. Grammar mistakes loses out the trust you build, and preventing reader to consume further.
Presentation. With so many content out there, style your stuff to make it stand out. Add bullet points, humor, etc. to keep reader engaged.
SEO in blogging results from your content published and user experience provided.
SEO for content: Keyword research, keyword insertion, thoroughness of the content, blog structure, etc. SEO for user experience: website speeds, theme used, visuals, blog comments, etc.