5 free SEO tools to optimise your membership association website in 2018
Do you need to drive more traffic to your membership association website? An important part of getting people to your membership website includes ranking well in organic search results, which is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
In a nutshell, SEO is about making sure that your membership association website appears prominently on a search engines results page (SERP) when a person types in keywords related to your membership organisation.
As a membership organisation, it is important that you understand the importance of SEO in your digital marketing strategy, and how best to optimise your membership content for online success.
SEO is an area that is always evolving, and it can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start. If this sounds familiar, then one option available to you is to outsource the work to a digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO. However, if your membership organisation operates on a tighter budget then an agency might be an expensive option.
There are SEO tools available to manage your membership organisation’s SEO yourself – and many of them are free.
In this article, we have put together 5 of our favourite free SEO tools to optimise your membership association website in 2018.
Google Trends is a useful tool for comparing the popularity of search terms over a given time frame. It works by analysing how many searched there have been for a specific keyword relative to the total number of Google searches in the same period. You can change the location, category and type of search (web, image, news, shopping or YouTube) to get more granular data.
You can enter up to 5 search terms simultaneously, and the results are shown in a graph showing interest over time.
Google trends will also help you to identify trending topics and search terms related to the information your target market is searching for. This is very helpful when working out which content your members and potential members are looking for.
These lists will provide inspiration for topical subjects that you can cover in your blog posts and marketing campaigns that will drive more traffic to your membership association website.
If you want to monitor how your membership association website performs for specific keywords, SEMrush Position Tracking tool is very useful. Using SEMrush you can track the performance of up to 10 organic keywords and see how your competitors rank for the same keywords.
With the free version of SEMrush, you can enter one domain within the Projects section, which will give you access to all the SEMrush tools available. These include:
- Site audit – identify any issues such as broken links, missing or duplicate titles and descriptions and missing alt text.
- Backlink audit – discover and remove potentially toxic backlinks which can lead to penalties by search engines.
- Link building – find and analyse the most powerful sites in your niche, rate them and discover how you can acquire links.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
The Screaming Frog SEO spider is a desktop tool that you install on your PC. With the free version, you can crawl up to 500 URLs and it will analyse links, images, scripts and onsite page elements for SEO, and help you find and fix broken links, duplicate pages and issues with page titles and meta descriptions. Screaming Frog will also generate an XML sitemap, which you can add to your Google Search Console to help Google easily find pages on your membership association website.
Screaming Frog is a valuable tool for optimising your content efficiently, and will eliminate the risk of missing critical issues from manually checking individual pages. All information is well organised in separate tabs and you can export data to Excel for further analysis.
Google Search Console
The Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a suite of SEO tools that provide valuable information about your membership association website at a glance.
Google Search Console will assess your membership website’s performance and inform you of issues such as broken links that lead to 404 error pages. You can also remove content from Google’s search index that you have taken down from your site so that broken links won’t be delivered in search results.
One of the most useful features of the Google Search Console is that it tells you which search terms are being used to find your membership website. This is very useful if you are looking for new or alternative keywords to use in your web copy.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz’s Keyword Explorer takes you through the entire research process and provides metrics and scores to help with keyword selection. You begin with the discovery of keyword ideas and can filter these based on volume, keyword difficulty and Click-Through Rate. You can then create categorised keyword lists to assist with sorting and retrieval. The free version of Moz Keyword Explorer gives you up to 20 keyword, domain or exact page queries per month.
There is a huge amount of SEO tools available online that will help you to optimise your membership association website in 2018, and this is only a snapshot. Of course, you will need to test them to work out which one works best for your membership organisation and helps you achieve your search objectives.
Inbound marketing for membership associations
At Artonezero, we help membership organisations build greater user-engagement and grow their membership with membership website design and development, mobile app development, strategic software integration, digital marketing strategy, all with ongoing technical support and guidance.