You have read endless articles about the importance of SEO and you are ready to do whatever it takes to optimise your search engine! GREAT!!! Now: where do you start? Before any major change, it is important to have a set of tools at your disposal. SEO is no different. There is a wide variety of free tools at your disposal that you can use, here are some of our favourite ones: Keyword Planner Before you get optimising your site you need to know what you’re optimising it for, what search terms would your websites to be found for? Keyword Planner lets you check the average monthly search volumes of search terms, from this information you can find the relevant search terms with the best search volume. Remember there is also an element of competition you have to think about, if you’re a jeweller specialising in Art Deco Rings (search 2400), I’d suggest you don’t pin your hopes on getting to the top for Engagement Rings (searched 246,000). Moz Local Moz local is one of the most used free tools when it comes to the initial stages of SEO. It is excellent because it shows on one page your online presence on all major directories including Google +, Bing, Facebook, Scoot and more. The importance of this is to give your domain that little more trust with Google. It also shows whether your information on all these sites is correct and if it can be improved. This is a very simple-to-understand tool and can easily help you improve your online presence. Opensite explorer Opensite explorer is also a Moz tool and lets you check who links to your website just by inserting your URL. Most importantly, however, it lest you check who links to your competition! Again, the more quality relevant links to your site, the more trust Google has in your domain. Opensite explorer is an excellent tool to see what your competition is doing and what websites you can contact for a potential link using good relevant content for their site. Answer the public Answer the public is an excellent tool for content writing. You add a key word such as your industry or a product you want to write about and it shows the most common questions related to your keyword that have been asked online. Similarly to answer the public you can also open an incognito google window and take advantage of auto-fill, simply start writing your keyword and the most searched questions will appear! After you have used all these wonderful free tools, the rest is up to you! Most SEO work is done through research, content creation and online relationship building. SEO is a form of digital networking so, aside from the technical side of the optimisation, a lot of its success depends on your relationship with other websites with a similar audience to your own or synergistic in someway. Once these relationships are nurtured, natural relevant links will then appear on their site, linking to yours. Now that you know some of the secrets of the trade, you don’t have any more excuses! Get cracking!!