Gemma Berry
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Our SEO series looks at a range of free SEO tools you can include in your digital marketing strategy to improve your search performance.

If you pay much attention to online content about SEO practices, you’ll be forgiven for believing that throwing money at someone professional is about the only way to go about doing it. As it turns out, most of that content is written by the people you’d be throwing the money at. (Funny that!) But there’s a lot of perfectly useful free tools out there that could help you DIY your SEO.

If you’re a small organisation with limited disposable revenue, the last thing you want to do is spend money on something you can learn to do yourself. So, with that in mind, here’s the first of a range of helpful, free SEO tools you should check out.

Google Adwords

On the surface, Google Adwords is Google’s paid advertising service; it’s those two or three paid adverts you often find at the top of a Google search page. It’s free to get an account, however, and once you have done, you can also use their keyword finder for free. In essence, this allows you to search terms that could relate to your brand, and see the average monthly searches of that keyword.

Google for Nonprofits can be a powerful platform for Scottish cultural organisations – and did we mention you can get access to it for free? Read more about how it could work for you.

How can you use this to optimise your SEO?

The obvious application is that it helps you identify keywords to target. Even better, it gives you an order of preference. If the term ‘Cultural Organisation Scotland’, for example, gets four times as many searches per month as ‘Scotland Culture Brand’, you can tell that including the former keyword in the body of your text, headings, sub-headings and meta descriptions will help capitalise on that keyword’s higher rate of traffic.

As well as this, the keyword finder also introduces another level of optimisation, by showing you how much competition there is for each search term: low, medium or high. That means you will be able to tell roughly how many other potential search results are configured to that keyword. The lower the competition, the better for you.

In an ideal world you’ll find a keyword that has a high amount of traffic but a low amount of competition. In practice, however, you’ll probably have to find the best compromise between the two.

If you want to get the best out of your SEO strategy, then the Google Keyword Finder is a fantastic place to start. It’s hardly a revolutionary tool, but will certainly get you going along the right track. Savvy cultural marketers should absolutely give it a go.

If you have any queries about Google Adwords, or anything else related to your digital SEO strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be very happy to help.

Main image credit: Google AdWords by FirmBee (CC0 1.0)