24 Simple and Free SEO Tools to Instantly Improve Your Marketing

free seo toolsWhenever I dream up a home improvement project for my place, I end up working smartest and fastest when I have the right tools at my disposal. It’s amazing the difference a good tool can make – and the extra time it takes to get work done without a helpful tool.

Fast-forward to online marketing. How can you work smarter and faster with SEO? 

It starts with having the right tools.

I’ve collected a big sampling of the best free SEO tools on the market—tools with a wide variety of uses and covering a number of common needs. These tools are fast, free, and easy-to-use. I hope you find one or two (or twenty) you can put to good use, today.

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7 Powerful Social Media Experiments That Grew Our Traffic by 241% in 8 Months

If you’ve asked this before…

“How can we get more visitors to our website?”

… You’re certainly not alone, as increasing traffic is often the number one problem faced by marketers today.

The bad news? Saying “get more traffic” is easier said than done. You could write guest posts (Leo wrote 150 articles in 9 months when Buffer first launched), optimize for SEO traffic, or drive visitors through social media. The options are endless. This article focuses on the latter, though.

In this post, I’ll share the seven most powerful lessons we learned at Hubspot from running social media experiments to increase our social media referral traffic by 241%.

Ready to dive in?

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Email Marketing: A Bufferchat Recap

This week in #bufferchat, we talked about the best practices and tips for successful email marketing with our guest, Paul Jarvis! The community discussed why a quality list of subscribers can help a business, what makes an email really engaging, how to craft an awesome subject line, and much more.

If you are interested in learning more about email marketing from Paul, check out his Chimp Essentials course! (Feel free to use the code BUFFER for a $30 discount.)

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, at TWO times every Wednesday for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. Same topic, same place, just at different times – feel free to join in to whichever chat time works best for you!

For our community in Asia and Australia: 4 pm AEDT (Sydney time, UTC+11)

For our community in North/South America, Europe and Africa: 9 am PT / 5 pm GMT

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Everyone Grows an Email List. Here’s Why We Stopped Growing Ours.

Awhile back, we were fortunate to try some neat email tactics that helped double our email list growth in just one month’s time.

Then we stopped growing our list altogether.

We shifted our learnings from growing an email list into growing Buffer signups. And we’ve yet to go back.

Odd? Strange? Counterintuitive? Yep, probably all those things. Most online marketing advice today will advise you to build an email list, first and foremost. We aren’t. We’ve had the same amount of email subscribers to the Buffer blog since June 2015. There are only three places on the whole of the Internet anymore to signup for our list (buried deep within the Buffer app, at the footer of this blog, and at this URL, which we link to from nowhere that I can remember).

How come?

And will we ever go back?

I’d love to share some thoughts.

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How to Write a Content Marketing Strategy Step-by-Step [w/ Strategy Template!]

The good news: your boss or client is totally on board with your running content marketing. (SCORE!)

The challenge: she wants to see a content marketing plan . . . and you have NO IDEA what that’s supposed to look like.

I’ve been there.

It’s a tough situation, because you’ve been doing content marketing with your gut this whole time, and now you’re being asked to put all that into a document. (And the gut-to-document process can be pretty painful.) Plus, you know that awesome content marketing involves a lot of flexibility—how do you build that into a strategic document?

Good news: we’ve scoured the Internet for content marketing strategy templates, tried a few, and put together an approach to building your own content marketing plan step-by-step.

(This is built with both the in-house content marketer and the agent in mind, BTW!)

Let’s go!

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7 Tools to Create an Infographic in 30 Minutes (Design Skills or Not)

Infographics are such a fun and effective visual way to display information. We at Buffer have certainly used them quite a few times to share information.

I always enjoy looking at them, but always feel like there is no way I could ever create one myself.

Or is there?

Adam Levine gif

There are so many tools being released every day allowing us to easily create better and better images— including infographics—to share and use in our marketing efforts.

Even folks (like me!) who never thought it possible to create one ourselves!

I had a lot of fun researching and testing out a handful of different infographic makers, and I’d love to share the seven tools I liked best to easily create beautiful infographics.

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Buffer’s Marketing Manifesto in 500 Words

Treat every piece of content—every tweet, every Facebook post, every CTA, every press outreach email—with the utmost care. There needs to be a bit of an internal struggle when we hit send or publish, if we don’t feel it, I don’t think it’ll be good enough.

This shouldn’t be confused with perfectionism, we want to push things out with consistency and without lingering.

This is about self-discipline to go through that struggle—even if it’s felt ever so slightly—every single time.

We don’t want to …

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[Free download] The Content Distribution Checklist for Maximizing Reach, Traffic, and Shares to Your Content

You’ve written a fantastic blog post.

Now . . . how are people going to find it?

It’s a question most of us bloggers deal with every single time we hit “Publish.”

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a list of things that we could do to bring in some traffic right off the bat—even if the post wasn’t a super-brilliant infographic or 5,000-word masterpiece?

Maybe there is.

I’m excited to share a list of nine ways I’ve found to drive traffic to new blog posts: a checklist of sorts that can help you see how to bring some lift to every new piece of content you publish.

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How to Use Evernote for Productivity, Marketing, and More

So much to do, so little time.

I imagine many marketers might feel this way, what with all the wonderful hats we all get to wear. One of my favorite fixes for helping stay organized is Evernote.

There are so many ways to use the app and since we talk a lot about productivity here on the Buffer blog, I wanted to share 20 ways you can use Evernote for your productivity and marketing.

(A sneak peek at one of the ways: I researched and wrote this article all from within Evernote!)

Are you an Evernote fan? It’d be great to hear your favorite tips and workflows in the comments.

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Why We’re Pivoting the Buffer Blog — Again! — And All We’ve Learned So Far

The Buffer blog brings in 10x the traffic of the Open blog. It has 50x the reach of our email courses. A single post on the blog reaches more people in a day than we reach on Facebook in two weeks.

It is our greatest marketing asset.

And we just keep changing it.

We’re pivoting right now, as we speak! The latest change, which I’m excited to share below, fits with this remarkable culture of experimentation, where there are no sacred cows or off-limits areas. Everything is on the table to improve and iterate.

Even a thing that works really well.

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