SEO October 16, 2020

I'm going to add free tools to my website instead of blogging. Will this work with SEO?

Hossein Shams @hosshams

Hey IHs,

Anybody here using free tools such as favicon maker, logo maker, image converter, etc. in parallel to blogging for lead generation and SEO? I'd like to know how is your result.

For example, I want to build a free favicon builder and put it on mywebsite.com/tools/favicon. Since this tool is providing value for free, I can freely share this URL in communities and probably increase visitors from Google search.

What are your thoughts? Will this work? Does it worth the time developing it or I'd better stick to my product or blogging?

Update: Built it 👉 https://formito.com/tools/favicon

  1. 4

    Yes! This is an awesome strategy for SEO. Just make sure there is search volume around the tool.

    Reuban Gamaz has built an entire business off of this strategy. https://www.docsketch.com/online-signature/

    Coschedule did the same with their headline analyzer.

    Some tools and industries are more competitive than others. But in general this is a great Strategy.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Actually, I made the tool last night. Just a simple Stripe-like Favicon maker. This type of favicons are what I've been using for all of my projects, so I'd be the first user! You can check it out on https://formito.com/tools/favicon . I'm going to make some tweaks today and launch it on ProductHunt tomorrow.

      Let's see results from the first tool, but I personally would like to make a simple logo maker and an Open Graph Image builder as well.

      1. 1

        Awesome! I do seo for a company with a free logo maker. It is an incredible lead gen tool. But that particular keyword is super competitive. I had to build like 700+ links to rank it.

        But the roi they get on that thing is insane.

        I will say this: building links to a free tool is much easier than building links to a blog post. By a lot.

        1. 1

          Building links to a free tool is much easier than building links to a blog post

          Exactly!

  2. 2

    It really depends on the types of tools they are, how relevant they are to your main offering, and how competitive the space is.

    Google's job is to return the best content for every given query. When I search 'favicon maker' there are 870k results, the top one being https://favicon.io/ which seems to have the market cornered.

    When creating a tool you're competing against existing tools - tools that people may already love and then you're spending a lot of time marketing the tool in order to build up trust and authority... when that could be spent on your business.

    I would not consider creating tools a primary SEO strategy, I've always thought of them as a lead conversion strategy as a light version of your product offering to entice visitors to sign up for a trial, book a demo, etc.

    Blogging on the other hand allows you to:
    -signal to Google what your site is about and build authority
    -shows you are an expert in your domain
    -gives you a steady stream of content to share across mediums
    -allows you to build trust with your visitors.

    1. 1

      The tools I'm going to build are somehow related to my product. People can make a page on my products, where they can set favicon and og-image. Building such tools and linking to them from my builder would be also helpful to my users.

      I'll try to make something a little different from current tools. For example, I'm building an SVG Favicon Maker (which is now supported by evergreen browsers. So I can target new people and new search queries. Also, this is a tool I'm going to use myself.

      But I totally agree with your points about blogging. These tools shouldn't be a replacer for valuable content. I'll keep it in mind.

      Thank you so much.

      1. 1

        No problem glad it was helpful!

        That makes more sense then - given that I would rephrase my initial comment to say that tools can compliment rather than replace a content strategy. Not all content is the same - I know the notion of a funnel is a bit tired but the model works: there is content for people at the beginning stage, middle, and buying stage.

        Your blog content is great for beginner stage prospects. These are people researching a problem and do not have a solution lined up yet.

        Free tools are great for middle stage prospects who are evaluating solutions.

        Both are valid but valid for different stages, so leaning into both makes a lot of sense as a strategy.

        1. 1

          That's right. Also, it's easier to get a free link-back for a free tool than a paid one. There are blog posts listing top favicon builders for 2020. I can reach out to them, mention my tool, and ask them to add it to the list. I'm not quite sure about this statement, but it can increase my Domain Authority that eventually helps with my content marketing in the future.

  3. 1

    Yes!

    One of my products is an A/B testing tool. A facet of its core functionality is suggesting experiment ideas specific to a website, and applying them via visual editor. I recently took that, and made it a free stand-alone tool that anyone can use:

    https://www.splitwit.com/ab-test-ideas/

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing your tool. Could you talk a little about numbers? Have this tool helped you with capturing more leads or more visitors?

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