Everybody likes free things, and search engine optimization experts are no exception. But with hundreds, if not thousands of SEO tools available, which ones should you choose to use? Some are free, some are paid. Many of the free SEO tools require registration, while others will allow you to dive in headfirst and start using them right away. A lot of the free tools also have paid features that you can unlock with a subscription. Choosing what to use and if you should make an investment in one of these tools can be a tough decision. Your skill level and experience in SEO may help determine if you need or want to invest money in SEO tools. Allow us to provide a little help and make some suggestions to help you get started in improving your search engine visibility today.
This list of 10 free SEO tools are some of the most used tools, by novices and experts alike. Even our team of SEO experts use some of these free tools.
Free Keyword Research Tools
At the core of every great SEO campaign is keyword research. It is one of the most important steps in targeting the right audience. You first need to find out how people are searching for your product or service, and what the exact search phrases users type in. This allows you to craft high quality content around the various ways people search for the solutions you provide and then direct them to your website.
Answer the Public is a different keyword research tool than most. Instead of showing the demand (search volume) of keywords and phrases similar to the one you are looking up, it finds questions that people ask on forums, blogs, and social media that are directly related to the keywords you need. These questions can be turned into awesome keyword opportunities and help you create content that answers the needs of your target audience. The opportunities are almost endless with this tool. You can read more in depth on it from Acquiso.
If you are new to SEO and want to educate yourself on the basics of SEO, Neil Patel’s blog is a great place to start. One of his tools, Ubersuggest, is a powerful free keyword tool that is easy to use and understand.
Get keyword suggestions and competition data
Ubersuggest has a ton of features that are usually only found in paid versions of SEO tools, but here they are 100% free. Type in a keyword that you want to rank for, or a keyword your competitor is ranking for and Ubersuggest will give you detailed data on keyword difficulty, monthly search volume, and more. This free SEO tool even gives you suggested keywords that are based on the keyword that you typed in.
Best Feature: “Content Idea Generator”
Content ideas can be hard to develop if you are new to the blogging world. It is common to know a lot about your own product or service but have a difficult time creating content that will resonate with your audience. This free SEO tool shows you what other high-ranking websites are blogging about for the keyword you are researching, and it can be a great way to start generating ideas for your own website content.
Quickly answer the question: “Can I rank for this keyword?”.
CanIRank does not give you generic advice or keyword data, instead tells you whether you can rank for that keyword or not and does so in extreme detail. It breaks down the difficulty score of your keyword and why your competitors are ranking for it. As a bonus, it will give you actions that you can take to increase your ranking using section scores such as:
- Page Relevancy
- Website Relevancy
- Page External Relevancy
- Site External Relevancy
- Page Strength
- Website Strength
Do you want to know what your competitors are ranking for? SEMrush is probably the best tool for this. The paid version is a bit of an investment and well worth it, but the free version has a ton of great things to offer as well.
Find out what your competitors are ranking for and how much traffic those keywords could be bringing them. This can help as you start your own keyword research and is a great baseline of data to judge your performance.
Best Feature: Keyword Magic
After you look at what your competitors are ranking for. You can use the Keyword Magic Tool to enter in specific keywords or lists of keywords that you would also like to use to optimize your website. The tool will produce a variety of additional keyword options that you could potentially use in your website content. We suggest going one at a time because otherwise the list produced by this tool will be too long to effectively manage and gain insight.
Free SEO Analysis Tools
This is a very handy Chrome extension for anyone evaluating digital marketing and search engine optimization for their website. First, the overall score card is a nice user-friendly feature that provides a quick view of how your page is optimized currently. You can also get an in-depth analysis of your web page optimization and best practices to follow including:
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Google SERP Preview
- Keyword Saturation
- Alt Attributes
- In-Page Links
- XML Sitemap
- Broken Links
- Search Engine Friendly URLs
This tool is fantastic and can give almost too much data for the beginner. Finding technical SEO problems on your site can be a huge pain when you don’t know what to look for, so we recommend seeking the help of a technical SEO expert. If you are in need of help identifying and fixing technical issues, we are here to assist you.
The first step in correcting technical SEO issues is identifying them and this powerful free SEO tool crawls your website using a Google-like crawler, so you can quickly identify what issues Google might be having while crawling and indexing your site. Although the free version is limited to crawling 500 pages, it still generates a comprehensive report of potential issues such as:
- http header errors
- bloated HTML
- crawl errors
Best Feature: Discover Images Missing Alt Text
“Alt text” or alternate text is an attribute added to an image tag in HTML. This text appears inside the image container when the image cannot be displayed. It also helps search engines understand what an image is about and is extremely important for website ADA compliance. Screaming Frog allows you to Bulk Export all images missing alt text so that you can work on repairing them, which is essential for ADA compliance and also for your SEO.
Free WordPress SEO Tools
WordPress is the most used platform for website design. As a result, there are many WordPress plugins designed for the purpose of search engine optimization. And of course, this presents us with one of the most debated topics in the SEO community: when it comes to WordPress SEO plugins, which one is best?
RankMath, All In One SEO, and Yoast are the three top downloaded plugins for WordPress SEO. Each comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. Yoast however, has been the long-time go-to for many digital marketing and web design professionals, and is frequently being updated for security and new features.
This simple to understand platform allows the novice user to easily implement essential SEO best practices directly in their WordPress page builder.
Best Feature: XML Sitemap Generator
XML Sitemaps are created to help search engines learn to crawl and index your website. It is a list of all the pages, categories, posts, and assets on your site. The Yoast plugin automatically generates the XML sitemaps in search engine friendly format and updates it automatically when you create new pages or update existing pages.
Free Google SEO Tools
No list of free SEO tools would be complete without including the tools Google provides for free. Google Search Console provides you with insightful reports about your website’s performance in search, including clicks, impressions, search queries, and more, straight from the source, Google.
Best Feature: Index Coverage Report
This report built into Search Console can tell you how your website is being indexed in Google, if your pages have proper canonical tags, no index pages, crawl errors, 404 pages, and more.
Google Analytics is another tool that provides important data that digital marketing professionals and website owners alike can use regularly. Even though this isn’t technically an “SEO tool”; it is a must have with its powerful reporting capabilities.
The data in Google Analytics tells you whether your SEO and other digital marketing efforts are paying off through data reporting on your various website traffic channels (Organic, Direct, Paid, Referral, Social). The data reports on performance metrics such as:
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources
- Time on site
Best Feature: Conversion Tracking
Track how many times your website visitors converted into leads by calling you, emailing you, filling out your forms, or interacting with videos, and more. The possibilities are almost endless. Setting up conversion tracking does take some training, so you may need help from a digital marketing company to effectively set up and track valuable website conversions.
You need to know how fast your website is loading. That is probably the best user experience optimization you can make to your site until you dive into conversion optimization. People demand instant access to information and if your website loads in more than 1 second, you will start to lose visitors. SEMrush data suggests:
- The first-second delay resulted in a 4.9% drop in the number of articles a visitor read
- The three-second delay resulted in a 7.9% drop
- Visitors read less when delays occurred
The standards many have been using for page load time come from a study conducted by Geoff Kenyon where he compares website speed against the rest of the web:
- if your site loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- if your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- if your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
Best Feature: Website Speed Analysis
Page Speed Insights allows you to see exactly what is slowing your website down including scripts, images, videos, and more.
This is only a small list of free SEO tools. However, this is a great place to start your education! If you need more help, please reach out for a free SEO evaluation from Results Repeat. We can help educate you more on your current SEO and digital marketing and provide some advice for where to focus your future efforts.