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TOP 18 free SEO tools for your toolbox

Eugene Serbin (Head of SEO) SEO Services Reviews December 13, 2019
Is there any chance you can save a buck when diving into SEO? The answer is… a resounding “YES”!

All things optimization can be a heavy cross to bear, though it’s in your power to make it lighter. Here’s a round-up of free SEO tools that will help you save on paid services and avoid messing up on your undertakings. Your wallet will definitely thank you.

Go-to helpers for keyword research

If you have read our SEO guide (if not, it’s never too late to do the right thing), you know that keyword planning is a stepping stone to further optimization steps.

There are many tools you can use to this end, but some of them are way more insightful than others. Let me walk you through.

Keyword research with Google Keyword Planner tool
Something really wise is coming: if you do SEO for Google, why would you give up on using tools from this behemoth? Especially when they are on the house, so to speak.

Google Keyword Planner offers SEOs rich functionality coupled with many insights, like search volume and forecasts. It also allows you to hand-pick the keywords that fit your product or service best. Just type them in, use a country filter, and let your eyes wander in the waters of crucial metrics.


The overview of Ubersuggest keyword research tool

This tool is jam-packed with features that will make every SEO’s life easier. It shows you a keyword difficulty score, search volume, CPC data, and how many backlinks top-ranking websites have on average.

Ubersuggest also gives you a better idea of how your keywords are used in search queries most often. That’s when its list of questions, comparisons, and prepositions comes in.

A word of SEO advice: If you only embark on your SEO journey, start with Google tools to get a handle on how they all work.

Top-end tools for technical SEO

The way to Google’s heart is through technical SEO. But how do you address all its aspects when there are so many intricacies to steer through? Obviously, not manually.

Make use of the tools below, and you’ll see that technical SEO is not as a hard nut to crack as it seems.

Screaming Frog

Crawling a website with Screaming Frog tool

Have you ever audited your website? If you still feel the pain of spotting all those broken links and missing on-page elements as if it was yesterday, you will definitely love Screaming Frog.

It works like a crawler that gets its hands on all pages of your website (500 URLs for the free version). Then it provides you with insights into meta tags, dead links, shabby redirects, and even duplicate content. And you don’t have to “kiss this frog” to get such an in-depth report.

A word of SEO advice: If the idea of crawling 500 URLs tops in one go doesn’t sit well with you, Beam Us Up is another SEO crawler to rely on. Similar to Screaming Frog in functionality, it doesn’t thwart you by limits.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Website performance indicators in Google PageSpeed Insights

Just like you hate waiting in line, users loathe being held up on your website. It is estimated that every second of the delayed loading accounts for a 12% reduction in your conversion rates.

Now breathe. Google PageSpeed Insights can measure how fast your website loads, giving you the much-needed pointers on how to speed it up on the fly. Do not gloss over them.

Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

A mobile site version test using Mobile-Friendly Test Tool

Are you sure your website doesn’t scare mobile users away? If you’ve just shaken your head, Google (again!) makes it easier for you to check that.

You type in the URL, and this tool shows how mobile-friendly the site is in a few moments. Don’t fret if something is wrong with its performance. You’ll get a detailed list of errors to fix, if any.

Structured Data Testing Tool

Sprucing up structured data with Structured Data Testing Tool

Incorrect structured data is the number one reason why there may be some sort of misunderstanding between your website and search engine crawlers. You don’t want to be at odds with Google, do you?

Make sure your website is a healthy environment for crawlers, so they understand your content in an obstacle-free way. By using Structured Data Testing Tool, you can see how well your code adheres to Google’s structured data guidelines and edit it right there.

Putting it all together: Gone are the days when SEOs had to address the technical side of the process on their own. Many tools are now available to check website performance, structured data, duplicate content, etc.

Most popular lifesavers for content production

SEO and content writing go hand in hand, and you can’t part them from each other. Web copy drives the largest share of organic traffic, while Google “reads” it to determine whether it’s relevant to what users are looking for.

However, many still turn a blind eye to their content. Almost every other SEO believes that online businesses cut corners on its quality. Make sure yours is not one of them by relying on this treasure trove of tools.

Grammarly

Writing and checking content for mistakes with Grammarly

Even if you’re a grammar geek, there’s nothing wrong with double-checking. Grammarly will help you a lot in making your writing error-free.

This tool is like your personal content assistant who never gets tired of proofreading your writing and checking it for readability, clarity, engagement, and misspelled words. Whether you’re starting a blog or crafting a product description, let Grammarly have a look at the piece to make it flow smoothly.

Copyscape

Typing in the URL to check its copies on the web

Scraped content drives everyone up the wall, including Google bots. That means if this stuff is detected on your website, they will put you down on the SERP.

Plagiarism makes you a thief in the online world, and Copyscape serves as an undercover detective to investigate the crimes of this kind. It will take you a second to paste a URL and bring all those villains who have “borrowed” your content to light.

A word of SEO advice: If you outsource your content writing, don’t take it at face value. Always use these tools to ensure that your content is unique and free from cringeworthy mistakes.

Must-have backlink checkers

When your SEO campaign is in full swing, you’re likely to be taken aback by a myriad of links pointing to your website. It’s crucial to control this endless flow to be aware of how many backlinks you have and which of them pay off.

I’ve compiled a list of the 3 most helpful (and so free) backlink checkers waiting to be used at any time.

Ahrefs Backlink Checker

URL rating and the number of backlinks showed by Ahrefs

With billions of pages crawled daily, this tool by Ahrefs is well worth having a closer look at. It helps you monitor your link-building profile and keep track of what domains point to your website.

Although its free version shows up to 100 links and up to 5 most popular pages, Ahrefs Backlink Checker is an add-on you shouldn’t miss out on. Its URL and domain scores are something that gives you incalculable value.

Majestic

Backlink breakdown in Majestic SEO tool

To join the ranks of knowledgeable SEO experts, you should be well up on your backlink profile. And you know what? Majestic is probably the most far-reaching tool you can find to do that.

It unveils super-accurate data on your external links, showing their types and an overview of referring domains. Majestic then complements them with your up-to-date backlink history and anchor text language distribution. For chart geeks, it packs all these into visuals for first-hand analysis.

Moz’s Link Explorer

The overview of backlinks in Moz’s Link Explorer

If you’re all set to plan your link-building strategy down to the last detail, give Link Explorer by Moz a shot. Just set the right filter (root domain, subdomain, or exact page), and let it unveil the mountains of metrics for you.

In addition to link data, Link Explorer gives you the scores for all linking domains and yours. It’s absolutely free as long as you make no more than 10 queries per month and feel fine with getting up to 50 data rows per each.

A word of SEO advice: You are not supposed to make do with only one backlink checker. For better competitor analysis and a more fruitful link-building strategy, use the combined power of multiple tools.

Greatest analytics tools of all time

Never underestimate the power of analytics. The only reason why it matters is that it improves your decision-making.

When your brain fails to process SEO-related data and statistics, some lifesavers come into play. Keep reading to stay informed of the best of them.

Google Analytics

The insights of Google Analytics

Known as the Savior of all SEOs, GA is bulging with useful data. It hands the statistics on bounce rates, traffic sources, pageviews, user behavior, and many more to you on a silver platter. You only have to put two and two together.

This tool lets you know everything you are supposed to know to monitor the success of your SEO and PPC campaigns. Be sure to use it to find out whether you’re going the right or wrong way.

A word of SEO advice:  Google Analytics is also helpful to better understand your audience (interests, age groups, etc.). As a beginner, you can use these insights to develop the right content strategy for your website.

Semalt Position Tracker


Tracking keywords may be a real pain if you’re optimizing for thousands of them and want to check out how they perform locally. Not anymore!

Semalt Position Tracker is freely available to keep an eye on your geo-specific keyword rankings at a granular level. This tool comes with daily updates and an extensive range of locations to track keywords in. Plus, it allows you to step into CIA spy’s shoes and hunt down the rankings of your competitors.

SimilarWeb

Traffic overview with SimilarWeb

Meet another essential in your SEO toolbox. SimilarWeb is a perfect choice to be armed with insights on how much traffic you get, where it comes from, and which type it is (paid or organic).

But that’s not enough for picky website owners. Nor is it for SEOs. That’s why SimilarWeb enables you to monitor not only your metrics but also those of your competitors (that’s what I call keeping your enemies closer than your friends).

Google Search Console

The breakdown of clicks and impressions in Google Search Console

Understanding how Google sees and ranks your website is the key to making the right tune-ups. If you want to do some, do not give Google Search Console the go-by.

It serves as the primary source of all things related to your SEO: indexing, rankings, impressions, security issues, and so on. Besides, it allows you to track your progress over time and points out the most crucial measures you can take to rank better.

Putting it all together: To make analytics work for you, use tried-and-true tools to collect statistics. Google Analytics, Semalt Position Tracker, SimilarWeb, and Google Search Console will do the trick.

3 more extras for your SEO

Who said you can’t have a little bit of everything?

Remember, there’s no such thing as “too many tools” in your arsenal. So, go wisely and make it complete with additional SEO helpers for more advanced functionality.

XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps generator overview

XML Sitemaps is the first thing to go for when you need to submit your website to Google. It helps you create an XML sitemap, which is a list of all its pages, for easier crawling and indexing by bots.

It’s free (at least for 500 pages), easy-to-use, and really fast. To be clear, it took a little longer than 2 minutes for this tool to generate a sitemap for semalt.com.

Responsive Design Checker

Checking the web design with Responsive Design Checker

The responsiveness of your design is pivotal. With 57% of users being likely to leave your website unless it’s good-looking and easy-to-navigate on their smartphones, this is too substantial to disregard.

Don’t make your website a tortuous maze for people. Try Responsive Design Checker to check how it shows up on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. The tool comes with many screen sizes to test, so go ahead.

Animalz Revive

Using Animalz Revive to check the website for old content

Those of you who are running blogs can’t miss out on Animalz Revive. It is used to “diagnose” content aging and, more importantly, to treat it.

With this tool, you can see how well your blog posts perform and find out which of them hold you back. Now, you will detect old content at the onset – all while refreshing it to keep your traffic flowing.

A word of SEO advice: You don’t necessarily have to rewrite your blog posts from A to Z to make them perform effectively again. Usually, a little bit of updating and expanding can bring the desired results, too.

The bottom line

SEO is a hard mountain to climb. But getting the right “equipment” can help you reach the summit faster and easier.

In this post, you can find 18 out of hundreds of freely available SEO tools. These, however, have stood the test of time and are proven to be the best for business owners and SEOs alike.

If you’re already doing SEO, what tools do you use?

Which of them do you love most? And why?

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249 Views 12 Comments
12 Comments
Anthony Walker
Jan 14, 2020, 11:17:17
I like your position tracker. Everything I need in one place. Comprehensive data!
Eugene Serbin
Jan 15, 2020, 19:26:33
Hi, Anthony! Nice to hear that from you. We do our best to meet the needs of our clients.
Lamar Kelly
Jan 7, 2020, 12:06:30
Do you use all these tools to promote the websites of your clients or only your own software?
Eugene Serbin
Jan 2, 2020, 10:39:32
Hello, Lamar. Thank you for your question. We use almost all these tools every day. Some of them like the Responsive Design Checker we use less frequently.
Ricardo
Jan 5, 2020, 11:36:30
Hey, guys! And what about voice search optimization? Any ideas about the tools to use?
Eugene Serbin
Jan 24, 2020, 12:45:15
Actually, there’s not much difference between voice search and text search optimization. Just focus on: - content quality: make your web content sound natural and use long-tail keywords (if you’re an e-commerce business, you can put high-frequency keywords, like where to buy ..., where to get …, etc.); - page speed, especially of the mobile version of your website as users who use voice search do that on their mobile devices most often; - use the right type of structured data for your website. When it comes to the tools for voice search optimization, you can benefit from the same ones that you use to optimize your website for text queries. Voice queries are converted into text ones, which is why you need to do pretty much the same.
Jo Richards
Jan 3, 2020, 09:22:40
I guess it's a nice article to drive more traffic to Nail Patel service and Moz)
Eugene Serbin
Jan 17, 2020, 15:51:10
The article is intended to highlight all the effective free SEO tools for our readers.
Shirley
Dec 25, 2019, 11:31:25
I believe that these free tools will help me to submit my website to Google one day.
Adam Br
Dec 19, 2019, 19:11:35
I would like to suggest one more tool for keyword research - Keywords Everywhere. It is an easy-to-use Chrome plugin for noobs.
Michelle Miller
Dec 16, 2019, 14:15:35
Excellent list. Thank you! My only note would be - more, please.
Eugene Serbin
Dec 26, 2019, 15:53:25
Thank you, Michelle. More articles on a variety of SEO topics you can find in our blog - https://semalt.com/blog.
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