Top 10 Simple and Free SEO Tools to Instantly Improve Your Marketing
When I plan a home improvement project for my home, I find that having the correct equipment at my disposal allows me to work smarter and faster. It’s astonishing how much of a difference a decent tool can make — and how much longer it takes to get anything done without one.
Let’s jump ahead to online marketing. How can you use SEO to work smarter and faster?
It all starts with having the proper equipment.
I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top free SEO tools available — technologies that serve a wide range of purposes and address a variety of common requirements. These resources are quick, free, and simple to use. I hope you can use one or two (or twenty) of these ideas today.
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
Check the speed and usability of your site on multiple devices
Enter a URL, and this tool will evaluate its loading time and performance on both desktop and mobile devices. The performance of your site is then graded on a scale of 0 to 100. It informs you exactly how long it takes for the site to load based on several indicators, as well as suggesting areas for improvement.
Alternatives: Pingdom, WebPageTest, and GTMetrix
2. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
Run a technical audit of your site
Limitations: 5,000 crawl credits per project per month
Sign up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, authenticate your website, and you’ll be able to audit it for over 100 different technical SEO concerns. The tool also makes recommendations about how to correct them.
After doing an audit, it will recommend locations where you may strengthen your internal linking, which can help you increase your search engine results.
You can also examine your site’s organic keyword rankings and who is linked to you with this tool.
Alternatives:Screaming Frog (audit), Beam Us Up (audit)
3. Answer the Public
Hundreds of keyword ideas based on a single keyword
Limitations: Two free searches per day
Enter any relevant keyword, and Answer the Public will provide a huge list of long-tail keyword opportunities, plus common questions asked.
Alternatives: KeywordTool.io, UberSuggest, Keyword Sheeter, Keyword Generator
4. Google Analytics
Complete web stats and search insights
Limitations: No limitations for its usage, but queries that are sending you organic traffic are hidden
Quite possibly the most powerful free analytics tool available, Google Analytics tracks pretty much every bit of traffic you can imagine on your website — where it comes from, which page is receiving it and so on.
While it’s not purely for SEO, it’s still a helpful tool to track if you’re getting traffic from organic search.
However, Google Analytics has since stopped showing which keywords are sending you those traffic. You’ll have to pair it with a tool like Keyword Hero to uncover what’s behind “(not provided).”
Alternatives:Matomo, Open Web Analytics, and Clicky
5. Google Search Console
Constant website analysis, alerts, and error reports
Limitations: Only shows a handful of technical SEO issues, the top 1,000 backlinks and top 1,000 organic keywords
Google Search Console gives you a taste of what the most used search engine thinks of your website. You can use it to check and fix technical issues on your website, see important SEO data like clicks, impressions and average ranking position, submit sitemaps and more.
If ranking in search engines like Bing and Yandex are important to you, then take note that they have their own “search console” too.
Alternatives:Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex Webmaster Tools
6. Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker
Comprehensive link analysis
Limitations: Free for the top 100 backlinks
The free version of Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker shows the top 100 backlinks to any website or URL, along with the total number of backlinks and referring domains (links from unique sites), Domain Rating (DR), and URL Rating (UR) where applicable.
A great way to use this tool is to paste your competitor’s website and find potential link building opportunities.
Alternatives: Moz Link Explorer
7. Google Ads Keyword Planner
Know what people search for
Limitations: You’ll need to run an ad campaign to see exact search volumes
Enter a keyword or group of keywords into the tool, and Google Keyword Planner will return all sorts of helpful stats to guide your keyword strategy: monthly search volume, competition, and even suggested terms you might not have considered.
Alternatives:Bing Keyword Planner
Preview how your web pages will look in Google’s search results
See how your meta title and description will appear in the search results before you even publish your web page. Works for desktop and mobile.
Check for truncation issues and fix them instantly.
Alternatives: Portent’s SERP Preview Tool
9. Google Trends
See the relative search popularity of topics
Google Trends shows the popular search terms over time, which is useful for uncovering seasonal variations in search popularity amongst other things. Compare multiple terms to see the relative popularity.
10. Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar
Check the broken links, redirect chains, nofollow links and on-page elements for any webpage
Limitations: Technical and on-page SEO features are free, but you’ll need an Ahrefs account to see SEO metrics within the SERPs
The Ahrefs SEO toolbar is a free Chrome and Firefox extension that allows you to check for broken links, trace redirect chains and highlight nofollow links for any webpage. It also generates an on-page SEO report that includes the web page’s:
- Meta description
- Word count
- Hreflang tags
- OG tags
This makes analyzing any page much easier and faster.
If you have access to a paid Ahrefs account, you’ll also be able to see important keyword metrics like search volume, CPC and keyword difficulty within the SERPs.
Alternatives:Detailed SEO Extension, SEO Minion, LinkMiner (broken links), Ayima Redirect Path (redirect tracing)