In this post I’ll cover the top 15 FREE SEO tools you can use today.
Table of Contents
- 1 In this post I’ll cover the top 15 FREE SEO tools you can use today.
- 1.1 Picking the best, FREE tools for SEO purposes
- 1.2 1. Answer the republic
- 1.3 2. Uber suggest
- 1.4 3. Google Keyword planner
- 1.5 4. Google trends
- 1.6 5. Google analytics
- 1.7 6. LSI graph
- 1.8 7. Ahrefs
- 1.9 8. Moz – Open Site explorer
- 1.10 9. Buzzsumo
- 1.11 10. Similar web
- 1.12 11. Google webmaster (search console) + Bing webmaster
- 1.13 12. Yandex Metrica
- 1.14 13. Google page speed insight
- 1.15 14. Find broken links (marketing ninjas)
- 1.16 15. Copyscape
Some of these tools will be offered as a freemium (free version and paid version for extra features), but all of them offer great value and are easy to use with the free version.
I have tried to cover the most generic SEO tools, which means these can be used for both e-commerce, agencies, lead-gen sites, blogs and anything else. If you’re looking to learn more about SEO in general, make sure to check out our SEO page here, as well as off-page SEO or our A-Z step by step guide to do SEO yourself.
So, let’s get started!
Picking the best, FREE tools for SEO purposes
When my team and I wanted to find the best tools for SEO, we have done a lot of research and looked through reviews to know what is working, why it’s working, how easy it is to use, what kind of value it does generate etc. We have also compared different variations of the same tools and picked the best one, for this list.
In general, there are a lot more of free tools to use, but I’ll cover the ones we think are most important and can make a difference for your business and website the fastest and easiest.
Note: We only use whitehat SEO techniques and does not support any blackhat techniques or any other un-ethical google work/ ranking techniques.
Also, these tools are listed in a random order, so tool #9 can be just as good or better than tool #1.
Rating: I have decided to give all the tools a rating from 0 – 10 (10 is the best/cheapest/fastest/coolest and 0 is horrible)
- Ease of use
Ease of use will be a rating on how easy it is to use the tool/plugin.
Effectiveness will be a rating on how effective/useful the tool is.
Features will be a rating on how many different features you’ll get with the tool.
Pricing will be a rating on if it’s a free or freemium service (free with paid upgrade).
1. Answer the republic
Answer the republic is a keyword tool used to get inspiration for new keywords. It’s FREE and very easy to use. For this example I just typed in “seo” as my keyword as shown above. The tool usually works best with broad and generic keywords, since the tool can create the long keywords for you.
As shown in the next screenshot, you can chose between “question”, “prepositions”, “comparions”, “alphabeticals” and “related“, when you want to find new keywords. I’ve clicked in the category “prepositions”, and then you will get to this page, shown above. This create a lot of related keywords you can use, to either create more content around these keywords and know what people are searching and looking for.
If you’re stuck with content creation and need a new topic to write about, type it in here and get tons of ideas. Fx with “SEO” for my topic, people are searching for “seo for shopify store” or “seo for small business 2018” or “seo specialist near me” or anything else you think will work for your site or business.
Tip: You can also download the lists as a CSV file.
2. Uber suggest
Uber Suggest is a tool (totally FREE also) created by Neil Patel, a very good SEO guy. He’s a very nice guy and love to help out his community. This tool is also a keyword tool and is created to get keywords suggestions as well, but also keyword traffic and competition.
For this example again I also used the keyword “SEO“.
As shown above in the tool, it found 1021 related keywords for SEO. That’s a lot, however a lot of them might not be relevant for you, which is why you have to filter out the relevant keywords or use a more specific search query. A lot of these keywords might not be some you want or can rank for, because they are about a different topic or just not relevant for you, for example “internet brands”, which isn’t about SEO at all, but it showed up.
This tool is great to find keyword traffic as well as related keywords. The competition and CPC tab is not 100% accurate, so please just take this in mind when choosing or finding new keywords.
3. Google Keyword planner
I guess most of you already know this tool, however I would still like to mention it. It’s Google’s own Keyword Planner. It have gone through a facelift, no added or changed functionality but a big visual update. It’s also a keyword tool, but where this is different, is because you can search for both keywords and websites.
As you can see above I have kept our lovely keyword “SEO” for this purpose, and once again you can see related keywords, competition, difficulty and traffic. The screenshots are in “danish” because I’m from Denmark and it’s our default on our business accounts, I am sorry about that. However it’s FREE to use as well, and you can try it out yourself within the Google Adwords manager, and click the little “gear tool” in the top right menu and click “keyword planner”.
It’s easy to use and you can also download these as CSV as well as created ad groups for different kind of keywords, if you ever wanted to run som adwords, display, shopping etc. or youtube ads for these keywords.
Tip: Try and look through your top 10 keywords and compare these when you type in your own website (that’s what Google think about your content) and the compare these to your top 3 competitors. You’ll gain a lot of valuable informations about your own and competitors keywords and SEO in general.
4. Google trends
Google trends, is (obviously) a Google product/ service as well, but it’s still very useful and can provide you with a lot of valuable informations. Once again I apologise for the danish language in our analytics and adwords account, but please hang on.
In this example i use the term “SEO” again, and now you will be able to filter out the trend of the keyword or keyphrase. You can do websearches, imagesearched, google shopping or even youtube searched.
You can determine how long time period you want to look at, as well as which countries you want to look at, or even comparing. “Interesse over tid” is called “interests over time” in english as the blue graph, it shows within the time frame the higherst and lowest peak of the search volume (interest) from a scale 0 to 100. This is only relative to the keyword and doesn’t tell you about the amount of traffic, but just the relative increase or decreasing in traffic of that keyword.
However if you look at the screenshot above, you can see that I tried to compare “SEO” with “social media marketing”, which could be interesting. It’s 2 different aspects of online marketing, however the relativ trend show that there are an insane amount of traffic on the keyword “SEO” compared to “social media marketing”. However remember this doesn’t take synonyms and related keywords into account, so maybe “search engine marketing” get a lot less searches or something similar.
However it’s still interesting and can be very useful for you if you want to compare if this keyword is going on a downward or up-going trend, or if it’s has a lot of seasoning (try and search for jacket or boat and look at the graph). This can be really useful for your business to know, especially for e-commerce owners.
In general this FREE tool provide a lot of helpful value, try it out today in your Google account (also FREE to get).
5. Google analytics
Google analytics is maybe the most essential of all of those tools. Without Google analytics attached to your site, you will be 1000’s of miles behind your competition and you won’t know anything about your own site.
However I think all of you know this site and the importance of it. I’m not really going in-depth on this one, because we’ve made a post about this particular tool already.
Google analytics is easy to “integrate” with you website, both with e-commerce, wordpress, wix or any other platform you use.
Because this example is from a client of ours (cleaning company) I’m not able to show the detailed stats of the website. Google analytics is somewhat easy to use, is free to use of course, and you can setup custom reports as well to easy navigate around and find your most important KPI’s. You can also share your stats to co-workers / manangers if you want to.
6. LSI graph
LSI Graph is our next free SEO tool. It’s a pretty straight forward tool, nothing fancy, just a LSI tool.
So what is LSI then?
LSI or LSI keywords stands for “Latent Semantic Indexing“. In short it’s “keywords” or search patterns and behaviour that Google have combined into to this index in order to find similar semantic query. This is more about the user intent and behaviour than a keyword. It’s basically a better way of understanding “keywords”, because you’re enforcing your targeted keyword(s) with it’s related keywords (semantically related) you increase your changes on higher and better organic rankings.
LSI have been a part of Google for some time now, but’s very important to understand the concept of it. Make sure to check out this article, about why you shouldn’t care about keywords anymore. I wrote “keywords are dead”. And they are in some way, because you have to think about semantic search query instead.
So once again, I’ve used our indeed popular search query (keyword haha) “SEO” in LSI graph. It’s very easy to use and will show you a lot of related semantic search queries by real users. This might surprise some people by all the different related searches they’ll see from their potential customers or visitors. However it’s a very helpful tool, you should check it out.
Next is Ahrefs. A lot of you might know this tool as well, but there is a good reason why. It’s extremely popular by marketers especially within the SEO niche, because of it’s functionality and many features. It’s way more advanced than some of the other tools, and also have a paid plan, which is also more expensive than the other ones. This is not a full in-depth review but more a overview of your different options and what you will get with Ahrefs.
Ahrefs main features:
- Backlink & Keyword alert
- Site explorer
- Content explorer
- Keyword explorer
- Rank Tracker
- Domain comparison
If I should recommend only one paid tool for SEO use, I think I might say Ahrefs. It really is good, but it requires some learning and experience with the tool before you can manage and apply all of it’s features fully. However this is not about paid tools, but you’ll also got most of the good features with the free option.
This is an example of the content explorer with our lovely keyword “SEO“. You can explorer,filter and find popular content about any topic or query you want. You’ll got a lot of informations and options to choose from, however I recommend that you try it out yourself to play with the different settings.
Another popular features is obviously the website explorer, which offers huge amount of data for you to work with. You can find anything from backlinks, referring domains, popular ranking content, get new content ideas, spy on your competitors, get new backlinks, track your ranking, find new keywords and much more. As you can see from the screenshot above, you have a lot of options and data to analyse.
Overall it’s a great tool for any SEO nerd, however if you want to utilise the tool 100%, you’ll need the paid version because of the daily limits on the free version (min. 99 USD a month), which is more expensive than the alternatives.
8. Moz – Open Site explorer
Moz open site explorer is just one of Moz tools. Moz also link explorer and other cool services, however these are paid (with 30 days free trial). Moz site explorer is a great tool for getting a good overview if your own site/blog or your competitors. You can review domain authority (DA), page authority (PA) and a lot of other useful stats such as top pages and linking domains.
Unfortunately you’ll not get all of the informations from the website, because you’ll have to upgrade to the paid (pro) version. But you can still get access to all of the features, but instead of showing DA for all of the linking domains, it only shows the top 5 linking domains etc.
Moz site explorer is generally really easy to use understand and can provide you with a lot of good informations, very quickly.
Buzzsumo is also a very popular tool and features a lot of cool functionality. It’s also a freemium, but the free version is very limited unfortunately. The tool is used for content marketing mostly, but can also be used as a tool for linkbuilding etc.
Buzzsumo main features:
- Find most trending content from social media
- Searching for backlinks from a specific site, query or topic
- Finding influencers
- Content analysis
As shown in the screenshot above, this is one of the cool features of Buzzsumo (content research) which allow you to type in any keyword or query and it will find the most shared content on all social medias. All Buzzsumo features is generally easy to use and get started with and is more focused about social signals than all of other tools. It’s really great for content creation and keeping up to date with the latest news and trends, and a good tool to stay ahead of your competition (unless they also use it)
Buzzsumo is also to the more expensive side, but it offers great value and information and almost a must have if you’re a blogger. However you can use this for both e-commerce, SAAS and local business as well with no problem, every business would need these informations anyways.
10. Similar web
Similar web is also a very easy to use tool, and is used to give you an overview of a specific sites traffic and audience. The free version can be good enough for most people, even though the paid version will add more details and more search queries.
Similar Web main features:
- Measure website traffic amount
- Measure website free Vs. paid traffic
- Finding related websites
- Finding target audience for the specific site
Similar web is a good tool to get a brief overview of your competitors site, in terms of size (amount of traffic) but also where they get their traffic, which countries, how much of the traffic is organic vs. paid as well as measuring social media traffic and referrals.
This tool is great to “spy” on other websites or blogs and will give you a quick and easy overview of how much traffic the site gets and where it comes from.
11. Google webmaster (search console) + Bing webmaster
Google webmaster / search console is also one of Google’s own and free products. All of it’s features are free, just like the other tools, but it will give you very valuable informations. This tool is a little more complex and will only give you data and information about your own website, and therefore will be especially good for on-page SEO as well content marketing etc.
As you know already I’m still logged into our danish Google business accounts, however I’m sure you’re still able to follow along. You can also take a look at your own site in webmaster search console as we speak.
In order to use Google search console you’ll need to verify your ownership of the website, with either HTML code (Google will guide you through the setup process) or Google analytics integration. Once you have done the setup, you’ll gain instant access to the different settings and features. Some of it are more complicated, but I’ll cover some of basics and most relevant here in this post:
Google search console main features:
- Finding backlinks and referring domains
- Finding internal links and link structure
- Organic rankings
- Finding search queries (if any) for your targeted webpages
- Analytics data (clicks, CTR, impressions etc)
- Google indexing
- Google website crawling and errors
- Mobile optimisation and AMP (accelerated mobile pages)
This tool has a lot of features, and as mentioned above, can be used to find indexing or crawling errors, see your organic rankings, backlinks and much more. Combined with Google analytics, you’ll know almost everything about your own site and it’s stats.
For example, in “search appearance” -> “structured data” you’ll find how your site is structured by Google, what the title, snippet (or rich snippet if you have one) and sitelinks will look like. If you want to edit these settings, you’ll need to do this within the code of the site, which gets a little more technical.
Make sure you have setup up Google search console for your site and Google have been crawling your site correctly, if not you won’t be able to rank organically the right and most optimised way. However it’s a one time setup and it’s not that difficult, and it’s really worth it in the long run.
12. Yandex Metrica
Yandex Metrica is actually a very cool tool as well, which combines a lot of different features. It has a free trial, but also a live demo where you can see how the tool works, what the data and reporting looks like etc, before even signing up.
Yandex Metrica provides a lot of the features also available in for example Google analytics, but presents it in a much nicer and smooth looking edition. You can also setup custom reports if you want to track certain traffic for mobile device in a certain country, or even e-commerce specialised tracking.
The most need feature is the heatmap part of the tool, where you can track and record where your visitors click, how far they scroll etc, on each page of your site (similar to Hotjar).
I can definitely recommend you to check it out, and see if this will be a good fit for your business. A lot of our clients have actually found some pretty major mistakes on their website because of the visitors didn’t understand that a picture on the page wasn’t a button or link, or how the menu worked or something similar. The problem can be if some visitors get confused on your site because this will lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates and therefore lower revenue and sales. Because of this, make sure to optimise as much as possible and A/B split test everything, to increase your conversion rate (CRO).
13. Google page speed insight
Google page speed insight is a very straight forward SEO tool. It is exactly what you think it is, and it’s simple and easy.
Google can tell if you your site is slow or fast (and mobile vs desktop), as well as tell you how to optimise this. Under your page score, you can read your loading speed as well as how you can optimise and increase your loading speed.
Remember, loading speed is far more important than you think. According to many different studies worldwide (as well as our own), you’ll find out that you can’t over-optimize page speed. And a low page speed will directly impact your sales and conversion on your website, and it actually have a bigger impact than most people think. In general, make sure you website loads faster than 2.0 seconds, and a minimum pagescore of 80.
If you want to know more about page speed optimisation make sure to check out our other post here.
Find broken links by marketing ninjas can be found here is a great tool to get an overview of all your links on your site, both internal and external. And most important, finding all your mistakes and errors (400 or 301 or 404 etc).
You’ll also be able to check your title and meta-description etc, and see if everything is correct. It’s easy to use, all you do is enter your own root domain and click analyse.
Copyscape is also a simple a free tool to use. It is used to find duplicate content, which you don’t want to have anywhere on your website. Not duplicate of your own content, but certainly not duplicate/ replica of other people content. This will really destroy your organic rankings and give your site a big penalty if you don’t have your own unique content.
So in short, if you want to check for duplicate content make sure to enter the exact webpage you want to look for, and voila Copyscape tells you the truth. Try it own your own site. It should say “No results found” if you don’t have any duplicate content.