If you want to get real results from SEO you’re going to need to arm yourself with the best tools.
But, when you’re first starting out, it feels like everything is over your budget and you’re going to cripple yourself trying to pay for it all. Well, I’ve got news for you…
It doesn’t have to be that way.
You can make your sway in SEO for absolutely free.
You can download these free spreadsheets that I made to create an intelligent keyword & link building strategies in minutes.
I highly suggest you download them now.
They are the free tools that I use when working on any new site to find keyword and link building opportunities.
This list is quite extensive, so if you are in a hurry then please use the table of contents below to navigate the post-
Google’s Own Tools
Google’s tools are often overlooked by new SEOs. And, I get it – you want the shiny new third party tool that promises the earth.
But, some of the most established SEOs I know use these tools to form the backbone of their campaigns.
Google’s tools are free and you can extract valuable data in just a matter of seconds. These tools are up to date with 2018 Google trends.
#01: Google Analytics
Google Analytics shows you everything you need to know about your sites data.
It shows you the real world results of every action you take on your site. How it impacts your traffic, how it increases your conversions, who it attracts to your site.
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The main reason I’d suggest you use Google Analytics is so you can track your progress and consistently strive to improve on it.
You can track how much of your traffic comes from different sources:
And dig even deeper to see where is bringing you the most traffic month on month.
You’ll also be able to see some of the keywords and search terms bring the most traffic to your site, allowing you to optimize based on that data provided.
Now, it can be easy to get caught up in the Vanity Metrics (stuff that looks and sounds good but doesn’t really mean anything) that’s often provided by Google Analytics.
That’s why it’s important to use the tool to track results.
If you want to know how to track all of the important analytics and data for your site, you can read my comprehensive guide on how I personally use Google Analytics right here.
The fact that you can see what keywords have the most impressions is very valuable, considering Google has stopped showing this data in Adwords.”
-Felix Tarcomnicu, ProOptimization
#02: Google PageSpeed Tools
Your site speed is a huge ranking factor. The faster your page loads the more likely your site is to rank highly, and have a better customer experience to go with it.
Google PageSpeed Tools can help you track it.
I recently improved my site speed by 80% and the knock on effect of doing it – on my income and my search results – has been great.
And, it suggests improvements based on the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Meaning you can create a much faster, more streamlined site, without negatively changing your search results.
I’ll cover more free SEO tools that help you improve the speed of your site later in this article. But, right now, go and see how your site is performing!
And, if you want a completely actionable strategy for improving your site speed, you can follow my step-by-step process here.
Or if you want a really quick and easy fix, just setup a free CloudFlare account and enable it for your website.
#03: Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner still remains one the most popular Keyword tools of many people in the know.
And, for good reason – it’s still one of the most accurate free SEO tools available.
You can access search volumes and the difficulties in one easy to use dashboard. Letting you choose and discover easy to rank for (or highly searched) terms to place in your content.
You don’t just have to settle for results about one specific search, either.
You can find suggested keywords that relate to your terms and all of their metrics, too:
You can use the tool to research thousands of keywords straight from the horse’s mouth; as well as create plans that you can execute upon.
#04: Google Search Console
Google Search Console used to be known as Google Webmaster tools, and it’s a tool that every SEO should have as part of their strategy planning.
When I’ve interviewed SEOs in the past, this is always a tool that comes up in discussion. And, while it may not strictly be an SEO tool, it still helps you make informed decisions about the future of your marketing.
You can manage a lot of the back of house for your site and find problems that are holding back your Search Marketing progress.
For example, you can use the Crawl Errors tool to find broken URL’s and settings that will be showing up negatively for Google:
As well as being able to get access to a full breakdown of your backlink profile that is just as useful as some of the data you get on your more expensive tools:
It is also perfect for managing actions taken against your site, especially if you’ve been penalized for webspam or malware at any point in the past.
The HTML improvements is also a key tool for any SEO, because it shows you how to make HTML improvements that will create a much more crawl-friendly markup.
Luckily, I don’t have too much work to do right now:
And don’t forget the most powerful feature of all!
That will allow you to see how your site is performing in Google right now.
You can track the total number of impressions your pages have in the SERPS along with average ranking position and click through rate data.
You can also find a list of keywords and you can filter by page to find out exactly which page is ranking for which keywords.
This is one of the most powerful hidden features of Google Search Console which makes it one of the best free SEO tools by far.
Want a full SEO suite but don’t want to break the bank? Then look no further…
#05: SEO Powersuite
SEO Powersuite has been at the heart of my business for a long time.
And, although I use the paid version right now, the Free Version is still one of the most effective SEO site tools (and suites) you can get your hands on.
With the free download, you’re able to access these great tools:
- Rank Tracker: Track how you (or the competition) are performing for different keyword searches. Then, find the data you need to improve your rankings and steal traffic from the competition.
- Website Auditor: Helps you perform audits in seconds, while showing you how to optimise at every step of the way.
- SEO SpyGlass: Explore over 100,000 competitor backlinks and use data to shape your link building campaigns.
- Link Assistant: Manage all of your links and build partnerships all under one roof. I even use this tool to find guest blogging opportunities.
If you can’t start an effective campaign with all of these at your fingertips, I don’t know what you will be able to use.
#06: Raven (14 Day Trial)
Raven (formley Raven Tools) provides a full suite of SEO tools under one roof.
Most notably you’re able to use their SEO Module to spider your site and provide highly detailed audit results.
But they also have extra features such as Social Tools, Content Tools, PPC tools and more to help you round out your SEO campaigns.
As time has gone on their tools have become more powerful and work together much more harmoniously.
And, with a 14 day free trial, you really don’t have anything to lose.
Link Building Tools
Link Building is one of the most highly-regarded ranking factors by SEOs around the world.
And, while this site is still part of the zero backlink challenge, I’m still well aware of their power when it comes to getting good rankings.
The anchor text suggestion tool gives you anchor text ideas for when you're building links to your site.
The anchor text categorizer tool classifies your anchor text in 1 of 13 categories and calculates the percentage distribution.
With these tools you can:
- Automatically figure out your backlink anchor text percentages.
- See how your current percentages compare to the norm (and how to fix them).
- Find the exact anchor text you should be building next
This is demonstrated in their ongoing case study!
Using the free Linkio tools saves a huge amount of time. You don’t just get data but actionable plans based on that data. Not bad, considering it’s free.
#08: Open Link Profiler
Open Link Profiler is a nifty little tool that gives you incredible data about your backlink profile.
It’s a browser tool, so there’s no need to download. All you have to do is head to their website and enter your domain name:
You’ll then get complete access to your Backlink profile, and an overview of the information you need to know:
As well as a breakdown of the links that the site has, the quality of them, and where each link is coming from exactly:
Don’t forget that you can also use this tool on your competitors. So you can dig deep into their backlink profiles and export the links that you can steal to get the upper hand.
You can export up to 1000 links from the tool for free. And, that will work really nicely with the next tool on this list…
“OpenLinkProfiler is my top-most favourite FREE SEO tool. This is a web based tool which gives you a complete x-ray of any website’s
Features like Anchor Text, Link Influence Score, the filter to check backlinks from unique domains only amongst other settings make it a must have tool. I have been using this tool for the past year to get more quality backlinks for my niche websites.”
– Kulwant Nagi, BloggingCage
This is a reverse image search that finds where your images have been used around the internet.
Basically, that means that instead of using words to search for an image, it uses images to search for a location on the web instead.
You just upload the file, hit Check Files and it’ll scour the internet to see where your image is being used.
You can then get in touch with them and request a link for your superb infographic or image.
And, it’s one they can’t really say no to!
#10: SEO Auto Linker
SEO Auto Linker is a WordPress plugin that takes care of all of your Internal Linking needs.
Just add your URL, and the keywords you want it to automatically insert links for, and you’re all set:
The tool is due an update pretty soon, but for now it does the job nicely and gives you a level of control over where the links go in your blog. All while spreading that sweet, sweet, link juice.
And, if you want to get clever with it, you can add affiliate links into this too.
WikiGrabber allows you to find those all important broken Wikipedia Links and Citations that you can capitalise on. And, all of the links around the world that are pointing at that link.
Let’s say you’re working on a blog about Organic Food. That’s what the kids are into now, right?
You can go to WikiGrabber and search for that keyword.
That will bring up all of the relevant pages that have dead (broken) links on them. You can then go in and find the links and see if they fit your content.
Let’s take a look at the search result about Raw Foodism from the list below. That feels like it would fit quite nicely:
Click on the result, which will take you to the Wikipedia page you need.
Once you’re on the page, go ahead and press Ctrl+F on your keyboard. That’ll bring up the search option.
Instead of searching through the page, you’re going to type ‘Dead Link’ into the search field and hit enter.
That’ll highlight all of the dead links on the page (like below).
If you have content that matches that exact description – or you can create content to fit it – you could just have found yourself a really good link that you can replace, and absorb all the lovely link juice.
It’s not just the Wikipedia links you’ll want to get, either. You can find all of the other links pointing to it and tell them you’ve got new content for their dead link, too.
Take a look at this tutorial to learn how to maximise your results with Wikipedia link building.
#12: Hunter.io (Formally Email Hunter)
Hunter.io can make your Link Building campaigns about 100 times easier.
It’s a simple search engine that allows you to find the email addresses for a large number of websites. And, it goes beyond just the firstname.lastname@example.org most of the time.
It gives you direct access to real people’s email addresses.
Enter the name of the site you’re looking for, and it’ll come up with a list of all the email addresses provided for that site:
Now, this might not work for every site. But you can perform 100 searches for email address per month for completely free.
That should be more than enough to kick start any link building campaign.
The tool also comes with a browser extension that lets you see the emails while you’re on the site, also.
Don’t forget to follow up all of the emails you send, either. That’s where your fortune lies!
Scraper has saved me hours of time when it comes to finding contact information, and creating partnerships (or friendships) with other sites.
It allows you to collect similar information from a page, all with just a few right clicks.
Simply install the extension to your browser, and it’s ready to rock. But, how do you use it? Well, let me show you…
Let’s say you’re looking for bloggers to outreach to for backlinks and content sharing. Where do lots of bloggers spend their time? Blog comments where they try to connect with their favourite authors.
Take a look at this post from Nomadic Matt. It’s an emotional post, and the kind of place where lots of people would go to offer comments.
If we head to the bottom, it’s got 39 comments from people. This is the most popular travel blog right now, so most of these comments have links in them back to personal or travel blogs.
All you have to do is highlight the link and right click. That’ll give you the option to Scrape Similar.
That will show you all of the hyperlinks in the blog comments of that page:
Export that into a Google Doc. And, now, you have a complete spreadsheet of bloggers and websites to outreach to:
Now, not everyone will be a good fit for you. But do this four of five times, across different blogs or posts, and you’ll find some gems to work with or build relationships with.
#14: MarketerSeal by Matthew Woodward (ME!)
While not strictly a tool, these four free videos will teach you how to use free tools to build high quality backlinks.
These are the types of backlinks that are behind the most competitive niches in SEO.
So if you want to learn how to build effective backlinks with a combination of free tools, then you're in the right place.
#15: DripRevolution (Free Trial)
DripRevolution is a tool that increases your social signals.
Social signals not only increase the organic traffic to your site but the search engines see them as recommendations to your site, resulting in better rankings.
DripRevolution allows you a 7 day free trial that gives you 100 free social signals. If you contact DripRevolution Support and mention my name you will get an extra 50 social signals free of charge. You're welcome!
Each social signal is created by hand using genuine social media accounts by the team of SEO and Social Signal Experts at DripRevolution.
Here's what you need to do...
After seeing the results from your 7 day free trial it will be hard not to renew your membership.
It’s safe to say that without keywords there would be no SEO. They’re the backbone of search and, for now, they’re here to stay.
But knowing which Keywords are the best for your copy and your site can be hard. There are millions of keywords, and you’re often stuck with no idea of which ones are going to work best for you.
That is unless you steal all of your competitors best keywords with this free tool mwaha!
Ubersuggest is a neat little tool that gives you suggestions based on the Keyword ideas you’ve had. What do I mean?
Let’s say that you’re working in the travel niche, and you want to rank for a piece of content about Berlin Walking Tours.
Now, that might be a pretty competitive keyword. So, what other options are there?
Well, head to Ubersuggest and pop the keyword into the tool:
Choose the country and database you want to rank in – e.g. web/image/news – and hit look up.
You’ll then be given a whole host of alternate keywords that people are searching for. And, instead of just giving you a whole mess of keywords to sift through, they present them in alphabetical order.
Where applicable you can also view the search volume, cost per click and competition for each result. So the hard work has already been done for you.
This is just a small tweak, but it makes a world of difference.
You can also export all of the keywords to an excel doc, and you can run them through the Keyword Planner to find the right keywords for you.
A combination of Keyword Planner and UberSuggest is a fantastic way to build up a large number of keywords for any project. I start with the Keyword Planner to identify terms that have decent search volume (>1000) and start plugging those into UberSuggest.
That gives me a huge number of suggested keywords which I can use not only for individual articles but to sprinkle throughout the article as well.One other tip for using the keyword planner is; Instead of typing in a keyword, find your top 2-3 biggest competitors and stick their URL into the landing page section.”
– Daniel Thompson, My Local SEO
#17: Long Tail Pro Premium (Free 7 Day Trial)
Long Tail Pro is incredible for finding profitable keywords in record time.
I’ve used it to help me (and my clients) find countless niches to make money from. The 7 day trial is more than enough time to figure out how useful this tool can be.
You can get data breakdowns showing the competitiveness of each keyword and how profitable it can be.
Meaning you don’t end up playing keyword Russian Roulette.
And, once you’ve started your trial, don’t forget to check out my guide to choosing your niche here, so you can see this tool in all its glory.
#18: Keyword S******
You’ll have to forgive the name. And, what this tool loses in name-creativity, it makes up for in keyword research.
Keyword S****** helps you find thousands of long tail keywords, for free, in just a few clicks of a button
Skip all the nonsense.
All you have to do is create and submit your seed list – a list of short keywords that are highly competitive – and then the tool will ‘s***’ thousands of long tail alternatives for you to choose from.
From the four seed keywords I put in above, in just 5 minutes (whilst I put the kettle on) this tool worked on indexing the results. I had 3196 long tail alternatives to work with and it was still running. This tool see's that you get results by the bulk load!
This is a quick and effective tool, giving you hundreds and thousands of results in the time it takes to make a coffee.
All you have to do is find the keywords that fit your content and appeal to your customers the best. It will take time to click through all the terms but this keyword tool is not one to be missed!
And here’s a great tip from reader Kieran Gibbons at Wolfberry Media.
If you have the Keywords Everywhere browser plugin installed you can see the search volumes and competition of each keyword-
A real time and money saver!
I normally drop about 5 to 10 keyword ideas for a new amazon site that I’m looking to build out into Keyword S****** and it just spews out thousands of keyword ideas. I’ll then download the list after a few minutes and drop it into Keyword Planner to find out volumes and other metrics.”
#19: Market Samurai (12 Day Free Trial)
Market Samurai offers some of the best Keyword Research and SEO competition modules you can buy.
And, you can get your hands on them for 12 days completely free.
I only use the tool for these two things, and with the 12-day free trial you’re able to extract a lot of valuable data for no money whatsoever. Also no regrets taking the subscription, I have never had a dull newsletter!
Keyword.io is another great keyword suggestion tool. You can search keywords for a tonne of different search engines – including Google, Bing, Wikipedia and Youtube – so you can find ranking keywords whatever your needs.
On their homepage just select the search engine, root keyword and country you’d like and hit search:
Admittedly, you don’t get a tonne of data to go with these keywords. But, you’ll find yourself with long and short tail keywords that you can sprinkle throughout your site or content.
You can even select the keywords from the list on the left and move them to the list on the right, and then download them to your computer, all inside your free account.
Great to use inside other paid for software, or freemium software, that allows you to analyse the quality of the keywords you’ve selected. Or, use the results to create query-targeted content that fits these searches perfectly.
CanIRank? allows you to see how likely your site will be to rank for a keyword. And, it gives you the steps you need to take to make it happen, too.
For free, you’re able to manage one site, and generate reports. These will show you how your site is performing generally so you can see where to improve.
And you’re also able to analyse keywords, your site’s current ability to rank for it and how you stack up against the competition.
Let’s say that I wanted to rank for the keyword, How To Blog. I could choose it from my suggested keywords list and analyse it:
It’ll then give me a breakdown of how valuable that keyword is:
As well as giving me a complete breakdown of who else ranks for this keyword. Why they rank for it. And, the areas I can focus on to get the upper hand.
I can tell by these results that, if I wanted to compete for this keyword, I’d need to increase my website relevancy a little:
I could do this by creating more content on the topic. Or, by gaining links from websites that a relevant to the topic. Either way, it’d make life much easier to rank.
I’d take the results here with a pinch of salt. As you can see in the image above, you don’t need to be 90’s across the board to get results.
But this tool lets you find your SEO weakness with your density and have a focus on what to improve.
#22: Seed Keywords
Seed Keywords is a brilliant take on finding your keywords.
Instead of pouring countless hours into researching and finding the keywords that your audience may use, Seed Keywords allows you to ask them for exactly what they would search.
By creating a scenario your audience would find themselves in – buying a jacket, looking for a book, finding a new restaurant – you can find the specific search terms that they’ll be looking for.
Let’s say I wanted to find what people would search for to find new SEO tools, here’s the scenario I would create:
You can then share this scenario with your audience, through social media or your mailing list, to find out what search terms they’d actually be looking for.
While this may not provide you with all of the statistics and search volumes, you can start to get an idea for what keywords show up the most. And then you can cross reference it with any other software you might have.
Or, if you’re looking to spend $0.00 on other software, you can rest easy in the fact you have a search term people will use, right at your fingertips.
#23: SERP Robot (Formally Serplab)
SERP Robot is a free Google ranking checker that you can use to find your websites Google search ranking position instantly.
Not only that but you can use this tool to accurately report how your site ranks on Google for different keywords.
- Select the Google region you would like to check
- Enter the domain name you would like to check
- Input up to 10 keywords.
Then just wait for your rankings to be displayed.
Once you have processed the results you can view the top ten rankings for that keyword
You can also use the ranking checker tool to have a crafty look at what your competitors are doing but shhhhhh.
Today’s SEO isn’t just about having words on a page. It’s about making sure your content is both Google and People friendly.
You don't need to be a top author to get content marketing right. Using relevant keywords for your business will attract the right traffic and the inclusion of images and videos is essential.
Having a site that loads at hyper-speed is a crucial ranking factor. And, being free from spammy content is a must.
The tools in this section will help you do all of that; create user-friendly content that search engines and people can’t help but love.
#24: Sumo (Free Version)
Noah Kagan’s Sumo products (formally SumoMe) are an absolute dream for Internet Marketers.
Just on the freemium model alone you’re able to collect so much data from your content.
You’re able to create Email Capture Pop Ups and Welcome Mat’s to make sure that all of your search traffic is optimised to land on your mailing list.
And make your site look so much more professional.
As well as being able to add cool features like Heat Maps and Content Tracking.
This is more of a Growth Hacking tool than an SEO tool.
But if you’re trying to truly optimise your content for search, you can’t go wrong with the tools right here.
Having images in your blog posts can reduce bounce rates and increase on-page time – two critical ranking factors. So, having a tool that can help you create stunning images is paramount.
Canva is the SEO’s dream when it comes to image creation.
It gives you all the elements you need from Adobe Photoshop, without having to do three years at college, a night time graphic design course and hours screaming at your screen.
You can create designs of all kinds based on specific dimensions – featured images, social media posts, posters to help with advertising and even business cards – and use their templates as a guide.
Now, this may seem a little daunting to use; especially if you’re not used to designing. Don’t worry, though. They have a full Canva Design School blog to show you the ropes, which is a great training guide. So overall very friendly for beginners with easy usability.
Once you’re in the tool you have the options to create whole images from scratch based on your branding. Or, you can follow their template guidelines. Whichever fits your skills better.
It may take a little time to get used to. But, trust me. The results are worth it in the end.
Stencil is perfect if you want to create quick, beautiful images for your blog posts and social media. Or if you want to refresh your Linkedin or Yahoo profile pictures.
This tool started out just for social media images; but now you’re able to design images for every possible need: blog posts, Facebook ads, infographics – you name it, it’s there.
If you weren’t born with a keen eye for design, and want to make the process as simple as possible, without losing quality, this is the tool for you.
In just a few clicks – whether in their dashboard or their browser tool – you can create some truly beautiful images that will capture your readers on your posts, or convert them to your site from social. Both being really good for your SEO.
Also, one of my favourite parts of this tool is that you can turn text into an image with just one right click. If you have spent any amount of time online on social network sites you cannot of failed to notice the endless content of image quotes, the ones you either love or hate.
Let me show you what I mean…
Take a look at some of these quotes from one of my favourite books, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
If I take one of my favourites and highlight it, I’m able to open the quote with Stencil:
That’ll then open their browser extension and add the text directly into an image for you:
And, within 30-60 seconds, you’re able to create a social media image (or blog image) that you can use to boost on-page time and social signals:
With the free plan you have limited access to images and icons. But, it will definitely be more than enough to supercharge your content optimisation. You should sign up and test out it's features right away, you won't believe this tools free for the public.
#27: Aweber (Free Trial)
With all of this superb content and search traffic you’re going to need a solid email client to capture everyone.
Aweber recently changed their trial price from $1 to completely free for 30 days, making this your perfect time to cash in without worrying about pricing. You’ll get complete access to everything for your free trial.
Don’t worry about being stuck with the software, either.
You can always export and move to a different platform should you feel the need to afterwards.
But Aweber has been running this blog for years with great success, so you will probably won’t want to leave. Especially if you integrate my email marketing strategy.
#28: WP Smush
With all of these images on your site, you’ll find that your site speed slows down a little. Don’t worry about it, though. For every problem, there is a free remedy right here.
WP Smush strips your images of needless data and coding reducing the time it takes for them to load. Meaning page load speed is one less thing to worry about.
All you have to do is upload the WordPress Plugin to your site and you’re ready to start smushing.
The plugin comes with its own dashboard that you can use to smush images, and other attachments, without impacting their quality. And it can all run in the background while you work in other tabs.
This tool is an absolute no-brainer for anyone looking to increase their site speed for free.
#29: Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is my go-to WordPress SEO optimiser. It gives you precise information, based on real ranking factors, of how to improve your content.
I personally use the Premium version now, but I spent years with the free version, and many big blogs you read right now still live and die by the free version.
If you’re not familiar, this is a WordPress plugin that gives you a check sheet of how to SEO your content. Once you’re written your post and found your keywords, you head to the bottom of your post.
Here you’ll find the little Yoast dashboard that has assessed your content. You can then move through the traffic lights to optimise your post:
You can edit everything about your post to make as many of the lights as green as possible. You don’t need all green – sometimes you’d have to jeopardise your overall content to do it – but 75%-80% is where you should be aiming.
As a nice little extra, you’re also able to check and edit how your result looks in the SERP too:
All of the changes you make here are reflected in the search result, making your site even more optimised than before:
If you only choose one of the content optimisation tools from this list, make it this one. You’ll up your SEO game and save lots of time in just a matter of minutes.
Imagine you could get just a glimpse of what your competitors were doing. How much different would your analysis and strategy be then?
These tools let you take a look at what they’re up to, so you know when to zig when they’re about to zag.
#30: SEMRush (14 Day Free Trial)
SEMRush is one of my favourite tools ever. And, their free trial is a great way to try out all the features available to you.
You’re able to access important stats like: what keywords they’re ranking for, how much traffic they’re getting and who their search competitors are, too. That’s access to a lot of data for free.
Take the name of one of your known competitors and place it into the search box below to see the magic live-
You’ll be directed straight to a dashboard that shows you all of the major stats about this site in the database you’ve chosen:
Everything you see on this page is already more value than most tools will give you for free. Because, as you scroll down, you’re able to find out more information.
For example, you can see the exact keywords they’re ranking for and the level of traffic each of them brings:
And you can take a look at who their direct competitors are so you can start assess them and beat them in the rankings, too.
As well as specifics of their backlinks, like the anchor text and the source:
Highly recommended, and does much more than what I’ve shown you here, too. You’ve got nothing to lose to try out the free trial and see for yourself the benefits of investing in this tool.
If they rank for few phrases except for their brand, we know that there is a big opportunity to help them. If they rank for many phrases, we know that if we redesigned their site, we would have to be very careful to preserve those rankings.
And I can do all of this without any access to Analytics.”
– Andy Crestodina, OrbitMedia
#31: Theme Detector
Ever wanted to know what Plugins and Tools your competitors are using behind the scenes? Well, now you can.
Theme Detector doesn’t just tell you what theme your competitors are using; it also shows you every WordPress tool and plugin they’re running behind the scenes to rank where they do.
You can find out lots of interesting information:
- How they’re building their content
- How they’re selling products
- What they use to optimise their content
- What they’re currently testing and trialling
As well as being able to find tools of the trade that you can use to get ahead, too.
Just simply type the name of the site into the search bar, hit enter, and you’ll get access to the behind-the-scenes of all of their tools.
If you find a plugin you want to use, you’re able to download it directly from your browser and install it in minutes.
This allows you to analyse their site and get insider information they oftentimes don’t want you to know. It may not be a direct SEO benefit (do this = get result), but it does allow you to get an upper hand in combatting what they are doing.
Letting you create a strategy based on the chinks in their armor.
BuiltWith is a tool that allows you to see all technologies used to build the frameworks of a website.
This is for people who want to know what peers, competitors or interesting websites are using. It could mean the difference between using Squarespace or WordPress, or exposure to something completely new.
If you ever wondered how a competitor was doing something on their site, this tool will help you figure it out!
Monitoring & On Site SEO
Need to keep track of your SEO efforts without spending lots of time and money in doing so?
Well don’t worry, because I have you covered with the best free monitoring & on site SEO tools right here.
#33: Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is the most commonly talked about SEO tool.
This crawl tools main objective is this: save time on your site audits. And, boy, they’ve succeeded in that.
Enter your (or your competitors) site’s URL and it’ll crawl. Once it’s finished you’ll get a complete look at the site, and in-depth information about each page.
You’re never more than a few minutes away from a report, and the data here is so, so, valuable.
From a review of title tags and meta descriptions to checking that your correct Analytics code is on every page there is little that you can’t do with Screaming Frog.
– Marcus Miller, Bowler Hat SEO
#34: Google Grump Detector
This is one of the coolest tools I use. It’s a little cheesey in the way it’s branded, but that doesn’t detract from how good the tool is.
Google Grump Detector is like a weather forecaster for Google. It senses changes in Google’s ‘mood’ (algorithm) and gives you warning about the fluctuation in rankings.
Select your country and the device you’re interested in (mobile or desktop) and get your rating:
It’ll then share with you the data for that specific database over the last month, so you can see the fluctuations.
Now, you can never quite predict what Google is going to do. But by looking here you can look at a bigger picture and make an educated guess – kind of like bidding on FOREX – based on what’s been happening.
You can also figure out why some of your sites have lost, or changed, their rankings as of late based on the stage of Grump Google is (or was) in.
If you’re not sure what levels of Grump there are, it also comes with a handy key:
Worth checking on on once or twice a week, just to see what Google is up to right now. You might just be able to prepare yourself forthe next big algortihm change ahead of time!
GTmetrix is a Page Speed tool that is arguably better than Google Page Speed Insights. It’s more thorough and looks at a deeper level.
So, if you’ve got a deeper understand of how your site runs – or know someone who does – I’d suggest you use this.
Another browser tool, just pop your site name in the box and it’ll do a complete analysis of your site:
You’ll then receive a breakdown of your site speed score, including what’s good and what’s bad:
Here you’ll be able to access solutions to your problems, and rank them in order of priority. Meaning you get to focus your time on the most important page speed factors and then work down.
Each point that you need to improve comes with it’s own information beneath it to help you understand why it needs fixing, and what it is if you need a little more clarity.
And, if you want to dig a little deeper, you can see the Waterfall that shows how your page loads and where your main sticking points are:
This is the site speed analyser I’ve used to get the recent 80% increase in site speed for this blog, and it will be the tool I continue to use for the foreseeable future.
#36: Panguin Tool
Worried your site might have been affected by a Google algorithm change? Then, the Panguin Tool is here to help.
This free tool hooks up to your Google Analytics account and tracks your traffic. It then tells you exactly the point that an algorithm change happened, so you can see if it changed anything on your site.
For example, for this site (to remain unnamed for now) definitely saw changes in it’s traffic around January 2015 from a Local change in the algorithm. And it fluctuated around the time of structural changes a year later, too.
This tool is also great to present to clients to show why certain changes have happened to their site over the last 12-18 months. Or, what may be impacting your campaigns somewhat.
Siteliner is a crawler that works through your site to find:
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Page power
And show you areas that are troublesome or need improvement in the near future. All you have to do is type your site name into the tool and it’ll instantly begin to scan:
With the free plan you’re limited to 250 site pages. That should be more than enough for most small to medium sites. But, you’d need to go for the pro version if you run a large ecommerce site.
It’ll take a few minutes, but you’ll seen be able to see the points you need to improve, like duplicate content and site speed:
And a list of all of the broken links that you definitely need to repair throughout your site:
All of this from the click of a (free) button? Not bad at all.
The amount of people using different devices is growing every year. Everywhere you look you see people on a mobile phone.
And websites that don't look right across a range of devices annoys the user and kills conversion.
With Screenfly you can see how your website looks on a PC, a specific tablet brand, a particular smartphone, and even on a TV screen.
It has a very simple interface. There are no unnecessary buttons and functions.
So if you want a free, easy and quick way to test out how responsive your website is on other devices then this is the tool for you.
I've used it to find a bunch of mistakes across my own web property's.
Slerpee shows you exactly how your website looks on Google search in real time.
It also gives you the list of keywords found in your title and meta description so you can improve them.
You can also edit your sites SERP preview to see how it would look in the real world-
Just a handy tool to have in your back pocket when building you website or launching a new post.
Copyscape is a tool which lets you detect duplicate content and checks if similar text appears elsewhere on the web.
We all know the importance of having unique content on your site from an SEO perspective and Copyscape allows you to stay on top of that easily.
It is a helpful tool when you want to find out...
- Is your content original?
- Is anyone stealing your content?
Simply enter the URL for a website or blog post and Copyscape can tell you where else that content exists online.
A quick and easy way to make sure your content is unique.
Browseo is a nifty little tool that shows you what search engines see when they crawl your site. It consolidates all the important info together and displays it in an easy to read format.
Simply input the URL of the page you want to view and hit Browse.
Then you’ll see a breakdown of things such as:
- Server response codes
- Contents of headings
- Meta information
- Internal links
- External links
- Links containing the rel="nofollow" attribute
Being able to see what the search engines can see is a huge advantage which makes this a must have tool for any SEO's toolbox!
Woorank is a great tool that has an awesome bunch of features that focus on increasing conversions, website traffic and usability of a website. Let’s take a look….
You can use this feature to find new keywords that are based on the content you have already published and it will help you to understand where you rank compared with your competitors.
The keyword tool also allows you to track the ranking of your keywords over time which will help you to understand what is working and what isn’t
The site crawl feature will find any issues that Google frowns upon, as and when they happen.
It will highlight any site errors, find security issues and redirects, catch indexing problems and help you avoid duplicate content.
This part of the tool does exactly what it says on the tin! It monitors the health of your SEO so you can see at a glance how your site is performing.
You can set up emails where Woorank will collate and send you the data that you are interested in and they will also email you instantly if there are any issues with your website.
Woorank allows you to review as many websites as you like. It will find a website’s SEO, mobile friendliness, usability and on-page technologies allowing you to scope out and pitch potential clients.
The PDF reports that you can download are customisable so putting your business’ name on them enables you to be able to use them not just for yourself but for your clients too.
Download PDF reports and slides of all the data that Woorank collects. You can compare your competitor's data, including analytics and social media and get an overview of your keywords and contents popularity.
So whether you are reviewing your own website or feeding back to clients or even your boss, this function allows you to create a professional, easy to follow overview of all the important statistics and data of your website.
Sounds amazing right?
Well it gets better…. You can try all this out for free with Wooranks 14 day trial.
Whether you need to create a quick report for a potential new client or audit your own site, there is a free SEO tool for you!
#43: SEO Tools for Excel
If you do any kind of reporting – whether for clients or yourself – SEO Tools for Excel can save you hours of time. For example, if you track data in Google Analytics, it can instantly be exported to an excel document using the tool.
That means you never need to worry about hand-entering your data ever again. And, that’s not the only useful extension that it comes with either. Just look at this list from the documentation (this is just over half of it):
This is a must have tool from this list. And, it’s probably the best reporting tool you’re going to get for free.
Sadly, you’re going to need to have a Windows Computer and access to Microsoft Office.
This doesn’t integrate with other Operating Systems, or the Google Docs equivalents.
#44: Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine lets you look back and see the archived versions of your website.
The tool is the most complete historical archive of the internet and it allows you to see an overview of what a website used to look like.
So if a page begins to drop in its organic ranking over the course of 6 months, you can use this tool to see the old content that used to be on the page! Simply put in your URL and select the date you wish to view.
Here's my blog when I first started back in 2011.
They say that the Internet won't forget a thing! Well this tool proves that to be true. Everyone's got a history right? Well the same can be said for your blog and websites.
And looking back at how the blog used to be - it's kind of embarrassing!
#45: MarketGoo SEO Report
The MarketGoo SEO Report takes about 15 seconds to scan your website and evaluate any technical errors. It also looks at your website marketing and social media presence.
Enter your website URL, your email address and select your country.
Then you will receive your report.
Simply scroll down to see how you are performing in multiple areas such as content, social media, mobile adaptability, keyword rankings and so on.
You will get a list of suggestions of things to look at to improve the SEO of your site.
You can download all the results in a PDF version so you can keep it for reference when working through.
Try it out! It's FREE.
#46: Zadro SEO Auditor
Zadro SEO Auditor is a free SEO audit tool that gives you important information regarding your SEO in seconds!
Simply paste your URL into the search bar and hit ‘Audit’
Then you will have the results returned to you in a mega easy to read format.
You’ll get an overall score and if you scroll down you will find a break down of the results…
You can expand each point to learn either what you have done well or what you need to improve your SEO.
You can download your results into a handy PDF to review at a later date if needed.Head over to Zadro SEO Auditor now and get your completely FREE SEO audit!
Not every SEO tool needs its own space to run.
These Browser extensions can be used while you’re searching the internet; making you more effective with your time, and your results.
#47: SEO Quake by SEMRush
If you’re on the hunt for competitors, or find a site that you’d like to know more about, SEOQuake lets you check vital stats from your browser.
This is a tonne of data right at your fingertips, and it’s a nice tool to have around, so I’d recommend sticking it on to your extensions list!
MozBar is one of the original SEO toolbars. And although the competition is getting bigger and better every day (see above) there are still some reasons you should grab this tool.
Firstly, it has far better link analysis than SEO Quake, even on the free version. Which means the two tools can work in unison, too.
In Google Searches it gives you instant insights into the page, with a focus on Page and Domain Authority:
When you click on the link analysis tool, you can access every link that makes up their PA and DA for your own personal use:
There are also a tonne of other metrics you can pay attention to as well, like Spam Score.
A great addition that works best in conjunction with other toolbars for best results.
The WooRank browser extension allows you to perform instant website audits from your browser. And, it’s stupidly simple to use.
Download the extension to your browser from your chosen app store (Google Chrome in this case):
And then when you’re researching and come across a website that could use your help, you can run a quick audit on it by clicking the chrome extension in your toolbar.
That’ll give you an sidebar like this:
You can then pass this information on to the owner of the site and start a real, honest, truthful discussion about how you can help them improve their SEO.
If you’re a Freelance SEO looking to grow your client base, this extension is invaluable to you.
#50: Check My Links
Check My Links is a really cool tool that allows you to check all of the links in your content – new and existing – to make sure that they’re valid.
That means you can crawl your entire site to find broken links, and repair them, to get almost instant SEO benefits. That’s a powerful free tool if I ever saw one.
Once installed it will crawl through a particular page and it will find the valid links and highlight them in green:
You’ll see all of the warning links in yellow; and all of the links you need to fix or change, in bright red:
All of this is crawled in just a few seconds; and because it’s visual it makes a great aide to show potential new clients some of the issues with their site.
Either way, this is a handy tool to have on your extensions toolbar, to make sure you avoid easy to avoid SEO mistakes.
You can even use it to build relationships with webmasters by letting them know about broken links, and potentially suggesting replacements from your own web properties. Make new friends, help people and an opportunity for building links. Win win win.
#51: No Follow
No Follow is a simple tool from IgorWare that highlights all of the No Follow links on a website.
This allows you to see if PR opportunities, or link building opportunities, are going to be worth your while. Even though the whole Do Follow vs No Follow argument is still up for debate, knowing what you’re getting yourself in to never hurts.
Simply download the extension and you’re ready to go. It’ll start to show you all of the no follow links on any page with a red box around them.
Just like this:
It’s not a tool that’s going to win any awards. But, it can be really helpful in making sure you get the links you want, and aren’t hit by any nasty surprises right in the middle of your campaign.
#52: Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar gives you instant access to all of the SEO metrics that matter.
You don’t need to mess around opening up a tool every time you want some basic info because it’s already there at your fingertips.
You will see page and domain metrics such as:
- Ahrefs Rank (AR)
- Ahrefs Domain rating (DR)
- Ahrefs URL rating (UR)
- Number of backlinks
- Number of referring domains
Ahrefs also integrates into your SERPs browser so you can even view these metrics while searching Google-
If anything catches your eye and you want to investigate further then the information is just 1 click away.
All you need to do is click on the metric number you wish to expand on.
Here's an example:
The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar is simple to install and easy to use, not to mention free.
If you want SEO metrics and backlink counts on the fly then this is the tool for you and let's not forget about the 25 different ways you can use Ahrefs to increase your search traffic.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it! Thanks to our experts for giving us an in depth look at how they use their favourite free SEO tools!
I hope you’ve discovered (or re-discovered) some great free tools to compliment your SEO strategy today.
Remember you don't always need to pay for tools or contact an agency.
These free tools allows you to analyze your data, help performance, assist with digital marketing and improve your rankings and they work just as well.
If possible, be sure to subscribe to any newsletters that the free tools sites have for regular updates.
Did I Miss Any Free SEO Tools?
If there are any free SEO tools or trials that I’ve missed then please let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the post!