Digital marketing and content marketing have become critical assets of every business today. A marketer or a business owner needs to do a lot more than designing a functional website today. A website that is not search engine optimized is as good as an inoperable website.
Most of you might have heard about SEO - SEO typically involves improving your website ranking in search engines. An SEO tool typically helps you identify where you rank in search engines and what keywords are driving the search traffic. Using these tools, you can improve, optimize, and establish your online presence.
In this post, let's discuss some of the most popular free SEO tools that are currently available. But first, let us address the elephant in the room -
Do you really need SEO tools?
Marketers have often debated on whether SEO tools are vital for their organization to improve its brand presence. They argue that instead of adopting an SEO tool, why can’t they hire a specialist who can do it all. SEO specialists, on the other hand, argue that SEO keeps evolving every day, and only these tools can help them to stay abreast with the latest trends.
The fact is - there is no perfect answer to this question.
Let’s face it - SEO is a complex beast. It needs to encompass so many aspects of your website that it's not always easy to know what went wrong and where it went wrong. In the end, everyone wants the perfect results with minimal effort. For this very reason, SEO tools are critical for an organization.
What are the best free SEO tools to improve your website ranking?
Here is a list of the best free SEO tools that you can use to improve your website ranking and visibility -
Google PageSpeed Insights
As the name suggests, this tool is powered by the tech giant Google itself. They are one of the most powerful and influential search engines on this planet, and their algorithm is tuned to find the web pages that are best optimized and rank them accordingly in a matter of seconds.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
This tool gives you a bundle of insights that you can use to improve and boost your site’s performance. The Ahrefs Webmaster tool has indexed over 20 million URLs. It helps you find keywords, content related to specific keywords and understand a site’s performance based on metrics such as page load speed insights. The tool also helps you monitor all the sources of backlinks and traffic for a website.
Answer The Public
There are over 5.6 billion searches per day on Google alone. People are searching for a wide variety of things that developers don’t even think of. This is where Answer The Public helps. It is a wonderful tool that offers hundreds of different types of long-tail keywords people use to ask questions.
Let’s say your keyword is Pasta. When you input this keyword in this tool, it will throw a variety of long-tail keywords starting with words like “Which,” “Where,” “Who,” “Are,” “What,” “When,” and many more. It provides not only question-type keywords but also preposition-based, comparison-based, related type, and alphabetical terms that people search for the keyword ‘pasta.’ You can get results for two keywords for free every day.
If you are a developer or a webmaster, then you will probably already be using Google Analytics. After all, it is the best free website SEO analysis tool out there. This tool is free, easy to use, and provides an abundance of information about your website traffic.
Few insights that you can get from Google Analytics are - where your visitors are coming from, what device are they using, how many people are online on your site, and what they are doing. All these are crucial for an e-commerce business to understand how their traffic reacts to different content.
Google Search Console
This is another great tool from the house of Google. This tool helps you analyze and study how your users are using your website, which places in your site are they excited about or visit the most. It also shows you the links that users clicked on your site, including the type of ads they clicked.
It is also a very handy tool for a webmaster. Google Search Console also displays different errors that are found such as page not found, page moved permanently, etc. Using this information, a webmaster can fix any SEO issues related to the website. It also offers access to many key metrics about your website.
Ahrefs Backlinks Checker
Link building is an essential part of any SEO process. The more backlinks you acquire, the more your domain authority and page authority is. Both these factors play a major role in where your website or page is displayed on the search results page.
Using Ahrefs’ backlink tool, you can have a look at all the websites that are giving you backlinks and the total backlinks you have. You can also use this tool to monitor your competitor's backlinks and apply similar strategies to improve your site’s performance. The free version of the tool shows you the Top 100 backlinks to any site or specific URL.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Keywords play a major part in propelling your product/service to the right place in the SERP. Google Ads Keyword Planner tool is a free SEO keyword tool used for finding the best keywords to advertise your products or services. This tool gives detailed information on how many people search for a specific keyword, what is the competition for that specific keyword, and the estimated PPC for it. The tool also helps you to get keyword ideas.
Search Engine Result Page (SERP) is the page where users land after they enter their keyword in the search engine. Before optimizing your website or running an advertising campaign in search engines, you need to understand how your website will be displayed on the search result page.
This tool helps you simulate the search engine result view for your website/page. By inputting your title, meta description, and URL, you can have a preview of how it will be displayed in SERP. Once you get a preview, you can make the necessary changes before publishing the ad/ page.
Google Trends is a unique tool designed by Google. It gives you insights on what is trending at the moment, what users in your target audience are looking for, and what are their needs. This tool can also be used to understand how search trends change over time. It can be extensively used for many things like finding seasonal variations, new trends, and much more. Marketers can also use this tool to compare terms relative to their popularity.
Scalenuts’ SEO Assistant
This is probably the best tool in the market for beginners as it can help you generate entire SEO-friendly content in a short period of time. Preparing content is often a hard and time-consuming process that starts from keyword research and continues through planning, writing, editing, optimizing, and finally publishing.
Scalenut’s SEO Assistant tool does this intelligently by using its powerful AI algorithm. With this tool, you can research the keywords, pick the right ones, plan the structure of your content and auto-generate SEO-friendly, grammatically correct, unique content using the AI engine. The process which usually takes days or weeks manually can now be done quickly using this tool.
Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar
Ahrefs SEO toolbar is a free Chrome and Firefox extension tool. It is a great tool to check On-Page SEO. The tool helps you look at various SEO metrics right in your browser. The tool also checks for broken links, highlights the no-follow links for any webpage, and traces redirect chains.
It generates an on-page technical SEO report with details like title, meta description, headers, word count, canonicals, Hreflang tags, and OG tags. Using this data, the developer can analyze a page much faster. The paid version provides additional insights like monthly search volume, difficulty, and Cost Per Click within SERP.
Moz Local Listing Score
It is important to know how your business is listed across the internet in top directories. The local SEO listing tool from Moz gathers data from 10 unique sources such as Facebook, Google, Google Maps, Bing, Hotfrog, Uber,and many more to give you that data.
You get all the directories in which your data is missing. Updating those data will help your site rank better. The results from the tool come with suggestions to fix for incomplete or inconsistent data as well. The data is only available for 3 major countries as of now: Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Yoast SEO Plugin
This is another top tool to optimize your on-page SEO score. The tool checks your blog post for all On-Page SEO factors like H1 tags, keyword density, alt text, slug, number of words, and much more. In short, this tool is a blog writer's best friend.
It is available as a plugin for WordPress users. The plugin also helps you optimize your blog post for search engines. All that you need to do is input your target keyword, and the tool will analyze the entire blog and give suggestions to optimize the page. Rankmath is another popular Wordpress SEO tool that you can try.
JSON-LD Schema Generator for SEO
Search engines always try to understand what your website is all about - is it a blog website, business website, or an eCommerce website, and so on. Webmasters can speed up the process by letting search engines understand the type of website using a schema generator.
This way, search engines display products on the Google products page, address on Google maps, videos on Google videos, blogs on the search console, and much more. The easiest way for webmasters to add schema to a webpage is by using JSON-LD Schema Generator. It helps them generate a custom Schema code and paste the code into the relevant pages of the website.
Classy Schema Structured Data Viewer
It is always difficult to know whether a schema was successfully updated on your website or not. Also, unknowingly you could have made a mistake by choosing the wrong schema for the wrong page. Doing so can harm your SEO ranking.
Using Classy Schema Structured Data Viewer, you can check on the schema you have applied and how it will be visible in the search engines. This tool can be used in parallel with the previously discussed free SEO tool to have a smooth journey of schema integration into the website. The tool also makes sure that your SEO score won't be affected by letting you know that you have used the right schema.
This tool helps you find your competitors and keep an eye on them. By studying the data in detail, you can try and outperform your competitors and win the market.
It gives you various data like website’s global rank, country rank, category rank, traffic overview, website referrals, top 5 organic and paid keywords, traffic from social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit, etc., display advertising statistics, target audience, competitors' website, and so on. All these data can be crucial to plan a company's SEO and outsmart the competitors.
This is a great tool to check your website’s visibility on search engines for specific keywords. It can be used on any platform like desktop, mobile, and tablet. All you need to do is input the region you are targeting, enter your domain name and enter five keywords that you have used in your website. This search will tell you where your website is ranked for those specific keywords. You can also use this tool to find out how your competitors are ranked for the same keywords.
Sitemaps are what helps the search engines to navigate and crawl an entire site without any difficulty. It lets the search engine know all the pages you have on your website and the keywords you are using.
The XML Sitemaps tool will help you create a sitemap for your HTML website, which you can submit in the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. All you need to do is simply enter the URL, and a few other optional parameters, and the XML sitemap will be created for your website. This tool can be used for free up to 500 pages.
Ryte (Robots.txt Generator)
We all know that web robots from sites like Google, Bing, and other search engines crawl our website to find all the content and pages present on it. You can help these robots to crawl your website easily by creating a robots.txt file.
The robots.txt file contains links for all the pages on your site and crawls permissions. If you are building a new page, you certainly don't want the robot to crawl that page. You can prevent robots from crawling that page by giving permission as ‘disallow’.
If you are outsourcing your content needs to a freelancer or an agency, then this is a very important tool to have. Search engines don't like plagiarized content from other websites. The content should be original and informative. You definitely don’t want to pay for content that is stolen from multiple sites.
Copyscape will help you find the original or copied location of the content that you received. All you need to do is give the URL of your content, and it will search the internet and find the sites from where the content was copied. The free version shows only the top 10 results for your content.
Google Alerts is used to monitor any mentions of your website. All you need to do is enter the name of your brand, product name, or company name, and Google will search for mentions of the said names on any website and will send the results to your email address.
You can also use Google Alerts to monitor your competitors' sites and know the source of backlinks and directories they have been registered with. Using this data, you can improve your overall SEO score.
Screaming Frog SEO Log File Analyser
The Google bot crawls all over your site multiple times in multiple frequencies. You can have a look at what Google Bots are doing on your site by looking into website log files. The Screaming Frog SEO Log allows you to analyze this data by uploading the log files. The analyzer will let you find ‘uncrawled’ or orphan pages, broken links, page sizes, and reading errors. All this will provide you with invaluable insights for SEO improvements.
It is very difficult to rank for a keyword that is trending. The best way to do it is to use the right keywords and post about the same before it starts to trend.
So how do you find what keywords are going to trend in the future? Exploding topics just does that for you. Using the search data from search engines, it uses an algorithm to find out the keywords that have the potential to trend.
Geo Targetly (Hreflang Tag Generator Tool)
When you are targeting people from multiple regions or people speaking different languages, you need to have an Hreflang tag for your page. Let's say you have the same content in two languages on your website - English content for the US population and the same content in German for German people. You need to differentiate the pages by giving an Hreflang tag mentioning the country and language so that Google can show the right content to the right audience.
However, it can often get messy while using multiple Hreflang tags. The Hreflang tag generator tools make it easy for you. All you have to do is enter the site URL mentioning the country name and language; the tool will generate the Hreflang annotation that you can use.
Keyword Surfer Chrome Extension
This is a Chrome extension that offers an ample amount of free data inside your browser. Once you install the Keywords Surfer extension, every time you enter a keyword and search in Google, the tool will give you insights on the search volume, CPC, and suggested keywords.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test
A vast majority of people are using smartphones to access the internet today. So businesses have to make sure that their website is mobile-friendly as it boosts SEO scores.
The best tool to check your website's mobile device compatibility is the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Once you are on the site, enter your website URL, and the site will give information on whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. If not, it will tell you what you need to fix.
Search Engine Optimization is essential to improve your presence on search engines and the internet in general. Businesses have to use some of the above-mentioned free SEO tools to analyze and optimize their site and make it perfect for the search engines. However, as there are numerous factors to check out, it would often be quite time-consuming. But a tool like SEO Assistant can make it quite simple for you.
Ready to try Scalenut’s SEO Assistant? Get a free trial now.