20 Best Free SEO Tools: Increase Your Website Traffic & Improve Keyword Rankings
Developing a strong SEO strategy can be tough to do on your own. Especially if you don’t have an unlimited budget to build SEO software into your marketing technology stack. Luckily there are a ton of powerful, free SEO tools available around the web. And I’ve gathered a list of the best free SEO tools here for your benefit.
I’m constantly reviewing and updating this list based on my personal experience managing website conversion optimization and SEO strategy for a variety of businesses, all different sizes and industries.
Check out my list of the 20 best free SEO tools to level up your content, boost organic search traffic to your website, and improve your keyword rankings.
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Outline of This Article:
- Benefits of SEO-First Strategy
- SEO & Content Research Tools
- On-Page SEO Content Tools
- SEO Audit Tools
- Technical SEO Resources
Benefits of SEO-First Strategy
Many of the businesses I work with face a common challenge: skyrocketing customer acquisition costs. When it comes to small businesses and start-ups, they also struggle with limited resources, which restricts their ability to balance both paid acquisition and organic website growth (mainly via SEO).
But the benefits of SEO-first strategy number far above relying primarily on paid acquisition.
Related Content: A Crash Course in SEO Basics
Once you’ve got a solid strategy implemented on your website, gains for your growth continue to compound over time. Your website traffic and keyword rankings often improve without much additional lift or spend. That contrasts greatly with the paid acquisition model of Facebook and Google Ads, which require consistent or even increasing spend over time to see the same results.
But business owners and marketers alike often worry about what it will take to get started with SEO and maintain over time.
Search engine optimizations seems to require a great deal of technical knowledge when you’re first starting out.
And that’s why it’s important to identify the right tools to help minimize that lift.
As someone who often works with small businesses and start-ups, I’ve familiarized myself over time with the best free SEO tools available to help get the job done at minimal cost and with minimal lift.
Want more recommendations beyond the best free SEO tools? Get recommendations for the best free digital marketing tools, where to find free stock images and photos, and the best free content creation tools.
Best Free SEO Tools for Content & Keyword Research
These free SEO tools are great for helping you to perform SEO-first content creation, from start to finish. Find the right keywords to target, complete strategic content planning, and get information about how to adjust your content to start ranking higher on search engine results pages.
1. Answer the Public
This tool helps you with keyword research by providing an assortment of long-tail keyword ideas. What questions are people asking across the web? You’ll get a variety of questions that you can create website content to address.
Another way you can check for long-tail keywords, this website lets you see the suggestions Google offers for “what other people asked” for particular search queries.
3. Google Trends
This free Google tool is one of my favorites. Check out how different keywords and search queries rank across the web. You can compare different keywords or key phrases with each other and also get information about leading search trends.
4. Google Keyword Planner
Google’s built-in keyword research tool gets added to the lists of most SEO experts. It’s free, powerful, and comes directly from the authority on SEO.
5. Can I Rank?
Wondering if you can rank for certain keywords or phrases? Curious about how to get there? This website serves as a great free SEO tool to help you figure that out. The free tier is a little limited, but if you enjoy the features, you can always pay to upgrade to a different subscription level.
Best Free On-Page SEO Content Tools
Once you’ve actually got your content developed, these are the best tools to help you optimize for maximum performance. Determine how to edit and format your content to align with your SEO goals.
6. Hemingway App
Hemingway App is one of numerous tools to analyze the readability of your text. Using it can help you become a more concise, effective copywriter over time. The app identifies various weaknesses and areas of opportunity throughout your copy, such as overuse of passive voice.
I’ve pointed out this plugin several times on my website as an incredible tool for anyone who has a WordPress site. Yoast offers real-time checks of key SEO elements on your web pages before and after you hit publish. Get reminders about optimizing metadata and your content readability score.
If you’re looking for a free SEO audit, this website provides a pretty thorough one. Fast and easy to launch, SEOptimer gives you a complete look at the SEO performance of your website. That includes usability, keyword rankings, page speed, and mobile optimization.
9. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Attracting maximum traffic for your content starts with the right title. Your content headline factors heavily in performance. Curious about how yours stacks up? Run it through this handy tool and get a rating on the quality of your headline.
Best Free SEO Tools for Website & Content Audits
The best SEO strategies start with an audit. You’ll also need to perform periodic audits to gain insights into how you’re pacing against your goals and identify areas in need of improvement. These are the best free SEO audit tools that make completing this task much easier and more straightforward.
Ubersuggest, from one of the leading SEO experts in the world, Neil Patel, lets you perform a quick audit of your website for free. You’ll get basic insight into backlinks, keyword rankings, and more. For more robust features, you’ll have to buy a paid subscription, but the free option does provide some functionality.
11. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
This is a fantastic tool if you want to gain visibility into the entire structure of your website. You get a complete audit of your website, along with information into your metadata and content. When I’m starting to analyze a website’s SEO performance to build out a new SEO strategy, I often start here.
12. Local Search Results Checker
Want to see how your website is doing when it comes to local searches? Or are you interested in seeing where your website lands on search engine results pages in a particular region or city? Use this tool to get a view into that.
13. SEO Site Check Up
The tagline of this website is “Search Engine Optimization Made Easy.” That makes sense given all the free tools bundled here. It even features a competitor domain test, in addition to tests for all the different elements of your own website.
Best Free Tools & Resources for Technical SEO
Technical SEO can be the area that spooks most people who don’t have extensive experience in the field. These are some great tools to help you start gaining knowledge and insight without feeling completely overwhelmed.
14. Google Search Console
Another Google freebie, Google Search Console (GSC) is a must-have tool for monitoring your SEO. You get information about your organic traffic, search queries leading to your site, page load speed and mobile optimization. Not to mention, any other technical issues that might put a dent in your SEO performance.
15. Ahrefs Backlink Checker
Backlinks are incredibly important for improving your SEO strategy. They signal that your domain is reputable and useful to others. This free SEO tool from Ahrefs, one of the leading websites for all things SEO, gives you a glimpse into how your backlink building campaign is working.
16. Moz Free Domain Analysis
Want to know your domain authority, spam score, and backlinks pointing to your website? Moz gives you a free way to get general information about your website.
Get free information about your log files and how search engines crawl your website. This includes crawl volume and HTTP status codes for all your pages.
18. Ahrefs Broken Link Checker
Another great free SEO tool from Ahrefs! Monitor the broken links on your website to remove or update them and keep content fresh.
19. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
A newer release by Ahrefs, this offering created some excitement among SEO professionals. It’s supposed to be a very robust alternative to Google Websmater Tools. It features plenty of technical tools to help improve various elements of your site SEO performance.
I recently discovered this tool thanks to a founder recommendation on Twitter. You can analyze search engine results pages to discover any opportunities for ranking. You also get a snapshot of the SERPs, which shows you an analysis of the pages already ranking. The information offers valuable insight to help you prioritize your website content strategy. This SEO tool has a free trial, although to unlock full functionality you need to purchase credits.
Interested in other free marketing tools to complement this list of the best free SEO tools? I’ve also got lists of the best free digital marketing tools, where to find free stock images and photos, and the best free content creation tools.
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