If you are serious about your business and you intend to get real results from your SEO you are going to have to equip yourself with the very best tools available.
This is especially true when you are starting out and learning the proverbial SEO ropes – but with all of the paid services, subscriptions and pro tools – you may be thinking “how am I supposed to afford everything without a hefty outlay?”
Well, let me bring you the good news. The truth is that you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to become an SEO expert.
On the contrary you can get up and running in SEO without spending a penny – there are plenty of tools available to you right now that just require a little effort to set up – and what’s even better for you is that I have a list of them right here….
I did some research and asked 30 SEO experts what were their favourite and most used Free SEO tools and put this list together.
Bear in mind that this one is a work in process – I will keep adding new tools to this list as I continue using them and find new ones to use – so keep checking back to see what else has been added and what comes recommended.
Google SEO Tools
It’s easy to overlook Google’s SEO tools. Often you will be introduced or recommended a piece of shiny new software, or you’ll meet a Sales Rep at a Trade Show who’s pitch is so finely tuned that you can’t resist his Third Party Software that can deliver the World to your doorstep. But the reality is that I wouldn’t spend any money on any SEO software until I have tried and tested all of the free tools offered by Google.
And, guess what, I am not alone. Many of the established SEO experts that I spoke to all swear by these tools as the cornerstone of many of their SEO campaigns. The best thing about Google’s Tools is that they are completely Free and you can extract many valuable insights in moments.
#1: Google Analytics
Google Analytics provides all the information that you need to know regarding your site’s data. You can see real time results of every movement through your site, every action taken, how your traffic is effected by site changes, how your conversions increase and who is attracted to your site and from where.
And that’s just to begin with.
The insights provided by Google Analytics allow you to track the growth of your site, traffic sources and areas for improvement in an instant.
For instance you can easily check up on your primary sources of traffic. You can set a daily, weekly, monthly or custom period to measure the sources :
In addition, you can track which keywords and search terms are bringing the most traffic to your site:
Warning: It’s very easy to get carried away with all of the metrics available with Google Analytics. I am a big believer in keeping things simple, so I tend to only use a handful of the options available. A good place to start would be with the three functions I have outlined above as these will provide you with a ton of useful information which you can start optimising your site’s performance right away and measure the results. In my opinion Traffic Count, Traffic Sources and Keywords and Search Terms are the most valuable metrics available.
#2: Google Page Speed Tools
The speed with which the pages on your site load in the browser is a big ranking factor. If your pages load quickly they are likely to rank higher because of the improved user experience.
This is where Google Page Speed Tools come in handy. Recently I was able to improve the loading speed on my site by 80% which had a massive positive impact on my search results and income.
Google PageSpeed Tools allow you to track page loading speeds on Desktop and Mobile Devices and even suggests how to make improvements in line with Google Webmaster guidelines. So you can refine your site’s performance quickly and easily and watch your search rankings take a boost!
#3: Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is still the most widely used Keywords Tool for most SEO experts. Not only is it super easy to use but it is by far the most accurate.
You can instantly access keywords and their search volumes along with related search terms all on the same dashboard. So within seconds you will have a whole list of relevant keywords upon which to base your content, headers and domain names.
#4: Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the new name for Google Webmaster Tools and is the SEO tools that everyone should have in their toolbox. When speaking with SEO experts this tool is one of the most commonly spoken about.
The Google Search Console allows you to track what is happening behind the scenes on your site and is invaluable at detecting issues that may be hampering your Search Marketing progress.
One of the most powerful tools available on the Google Search Console is Search Analytics. Here you can track the number of page impressions that appear in the SERPS along with your average ranking and click through rate.
Together with this you can search which pages are being ranked according to which keywords – one of the most useful SEO tools available on the web. Period.
Another invaluable tool is the Crawl Errors tool. With this you can track where the broken links are on your site that will be causing a negative impact on your site’s search ranking.
Along with a thorough site performance analysis your can also analyse your site’s backlink profile:
You can also use the Google Search Console to detect if you have received any penalties for WebSpam.
The Google Search Console can detect errors in the page code that are preventing crawlers from moving thorough your site’s pages. This can save hours of work manually scanning code looking for errors as it also provides suggestions for making improvements.
#5: SEO Powersuite
The SEO Powersuite is, without doubt, one of the most powerful Free SEO Tools available as it provides massive insight into what your competitors are doing as well as delivering valuable insights into your sights performance and ways to improve.
With the Free Version you get access to :
Rank Tracker – Track both yours and your competitor’s site performance for different keywords, then instantly improve you ranking based on the insights provided.
SEO Spyglass – Access over 100k of your rival’s backlinks and use the information to build up your own backlinks.
Link Assistant – Keep track of and optimise your backlink profile all in one dashboard.
Website Auditor – Check for site errors and receive suggestions on fixes and improvements.
#6: Open Link Profiler
Open Link Profiler provides valuable information about all of your site’s backlinks. Simply go to the Open Link Profiler Website enter your site’s domain name and you’ll get a full run down of metrics for all of your site’s backlinks.
Not only that, but the Open Link Profiler makes an assessment of the quality of each link, where each one is coming from, which pages are getting the most links, the anchor text used in each link and, if that wasn’t enough, where in the world your link is coming from.
That’s a pretty wide range of incredible insights that you are getting all without opening your wallet – and for an added bonus you can even check up on your competitor’s backlink profile.
Open Link Profiler really is one of the Top Free SEO Tools available on the web.
Image Raider is a really sweet reverse search tool for finding out where the images on your site are being used around the web. All you have to do is upload your image file, get the search started and instead of using search words it will deliver search results of every location of your site’s graphics. Then all you need to do is contact the site’s administrator and request a backlink in return for use of the image.
#8: SEO Auto Linker
SEO Auto Linker is a super useful free plugin from WordPress that I just recently started using. What it does is it manages and inserts all of your links throughout your site’s pages. All you need to do is add the url and the keyword or phrase and wherever that keyword or phrase appears in your site’s content it will automatically insert the link.
It’s a real time saver and a brilliant way to help you manage all of your blog and affiliate links.
If you want to get your site linked to the Holy Grail of backlinks then you need to start using the Wikigrabber. This tool scans through Wikipedia and pulls up all of the citation needed links and the links around the web that point to them.
All you need to do is head over to their site, type in your search word of choice and it will pull up all of the broken links on Wikipedia. Then you need to find the content on your site that fits with the where the link is needed and add the link to your page in the content. You can even create fresh content that will fit in with what the broken link is referring to.
Warning: Wikipedia links are among the highest authority backlinks that you can get for your site. However, they are extremely precious about the type of links that they allow to be posted. Ensure that your content is of the highest standard and make sure that there are no outbound affiliate links on the page that you are linking to. Wikipedia is about content and is very strict about content users making money out of their backlinks.
#10: Hunter.io (Formally Email Hunter)
Hunter.io is a search engine that browses the web and pulls up all of the email addresses associated with a business name. So for example, if you wanted to make contact with head of marketing at Growth Hackers, you would type Growth Hackers into the search and within a few seconds you would have all of the email addresses of employees at Growth Hackers. This can make some of your SEO campaigns super easy as it allows you direct access to some of the top internet marketers and entrepreneurs in the business. Then all you would need to do is contact them and discuss your link building goals.
Amazingly, with this tool you can make 150 email address searches for free each month. So your link building campaign can get off to a flying start with this one. There is also a handy browser add on which pulls up the related emails of the business that you are looking at when surfing the web.
While we are on the subject of making new contacts – Scraper is a really top notch tool for finding the contact details of other site owners. I have used this many times to collect information which i have then used to make contact and build partnerships with other like minded individuals in my niche.
Again it’s super simple to use – first you need to download the browser addon. Then let’s say we are trying to locate potential bloggers by email outreach for a backlink building campaign. Bloggers are always hanging around comments sections of other blogs looking to make contact with other authors. Now if we head over to the post by Nomadic Matt:
If you scroll down to the bottom you can see in the comments section that there have been many replies to his post. Nomadic Matt’s blog is one of the most popular travel blogs, so a lot of the other people commenting here are fellow bloggers and have links back to their blogs next to their comments.
So, now that you have the Scrape Tool addon in your browser, all you need to do is highlight each link and right click. A dropdown will appear whereby you select the option to Scrape Similar:
The you will get a list of all of the backlinks that appear in the comments section for that blog post:
Then, just export all of that into a Google Doc and you will now have a complete list of all of the bloggers to make contact with.
Of course, not all of the contacts you find here, will be exactly what you are looking for, but try this a few times and you will, without doubt, find a few gems for which to form a partnership with.
Keywords are essential for marketing your business, getting it ranking well in the search engines and for outdoing your competitors. So if you don’t know which keywords you need for these three tasks creating engaging content will be hard if not impossible. Likely as not, you will find that there are thousands of keywords to choose from but no way of knowing which ones will give you the best results.
But, as usual, i come bearing good news! The Free Keywords Tools that I am about to show you will give you all of the relevant and inspirational keywords that you will need to make your business a success.
Ubersuggest is a sweet little tool for throwing up related keyword suggestions. Say, for instance, that you during your keyword search you find a whole list of highly competitive keywords. Now you really want your content to rank but with so many content providers competing for the main keywords it seems unlikely that your work will make nay impact.
Cue Ubersuggest. Type your keyword into the tool, choose which Geo and Search Engine you want to rank in:
And, just like that, up will pop a whole list of alternative keywords that people are browsing for. Then export them all to a spreadsheet and put them into the keyword planner to find the right keywords for you!
Combining Ubersuggest with Keyword Planner is a great method for building up a comprehensive and more easily rankable keywords list for your online business.
#13: Market Samurai (14 Day Free Trial)
With a 14 day Market Samurai Free Trial you can access some of the best Keyword and SEO tools available. Despite only being available for free for a fortnight you can pull a huge amount of valuable data from the modules available. Well worth looking into.
With Keyword.io you can search out a whole range of different keywords across multiple search engines including Google, Bing, Wikipedia and YouTube. So finding some highly searchable Keywords that no one else has found yet is only a few clicks away!
Their interface is super easy to use too, just head over to their search page type in your keyword of choice, select your search engine and you’re on your way.
Although you are limited on the amount of metrics that come with the keyword searches, you can still extract a whole load of new ideas of long and short tail keywords for inserting into your content.
CanIRank is an excellent tool for measuring how likely your site will rank for a particular keyword whilst also providing tips on how to do it. On a free account you can manage your site, access statistics, see how each page is performing and receive suggestions on how to make improvements.
Not only that but CanIRank also gives you detailed insights into your competitors rankings too by providing a list of which other sites are ranking for a particular keyword ad how which is great information for helping you give your site the upper hand.
One of the best tools for spotting flaws in your SEO and diagnosing ways to improve.