40 Best Free SEO Tools to Power Your Business

SEO is primarily the basic engine for online business success. It drives traffic to your website, it affects your website clickthrough rate and can determine the buying behaviour of visitors to our website. But effective and result oriented SEO is not so easy. It takes time and requires proper planning and implementation. One of the most effective ways you can drive results that work for your website is to use SEO enhancement tools. This post lists all the tool types you will ever need. It is not a complete list of available SEO tools but it contains the tools you will need to perform the needed SEO your website will require to excel.
 
All the SEO tools we have recommended here are free so that makes it easy and available for starters and experts. We have also categorized them to make it easy to spot the relevant tools you will need for different purposes. Here we go.
 
List of Categories:
  1. Keyword research tools
  2. On-page SEO tools
  3. Link building tools
  4. Technical SEO tools
  5. Rank tracking tools
  6. Analytics tools
  7. Local SEO tools
 

Further reading:

Best Free Image Compression Tools

Best Google Analytic Plugin for WordPress

Best Intelligence Tools for Market and Competitive Analysis

 

These tools help you discover the topics your audience is searching for.

 

1. Answer The Public

Answer the Public pulls the questions people are asking (and a few other types of queries) from Google’s autocomplete results. It’s super useful for generating topic ideas.

Answer the Public is a free tool and allows you to do two searches a day for free.
 

 

2. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is Google’s keyword research tool. Use it to generate keyword ideas based on up to ten seed keywords, or from a website or URL. While Keyword Planner does have limitations such as a lack of absolute search volumes, it’s useful for finding keyword ideas that you might struggle to find using traditional keyword research tools.

If Bing is a search engine you want to optimize for, don’t forget they have their own Keyword Planner tool. 

 

3. Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator

Keyword Generator is one of the free tools offered by Ahrefs. It pulls the top 100 keyword ideas for any seed keyword or phrase from their database of over ten billion keywords across 170+ countries. It shows the estimated monthly search volume for each suggestion, plus Keyword Difficulty (KD) scores for the first ten ideas.

You can also see the top 50 related questions. Keyword Generator can also find keyword ideas for Bing, YouTube, and Amazon.

 

4. Google Trends

Google Trends shows the popularity of a topic over time. Use it to catch and capitalize on trending topics, and avoid creating content about those with waning interest.

Further reading: An SEO Guide on How to Rank for a Keyword

 

5. Keyworddit

Keyworddit extracts keywords from Reddit. Just enter any subreddit (e.g., /r/bigSEO), and it’ll pull a list of keywords with estimated monthly search volumes. It’s useful for finding topics that your audience are interested in, but that you may not have otherwise considered.

 

6. AlsoAsked.com

AlsoAsked.com scrapes the questions from Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) boxes. Use these to find subtopics and questions that might be worth answering in your article.

 

7. Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome Extension that shows estimated global and monthly search volumes for any query typed into Google. You can also see similar keywords and related terms in the sidebar. This makes it easy for you to do keyword research and competitive analysis without leaving the SERPs.

Further reading: How Best to Use Keywords in Your Website Content

 

These tools help you optimize your pages to rank higher in the search engines.

 

8. Rank Math

Rank Math is a WordPress SEO plugin that helps with on-page and technical SEO.

Here are a few things it can help with:

 

9. SERPSim

SERPSim shows what your web page will look like in Google’s search results. All you have to do is enter your proposed title, meta description, and URL. SERPSim will also tell you if your title and description are too long. You should fix these issues to avoid truncation in the search results.

 

10. Google’s Rich Results Test

Google’s Rich Results Testing tool checks the structured markup on your page to see whether it’s eligible for rich snippets in the search results.

Further reading: 27 On-Pge SEO Checklist for Top Search Engine Performance

 

11. Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator

Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator creates structured data markup in the JSON-LD format. Just select the type of Schema markup you want to generate (e.g., local business, FAQ, product, etc.), fill in the form, then copy and paste the generated markup onto your site. You can then check the validity of any Schema markup using Google’s Structured Data Testing tool.

 

12. Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar

Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar is a Chrome and Firefox extension that shows Ahrefs’ SEO metrics right in the browser. It also generates an on-page SEO report for the visited page with important elements such as the page’s title, meta description, word count, headers, hreflang tags, canonicals, OG tags, and more.

Besides that, it:

  • Checks for broken links;
  • Traces redirect chains (full path);
  • Highlights nofollow links;
  • Displays Ahrefs’ SEO metrics in the Google SERPs;
 

These tools help you acquire more links to your site.

 

13. Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker

Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker shows the top 100 backlinks to any website or web page. It also shows the five most linked pages, most common anchor texts, the total number of backlinks and referring domains, and our proprietary Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) scores.

It’s powered by the same industry-leading database as their premium tool. Some stats:

  • 16 trillion known links;
  • 170 million unique domains;
  • 7 billion pages crawled each day.

 

14. Hunter.io

Hunter.io finds email addresses associated with a website. It’s free with up to 50 requests per month. You can also use the tool to find the email address of a specific person. Just enter the domain and the person’s name.

Install the Chrome extension for quick access, or use the Google Sheets add-on.

 

15. Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker

Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker shows the top ten broken inbound and outbound links for any domain, subdomain or URL. You can use this tool to:

  • Find broken link building opportunities;
  • Find broken outbound links on your site, which you can fix to improve user experience;
  • Find broken pages on your site to reclaim “link authority”.

If you prefer using Chrome Extensions to check broken links on the fly, you can use LinkMiner or Check My Links.

 

16. Scraper

Scraper is a Chrome Extension that allows you to scrape data from any web page. It can be used for a variety of purposes, e.g., scraping link prospects from Google search results.

 

17. Help a Reporter (HARO)

HARO is a free service that connects news sources with journalists looking for their expertise. How it works: Journalists have questions. They need experts to answer them. HARO sends emails with those questions to subscribers. Anyone can respond and potentially become a source for these publications.

No matter whether you’re starting out or have an established site, it’s a great way to build authoritative links.

 

18. Streak

Streak is a freemium Chrome Extension that turns your Gmail inbox into customer relationship management (CRM) software.

With Streak, you can schedule and send mass personalized emails, see if someone has opened them, and more. It’s a great tool for blogger outreach.

 

These tools help you improve the technical aspects of your website.

19. Google Search Console

Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service from Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website’s appearance in their search results. Use it to find and fix technical errors, submit sitemaps, see structured data issues, and more.

Bing and Yandex have their own versions too.

 

20. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is a free tool that’ll help you improve your website’s SEO performance. It allows you to:

  • Monitor your website’s SEO health
  • Check for 100+ SEO issues
  • View all your backlinks
  • See all the keywords you rank for
  • Find out how much traffic your pages are receiving
  • Find internal linking opportunities

It’s Ahref's response to the limitations of Google Search Console.

 

21. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a desktop-based website crawler. It’s one of the most popular tools available for analyzing and auditing technical and on-page SEO issues. With the free version, you can crawl up to 500 URLs.

 

22. Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a free global CDN. Not only can it speed up your site, but it can also protect it from malicious attacks.

 

23. GTMetrix

GTMetrix analyzes the loading speed of your web pages. Alongside the performance score, it also shows actionable recommendations to make things load faster.

 

24. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test checks how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. It also identifies specific mobile-usability issues like text that’s too small to read, the use of incompatible plugins, and so on. With Google’s move to mobile-first indexing, having a responsive website is more important than ever.

 

25. Smush

Smush is a free WordPress plugin for compressing, optimizing, and resizing images. Use it to ensure your web pages load lightning fast. Note that free users can only optimize 50 images at a time. You have to keep clicking the “resume” button to optimize the next batch of 50.

 

26. Where Goes?

Where Goes? is a simple tool for checking redirect paths for any URL. Just paste in a URL, and it’ll show both the type (e.g., 301, 302, etc.) and the number of redirects in the chain. You should minimize the number of unnecessary redirects because it slows down your website and contributes to poor user experience.

Furthermore, although Google confirmed there is no longer any PageRank dilution via 3XX redirects, having too many redirects in a chain may waste crawl budget. If you’re looking for an SEO Chrome extension with the same functionality, you can check Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar.

 

27. Robots.txt Generator

Robots.txt Generator creates a properly-formatted robots.txt file in seconds. More advanced users can use the custom option to create individual rules for various bots, subdirectories, etc.

 

28. HEADMasterSEO

HeadmasterSEO is a simple tool for bulk checking the status codes for a list of URLs. The free version allows you to check up to 500. If you prefer a web-based application—and only wish to check up to 100 URLs—try HTTPstatus.io.

 

29. Keep-alive Validation SEO Tool

Use this tool to check if persistent connections are enabled or disabled on your web pages.

 

30. Chrome DevTools

Chrome DevTools is Chrome’s built-in web page debugging tool. Use it to debug page speed issues, improve web page rendering performance, and more. From a technical SEO standpoint, it has endless uses.

 

31. View Rendered Source

View Rendered Source is a Chrome Extension that shows how the browser has rendered a page’s original HTML into the DOM, including modifications made by JavaScript. It’s a great tool for those who need to audit or troubleshoot JavaScript issues.

 

32. Hreflang Tag Generator

Generate hreflang tags to specify the language and geographical targeting of a webpage. Just add your desired URLs, select your target country and language, then click generate.

 

These tools help you check rankings in a target location.

 

33. Ahrefs’ SERP Checker

Ahrefs’ SERP checker shows the top 10 rankings for any keyword in over 170 countries. For the first three search results, you’ll also see important SEO metrics like the number of referring domains, number of backlinks, estimated search traffic, etc.

 

34. Local Search Results Checker

BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker shows you search results from any location—down to the city, town, or even ZIP level. Depending on the country, you can even specify the language:

 

35. Mobile SERP Test

MobileMoxie’s SERPerator tool allows you to check your mobile rankings in any location, right down to an address, city, state, or zip code. You can even compare devices since some SEOs believe that Google shows different results for iOS and Android.

 

These tools help you measure and analyze data on your website.

 

36. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is quite likely the most popular analytics tool out there. It gives you a whole range of data, which you can use to improve every aspect of your marketing. Bing’s version is Bing Webmaster Tools, and Yandex has their own called Yandex Metrica.

 

37. Keyword Hero

Keyword Hero attempts to replace the “(not provided)” data in Google Analytics with real search keywords. The free tier allows you to analyze up to 10 URLs and 2,000 sessions per month.

 

38. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio lets you create interactive dashboards and reports. It integrates with Google’s suite of tools, which makes it easy to merge data from places like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, etc.

 

These tools help you rank higher in local SERPs.

 

39. Google My Business

Google My Business lets you manage how your business appears in Google Search and Maps. Claiming and optimizing your GMB profile is likely the most important thing you can do in local SEO. According to Moz’s 2018 study, GMB is one of the top local ranking factors for both “snack pack” and organic results.

 

40. Whitespark’s Google Business Review Link Generator

Whitespark’s Google Business Review Link Generator creates a shareable link that lets customers review your business with one click. Since getting reviews on your Google My Business profile is crucial for local SEO, you should consider sharing this link via email, social media, and elsewhere to make the reviewing process as easy as possible.

 

Final Words

This list is certainly not exhaustive yet it presents a set that can be enough to support any serious SEO. There will be no harm in trying them to get the best combination that suits your needs. You may not find them all useful but as you progress, you will find them good for researching or for tweaking your site SEO. Whatever it is, these tools can help improve the performance of your website.

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