When it comes to SEO, there is a wide range of tools out there, and also a huge variety of ways to use them. At SEOMG! here in Brighton, our long term experience in SEO and use of these tools has allowed us to distinguish the good from the not so good, and to pick up on some useful hacks as well.
We understand that for bigger, in-depth projects, a paid tool (or at least, the paid version of a free tool) can be the way to go, giving you greater functionality. But for everyday tasks the free versions usually do the trick. Below is a selection of the best free SEO tools out there, as well as some of our favourite features of them.
Owing to the seemingly endless list of free SEO tools out there, we’ll be adding to this post on a regular basis, ensuring that we keep you in the loop with all of the latest and greatest free SEO tools available to you.
Over time, Google has been giving more and more favour to websites well optimised for mobile devices. So it isn’t a surprise that a free SEO tool such as this is on our list. All you need to do is enter your chosen URL and an evaluation will be generated for you.
Our favourite feature: By far our favourite feature of the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool is the instant feedback and additional resources provided, allowing you to understand what is wrong with your pages and how to fix the issues.
Finding that certain keywords related to your website aren’t appearing in SEMRush or Google Search Console, but you’ve seen questions related to them being asked on social media? AnswerThePublic is a great way to tap into those questions and keywords asked all over social media, forums and blogs that just aren’t appearing in your traditional keyword search tools.
Our favourite feature: A brilliant feature of AnswerThePublic is the numerous different categorisations for your keyword in question. This way you can filter down to the exact sentence which is best for your content.
Although Google Analytics isn’t technically an SEO tool (it assesses all channels), it still certainly has its uses when evaluating data, showcasing the fruits of your hard SEO labour. Google Analytics can help you gather invaluable data such as the time people spend on your site, exit rate, page speed, overall page views and what sources (social, email, PPC etc.) are driving traffic.
Our favourite feature: Not only does Google Analytics offer a wealth of different statistics, it also allows flexibility to fit your exact requirements. Our favourite part of this is the useful ways to compare data between two time periods to see a side by side comparison of the data you need most!
Ever needed a free crawler to give you lots of in-depth info on your own site? Although there is a limit of 500 URLs for the free version, Screaming Frog provides insightful information such as broken links, page titles that are too long, too short, missing or duplicated, low word count pages and much more. Just enter your homepage and press start. When done, you can click on the different tabs to see individual issues, or export the findings to Excel and assess things in your own time. This one is a must-have on our free SEO tools list.
Our favourite feature: Screaming Frog has been perfect for our content audits. Why is that? Well, if we’re looking for pages with thin content or broken links, the information is all just a few clicks away, giving us access to those pesky pages that aren’t providing value to the site in question.
Google Search Console is an amazing place to track your domains, check average rankings, total number of clicks, and the phrases people are using to find your website. It’s an extremely powerful tool which can give you specific data in a matter of moments. Just enter a URL, filter it to a particular date range and watch all the metrics appear before your eyes. Amazing.
Our favourite feature: When it comes to Google Search Console, our favourite element is its performance tracking capabilities. It keeps a record of long lasting record of data, making it easy to understand how your website performed before and after you implemented a certain piece of SEO work.
Sometimes the smallest tasks can be the most frustrating. Especially when it comes to testing title tags. You find your perfect keywords and fit them naturally into the title only to find it’s too long after the page has gone live. With the Moz Title Tag Preview Tool, you can easily test out your titles to see if they risk being truncated before your page goes live. Talk about a way to save some time! Simply input your title, click ‘Check’ and you’ll see how it will likely appear in search listings.
Our favourite feature: Although there isn’t much more to this particular tool, our favourite feature of Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool is just its simplicity and ease of use. It’s quick and gives a visualisation of how your title will look in the search results.
Another excellent, very niche (and still free) SEO tool that we love to use is Way Back Machine. If you’ve ever carried out a major change on a site and need to visually compare the before and the after, or need to check on how the website looked at a particular time in history, Way Back Machine has your back. It’s as easy as entering your chosen URL to find the archived version of the page.
Our favourite feature: A great feature for capturing the page in its current state is the ‘Save Page Now’ feature. As long as your page is crawlable you’ll be able to capture a snapshot of it at that particular time, capturing the current state of the page in question, to refer back to at any point in the future.
With its handy Chrome extension, the Ayima redirect path tool is a great ‘always on’ assistant that instantly lets you know if the page you’ve just arrived at is a redirected one or not. Why is this important? Well, pages that are either temporarily (302 status code) or permanently (301) redirected lose a degree of all-important ‘link juice’, as search engines travel through the redirects to reach the final destination. The result is that as you navigate your website you’ll find pages that you didn’t realise had been redirected, allowing you to make any adjustments to URLs that mean you can benefit from the maximum amount of link equity passing to your site’s pages.
Our favourite feature: The extension shows every redirect that a URL passes through from the address you originally enter through to its final destination. This means that you can assess in granular detail where the problem might be originating from and find a resolution quicker.
So, now that you have a decent arsenal of free SEO tools at your disposal, you should be well equipped to take on all different kinds of challenges, from discovering new keywords, to performing site crawls, to fixing metadata issues. Let us know if you have a favourite free SEO tool of your own, and get in touch to talk to us about bigger projects.