11 of the best free tools every SEO should know about

Working in SEO requires various tools for research and analysis.

We need to understand website performance, market trends, user behavior, competitor activity and the effort needed to achieve our goals.

While premium tools offer many useful features, several free tools can significantly enhance your SEO efforts.

If you are a freelancer just starting out or working in-house with little budget to spend on tools and software, the following can provide you with (almost) everything you need.

1. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is probably the best free tool available. It is a powerful website crawler that allows you to analyze your website’s SEO performance in various ways. 

The free version allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs, making it ideal for small to medium-sized websites. It helps identify technical issues and analyze on-page elements such as page titles and metadata.

2. AlsoAsked

AlsoAsked is a fantastic tool for understanding the questions people are asking in relation to your target keywords. It aggregates data from Google’s “People Also Ask” feature, providing a visual representation of how questions are related. 

This is a great website to use to identify topics to write about, especially for blog posts. You search based on a specific topic, and the results will give you a whole host of ideas.

While Ahrefs is predominantly a paid tool, its Webmaster Tools are available for free. This suite includes tools for checking your website’s health, analyzing backlinks and conducting keyword research. 

Ahrefs’ extensive backlink database and keyword analysis capabilities make it a must-have for any SEO professional.

Dig deeper: 5 free SEO tools and plugins to try

4. Microsoft Clarity

Microsoft Clarity is a free user behavior analytics tool that provides deep insights into how users interact with your website. It offers heatmaps, session recordings and comprehensive dashboards to help you understand user behavior and identify areas for improvement. 

Clarity is particularly useful for improving user experience and conversion rates. To give you a real-life example, if you have a website with a lot of functionality that is slowing the website down, you can see if users are using it.

5. SEOquake

SEOquake is one of my personal favorite browser extensions. It provides a wealth of SEO metrics, including an on-page SEO audit, keyword density analysis and social metrics. 

SEOquake can be integrated with Google Search Console and Google Analytics, making it a versatile tool for quick SEO checks and analyses.

6. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is an excellent tool for content ideation and keyword research. Similar to AlsoAsked, it is a great resource for understanding the longer-tail phrases people are searching for related to a specific topic. 

It visualizes search queries in a unique and intuitive way, displaying questions, prepositions and comparisons related to your chosen keywords. It can also help you understand user intent.

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7. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an essential tool for any SEO professional. It provides comprehensive data on your website’s performance in Google Search, including search traffic, indexing status and any issues affecting your site. 

Search Console is invaluable for monitoring your site’s health and identifying opportunities for improvement. It also identifies keyphrases that a website is ranking for that you may not have previously been aware of.

8. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic. It offers detailed insights into user behavior, traffic sources and conversion tracking. By understanding how visitors interact with your site, you can make data-driven decisions to enhance your SEO strategy. 

You can use it along with tools such as Looker Studio to pull and manipulate data, enabling you to drill down to the information you need. While much data is now hidden, it’s still an essential tool.

9. Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a browser extension that provides keyword search volumes directly in Google’s search results. It also offers related keyword suggestions and domain-level traffic estimations. 

This tool is incredibly convenient, and while it’s not designed for more in-depth work, it’s incredibly useful as a way of providing a high-level overview.

10. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a free tool that analyses your website’s speed and performance. It provides detailed reports on how quickly your site loads, identifies issues slowing it down and offers recommendations for improvement. 

Page speed is a crucial factor for user experience and, therefore, SEO, making GTmetrix an invaluable tool for optimizing site performance.

11. Rank Math

Rank Math is a free SEO plugin for WordPress that simplifies website optimization. It offers a set of tools to improve on-page SEO, including schema markup, keyword tracking and content analysis. 

Rank Math’s user-friendly interface and detailed recommendations make it an excellent choice for WordPress users, and it is fast catching up with similar plugins.

With thanks to the Women in Tech SEO community for their input into this article. 

Dig deeper: Supercharge your SEO tool stack for 2024 with AI

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