SEO tools are essential for developing, executing, and improving an SEO strategy — but which ones should you use? With so many options available, it quickly gets overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a lot of free SEO tools you can use to boost your website’s rankings in Google search results before investing in a paid tool.
Using free tools first will also help your team gain valuable SEO skills so they’ll be able to get more out of paid tools if it’s determined that more robust services are needed. However, even seasoned digital marketing agencies and SEO professionals use free tools! Just because the tools don’t cost anything doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful.
Here are some of the most popular free SEO tools broken down by technical and research to help your website rank higher in Google.
Technical SEO Tools
Learn more about your website performance and discover issues with the following technical SEO tools. These are handy tools for digging deep into your website and identifying improvement opportunities.
Get detailed, high-quality website information by connecting your website to Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see data on visitors, traffic sources, conversions, and more. Analytics (free or paid) is crucial for tracking your SEO efforts and measuring performance.
Formerly ‘Webmaster Tools,’ linking your Google Search Console to Google Analytics will provide you even more website insights. Search Console offers important SEO data like clicks, impressions, average position, search queries, external links, page errors, and more.
A good user experience (UX) is vital for successful SEO, and one element of UX is having a fast website. The PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to check the speed of your web page across devices and receive suggestions to make the page faster.
SEMrush’s Site Audit report provides a wealth of technical performance data and recommendations all in one place. SEMrush is a paid tool, however, it does allow you to downgrade your account to a free subscription after the 7-day trial. The free subscription has some limits (e.g. only 100 pages crawled in the Site Audit report per month), but it’s perfect for small websites.
A solid SEO strategy is built on research. With these SEO research tools, you’ll be able to learn more about keyword search volumes, competitors, and backlinks to make better-informed decisions.
See keyword search volumes and trends to identify which keywords you should focus on. You can narrow down the data by location, time period, categories, and search type (e.g. web search, image search). Google Trends also provides search queries data to see what other terms users searched for.
If you have a Google Ads account, the Keyword Planner provides a wealth of forecast and historical data for keywords. You can see monthly search volumes, competition, and keyword suggestions. That data will make it easier to decide which keywords are worth targeting in your SEO strategy.
Ubersuggest is a multi-faceted SEO tool from industry expert Neil Patel that allows you to analyze keywords, competitors, backlinks, and more. While it has several subscription plans, Ubersuggest offers three free daily searches for keywords or domains. The daily searches allow you to see data for organic keywords, traffic, rankings, and more.
Backlinks are an important ranking factor because they show Google that your content is trustworthy. Ahrefs’ free backlink checker allows you to see the number of referring domains and backlinks for a URL as well as their quality. With this information, you’ll be better able to understand which content other people consider ‘link worthy’ and create more of that.
Successful SEO Requires More Than Tools
While SEO tools are important, they’re only one piece of the puzzle. An effective SEO strategy is more than technical optimization and research — it’s also about having quality content and providing a holistic user experience that engages customers more deeply. In order for your website to have higher search rankings, you must provide value to your audience.
As we discussed in our SEO trends for 2021 articles, quality content is a must after Google’s core update in 2020 which placed greater focus on it. Following Google’s ‘E-A-T’ (expertise, authority, trustworthiness) principle for quality content, understanding search intent, and improving user experience are essential for SEO.
Connect with Mavericks Marketing today to schedule a consultation call to see how a holistic SEO strategy will boost your website’s visibility in Google so more customers find you.