Best Free SEO Tools to Help You Improve Your Rankings in 2019
If you’re just getting started with SEO, I’m pretty confident you’re looking to get everything for free. While that’s not always possible, the truth is that there are a lot of great free SEO Tools out there.
To be honest, there are free tools that even the pros use every single day. And that’s happening for a good reason: some free SEO tools are great.
- Google Tools Suite
- CloudFlare Free SSL
- Chrome Extensions
- SEOmofo Snippet Optimizer
- GT Metrix
- Yandex Metrica
- Redirect Checker
- TextMechanic.co Text Manipulation Tool
- JOSN-LD Schema Generator Tool
- Hreflang Tool by Aleyda Solis
- Answer the Public
- Xenu Link Sleuth Crawler
- Ubbersuggest Keyword Research Tool
- WordPress Plugins
This list isn’t the most comprehensive one and it doesn’t list every free tools out there, but it captures a little bit of everything that is necessary in daily SEO tasks.
P.S. It’s impossible for me to get them all, so if you know any Free SEO Tools that deserve to make it in this list, please share them in the comments section at the end.
1. Google Tools Suite
No list of SEO Tools should miss Google Analytics. Sure, it’s probably not the most accurate but the truth is that no tool is 100% accurate. In fact, Google has an entire suite of tools you can use for free.
1.1 Google Tag Manager
Let’s start with Google Tag Manager:
Are you bored of tracking codes? Using multiple tools is always a hassle when you implement them. If you want to remove one, you have to go through plugins or templates. Maybe you forgot which plugin you’ve used to add the tracking code or which template contains the scripts.
Well, with GTM you won’t have this issue anymore. You can have them all in one place to enable and disable them at your will. It does exactly what it says: it manages HTML tags which contain tracking codes or scripts.
You can add your Analytics code there. It supports a variety of Google Tools as well as custom scripts to add external tracking codes, such as Facebook Pixel.
I’m not going to tell you how to install it, but there are hundreds of tutorials out there so go watch one. Here’s a good one:
1.2 Google Analytics
No website should miss out on Google Analytics. While not the most accurate tool, it’s definitely a ‘good value’ for the huge amount of information it offers and the filtering that it’s capable of doing.
If you don’t use it yet, you should. You can see a lot of things, such as how long your users stay on your pages, if they bounce back to the search results looking for something else or where your traffic is coming from.
You can add it via the Google Tag Manager.
1.3 Google Search Console
The Search Console is something that every SEO should use. Why? Because it tells you whether a page is indexed or not, which is indispensable for every website.
Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, this free resource also helps you with:
- Different technical issues
- Keyword & Rank Tracking
If you don’t have the Google Search Console connected to your website yet, then do this as soon as possible. It’s pretty easy to add:
1.4 PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a great tool which will help you quickly identify the most vital issues your site is facing regarding speed.
However, don’t take the score there for granted. A website might have a low score but still load very fast, which is what actually matters.
In fact, the PageSpeed Insights tool even lowers the score for using external scripts such as Tag Manager, Analytics or Google Fonts. To avoid that, you would have to host them locally, which is both unpractical and risky and Google doesn’t recommend it.
That score isn’t in any way related to your SEO performance and getting it to 100/100 won’t guarantee you higher rankings. However, it will help you identify some issues that might be lurking in your website.
This is just a 1 page check so make sure you don’t check just the Homepage. Now you can’t stay and check every page out there, but you can at least check one category page, one product and one blog post, just to test each important page template.
If you want to check the pages in bulk, you can use the CognitiveSEO Site Audit Tool. It will check every page, but be prepared, it’s going to take a while!
1.5 Mobile Friendly Tool
The Google Mobile-Friendly tool is really useful because it helps you confirm if Google itself sees your website as mobile friendly. Why is it so important that your website is mobile friendly?
Well, for once because Google has run a mobile first index since 2018. However, what’s more important is that more than 50% of users now search the web using their mobile phones. That number is going to rise.
So, make sure your site is mobile friendly, otherwise you’ll be losing a lot of visitors and definitely some rankings.
1.6 Google Alerts
Getting backlinks is hard. But you know what’s harder? It’s getting backlinks from relevant websites.
Now Google Alerts can’t do the outreach for you, but it can alert you when something new about a topic gets published on the web. So, if I write this article about free SEO tools and you use ‘free seo tools’ as a keyword in Google Alerts, you’ll get notified when my article gets indexed by Google.
You receive the notifications via e-mail. You can create multiple alerts. Make sure to create a filter, so that they don’t flood your inbox.
You can also use this to monitor your brand. This is very useful for building relationships and even links. If someone mentions you without giving a link, you can reach out and ask them for one.
However, we’ve found that Alerts doesn’t always get everything. So we’ve built our own tool: BrandMentions. You should check it out!
1.7 Google Trends
Google Trends is a great tool that will show you whether the interest in a particular topic is growing or falling.
This might be helpful when working on a new niche site. Maybe you think your idea is really cool, but if the interest suddenly declined, maybe you should do some more research to see if it’s worth it on the long run.
You can also use it to see if interest in your brand is growing or not. Google wants to reward Branded sites, because they are more trustworthy. You can also compare your brand with other brands to see the difference.
Google autosuggest isn’t actually a tool, but a feature which everyone uses every day when searching on Google, including yourself.
However, if you want to look for some new keyword ideas for which you can write awesome content, then it’s a good start. Just type a seed keyword there and Google will suggest you what other people generally search. Keep in mind that searches might be personalized, so it’s a good idea to do this in Icognito.
Keyword Shitter: If you want something that will quickly generate all those ideas you can try Keyword Shitter. Yeah, I know. It’s really called that.
Another cool thing you can do is scroll to the bottom of a search result to see some related keywords. You can use those keywords in your article to make it more relevant to the main keyword you searched for.
However, if you want a list of the most important keywords that you should include in your article to make it more relevant and help it rank better, you can try the CognitiveSEO Keyword Tool.
1.9 Google Keyword Planner
I was actually going to skip the Google Keyword Planner but decided to add it in the end. The reason why I don’t really feel like adding the Keyword Planner is because it’s an AdWords centered tool. It also doesn’t give as much data as it used to give… except if you pay for Ads. Then it will give you more data.
The truth is I have a better keyword tool for you, but it’s lower in the article, so keep reading.
1.10 Google Correlate
Google Correlate extracts keywords with similar time-based or regional search patterns to the query you provided. It is the brother of Google Trends, basically, it works in reverse because it uses the patterns point to keywords. You get a list of keywords that have a correlation with the search you’ve made.
Google Correlate uses Pearson correlation to compare data, that’s why for each result you get the Pearson correlation in front of the keyword. The keywords are in descending order, featuring in the first 10 positions the ones that have a higher correlation. 1.0 representing a perfect correlation. But you won’t see any result below 0.6. Google Correlate is used mostly to study and predict human behavior and to see the user intent. It can be used very well in keyword research to spot the contextuality and create contextual content.
2. CloudFlare Free SSL
In a world where security is becoming more and more important, having an SSL Certificate is indispensable. Your website should be secured, no matter what you’re doing with it.
Back in the day, SSL Certificates weren’t all that easy to get. Today however, with tools like CloudFlare, you can secure your website easily.
All you have to do is set up an account and have access to your domain registrar. You’ll have to add your host nameservers to CloudFlare, then point your Domain Registrar to CloudFlare’s nameservers. They will act as an intermediary, protecting your website from attacks and also adding SSL.
If you’re going to make the switch, make sure you check out our http to https migration guide. You don’t want to end up messing up all your rankings!
3. Chrome Extensions
If you use Chrome as your default browser, you can use these extensions to aid you in your SEO journey.
3.1 WooRank SEO Analysis
WooRank will analyze your website from a technical point of view, highlighting the most important issues that you should fix.
It works both as a Chrome Extension and on their website.
3.2 Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is an extension that you must have! This tool might be a little invasive since it literally shows everywhere, but you can easily turn it off from the extension’s shortcut (top right in Chrome).
3.3 SEO Minion
I’m not sure how this happened, but in the screenshot above you can see an ad saying “This chrome ext is better than Keywords Everywhere”.
Well, I’m not sure if it’s better or more useful, because it does different things, but this SEO Minion extension is actually useful, so I’m going to feature it here as well.
4. SEOmofo Snippet Optimizer
SEOmofo Snippet Optimizer will help you creating titles and meta descriptions. You can either create new ones directly there or check old ones to see if they’re ok.
There are a lot of alternatives here… but this is the one I use. It’s the first I found years ago and I still use it.
However, it appears that the tool works counting characters, but from what we know, Google uses pixels instead. You can use Serpsim instead as a pixel based alternative.
5. GT Metrix
GT Metrix is an alternative to PageSpeed Insights. It does pretty much the same thing, telling you which images aren’t optimized, if you have caching problems, if you minify your CSS, etc. I often have the impression that GT Metrix does a better job.
Focus on the following: Fully loaded time, Total Page Size and No. of Requests. Keep them all low. Another tip is that if you register, you’ll wait less for a page to be analyzed.
Again, it only acts on one page at a time, so make sure you check multiple page templates to see issues on different sections of your website.
6. Yandex Metrica
If you don’t fear Russians & Putin will steal your data and use it to rule the world, then I can’t stress enough how awesome Yandex Metrica is.
Although it’s dedicated to the Russian search giant Yandex, the cool feature in Yandex metrica is its heatmaps and user session recording. It’s basically a free Hotjar.
Just make sure you are GDPR compliant when doing these. The users must click accept for you to record their session.
7. Redirect Checker
A redirect checker is always in use. You have to make sure that all versions of the site ( http/https & www/non-www) are pointing to a single version via 301 redirect.
It’s also useful to detect redirects in general, whether you want to see if it’s a 301 or a 302, or need to figure out through which other pages a URL redirects.
I usually just search for this on Google and end up choosing whichever app ranks first, but a popular redirect checker seems to be https://httpstatus.io/.
8. TextMechanic.co Text Manipulation Tool
I’ve been using TextMechanic.co for a very long time (not .com, but the .co version). It has saved me a lot of time, because it’s very easy to manipulate text with it.
Here’s a list of some things that you can do with this tool:
- Remove duplicates
- Mix and match keywords
- Remove certain keywords from a list
- Clear empty lines
- Merge excel columns into rows
- Many others, you just have to be creative with how you mix the tools
9. JOSN-LD Schema Generator Tool
If you’re not working with WordPress or a very popular CMS, it might be difficult to get all the Structured Data & Schema Markup right on your website.
Well, that’s why James Flynn created this Schema Markup Generator.
It’s a pretty simple process. You select what type of page you have, then input your data there and the tool will generate the markup for you. If you’re a programmer, you can use that to dynamically add things like titles and prices into your templates.
10. Hreflang Tool by Aleyda Solis
If you have a multilingual website, then you must definitely set up your hreflang tags correctly. If you don’t do this, your site will be an international mess!
Luckily, we have Aleyda Solis which is a renowned International SEO. She created a Hreflang Tags Generator Tool which you can use to generate these tags in order to set them up correctly.
You might also be interested in reading our article about common hreflang mistakes.
11. Answer the Public
Answer The Public is a great keyword tool which will give you ideas and sort them both alphabetically and topically. It’s a great tool if you’re looking for a broader view on the keywords.
The best part about it is probably the visualization chart which gathers the keyword phrases around prepositions and connecting words.
12. Xenu Link Sleuth Crawler
Xenu is a website crawler. It will crawl your site and list all your URLs and resources. Its main purpose is to identify 404 pages. You can also use it to find which pages are pointing to those 404 pages, by right clicking a result and hitting URL Properties.
In a previous version of Screaming Frog you could upload a list of the URLs crawled by Xenu and you could analyze your entire site for free this way. Unfortunately, the most recent builds of Screaming Frog limit you to 500 URLs even if you upload your own list.
A good alternative is Site Audit by CognitiveSEO. It will tell you exactly which links are OK, which links are 404s, which ones 301 and you have a lot of filters at your disposal, as well as reports.
13. Ubbersuggest Keyword Research Tool
Ubbersuggest is my Google Keyword Planner alternative. It’s free and pretty generous for a free tool. We can all thank Neil Patel for that.
It even shows you the top 10 results ranking for that keyword, so that you may take a look at them to see what you’re competing against. Use it wisely to discover new keyword opportunities!
14. WordPress Plugins
Since WordPress is the most popular CMS platform out there, I couldn’t have finished this list without listing 3 of the most important plugins you should have on your site.
14.1 Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin is a must have on any WordPress site. It does a basic thing, which is allowing you to add a Title and Meta description to your pages.
This is important, because you don’t always want your H1 and Blog Title to be the same as the <title> tag. Using Yoast SEO Plugin, you can actually target more keywords. You can also set a different title for Facebook / Twitter, where keywords aren’t that important, but the catchiness is.
If you haven’t noticed, this also have a snippet preview, so you won’t have to be checking it with other tools every time.
The plugin comes with a bunch of recommendations and best practices, but you don’t really need to follow them by heart. Sometimes, a good title can get a red light.
14.2 W3 Total Cache
There are a lot of caching plugins out there. Unfortunately, W3 isn’t the easiest to use, but from my perspective, it seems to be the most powerful. It can handle Caching very well and it can also minify your static resources.
14.3 Smush Image Optimization Tool
Smush is a great tool for compressing images, one of the leading causes (if not the one) of slow websites. The only disadvantage of the free version is that you can only optimize 50 images at a time. Well… it might be a little inconvenient, but we could say that “One click per day keeps the SEO away”.
There are a lot of Free SEO Tools out there, way too many to list them all here. Many of them are probably really good, probably better than what I’ve listed before.
Which tools do you use? If you know any of these tools, please share them below in the comments section.