Search engine optimisation is key to marketing your website and increasing organic traffic, subscribers, and ultimately, sales.
To help you analyse and optimise your search engine presence, many companies and shop owners turn to the help of premium SEO services and expensive SEO marketing companies. It makes sense if you have the funds to do that, though you may be surprised to learn that there is a huge number of free search engine optimisation tools and services that can help you improve your search engine presence.
In this article I would like to share with you a large collection of SEO tools and services; all of which are free to use.
Please note that some tools and services are provided by companies free of charge in order to encourage users to upgrade to their premium service. Despite being a limited version of the full service, these tools and services are still highly valuable (the SEMrush free website audit tool is a good example of this).
No premium tools and services are included in this list of resources. Therefore, you will not see many popular services listed that offer promotions such as 30 day trials or $1 for the first month, as these plans charge customers in the long-term.
I hope you enjoy the list :)
The following tools and services will help ensure your website design is SEO-friendly so that all of your pages are indexed correctly.
Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools)
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is an important service that all website owners should use. It provides dozens of tools to help you optimise your websites for search engines.
The service helps ensure your websites are adhering to recommended SEO practices and provides analytics on your traffic such as top landing pages, incoming links, internal links, and more. You can also see your Google index information, add sitemaps, and see crawl errors and crawl stats.
Website owners do not always give the same attention to Bing as they do to Google, however I still highly recommend adding your website to Bing Webmaster Tools.
You can submit sitemaps, disavow links, and view detailed traffic reports that show the average traffic, search position of pages, keywords, and more. There are many diagnostics tools and security tools too.
A useful generate that will create the Schema’s structured markup code for your website.
The Ultimate Open Graph Generator simplifies the process of creating meta tags for articles, books, music, restaurants, videos, and more.
A simple tool that helps you add structured-data markup to a page or email.
The structured data of your website pages can be checked via the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. You can either enter the URL of one of your pages or just paste a code snippet onto the page.
XML Sitemaps Sitemap Generator can be used to generate a sitemap for a website with up to 500 pages. You can change the frequency and display a last modified date.
A standalone version is available for $19.99 that removes the page restriction.
An alternative to XML Sitemaps Sitemap Generator is Online XML Sitemap Generator. It allows you to change the frequency, last date modified, priority, and session information. There is no restriction on how many pages your sitemap may list.
One of the best sitemap solutions available is XML Sitemap Generator. It can be used as an online service, a WordPress plugin, or as a Windows application.
In addition to changing the date, frequency, and priority, there are options to include specific file extensions and change image settings and filters.
Search Engine View Emulator helps you see your website pages exactly as search engines do. This is useful in resolving SEO problems with your website design and detecting crawling issues.
SEO Search Simulator is a free Chrome extension that allows you to easily perform searches from different regions around the world. Multiple search engines are available and you can search using any language.
The extension was released by Nightwatch. It's a feature packed SEO suite of tools that offers a range of tracking, ranking, and backlink tools. Plans start from $19 per month and there is a free trial available if you want to try it out.
SEOBook's Robots.txt Generator makes it easy to allow or disallow search engine agents from particular files and directories. You can add your sitemap URL to your Robots.txt file using this service too.
Be sure to check out their Robots.txt analyser if you are looking for a way to check that a particular page or file is being crawled correctly.
The Robots Text Generator Tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas is another option. This tool offers the same features as SEOBook's Robots.txt generator, but it lists additional user agents.
Internet Marketing Ninjas also offer a free Broken Link Checker. It can scan thousands of links on your website and then email you the report. The scanner can also detect spelling mistakes.
The tool is 100% free to use, but you are limited to five scans per day.
LinkMiner is a browser extension for Google Chrome that not only checks for broken links, but also displays information about those links. This includes social media metrics and link data.
The extension also displays HTTP headers and he server IP address at the click of a button.
Additional tools include a style editor, eye dropper, developer toolbar, and screenshot grabber.
BuiltWith let's you know exactly what a website is built with. This includes information such as the web server, nameserver, website platform, hosting provider, advertising, and more.
Created by Chris Pederick, Web Developer is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It adds numerous web developer tools for pages, links, images, and more.,
User Agent Switcher is a Firefox extension by Chris Pederick. It adds a menu and toolbar that lets you switch the user agent of your browser.
With search engines such as Google placing an emphasis on websites being mobile-friendly, it's important to ensure your website design looks the way it should on smartphones and tablets as well as desktop browsers.
Screenfly is a design tool that lets you check your websites with a wide array of devices and resolutions. It has some cool features such as screen rotation and the ability to use a proxy server for your tests.
An alternative to Screenfly is TestSize. It's a simple design tool that lets you see how your pages look on different resolutions.
A big part of search engine optimisation is understanding who is visiting your websites and why. These tools and services will give you a better picture of where your websites are at.
Google Analytics has long been the de facto standard for website owners to analyse their traffic. You can see traffic in real-time and view information about who your visitors are and how they found you. Behaviour information about website speed and visitor flow proves very useful in optimising your website design too.
In addition to traffic and other stats useful for optimising your website for search engines, Google Analytics provides traffic tools for conversions and integrates with other Google services such as Google Adwords.
SimilarWeb provides a detailed report of your website or competitor websites. The free version of the service gives you five results per metric and displays one month of mobile data and three months of web traffic.
You can consider the SimilarWeb report as a general overview of a website. In addition to giving a global rank, country rank, and category rank, the report highlights traffic levels, search presence, social media traffic levels, and more.
Alexa provides traffic and analytics on every website on the internet. It shows the traffic rank of a website, information about the website's audience, related websites, keywords, and more.
The service can prove useful when analysing competitor websites as it allows you to get an idea of how they have established themselves.
A slow website does not just make visitors click the back button on their browser, it also hurts your search engine rankings. Website performance is a ranking factor so you need to ensure all your websites load quickly.
Website performance services will not only advise how fast your website pages are loading, they also explain exactly how you can address the issues that are hurting your speed.
Google PageSpeed Insights analyses your website and gives a desktop score and mobile score. Compared to other performance services, PageSpeed Insights can be difficult to rank well for, however recommended optimisations are presented to help your website get to the next level.
GTmetrix is the performance service I regularly use when testing the speed of my websites. It ranks your website according to dozens of rules and gives you a rating for each rule. For example, you will be marked down if you do not optimise your images or minimise your CSS code.
Their waterfall feature will help you see exactly how long each element of your website takes to load. This can prove useful in determining what is slowing your website down.
The Pingdom Website Speed Test gives a performance grade for each page that is tested. The report shows load times, page sizes, total requests, response codes, and details how your website ranked in each area via the performance insights section.
The file requests section works the same way as the GTmetrix waterfall feature by highlighting how long each file took to load.
Whereas other performance services let you test your website against one location, Sucuri Load Time Tester tests your website via 16 locations across the world.
For each server location the test shows the connection time, first byte time, and total time. This helps you see whether your website loads slowly in certain parts of the world.
Web Page Test is a website performance service that lets you test pages on dozens of locations across the world. You can also select the device that it is tested against and the browser that is used.
The report will show you load time, render time, bytes in, and more. You can also see a waterfall of your page loading which shows how long files are taking to load. Multiple screenshots and videos show you how your website is loaded.
YSlow is a website performance browser extension that is available for Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. It gives an overall performance score and ranks a page according to a large ruleset.
The YSlow score is well respected and is incorporated into GTmetrix's reports.
When you click on a particular rule you are taken to a page that explains why you scored well or poorly for it.
Gift of Speed allows you to test performance from one of eight server locations across the world. It gives an overall score, page requests, and total file size. The waterfall feature helps you see what elements of your page are making loading times slow.
Cloudflare is a web performance and security service that allows you to use their content delivery network free of charge. You can can deliver static copies of your content from all of the 188 data servers that are located across the globe.
In addition to speeding up your website and making it more secure, it can automatically integrate a large number of popular products with your website at the click of a button.
The following tools and services will help you optimise your images and reduce the overall size of your website pages. This in turn leads to faster loading pages.
ImageOptim is a free image optimisation application that reduce image file sizes and remove unnecessary meta information from images. The main application was designed for Mac, however they provide alternative solutions for Windows and Linux users.
A premium web service is also available, with plans starting at $9 per month for 1,000 optimisations.
Optimizilla is a simple online image optimisation tool that can optimise up to 20 JPEG and PNG images at a time.
PunyPNG is a simple online image optimisation tool that can reduce the file size of JPG, GIF and PNG images. It's main limitation is that you can only upload 20 images at a time with file sizes less than 500KB. You need to upgrade to a premium plan to remove this restriction.
ShortPixel is an image optimisation service that can provide compression up to 90% in lossy or lossless format. JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF, and WebP image files, are supported. A WordPress plugin is available if you do not like optimising files via their online tool.
There is no limit on the size of the images you upload and you are allowed to upload 100 images per month free of charge. Their premium service is fairly priced, with plans starting at $4.99 per month for 5,000 images.
Zara 4 is a great little tool that lets you upload images or import them from Dropbox or Google Drive. You can select three different compression modes: fasting loading, compromise, and best quality. EXIF data can be stripped too.
You can download a collection of various sizes of uploaded images, stretch the images, or crop the images to a desired size. Colour enhancement is available too and you can also optimise images via their WordPress plugin
SEO Page Analysis
The following tools and services will analyse your website pages and advise you of what you have done right and what you need to address. Many of these tools also rank your website and give you an overall SEO score.
Google Optimize offers insights into the behaviour of your website visitors. It integrates with Google Analytics and Google BigQuery and lets you do A/B testing, multivariate tests, and redirect tests.
Other features include a visual editor, segment targeting, reporting, and more.
WooRank analyses a page an overall score together with details of what guidelines you passed, what needs improved, and what errors there are.
The report highlights SEO, mobile, usability, technologies, social, visitors, and more. Additional reports are provided if you upgrade to a premium plan.
MozBar is an all in one SEO extension for Chrome that gives you lots of useful information about pages as you browse the internet.
The free version shows you the page authority and domain authority of a page together with link metrics, a page overlay, custom searches, and on-page highlighter. Upgrading to Moz Pro offers additional features such as keyword difficulty and page optimisation.
QuickSprout analyses your website pages and delivers a report that explains exactly what you need to do to optimise it.
SEO Site Checkup checks your website for common SEO issues, speed optimisations, server and security, mobile usability, and advanced SEO.
An overall score is given together with information with what you passed, failed, and have warnings for. The report can be emailed to you or downloaded in PDF format.
The Microsoft Free SEO Toolkit is a free application that helps you optimise your website for search engines.
It includes a number of different modules including site analysis, robots exclusion, sitemap, and sitemap index.
SEMrush may be known for their premium SEO service, however their free reports are fantastic too. It will give you a complete breakdown of your website's SEO performance.
Reports will show you organic search levels, paid search levels, backlinks, advertising, keywords, traffic analytics, and much more.
SiteLiner allows you to scan 250 pages of your website every thirty days. The report highlights optimisation errors, duplicate content issues, and broken links.
The report also compares your website to other websites on a number of different factors.
These tools and services will help your business rank locally.
It is popular with agencies and companies as it lets you grant access to administrators and clients and manage what they can and cannot do.
Keyword Analysis & Planning
Internet users find websites by entering keywords and key phrases. By targeting the right keywords you can therefore increase traffic to your website.
The following tools and services will help you plan out which keywords you should be targeting.
Google Keyword Planner, which is a part of Google Adwords, helps you find competitive keywords. For each keyword it also shows you the search volume and suggested bid price.
Google Trends lets you know exactly what topics are trending online. You can filter by category and by country.
Trending searches and top charts are available and you can set up subscriptions to be emailed with reports about trending topics. Check out the related Google Correlate tool as well.
Keyword Tool can provide up to 750 long-tail keyword suggestions and questions for every search term. All you have to do is enter a keyword at the top of the page and it will generate a huge list of related keywords. You can see keyword suggestions for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, and App Store.
Keyword Tool Pro plans start from $48 per month. Additional features include search volume, Adwords information, and an option to export data to Excel or CSV.
Keyword Rank Checker is a handy free tool by Serps.com that allows you to check the rank of keywords for a particular domain.
It allows you to change the search engine, change the search location and language, and change the device. You can also specify the exact location a search is performed (i.e. to mimic a search from, say, Paris, France).
Another great tool from Serps.com is Keyword Research Database. It offers similar functionality to Google Keyword Planner.
All you have to do is enter a keyword to generate a list of related keywords with search volume, cost per click, and value. Results can also be filtered by keyword.
Type in a keyword, root domain, subdomain, or page, and Moz Keyword Explorer will display lots of keyword analytics for it.
For example, if you enter your website's domain name, you will see top ranking keywords, top positions, page authority, domain authority, and ranking distribution.
Seed Keywords is a really interesting tool that gives you keyword suggestions for different scenarios. For example, in the scenario of a broken computer, suggested keywords would be pc repair, faulty pc fix, broken pc,hard disk corrupt, broken pc needs fixed, pc needs fixed, and so on.
A big part of search engine optimisation is finding the right keywords to target. Seed Keywords helps in this area and suggests many keywords you may not have considered.
WordStream Keyword Tool is a keyword suggestion tool that shows related keywords and the corresponding search volume. All you have to do is type in a keyword or URL and if you wish, select a category and country.
Premium plans start at $294 per month and unlock all features of WordStream.
Twinword Ideas is a keyword analysis tool that is based on text analysis technology. After entering some keywords you will see a table of keyword suggestions thats search volume, organic competition, paid competition, and relevance.
Keywords can be filtered by user intent, topic, patterns, language, location, and more. It's very easy to use and suggested keywords can be downloaded in xls, xlsx, ods, and csv formats.
The free version of the service allows up to 10 searches per day and shows the first 250 suggestions. Their pro plan retails at $14.99 per month increases this to 500 searches per day and has no limit on suggestions. Their agency plan copsts $89.99 per month and allows up to 5,000 searches per day across 10 users.
KWFinder helps you find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty. In other words, find the keywords you can easily rank for. All you have to do is enter a keyword. A location and language can be selected if you wish too.
The report shows you a huge list of keywords together with a trending graph, search volume, CPC, PPC, and SEO difficulty. It also shows you the highest ranking websites for that term and highlights their important metrics such as domain authority, page authority, MozRank, MozTrust, inbound links, Facebook shares, rank and estimated visits.
The appropriately named Keyword Sh****r tool does exactly what it says it does. All you have to do is enter a keyword and it will crap out a huge list of related keywords for you.
You can apply negative and positive filters to the list and download the whole list to your computer in text format.
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox that displays search volume, CPC, and competition data, for 16 popular SEO tools and services such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz Open Site Explorer, YouTube, eBay, Amazon, and even Keyword Sh****r.
The concept behind the extension is to reduce the time you spend switching between different keyword planning tools and services.
Google Location Changer is a simple tool that lets you perform searches on every Google search engine and every language. You will find this very useful when researching for projects based in other countries.
Google Alerts lets you set up alerts about…well, anything. All you have to do is enter your search term and then select how often you want to be alerted, what sources to check, language, and region.
Alerts can be emailed to you or an RSS feed can be created that you then subscribe to with your feed reader. I've used Google Alerts in the past for a number of projects. For example, whenever a spam website is offering one of my books as a free download, I receive an email notification. You could use it to alert you of news, events, and much more.
A good alternative to Google Alerts is TalkWalker Alerts. It can be used to monitor brands, competitors, news, events, and more.
It works in exactly the same way as Google Alerts and like Google's service, you can have alerts delivered to you via email or RSS feed.
Data collection is an important part of link building and creating good shareable content. The right tools can speed up this time-consuming task.
Outwit Hub extracts information from website and then curates it into data collections.
It can be used to extract links, email addresses, tables, news, and more.
Everyone knows that content should be unique. Copyscape helps you detect plagiarism and content theft by searching the web for other copies.
This can be very useful. For example, if you are hiring writers to produce articles for an SEO outreach program, Copyscape will ensure no one submits articles to you that have been submitted elsewhere.
Link Grabber is a Google Chrome extension that extract all the links from a page and display them in another tab.
You can choose to show or hide links that are displayed more than once in a page and all links can be easily copied to your clipboard.
Scraper is a Google chrome extension that lets you mine data from websites and copy and paste the information in tab-separated values.
Web Scraper is a Google Chrome extension that lets you scrape data from multiple pages on a website. All scraped data can be exported in CSV format.
Image Raider is a free reverse image tool that helps you find websites that are using your images.
The tool can help you determine if anyone is stealing your images or not giving credit back to your website.
Type a domain name into Hunter and will find email addresses for that website in seconds. An email verifier is available as well as a Google Chrome extension that lets you perform searches whilst browsing.
100 search requests are allowed every month free of charge. After that you need to sign up to one of their plans which start at €39 per month.
SEO Tools for Excel is a collection of tools that integrates with dozens of popular SEO and social media services. It can be used to curate important data from many different services into your spreadsheets.
The Wayback Machine is a search engine optimiser's best friend. The tool lets you see what URLs looked like in the past.
This helps paint a fuller picture of a domain, which is vital when buying expired domains, websites, or website links.
Link Building & Analysis
Understanding what your SEO ranking is and why will guide you into what kind of link strategy you need to improve your search engine presence.
The Google Grump Rating tool by AccuRanker looks at the online rankings of keywords to help establish whether Google is making changes to their algorithm.
If you are seeing a lot of erratic changes in your rankings, check the Google Grump tool to see if it is because Google is changing things.
Panguin SEO Tool shows you how your websites have been impacted by Google's algorithmic changes. You need to authorise the tool with your Google account for it to work as it checks Google Analytics.
The free version of Moz's Open Site Explorer shows you a lot of useful information such as page authority, domain authority, inbound links, top pages, linking domains, anchor text, and more.
Moz Pro is available from $99 per month and unlocks all features. It drops down to an equivalent rate of $79 per month if you pay yearly. You can try it out for 30 days free of charge.
Searchmetrics Rank Analysis generates a report for a URL and shows metrics such as SEO visiability, keyword rankings, market analysis, inbound links, social media presence, and much more.
You can register for a free account to receive alerts and access to other data. Their pro plans retail from $69 per month and grant you access to much more information.
A Google SERP competitor analysis tool that provides over 45 metrics about your website and your competitors. You can perform searches free of charge, but you will need to upgrade to a pro plan to unlock all features.
A basic plan retails at €44.90 per month, though you can save 40% if you choose to pay annually.
SEOquake is a Google Chrome extension that lets you perform SEO audits as you browse the internet. It features an SEO bar, dashboard, overlay, and link examiner.
Keyword density is displayed and data can be printed and exported in CSV format.
Majestic generates a report about a specified URL. Information includes backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text.
You need to upgrade to one of their premium plans, which retail from $79.99 per month, to get access to all data.
Getting links on Wikipedia is a sure-fire way to increase traffic to a website. WikiGrabber lets you see which Wikipedia pages need citations and those that are currently linked to dead or broken URLs.
Screaming Frog is an SEO desktop application that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a crawler that helps you discover broken links and duplicate content. It can be use to generate sitemaps and integrates with Google Analytics.
The free version is limited to 500 URLs. The pro version removes this restriction and adds many new features. It retails at £149 per year.
Rank Tracker is an SEO application that helps you analyse your competitors' websites and clone their success.
It's free to download after you enter your email address.
SEO Power Suite is a collection of SEO tools. It offers rank monitoring, link analysis, keyword research, content optimisation, competition analysis, and white label SEO reports.
The free version does not allow you to copy or export data, but is still very useful. The premium versions retail from £259 and add many more features.
Social media is a major ranking factor for search engines and for most websites social media traffic is the number one source of traffic after organic search engine traffic.
The following tools and services will help you improve your social media position and increase traffic to your website.
All Twitter users have access to an analytics page that shows activity and engagements.
The page shows your top mentions and top tweets. This will help you see what is giving you the best return on Twitter.
Twitter Search is a good place to view current trends. It is also a great way of finding relevant people to connect with.
For example, if you are looking to find influencers in a particular niche, type in the keyword and see who is getting the more replies and retweets.
If you use a Pinterest Business account, you gain access to a detailed analytics page that gives you many useful metrics and website insights.
Facebook Reactions Analytics is a free tool that offers analytics, monitoring, competitor analysis, and more.
The tool can also generate a PDF report about your Facebook performance which can be printed or exported.
Klout helps you track your performance on Facebook and Twitter. It suggests shareable content that your followers will like and helps you create great social media content.
You are also provided by a Klout score, which is calculated through retweets and likes.
Social Mention provides real-time search and analysis. When you type in a keyword you will see mentions, top keywords, top users, and whether the sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral.
It also shows top hashtags and sources. Results can be filtered to help you interpreter the results better.
Crowdfire monitors your social media account in real-time and then works out how you can grow your audience. It does this by creating content for you and sharing it at the optimal time.
Buffer is a free social media service that lets you schedule your posts. It's incredibly popular with website owners.
It's a great app to use as you can queue up your social media postings and then send them out at optimal times.
Used by many large internet websites, BuzzSumo helps you see what content is performing best for any topic or for any competitor. All results can be filtered to give you a better understanding of what is converting.
The service is free to use, however their pro plans retail from $79 per month and permit unlimited searches.
Cyfe promotes itself as an “All in One Business Dashboard”. It can be used to track, well, everything. It shows sign ups and subscriptions to your business, social media mentions and follower growth, SEO analytics, network monitoring, and more.
The service is free to use, though the premium version unlocks additional features such as data exports, custom logo, and unlimited dashboards and widgets. Premium accounts costs $19 per user per month if paid monthly and $14 if paid annually.
Designed by Moz, FollowerWonk is a Twitter application that helps you analyse your followers so that you can see who is influential, who is retweeting your content, when they tweet, and more.
It can also help you see where your followers are located, compare users, and track users
BackTweets is a free tool that lets you search through tweets that link to your website. It's a useful way of seeing who is actively talking and linking to your website.
Who Unfollowed Me is a free social media tool that lets you track those who follow and unfollow you on Twitter. It can help you see who is following you back, who is not following you back, which people you follow that follow back, who you've muted, who you've blocked, and more.
The service is free for Twitter accounts with less than 75,000 followers and only $9.99 per year for those with 150,000 and $29.99 per year for those with 300,000 followers.
Klear describes itself as an “Influencer Marketing Platform”. The service helps you find influencers across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. You can filter searches by category and location.
Their free plan provides a limited number of searches and monitors. Their entry plan retails at $250 and is geared towards companies.
Pluggio is a web-based Twitter and Facebook manager that helps you grow your presence online.
It features tools such as a post scheduler, friend finder, content drip feeder, stats, and much more.
Webhose provides data feeds of thousands of news outlets, blogs, reviews, discussion forums, and other websites, and generates data feeds from it.
Up to 1,000 requests per month are offered free of charge. Premium plans beyond that depend on what type of content you are looking to digest.
SumAll is an interesting free social media service that is 100% free to use. It has a lot of cool automation tools. For example, you can automatically thank Twitter users who have engaged with you the most or share your best performing tweet or Facebook post with your followers.
It also lets you post products from your Shopify store directly to your Facebook page.
TweetReach is a service that helps you optimise Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The service retails from $29 per month, but you can download a Twitter analytics report free of charge that shows a lot of useful information about your Twitter account's performance.
Social Searcher is a free social media tool that shows related tweets about particular keywords and key phrases. A statistics dashboard breaks down the tweets to give you the full picture. You can monitor keywords and key phrases and set up email alerts to get updates.
100 real-time searches per day and two email alerts are permitted in the free account. Their basic plan costs €3.49 per month and offers 200 real-time searches per day, three email alerts, three monitorings, 3,000 saved posts per month, and all web mentions.
A Note About WordPress
I decided against including WordPress plugins in this list because:
- This list was created with all website owners in mind, not just WordPress users
- The sheer volume of good WordPress SEO plugins available online means WordPress plugins would be better listed separately
Stay tuned for my dedicated list of WordPress SEO plugins in the future :)
I hope you have found this extensive list of free SEO tools and services useful. If so, please share it with your followers on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.
Do you know if any great SEO tools and services that are free to use and were not included in the above list? Feel free to share high quality tools and services below in the comment area.