28 Free SEO Tools to Get You Started on the Right Path


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Want to see how your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are coming along? Not sure where to start with optimizing your website? Take a look at these tools, which will help address everything from keyword research to how the search engines see your site, link building, and more.

1. Google Search Console

Though Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools will require a bit of installation to make it work on your site – there are plugins available if you use WordPress – this can help you see what Google thinks of your website. It’s also possible to see any issues with bugs and indexing. They’ll send you alerts whenever they think something may be wrong with your website. Bing has a similar platform, aptly named Bing Webmaster Tools, so between the two, you can see what the top search engines think of your site.

2. Google Trends

Google Trends is an excellent tool to help you see how the interest in particular topics or search terms has changed over time. We see this happen a lot – around celebrities and events. If you notice the search volume is on the decline, it may be time to switch to another phrase or topic with more interest.

3. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

Structured data helps Google get the context of the information on your page, which helps ensure it gets ranked on the queries where it makes the most sense. The tool is designed to help you validate the structured data code for any page. All you have to do is copy and paste the code from your website to test it.

4. Google Analytics Referrer Spam Killer

Though this is not an official Google tool, the Referrer Spam Killer from AdWords Robot can be helpful from keeping your Google Analytics data from getting skewed. Referrer spam is a pain, and hard to stop, but with this, you can stop it from showing up in your Analytics data.

5. Google Mobile-Friendly Test

When Mobilegeddon hit, and websites without a mobile-friendly version were hit, Google released the Mobile-Friend Test to help web designers and developers determine whether or not there was a mobile version of the site available. Whether you use a responsive design, a WordPress plugin, or a completely separate mobile site, all you have to do is enter the URL. It’ll tell you whether or not Google sees a mobile-friendly version of your site.

6. Google Correlate

Google Correlate is a keyword tool from Google, that works a bit differently from the Keyword Planner tool. It provides a list of keywords that are searched for together. If you search for “dairy free” in the tool, you’ll find that people are also searching for “gluten free dairy” “gluten free dairy free” and “gluten and dairy free”. This approach can help you include more related keywords in your content, and help you generate ideas for more content.

7. KeywordTool.io

If you want a quick and easy keyword research tool, KeywordTool.io is the answer. It can help you see what people are searching for, so you can develop your content calendar. Plus, if you find more fitting keywords for previously published content, you can go back in and edit everything accordingly. This is an excellent tool for finding long-tail keyword phrases, and everything is organized in alphabetical order.

8. Schema Creator

The Schema Creator tool allows you to create custom code so you can display certain things the way you want to on the SERPS. You can code your reviews, organizations, people, events, recipes, and more to display accordingly.

9. Open Site Explorer

The free version of Open Site Explorer provides a link analyzer, so you can see which links are making the most impact, and which pages are most often linked to.

10. LinkMiner

LinkMiner is a Chrome extension that checks for broken links on a page. This will also show you how many links are pointing to each broken link. Plus, it shows you how many outbound links a page shows right on the Google search engine results page (SERP). This way you can focus your efforts on the pages with the most broken link building opportunities.

11. Domain Hunter Plus

Domain Hunter Plus is a Chrome extension that checks any site to see there are broken links, but goes one step further. It also checks to see if the broken link’s domain is available for registration. It’s hard to find authoritative domains since they are snatched up pretty quick, but it’s helpful for broken link building.

12. QuickSprout Website Analyzer

QuickSprout Website Analyzer is a comprehensive tool that allows you to see everything from optimization, speed, tags, social activity, links, and even comparisons to your competitors.

13. HubSpot Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader will give you a grade based on what your website looks like, along with suggestions about how to improve the grade.

14. LSI Graph

LSI Graph is a latent semantic indexing keyword generator, so you can sprinkle various related and common phrases throughout your content to ensure it is as natural as possible.

15. SEOBook Tools

SEOBook is home to a number of free and paid SEO tools. You can find free Firefox extensions for checking rank and getting competitive data. Other tools also include a keyword suggestion tool, a keyword list generator, a keyword list cleaner, a server header checker, a meta tag generator, a robot.txt tool, a typo generator, an ad group generator, a spider test tool, a link suggestion tool, a page comparison tool, and a keyword wrapper.

16. XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps is a website that allows you to create an XML sitemap for your website. All you have to enter the URL to your website, and wait. With this tool, a maximum of 500 pages will be indexed. If you have more than that, check out the Google Sitemap Generator, because it indexes an unlimited number of pages. When you’re finished, you can upload the sitemap into Google Search Console.

17. Ahrefs’ Site Explorer

The Site Explorer Tool from Ahrefs’ is a free version of the premium Ahrefs tool. You can see dashboards for referring pages, as well as information about the inbound links to your page.

18. Copyscape

If you’re worried about duplicate content or content theft, you can use Copyscape to check for it. All you have to do is enter the URL for your website or blog post, and it will tell you whether or not content already exists online. This is also a useful tool to make sure your content creators are not accidentally producing content that could be considered duplicate.

19. Gogretel

Gogretel is an on-page SEO analysis tool. It looks at everything from your content to page load speed.

20. Soovle

Soovle is a keyword autocomplete tool that goes beyond Google searches to also include YouTube, Amazon, and even Wikipedia. It’s useful for keyword research and content brainstorming.

21. Robots.txt Generator

If you want to keep the search engine bots from indexing certain pages on your website, such as content you’d like to keep gated, then you need a robots.txt file. This robots.txt generator makes it easy for you dictate what you want to block – just by entering your URL, along with the directories and pages you want to exclude.

22. Mozbar

This is a toolbar from Moz that allows you to create custom searches. It gives you valuable metrics right on the SERP with an on-page highlighter. You can export the data to a CSV file, so you can compare data overtime.

23. Check My Links

Checks My Links is a Chrome extension that checks any webpage for broken links. This is an excellent tool if you use broken link building in your strategy.

24. Disavow.it

If you’re dealing with a lot of spam backlinks and you want to improve your rankings – you can use Disavow.it to create a clean disavow file to upload into the Google Search Console. This lets Google know you don’t want them to count those backlinks.

25. Similar Content Prospecting Tool

The Similar Content Prospecting Tool provides you with a list of 120 pages that have already linked out to content on your topic. This makes it easier to find out who you should reach out to when prospecting for links.

26. Microdata Generator

The Microdata Generator makes it easy for you to create local SEO scheme. All you have to do is enter the basic business information, such as address, phone number, and operating hours. Then you’re good to go.

27. Search Latte

Search Latte lets you see the search results for more than 150 international versions of Google. All you have to do is choose your keyword, then select your international version of Google. This is a time saver because it requires no virtual private network (VPN) or proxy server.

28. Bonus: Search Google in Incognito

If you open an incognito window – to remove any customized search data Google has stored – and begin to search Google, for anything, you can get a list of autofill options. This can help you with keyword research, because these are commonly searched long-tail keyword phases.

Plus, if you really want to see where you’re ranking on a phrase, using the incognito window can help you see where you actually rank. Typically, you’ll rank higher if you search outside of that incognito window because of the stored data.

Everything You Need to Get Started

Sure, these free tools may have some limitations, and there are a number of premium tools available to help you out. But, for the company on a budget who can’t afford to hire an official team of SEO experts, these tools are better than nothing. Your SEO matters – because it’s what helps customers find you. Ignoring it completely isn’t good business sense.

Did I miss any awesome tools? Which ones are your favorites? Do you like web-based tools, or browser plugins the best? Let me know in the comments.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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