There’s seemingly an endless supply of SEO tools that audit, track, and report data to help companies make informed decisions about their content and website. When looking to implement an SEO tool, it’s important to take into consideration the scope of capabilities that each tool has and also how they fit into a budget.
In terms of advanced features, price comes into play - you get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean that all free SEO tools aren’t worth the time.
In most cases, an SEO tool gives users an idea of where to start in order to achieve the best search engine optimization insights with free versions, trial periods in addition to their paid version to give users the chance to see what the tool can do for their website.
When picking an SEO tool consider a platform that:
- Gives an SEO score. This is an opportunity to see how well a website is performing and get a baseline of what needs to be improved or what’s already working. This will also help narrow down the choices in other tools for areas that are already optimal.
- Has technical SEO crawling abilities. Crawling tools allow users to see websites the way search engines like Google does. Technical tools look for duplicate content, broken pages or links, and insecure sites or pages.
- Optimizes for mobile use. Organic traffic consists more and more of mobile visits, so much so that mobile pages are sometimes indexed before desktop pages. A good SEO tool for mobile optimization has the ability to see a website’s: touchscreen readiness, mobile compatibility, mobile viewport, and downloading speed.
- Ranks keywords. Keywords are at the heart of good SEO. A good tool includes: search volume, ranking, movement, competitor rankings, and a ranking table.
- Is user-friendly. SEO can be complex and hard to navigate, but having an interface that’s easy to use and organizes data clearly is the best way to learn from the findings.
Don’t worry - we did the preliminary research for you and have compiled our short list of recommended SEO tools for a business website to help find the Goldilocks tool that’s perfect for you.
SEMrush is a robust, paid-per-seat SEO tool that features analytics reports, tools, website metrics, and guides to help navigate building and measuring campaigns. This tool has features that fall into four main categories for an in depth analysis of a website:
- Analytics. This feature includes organic reports that dig into competitors’ keywords, advertising research to monitor ad copy and landing pages, a backlink checker, keyword research, and traffic analytics to see website traffic, online performance, and get insight into potential customers’ behavior.
- Tools. SEMrush has tools that estimate keyword difficulty and finds keywords with less competition, gathers all data into a custom report, optimizes content for target keywords, and performs content gap analysis.
- Projects. Track all necessary metrics for your website and competitors’ websites and determine how good a website’s overall SEO is with: site auditing, social media tracking, on page SEO checker, and a content analyzer.
- Solutions. Get the most out of your marketing efforts with helpful guides to help manage and track campaigns. SEMrush can also discover top competitors in the industry, boost organic traffic with an on page SEO checker, improve content, and analyze social media performance.
2. Screaming Frog
It’s more than just a memorable name! Screaming Frog is a website crawler that helps companies improve on-site SEO by auditing for common issues. A free membership gives the user 500 URLs to crawl and a licenced membership gives the user unlimited URLs and advanced features.
- Find broken links. Crawl websites for broken links and server errors; export errors and sources to keep track and fix.
- Audit redirects. Find temporary and permanent redirects, identify chains, or upload URLs to audit.
- Analyze page titles and meta data. Identify what’s too long, short, missing, or duplicated.
- Discover duplicate content. Page title, descriptions, or headings, and find low content pages.
- Extract data. Collect data like meta tags, headings, prices, or SKUs using CSS path, XPath, or regex.
- Integrate other SEO tools. Connect tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to fetch data for insights.
Ahrefs gives insight into competitors’ traffic and ranking with a paid plan. The tool also gives users the insights to grow search traffic, and the ability to monitor their niche.
- Organic search report. See competitors’ keywords that they rank for and the amount of traffic for each. See what pages send the most traffic to their sites and see what keywords they rank for and you don’t.
- Keywords explorer. Get keyword suggestions from the database and use the keyword difficulty score to help decide which keywords to target. The Keyword Explorer also shows search volume trends and gives insights into searchers’ behavior.
- Backlink data. Get updates every 15 minutes on data from crawling. See any backlinks to a URL and other SEO metrics like keyword search volume and CPC.
- Content explorer. Put a keyword into the tool and see which content performed the best for social media, backlinks, and organic search traffic.
- Alerts. Get notified when a competitor wins or loses a backlink to keep you ahead of everyone else. Jump into relevant conversations about specific keywords and competitors with email notifications related to a specific brand, business, or product.
Discover what people are searching for by entering a topic, brand, or product into the search bar with AnswerThePublic. This free platform pulls autocomplete data from search engines and shows any useful phrase or question related to the specific keyword. Users have the option to upgrade to a Pro version for premium features like unlimited daily searches and data export, but the free tools support content strategy creation well enough.
- Create relevant content. Produce content that customers are actually interested in and are searching for.
- Get in the know. Receive updates when people talk about your keywords and monitor trends to compare search behavior.
- Discover insights. Find new niches that boost organic search.
- Increase efficiency. Fill content calendars with ideas from meaningful keyword searches.
- Make informed decisions. See what people are searching for in real time and use data to make decisions.
5. Google Search Console
Of course Google, being synonymous with “search” in modern households, provides a SEO tool themselves. Their Google Search Console tool is a free Google service that gives insights into a website’s visitors, traffic, and helps fix common issues. The tool also gives insight into what device users are visiting a site and what pages are the most popular. Google Search Console also provides training to make the most out of this tool.
- Optimize website content. See what people are searching that brings them to a website and analyze a site’s impressions, clicks, and position on Google.
- Submit sitemaps and URLs for crawling. Review index coverage to make sure Google has the latest version of a website.
- Get alerts. Find out when there are identified issues with a website and what URLs are impacted.
Moz SEO software helps increase traffic, rankings, and visibility with up-to-date metrics. A chat feature gives you access to their experts through the ability to ask questions and get insights or recommendations to help improve a website. With an upgrade to Moz Pro, users get advanced insights and reporting.
- Site audits. Crawl on demand to reveal technical SEO issues and see recommended fixes.
- Rank tracking. Track performance of keywords over 100 plus search engines.
- Backlink analysis. See metrics, anchor text, and domain authority from any site.
- Keyword research. Discover keywords to target with difficulty scores, competitor research, and SERP analysis.
Find the Best SEO Tool
Each SEO tool has different features and price points for advanced use, and you might very well find that you’re able to use a few different free features from different tools to build the SEO strategy you need.
Whether it’s a combination of several different tools or onepaid subscription that's all-inclusive, find the right fit SEO platform to create a fully optimized website.