Our Favorite Free SEO Tools for 2017/
January 17, 2017
What’s better than an amazing SEO tool? An amazing SEO tool that’s free.
If your 2017 New Year Resolution is to work smarter, not harder, then this article is for you. I’ve comprised a list of the best free SEO tools that we use almost everyday. And while it is nice to have a large arsenal of tools at your side, it will be even more useful if you know how to wield them to their full potential. That is why I’ve included some additional links and tips to help you get started.
So lets get this show on the road!
15. Wayback Machine
Get in the DeLorean, because we are going back in time! The Wayback Machine is the most complete historical archive of the Internet. It allows you to see what a website used to look like. This is a great investigative tool if you notice some odd traffic changes after you’ve updated your website, and you don’t have a site back-up available.
This freemium tool is great if you want something that is quick and simple to use to obtain a ton of keyword ideas. A unique aspect to this tool is that you can utilize it for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, and the App Store keywords. Keywordtool.io is especially useful for long-tail keywords that won’t show up in the Google Keyword Planner, because of the low search volume.
Another very similar tool is Ubersuggest, which is another fan favorite here in the office.
13. Redirect Path (New for 2017!)
Redirect Path is a free Google Chrome extension that helps you discover HTTP header and redirect errors, so that you can spend more time fixing the problems, rather than looking for them. This little plugin is most convenient for when you’re just looking into just a few pages.
12. Structured Data Testing Tool (SDTT)
Commence x-ray vision. This next tool from Google is a user-friendly way to examine on-page schema code, as well as test schema markups. All you need to do is supply the markup or the website URL, and get going!
11. Google Trends
Correctly predicting the future moves of your opponent in chess is essential for victory. The same came said for marketers in their industry. Knowing where your market is heading gives marketers a huge advantage. Here, Google Trends can lend you a helping hand.
Google Trends shows changes in search volume for different topics, search terms, and entities. Mastering this tool can keep your content current and one step ahead of the competition. For search marketing, it just makes good sense to analyze changes in search query behavior. Even everyday bloggers can improve their results by understanding which topics are trending.
Managing how quick your page load speeds are can majorly impact SEO, as well as UX. GTMetrix is a tool to examine the load speed of a page and diagnose opportunities for improvement, so you know how you can further polish your website. Many other page-speed tools exist, but GTMetrix is an office favorite, because of its balance between being thorough and user-friendly. Other tools that you might find helpful: Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights.
9. Web Developer Toolbar
Builtwith does about what you might expect it to. It is a website profiler tool that tells you what technology was used to create the site. You can find out which CMS the site was Builtwith (get it?), what analytics have been implemented on the site, and much more! It is a great tool for those of you that are doing SEO client work.
7. Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT)
Often the overlooked brother of Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools is a great way to keep tabs on how your site is working on Bing, which houses more than 20% of the Internet’s search traffic. It also offers benefits beyond Bing by providing insights into crawling, indexation, on-page keyword optimization, and other elements that can impact your performance in Google.
6. Google & Bing
As obvious as it may seems, it would be wrong not to include them. Google and Bing search engines themselves are very useful SEO tools. Mastery of search engine functionality is part of mastering SEO. With some search magic, you can examine indexation and duplicate content, find content scrapers, check keyword rankings, analyze SERP listings, and scout for outreach and link prospects.
Here are some helpful guides to get you started:
- Search Operators | Google
- Advanced Search Options | Bing
- 25 Killer Combos for Googles Site Operator | Moz
- 10000 Search Engine Queries for your Link Building Campaign | Optimize Smart
5. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool
The SEO Spider Tool is an awesome website crawler. With it, you can get critical data on every URL. Download it and take it on a spin. Once you see all of the data, you will have questions, and that’s why I got some resources ready for you:
- Official Screaming Frog User Guide
- 10 Features in the SEO Spider You Should Really Know | Screaming Frog Blog
- Free Excel Workbook for Analyzing Screaming Frog Data | Sean McQuaide, LunaMetrics
4. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the creme de la creme of keyword research tools. Simply give it a seed word, and keyword suggestions will start pouring in, along with estimates of average monthly searches.
Moz is a suite of user-friendly inbound marketing tools. Below are some of our favorite free Moz tools:
- Open Site Explorer is a backlink analysis tool with helpful metrics approximating link equity.
- Moz Local (formerly Get Listed) lets you see the state of a company’s local citations and is the first place you should go when you first start local SEO on a site.
- Mozbar is a browser toolbar that lets you quickly get at Moz’s key features for the page you’re on.
- The SERP Overlay is part of the Mozbar and shows OSE metrics on individual search results.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a must-use tool that helps you visualize how your site may appear in search and teaches you how to influence different appearance elements. It also provides you with crawling errors, html improvement suggestions, and much more.
Here is an official help guide to get you started.
1. Google Analytics
Chances are if you are reading this blog, you have used or at least looked at Google Analytics before, so it should come as no surprise that this made it to the top of our list.
The most valuable SEO data is that which helps you better understand your visitors and how they interact with your site. No tool quite delivers that data like Google Analytics, and none of the previous tools mentioned does a better job providing data that helps you understand the number that matters most – the bottom line.
This makes Google Analytics our all time favorite, and there are ton of resources from Google to get you started becoming a Google Analytics master:
- First and foremost, Google’s official Analytics help section
- Google’s Analytics Academy is a great place to start if you’re new to all of this
- Our own guide to using Google Search Console reports in GA
Of course these are not the only tools we use; there are a plethora of options to use to improve your SEO. Tools work differently for person to person, so it’s best to find what works best for you. Here are some other tools to look into:
- Google Optimize is still on beta right now, but if you get a chance use it, it allows you to test variations of your site to improve it.
- CopyScape let’s you enter a URL and learn if there is duplicate content elsewhere on the web.
- Firebug is a Firefox extension for web dev and technical SEO to help you inspect elements of code, code mockups live into the browser, and more.
- SEMrush shows data on paid and organic traffic and keywords. It is accessible through the SEObook and SEOQuake Toolbars.
- Google Alerts and Talkwalker help you monitor the web for new mentions of your brand or highly desired keywords.
- If you want some nice Google Chrome extensions, check out my coworker’s blog post.
More Free Goodies
Still hungry for more? Tons of great, free SEO tools have been suggested to us, and while we haven’t used them extensively, we’d like to hear if you used them and which ones are your favorites. Here’s the list:
- SEO Ninja Tool
- Key Collector
- SEO Crawler
- Code Beautify SERP Checker
- SEO Camel
Let us know which one is your favorite below:
Got Another Free SEO Tool To Share?
If you have a FREE SEO tool that does something different or better than what I’ve listed, please let us know in a detailed comment below! We’d love to hear how you use the tool and how it could help others with similar challenges.