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10 Free Online SEO Tools You Can Start Using Right Now

by KEN

You may have come across a number of free SEO tools that enhance your content writing abilities, but what about the tools that help you conduct extensive keyword research and track any flaws on your site such as broken links and slow web speed? These tools are just as important as content writing tools. Of course, there are more specific SEO strategies for different verticals, such as ecommerce, media sites, local businesses, directory sites etc. but the tools that will be covered here can be used with any type of website.

1. SpyFu

Want to find out your competitors’ most valuable keywords? SpyFu lets you do that and so much more. All you need to do is head on over to their site and copy paste your competitor’s website link. In the ‘Overview’ tab, you will be able to see a graph of the competitor’s organic and paid inbound clicks from Google, the number of organic keywords their site has, and the estimated monthly SEO clicks.

Generally, the more organic keywords a site has, the more monthly SEO clicks it will incur. However, this is not always the case as some sites have a high number of monthly SEO clicks with a limited number of keywords. These are the sites you should regularly track. As long as the keywords that bring in the maximum traffic for them are not their own company or site name, you can tell that this site is using the right keywords.

Additionally, you can type in your own site link and see a list of organic and paid competitors and their keywords, as well as shared keywords you have with them.

The free version allows you to see the first five keywords of a site, ranked by click value/mo. This should be enough ammunition to get you started.

2. Ahrefs or Ubersuggest Backlink Checker:

If you have worked on SEO in the past, you may have heard of Ahrefs and Neil Patel. However, the free backlink checkers on both of these sites are lesser known. You can get a lot of value out of this as you can do the following for free:

  • Check an unlimited number of sites
  • See your own backlinks or a competitor’s backlinks
  • See domain and URL ratings

Why do you need to see domain and URL ratings of a site? Well, this is how you can determine how well you rank in search engines. Your domain and URL rating will be a number between 1-100. The closer the number is to 100, the better.

When building backlinks, you also want to seek out sites that have a good domain and URL rating. These are the sites that will bring you the most value when you get your link on their sites. (Tip: Make sure you get a follow link! Nofollow links do nothing to help improve your domain and URL rankings).

Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest backlink checker has a leg up on the Ahrefs backlink checker because you can sort by date, but both have a lot to offer. 

3. Screaming Frog SEO Spider:

This is one of the best SEO ‘do-it-all’ tools in the market right now. The lite version allows you to crawl a total of 500 URLs, whether it is from your own site, a competitor’s site, or a combination of both. The SEO Spider allows you to detect broken links, audit redirects, duplicate content, canonical errors, and robots and directives. You can see all of your title tags and meta descriptions in one place, and make edits to them right then and there! You can gain a lot of valuable insights through this innovative software.

4. Keyword Hero:

Are you frustrated with Google Analytics constantly masking keywords under the ‘not provided’ category? Wishing there was a way to see these? Well, now you can with Keyword Hero. With the free plan, you can analyze up to 10 URLs and have 2000 sessions/mo. This tool is integrated with Google Analytics and you will find a separate section that says ‘Keyword Hero – (Your company or site’s name). That is what you want to click on, and then you will find that you are able to see most of the previously masked keywords. Keep in mind that you will not be able to see all the keywords because you are using the free version, but there is still enough to work with. For best results, combine Keyword Hero with Google Search Console to track which keywords are bringing in the most traffic.

5. Answer the Public:

Want to know what questions related to your product or service are being typed into search engines? Answer the Public is the go-to tool for this. All you need to do is type in the topic which your site revolves around, and you will see that the results are broken down into questions, prepositions, comparisons, and alphabeticals. Answer the public does a great job of organizing search queries, and makes everything easy to navigate. Have a quick run through the queries and make sure that your site is answering the questions that your public wants to know. You get three searches a day with the free version.

6. Dead Link Checker:

Broken links are not only inconvenient but extremely harmful to a site’s SEO, as they prevent search engines from indexing your site. Dead Link Checker does exactly what the name mentions; it checks dead links. You can choose to check your whole website or a single webpage, and the process is fairly quick and simple. The ‘site check’ option is completely free to use, the ‘multi-check’ feature, which allows you to check multiple sites at once, can be used when you create a free account on the site, and the ‘auto-check’ which automatically checks your site daily, weekly or monthly (whichever level of frequency you choose) and notifies you if any broken links are detected, is a paid feature.

7. Arrivala:

Unarguably one of the least known SEO tools on the list, this is an extremely helpful site if you want to increase your company’s reviews on several platforms. If you type in ‘arrivala’ on Google, the site will not pop up. This may seem odd for an SEO tool, but don’t worry, you will get nothing but value out of this free service. Arrivala allows you to send review requests to your clients, and once those clients leave a review, it will automatically distribute them to other sites that your company has profiles on, as long as the review is positive.

This review service integrates with 30+ platforms, including Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, Yellowpages, and can get more industry-specific such as GoodFirms for software development firms and software products, and WebMD for healthcare providers. You can send 10 review requests per month with their free plan. The more reviews you obtain across the web, the higher your site and its associated URLs rank.

8. Zeo Mobile First Index Checker:

Is the content on your desktop site matching with your mobile site? Zeo Mobile First Index Checker helps you confirm this. The good thing about this site is that it is completely free to use and well-organized, as it presents results in a checklist format, making it easy to understand. Making sure that your desktop site is aligned with your mobile site is crucial for SEO, and should not be ignored.

9. SEMrush:

At least 70% of people reading this must be familiar with SEMrush, as it’s one of the most used SEO tools on the web, with over 6 million users as of November 2020. However, many are unaware of the free version, which follows a 10x10x10 model. You get 10 searches a day, 10 results per search, and 10 SEO ideas units. The SEO ideas units are suggestions on how to curate content. This may not seem like a lot, but for a software that has generally garnered positive feedback from the audience, it is obviously a great idea to take advantage of the free version.

10. GTMetrix:

Your website speed and performance is just as important as keyword count and good-quality content. GTMetrix gives you in-detail instructions on what needs to be optimized, added, and avoided to improve overall site performance. The site also gives you recommendations on redirects, JavaScript, images, cache etc. You will see that the results are separated by different columns, including letter grades, type of recommendation, and level of priority. With the free version, you can track 3 URLs and save up to 20 URLs to keep track of reports. You can then send the results to your company’s software developer or outsource it to a reputable software development agency to take care of it for you.

There is so much you can get out of the free versions of these very useful SEO sites. If you combine at least three of the sites listed above, you could significantly improve your site ranking by at least 20-40%. But that is not all! The quality of your content has a massive impact on your rankings as well. You want to make sure that your content is original, with no duplicates on your site. Once you are done writing your content, ask yourself “Are my readers going to learn anything new from this, or is this just a fluffed up version of another article I saw online?” Asking yourself questions like these can help you craft original and quality-driven content. Then it’s just a matter of patience until you start seeing your rankings soar!

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