The 29 Best Free SEO Tools You’ll Need in 2020
Understanding how a website performs and is optimized for incoming traffic is imperative to achieve top engine rankings and offer a seamless brand experience for customers.
However, with so many tools on the market, finding a solution for your distinct use case can be overwhelming. To help, our SEO team compiled a huge list of our favorite tools (29, to be exact!) that help marketers understand and optimize website and organic search presence.
Google Search Console is the best free SEO tool, simply because the data comes from Google.
It has a wealth of insights related to your website’s search metrics including any issues relating to indexing, keyword performance, mobile usability and much more. GSC helps anyone with a website optimize their organic performance.
Google Trends analyzes the popularity of a search term in Google. It’s most useful for helping marketers track seasonality or to understand how a topic is trending over time. Google Trends also tracks related queries and demographics related to a specific search.
Google Keyword Planner is Google’s keyword research tool to help you understand the volume, cost and competition of any keyword. Keyword Planner is designed to be a pay-per-click tool that helps you understand your topic’s popularity, competition and suggested bid. However, it can also be directional in helping you determine your SEO strategy.
We all know page speed is more important than ever in the world of SEO. Fortunately, Google makes it easy for you to understand your website’s page load performance and where there are areas for improvement – if needed.
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tool on the market. Although Google has strayed from tracking keyword rankings as part of its native platform (these are now live in Search Console), businesses can still track their performance across channels and understand which sources bring the most traffic to the website.
Pricing: Freemium (Google Analytics offers a free option and one premium suite, Analytics 360).
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free SEO tool that adds versatility to Google Analytics, while allowing you to manage and implement tags (tracking code or snippets of code) on your website or mobile app.
Tag Manager works for a variety of functions, such as generating heat maps, scroll tracking, conducting surveys, monitoring form submissions, remarketing or tracking how people arrive at your site. It can also track activities like downloads or shopping cart abandonment.
Getting outside the world of Google, Moz offers the ability to analyze keywords, links, SERP or on-site page optimization. Moz allows you to enter your page on their website for limited SEO recommendations or you can use its extension – MozBar. As far as free tools are concerned, the basic version of Keyword Explorer is plenty sufficient and just gets better every year. The pro version offers more comprehensive analysis and SEO insights that is well worth the money.
Price: Freemium (With the free version of Link Explorer, you can research just 10 queries with 50 rows of data. For conducting a comprehensive research with unlimited queries, you need a Premium version starting at $99 a month).
This tool creates a list of visualized search questions based off a single query. Answer the Public is ideal for creating long-tail keyword and ranking for the featured snippet. Not sure if you’re creating the right blog content? Answer the Public can help validate or re-direct your SEO efforts.
Pricing: Freemium (Throttled use — free account has limited access and daily limits).
Woorank is a website review tool and SEO checker that analyses on-page and off-page SEO to rank better for search. It provides an actionable checklist that gives your team the insights it needs to fix performance issues and increase search rankings.
SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools available on the market. It helps you perform keyword research, audit backlinks and understand your site’s domain authority. In addition, the site helps you find out the keywords your competitors rank for.
Pricing: Freemium (The free version lets you conduct 10 searches per day. If you need more than that, you will have to subscribe to the Premium version starting at $99.95 per month).
Ahrefs is the top competitor to SEMrush, with an emphasis on link-building. This tool helps you perform backlink analysis to understand good and bad links coming to your site. Marketers can also use Ahrefs for competitive analysis to audit which sites should be targeted for potential guest posts.
Pricing: Freemium (To discover more links pointing to any domain, to increase your number of campaigns and keywords, then you need to subscribe to the premium version for $99 a month).
Majestic SEO provides link intelligence data to help your company improve performance. It provides some interesting features such as “The Majestic Million,” which allows you to see the ranking of the top million websites by referring subnets. Similar to Ahrefs and SEMrush, Majestic also allows you to check backlinks, benchmark keyword data and perform competitive analysis.
Pricing: Freemium (Free account has limited access and daily limits).
13. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is an SEO spider application that evaluates on-site SEO issues. It can find broken links, server errors, blocked URLs and duplicate pages. It also crawls your site to analyze technical and on-site SEO.
Pricing: Freemium (With the free version, the tool has a crawl limit of 500 URLs. If you wish to analyze more than 500 URLs, then you need to subscribe to the premium version priced at £149 (~$195) per year).
SEOquake performs a complete SEO audit of any site from within your browser. This tool allows you to examine internal and external links to your website and keyword data. It also provides a real-time diagnosis on optimization issues impacting your site’s SEO.
GTmetrix is a speed and performance audit tool that provides insights into root causes behind performance failures and generates various benchmark scores. GTmetrix then provides actionable recommendations on improving your site speed.
Pricing: Freemium (Monitored URLs up to three, API credits 20 per day and three reports per day).
This is a convenient tool that can be installed on Google Chrome or Firefox to show monthly search volume and cost-per-click on a specific keyword search in Google. It also includes metrics for the “People Also Search For” and “Related” searches in Google.
Pricing: Until recently, Keywords Everywhere was a free tool. It is now available on a cost per 100,000 credits (keywords) basis. Packages start at $10 and go as high as $1,000.
Is your website mobile-friendly? There’s no better way to find out than letting Google tell you itself. Simply enter your website and Google will run a free analysis for you.
Receive market intelligence on almost any company including overall site ranking, traffic sources and market strategies. The free version provides a basic snapshot of any website or app, while the paid version is obviously much more powerful.
Pricing: Free version with five results per metric, one month of mobile app data and three months of web traffic data. Alternatively, the complete version is available at an enterprise level.
Similar to Google, Bing has its own spider that crawls sites and provides recommendations to get indexed on Bing. It’s easy to implement and manage with simple tracking code and a dashboard to understand site performance.
As the site describes, Wheregoes does one thing. It takes a URL and shows the entire path of redirects and meta-refreshes leading to the final destination. This allows you to diagnose complex link problems and see who’s tracking to a given URL.
21. Wayback Machine
While it may not seem like an SEO tool on the surface, Wayback Machine can be used to determine if a certain URL existed at a certain point. This can help provide context to 404 errors found after site migrations.
Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the performance, quality and correctness of your web apps.
Bonus: ForwardPMX’s favorite little-known SEO tools
We asked ForwardPMX’s Earned Media team to let us know about any tools that didn’t make the list. Unsurprisingly, they shared several apps and extensions that have flown under the radar in the SEO world. Here is a list of the tools they use to improve technical SEO:
23. User-Agent Switcher for Chrome: Easily check webpages from different user-agents. “It’s a quick way to see the site from the perspective of different devices,” said Chris Herbrand, technical SEO architect.
24. Scraper: Allows you to select an element on a webpage and scrape information similar to what’s on XPath and then export that information to a CSV.
25. Critical CSS: It extracts the critical portion of CSS that impacts content directly above the fold and separates it. It then combines and minifies all other CSS files into one.
26. BuiltWith: Gives quick insight into what CMS a website might be using as well as which type of server it’s running on and various other information about the tech stack.
27. Bulk URL Removal: Allows you to upload a CSV with all of the URLs you want Google to remove from index instead of submitting individual pages.
28. Meta SEO Inspector: Inspect meta data inside web pages to find HTML and XFN tags.
29. Chrome Developer Tools: Set of web developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser. DevTools helps you find problems and edit pages quickly to build better websites.
There’s no shortage of tools available for digital marketers. For little-to-no cost, you can gain powerful insights into all aspects of SEO to give your site everything it needs to work well on Google. What do you think? Are there any SEO tools we missed? Comment below.
You May Find These Interesting
2020 has been a year unlike any other. Amidst a global pandemic, consumer behavior is changing in unforeseen ways, and businesses are struggling to keep pace. With the holiday season looming, the stakes have never been higher and the environment never more...
“Values-driven engagement is a crucial pivot in the way consumers will evaluate brands today and, in the future, and those that don’t adapt risk substantial loss in customer loyalty.” What seems like forever ago - before the global pandemic, the Black Lives Matter...
What Will Future Data Strategies Look Like? Top 10 Takeaways from our “Managing Complex Change” Series Panel
On August 6th, the agency hosted a panel discussion to dive into what the future data ecosystem will look like, given the intense focus on first party data and how the landscape is changing due to the death of the third party cookie, global privacy regulations and...