35 Free and Easy SEO Tools that Actually Work (2019 Edition)

35 Free and Easy SEO Tools that Actually Work (2019 Edition)

The struggle of choosing the right SEO tool is very real, especially if SEO is not something you’re overly familiar with, but still want to reap the benefits of.

And you definitely do want to reap the benefits. While product discovery via social media is rising, search is still the key platform of choice, with the majority of consumers still turning to Google to find relevant info. 

So which SEO tool is best for you, and will provide you with the information you need to boost your search rankings?

In this post, I’ve compiled a list of 35 real-deal SEO tools for 2019, all of which are free, freemium, or offer a free trial option. 

Each tool has its own pros and cons, and will help you improve your performance. Take a look at the list below, separated by SEO function, there’s sure to be at least a couple that’ll catch your interest.

Fix technical issues 

First things first – website health is the cornerstone of SEO efforts. Therefore, running a 360-degree technical diagnostic should, ideally, come before everything else. 

WebSite Auditor is a great tool for detecting blind spots which can result in poor performance in search results. WebSite Auditor’s free version lets you analyze up to 500 URLs, calculating overall website statistics along the way. 

With this tool, you can detect indexing and crawlability pitfalls, examine link structure, run thorough on-page SEO audits, master content optimization – the list goes on and on. 

You can also follow WebSite Auditor’s in-app instructions in order to work your way towards a higher optimization score. It won’t be long before you notice improvement in SERP performance as well.

Other tools to try

Merkle tools focuses on individual aspects of technical SEO, and XML-Sitemaps.com creates great sitemaps. You can also check HTTP headers and redirects with Redirect Path, or run an all-round audit with Ryte. For smaller websites, Raven is also worth considering. 

Check website performance 

It’s been over a year since page speed became a ranking factor for mobile. This means that usability is important both for desktop and mobile search results, so you need to make sure your website performs well on all devices. 

Google’s PageSpeed Insights will check your site load times on desktop and mobile. Simply enter the URL you want to analyze and the tool will provide you with a performance score: 90 or above is assigned to fast pages, 50 or below to slow ones. Anything in between is considered average performance. 

PageSpeed Insights also provides tips on how you can improve, so you know exactly what to address first.   

Other tools to try

You can make use of Pingdom’s free trial to get detailed performance insights and how-to-fix suggestions. Alternatively, you can use GTmetrix for a quick summary of key speed indicators. 

Get into search results data

It’s one thing to work on your website performance from within, and another entirely to make sure it’s visible to search engines. 

Google Search Console is the place where SEO begins, as it lets you see your website through the search engine’s eyes. You can check that your pages are findable, crawlable, indexed and re-indexed if needed. You can also monitor error reports, pull traffic and backlinks data, as well as a range of other invaluable insights.

Search Console is just as essential to marketers as it is to SEOs – used in combination with other Google tools, it helps you nail down marketing analysis by covering all bases of your Google search performance.  

Other tools to try

Stay Google penalty-free – or at least penalty-alerted – with Panguin Tool. For other search engines, you can use their respective tools, like Bing Webmaster Tools

Step up your keyword game

Any SEO expert will tell you that the right keywords are like gold dust. Luckily, there are plenty of toolkits to help you not only go for that gold, but also get it. 

Google Ads’ Keyword Planner is irreplaceable for keyword research and in-depth analysis. The tool enables you to spot new keyword opportunities and measure their potential, in order to select the ones that’ll bring you the most traffic.

For bulk keyword research, you can enter up to 10 seed keywords and get a list of suggestions for the country and language specified. Pay special attention to the number of searches over time, competition, and suggested bid estimates – all of which will help you narrow down the list of keywords to target.

Other tools to try

Grab Mangools’ KWFinder free trial to search by seed keyword or domain. You can also explore Keyword Tool’s autocomplete options, depending on the platform you’re optimizing for.  

Track rankings across locations

Rank tracking is a staple of SEO, but the problem is, search results are highly customized and therefore hard to rely on unless you have a full picture of your rankings across all the locations you’re targeting. 

Using a tool like Rank Tracker lets you automate the job – you can measure your search success in however many search engines – desktop and mobile – with locations specified down to a street address. 

Rank Tracker covers both organic and paid search results, which will give you a heads-up on which locations to aim at for consistent “local packs” coverage.  

Other tools to try

SE Ranking, SERPs, Whitespark and similar tools all offer free trial options. There’s a great variety of toolkits to choose from, so keep testing to find the functionality that suits your needs best.

Perfect your content 

On-page optimization doesn’t stop at making sure your pages are technically optimized and packed with the right keywords. You also need to strive for that delicate balance between keyword quality and frequency.

Yoast SEO is the go-to option for WordPress websites – simply install the plugin and have your content scanned for keyword density and optimal placement on pages. Yoast will also highlight duplicate content issues and readability concerns, helping you to work your way towards perfectly optimized content.  

You can also take it a step further and use Yoast SEO to add a schema.org code, preview your pages as Google search results, edit robots.txt and .htaccess files, and generate sitemaps. 

Other tools to try

You can check your keyword density with SEObook’s Keyword Density Analyzer. You can also use Copyscape for a comprehensive plagiarism audit, or turn to Siteliner or Hive Digital to uncover internal duplicate content issues.

Sort out your backlink profile 

Growing a backlink profile is impossible without understanding it first. With many sources of backlink data available, it’s also important to find reliable ones and combine them wisely.

My personal favorite is SEO SpyGlass – this tool relies on the freshest and fastest-growing backlink database out there, which ensures relevant results only. 

SEO SpyGlass’ free version lets you collect up to 1,100 backlinks per website, pulling ranking factors for each backlink. You can complete your backlink audit by connecting Google Search Console and Google Analytics, fetching backlinks from there as well. 

Other tools to try

You can check out MonitorBacklinks’ free trial option. LinkMiner offers a 10-day trial as well.

Find link prospects 

Now that you have an overview of your backlink profile, it’s time to expand it by building quality backlinks. 

A tool like LinkAssistant delivers hundreds of backlink opportunities in no time at all – you just pick a prospect search method (or set up your own), enter your keywords, specify a search engine then fetch contact details of potential link partners. 

Alongside contact details, LinkAssistant displays major stats to help you assess the value of potential links. You can then use one of its built-in email templates to contact link partners right from the app.

Other tools to try

BuzzStream offers free trial to test-drive all of its subscription plans. Tools like Link Prospector and Ontolo don’t have a free trial option, but they do provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Measure and grow website traffic

Knowing the specifics of where your audience comes from, and how they interact with your content, is one of the most valuable insights a marketer can get. 

For all things website traffic, you can refer to Google Analytics – the tool is the ultimate data source for user behavior insights. 

To monitor current data, refer to the Real-time report – it provides a continuous overview of user activity, with all the insights updated as you go.

Other tools to try

You can use Alexa’s free Website Traffic Statistics tool to quickly get a traffic overview. For competitive intelligence, and more detailed audience profiling, check out SimilarWeb or Quantcast

Final thoughts

SEO is highly technical, and always changing, which makes it difficult to stay on top of. Ranking signals come and go, search engines keep refining their algorithms, and competition is ever-increasing. All of this is to say that it’s tough out there, even for the most knowledgeable of SEOs, let alone marketers.

But with the right toolkit, even the smallest of efforts will start to pay off. Start exploring with the tools that don’t cost you anything, but still do the job brilliantly. This way, you’ll be able to improve your results, at the price of your time only.

By testing one tool from each category listed above, you’ll touch on all the major aspects of SEO. From there, it’s only a matter of time and consistency before your efforts start to bear more significant fruit.

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