Paid tools are hugely valuable in SEO when you need advanced features, increased limits, stored data, or online support.
But for 70 percent of other tasks, a free tool often does the trick.
There are literally hundreds of free SEO tools out there, so it’s important to focus on only the best and most useful to add to your toolbox.
The list below was compiled and vetted by tons of people in the SEO community. To be included, a tool had to meet three requirements::
- Widely used by the SEO community
- Offers above-board value + actionable data
- Actually, truly free
The tools are categorized by SEO function:
- Keyword Research
- Link Tools
- Local SEO
- Mobile SEO
- On-page SEO
- Site Speed
The best tools to analyze search performance, monitor SERPs, keywords, and competitor analysis:
1. Bing Webmaster Tools
While Google Webmaster Tools gets all the glory, folks forget that Bing Webmaster offers a full suite of website and search analytics. Especially useful are keyword reports, keyword research, and crawling data.
Get it: Bing Webmaster
Also useful: Yandex.Webmaster
2. Data Studio
If you need to merge data from different sources (say Search Console and Google Analytics), visualize, and share it – this is Google Data Studio’s comfort zone. For an idea of all the SEO tasks and dashboards that you can build for free, check out these Google Data Studio Resources from Lee Hurst.
Get it: Data Studio
3. Enhanced Google Analytics Annotations
How do you know if your dip in traffic (or rise) is associated with a Google Algorithm update, or perhaps a major holiday? This is a highly-recommended Google Chrome plugin that overlays additional data on top of your analytics, so you can easily send screenshots to clients showing exactly how outside forces impacted traffic.
Get it: Enhanced Google Analytics Annotations
Alternatives: Panguin Tool, Zeo Tools
4. Google Analytics
The big kahuna, and the most widely-used web analytics package on earth. For being free, Google Analytics is surprisingly robust and plays well with other Google products, including Optimize, Search Console, and Data Studio. Some folks have privacy concerns with GA — though Google swears they don’t use this data for search rankings.
Get it: Google Analytics
Alternatives: Clicky, Open Web Analytics
5. Search Console
Probably the most useful free SEO tool on this entire list, it’s hard to imagine doing modern SEO without access to the data inside Google’s Search Console. This is the most reliable location for information on how Google crawls and ranks your site, and is one of the only places where you can get reliable keyword data.
Get it: Search Console
6. Keyword Hero
Did somebody say (not provided)? Keyword Hero works to solve the problem of missing keyword data with lots of advanced math and machine learning. It’s not a perfect system, but for those struggling to match keywords with conversion and other on-site metrics, the data can be a valuable step in the right direction. Pricing is free up to 2000 sessions/month.
Get it: Keyword Hero
The brainchild of Dr. Pete and the original Google SERP tracker, MozCast is the go-to algorithm tracker whenever there’s a big update, or not. Also useful are the SERP tracking features showing the prominence of such features as ads and knowledge panels.
Get it: MozCast
Also useful: Algoroo, Rank Risk Index, Ayima Pulse
Specific tools to make sure your site is crawlable and optimized.
8. Beam Us Up
If you need a free, desktop crawler, you can’t do better than Beam Us Up. While it doesn’t have as many features as Screaming Frog, it does offer 100 percent free crawling with no limits. Windows only.
Get it: Beam Us Up
9. Link Redirect Trace
A free Chrome extension, lots of SEOs recommend Link Redirect Trace as the “all-in-one redirect path analyzer.” The extension reveals information about HTTP headers, rel-canonicals, robots.txt, and basic link metrics from LinkResearchTools. The “Save Screenshot” feature is super useful too.
Get it: Link Redirect Trace
10. Redirect Path
Similar to Link Redirect Trace, Redirect Path is a nifty tool from the good folks at Ayima that shows redirect paths and header information for every URL you visit. Gotta admit, I’ve used this extension for years and it’s almost “always on” in my browser.
Get it: Redirect Path
11. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is the most popular desktop-based crawler available today. Many people don’t realize that there’s a free version that allows for up to 500 URLs per crawl. While not as fully functional as the paid version, it’s great for small projects and smaller site audits.
Get it: Screaming Frog
12. Screaming Frog Log File Analyzer
Most folks in the SEO space are familiar with Screaming Frog, but many don’t realize that the Frog also offers a standalone free/paid Log File Analyzer tool. The free version is very robust, though limited to 1000 lines.
Get it: Screaming Frog Log File Analyser
SEOlyzer is a log analysis tool recommended by Aleyda Solis in her very excellent SEO podcast Crawling Mondays. SEOlyzer is a terrific log analysis tool with some cool features like real-time analysis and page categorization.
Get it: SEOlyzer
This Windows-based desktop crawler has been virtually unchanged over the past 10 years. That said, a lot of folks still love and use it for basic site auditing, looking for broken links, etc.
Get it: Xenu
15. Answer The Public
It’s hard not to love Answer The Public. The interface has an almost “Cards Against Humanity” rebel vibe to it. Regardless, if you want to generate a massive list of questions from any keyword set, this is your go-to tool.
Get it: Answer The Public
16. Keyword Explorer
OMG. 500 million keyword suggestions, all the most accurate volume ranges in the industry. You also get Moz’s famous Keyword Difficulty Score along with CTR data. Moz’s free community account gives you access to 10 queries a month, with each query literally giving you up to 1000 keyword suggestions along with SERP analysis.
Get it: Keyword Explorer
17. Keyword Planner
Google’s own Keyword Planner was built for folks who buy Google ads, but it still delivers a ton of information useful for SEO keyword planning. It uses Google’s own data and has useful functions like country filtering. Be careful with metrics like competition (this is meant for paid placements) and volume — which is known to be confusing.
Get it: Keyword Planner
18. Keyword Shitter
Yes, it’s called Keyword Shitter. It pains me to write this. That said, it says what it does and does what it says. Type in a keyword and it, um, poops out a poop-ton of keywords.
Get it: Keyword Shitter
19. Keywords Everywhere
An SEO favorite! Install this browser extension for Firefox or Chrome, and see keyword suggestions with volume as you cruise the internet. Works in Google Search Console as well. This one is a must-have for keyword inspiration.
Get it: Keywords Everywhere
Neil Patel took over Ubersuggest not long ago and gave it a major overall. If you haven’t tried it in a while, it now goes way beyond keyword suggestions and offers a lot of extended SEO capabilities such as basic link metrics and top competitor pages.
Get it: Ubersuggest
Tools to find, evaluate, and process backlink opportunities.
21. Disavow Tool
Google makes the Disavow Tool hard to find because most site owners usually don’t need to use it. But when you do, it can be useful for getting penalties removed and some SEOs swear by it for fighting off negative SEO. If you choose to use this tool, be careful and check with this guide on disavowing the right links.
Get it: Disavow Tool
22. Link Explorer
Link Explorer is arguably the biggest, most accurate link index in the SEO world today, boasting 35 trillion links. The free account access gives you 10 queries and 50 rows of data per query every month, plus adds basic link metrics to the MozBar as you browse the web.
Get it: Link Explorer
23. Link Miner
Link Miner is a free Chrome extension developed by Jon Cooper, one of the masters of link building. Use it to quickly find broken links on each page, as well as see basic link metrics as you search Google. Simple, easy, and useful.
Get it: Link Miner
Free tools to optimize your on Google Maps and beyond.
24. Google My Business
Basically, this is the #1, must-have tool for Local SEO — especially if you live in a market served by Google. It allows you to claim your business, manage listing information, and respond to reviews — among other things. Claiming your business profile forms the foundation of most other local SEO activities, so it’s an essential step.
Get it: Google My Business
25. Google Review Link Generator
The Google Review Link Generator by Whitespark solves a simple problem – how do you give your customers a URL to leave a Google review for your business? Reviews drive rankings, but Google doesn’t easily provide this. This generator makes it easy.
Get it: Google Review Link Generator
26. Local Search Results Checker
One of the hardest parts of Local SEO is figuring out rankings from any location — especially when Google stubbornly wants to serve results from the location you’re in. BrightLocal solves this with a quick local ranking tool that can virtually drop you into any location on earth to check actual local rankings.
Get it: Local Search Results Checker
27. Moz Local Check Business Listing
How consistent is your business information across the local search ecosystem? Moz Local lets you quickly check how your business shows up across the web in the major data aggregators that Google and others use to rank local search results. Very handy to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Get it: Moz Local Check Business Listing
Tools to optimize your website in Google’s mobile-first world.
28. Mobile First Index Checker
Mobile versions of websites often differ significantly from their desktop versions. Because Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, it’s important that major elements (links, structured data, etc.) match on both versions. A number of tools will check this for you, but Zeo’s is probably the most complete.
Get it: Mobile First Index Checker
29. Mobile SERP Test
It’s amazing how mobile search results can vary by both location AND device. MobileMoxie’s mobile SERP test lets you compare devices side-by-side for any location, down to specific addresses.
Get it: Mobile SERP Test
30. Mobile-Friendly Test
The gold standard for determining if your page meets Google’s mobile-friendly requirements. If your page passes the test, then Google counts it as mobile friendly, which is a bonafide (albeit small) ranking factor. If your page isn’t mobile-friendly, it will give you specific areas to address.
Get it: Mobile-Friendly Test
Free SEO tools that have so many functions, they have their own special category.
31. Chrome DevTools
Get it: Chrome DevTools
32. Marketing Miner
Marketing Miner has a low profile in the United States, but it’s one of the best-kept secrets of Eastern Europe. If you need to pull a lot of SERP data, rankings, tool reports, or competitive analysis, Marketing Miner does the heavy lifting for you and loads it all into convenient reports. Check out this list of miners for possible ideas. It’s a paid tool, but the free version allows to perform a number of tasks.
Get it: Marketing Miner
One of the original SEO toolbars, the MozBar has seen significant upgrades over the years. Log in with a free Moz account and get link metrics as you browse the web, perform on-page analysis, and SERP analysis. The free version is super-useful by itself, while Pro users get additional functionality like advanced keyword suggestions.
Get it: MozBar
Like Moz, SEMrush offers a full suite of all-in-one SEO tools, and they have a free account option that works well if you only work with a single website, or only need a quick peek at top level data. The free account level gives you access to one “project” which includes basic site auditing, as well as limited keyword and domain reporting.
Get it: SEMrush
35. SEO Minion
SEO Minion is a very popular Chrome extension that goes beyond most SEO toolbars. Some of the quick functions it performs include analyzing on-page SEO, check broken links, Hreflang checks, a SERP preview tool, and a nifty Google search location simulator. Definitely worth trying out.
Get it: SEO Minion
Out of all the SEO toolbars available on the market, SEOquake is probably the most powerful, and comes with a plethora of configuration options — so you can configure it to adjust to your SEO needs. Aside from offering a boatload of data for every URL you visit, you can also perform basic on-page audits, compare domains, and export your data.
Get it: SEOquake
37. Sheets for Marketers
Sheets for Marketers isn’t a tool per se, but a website that contains over 100+ free templates to perform a huge number of tasks using Google Sheets. Find powerful free sheets for everything including competitive analysis, site audits, scraping, keyword research, and more. This is a website for your bookmarks.
Get it: Sheets for Marketers
Tools to help you maximize your content potential at the page level.
38. Natural Language API Demo
While there is some debate over how actionable Google’s Natural Language API is for SEO, there is no denying it’s a cool tool with lots of advanced analysis. The free demo allows you to analyze the text of a single page at a time and lets you see how a search engine would view entities, sentiment analysis, syntax, and categorization.
Get it: Natural Language API
See also: Advanced SEO Strategies using Natural Language Processing
39. Rich Results Test
Did you implement review rating stars in your JSON-LD, and want to see if your markup is valid for Google’s Rich Results? Getting a passing grade doesn’t mean your page will automatically display rich results in the SERPs, but think of it as the cost of admission (the cost being free, of course.)
Get it: Rich Results Test
40. Structured Data Testing Tool
Bookmark, bookmark, bookmark this page. Google’s Structured Data Testing tool is essential for not only troubleshooting your own structured data but performing competitive analysis on your competitor’s structured data as well. Pro Tip: You can edit the code within the tool to troubleshoot and arrive at valid code.
Get it: Structured Data Testing Tool
41. Tag Manager
On the surface, Google Tag Manager serves a simple purpose of allowing you to inject “tags” (such as Google Analytics) into your HTML. Beyond that, advanced users can leverage Tag Manager for a host of SEO functions. While Google recommends against using Tag Manager to insert important elements like structured data, it remains useful for a ton of SEO-related activities.
Get it: Tag Manager
42. View Rendered Source
Get it: View Rendered Source
Cools free tools for competitive, historical, and technological analysis.
As an SEO research tool, BuzzSumo is awesome. Its Chrome extension is one of the few tools available that deliver reliable social share count estimates for any piece of content. You don’t get as much data with a free account, but you still get access to top content and trending data. One of our favorite tools.
Get it: BuzzSumo
Hunter is a popular email search tool, and definitely the most popular free email finder. Use it to find the email address associated with any company or individual, and verify any email address you already have. 50 free queries/month before paid plans kick in.
Get it: Hunter
Also popular: Voila Nobert
SimilarWeb is like competitor analysis on steroids. You can research your competitor’s traffic, top pages, engagement, marketing channels, and more. The free offering is limited to five results per metric, but it’s often enough to grab a quick data point.
Get it: SimilarWeb
There are lots of tools that help you analyze what technology stacks a website runs on, but Wappalyzer is an SEO favorite. It’s 100 percent free (unless you want advanced reporting) and will instantly tell you what technology a site is using. For example, are they using Yoast or All In One SEO Pack?
Get it: Wappalyzer
47. Wayback Machine
It’s perfect for uncovering historical data. You can even find a trove of historical robots.txt files archived. 100 percent free.
Get it: Wayback Machine
Tools to speed up your site in order to improve engagement, increase conversions, and rank higher.
There are so many good things to say about Cloudflare, it’s difficult to know what to include here. Aside from a free CDN to speed up your site, it also allows for easy DNS management, and 100 percent free DDoS protection. You can run on a free plan forever, but if you’re ready to upgrade, the pro features are super cool and amazingly affordable.
Get it: Cloudflare
GTmetrix is one of many webpage speed performance tests that SEOs love to use. It provides familiar reports such as PageSpeed, YSlow, and Waterfalls, as well as automatically visualizing historic data for each page it analyses.
Get it: GTmetrix
Lighthouse is Google’s open-source speed performance tool. It’s also the most up-to-date, especially in terms of analyzing the performance of mobile pages and PWAs. Google not only recommends using Lighthouse to evaluate your page performance, but there is also speculation they use very similar evaluations in their ranking algorithms.
Get it: Lighthouse
51. Page Speed Insights
Page Speed Insights is another Google tool built on top of Lighthouse, with one key added metric: Field Data. Field Data uses metrics collected by the Chrome User Experience Report so you can see how your page performs with real users across the globe. Not every page has data, but it’s super useful when it does.
Get it: Page Speed Insights
If manually logging into a speed tool to check your performance each day isn’t your thing, consider SpeedMonitor.io. It uses Lighthouse data to gauge performance, then tracks it over time and stores the results — all for free. You can even add competitor tracking and on-demand audits.
Get it: SpeedMonitor.io
Webpage test is another performance tool similar to GTMetrix. It breaks down performance into easy-to-understand grades, along with some of the most detailed performance reports found anywhere.
Get it: WebpageTest
To be honest, there are literally hundreds of WordPress plugins that can be helpful for SEO. You almost always want a “general” SEO plugin, and we’ve listed two below. For others, you have a lot of options, but this list from Kinsta is a good place to start.
54. Rank Math
The “new” kid on the WordPress SEO plugin block, RankMath is quickly earning a cult following among certain SEO pros. It’s fully functional and comes with some cool features like built-in redirection, which means needing to install fewer plugins or pay for upgrades. Worth checking out.
Get it: Rank Math
55. Yoast SEO
Yoast is the “name” in WordPress SEO. The most trusted name, the most installed (30 million sites) and often, the most innovative. With the help of our friend Jono Alderson, they’ve created some amazing advances in the delivery of structured data.
Get it: Yoast SEO
While these are 55 of the best free SEO tools, it’s by no means a complete list. And new ones are probably being built as we speak.
For 90% of your SEO needs, the list above should be enough. To close the gap to 100%, use premium tools.
Three most-recommended: Moz, ahrefs, SEMrush.
The 55 Best Free SEO Tools [2019 Update]
PS. Focus on site speed tools first, before starting with anything else. Improving site speed will have the biggest immediate impact on your SEO. And conversions, too.