From SEO analysis tools to Chrome extensions, let’s explore the best free SEO tools for bloggers
If you are serious about blogging, you will be interested in building your domain authority, increasing your traffic and climbing Google rankings. To do that you’ll need the right tools. As with any job, when you have the right equipment, you can work smarter and faster.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the money to invest in high-end SEO tools. But that’s okay because there are some amazing, simple and completely free SEO tools out there.
To save you time, I’ve done the research and collated the best free SEO tools for bloggers. I’ve included my favourites (ones I use regularly as a digital marketer) and some exciting new tools I’ve just discovered. I’ve only included SEO tools that are valuable and intuitive — simply being free doesn’t mean it makes the cut! Whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been in the game years, I guarantee you’ll discover a few gems that will make your life easier and boost your rankings.
Best Free SEO Tools for Bloggers (By Category)
To make your lives even easier, I’ve categorised the free SEO tools by category — these tools will take you from keyword research through to backlinks and metadata.
Free SEO Keyword Tools
Let’s begin with keywords and search terms. Keywords are at the heart of all you do — picking the right keywords will attract the right audience. It’s all about getting into the mindset of who you want to attract and demonstrating why your content is more valuable than your competitors’.
Keywordtool.io — Keywordtool.io is a great alternative to Google Keyword Planner and other paid keyword research tools. With the free version, you can generate up to 750 long-tail keywords for each search term, opportunity and commonly-asked question based on that query. What’s great is that you don’t even need to create an account to get going. Just type your search term, enter your country of origin and you’re all set. Keyword Tool also includes search volume, trend (how the monthly search volume for a keyword has changed over the year), as well as competition for the first five results.
Google Trends — I love using Google Trends to explore the popularity of search terms over time. Some keywords are seasonal, for example. Google trends shows you this, but it also allows you to compare multiple terms to compare their popularity. Using Google Trends, you can capitalise on trending topics and you can avoid writing about topics that people are starting to lose interest in.
Answer the Public — This is a tool I’ve been using since day one of my digital marketing career. It’s a useful tool that pulls all the questions people are asking on a given topic, while also exploring other types of queries. The data is pulled from Google’s autocomplete results. Answer the Public is a great way to generate topic ideas and get your creative juices flowing. You should know, though, that this tool is only free for two searches a day (which is a pity — this limit didn’t use to exist. You once got much more for your lack of money).
Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator — Ahrefs keyword generator pulls 100 keyword ideas for any seed phrase from over ten billion keywords across more than 170 countries. This tool will give you lots of ideas to explore, while also giving you the estimated search volume and the keyword difficulty of the given keyword. The free SEO keyword tool also gives you access to 50 keyword questions, which are great long-tail keywords you can target for your blogs.
Keys4Up — This tool is useful once you have decided on a given keyword for a specific blog. For example, if you’re writing a post on panic attacks during pregnancy and that is your target keyword, you need to type that keyword into the search bar. The tool generates lateral keywords — words people associate with that specific term. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to include those words in the post. It allows you to write more relevant, valuable content. With this tool, you get eleven results without signing up, but once you sign up (for free) you can view hundreds of words.
Keyworddit — When you’re faced with a blank content calendar and you’re trying your best to come up with relevant, valuable content for the upcoming months, Reddit can be a valuable resource. It can be a goldmine, with hundreds of questions to answer and avenues to explore. But it’s also a bit of a rabbit hole — and anything we can do to save ourselves time, the better. Enter any subreddit into Keywordrddit and the tool will pull up a list of keywords with estimated monthly search volumes. You’ll be surprised at what you find — potentially areas you’ve never before considered.
AlsoAsked.com — This free SEO tool retrieves questions from Google’s People Also Ask boxes. The people asking these questions want answers, so make sure they find them on your site! These questions will help you to build a longer, more comprehensive, valuable post on any topic.
Soovle — This valuable SEO tool uses the concept of Google Suggest, but it also allows you to pull in suggestions from other popular websites, including Google, Amazon, YouTube, Bing and Yahoo.
SearchVolume.io — This is a great tool if you need to quickly search for the search volume of a particular keyword, or keywords. You can bulk upload up to 800 keywords to the tool, and it’ll let you know how popular each keyword is.
Now you have the right keywords, what do you do with them? Learn all about where to use keywords for SEO.
Free Ranking Research Tools
These tools are all about ranking — learn how you are doing in those SERPs.
SERP Robot — This handy, free SEO tool allows you to quickly and conveniently check your search engine rankings for five given keywords. Simply enter your URL, enter your five keywords you wish to rank for, prove you’re not a robot and hit ‘go’. You’ll immediately discover where you rank for each term.
Ahrefs’ SERP Checker — This SERP checker will show you the top ten rankings for any given keyword in over 170 countries, along with important SEO metrics including number of backlinks and estimated traffic. Keeping in mind these competing results will allow you to compare your content and build upon what you have, so you have a chance of creeping up the rankings.
Mobile SERP Test — This tool allows you to check your mobile rankings in any location. You can select up to two devices (some people believe Google shows different results for Android and iOS, for example). You can also drill down to specific cities and postcodes, which is particularly useful if you are writing location-specific content, such as “What to do in Swindon This Weekend”.
Free SEO Analysis Tool
Where is your website falling down in terms of SEO? These tools will let you know.
SEO Site Checkup — This tool performs an appraisal of your on-page and technical SEO to uncover issues you should address. The checkup runs an audit of your website, looking for any errors that might just be causing you to lose out in the rankings game. What I find particularly interesting is that this tool also gives you a ‘Keywords Cloud Test’, a visual representation of the keywords used on your website, including which are used most frequently.
SEOptimer — This tool is similar to the one above, and I’ve used it a lot in the past when drawing up roadmaps for clients. This tool analyses your website and gives you an overall SEO score while giving you key issues to improve upon. It breaks up your performance into SEO, Usability, Performance, Social and Security. This tool includes a list of recommendations at the bottom, including which tasks to prioritise.
Screaming Frog — This is an amazing, comprehensive SEO tool that you will need to download to run. It’s a crawler that will analyse and audit your technical, on-page SEO issues. Unlike the tool above, Screaming Frog is a deep-dive, and you’ll have to set aside some real time to check through the different tabs. Screaming Frog will check out your metadata, your H1 and H2 tags, your images, your canonical tags and your response codes, to name a few. The free version will allow you to crawl up to 500 URLs, which should be more than enough for the average blog.
HEADMasterSEO — This tool will bulk check the status codes for a list of URLs. As with Screaming Frog, with the free version, you can check up to 500.
Ubersuggest — This SEO tool is an all-rounder. This tool will tell you how many organic keywords you rank for, your number of backlinks (and how many are nofollow) and it will show you your traffic (including your top traffic pages). You can also run a site audit, which will give you an on-page SEO score and outline critical errors for you to address
SEObility — This tool provides a deep-dive into SEO by crawling your website and letting you know about optimisation issues. SEObility lets you know about blocked pages, slow-loading pages, technical SEO issues and sitemap problems, among other issues. You should know that to use SEObility, you need to sign up and verify your account, but what’s great is that you will get email alerts on new errors and optimisation changes to keep you in the loop.
Check out these common SEO mistakes, as submitted by fellow bloggers
Free Website Health Tools
Let’s talk about site health! How do you know if your website is a little poorly? Just use these handy, free SEO tools for bloggers.
Google PageSpeed Insights — Page speed is an important SEO consideration. The slower the page speed, the more likely it is that your visitors will give up, click the ‘back’ button and visit a competitor website. Not only that, Google won’t want to rank your website highly if they know it will only frustrate people. This SEO tool will check the speed and usability of your website across multiple devices.
GTMetrix — This tool performs the same function as the tool above, giving a performance score along with actionable recommendations to speed up your website.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test — Mobile-friendliness is a definite ranking factor for Google. This tool checks how easily a visitor can access and use your website on a mobile device, while identifying specific mobile-usability issues.
Where Goes? — Paste your blog’s URL into this tool and it will show you what redirects you have on your website. It’ll also show you the type of redirect (for example, 301 or 302) and it’ll tell you the number of redirects in the chain. For the health (and speed) of your website, it’s best to have the smallest number of redirects possible.
Website Penalty Checker — This SEO tool lets you know how your website has been affected by a Google algorithm update, so you’ll know whether a change in your rankings is due to a core update, link building or great content.
SERP Simulator — This tool demonstrates how your website shows up in Google’s search engine results by displaying your page title and meta description. This tool will display results for both desktop and mobile, allowing you to check for (and fix) truncation issues immediately. Remember to use keywords in your metadata and to word it in a compelling way to improve your ranking and your CTR (Click Through Rate).
Free Backlink Checkers
Building links is great for building authority and getting extra eyes on your content. You want to make sure you’re getting the right type of backlinks and that they’re being shared well. These tools will help you keep track of your backlinks.
Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker — This tool will show you the top 100 backlinks to your website, along with the number of referring domains. This backlink checker is great for keeping track, but it’ll also show you whether you have low-quality backlinks that could be costing you. I’d recommend checking out a competitor’s backlinks too. Once you know where they are getting their backlinks, you can target the same websites and blogs for more opportunities.
BuzzSumo — BuzzSumo is a widely-used tool in digital marketing, and while most use the paid plan, BuzzSumo also has a free paid plan which includes limited search across the Content, Discovery and Influencer features. What’s great is that it allows you to search for backlinks to your website, and BuzzSumo also tells you how well shared these backlinks are across social media, which is a great indicator of popularity.
Free SEO Analytics Tools
Analytics is a great way of tracking how well your posts are doing, how you’re attracting people to your website, how long they are staying and whether your CTAs (Calls to Actions) are working well.
Google Analytics — Everyone has heard of Google Analytics! It might look intimidating to start with, but it contains invaluable insights into your traffic and keywords, allowing youtube improve and tailor your website.
Google Search Console — Google Search Console (formery Google Webmaster Tools) is a free Google tool that lets you submit sitemaps, see structured data issues and find and fix technical errors. In fact, Search Console provides a lot of the same data as Google Analytics, but many people find it simpler and more intuitive.
Check out this guide on how to optimise your URL slugs
Free Content Tools
At the end of the day, without quality content, your website won’t rank well for any search terms. You need to write content that is relevant to your niche, useful, interest, well-written and SEO-optimised. You also need to be producing regular, fresh content. Below are some free SEO tools for content that’ll keep you on track.
Copyscape — Google hates duplicate content. Copyscape will help ensure you avoid it at all costs. Simply enter a URL and Copyscape will tell you whether that content exists anywhere else online.
Detailed.com — Ths tool is great for competitor research. Simply select your niche and the tool gives you the top ranking websites in that field. The tool will also show you what they have recently published. Competitor research and analysis is a great way to get a leg up on the competition. Simply discover what they’re doing, and do it better. One thing you should know, though, is that this tool doesn’t cover every niche
Help a Reporter (HARO) — HARO is a great resource for finding backlink opportunities. This service connects you with journalists and editors, looking for expert opinions. This will almost always result in a backlink, with minimal time investment. You should know that the opportunities are often time-sensitive, so you need to act fast. There’s also no guarantee your submission will be used.
Wayback Machine — The Wayback Machine is a handy archive tool. It is a great help if you’re doing some broken link building to build further backlinks to your website. (I aim to explain broken link building in an upcoming post). This tool lets you see what was originally on the dead page, so you can replicate and build on what was lost.
Google Alerts — Google Alerts helps you to monitor mentions of your blog. It can also keep you in the loop when it comes to interesting trends in your niche. Google Alerts can also help you monitor your competitors’ activity.
Animalz Revive — Have you noticed your rankings dropping? Animalz Revive can help you decide where to focus your efforts in terms of content. First, you authenticate your Google Analytics account. Once complete, this free SEO tool analyses your content and tells you which blog posts should be refreshed.
Grammarly — It might seem strange to include Grammarly in a list of free SEO tools for bloggers. The thing is, spelling and grammar does matter to Google. Google is unlikely to rank content that is riddled with mistakes. It makes the website look unprofessional and lazy. The free version of Grammarly is more than adequate and it can save you a lot of embarrassment.
Are you hoping to get more organised with your content? Check out this guide on how to create a content calendar for your blog
Free SEO Chrome Extensions
If you, like many other people, use Chrome as your preferred browser, there are a whole host of extensions out there designed to make your lives easier. Here are some SEO chrome extensions you’ll want to explore.
LinkMiner — This Chrome extension detects broken links on any page. Keep this extension active when visiting competitor websites and you’ll discover yet more opportunities for broken link building.
Ahrefs SEO toolbar — This tool (also available as a Firefox extension) shows Ahrefs’ SEO metrics in the browser. You’ll be able to generate an on-page SEO report which will include the page’s metadata, word count and canonical tags. The toolbar will also show you broken links and redirect chains.
Keyword Surfer — This is an amazing free Chrome extension that gives you estimated monthly search volume for any given search query, as well as similar keywords and related terms. What’s more, it also gives you the searcher’s age range, which is great for creating content for your target audience.
MozBar — MozBar sits right there on your toolbar, giving you information including page authority, domain authority and spam scores
WordTracker Scout — This handy extension gives you a list of keyword ideas from any given webpage. It will also break the keywords down by relevance and volume.
Woorank’s SEO & Website Analysis Tool — This Chrome extension will generate an overall SEO score of your website along with specific recommendations on how to improve your on-page and off-page SEO.
BuzzSumo — We mentioned BuzzSumo above. This extension allows you to check out how often a particular webpage has been shared or engaged with over social media, breaking it down by social media platform.
Meta SEO Inspector — This extension immediately highlights metadata errors, so you can address it and ensure your meta tags are all properly set up and optimised.
Free SEO WordPress Plugins
Now let’s check out the wonderful world of WordPress SEO Plugins. There are more than you’d think!
Yoast WordPress Plugin — This is the one SEO WordPress plugin everyone knows about! It’s simple to use and it’ll help you optimise your blog posts for rankings by centring your content around a given keyword. However, you should be wary of using Yoast and Yoast only. Simply tweaking your content to get a green light isn’t enough to get your content ranking on page one.
Rank Math — Rank math is an alternative to Yoast and it can help with metadata, add structured data markup for rich snippets and help you with redirecting URLs. On top of this, Rank Math can find and fix dead links on your website.
Smush — This plugin helps you compress, optimise and resize images, which will greatly improve your website’s loading speed.
Ahrefs’ WordPress SEO Plugin — This plugin allows you to perform content audits and monitor backlinks, pulling data from Ahrefs and Google Analytics to do so. You’ll also receive recommendations on how to improve your content.
I hope this has been helpful! Let me know if your favourite tool didn’t make it to the list so I can make this the best, most comprehensive list of SEO tools for bloggers on the internet.