The 22 Best Free SEO Tools in 2021

In this article, we’re going to be sharing the best free SEO tools to help you grow your business online.

Visibility on the internet has never been more important to the health of businesses. After a year of lost in-person trade, more and more people have experienced the ease of online shopping, entertainment, and more. This means companies are going to have to work extra hard to get spotted in an even noisier online space.

Unlike PPC ads, SEO can be thought of as a long-term investment. Optimizing your content can benefit your business for years to come, bringing you organic traffic, and customers who are ready to buy, on autopilot.

People use Google to research everything.

Whether it’s a new electric toothbrush, or a holiday, most people will start their search online.

A massive 49% of shoppers use Google to discover new products to purchase, and even those who shop in-store are likely to have spent some time on Google researching a purchase.

So if you’re not already using search engine optimization as part of your marketing strategy, now’s the time to get started.

While there are loads of great premium SEO software and tools out there if you’re just starting out you might not be ready to invest in these yet. The good news is that there are loads of fantastic free SEO tools available that you can start using right away to help you up your game.

At a time when we are all looking to make savings, SEO is a place where you can find genuinely powerful free tools to boost your rankings.

These free tools can give you the start you need to optimize your online content, boost your traffic, and thrive online. Want to know which tools you shouldn’t be missing out on? Read on…

The 22 Best Free SEO Tools in 2021

  1. Google Search Console
  2. Google Analytics
  3. AnswerThePublic
  4. Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator
  5. Google Trends
  6. SEOQuake
  7. Screaming Frog
  8. Ubersuggest
  9. Mozbar
  10. Clickflow Content Decay Tool
  11. Yoast SEO
  12. Detailed.com
  13. Can I Rank?
  14. SEOability
  15. Reddit Keyword Research Tool
  16. Panguin
  17. Alsoasked.com
  18. Keyword Surfer
  19. Rank Math
  20. Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker
  21. HARO
  22. Google Pagespeed Insights

1. Google Search Console

Google search console gives an insight into how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. Website owners can monitor and optimize performance. There is no need to monitor the console each day; you receive an email alert if there is a problem.

Search console allows you to understand your site’s organic search performance, giving you data on clicks, impressions, average positions, and more and at an individual keyword level. It can also help to identify crawling and indexing issues and give you the opportunity to rectify these. In short, in one product, there is everything you need up to submitting an XML sitemap.

G2 Score: 4.6

Pros:

  • Search terms are clearly visualized with easy to read graphics
  • You can sort through searches based on times and pages
  • It is the best place to rectify issues with Google on a page by page level
  • It can help you better understand the Google algorithm

Cons:

  • There is so much information it is difficult to know how to improve your website
  • Only provides a selection of backlinks to each page

What users say: There is a general consensus that Google Search Console is easy to use and is perfect for analyzing incoming links and search traffic. The chance to receive an email when there might be an issue is considered a massive bonus. Most complaints refer to accessibility to Google chat to seek customer support.

2. Google Analytics

The free version of Google Analytics has a massive 85% market share. It is the most widely used analytics tool where you can explore demographics and track events and one that no self-respecting marketer can be without. It will inform decisions on most areas of strategy.

Google Analytics reports on and analyses metrics such as number of unique visitors, number of sessions, and conversions. It will give you a detailed breakdown of your traffic and how your site and its content engage the market. It also shows you where the audience exited your site. The breakdown of this data is by demographics and device usage, which allows you ultimate insight into the performance of your website.

G2 Score: 4.5

Pros:

  • Lots of online content to help you make the most of the product
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Data-driven decision-making is well-facilitated

Cons:

  • There is a restriction on how many hits you can have
  • There is some distortion in results due to data sampling
  • Most businesses will need to upgrade to the premium model
  • Customer care and support is difficult to access

What users say: Google Analytics is seen as a necessary evil for most businesses. There is some valuable data and insights to be made, but most people reported that you quickly need to upgrade to the paid package. Therefore, you will do a lot of work with the freemium package and then find this wasted.

3. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a social listening tool that offers a deeper level of understanding of how people search. As with most SEO tools, they uncover the questions and queries that the public ask and you can answer on your website. While it is a keyword search tool on a basic level, there are categories that consist of the “w” questions.

G2 Score: 4.6

Pros:

  • Gives you the feeling of dipping into the mind of your audience
  • It allows the user to get an idea of what customers want from a product or service
  • It is simple to use

Cons:

  • You can only make three searches a day for free
  • Word maps look funky but are difficult to analyze
  • Some niche searches don’t have answers

What users say: Most view AnswerThePublic as their favorite keyword research tool, as it offers tools for narrow topics and looking into the mindset of the audience. If you have no starting place for your keyword search, you can start here. You will probably want a more sophisticated package for more specific and detailed searches.

4. Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator

Ahrefs offer a range of free tools to help you manage your online content and marketing. The keyword generator pulls the top 100 keyword ideas for any seed keyword or phrase. The database is filled with over ten billion keywords across 170 countries. It will show you the estimated monthly search volume for each of the keyword ideas it turns up, along with the Keyword Difficulty scores for the first ten on the list. A helpful addition is the list of 50 related questions, which helps content producers create a strategy for future topics.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Many keywords listed and ranked based on internet-wide crawling capability
  • Excellent tutorial to help onboard to the tool

Cons:

  • The best features are only available when you buy
  • User experience is a little bare

What users say: For SEO experts, Ahrefs’ Keyword Generator is one of the best on the market, but only if you buy the premium product – and the premium product is expensive.

5. Google Trends

Suppose you are looking to compare keywords and explore spikes in keyword search volume due to events. Google Trends gives all the data you need, including search volume index and geographic information, tracking these over time. It is a valuable research tool for finding the keywords and topics for your blog in particular. If you want to provide seasonal content, it can also help identify the trends early, so you can respond.

G2 Score: 4.4

Pros:

  • You can search keywords and phrases based on search volumes
  • You can search trending topics
  • Compare multiple keywords
  • Superior alternative to Google keyword planner

Cons:

  • There is no analysis based on age or gender
  • No option to export the data
  • You have to seek third-party articles if you want help.

What users say: Users love the user interface, which is easy to use and informative. There is a lot of valuable information available. You can compare online search volume, filtering by time and geography. Yet, the searches offer relative numbers rather than volumes so that experts may want more specific data.

6. SEOQuake

SEOQuake is a free browser extension that offers metrics for specific pages on your site. It provides a page diagnostic that allows you to make quick decisions about your content. This is a powerful SEO toolbar and comes with many configuration options that make it a genuine find in the world of free software services. It offers a massive amount of data for every URL you visit and can perform some on-page audits, compare domains and export your data.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • You get a lot of information to improve SEO
  • It helps improve the infrastructure of your website
  • As a browser extension, it is unobtrusive in the corner of your screen until you expand it

Cons:

  • It is only free for the first 100 pages
  • The design is basic and clunky
  • A lot of the data is delivered without rationale or explanation

What users say: As a browser extension, SEOQuake is reviewed positively for the ease of use to audit pages – allowing website designers to use it for customers as well as on personal sites. There is a lot of information provided by a free tool – but only if you use Google Chrome as your browser. Most community-based comments agree that this is the most powerful free SEO toolbar you could add to your Chrome browser.

7. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that crawls web pages and offers opportunities to analyze the elements for on page SEO performance. No matter the size of the website, the analyzer can offer information on missing or broken links, missing header tags, or image file sizes that need attention. It can also be used to find duplicate content, review URLs blocked by robots.txt files, canonical URLs and other directives.

Unlike most other website crawlers, Screaming Frog is a desktop site audit tool that allows you to analyze your technical SEO issues. More useful, it allows you to export findings to a spreadsheet and so easily brief your developer on the work that needs doing to rectify problems.

G2 Score: 4.7

Pros:

  • It crawls javascript
  • It offers many opportunities to improve your website
  • Provides the best crawl for on-page SEO checks

Cons:

  • Awkward interface for ease of analysis
  • You need to be relatively expert in SEO
  • To make the most of the information, you have to go to the knowledge base on the website.

What users say: Users generally agree that the tool works as it is advertised. It crawls the website better than other tools and can test the structure and security of any website. Overall, users claimed to choose Screaming Frog SEO Spider because it has better functionality and data reporting than similar SEO analysis tools.

8. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a SaaS that promises to bring you everything you need in an SEO tool. With any all-in-one tool, the individual components are less impressive than they are all found in one place. There is a keyword research tool offering SEO reports, content ideas, domain overview, keyword suggestions, related keywords, keyword tracker, and more.

Ubersuggest is a product provided by leading online marketer Neil Patel, who recently took it over. He has recently updated it based on some reverse engineering of competitors’ SEO strategies, meaning if it has undergone a massive overhaul. It now goes beyond just keyword suggestions and offers a lot more SEO capabilities including basic link metrics and top competitor pages.

G2 Score: 3.8

Pros:

  • Easy to find specific keywords for social media content
  • You can use this tool for competitive analysis
  • Offers data on volume, domain authority, Public Authority, and more
  • You can add it as an extension to Google Chrome

Cons:

  • The results offered by Ubersuggest can sometimes deviate significantly from Moz and Semrush.
  • Content suggestions lack detail.
  • They have introduced a pricing model for more than three searches.

What users say: Quite a lot of users report moving from the likes of Moz and Semrush to Ubersuggest but note the discrepancy in the results. Most question the accuracy of Ubersuggest, but the company reports that this will improve with time. Community pages are keen to give Neil Patel a chance and believe in his abilities to revamp and make this tool more useful. While many may have discarded this tool in the past, it is well worth another look after the revamp.

9. Mozbar

A free Chrome Extension, MozBar offers an opportunity to get link metrics and all the SEO you need at a glance. The software provides data points for Domain Authority, Page Authority, and number of backlinks for sites while you are searching. You can click through on any of these metrics to view them in more detail and give you insights into anchor text, linking domains, and more.

Mozbar is the original SEO toolbar and has seen significant upgrades and improvements over the years. Even in the ever-changing world of the internet, having this sort of experience can’t be bought. The free version offers link metrics as you browse the internet; it will perform on-page analysis and SERP analysis. In some ways, only professional marketers and SEO managers need to pay for the added functionality that comes with the premium version.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • It is a quick way to identify domain authority and page authority on any site
  • It provides a straightforward audit of any technical issues
  • Provides you with the spam score and number of links going to a webpage
  • You can use this tool to perform competitor analysis

Cons:

  • If you are new to SEO, it can take a while to get used to
  • Expensive if you choose to go to the premium product

What users say: Users believe in Moz because they have been in the business for a good while and earned themselves a positive reputation. The tool might assume prior knowledge and understanding but the user feels rewarded with high-quality data.

10. ClickFlow Content Decay Tool

ClickFlow Content Decay Tool considers itself an experimental SEO tool. It promises to increase clicks from searches, grow a business’s organic traffic and aid the marketer in the production of content that drives traffic to a site. Content decay is a tool that helps you understand what it is about your site that is causing SEO traffic to reduce over time and then offers solutions.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • You get a 21-day free trial before you are introduced to any plans
  • As it is an experimental product, customer support is top class
  • The website is full of quality user information and FAQs

Cons:

  • To be useful, your site needs to get over a hundred thousands organic visitors a month
  • Any recommendations feature has yet to be released
  • To get the really useful features, you need to pay for the premium plan.

What users say: ClickFlow Content Decay Tool gets a rough ride from users who don’t see the value for small and medium-sized enterprises. These smaller businesses are the ones most likely to need a free tool such as this. However, the results offered if your site is established are useful.

11. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

Yoast is an SEO plugin that helps website designers and bloggers make the most of the text and metadata on the website. It is available as a WordPress plugin, and will give you tips on how to improve your SEO as you upload content. It also gives a traffic light diagnosis of the quality of SEO in that content. It essentially works as your SEO proofreader, offering guidance on the tweaks you can make.

G2 Score: 4.6

Pros:

  • Accessible for newbies and user-friendly.
  • There is a first-time SEO configuration for those setting up on a site, allowing you to work smartly from the start.
  • Helps you to fix flaws in the website content.
  • It tends to do word for word matching of keywords rather than variations

Cons:

  • It can be overly pedantic and may tell you that the SEO needs work when it is the rules it is following that are flawed
  • It sometimes suggests you remove a stop word that is unlikely to show in your final search scores.
  • There are data limitations with the free account that can be unlocked by signing up to the premium option.

What users say: Users agree that Yoast is a solid enough tool without ever getting too excited about its features. The readability feature is better thought of than the restrictive rules around SEO keyword optimization.

12. Detailed.com

Detailed offers insights to SEOs at companies like IBM, Cisco, and Amazon. They then offer their findings to the public. The site owner, Glen Allsopp gets paid to reverse engineer the success of the top sites on the internet, he then shares these tactics on his website. In some ways, this is a unique tool, as it uncovers what is driving links on some of the most popular niches on the web. It lacks some of the fluff of other tools that make this sort of research so frustrating.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • Algorithmically ranks the worlds top blogs in every niche
  • Lots of articles sharing tactics used by the biggest companies
  • Clear pros and cons for the strategies suggested
  • Free chrome extension which will give you detailed SEO insights to any web page you’re on

Cons:

  • Strategies from the larger companies are difficult to deploy for standard users
  • You need some experience and knowledge of SEO for it to be useful

What users say: It is always good to get insider knowledge and Glenn Allsopp has a lot of reviews from some top media companies promoting his insight. He is known by many as a marketing genius. As he says himself, he is an expert because he has done little else in his professional life. The fact that smaller users are yet to comment or review the site shows that it deals in high-level concepts. Even if you are not keen on this tool, you should sign up to Glenn Allsopp’s newsletter, if you want the latest insight from the best in the business.

13. Can I Rank?

Can I Rank? Is built on a relatively simple concept, which is that data drives action from the opportunity to execution. The promise of the site is that it can provide the insight that will allow users to achieve desired outcomes. The objective of this tool is obvious in the name, success is measured by how high users rank in SERPs.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • A section called Keyword Ideas helps influence the content you would include on your site
  • It gives you a visualization of your ranking and offers advice on can improve this ranking
  • The algorithm used is considered by some to be the closest to Google’s.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t tell you what your keywords are but how you rank for the ones identified somewhere else.
  • It is a new service and so there are features yet to be added.

What users say: This is a new site with few competitors doing exactly the same thing – therefore, users seem to find it hard to know how to review the product. There is a general feeling that they should wait and see. While it is seen as unique, most are yet to find the best practice for employing it in action.

14. SEObility

SEObility is another all-in-one SEO tool, which offers to improve your rankings. There is a comprehensive SEO audit, backlink analysis, and link-building tools. There are also ranking tracking tools. The philosophy of the approach is one of improving the quality of your site to improve your ranking. Therefore, it is a great training ground for newbies to SEO beginners.

G2 Score: 4.4

Pros:

  • Offers daily updates of your keyword ranking
  • Email updates of specific page crawling
  • Option to analyze your competitor’s page in detail is powerful

Cons:

  • Poor options for exporting data
  • There is no way to configure the data received
  • You can only monitor three websites with the free product

What users say: Users reported feeling frustrated that if you have one website, you cannot get access to all the really cool features without buying a package intended for agencies. Indeed, a lot of those talking about SEObility were marketing agencies looking to monitor multiple clients – and here they were worried by the clutter on the dashboard and the complexity of reporting to clients.

15. Reddit Keyword Research Tool

Reddit Keyword Research Tool, also known as Keyworddit, allows you to find the most popular searches on Reddit. Therefore, this tool gives you an understanding of the topics most interesting to your audience, as it pulls a list of keywords with the estimated monthly search volumes. It is a tool best used for designing content for your site and even shaping your products and service.

G2 Score: 4.1

Pros:

  • You can get the monthly search volume figures for the most popular topics
  • You can see the context of the questions being asked on Reddit

Cons:

  • You can only search existing subreddits and you will have to choose the nearest option to what you are interested in
  • If your search is too small, with less than 10000 subscribers, your request won’t show up.

What users say: There is an obvious celebration that this service is offered free and it is an excellent way to create topics for your blog. With some expertise, you could use the tool to unveil the long-tail keywords, as well as the subject for your content.

16. Panguin Tool

Panguin Tool helps you to understand if you have been impacted by Google’s algorithm updates, which happen periodically. The product has been created by a digital marketing agency, Barracuda Digital, as a means of monitoring the impact on clients. The tool shows you the history of your ranking and helps you uncover what may have caused this change.

Panguin Tool, a play on the name of the Penguin algorithm update by Google that caused a lot of changes to rankings, allows you to see the fluctuations of your traffic. It allows you to judge if your site has been impacted by an update – connecting it to Google Analytics to use your traffic graphs to identify where the potential problem lies.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • It shows up a website’s organic visibility on search engines, helping you compare your ranking with competitors
  • You can use this tool to check the return on any investment in SEO
  • Ability to monitor the impact of your most important keywords

Cons:

  • It is a third-party application and not designed by the search engine, so there are questions over the reliability
  • There are limited features, as it is not intended as a comprehensive SEO tool

What users say: Users tend to worry about the reliability of the algorithms that support the insights of this tool. Therefore, for those looking to really explore the impact of Google updates, it is better to go to the horse’s mouth. However, for startups looking to stabilize a business, this tool has its benefits.

17. Alsoasked.com

Alsoasked.com organizes the data from Google’s People Also Ask (PAA), helping to break down the data on what questions people are asking. The site is a way of uncovering the topics and also how the questions asked link together.

For people writing blogs, it helps to answer those questions that could easily appear as snippets on the Google search page. For instance, if you are writing about creating a self-sustaining vegetable garden, you may find that “What are the best vegetables to grow in your garden?” is a popular question asked. You can then use this as an H2 heading in your blog. Being the site that answers one of these People Also Ask questions is a shortcut to increasing traffic.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • Great tool for brainstorming new content ideas
  • Aids content writers in enhancing drafts with the insights the audience want
  • Gives you an idea of how to bring older content up to date.

Cons:

  • Very little difference from Answer the Public
  • Takes some imagination to use this to influence a keyword strategy

What users say: Users speak of using this to refresh and review a content strategy. While it doesn’t show the Google autocomplete questions, it does order questions in priority. It means marketing agencies feel they can be more strategic in the engagement of the market.

18. Keyword Surfer Free Chrome Extension

Keyword Surfer is a free extension on the Google Chrome browser. It unveils search data and the performance of keywords pulled directly from Google. It also provides CPC data for any keyword you enter into Google, making this a useful free research tool.

G2 Score: 5

Pros:

  • Provides helpful keyword research data as part of a keyword research strategy
  • Offers insight into the word count for search results

Cons:

  • You have to refresh to populate results
  • Limited features in comparison to the industry leaders

What users say: Keyword Surfer Free Chrome Extension is cited on many community-based lists for the best free alternatives for keyword research. It seems that if you are happy with the limited power of the features and it does enough for you, then this is a great option. Those in the know suggest using this alongside another free tool, WMS Everywhere. This is also a Chrome extension, and it gives you search volume, keyword suggestions, and cost-per-click.

19. Rank Math

As a fairly new product, Rank Math is considered a genuine competitor to Yoast. It has only recently been released but is already making significant ripples across the internet. It helps you to shape your content and structure so it is optimized. The tool offers a hundred-point page analysis that offers deep insights into ranking factors of each page. To prove its competitiveness in this market, there have been more than 300,000 installations up to this point in 2021.

With this tool, you can optimize your page titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions. You can also monitor 404 errors and identify fresh content opportunities.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • Many of the features of Yoast and more
  • Does not slow your site down
  • A comprehensive list of checks on your site

Cons:

  • No site-wide analytics
  • Some of the hundred checks seem irrelevant for most content

What users say: Most reviewers of Rank Math leap straight to how to integrate this plugin into the backend of your site. When comparing this with other SEO tools, reviewers see the wealth of features as a winner. Many community-based comments seem to give this tool almost cult status, as its many features such as built-in redirection, require the user to buy fewer plugins or pay for further upgrades.

20. Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker

As the name of the product suggests, a) this is part of the well-reputed Ahrefs’ range of SEO products and, b) this one focuses on highlighting broken links, giving you the opportunity to maintain the quality of your site. With no sign-up and download required, this is a genuine free tool that helps you find dead internal and external backlinks.

This is best used in tandem with Ahrefs’ Backlink Checker, where the free version of the checker offers you the top 100 backlinks to any website or URL, with the number of backlinks, referring domains, domain rating, and URL where applicable. If you explore your competitor’s website with this tool, you can also find potential opportunities for link building and so improving your SERPs.

As Ahrefs is looking to be an industry leader, this free tool is surprisingly powerful. Searches are powered by a database of 16 trillion known links, 170 million unique domains and 7 billion pages crawled each day.

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • You can export broken link data and pass these to your developer
  • There is an easy to view interface
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • Works better for SEO as part of a wider suite, which will cost you money
  • Ahrefs is up and coming and not yet on a par reputationally to SEMRush, which most professionals use.

What users say: The general consensus is that Ahrefs looks and feels modern and free tools like this one offer an insight into the whole suite. This broken-link checker is easy to use and does what it promises without trying to do anything more.

21. HARO (Help a reporter out)

We all have our area of expertise, and we can leverage this by sharing it with the media. You could land your star media opportunity using this tool. Journalists reach out via the site for experts and these are then matched with reputable experts. It is a way of searching for quality contributions that will boost the performance of your site or opportunities for guest posts and link building.

Each day HARO will send you three request emails broken down by industry. In these emails will be requests from journalists across a range of chosen topics. If the request links to your expertise, you can offer a suitable quote and if yours is chosen as a source, the link to your site will appear with your idea.

Authoritative links are a well-known component of a Google search algorithm. Therefore, linking to a renowned news site or media outlet offers a lot of kudos to your site.

G2 Score: 4.4

Pros:

  • A tool for crowd-sourcing content and a means of building a quality team of content contributors
  • A way to find opportunities for clients to get placements
  • A means of building quality links from renowned and reputable blogs and news outlets

Cons:

  • Information in the queries can be vague
  • Challenging to work through the queries to work out which are relevant
  • The user interface needs an upgrade

What users say: This is a slightly left-field view of optimization, as you seek out contributors or places where clients can make contributions. The idea is to use this as a white-hat backlink building strategy, getting the company placed on a high-quality blog or news outlet. Users who promote this as part of an SEO strategy are often more creative professionals, as it requires a constant eye for an excellent opportunity for your clients.

22. Google Pagespeed Insights

If your site isn’t as fast as you want it to be, then Google Pagespeed insights will be your best friend. Google Pagespeed Insights is a free tool that lets you analyze the content of a webpage, and then provides you with a list of suggestions on how to make it faster. Page loading speeds correlate directly with bounce rate, which will affect your bottom line, so this tool will help you improve your conversion rates, and make more money in the long run!

G2 Score: N/A

Pros:

  • Very simple to use, even for beginners
  • An easy way to find site speed issues that could be slowing down your site
  • Mobile-friendly tests

Cons:

  • Some of the suggestions to improve page loading speeds can be complicated

Final Thoughts

When it comes to content marketing analytics on a budget, these tools are the perfect place to start.

Each of these free SEO tools offers something to an SEO professional, and it’s possible to put together a complete suite of free tools that covers most of what you need without subscribing.

It’s worth bearing in mind that no free tool comes with a magic formula to send yourself (or a client) to the top of the ranks. Yet, it is fair to say; no premium product does this either. These are SEO tools, and as such, it is the person that implements the features that really get a site to the top of the SERPs.

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Emily Brookes

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