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The 10 best free SEO tools to help improve your website

Do you need help optimising your website, but you’re not sure how to get started? There are a huge range of free resources out there that will give you advanced insights into your website performance.

Our Search Consultants have put their heads together, and we’ve drawn up this list of their favourite free SEO tools for you to use. And we’ve also provided SEO tips on what you should use each tool for.

10. Fat Rank

Fat Rank

What it is: Chrome extension for rank checking

Review: Fat Rank gives you a quick and simple answer to where a site ranks for a chosen keyword (e.g. “cosmetic dentistry staffordshire”), if it features in the top 100 displayed

Pros: simple to install, easy-to-understand visual display

Cons: only available in Chrome, session report lost if you click away from window

Use if for: seeing how your site is performing on specific search terms, checking how your competitors are doing with their keywords

Get it here:

9. Hemingway App

Hemingway App

What it is: online text analysis app

Summary: Hemingway helps you to keep your writing simple and to the point (like the work of the great man himself)

Pros: easy copy-paste utility and clear visual display of issues, allows you to edit text content in browser window and see instant results

Cons: text display bugs if too many words are pasted into window, requires decent understanding of grammar such as “passive voice” for full benefits

Use if for: making your content uncomplicated for online readers, backup grammar tests over and above Word documents and browser checkers

Get it here:

8. Open Site Explorer

Moz Open Site Explorer

What it is: online link analysis tool

Review: Open Site Explorer allows you to analyse a domain’s links metrics and now features a “Spam Score”

Pros: excellent review of internal and external links, “Spam Score” gives concise content analysis

Cons: features limited without subscription, tends to be quite technical in terminology, report is a sample as it doesn’t have the full indexing powers of search engines

Use if for: finding out who is linking to your website, detecting poor quality content, learning about competitor sites for link building

Get it here:

7. Site Analyzer

Site Analyzer

What it is: online analysis tool

Rating: invaluable

Review: Site Analyzer gives a comprehensive multi-criterion review of potential optimisation areas

Pros: analyses multiple criterion including design and performance, looks at some customer experience issues like use of images

Cons: no feature to save or download your report, some results delivered in technical lingo that the average person may struggle to understand or change

Use if for: getting an idea of general areas for improvement, assessing user experience as well as SEO

Get it here:

6. Small Seo Tools Plagiarism Checker

Small Seo Tools Plagiarism Checker

What it is: online duplicate content checker

Review: the Plagiarism Checker scans whatever text content you paste into it and detects any matching content on the internes

Pros: simple copy and paste tool with clear “Unique Content” percentage result, all flagged content can be easily checked by clicking a link

Cons: lots of spammy adverts with questionable SEO offers, occasional false reporting which requires a double check manually

Use if for: making sure that your content is not accidentally plagiarising someone else’s content and harming your rankings, checking that nobody is ripping off your copy

Get it here:

5. Moz Bar

Moz Bar

What it is: browser-based SEO toolbar (Chrome and Firefox)

Review: the Moz Bar gives you at-a-glance metrics information while you browse the web

Pros: quick analysis of any sites displayed in search results, deeper review of individual pages

Cons: daily usage limits without subscription, occasional variances in reporting

Use if for: finding out about your page and domain authority, tracking backlinks, viewing your social metrics

Get it here:

4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

What it is: downloadable website crawler

Review: the Screaming Frog SEO Spider will crawl a website and give you a breakdown of an incredible range of SEO issues from missing or poorly optimised meta tags to broken links

Pros: comprehensive analysis of most problems with HTML source, reliable SEO analytics for your entire site

Cons: slightly sluggish on slow machines, commands quite a lot of resources

Use if for: tweaking your on-page optimisation, comparing competitor websites, building XML sitemaps

Get it here:

3. Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner

What it is: online keyword research tool

Review: Google’s Keyword Planner lets you look at what search terms people use when browsing online

Pros: shows results for your keyword ideas plus Google’s recommendations, allows you to print out a spreadsheet of the top choices

Cons: recently started requesting that you enter payment details to access, people regularly get lost amongst paid Ad Group information

Use if for: researching what terms people use to find your services, recording ideas for naming your pages and paragraphs

Get it here:

2. Google Analytics

Google analytics

What it is: online analytics service for SEO

Review: Google Analytics tracks site visitors and customer behaviour, as well as tracking page quality and goal conversion

Pros: shows website data in helpful graphs and charts for easy understanding, allows you to block traffic which is distorting your data

Cons: some search data is restricted due to browser privacy settings, requires decent IT and office skills to set up and understand

Use if for: understanding where your traffic originates, assessing user engagement, comparing traffic over time

Get it here:

1. Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster ToolsWhat it is: online website maintenance service

Review: Google’s Webmaster Tools help you to monitor and maintain your online presence for Google search results

Pros: easy to discover if Google has any issues with your website, lots of ways to fix problems

Cons: may require some advanced knowledge to fully implement,

Use if for: submitting new content, maintaining your site, learning how Google and customers see your website

Get it here:

Next up: using these tools for website optimisation

So, we’ve shown you a few of the best free tools to help you improve your website. We hope you find them helpful! Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at how you can use these free resources to make the most of your business website. Bookmark our blog page and we’ll see you soon…

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