14 Best Free SEO Tools in 2024
There is an ongoing debate about whether design is more art or more science. SEO is 100% alchemy; if you know where to look and how to interpret what you find, anyone can turn underperforming websites into gold.
This collection of free SEO tools are our picks for 2024, and will give you everything you need to know to optimize your site, tweak your content, and outrank your competitors without paying for a single subscription.
Google Search Console
Like it or not, Google dominates the world of SEO. And so, it makes sense to pay special attention to the data that Google holds on your site. The Google Search Console has several features that benefit SEO-minded site owners, but the most important is the performance tab that shows you the top queries for your site, the impressions, the average click-through rate, and the average position so you can monitor how well your site is growing over time.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Just because Google is number one doesn’t mean it’s the only search engine out there. Bing was already an important source of traffic before it introduced AI search; now, it’s essential that your site is listed on Bing. Bing Webmaster Tools is virtually the same as Google Search Console but for Bing. You probably won’t garner any insights you haven’t found on GSC, but occasionally, Bing differs, so it’s essential to check.
SEMRush is one of the top SEO tools on the market, but it isn’t free. SEMRush plans start at $129.95 per month — that’s a lot! However, SEMRush gives you free access to some of its best tools. You can use position tracking, the keyword magic tool, and many other features without paying a dime. You get limited credits, and of course, the premium tools aren’t available, but if you want to get started with SEO, SEMRush is an excellent place to start.
Ahrefs is another top SEO tool; again, it isn’t free. Ahrefs plans start at $99. But like its main rivals, Ahrefs also provides the majority of its best features for free. You can track the position of your site in search rankings across different territories, check your backlink profile, and compare your site to your top competitors. Naturally, you’ll get fewer features than a paid plan, but there’s enough built-in to make the free version worthwhile.
Moz is another top SEO tool, and you’re noticing a pattern: it is expensive, with plans starting at $79 per month, but it provides some of its more useful features for free. Moz’s free SEO tools include its Link Explorer to help build backlinks and its Keyword Explorer to help find the best keywords for your site. But the best tool is its SEO Competitive Analysis, which enables you to find keyword gaps and new content opportunities.
CanIRank is one of my all-time favorite SEO tools. Content-based SEO is about delivering the right content to show up high in search engine rankings. But content takes time; it’s expensive to produce. So, it’s vital that you only invest in content that you can rank for. Most tools will tell you how much competition there is for a particular keyword, but CanIRank will tell you if your site can rank for it.
People Also Ask
When doing keyword research, you will find that many keywords you want to rank for have too much competition. People Also Ask is an excellent tool for working around that issue and discovering the questions people ask. It helps you craft content that ranks well on highly competitive keywords.
SEO isn’t just about writing content; you must also ensure your site is performing well technically. The simplest way to check your site for best practices is with Lighthouse. You can install Lighthouse as a Chrome extension or access it through dev tools in a Chrome-based browser. It gives you a percentage score for performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO — anything over 90% is good.
Your website probably looks pretty good. You’ve spent a long time designing the ideal digital ambassador for your brand. But do search engines care about that? Not really, no. Browseo is a helpful app showing your website as search engines see it. You can check the meta information, structure, external links, and everything else that search engine bots care about. It’s a straightforward but effective tool for fine-tuning your site.
Siteliner is a handy SEO audit tool that scans your site for SEO issues such as broken links, misaligned redirects, and duplicate content. Siteliner also gives you the average score, for example, your page speed vs. the average page speed, so you can see how you stack up against the competition. It’s a helpful way to run a fast audit and identify problems so that they can be fixed.
Did your site previously rank highly, only to mysteriously drop down the SERPs? If so, there’s a very strong chance that your site is the victim of a Google algorithm update — Google regularly updates its approach to search to deliver the best results, and changes can badly affect where you rank. Panguin Tool shows your traffic next to the significant Google updates, so you can see where your traffic dried up and what you need to do to recover it.
When you have a large site with lots of old content, it tends to degrade in value. It takes hours, or even days, to comb through your analytics looking for underperforming pages. Animalz Revive does the work for you for free. Just give it access to your analytics, sit back, and wait for the report. Now you know which content to update to recapture your lost traffic.
Most SEO tools focus on your website. Detailed’s Rankings concentrate on your competitors so you can see what they’re doing well and copy them. It also provides a free SEO extension for Chrome and Firefox that includes dozens of features for analyzing web pages, from simulating Googlebot to finding duplicates of text. As if that wasn’t enough, Detailed’s blog is packed with insights for improving your SEO.
Exploding Topics is a list of the topics that are trending online. You can filter by duration and topic. Paid plans allow you to search for topics, too. You can see how the topic has grown over time and review related topics. Armed with this information, you can craft content optimized for topic-related keywords before any of your competitors.
Simon Sterne is a staff writer at WebdesignerDepot. He’s interested in technology, WordPress, and all things UX. In his spare time he enjoys photography.