SEO strategy, execution and measurement can be extremely complex, particularly for large organizations with various divisions, business priorities, websites and content. We’ve seen it all and have utilized a number of tools (both paid and free) to help our clients execute solid SEO strategies with real ROI.
For marketers with a tight budget and who could use some guidance, here is our list of five free tools to help simplify, improve and prioritize your SEO efforts.
1. Screaming Frog SEO Spider: crawls all URLs for a given domain and provides insights into response codes, page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, header tags, images, duplicate content and so much more.
- Best ways to use it: Download to your desktop and use to run site audits.
- Why we like it: Provides easy-to-export documents that can be used for planning content strategy, identifying and correcting duplicate content or locating site errors.
- Applications: Competitive Analysis, Roadmap Planning, SERP Snippet Analysis
2. GTMetrix: provides audits and provides recommendations to improve overall site performance and optimization of page weight/load time.
- Best ways to use it: Copy and paste URL into the tool to run and export a report.
- Why we like it: Provides in-depth analysis and information on site errors and insights on how to fix them.
- Applications: Competitive Analysis, Site Speed Enhancements
3. Open Site Explorer: allows users to audit all current links to a specific website or domain. Exported link metrics include page/domain authority, anchor text and destination URLs.
- Best ways to use it: Copy and paste URL into the tool to run and export links.
- Why we like it: Provides in-depth insights on links to prioritize offsite SEO efforts and can also be used to export links from competitor URLs.
- Applications: Competitive Analysis, Link Reclamation, Ongoing Link Strategy, Monthly Link Monitoring
4. Woorank: offers a holistic analysis of a given site and measures technical, onsite and offsite SEO elements.
- Best ways to use it: Download Google Chrome Extension to browser and use on any given website for a quick audit.
- Why we like it: Provides quick insights into overall website performance across usability, SEO, local, mobile and technology. Can also be a resource for executing competitive analysis.
- Applications: Competitive Analysis, Sitemap Audit, High Level UX analysis, Mobile Optimization
5. CuteRank: allows users to check keyword rankings for a batch of terms within Google and other search engines.
- Best ways to use it: Download to your desktop for access to quick and easy keyword ranking audits.
- Why we like it: Ideal resource for business development or competitive analysis as it provides quick rankings for a given set of terms in a specified search engine.
- Applications: Competitive Analysis, Competitive Keyword Reporting, Business Development
We continue to evaluate and test a variety of SEO tools on a regular basis and, while there isn’t a perfect solution when it comes to free options, these are a great starting point. Free SEO tools can be effective resources to utilize when working with tight marketing budgets or simply to explore new avenues to improve the monitoring, measurement and execution of your SEO strategy.