How can we use free SEO tools
The master list of free SEO tools
Free SEO tools for successful search engine optimization
Proper search engine optimization is critical to success for every website operator, because after all, you want to be found on the web. Numerous free SEO tools that you can use to identify weaknesses on your website will support you in this process (Onpage SEO). You can also evaluate who is linking to your website (Backlinks). The fact that other websites refer to your own is currently still an indication for Google that your website is interesting for a relevant topic and should rank well. In this article you will also find tools for keyword research, evaluating mobile optimization and website speed, among other things. There are hundreds of tools out there and of course it's fun to analyze your own website too. Ultimately, however, you have to proceed in a structured manner, which is why I have put together the most important tools you need in this SEO tool master list.
1. Tools for on-page optimization
In order to simply check the website in general and to have an overview of what is good or not so good, you can use one of the following tools. To a limited extent, they also give you an overview of the most important keyword rankings. However, these tools always have one disadvantage. They give you a variety of optimization options or "errors" that may not be that critical. This tempts you to take measures that do little for the ranking. Therefore, you should always consider whether it might make more sense to work on your content strategy.
By the way, at OMT you will find a comparison of over 30 paid SEO tools that cover a variety of functions for which you would otherwise need different tools.
1.1. Seobility *
Seobility * provides an extremely useful tool with which you can analyze a website free of charge and receive many tips for on-page optimization. Clear lists are made available and otherwise visually well-prepared information is provided. Rankings for 10 keywords can be monitored.
Seobility also offers free tools without registration, with which you can quickly do an SEO check, keyword and ranking check as well as a WDF * IDF tool for analyzing your content.
Sistrix is also about discovering errors and opportunities for improvement. A high number of warnings and hints shouldn't shock you, because they often hide errors that are repeated on X pages, such as when an image does not have an alt attribute but appears in the sidebar on every page of the website. With one adjustment, the same number of "warnings" are removed.
To get ranking information, you have to connect the tool to the Google Search Console. I would rather view and evaluate the data in the GSC myself.
In the tool you will find numerous hints for a better understanding.
1.3. Ryte *
Ryte * is just as suitable for smaller websites as the tools already mentioned. Ryte focuses on the areas of website, content and search success, with the latter referring to keyword ranking monitoring, which is subject to a charge. But the optimization tips alone, which are located under Website Success and Content Success, should keep you busy for a while.
Note: all three tools mentioned above can only analyze one website at a time. It is positive that there is further information on individual topics that can be used to expand your knowledge. Because without a certain basic knowledge and classification, optimization is difficult. Achieving an optimization level of 100 is difficult because you reach your limits with WordPress and it does not get a better ranking if you optimize down to the smallest detail.
1.4. Further analysis tools and browser plugins
- Screaming frog - a desktop tool with which the individual websites are analyzed and which offers an overview of all relevant meta tags, headings and much more. Application tips are available here: https://www.more-fire.com/blog/anendungstipps-screaming-frog/
- Siteliner - This tool can be used to find out the problematic "duplicate content" for SEO as well as links that are no longer working ("broken links").
- And always important: the Google Search Console. Here you can find a variety of reports that are important for optimizing the website. How you can use the Search Console for search engine optimization can be found in the article SEO with the Google Search Console.
- There is also a very useful browser plug-in tool called Seoquake. This add-on shows details on the onpage optimization of each website in the toolbar and provides helpful tips.
- The tool https://seorch.de, which Lars Lakomki mentions in the comments, is also very useful and easy to understand. Thanks a lot for this!
- Another SEO browser plugin that I really appreciate for quickly viewing the page titles, meta descriptions, headlines etc. of a page is SEO META in 1 Click.
1.5. SEO plugins for content management systems
As with most content management systems, WordPress also has numerous plugins that make on-page search engine optimization easier. They are mainly used to spruce up the search results on Google and Co, of course for the users, so that they know which one to click in the list and for the search engine crawlers who want to find out which websites they find out for which search terms Order.
Many WordPress users use Yoast's SEO plugin because it has other useful features, but other plugins, such as Rank Math, certainly have their advantages. If you have not yet installed such a plugin in your backend, then you should do it quickly.
BUT: installing an SEO plugin doesn't do SEO, of course you have to use it correctly. I described in detail how this works in the article SEO with the SEO plugin from Yoast. So that you can decide whether you need the premium version of Yoast, I have made a comparison of the free version with the premium version of Yoast.
Last, but definitely not least:
1.6. Website optimization with Google Analytics
Of course, Google Analytics is not an SEO tool, but a web analysis tool. And you don't get any specific on-page optimization tips like with the tools mentioned above. But with this also free, very powerful tool, you get many valuable tips on how to optimize your website. If you haven't dealt with Google Analytics yet, you will find helpful tips on Google Analytics here on my blog.
2. Keyword research tools
And how do you find the right keywords so that you don't accidentally optimize texts for the wrong keywords, as described above? Make one Keyword researchto find out how consumers search for the products or services and formulate the texts accordingly.
The best way to proceed with keyword research can be found in the article Keyword Research Made Easy.
The first tool of choice is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. To do this, you have to sign up for Google Ads. When you log in, you use the e-mail address you would otherwise use to log in to other Google products. Also use Google autosuggest (the suggestions that appear when you enter the search term). Also use the related inquiries (at the end of the first search results page). Other keyword research tools:
- A meanwhile very popular keyword research tool Hypersuggest is only free in the basic version, but it still offers various evaluation options.
- One tool to find synonyms is openthesaurus
- With Ubersuggest, after registering for free, you can do 3 keyword researches per day and monitor 25 keywords for a website.
- KeywordTool.io positions itself as an alternative to the Google Ads Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest, here you can also register for free.
- AnswerThePublic is a very ingenious tool for keyword research and topic finding, but the free version only allows a certain number of queries.
- Alsoasked was a really great alternative to AnswerThePublic until recently, but is “under maintenance” at the time the article is published and will then be subject to a fee.
- One tool I like to use is thruuu. It is actually not a keyword research tool, but a so-called scraping tool that shows you the search results for each keyword with page titles, meta descriptions, headlines, etc. In this way you can find out who is in the league for your desired keyword and which formulations your competitors are using. To use the tool, you have to log in.
I am tempted to say that this or that tool is now unfortunately chargeable. But I find it completely legitimate that a tool creator first makes his tool available for free, has it extensively tested by the users and then offers a basic version with an upgrade option. There is also a lot of effort behind it.
3. Tools to review your texts
Now you have researched the keywords and written your text for the website with a lot of love. But of course writing has a lot of pitfalls (and I don't care about that;). Perhaps you wrote about something that is not that interesting for visitors to the website, perhaps you did not choose the right keywords or did not structure the text well enough? Various tools help to determine how things are going with your text. Readability analyzes are already included in many SEO tools.
- https://wortliga.de/textanalyse/ - Analyzes the text for legibility and shows, for example, sentences that are too long or passive constructions.
- http://www.blablameter.de/ - Entlavt Blabla in the text;). I actually think the tool is great, but I don't like linking to unsafe sites.
- https://www.seobility.net/de/wdf-idf-tool/ - this WDF-IDF tool compares your texts with those of the competitor websites and identifies important search terms that may still be missing from your text. The 10 best sites are listed for your chosen search term. This will give you an idea of what the yardstick is so that your text may make it onto the first page of Google. The page also explains in more detail what the WDF-IDF analysis is all about.
4. Keyword ranking tools
In order to determine whether you are familiar with the keywords you have chosen (which hopefully will also be searched for in the form), you have to use tools. It is pointless if you google yourself, because since the introduction of personalized search on Google, the search queries correspond to your personal user behavior. Of course, websites that you have searched for and visited beforehand are primarily displayed. So you need an independent one Keyword ranking tool. There are many, sometimes quite expensive, but extensive SEO tools such as Sistrix, Searchmetrics, SEOlytics etc., which are often not worth using for operators of smaller websites. Sistrix and Seobility offer a free starter version with which you get a very good impression of the condition of the website.
Other tools that analyze a few of the most important keywords you want to rank for are the following:
5. Backlink analysis tools
When generating backlinks, the most important thing is not to simply register your website in any web directory. Only the entry in thematically relevant portals is important (e.g. Jameda for doctors). Backlinks in the strict sense of the word are links with which related websites refer to your website because you add useful content to their content. They “mention” you, so to speak, and recommend you.
Obtaining these backlinks is not easy and can also be actively pursued. This is time-consuming, but worth the effort, because for Google it is still a sign of the value of your website. However, this only applies if these backlinks were not bought, for example, from link farms, but were generated hand-picked. To find out which websites refer to your own page, various tools help that provide an overview of the existing backlinks. But you have to know that no free tool really names all backlinks. But they are definitely enough for an insight.
- Backlink-Tool.org comes from the operators of SEObility GmbH and is a fine tool to analyze backlinks to your own site and anchor texts. I explain why this anchor text is important in the article about internal linking (even if the anchor text checker is about the anchor texts of the linking websites).
- To quickly check your own backlinks or those of other websites as well as anchor texts, the OpenLinkProfiler tool is also suitable.
- https://de.majesticseo.com/ After registering for free, you get an overview of the 10 most important backlinks. You have to upgrade to see more entries.
- A report on the links can also be found in the Google Search Console.
6. Snippet Generators
Snippet generators are tools for optimizing the display in the search results, i.e. adapting the page title and the meta description.
The following tool is highly recommended because it gives you a lot of tips on what you could still improve so that users really click on the search result:
7. Tools for evaluating mobile optimization
Not only since the Google Search Console sent all users an email that the Optimization for mobile devices now to Ranking factor it is important that websites are also easy to use for users of smartphones and tablets. The following tools can be used to test pages:
8. Tools for image optimization
Images should always be adjusted before uploading them to the content management system. They should be reduced to the appropriate size that is really needed and, in addition, all unnecessary (image) information should be removed without impairing the quality. You don't need Photoshop for this, you can also use small free tools such as paint.net or GIMP to zoom out. There are numerous online tools for compressing such as https://tinypng.com/ and desktop tools such as RIOT.
I find the following tool particularly interesting:
https://compressor.io/ - this tool compresses the images by up to 80% without any loss of quality. Images are always a stumbling block when it comes to loading times, so it is good to make sure that they are as small as possible, at least less than 100 kb, and even better even smaller.
The optimization of images is a ranking factor that should not be underestimated. More on this in the article Image SEO.
9. Speed measurement tools
The loading times of the website are a important SEO criterion become. No wonder, because Google assumes that slow websites cause high bounce rates because users get impatient. So Google won't show such a page as high in search results as other fast sites. With these tools you can test the performance of the website and you will get tips on what you can improve on your website in order to reduce the loading times:
In the Google Search Console you will find the report "Core Web Vitals" which deals with various measured values that can be problematic in terms of speed.
10. Conclusion: an SEO tool for all cases?
If the use of the many different tools is too laborious for you, you will have no choice but to use one of the many paid SEO tools. But these also have different approaches, so you should always test different tools.
Registering with the Google Search Console is a must, because this is where you get valuable insights (see also: SEO with the Search Console).
It is best to run your website through the various tools from time to time, especially if you update it often and have a blog.
I would be very happy to receive comments about which SEO tools you know, use and appreciate.
* Affiliate partner links
The original post is from June 2014 and is updated again and again, most recently in April 2021.
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