30 Essential (& Free) SEO Tools to Boost Your Website
This post was last updated on September 2nd, 2022.
As a small business owner you probably know that doing it all on your own is no small feat. Creating a website is the easy part. But you still need to work on getting your site out there while running your business. Search engine optimization (SEO) will allow you to attract a more targeted audience and bring more people to your site. Think about it this way: most of your prospective customers are trying to find your product or service on Google. If you don’t appear among the first results, your website may get lost in the abyss of the web.
So, how do you give your website more SEO mojo? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go at it alone. First of all, you may want to read up on some top SEO tips and current SEO trends to brush up on your SEO knowledge.
You can also check out the Wix SEO hub for some great resources.
From finding keywords to measuring your organic traffic, we’ve rounded up the best free SEO tools to get you started with your marketing strategies:
Tech SEO tools
01. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service brought to you by Google. It’s a key tool any website owner should check out if they want to get serious about their SEO. Once you claim ownership, you’ll get access to a whole array of features that can help optimize your website, such as crawl reports, ability to submit a sitemap, and more.
The juicy stuff happens in the ‘Search Traffic’ section. Click on ‘Search Analytics’ to find the top queries and pages that are getting the most clicks from Google. That’s valuable info right there, as once you understand which keywords you’re ranking for, you can focus on optimizing those pages or you can create new pages to cater to those search terms, and get even more traffic.
Super easy to connect to and use
An insightful way to figure out what's working on your site organically or not
02. Bing Webmaster Tools
Like Google Search Console, Bing gives you an incredible amount of information about how users are discovering your content. From it you can check your sitemap activity, structured data implementation, review backlinks, and carry out a site health check and more.
Bing Webmaster Tools is an immensely helpful tool because even if Microsoft’s Search Engine does not account for a significant amount of your search traffic, it's a major search engine serving millions of users. This means that it is one of the only resources for benchmarking Google’s field data for how your site is crawled.
If you see a big change in your Google rankings you can check your activity in Bing webmaster tools as well. If your page has been impacted by a Google Algorithm update you may only see a ranking change in Google. But if there is a technical issue, you will see the change on Bing as well.
Combine ranking and technical insights for the full picture
Make the connections between ranking changes and technical issues on your site
03. Screaming Frog
An SEO staple, Screaming Frog is a powerful spidering tool that replicates how Google crawls the different elements of your site. Screaming Frog is incredibly useful for SEO audit benchmarking and is often used to verify issues that have shown up in other tools. Issues with your canonical tags, for example.
On the free plan you can crawl up to 500 URLs which is a great place to start.
The UX is very similar to spreadsheet so it’s easy to extract lists of URLs, meta descriptions, page word counts and image locations and more.
You can do a lot, even with the free plan
Great for SEO audits - both for long term planning, and day to day fixes
Use to improve your content and technical issues
04. Chrome DevTools
The toolset that is available within Chrome DevTools is fairly extensive. For single page audits here are just a few of the insights you can get:
Server response codes
Web performance waterfalls
Web accessibility report
SSL certificate chains
The list goes on and on.
To access to Chrome DevTools, simply right click inspect on any page of your site and start exploring. It essentially allows you to turn the browser into an SEO tool for your website performance efforts so it is well worth introducing yourself to this collection of tools.
Easy to access and free - right from your browser
Provides a huge amount of insights, many of which include steps to take for technical site fixes
Analytics SEO tools
05. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a platform used to analyze your website’s traffic. It enables you to track all sorts of info about your site such as, how visitors arrived on your site, how many people visit a specific page or how much time they spend viewing it. Knowing how your website gets its traffic will help you produce better content for your audience, which in turn will have a positive impact on your SEO.
Google Analytics might seem a bit technical at first, but it’s actually very intuitive. Check this out to discover everything you need to know about how to use Google analytics.
Just be aware that Universal Analytics is on its way out, and has an execution date of June 2023 - which is when Google's new analytics platform, GA4 takes over.
You can track traffic and behavioral metrics from one platform
Full view of all your traffic sources
Track campaigns - paid, social, organic
06. Wix Analytics
There is a wealth of data to be gleamed from Wix Analytics. From bot log reports to new user page views, this information that comes directly from your CMS, without relying on third party data can provide valuable insights on how to increase traffic to your site, and its overall performance.
Every analytics system will have unique metrics for measuring activity, so comparing the data from within your CMS to that from your supporting analytics tools can give you a well rounded picture of your site's activity.
Integrated into every Wix site created
Your data, not third party data for better clarity and accurate insights
SEO Chrome Extensions
07. Moz Toolbar
This handy toolbar is an essential SEO tool to get really good insights about any website, including your own. It analyses the competitiveness of a domain by giving it a score (1 to 100) called Domain Authority (DA). The score is calculated using various metrics.
You can use the extension when trying to figure out if you’ll be able to rank with your content or if it’s too competitive. How? Check your own domain authority score, and compare it to those that appear on the search results for your keywords. If the score of the pages that appear is around the same range, then your chances of ranking will be better. Aside from this, you can go into full nerd analysis mode and check all sorts of other information about a site such as: on-page elements, including title and description, headlines, and amount of characters for each element.
Great for understanding the competitiveness of your website now
Also a good way to understand how much domain authority you have to build
Don't waste time competing where your site doesn't have the DA to yet
08. View Rendered Source
This Chrome extension helps to understand the difference between 'rendering content' and 'information is rendering' as your content loads. So this can help you to understand the difference between what GoogleBot is seeing as if connects to your server (including during Server Side Rendering) and what content is being rendered by the users browsers as the page loads.
If there are differences, between what is on the client side source code and the raw code, then it's not necessarily an issue - in fact the default SSR used for Wix helps optimize sites for speed and SEO. But if you are auditing a site and you are not sure if they are using SSR, this is a great way to check.
Easily check if a site is using SSR - a natural win for great website performance
09. SEO Pro Chrome Extension
The SEO Pro Chrome extension from Kristina Azarenko of Marketing Syrup is a Chrome extension, which allows you to see a number of different SEO Elements within your browser. By adding the Chrome extension you can see things like the page title, the page description, headers, image file locations, parsable structured data, meta robots tags for the page that you're viewing. You can also get information on core web vitals. Additionally there are links to your sitemap links to robots.txt files and page status codes.
Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications at Wix uses this tool to get a quick page by page assessment of assessment of SEO implementation for on-page formatting. It's also great for validating client side rendered structured data.
Understand quickly how well optimized your web pages are for SEO on-page best practices
Know where you need to improve your on-page efforts
Also fills in the pieces of your technical SEO health
Mobile first optimization SEO tools
10. The SERPerator
The SERParator is a tool from Cindy Krum SEO expert and CEO of mobile focused agency Mobile Moxie. It's a tool that allows you to compare the SERP in a country or even a city that you're not currently in. Normally your device would give Google results based on where you are in the world. The SERParator allows you to see what your SERP or what any SERP looks like from different locations.
So if you were in Japan, you could see the difference between what the search results look like in Tokyo or London for instance. And this is something that is of great value for teams working across multiple regions and geos.
Can be used for free up to three times a day
Provides desktop and mobile comparisons
This means insights into how to make your content more visible for mobile users
11. Mobile Friendly Test
Users are on mobile more than ever more - this test helps make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices
12. Mobile Moxie Mobile Page Test
Also from Mobile Moxie, there is a great tool for mobile page testing called the Page-o-scope. This allows you to test the visibility of your web page - what it looks like on over 50 devices. To use it you would enter your URL and then choose the device. This allows you to compare to desktop while letting you see exactly what your content looks like on the device chosen.
When it is on mobile, this can be really important when you're trying to understand CRO or when you're trying to understand how your pages are being seen by most clients and most customers that are visiting your site. You can then compare this to the data in Google analytics, where you can see the kinds of devices that are visiting your site.
It can help you to prioritize design, or other technical changes that you should make, including what content should be placed above the fold.
Eliminate manual mobile page testing - this tool shows you exactly how your page looks on mobile, allowing you to make the changes necessary for mobile users to have their best experience on their site
Trending topics tools
G-Trendalyser is a tool that allows you to identify keywords from current trends within Google trends. So for instance, if you were to enter the query Beyonce you could then modify the search by US state or country. You can then see the kinds of queries that people are making around those topics right now.
This is a topical example - but in July 2022 Beyonce released a new album, this has led to a lot of trending in searches related to Beyonce and her music. If writing content about Beyonce was part of your strategy, understanding trending topics in the now would help you plan content to use this traction for your organic growth.
Understand content that will perform well for news related content and new, emerging terms
14. Question Hub
Google Question Hub is a tool that provides a series of questions, which are not answered on Google search results. It uses aggregated data from search results to provide content recommendations. Google explains that the tool is “designed to identify contact content gaps online” which can be instrumental in making SEO gains. So the way that it works is that you would go to Google Question Hub and you would be able to enter some content to find out what information is and is not currently available online.
Currently only available in the United States, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria, they're going to be expanding it to other areas soon.
Identify content gaps online
Get ahead of even search engines with new content around existing and new topics
15. Google Trends
Google Trends allows you to track multiple topics across different regions. You can compare topics to see where people are talking about certain phrases in conjunction with one another and filter by region. This is useful for creating content that aligns with current affairs.
Google's own data
Keep eyes on multiple topics
Gain insights from multiple regions
Stay on top of trends, and write content that targets trends by region
Keyword research SEO tools
16. Keywords Everywhere
This cool Chrome extension will make it seem like you’ve got a sixth sense for seeing keywords. They will start popping up in all sorts of places such as Google search results and Google Trends.
How does the extension work? It essentially gives you the ‘global’ (not geographically specific) search volume of keywords that appear on pages. The search volume, which is the amount of average monthly searches, lets you know how popular search terms are. And the higher the number, the better your chance of more people potentially finding your website or blog’s content on Google. Be careful though, as higher also means more competitive. If you’re a photographer, the search term ‘photography’ may have a high search volume, but it would be too difficult to rank for.
Quick keyword volume check made easy
17. Also Asked
Google’s People Also Ask section of the SERP provides an incredible resource for keywords, blog topics and segmentation that is useful for creating and improving content. Also Asked is a freemium tool that allows you to access this information in a program-attic way. So for a single query, you can have a look at which PAA questions are initially created, and then see in a tree diagram for which questions are created after that and after that.
Great for featured snippet optimization
Best used to refresh legacy content in line with new search intent
18. Semrush Keywords Magic Tool
Though there are paid options, you can do a lot with a free account on Semrush, including researching keywords. With a free account, you can access the Keyword Magic tool to see ranking terms and more.
Semrush is a reputable SEO tool - easy to use for beginners and pros alike
Even with a free account there's a lot of keyword research you can do
Cross channel tools for SEO
19. Wix QR Code Generator
So this free QR Code Creator from Wix might not initially seem like an SEO tool but one of the great things about QR codes is that they allow you to unify real-world experiences with SEO or with website pages seamlessly, helping to make sense of the messy middle.
From an SEO perspective, these codes can allow users to discover content within deep links and to reveal content that is highly targeted to the user.
Users who discover content via QR codes are likely to search for that content again, tell people about it and to come back to that content via organic. So having QR codes available to your users will help your site or app SEO in the long term. And being able to create QR codes really simply, and easily can help you to increase the performance of print, experiential marketing and your digital activity overall.
Makes QR codes easy to create and use, for all sorts of purposes
Utilize QR codes for your SEO, and marketing efforts in general by increasing referral traffic and shares
20. Google.com in Incognito
Using the incognito option in your Chrome browser makes you feel like a detective on CSI. But actually, it’s one of the greatest ways to get Google’s unbiased results page.
When you use Google Chrome to surf the Net, you’re probably signed in with your personal email and you don’t regularly clear your browsing history or cookies. This means that Google knows a lot about you and your preferences.
So when you open an incognito window, and you ‘Google’ something, it’s like browsing on a clean slate. This way you’ll get access to the impartial results, and you’ll be able to better suss out your competition. By searching ‘incognito’ you can check out the content that is currently ranking and understand if there is anything you can do to create something that is more complete, or more valuable to searchers.
Free and easy to use, right from your browser
Search results in real time
Accurate search results free from your cookies and preferences
Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications at Wix, insists on adding Zapier here because she uses it all the time - whether it's for collecting SEO reporting data or for automating content distribution where possible.
Zapier is the middle-ware. It allows you to switch the functionality of one API to another. For instance you can use Zapier to send information from your websites RSS onto social media, automatically. This can allow you to automatically share blog posts as social posts, without too much effort on your part.
Automate content sharing
Connect project management calendars for content creation and distribution
SEO for social media
Created by Rand Fishin and Amanda Natividad, Sparktoro has a suite of tools to help you understand you understand the potential reach of social media partnerships and platforms across audiences.
For SEOs this can be helpful in identifying potential partners for collaborations, link building, outreach and audience research.
Stay on top of your social distribution
Identify partners for content and link sharing collaboration
Audience and intent research, beyond SERP and competitor analysis
23. Wix Social Share Preview
Within your Wix CMS, you have a few ways to preview and modify your social shares settings. Your site will uses system defaults to create Open Graph (OG) tags for the content you share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. The settings are also open to be tailored for single pages or in bulk:
With the Wix Editor you can update single page settings in the social shares panel, for general OG tags and for Twitter cards as well.
In the Wix Manager, under SEO Settings you can make bulk updates to social sharing cards based on dynamic variables for each of your page types.
Integrated into your Wix site - easy to use
Automate social shares
Build your SEO with social shares, and the signals these send to boost your site's authority in search
24. Social Share Debugging
Have you ever shared a post on Facebook and been confused about why the photo that was showing on the preview was different from what you could see on the page?
Many of the major social sharing platforms have tools to help you understand where and when you have an error so that you can improve it.
To use these tools, you simply need to copy and paste the URL for the page as a question in search, and you will get a how to on how the social platform is parsing the information. You can use this information to make improvements that will help your social performance and your SEO.
The most relevant social share testing tools are:
identify errors with your social shares quickly - fix them before you harm your online brand reputation
Buzzsumo is a great tool to find out how well your content performs on all social media channels. How does it work? You enter the web address of a piece of content, and it shows you how many shares you’ve got on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Linkedin.
You might think to yourself, “What does this have to do with my SEO?” You’re right, the links that you get from social media channels don’t have the same power as the links from external websites. But they do help bring more traffic to your site, and more traffic is awesome for SEO. In addition, if many readers share a certain piece of content, it means that they’ve enjoyed it and spent more time on your site. Again, a great SEO boost. Public notice: do not underestimate the power of social media.
Understand how well your content performs on social media - and tweak it accordingly
Helps you remember that social media should not be underestimated, even if you're pursuing a strong SEO strategy
Image SEO tools
26. Wix Image Resizer
The Wix image resizer tool allows you to upload and resize image files and then download them in JPEG, PNG, or gif formats. This is something that will help you with your image search optimizations.
It can also help contribute to better performance with regards to page load and Core Web Vital by marking sure that your images are the right size for your mobile and desktop visitors. This in turn can also help with CRO and overall page experience.
Put website performance and user experience first
Quickly and easily resize images
Google's Image search is an incredibly valuable part of the search experience. But how do you make images for businesses without many photos? What about team's who are working in less image heavy sectors, like law or finance? For these sectors, Canva can be an invaluable SEO asset for data visualization and story telling. Some of the most effective SEO opportunities in Canva come from the ability to use templates and resource to quickly create:
Eye catching charts and diagrams
Image cards for testimonials
Create resources, including media elements that might help your page rank in search even without a huge image bank. Great for DIY SEO and more advanced strategies.
For Crystal Carter Head of SEO Communications at Wix, "Creating images and data visualizations using these tools can help you to increase visibility in Google image search and help you to gain ground with featured snippets."
Recommend by Google, this is a drag and drop tool for reducing the file size of your images. This tool can also be used to save your images in modern file formats like Webp.
Make use of modern file formats that prioritize website performance
NLP & Entity SEO Tools
29. Knowledge Graph Checker
Developed by Carl Hendy and utilizing Google’s Knowledge Graph API, this is a great research tool for understanding, utilizing and researching entities on Google’s Knowledge Graph. This information can help you to better manage your E-A-T and can support entity recognition in visual search.
Discover unclaimed knowledge panels on search
Identify visual search opportunities
30. Text Razor Demo Tool
If your are new to entity SEO, then Text Razor’s Demo tool is a great place to start. Simply paste your content into their tool and they will assess the entity relationships within your copy. This information can help you to see how NLP tools are interpreting your content before you publish it.
When working with clients this is a great asset to help you to show content improvements. You can test the content before you add keywords or entities and then compare the scores that you see after. This adds an additional layer of value to your SEO recommendations and helps you to produce more effective content.
Great for content optimization based on our understanding of entities and Google's use of NLP
Wix SEO settings
We can’t help but be biased, but this free tool is like a one stop shop of SEO tools. It basically has everything you need all in one place. After answering some simple questions, Wiz analyzes in a few minutes the SEO state of your website, and automatically issues a personalized plan with simple steps to improve your Google ranking.
Everything is covered by this user-friendly tool, from writing the optimal SEO titles and descriptions to filling in your image alt text. Plus, if you’ve got a personalized domain, you can easily connect your website to Google and get indexed in just a click. It’s so good, even our friends at Google are talking about it:
“For the Wix users, this [Wix SEO] is a pretty cool experience because they can see their page in the search results immediately after they have created it. There is no waiting, there is no wondering, ‘Am I on search or not?’ Within seconds, they’re on Google.” said Mariya Moeva.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
What is the best free SEO tool?
This really depends on what specific part of SEO you want to use it for. It also depends on whether you're a beginner or more advanced SEO. Start with the Google tools like Google Search Console, then pick. strong keyword research tool, then opt for a tracking tool, followed by something that will help you improve your technical SEO.
What's a simple SEO tool?
This will depend on your level of understanding of SEO, but Google Search Console is intuitive to use and is a great place to start when trying to understand your site's performance on Google. Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush, come with lots of features, but if you start with the basics they can be simple to use and great for both initial DIY SEO efforts and more advanced strategies.
What are some free SEO tools from Google?
Google Search Console, Google Analytics and GA4 (paid versions also exist). Lighthouse and Page Speed Insights are also free. Google Trends is another free SEO tool. If you run paid campaigns on Google you can also use their Keyword Planner for free.
By Crystal Carter Head of SEO Communications, Wix
By Rebecca Tomasis Organic Growth Expert