SEO doesn’t have to be complicated or super expensive! If you’re just getting started with SEO or are on a budget, you don’t have to buy a lot of expensive tools. I have 9 free SEO tools for businesses to help you with your SEO strategy and start ranking higher in Google!
9 Easy-to-Use & Free SEO Tools for Small Businesses
Let’s start with the Google tools! Most people I work with already have Google Analytics set up, but if you don’t, I definitely recommend getting it set up today since it doesn’t track back data.
Google Analytics is important for SEO as well as your entire strategy for your business. You can see where your audience is, how long they’re staying on your site, which pages they’re visiting, and it can be broken down by how they’re accessing your site. So you can compare how long people are visiting your site from Facebook vs. Pinterest to help you create a stronger social media strategy.
Google Analytics is really important for user experience, too. You can see which pages and posts are the most popular to see if people are being directed where you want them to go, and you can see if people are being directed after they read a blog post or if they leave your site immediately.
There is too much to say about Google Analytics in this blog post, but trust me when I say it’s one of the best social media AND free SEO tools for businesses! Get it set up today and start digging into the data to see if your current website strategy is working.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is different from Google Analytics, and if you have Google Analytics but not Google Search Console, don’t worry, almost none of my clients have Google Search Console so you’re not alone! But it’s an AMAZING tool to assess your SEO strategy.
It’s similar to Google Analytics, but it only focuses on traffic you get from Google and how Google is crawling and indexing your site (or if it isn’t indexing your site). My favorite thing about Google Search Console is that it shows you all the keywords that you’re ranking for and that are bringing people to your site! You can also see which keywords you’re ranking for that AREN’T getting clicks, so you might need to rethink your keyword strategy or improve your title tags and meta descriptions to drive more traffic.
Google Search Console will also show you if there are any errors on your site or if there are pages that Google isn’t able to index and rank. I went over all this in detail on my recent post 5 Easy Google Search Console Tips for Small Businesses, which I recommend reading because surprisingly, not all indexing errors are bad!
So if you don’t have Google Search Console set up, go ahead and do that today so you can see what you’re ranking for to help your SEO strategy.
Google My Business
Google My Business is NOT just for local businesses! I serve clients all over the world, and I have a Google My Business page set up and I set them up for all my clients, no matter what type of business they have. Google My Business is helpful for local businesses because you can have your address show up on a map when people are searching in their area, but it’s helpful for any type of business (and no, you don’t need to make your address public to the world if you don’t want to).
Google My Business is basically a screenshot of your business to help both your Google My Business AND your website ranking higher, and it will drive more traffic to your site. It gives Google more information on your business and the services you offer, and you can show off your work with photos. And maybe the most important thing is the reviews!
Getting good reviews (and replying to them) shows Google that you’re an active business that customers enjoy working with or shopping at. And beyond ranking in Google, if someone is referred to your business and they Google your business, if you have lots of raving reviews, they’re going to see that and trust your business more! So no matter what type of business you have, I recommend having a Google My Business page.
Screaming Frog is a free SEO tool to give you an overview of your site links and to check to see if anything is broken or if any redirects aren’t set up properly. It’s free up to 500 links, so it’s a great tool if you have a smaller site without a ton of photos!
Screaming Frog will also let you know if pages have tags that are preventing them from being properly indexed. I recently did an audit for a business, and Screaming Frog found that almost all of their pages had canonical tags, which was affecting their rankings. You can also check things like duplicate content, meta data, and just see your site architecture.
So Screaming Frog is a great free SEO tool to check out your site links!
Keysearch does have a paid plan (at $17/month, it’s one of the most affordable paid keyword research tools!), but you can get some free searches every day. I think Keysearch is one of the best keyword research tools to give you great data without overwhelming you!
Keysearch will show you search trends throughout the year, what the competition is, the monthly search volume, and it will give you suggestions for related keywords that aren’t as competitive. You can also save searches and compare keyword data. Keyword research is an important part of an SEO strategy, and Keysearch makes it easy!
If you need help getting started with keyword research, check out my posts Keywords 101: How to Use Keywords for SEO Optimization and Tips for Keyword Research: Where to Find Keywords to Rank For.
Ubersuggest is very similar to Keysearch, and you can also get some free searches (their lowest paid plan is $29/month). It gives similar information to Keysearch, and the layout is a little different. I think both tools are good, so it’s up to personal preference! You can also use both tools to compare data because you usually get slightly different information from any keyword research tool.
GTmetrix is an awesome free page speed website! Having a fast site is important for user experience and to help your site rank better, and these are a few reasons why:
- If your site is too slow, people aren’t going to stick around and wait for it to load, so they might leave after a few seconds. Google is going to see that people aren’t waiting for your website to load, so it looks like people don’t like your site. Google wants to show searchers the best of the best, so if people don’t stick around your site, it’s showing Google that your site isn’t the best.
- It’s bad for user experience. Do you really want to stay on a site that takes 10 seconds to load a single page? Probably not. Again, Google wants to rank the best sites the highest, and if your site isn’t set up for the best user experience, they don’t want to show it to users.
- Google might not be able to crawl your whole site. If your site is really slow or if there is a lot going on on the backend of your site, Google might not be able to read and rank everything. Every site has an allotted crawl time, so if your site is slow and you have a lot of content, Google might not be able to read everything, and what they can’t crawl won’t be ranked.
If your site is slow, GTmetrix will help you figure out how to speed up your site!
Pagespeed Insights is another great free page speed tool! It’s run by Google, so they know what they’re talking about. It will give you similar information as GTmetrix, but it has a different format and scoring system. It also lets you compare your desktop speed and your mobile speed (which is becoming more and more important), so I recommend comparing your speed in GTmetrix and Pagespeed Insights.
Yoast is only available if you’re on WordPress (or on Showit with WordPress), but it’s a helpful SEO tool! It has a checklist for letting you know what to improve for your blog posts and pages, and you can easily set your title tags and meta descriptions with the right length.
I will say, as much as I love Yoast, don’t rely on it too much! I’ve seen people get too focused on getting the “green lights” in Yoast and forget to focus on creating great content. Yoast also doesn’t recognize keyword variations, so it might tell you that you haven’t used your keyword enough times, even if you have. So just remember that Google is smarter than Yoast!
You may have noticed that there isn’t an “all-in-one” audit tool on the list. The good ones certainly aren’t cheap, and the free ones that I’ve seen aren’t the best. One of my clients used a free audit tool before we started working together, and it told her that her meta descriptions were “great” just because they were a good length. But her meta descriptions were just pulling words from her menu bar, and she was missing out on telling viewers about her business! So I don’t think the free audit tools are worth it, but let me know if you find one that actually does a good job.
But aside from an audit tool, these are the top free seo tools for businesses that will help you improve your site and start ranking higher in Google! And if you need help with your site, check out my SEO audit and optimization services to see how we can work together to reach your ideal clients through Google 🙂
So helpful! I want to learn more about Google CONSOLE!
I have a whole blog post on Google Search Console if you need more tips! 🙂 It’s such an amazing tool!
This is a great post Julia! Totally going to add my business to Google My Business. Thank you for sharing.
Yay, that’s what I like to hear! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions as you get it set up!