If you work at a digital agency, you use tools. If you’re in SEO, you use even more tools.
But there’s such an overwhelming amount of available SEO tools out there– do you ever feel like you’re missing out, or just not using the right ones?
In this post, I’m highlighting 31 valuable SEO tools, most of which are free or offer a free trial. To make it easier on you, I’ve broken each tool down by what it does, why it’s great, and who it’s good for.
After all, a site auditing tool may not help a link builder, and a rudimentary keyword research tool may not help a seasoned SEO.
Let’s get started.
1. Google Analytics
Whether it’s for your agency’s own website, or for your client’s website, you can’t function as a digital marketer or an SEO expert without Google Analytics.
What It Does: Google Analytics gives you a comprehensive overview of your website. You can view your traffic, the time users spend on each page of your site, track conversions, and view plenty of eCommerce related data, too. It shows you how people interact with your website.
Why It’s Great: Google is the world’s most-used search engine, and you can’t hope to achieve any notable search engine visibility without access to Google Analytics. Think of it as a series of in-depth, constantly-updated “medical” records for your website. When you know what’s wrong, you can diagnose and fix the problem. You can also learn from your previous mistakes. As long as you’re using the massive amount of data at your fingertips and basing good decisions from it, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Who It’s Good For: Google Analytics is essential for anyone who’s involved with the day-to-day operation of your website or your client’s websites. If you make decisions for any websites, you need access to Google Analytics.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is something everyone who even dabbles in SEO needs to have in their arsenal, at all times.
What It Does: This tool monitors keyword clicks, sitemaps, internal links, external links, and the indexing of your website. You can use the data how you please, and I wouldn’t recommend starting any SEO project without first consulting webmaster tools.
Why It’s Great: It’s a huge amount of data, all custom-tailored to your website. It allows you to make informed SEO decisions and track your progress over time.
Who It’s Good For: Every SEO, from beginner to advanced.
3. Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner, or AdWords Keyword Tool, is Google’s own keyword research product. It’s tailored toward paid search, but it’s helpful for finding profitable keywords in any niche.
What It Does: Google’s keyword tool shows you the number of local and global monthly searches for any given keyword, as well as how much competition you’ll face when you target those keywords.
Why It’s Great: SEO is all about knowing how to optimize your site for search traffic, and keyword planner helps you decide which pages to focus on and how to approach the optimization. It’s great for AdWords research, which should go without saying, but it’s also very helpful for general keyword research.
Who It’s Good For: This tool is good for anyone planning an SEO project from the ground up, or seeking to improve results for an existing campaign.
4. Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing is the world’s number three search engine, and Bing Webmaster Tools is its equivalent to Google’s own set of tools.
What It Does: It basically offers the same thing Google’s Webmaster Tools offer, but geared towards Bing, obviously.
Why It’s Great: People use Bing, believe it or not. If you’re only focusing on Google, you could be missing out on valuable web traffic and other opportunities.
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who’s serious about helping their clients attain maximum search engine visibility.
5. Open SEO Stats
The Open SEO Stats browser extension displays the Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Compete Rank and Quantcast Rank of any webpage you’re currently visiting, and has various other added goodies, too.
What It Does: This extension shows, through various ranking data, how established a website is. It also gives information on backlinks, indexed pages, social media, IP information, cached pages, and more.
Why It’s Great: This lean little extension offers a lot of data, including page speed. It’s not a one-stop-shop for SEO info, but it provides a great surface-level evaluation of any webpage you’re on. For link builders who manually analyze hundreds of pages per week, it’s a real time-saver.
Who It’s Good For: This plugin is great for link builders, technical SEOs, and anyone who’s learning their SEO basics.
6. Yoast SEO Plugin
If you’re running a WordPress website and don’t have SEO by Yoast installed, I recommend installing it immediately. Though technical SEOs may not need a plugin to optimize content on a given website, Yoast is very valuable for the average content creator or web administrator who doesn’t focus solely on SEO.
What It Does: The Yoast SEO plugin helps you easily optimize your content for search engines. It will help you with titles, meta descriptions, keyword density, readability, and much more.
Why It’s Great: Yoast’s plugin is popular because it’s easy to use. It’s not intimidating for newcomers, and it’s second nature for veterans. If your content team doesn’t know much about SEO, they can still optimize their content using this plugin. It will also teach them to think like an SEO expert as they create future content.
Who It’s Good For: This plugin is great for anyone who works in content, or anyone who regularly publishes content on their own website or a client’s website.
7. Open Site Explorer
Moz’s Open Site Explorer is one of the easiest ways to analyze any given website’s backlink profile. It’s also free with a basic Moz account, meaning it’s basically a no-brainer for any SEO or link builder.
What It Does: Open Site Explorer helps you monitor your own inbound links, but it can help you research your competitor’s links, as well. When you see where others are getting their links, you can find new link building opportunities.
Why It’s Great: Like all Moz products, OSE is extremely easy to use. Even if you don’t believe in competitor link research, OSE can help you find inbound links you never knew about. Simply put, it’s great for link data. There are more comprehensive tools on the market, but none of them are this streamlined or this free.
Who It’s Good For: All SEOs, link builders, and digital PR professionals.
If your clients care about Domain Authority at all, you need the Mozbar.
What It Does:. Moz’s free browser extension toolbar shows you any webpage’s Domain Authority and PageRank. You’ll get great metrics for any page, without filling out forms or leaving your current browser tab.
Why It’s Great: The Mozbar can also show link metrics, social metrics, and keywords for any given page. It’s a little powerhouse.
Who It’s Good For: I can’t imagine there are many SEOs or link builders who don’t consult their Mozbar at least periodically.
9. Moz Content
Moz Content helps you audit and analyze your content (or anyone else’s content) to make better decisions about how to serve your audience and spend your content resources.
What It Does: Moz Content shows you which pieces of content on your website are the most popular with your audience. It displays links, shares, visits, and pageviews.
Why It’s Great: With Moz Content, you can easily see what kind of content is resonating with your audience. It’s also great for competitor analysis. If you’re hurting for content ideas, why not run a competitor’s website through Moz Content? In my experience, it’s a versatile and underrated tool.
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who works with content.
SmallSEOTools is a great, streamlined little set of SEO tools.
What It Does: SmallSEOTools features a robust plagiarism checker that’s completely free. It also gives you quick keyword data, perform reverse image searches, and more. And, for all of the grey and black-hat SEOs out there, it has an article spinning tool. I haven’t personally used that function, so your mileage may vary.
Why It’s Great: It’s simple and sleek. If you’re in a rush and need to check for duplicate content, or grab some quick keyword data, this is a great tool to have in your back pocket.
Who It’s Good For: Any SEO who’s in a hurry.
HubSpot is the inbound marketing tool. It’s been very useful in my own agency work, and my own clients have also appreciated the software and what it’s done for them.
What It Does: Though it’s mainly geared toward inbound marketing, HubSpot is valuable for SEOs, as well. It’s great for analyzing traffic and conversions, and its keyword research tool is robust and reliable.
Why It’s Great: If any part of your duties include drilling down on your target audience and producing content that converts, HubSpot is more than worth the price. After all, what good is all of your SEO work if no one converts when they land on the website?
Who It’s Good For: HubSpot is somewhat pricey, so it may not make sense for very small agencies, or for agencies who only focus on SEO and link building. If you provide content, CRO, or inbound marketing services, HubSpot’s suite of tools will complement your work nicely.
12. HubSpot Website Grader
Website Grader, formerly known as HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a free tool that tells you how effective your marketing for any given website is. Enter your URL or your client’s URL, and you’ll be treated to a marketing score and over 30 data points.
What It Does: Website Grader will let you know how many of your pages are indexed by the search engines, how many backlinks you have, your Domain Authority, and how effective your social media is. It’s also helpful for figuring out which part of the sales funnel you may need to dedicate more content to. It provides plenty of SEO data, but it goes beyond that, too.
Why It’s Great: Website Grader gives you a score, but it also gives you actionable suggestions to help you improve that score. It links to resources, and breaks each piece of data down into points you can make a step-by-step plan out of. It gives suggestions on where you should focus your traffic, how often to produce content, and how many more inbound links you may need, for example.
Who It’s Good For: Any SEO or digital marketing professional of any skill level.
13. Broken Link Checker
Want to check for broken links on a certain page? Broken Link Checker is a quick, easy, and free solution for a fast broken link check.
What It Does: Broken Link Checker is a browser extension that highlights broken links in red and functioning links in green, making for an easy broken link evaluation on any page you’re currently visiting.
Why It’s Great: Broken Link Checker is quick and easy to understand. It’s good for people of any skill level, and it can help with your site, your client’s site, or link building efforts (via broken link building methods.) It is, however, not suited for auditing entire websites for broken links. It’s best when you need to check a page or two.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs and link builders.
14. NoFollow for Chrome/Firefox
What It Does: In the worlds of link building, digital PR, and SEO, agencies live or die by dofollow links. This extension easily shows you which links are which, and you can evaluate a site in mere moments.
Why It’s Great: When you have clients that don’t want any NoFollow links, this tool is a must. When you’re creating a link building strategy or designing a PR campaign, it’s also a must. There’s no better way to differentiate between nofollow and dofollow links. This extension is so engrained in my web browsing experience now that I’m surprised when I don’t see links highlighted in red.
Who It’s Good For: Any link builder, SEO, or digital PR professional.
15. Answer The Public
Answer the Public is a free tool that lies somewhere between a keyword research tool and a content ideation tool. It boasts a clever design, some nice data visualization options, and a stripped-down version for when you’re in a hurry.
What It Does: Enter your keyword into Answer the Public and you’ll be greeted with a ton of data. It’s great for finding long tail keywords for content, as it takes search data (what people are actually searching for) and pairs your keyword with prepositions such as ‘for,” “with,” “near,” “like,” and many others. If your keyword was “Gumby,” for example, the tool would suggest “Christmas with Gumby VHS.” It also shows suggestions for every letter of the alphabet.
Why It’s Great: If you need longtail keywords and content suggestions, this tool provides innovative suggestions you may not find anywhere else.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, content creators, PR professionals, anyone doing creative work.
16. Screaming Frog
From Screaming Frog’s website:
“The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler, that allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyse from an SEO perspective.”
There are both free, and premium versions of Screaming Frog’s SEO spider.
What It Does: Screaming Frog’s crawler allows you to analyze any website. It can help you find broken links, find duplicate content, create an XML sitemap, and audit metadata and titles for each page on the website.
Why It’s Great: There are other crawler/spider tools that can do many of these tasks, but Screaming Frog goes the extra mile once you upgrade it to premium. For your own site and your client’s sites, it can integrate with Google Analytics, so you can check out bounce rates, time on page, and other data. Whether you’re analyzing your site, a prospect’s site, or a competitor’s site, this tool is valuable for any serious SEO.
Who It’s Good For: Any SEO who performs site audits, advanced technical SEOs.
17. Cognitive SEO
Cognitive SEO isn’t just one tool. Rather, it’s an entire suite of tools that can perform a backlink analysis, content audit, and search engine ranking evaluation for any website. It can also help you detect any unnatural links pointing to your site– so you can avoid one of those nasty Google penalties.
What It Does: Cognitive SEO boasts a ton of features, which is why it’s not free. It can help you sift through content, backlinks, rankings, and many other factors so you can make more informed SEO and link building decisions. If you take the tour and decide it might fit your needs, they offer a free 14 day trial.
Why It’s Great: With Cognitive SEO, you can easily compare your client’s search engine rankings to their competitor’s search engine rankings. That’s helpful when you’re measuring your own success, and it makes a nice addition to your monthly reporting. One of Cognitive SEO’s more unique selling points is the way it presents its data– it highlights key intelligence points so you can figure out why your clients aren’t ranking the way you’d like them to.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, link builders, and content marketers.
Like Cognitive SEO, Raven also offers a full suite of tools. Raven Tools can do the things many other tools can do, like SEO audits and keyword rankings, but one of its main focuses is helping you generate easy, detailed reports for your clients.
What It Does: Raven can help you with keyword research and audit a website. It features over 20 tools, including social media tools, so you have plenty of data all on one platform. Its SEO auditor is also a free, standalone tool that doesn’t require you to purchase the rest of the platform.
Why It’s Great: With Raven, it’s all in the reporting. If you dread creating monthly reports, or if you just want to provide better, more detailed reports, this software is worth a look. If you’re on the fence, they offer a 30-day free trial.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, social media specialists, campaign managers, anyone who deals directly with clients.
19. URL Profiler
Upon first glance, URL Profiler might look basic. The interface is bare-bones, but the tool is powerful. It can perform site audits, help with link prospecting, find contact data and social media accounts for most any website, and much more.
What It Does: Rather than “what does it do,” the better question may be “what doesn’t it do?” If you’re looking for data on any website, URL Profiler can probably provide that data. Check out its extensive list of features here.
Why It’s Great: If you’re prospecting sites for a link building campaign, URL Profiler can help you out. If you need to audit your own content, it’s got you covered. It can help you find elusive contact information, check for duplicate content, make sure your robots.txt is in line, display social shares, perform an in-depth SEO audit on any site, and much, much more. If you can think it, URL Profiler can probably achieve it. It’s also very inexpensive.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, people who love data, link builders, digital marketers, PR professionals.
BuzzStream hosts an impressive array of tools, but I want to discuss their free tools, because I feel they’re underrated. BuzzStream’s free tools can generate link building search queries, compose email outreach for an entire blogroll, and extract a list of links from any webpage.
What It Does: BuzzStream’s free tools are great for link builders. If you feel like you’ve reached the end of the internet and have no more ideas for search queries, their tools can help you. If you’re trying to manually look around a big resources page to see what kind of sites they link to, Buzz/Stream can streamline the process.
Why It’s Great: BuzzStream’s free tools are unique. Their paid tools are high-performing as well, and they’re great for any link builder. But if you’re a link builder who finds yourself sometimes hitting a wall, BuzzStream may be able to ease your frustration.
Who It’s Good For: Link builders, outreach specialists, PR professionals.
21 A. BuzzSumo
*Both BuzzSumo and NinjaOutreach provide valuable tools, and we couldn’t decide on just one, so both made the list.
BuzzSumo is a tool that reports on which topics are trending, shows the content devoted to that topic with the most shares and links, and tells you who the biggest digital influencers are in any given niche.
What It Does: You can type any topic, keyword, or anything else, into BuzzSumo, and it will show you what kind of content is performing well. You can also use it to find influencers to connect with, or to share your content with.
Why It’s Great: For a content marketer, BuzzSumo is a blessing. If you’re putting a content strategy together, this tool can show you what’s already working well in your niche. If you’re out of ideas for content, it can help you there, too. If you’re looking to put an outreach list together to promote a new piece of content, BuzzSumo is extremely helpful, as well.
Who It’s Good For: Content marketers, digital strategists, link builders, and PR professionals.
21 B. NinjaOutreach
NinjaOutreach is a tool for all online marketers. It’s an all-in-one influencer prospecting and outreach solution for marketers with useful tools to help speed up your entire outreach effort. Some highlights include link building, lead generation, influencer prospecting, and email campaign outreach.
What it Does: It is a comprehensive tool for outreach campaigns and link builders. You can do all your outreach efforts within the same tool, including customizable templates.
Why It’s Great: The NinjaOutreach search tool is incredibly expansive with influencers/bloggers from whatever niche you can think of. Just enter a keyword and you’ll get a list of the most shared, followed, or tagged influencers you can contact for potential link building opportunities. You can also import a list of websites and it will crawl for SEO metrics, social analytics, and contact info.
Who It’s Good For: Bloggers, start-ups, small businesses, digital marketers, or large agencies.
GTmetrix is a tool that can test any page’s loading speed and tell you how to fix any problems you may have. Since pagespeed is one of Google’s search engine ranking factors, quick load times are more important than ever. And, as more and more people view the web from mobile devices, it’s going to remain important for a long time.
What It Does: GTmetrix can test the speed of any webpage, diagnose any problems, and give you suggestions on how to improve your load times.
Why It’s Great: GTmetrix is thorough, but it’s not impenetrable. Some pagespeed tools don’t make any sense to those of us who aren’t wizened technical web wizards. GTmetrix, on the other hand, speaks in plain language that most savvy agency folks will understand.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, web designers, web developers, consultants.
23. Web Developer Toolbar
When you’re doing an SEO audit on any given webpage, sometimes things get in the way. And sometimes you don’t want to run the page through a separate program, tab back to your spreadsheet, and repeat the process an infinite amount of times. Web Developer Toolbar for Chrome and Firefox allows you to do some heavy SEO auditing right from your current browser tab.
Why It’s Great: This browser extension isn’t just for web developers. It can help you perform a successful, accurate SEO audit without opening a dozen programs and browser tabs. And that counts for a lot.
Who It’s Good For: Technical SEOs
Keywordtool.io is a freemium keyword research tool. You can input any query,give you plenty of keyword suggestions based based on the autocomplete features of Google, Bing, YouTube, or even mobile app searches.
What It Does: This tool will give you a ton of keyword suggestions, and many of them are so low volume they won’t show up in Google’s Keyword Planner tool. If you need more than a few keywords and don’t have a good keyword research tool as part of another tool platform, this one comes highly recommended. Though if you need more than 750 queries, you’ll need the premium version.
Why It’s Great: Keywordtool.io will help you find keywords you never even thought of. It’s great for targeting long tail searches, which is something many standard keyword research tools don’t do very well.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, digital marketers, link builders.
Are you looking to see whether working with a certain website, posting content to a certain website, or obtaining a link from a certain website is worth your time? Look no further than SimilarWeb.
What It Does: Enter any website, and SimilarWeb will show you its global ranking, national ranking, monthly traffic, and various social metrics.
Why It’s Great: SimilarWeb makes content marketing and link building easy. If you actually want to get traffic from a guest post, SimilarWeb can help tell you how likely that is. It can also show you where that traffic comes from, and if that traffic has increased or declined over time. It also allows you to add multiple websites to a query, so you can analyze your client’s competition. It’s hard to believe a tool this robust is (mostly) free.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, PR professionals, link builders, digital marketers.
26. Schema Creator
Schema markup is pretty foreign to those of us who aren’t technical SEOs, but it doesn’t have to be with Schema Creator on hand.
What It Does: Schema Creator allows you to customize how your website and various pages appear in the search results. You can show your events, people, products, and even reviews (I knew there was a reason I liked it) in most Google searches without going to SEO magician school full-time.
Why It’s Great: Once you’ve customized your schema markup, Schema Creator gives you the code to add to your website. Or, if you prefer an even easier route, you can use the Schema Creator WordPress plugin.
Who It’s Good For: Technical SEOs, wannabe technical SEOs.
27. SERPs Rank Checker
With SERPs Rank Checker, you can see how your client’s site is ranking for their targeted keywords.
See where your site ranks for certain terms
You can run Rank Checker one of two ways: Input your keyword and your website and see where you land, or leave the website field blank to view the top-to-bottom list of results for a keyword
What It Does: SERPs Rank Checker simply checks the search engine results pages and gives you the data. You can either input a website and its corresponding keyword to see how it’s ranking, or input the keyword by itself to see a list of ranked results.
Why It’s Great: This tool is great for reporting and measuring your progress. It’s easy to use and more practical than manually inputting several Google searches to check search rankings.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, inbound marketers, link builders, digital marketers, PR professionals.
28. Remove’em Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool
Worried that you’ve abused anchor text in a past link building campaign? It’s the Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool to the rescue!
What It Does: Though the tool’s full name is a mouthful, it’s a good first line of defense against a Google penalty. It will show you the anchor text diversity for any site or page, and highlight any keywords that are potentially over optimized.
Why It’s Great: You can use various other tools that show link data and anchor text for this task, but Anchor Text Over Optimization tool makes the process quick and easy.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, link builders.
29. Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML
If you post a lot of content to your own site or publish posts from guest authors, you probably know it’s a pain to format everything properly so it shows up how you want it to display. WordPress is fantastic, but it doesn’t always deal well with different document formats.
What It Does: Simply put, the Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML tool does just that. It will take any Word doc and spit out clean, sparkling HTML for you to use as you please.
Why It’s Great: This tool takes the pain out of formatting posts for web publishing. Isn’t that enough?
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who works with content, webmasters, blog administrators.
30. Robots.txt Checker
How many times have you had a client wonder why they’re not ranking, only to find their robots.txt file contains “noindex” or “disallow?” It can happen to anyone, really. I remember it happened to me the first week I launched RevenueJump. I caught it quickly, but have some SEO experience. Your clients probably don’t.
What It Does: The Robots.txt checker combs through any website’s robots.txt file to check for crawling issues.
Why It’s Great: It’s good to check through any new client’s website’s robots.txt file, if only to save both you and the client some embarrassment in the future.
Who It’s Good For: SEOs, campaign managers, webmasters.
From Ontolo’s website: “Crawl, Parse, and Analyze Millions of Web Pages, at a Rate of over 250,000 URLs per Minute, in Your Own, Custom Search Engine.”
What It Does: This is the most heavy duty link prospecting tool on the market. It analyzes thousands of web pages per minute, and that data can be used for any number of purposes. It’s great for market research, link building, or anything your data-hungry mind can come up with.
Why It’s Great: If you’re working with hundreds of thousands of webpages on a large scale, in any capacity, Ontolo is the perfect tool for the job.
Who It’s Good For: Digital marketers, SEOs, link builders, researchers, PR professionals.
Did we miss any tools you’re currently using? Let us know in the comments and we may just update the list!
Thank for reading!