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6 Indispensable Free & Freemium SEO Tools

When you are working on search engine optimization for your own business or for a client’s website, you will need some great SEO tools. If you have the budget, you can certainly pay for the best SEO tools the Internet has to offer, but if you don’t, then free and freemium tools are the alternative.

Free tools are just that – free to use as much as you want for any of your projects. Freemium tools, on the other hand, have both free and premium rate plans based on your needs. The following are my six favorite free and freemium tools that are indispensable for SEO’s everywhere.

1. AdWords Keyword Tool for Keyword Research

google adwords keyword tool

All SEO campaigns should begin with keyword research. Google AdWords Keyword Tool is your best bet for a free keyword research tool. It is not necessarily exact with its numbers, so don’t believe that there is exactly 74,000 people searching for “website analytics” each month. What you can believe in is that “website analytics” is searched more often than “free website analytics”. You can also get a lot of great keyword ideas too!

2. SEO Book for a Keyword Research & On-Site Analysis

SEO Book

SEO Book actually has several free SEO tools on their website. You need to create a free account with their website first, and then you have unlimited access to the tools you see above, plus a few others including a keyword density analyzer, a page comparison tool to find keywords, an ad group generator for AdWords, PPC keyword wrapper, and a typo generator that shows the most common typos for keywords that you enter.

3. SEO Site Tools for On-Site Analysis & Suggestions

seo site tools chrome

Want to quickly check stats about a website you are viewing including PageRank, SEO Title, Meta Description, Alexa Traffic Ranking, Incoming Links, SEOmoz Domain & Page Authority, and a wealth of other on-site optimization information? If you are using Google Chrome, then the SEO Site Tools is a must have extension for your browser. You can see the PageRank of any page you are browsing immediately in your extensions’ toolbar and you can get the rest of the information by clicking on the magnifying glass.

The best part? Use this tool on your own website to get some on-site optimization tips under the Suggestions tab.

If you don’t use Google Chrome, some other free SEO toolbars that will give you great information are the SEOmoz Toolbar (for Chrome & Firefox) and SEOquake (for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera).

4. Open Site Explorer for Competitor Backlink Research

open site explorer

A great way to find link opportunities for your website’s link building campaign is to research the backlinks of competitor websites. This research will help you see what type of links your competitor is getting and possible links that you can get as well.

SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer allows you to enter a domain and view that domain’s backlinks. As a free user, you can only see detailed information (link anchor text, page authority, and domain authority) for the first five backlinks of a domain. Altogether, you can view up to 200 backlink URL’s for that domain and whether they are dofollow or nofollow links. Free users are also limited to three reports per day.

Need more? You can run unlimited reports, view up to 10,000 backlinks, export backlinks to a CSV, and use the other suite of SEOmoz tools for $99 USD per month. Or, if you just need one month’s worth of unlimited use of Open Site Explorer and other tools, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial which is a pretty good deal!

5. SEMrush for Paid Search & Keyword Ranking Analysis

SEM Rush

If you are working on paid search, then you might be curious about keywords competitors are ranking for organically and the CPC for those keywords. SEMRush will answer those questions. Free users can run a report showing 10 keywords by entering a domain and clicking on Full Report link under Organic keywords. There, you will also see the domain’s approximate organic ranking, search volume, CPC, URL, % of traffic generated, ad competition, number of total search results, and how trend for the last 12 months for each keyword.

Below the organic keywords list, you can see a keyword cloud of the top keywords a site is ranking for. If the site has a blog (like KISSmetrics) it might be a great way to grab blog topic keyword ideas.

SEM Rush keyword cloud

SEMRush is not just for competitor keyword research. If you are planning to do some article marketing in your SEO campaign, you might want to know how well each article directory is doing in search. SEMRush shows a graph of how many keywords a domain is ranking for over the last several years. If your curious about whether a domain was hit by the Google Panda update last year and if they have recovered, this is the graph to check out. Search the domain you are interested in, then click on the More link above the graph in the left sidebar. For example, the following graph shows how EzineArticles went from ranking for 6.3 million keywords to 824,000 in February 2011.

SEM Rush Keyword Trends

Hubpages also took a hit, going from 7.8 million keywords to 1.4 million. But as you can see in this graph, they have since recovered many of their rankings, unlike EzineArticles.

SEM Rush Keyword Trends 2

Guest users are allowed to view information for five domains per day (based on IP address). You can get more domain searches by signing up for a free account. If you want full reports, you can sign up for a PRO recurring plan for $69.95 per month (up to 10,000 results per report, 3,000 reports per day), a single month’s PRO subscription for $79.95, or a recurring Guru subscription for $149.95 per month (up to 30,000 results per report, 5,000 reports per day).

6. Authority Labs for Monitoring SEO Campaign Results

authority labs

What is the point of a good SEO campaign if you are not monitoring the results? Authority Labs is a great tool for keeping tabs on your keyword rankings by simply entering your domain and the keywords you want to track.

When you sign up, you get a free 30 day subscription (no credit card needed) to their Pro membership which allows you to monitor up to 50 domains and 1,000 keywords. After the 30 days, you have the option to choose from the Personal plan ($9.99/month, 3 domains, 25 keywords), the Basic plan ($24/month, 10 domains, 100 keywords), the Plus plan ($49/month, 25 domains, 250 keywords), the Pro plan ($99/month, 50 domains, 1,000 keywords), or the Enterprise plan ($450/month, unlimited domains & keywords). Alternatively, if you choose to not pay for a plan after your trail period is up, you can keep using a free account that allows you to monitor one domain with 10 keywords.

These are just my six favorite free and freemium SEO tools. What are your favorites? Please share them in the comments!

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on , Twitter, and Facebook.

  1. Great list of FREE tools for SEO! All anyone ever talks about is the paid tools, good to see a list of free ones! Another free tool I use is traffic travis.


    • I think it’s awesome to find free tools that get the basics done, and sometimes that is all you need. Thanks for the suggestion on Traffic Travis! :)

  2. Hi Kristi,
    You’ve pointed out a couple of new (to me) sites that I can’t wait to check out. I appreciate your research. Have, also, enjoyed some of your other articles, too. Good job! – Cheryl

  3. Brittany Highland Mar 07, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Kristi, this is an extremely helpful overview of what look to be some wonderful resources for SEOers on a budget. I am especially glad that you included a monitoring tool in your list. Can’t wait to test out your recommendations and use them to better my sites!

    • I’m always on a budget, so I definitely appreciate the free ones and the ones with free options for those with smaller projects. Hope you enjoy them Brittany!

  4. These are all great suggestions! Thanks! I also use a browser extension called SEO SERP, which is really helpful in checking the ranking of a term for a specific domain:

  5. Great stuff Kristi. Very useful. Nice plug for Authority Labs too. I love those guys, and use it all the time.

    • Thanks Jay! I love their service – so simple to set up and see exactly what you need to know about your rankings. Great plans for everyone too!

  6. Thanks for this list Kristi. I’d heard of some of these tools but haven’t implemented them into my campaigns. I will definitely be checking these out more in depth tomorrow.

    Thomas, SEO SERP is great and easy to use.

  7. Hello their, hi Thomas, as I have read in these forum I’ve found that these is a great tools to be used in our daily activities, as an SEO specialist we currently looking some great one tools that is highly needed to our client, i must try with these one if these make me comfortable I gonna used these for the rest of my life.

    @Rysn please tell me what is big different with you old SEO tools and these one.

  8. What an informative article you have shared with us! The AdWords keyword research, SEO Books and onsite Analysis, SEO Site tools, Backlinks research , SE Mrush paid search and Keyword ranking analysis and SEO campaign result , all information graphically analysis given by Rysn are really amazing. Thank you so much for making us understand in such an effective way.

  9. This is a really great list and very well written. I just want to add 1 more that I have been using recently. Its called rank ranger – I have been using the reports they provide to show to my clients and find it to be top notch.

  10. Hi Kristi,

    Thanks for this article. You have shared a perfect list of free and freeminum SEO tools. I know there are 100s of free tools available out there but I would like to share MultiRank Checker by Let’s say that you are interested in checking the Google Page Rank and the Alexa Ranking for one of your clients and also to do the same for 9 of their competitors. You have two options: 1) Go it the manual way and gather the information one by one or 2) just dump the 10 domain names into the MultiRank Checker and copy/paste the results table. I personally like this tool because it checks in bulk and saves a bit of time.

  11. Hi Kristi….this is a quick tool we use for a very quick overview of a client’s site – it covers Keyword, Content, Technical and Popularity –….you can even rebrand it and get a widget for your website design site or seo business to generate leads for you. It’s a free lead gen tool/website analysis tool and is run by which offers an all in one (PAID) SEO solution.

  12. Though title says free tools. Most of the tools are paid ones. They do have free version but that is very basic.

  13. Kristi,
    Great article and easy to use! I am still trying to get a handle on all of the SEO.

  14. Hi Kristi Hines!!!It’s really great job.Thanks a lot to share this nice article.Specially,your second topic “SEO Book for a Keyword Research & On-Site Analysis” is really awesome.

  15. Thanks a lot for this great article Kristi.I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this!Great job indeed Kristi.Hopefully you will continue your nice work in future.

  16. Thank You Very much for sharing this useful list of tools for doing optimization for a blog but can you tell me Which is the Best tool for finding low competition keywords.

  17. Excellent review of some of the best tools available online.

  18. Awesome Kirsti,

    Following you in linkedin, kikolani, crazy egg etc. You are really a deep thinker and expert author. Open site explorer really give a great link analysis but there is a drawback also with them. They provide only 3 chance a day to check website. If you check, its really great and free for all.

  19. William Imhoff Jun 06, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for all the SEO Tools, I think they all will come in handy.

  20. well, that’s so great, i have checked my site and finally i know what i should do. thanks

  21. hi,

    I’m new to seo, its a really useful list of tools you’ve mentioned.
    May I suggest one I’ve found simple to use that get meta title description, keywords and also validate html.


  22. I personally go for the free tools. Google’s keyword research tool is one of the best. For checking your SERPs for multiple keywords we like Hard to beat a free tool

  23. Gabriel Harper Sep 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    You can also use all the Scriptalicious tools for free by using the demo site:

    They are limited in requests but you can use all 77 SEO tools without purchasing anything.

  24. Cheers Kristi, Let me another tool – Serpfox. They also offer a free version.

  25. Hey Kristi,

    The tools you have mentioned are very good, and indispensable as you said, but it’s awesome also

  26. I’d like to mention another tool useful for link building. Linkody offers inbound links management, monitoring and analysis for small companies or seo agencies. It is free up to a certain volume.

  27. I recommend ColibriTool. They not only have support for GA and Keywords suggestions but also competitors measurements, site’s traffic, goals/conversions etc.

  28. Thank you for your great list of SEO Tools :)

  29. I see that someone else uses Colibri Tool Great, young and promising service ;)

  30. Farhan Fawzer Jan 09, 2013 at 1:29 am

    The keyword research tool by Google is the most important of all. There’s no SEO without proper keywords research.

  31. Thanks for this list, very help, was searching for this info for days.

    Thank you again, very helpfull.

  32. I found this amazing tool : woorank

  33. Thanks for sharing these important tool with us….. as a freeware some of reports are exact to perfect

  34. Thanks for this information :) I am really trying hard to make my site popular :)

  35. thanks for your informative post. As i should mention…i previously used + ! sign for my website title and i still prefer – and | this is much better.

  36. This list is very useful,few tools but good.
    I can suggest a SEO tool all-in-one markosweb analyzer
    Good White hat seo

  37. mccullem ashley Feb 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of the best tools under a roof in SEO tracking is a must to check whether we are on the right direction or not

  38. Try Keywords Toaster, it has clear and usable design and provides results immediately as you type

  39. I appreciate your research. Great list of free tools for SEO. Thank you

  40. Nice post, Kristi.

    The best free Alternative to the fantastic SemRush for checking site keyword rankings and important related data, was Ahrefs.

    Sadly, Ahrefs no longer provides keyword related data, only backlink information….(they were scraping data to get their results—-and had to ditch this part of their service)………

    Ahrefs was(could have been) the number one competitor to SemRush…..

    Ahrefs was also updating their keyword / ranking data far more frequently than SemRush, which may have gave them an edge….

    That all said, SemRush, seems to have one of the best all round set ups, as far as keyword/ site related data…if you are willing to spend a little……

  41. and my favorites and Search in Google > Cache > Only text great tool!

  42. I would not consider a lot of these free or even freemium if there is a charge after 30 days. Aside from ahrefs and g keyword tool, I feel some other honorable mentions for SEO profesionals are: lastpass, dropbox, g docs, mail chimp, and text mechanic. These would make my top ten list for truly FREE seo tools. The only questionable is mailchimp but it was free until 1K subs.

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  45. Today my all keywords are down in google serp. So i want to know what is latest technique and tips. Please any body help me.

  46. Awesome links, I discovered some new tools that I wasn’t aware about, thanks for sharing

  47. I helped build a free SEO tool called AlgoSleuth. It offers an easy way to see how Google’s Algorithm updates have affected your site’s traffic. Would love to see it utilized by more SEO’s in the industry.

  48. Nice list :)

    I do agree – we have to remember that there are many great free tools for our seo needs.. In the case of most seo guys – G search + G Analytics + G Webmaster Tools + some ranking tool will be enough :)

    Cheers, Helmuts

  49. i think ahrefs is better than semrush. and other tools that can be in your top 6 lists are woorank, statscrop and etc

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  52. Michael Reisner Apr 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Great article, Adwords and Semrush are great tools indeed.

    Actually, the problem with thse tools is that they are all scattered and have you fight with too many interfaces, standards and you lose time.

    We just launched Optimeez (french tool originally): it’s a all-in-1 online marketing software where you can create your dashboards 100% customized by dragging and dropping form our 300+ widgets’ library covering analytics/SEO/SMO/ADs/Linking.
    So you find everything in one place, organized: keywords ranking monitoring, social media presence, sales analysis…


  53. thanks for these tools are really helpful for ranking any website at search engine!

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  55. Fantastic – just what I was looking for. :)

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  57. I am amazed to see there is no webmaster tool (free too) added in your post. It is a free tool service provided by google.

  58. The list is good but what about Market Samurai? isn’t that a great tool for SEO. Share your thoughts thanks.

  59. there are new tools which i haven’t used until now, i cant wait to check the new tools, thanks.

  60. Hi Kristi i can’t but appreciate your posting. Really so informative and helpful for any SEO professional. Except these i also link to recommend for a free tools Solid SEO Tools . It’s 100% free and user friendly. Anyone can try on it to ease the work pressure.

  61. Hi Kristi nice post. The adwords keyword tool is my favorite tool among them all because of the way it list the keywords.

  62. I use Open Site Explorer for analyzing competitors backlinks. Glad to see Semrush in this list.


  63. thats a very good tools i really like it thanks for sharing this tools name and its work

  64. Sebastien Ollier Aug 14, 2015 at 3:02 am

    these tools are still effective.
    Thank you for sharing this information !

  65. Johannes Bester Sep 08, 2015 at 3:37 am

    Very nice list of SEO tools. I am however looking for a tool that can monitor our SEO projects and give weekly reports.

  66. Nice list, although not comprehensive. I would like to add a couple of suggestions for people to checkout. There’s SpyFu who have a nice indepth product offering for organic/paid competitive keyword insights, MajesticSEO for backlink analysis and also which is really useful at extract Google, Bing and Yahoo search suggestions and related keywords.

  67. Ronit Tamrakar Dec 03, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks Kristi for this awesome article. These tools are really helpful for ranking any website in search engines. For backlinks which one do you recommend? Ahrefs vs Majestic vs OSE?

  68. I can find no better tool than SEM Rush. Thanks.

  69. Ravinder Godara Feb 24, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Hey, Kristi Hines really fantastic job . You just eased the work for any SEO professional. Some tools i am already used but will try on the rest which appeared new for me. You can also add alexa backlinks Tools to your list as i got it too useful for live backlinks report.

  70. Nikolay Stoyanov Mar 02, 2016 at 8:59 am

    SEMRush is pretty good. At least, this is my personal preference.

  71. Backlinks =

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