Aside from a nice-looking website with interesting and regularly updated content, SEO is essential to bloggers. While it’s entirely possible to do SEO on your own, due to the complexity of SEO rules to adhere to, it’s probably a lot more efficient to fall back on tools out there that are primed for helping your site rank higher.
Whether it’s full-featured toolsets, keyword suggestion engines or very specific site crawlers and link checkers, there’s a huge number of tools and services out there that can help you improve your blog’s SEO.
In this post, we are listing our 5 favorite SEO tools you can use for free, and if that is not doing it for you, there is a second list of 15 more tools to try out at the second part of the post.
Recommended Reading: 10 SEO Mistakes Bloggers Should Avoid
Our Favourite 5
Majestic SEO is one of the most advanced and complete SEO services on the market, focusing specifically on link intelligence and domain-based metrics. The tools it has to offer include the Site Explorer, Backlink History tool, Keyword Checker, Comparator and a Clique Hunter. The comparative tools require a paid subscription, but the free account is enough if you’re only interested in your own blog(s).
The IIS SEO Toolkit has Site Analysis, Robots Exclusion, Sitemaps and Site Index modules. The Site Analysis module has a full-featured crawler engine as well as a Query Builder interface to generate custom reports. The Robots Exclusion module shows robots’ content and lets you set "allow" and "disallow" paths, while the Sitemaps and Site Index module lets you view, edit and delete sitemap and site index files.
Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is an extensive website crawling tool that will help you analyze and audit your website for maximum search engine optimization. The SEO Spider checks your website’s links, CSS, scripts, images and apps to identify problems such as duplicate pages, broken links, URI issues and redirect errors.
Since most of your traffic is probably going to come from Google searches, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Google’s new Keyword Planner. Google’s Keyword Planner provides a wealth of information on currently popular keywords that you can further fine tune with advanced filtering options. Keyword Planner also has a historical view, letting you see the popularity of keywords over a twelve-month period.
Virante offers a number of on-site and off-site SEO tools for free on their website. On-site tools include a Duplicate Content Tool, an LDA Content Optimizer and a Density of Keyword Tool. Amongst the off-site tools are a Competitive Analysis Tool, a Link Atrophy Tool and a PageRank Recovery Tool. Virante also offer miscellaneous tools like a Clean IP Tool and a HTTP Header Check Tool.
More SEO Tools
It’s always good to have more choices. Here are 15 more SEO tools that bloggers can use for free. Let us know your favorite in the comments.
Web CEO is a complete SEO tool that comes in both online and offline versions. Like most SEO tools of this type, Web CEO has features such as rank checking, link management and analysis as well as on-site opitmization tools such as a Site Auditor that can scan your blog for broken links and other SEO-damaging errors. Web CEO operates on a freemium model.
SEO Book has a number of free SEO tools available on their website. Just register a free account and you’ll be able to use tools such as their Keyword List Generator, Meta Tag Generator, Server Header Checker and Link Suggestion Checker, all for free. You can also download Firefox extensions such as their SEO Toolbar that provides competitive and search data directly in Firefox.
SEOgadget provides a number of free SEO tools to help you with your SEO efforts. Some of the tools SEOgadget provide include a Link Categorization Tool for Excel, a Content Strategy Generator, Anchor Text Tool as well as a SEOgadget for Excel tool that allows you to interpret data from services such as Majestic SEO in Excel.
SEER’s SEO Toolbox is an all-in-one spreadsheet-based SEO toolbox that can be used to analyse data from sources such as Google Analytics, Majestic SEO and Twitter. It also has some on-page analysis tools and scraping abilities as well. Since it’s an online spreadsheet, your whole team (if you have one) can work on and analyse the data together.
The Internet Marketing Ninjas have more than a few free SEO, Webmaster and Social Tools on their website. Some of the SEO Tools include a Page Speed Tool, a Robots Text Generator Tool, a Meta Tag Generator Tool and a Search Combination Tool.
Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools For Excel is an Excel add-on that adds a number of SEO-centric features. Some of the functions added by SEO Tools For Excel include the ability to find duplicated content, check backlinks and obtain WhoIs data. SEO Tools For Excel can also analyse information such as the number of links and the meta keywords on your site.
This is a Google Chrome extension that adds on-page SEO data drawn from various websites and services. It provides aggregated data from Google PageRank, Alexa traffic details, Quancast rank and Dmoz domain presence. It also provides information on meta tags, social media reactions and can even make suggestions to improve your site’s SEO.
SEOquake is an SEO plugin for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari. SEOquake provides a wealth of information essential to any blogger looking to improve their site’s ranking, including information on Yahoo! Backlinks, Google page rank, Google and Bing indexing, WhoIs data and keyword density reports. It can also generate full page reports for any site you wish.
The Moz SEO Toolbar is available for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. It gives you access to typical SEO metrics in real-time as you browse the Internet. It can also highlight links and keywords on websites, as well as show all the page elements on a given website. It also has a detailed search engine results page (SERP) overlay that lets you compare Google, Bing and Yahoo! metrics.
Open Site Explorer is a tool that you can use to investigate backlinks (both dofollow and nofollow links) on both your blog as well as competitor’s blogs. Open Site Explorer also provides domain and page authority rankings. The free version limits you to 200 backlinks per report, with detailed information is only available for the first five backlinks, but that should be enough for a basic overview.
Ubersuggest is a keyword suggestion tool that suggests common sense keyword phrases based on Google’s own suggestion engine. Simply key in a query or keyword and Ubersuggest will provide a list of suggested keyword phrases based on your initial input. Ubersuggest can also be told to base suggestions on specific Google services such as Google Images, Google Video and Google News.
This tool helps you optimize your pages’ title and meta description tags in order to maximise the appeal of your websites when seen in Google search result listings. It’s a simple tool that generates a preview of the Google SERP so that you can make sure that your and meta description tags don’t exceed the optimal length.
Browseo is a quick and simple web app that lets you look at websites as a search engine would. This lets you view your blog purely from an SEO perspective quickly, without having to dig into the code. The best thing is that there are also Android and iOS versions, so you can check your blog’s SEO optimization on the go.
This simple web service checks your site for any over optimized anchor text that may result in your site falling foul of Google’s search algorithms. Just input your site’s URL and the service will generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases with measurements on how optimized or over optimized these keywords are.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth is an essential tool to check for broken links on your website, including partial checking of FTP, Gopher and e-mail links. The app also supports re-checking of links, SSL websites and can also detect and report redirected URLs. Xenu’s Link Sleuth can generate a simple report of all the issues it finds as well as generate a sitemap.