Free Useful SEO Tools You Should Check out Now – #CrawlingMondays 12th Episode
Check out those top free and great SEO tools that you can use to facilitate your SEO analysis! From keyword research, to content optimization, technical audits and more, in this episode I go through those top free SEO tools that I use in a daily basis that you shouldn’t miss.
In today’s Crawling Mondays episode I have a confession to make, which is that I am a tool addict. Whenever I see a new SEO-related tool I have the need to try it out, to test it out, to see if it might be valuable for my work or not. Many of these tools are paid, and it’s reasonable because, of course, they facilitate and save so much time, so much of our analysis time, so it’s reasonable that they have a cost, of course. It’s a business, it takes effort to make them at the end of the day.
However, there are also really good tools that end up being free. In today’s episode I would like to focus on those tools that are free to use and deliver so much volume. These are tools that I personally use and I would like to showcase today. I would like to share with you how I use many of these tools, why I think that they are super useful and that you may end up finding value in them, too, so you can start making the most out of them. Let’s take a look which are these tools.
For the first tool out there, let’s start with one that we will tend to use at the beginning of the SEO process, which is a keyword tool, where we search. I love Keywords Everywhere because it integrates as an extension whether you use Chrome or Firefox. For example, whatever keyword that you search for, digital nomad backpacks, for example, it will give you all the related keywords with the key metrics here for the database that you have selected already in the configurations panel, and it will provide you also the metrics for it. Search volume here, the cost per click, also for the people also search for for other related topics, so it’s pretty handy. You can export all the keywords as a CSV in a very straightforward and useful way.
Once we have the keywords, the next step is useful to start optimizing our content and also a little bit of technical analysis. But let’s stay a little bit with content optimization here because one of the other free, easy-to-use tools that I love to use to validate the metadata optimization of my side pages that I am optimizing for is this metatags.io website, in which you can include whatever URL here.
So, for example, in my case I will add here the Remoters job page and it will show me a preview already of the metadata of this particular page of my site. So I can see the title, the description here, and it shows me how it looks in the Google SERPs here, here in the Facebook open graph and Twitter card here and I can start here playing a little bit around if I start optimizing for it and changing it, so, for example, Remoters. If I change here a little bit, remote and telecommuting jobs for digital nomads and professionals, it shows me when it will be truncated here and a little bit more to tweak also the description. Check out the biggest list of remote jobs, offers and companies hiring remotely from every industry and job type. Don’t miss any of them with the Remoters job board.
So it shows me again the preview here where it is going to be truncated, so I love it. You can also select the different previews for the different websites here, for LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc, whatever that you want to optimize for. And it’s so good; it’s for quick validations of the metadata optimization of my main pages. I come and check, double check, in a very straightforward way.
If you are an international SEO you will really appreciate this tool, the Live SERP Tool by AccuRanker, that is completely free to use, in which you can include any keyword, select the country and language option that you want to check for and any specific location, and if you want to see the mobile SERPs or the desktop SERPs. So, for example, I want to see the results for the international SEO consult inquiry from New York as a mobile user agent. And we can see directly here how it looks like… oh! It’s me. How nice… So you can check, you can validate and we can see the local results in Google Maps here as if we were in New York, which is pretty nice. So for an international SEO this is very handy to take a look at the preview how the results would look if we were searching from there.
Understandably, it might be far more useful for many more queries or a fuller, better experience to use a VPN or a proxy, but if you cannot use it and you want, again, a quick validation, the Live SERP Tool is a very handy tool to have.
If you’re optimizing your website to give the best mobile search experience, you’re likely going to find this tool very handy, too. It’s the MobileMoxie Mobile SERP Test. Again, they have the paid version, but they provide a lot with their free version. Here are the test tools, so you can select again any country. So if you’re doing also an international SEO project, or would like to verify this for your international audience, you can select up to a specific city and street address. It’s really impressive.
And then for any given term you can select up to two devices to check the SERP for. So we can here see which are the SERPs for the app iPhone XS Max and Google Pixel here and I can take a look. In this particular case it’s also very handy to take a look at how the ads are displayed off my result here or if it is showing how the snippet is being shown, especially. It will allow us to better understand the click-through rate behavior of our users, too, and how our result is displayed across the SERP in general, not only for our particular mobile device but for as many as we may want to check here. So it’s actually very useful for a mobile [inaudible 00:07:07] or mobile validations which we should be doing…
And many know that I have the HREFlang generator, but besides the HREFlang generator I have this Simple Htaccess Redirects and Rewrite Generator, too. For many of the most common type of the scenarios, for example, to redirect from non slash to slash URLs, or from HTTP to HTTPS or vice versa, or to go from one page to another one or sub domain to subdirectory, things like that. So, for example, here I will choose HTTPS here and I will say okay, from remoters.net to this one here. Oh! Okay, it’s true. It’s because I will be redirecting to a blog or to a particular directory. So it can be here whatever. So it will generate here the rules to include in our HTTP access. So it might be much easier for you to come and just copy/paste based on the specifics of your URLs.
And on the other hand ones that you have implemented easily, hopefully, your redirects you may want to check them to validate that they are correctly implemented, and there’s this really handy tool that is called httpstatus to validate your URLs in bulk. And, for example, here I put a couple of them but you can include many of them at the same time. And it will tell me in this particular case that they are all redirected to the HTTPS versions, so the first status is 301 and then 200 because the final destination is 200. HTTP status… URL, so, for example here, first status, second status of the destination and it will tell me all of the information here. The redirect latency, the response headers information here of the first URL and where it is going here. So it’s actually a pretty handy tool to verify in bulk the redirects that you have set in a migration scenario, and completely for free.
And, of course, from a technical perspective we know that speed is super important not only because it is a ranking factor but because it actually has an important critical impact on our users and their engagement on our site. And we have, I have to say, really good speed validation tools out there. The Lighthouse integration with Chrome is impressive, the new Webdef website from Google itself, and then GTmetrix also is an amazing website. The webpage speed validator is really good and very actionable, easy to gather. Even the resources that are already pre-optimized is pretty impressive.
However, I saw this project the other day that is actually again freemium, so we can use a few pages completely for free that it will monitor our page’s speed automatically using the Google PageSpeed Insights information for them, and it will show the evolution of the speed for, I think, every day. Yeah, so for example here you can see I am using it for my top pages and my Aleyda Solis website here. And I can see desktop data and switch to mobile data, too, and this is the score based on page reading site.
It will tell me the most worth information from a speed perspective using the PageSpeed Insights data metrics site, for example time to interactive here, where it is in the speed index, first contentful paint of my website, time to first byte, and here every single day that it has monitored my website it will tell me the performance score. Time to first byte again, first contentful paint and time to interactive and here the other day they were announcing that they had already integrated the CrUX data, the Chrome UX Report, that are from the last thirty days for this particular page here.
So this is additional great information for you to monitor your most important pages of your website. Speed automatically, without any effort at all and see at what point it suffer or not, etc. And then it allow us to add our competitor’s information here so it’s actually pretty good because we can do a little bit of a benchmark, of a comparison of how we are specifically, it allow us to set alerts, if something goes really bad and beyond specific threshold that we set here in the tool and all this for free. Of course, if we want to add more than a certain number of URLs, more than five, it will ask us to upgrade but it’s pretty good at least to monitor the most important pages of our site.
And potentially one of my favorite technical issue of tools at the moment, which is completely free and is impressively free, is SEOLyzer. I love it because… it actually started last year I think… it started as a really easy-to-set lock analyzer. It didn’t only allow you to easily import your lock data but actually to monitor the bot accesses to your website just by adding a little PHP code on your site. So even if you didn’t have access to your lock file in order to do much more in-depth analysis there of all your log data, you will be able to track; you will be able to monitor in real time the accesses of the Googlebot or any search bot on your site like this, as I am showing here, and it will provide a very good-looking report like this for any given time as you can see here.
It will allow you to go through the URLs based on whatever type of information you will set here and you can see here the user agents. You can set easily all of the information that you would like to see here. You see for any URL that I scroll, and it already segmented the URLs in a very easy-to-understand way and analyze way here. So, for example, crawl volume per groups, or HTTP status, desktop versus mobile, crawls of your site, so here you can see. The desktop versus mobile I wanted to show you here. It’s so good, so you can see the crawl share and the last month, for example. Desktop user agents versus mobile ones like this, and here we can see more information within the columns here; when these URLs were accessed, access etc, the average performance of each one of them and the bad bots information too… important to avoid spamming.
Last week they actually announced that they were also launching the crawler simulator functionality which is pretty cool because at some point I imagine that they will allow us to integrate that data and compare the actual bot accesses that weren’t the ones of your own simulations here. From what I have seen it’s very good and… oh my god! It’s a proper crawler here, very well segmented report here that will facilitate the analysis of all of this. You can see it tells us if it is indexable title tag, the HTTP status here, and we can select to see much more information here. For example, the meta description of these pages, X-Robots-Tag, the meta robots, canonical tag, configuration here etc, if it is self or if it is pointing to another URL. So you can see and all of this is for free so I highly recommend you to check it out, SEOLyzer.
Another of my favorite free tool hubs is RankTank. And RankTank has characteristics that most of their tools are Google Docs based, and some of them are not completely free, but they are freemium and they require access to, for example, SEMrush licenses, but in many cases they are already super useful to use for free and they have tons and many and a few of them I actually didn’t even know about because I see that they are all the time updating and releasing new tools.
So, for example, they have bulk free keyboard position checker here, keyword research tool would go out to complete API, unlimited brand mentions finder, in this case monitor SEO website changes with SEO check, and link reclamation tool, rich snippet live and meta testing tool, or mobile-friendly service testing tool. And, for example, in this particular case I want to show you an example of one of these tools. The RankTank JSON-LD Schema Creator here to generate the schema information to implement structured data on your website.
So here you will update the information. For example, if it is an organization or not, if it is an NGO, for example, here, and it will allow you with whatever name you want to set here and it will update here in real time. So you can use copy/paste this on your own HTMLs. So they have tons… second box is very complete in this case… so they have tons of different sources here. Most of them are Google Docs based, super useful. Definitely check them out because they can really facilitate your life doing this type of implementation that on the other hand might take a little bit of awhile to go through all of the Google specifications…
And then last but not least I would like to share with you sheetsformarketers.com, which is also another hub of tools for marketers based in Google Docs. In this case it’s particularly impressive because they gather analytics, audits, calculators, keyword research content, link building, paid search ones, scraping ones, social ones, project management ones; everything as Google Docs based, Google sheets templates. So, for example here, in this particular case in technical SEO they have Google indexing tester, 301 redirect generator, bulk HTTP status code, many of these. You see this greenlane one, this is another 301 redirect generator here, this is a RankTank one that we saw before.
So, this is particularly impressive because they do an aggregation of many of the best tools out there that are Google Docs based and we have an easy way to contain them, to do a content audit step by step, taking out technical SEO out of the checklist in this case, simple site audit tool. And it might definitely be worth it for you to check out, that deserve a special mention in our free tools episode that I hope that you have enjoyed. If you know of any other free SEO tool that is super useful for you and you think that really deserves a mention, please let me know in the comments or send me a tweet at Crawling Mondays. And see you next week. Bye bye.