11 free SEO tools for creators
SEO can be confusing and time-consuming -- but it doesn't have to be. Here are 11 reliable SEO tools to optimize your website and bring in more traffic.
SEO can be confusing and complex, especially if you're new to it. Long-tail and short-tail keywords, anchor text and txt files, backlinking and link-building . . . it's enough to make your head spin.
And if you're selling information products , chances are you're too busy creating valuable educational content to learn the ins and outs of Google's latest algorithm update.
The good news? There are a lot of easy-to-use, affordable -- often even free -- tools out there that can do a lot of the SEO heavy lifting (and algorithm analyzing) for you.
We’ve rounded up 11 simple SEO tools to help you optimize your website and get more eyes on your digital products. And as an added bonus, every tool on the list offers a free option.
But first, what exactly are SEO tools?
What are SEO tools? (And why should you use them?)
SEO tools make it easier for anyone with a website to optimize their content for search engines.
Optimized content shows up higher in the search results for relevant keywords and phrases. The more you optimize your content, the easier it is for new people to find it through search.
And with organic search responsible for 53% of all online traffic , grabbing the top spots on the results page matters -- especially when you consider that the first five results of any Google search account for 67.6% of all clicks .
What does SEO look like in action?
Imagine that you sell online courses focused on teaching busy parents how to budget.
If I'm a busy parent who's struggling to maintain my family's budget, I might Google a phrase like "budgeting for busy moms".
When you optimize your content -- a blog post, your online course sales page , or even your entire website -- for that search term, you're more likely to show up on the first page or two of search results.
And if I click on your page, I'll discover your content, see you have the expertise I'm looking for, and maybe even sign up for your course.
The featured snippet for the search "budgeting for busy moms" shows this article from Simplified Motherhood, a site focused on providing content -- including online courses and digital downloads -- that helps busy moms stay organized.
SEO tools can help you get that coveted top spot in the search results -- even if you don't have a dedicated digital marketing team (or any team at all). These tools can even the playing field for solopreneurs and small businesses to compete with big companies with bigger budgets.
Here's why: SEO is much cheaper than cost-per-click (CPC) advertising and more effective. A Databox survey found that 70% of marketers say that SEO is better than PPC ads for generating sales.
And just a few simple SEO tweaks can make a big difference in terms of organic traffic and sales. That's why nearly 64% of marketers actively invest time in SEO.
Plus, while it's definitely a task you can outsource to SEO professionals, you don't need to hire a content marketing agency or SEO expert to see results with SEO.
In fact, there are a ton of free SEO tools out there, so you don't have to spend money to do SEO for digital products . With the right tools, you can DIY your SEO and start selling more digital products in no time.
(If you don't have a website to optimize, you can create one with Podia. Sign up for a free 14-day trial , and start selling your digital products from your own site.)
Before we dive into our list of top SEO tools for entrepreneurs, let's go over the most common types of SEO tools.
Types of SEO tools
Some SEO tools are like Swiss army knives -- they have several features and help with a wide variety of SEO tasks -- while some are more focused on a specific piece of the SEO puzzle.
Here are some of the most common types of SEO tools.
Keyword research tools: These tools help you identify popular words and phrases people enter into search engines.
They also tell you keyword difficulty -- how difficult it is for content to rank for a certain keyword -- and monthly search volume -- how many times a keyword is searched in a month -- to figure out your ideal keywords .
Rank-tracking tools: Rank-tracking tools tell you how well your website ranks for your target keywords, so you can adjust your content accordingly.
Link-building tools: Link-building means earning backlinks -- links to your website from other sites -- to build your site’s authority in search engines, and it's a crucial piece of a successful SEO strategy.
Link-building tools can help you identify backlink opportunities and find out which websites link to yours.
Technical SEO tools: Technical SEO tools get into the nitty-gritty of SEO. On the backend of your site, technical SEO ensures that your web pages are structured for people and crawlers, the search engine robots responsible for indexing new and updated content.
Analytics tools: SEO reporting and analytics tools show you how your website is performing across a variety of metrics, including traffic, conversions, time spent on site, and many more.
Now, without further ado, let's get into our top SEO tools for infopreneurs.
11 of the best free SEO tools for infopreneurs
Though their paid plans start at $99/month , Ahrefs offers a variety of free SEO tools. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Webmaster tools : Ahrefs' webmaster tools are free for all website owners and are technically just "free limited access to Ahrefs' Site Explorer & Site Audit " -- but they offer some very useful features, including:
An SEO audit and backlink analysis of your site
Competitive analysis of other sites' SEO
Actionable SEO metrics, including organic traffic and keyword rankings
Keyword generator : Enter up to 10 words or phrases, and Ahrefs will give you 100 related keywords that include your word or phrase, including the keyword difficulty of the first 10.
Keyword rank checker : See how your website ranks for any given keyword.
Backlink checker : Enter any domain and see its domain ranking (the strength of a target website's backlink profile) and how many backlinks it has, plus the number of websites that link to that site.
If you like Ahrefs' free tools and want to get even more granular with the data, you can try a 7-day trial of their full platform for $7.
And if you do go for the paid account, I recommend checking out their SEO toolbar , a free Firefox and Chrome extension that shows you instant SEO metrics for any webpage you visit.
Like Ahrefs, Moz has a robust paid platform but also offers several free tools . Here are some of the best:
Domain SEO Analysis Tool : Enter a domain and see SEO metrics, including:
Domain Authority, Moz's version of “Domain Ranking”
Top pages based on “Page Authority,” Moz's algorithm of link metrics
Estimated clicks for top keywords
Recent new links to the domain
MozBar : A Chrome extension that shows you instant SEO metrics while viewing any webpage or search engine results page (SERP).
Keyword Explorer : Enter a keyword and get access to:
Monthly search volume
Exportable keyword research data in CSV and Excel spreadsheets
Long-tail keywords -- keywords with higher relevance and lower search volume
Keyword difficulty scores
SERP analysis, with data on each result on the first page of search results
Keyword suggestions by country
With a free Moz account, you're limited to 10 keyword analysis queries per month. For full access to Moz's tools, including the Keyword and Site Explorers, Moz Pro plans start at $149/month -- but you can try a 30-day free trial before starting a paid plan.
Google Keyword Planner is Google's keyword research tool.
This tool helps you find out which keywords people are searching in your niche. You can see monthly search volume and forecasted search volume, plus discover keyword ideas to help you reach your audience.
It's free for anyone with a Google account. (That said, it can sometimes be tricky to access -- if you run into trouble, this guide from Ahrefs has some great troubleshooting tips.)
4. Google Search Console (GSC)
GSC is another free tool from the search masters at Google. GSC offers tools and reports that help you measure your website's traffic and performance -- specifically in terms of how and where it shows up in Google searches.
Some of the main features of GSC include:
Confirming that Google can find and crawl your site.
Fixing indexing problems and requesting re-indexing of new or updated content.
Viewing Google search traffic data for your site, including how often your site appears in Google searches, which search queries show your site, and how often searchers click through to your site from those queries.
Receiving alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
Showing you which sites link to your website (a.k.a. backlinks).
GSC can have a steep learning curve, but there are various resources available to help you navigate the platform, like these free training videos from Google.
P.S.: If your audience also uses Bing to search, Bing Webmaster Tools is the (free) Bing equivalent of GSC.
5. Google Analytics (GA)
Google Analytics gives you all of the data you need to understand how customers interact with your website. To use it for SEO, add a Google Analytics tracking code to your website and connect it to GSC.
GA offers free reporting on SEO metrics like:
Organic traffic (on mobile and desktop)
Top landing pages
Top exit pages (the last page that people visit before leaving your website)
Time on site
Pages per visit
And a ton more . . .
One downside to GA is that, like GSC, its robustness leads to a steeper learning curve. That said, there are tons of great training resources available, like Google Analytics Academy and this guide from Ahrefs on using GA for SEO.
Google’s mobile-friendly tester is the last free tool from Google on our list. And while it’s technically a part of GSC, it’s important enough -- and easy enough to use -- that it deserves its own spot.
You enter your website’s URL, and Google tells you whether your site is optimized for mobile. It also shows you a preview of what your site looks like on a mobile device.
What makes this tool so valuable?
Mobile optimization is a key factor in your site’s user experience and SEO.
Plus, Google announced in 2018 that they’re boosting the rankings for mobile-optimized sites in their mobile search results, so optimizing your site’s mobile usability can help your search engine optimization, too.
Like all of the tools in GSC, the mobile-friendly tester is free.
Screaming Frog's SEO Spider is a website crawler, which means that it analyzes and audits both technical and on-page SEO issues. SEO Spider is “trusted by thousands of SEOs and agencies worldwide for technical SEO site audits”.
A web crawler like SEO Spider can help you find broken links, discover duplicate content on your site, and analyze your page titles and metadata to ensure that your SEO is working exactly as it should be on the front-end and back.
The free version of SEO Spider lets you crawl up to 500 URLs, which, unless your website has more than 500 pages, should be plenty. If you have a ton of content or run multiple sites, the paid version will set you back £149.00 per year.
GTmetrix analyzes the loading speed of your web pages. If it finds that your site is slower than it should be, GTmetrix tells you what’s slowing your site down and offers actionable recommendations to make things load faster.
Like mobile optimization, load time and page speed play a big role in your visitors’ user experience.
26.9% of ecommerce website visitors will wait less than four seconds for a page to load -- and 45.4% of visitors said they would be less likely to purchase something if the page load speeds were slower than expected.
Load time plays a role on the SEO side, too. According to the SEO experts at Moz , "Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.”
The free version of GTmetrix lets users monitor one URL per day, and upgrading to GTmetrix PRO starts at $10/month. If you'd rather stick with a free tool, Google's PageSpeed Insights tool is a similar -- if less robust -- option.
9. Yoast SEO
If you have a WordPress blog, Yoast is the SEO tool for you. It’s a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your content right from your WordPress site editor.
You enter the keyword or phrase that you want your webpage or blog post to rank for, then Yoast checks your content and tells you whether you’re using the keyword enough (or too much), and in the right spots, such as headers.
Yoast also lets you preview how your page or post will look on a Google search results page.
On the backend, Yoast generates and applies schema.org structures and structured data that “helps [search engines] figure out what every part of your site means, who it belongs to, and how everything connects”.
The free version of Yoast includes nearly every feature of the Premium version. The latter costs $89/year for one WordPress site.
SimilarWeb is a competitor research tool. You can look up your competitors’ websites and see their traffic-related stats, including:
Top referring sites
Pages per visit
Average visit duration
These stats help you see how your site stacks up against your competitors’. You can also use the top referring sites to see which sites link to your competitors -- and identify potential link-building or guest posting opportunities.
SimilarWeb offers a free option, which limits you to five results per metric. If you love the free tool, you can always upgrade to “Enterprise” down the road, but the free version gives you plenty of top-level data to work with.
Billing itself as "the most accurate SERP snippet generator," SERPsim is a search results preview generator with desktop and mobile views.
This free tool lets you test your title and meta description -- the HTML attribute that gives a brief summary of your webpage -- to see how it’ll look on a Google SERP.
You can import your existing metadata or paste in text. It’s a great way to make sure your metadata doesn’t get cut off in search results for being too long.
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Get more eyes on your info products with these simple SEO tools
SEO is a great way to drive more organic traffic to your website -- and get your information products in front of more potential customers. But search engine optimization can be a confusing and time-consuming process to handle on your own.
Luckily, there are tools available to help with almost every aspect of SEO -- and all of them offer a free version.
To recap, here are 11 of the best free SEO tools for infopreneurs:
Ahrefs' free webmaster tools, keyword generator, keyword rank checker, and backlink checker.
Moz's free SEO tools, including their Domain SEO Analysis Tool, Mozbar Chrome extension, and Keyword Planner.
Google's free tools, including Keyword Planner for keyword research, Google Search Console and Google Analytics for in-depth data and reporting, and the mobile-friendly tester.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider to audit your site for technical and on-page SEO issues.
GTmetrix to make sure your load time is as fast as can be.
Yoast SEO, a WordPress plugin that lets you optimize your content as you post it.
SimilarWeb for competitive analysis that shows you how your site stacks up against your competitors'.
SERPsim for a simple preview of your title and meta description in search results.
All in all, whether you choose to use one of these SEO tools or a combination of them, having them in your marketing toolbox is a step toward reaching more people and selling more products.