If you found this page you are likely looking for some tips on how to improve the visibility of your blog to search engines to attract more visitors through organic reach. I have showcased a handful of free SEO tools for you, so you are at the best place to find just what you looking for: tools that cost no money, but can immensely improve your rankings on Google and other search engines.
Free SEO Tools
Despite that free SEO tools have their limitations, if you are just starting a new blog or an affiliate site, don’t know much about search engine optimization you don’t really need to pay a lot of money for advanced SEO tools.
Free tools are often just as good to understand the behavior of your audience, what interests them, what topics are trending within your niche.
They are also great to find low competition keywords that are popular and could drive a ton of free, organic traffic even to a new website with little authority.
Having said that, the First Rule of SEO is always RELEVANCY.
You can use all the free SEO tools, or buy the most expensive SEO courses, pay out a shedload of money for an advanced keyword planner if your content is not relevant for the people you are aiming at.
So number one on the list is not even a tool but an advice: stay relevant – stay on topic – throughout your post.
Now let’s have a look on the free SEO tools that can help you find out what topic is trending (so you can attract more visitors), what tools help you stay on topic and what tools help you find low competition keywords.
No. 1 is always going to be Google. Google is the source, Google always knows best. Fortunately they are very open about sharing all their data with you, but you need to know what to look for, and where you can find it.
If you don’t know how to set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics, I detailed it in this tutorial on creating and setting up a website: How To Create A Website For Free From Scratch
Google Search Console is you best friend understanding what keywords and key-phrases people search for, which ones you rank for. It also tells you the volume of traffic that a certain keyword drives to your website.
You will find that your website often ‘ranks’ for keywords that you did not even think about. So Search Console is great too if you are looking for blog post ideas, or finding out what people are interested in. (Secret SEO Tip: Find Keywords Your Website WILL Rank For )
Search Console also tells you if there’s something wrong with your website that prevents people from finding it, or reading it properly (like mobile-friendliness).
As for understanding what people do and look for when they are ON YOUR WEBSITE, and where they come from (location, age, other interests), having your website set up in Google Analytics is inevitable.
Analytics lets you understand what works on your website and what doesn’t: you can see what pages your visitors come to first, and where they go after that. Do they click away? Do they leave the website? Do they click to another page on your website? Which one? How much time they spend on your website? Do they come back?
Analytics can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer amount of information you can unveil.
On the other hand, data on Analytics can also be a bit misleading sometimes. If you don’t yet have enough visitors, Bounce Rate, or Session duration can fluctuate heavily. You are over the moon when your Bounce Rate drops to 20%, just to find that it is back at 95% on the following week.
These variable are calculated in a funny way anyways, that don’t always truly reflect the ‘popularity’ of your website. So I suggest you wait until you have at least 1000 visitors a month before digging deep in the data to better understand visitor behavior.
As for finding out what keywords have good search volume yet low competition, one of the best tools out there is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.
It works like a keyword planner but it is really great in suggesting other keywords based on the keyword you put in, but there are a lot of other features to, that don’t normally available in a free SEO tool.
It is really simple to use and returns reliable data in terms of search volumes and competition. Maybe not exact numbers – any number on search volume should be treated with caution – but it is a good indicator of what’s possibly worth spending time with on a new blog or website.
Similarly to Ubersuggest, Google Autocomplete helps you enormously in finding out what people search for, and gives you plenty more suggestions based on your original query.
Autocomplete is the tool that automatically fills in the rest of the search query when you start typing in the search box, and stop for a second.
It is based on what people most frequently search for: so it is one of the most reliable SEO tools in finding out what is popular and have a decent search volume.
You may find that if you put the same search-phrase into a keyword tool (or Ubersuggest), the actual search volume is not very high.
I personally always trust Autocomplete over any keyword tool, as it comes straight from Google, not through a third party algorithm that tries to speculate future search volumes based on historical data.
If you run a the search on any of the suggested phrases, at the bottom of the page Google always recommends other related searches that people search for. I always try to cover all relevant topics within one post (if possible). For topics that need a more detailed explanation, I write a new post.
Answer The Public takes Autocomplete to the next level in an ingenious way. It uses Google API – getting the information straight from Google – and presents it in a visually compelling way. If you ever tried to do a niche research manually, you will appreciate what Answer the Public does in literally seconds.
You simply enter a keyword and Answer the Public gives you all the related questions that people ask from Google, and puts all of them on an easy-to-digest image like this.
You can download the findings in CSV (a spreadsheet), giving you around 500 keywords / blog-topic ideas in a matter of seconds.
And that was only one keyword I entered.
The free account have its limitations like: you can’t change geographical location, or the number of queries you can run per day is restricted, but even so…be careful because you can quickly end up have so much info that you will struggle to find the time writing all that content on the back of it!
If you are still unsure what topic, what keyword you should be targeting, Google Trends can help you the most. So if you come up with two long tail keywords suggested by Autocomplete or Answer the Public, and Ubersuggest does not help in deciding which one is more popular then Google Trends will tell you the answer.
With its great graphic display it shows the popularity of a keyword / key-phrase and you can compare the popularity of 2-3 or more keywords in search queries.
It also shows you how the trend of the number of searches, which is priceless if you are building a passive income site and you are targeting evergreen topics.
Trends also tells you what keywords are gaining popularity (coming up) and it is great to unveil the geographical differences for searching the very same thing. (A big mistake you can make is targeting a keyword that is only used by a limited number of people ie. accent, dialect, but it means a different thing or is completely unheard of in the rest of the world).
If you have a WordPress site (and you should have a WordPress site) then Yoast SEO plugin is probably the most popular and most useful free SEO tool you could have.
It is very user-friendly, so even a beginner can easily optimize their website for search engines, yet it covers every – even the most advanced – aspects of SEO.
You can easily link your website to Search Console, Analytics and even to Pinterest. Yoast also monitors your posts as you write them for the best SEO performance. It looks at grammar, structure, layout, keyword density and every aspect of on-page SEO as you write your posts. It uses a Red-Amber-Green system so you can see at a glance how well your post is optimized for ranking for the keyword of your choice.
I must admit I don’t use Yoast SEO anymore (I use All in One SEO instead, which is also free) because it frustrated me slightly. I felt like I was optimizing my post forever for Yoast’s algorithm and most of the time the end result did not feel ‘natural‘ to me – I prefer writing for human beings, even though it may mean that my post is not ‘perfect‘.
But it is completely personal, so the best thing you could do is trying it out for yourself, you may find that Yoast SEO takes the burden of ‘uncertainty‘ off your shoulder, and you sleep better knowing that you have done everything you could to optimize your post and rank as high as possible.
Another great and free SEO tool to double check if there are any technical issues with your site. Google tries to provide a great user experience to people. As much as relevancy is important from a user experience point of view – afterall what makes people happy is when they find the best answer to their question – a seamless user experience is impossible without a website that works properly. (See how I improved my site speed form 26 to 99 in a couple of hours)
If your website is chuffed with large pictures, tables, videos, plugins that don’t work properly or crash, popups, ads etc., it will have a toll on the speed your website loads.
Google PageSpeed Insights gives you a score on how fast and smooth the user experience is on your site, and tells you how you can improve it.
Page loading speed is one of the many ranking factors and it is really easy to get it sorted quickly: you need good hosting and a limited number of carefully selected plugins to have a great looking, smoothly working website that Google loves (and people will love too).
SEO Powersuite is a monster – it is everything I detailed above in one great tool, and more…and it has a free version that is absolutely usable with only a few limitations.
Its greatest features are the RankMonitor tool (track your rankings in search engines), the website audit, the SEO spy tool (spy on your competition) and the link-builder. It also has a built-in email sender for outreach, which makes link-building a bit less of a daunting experience.
Although I am not a big fan of active link-building (neither is Google), but if you do it you might as well do it the ‘easier’ way.
Interestingly, SEO Powersuite is not a cloud-based application but a software that you can download and install onto your computer. I am guessing it is because they have been around for more than a decade now, but I also suspect that they will move onto a cloud-based service soon.
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin is a bit like the ‘love-child‘ of Yoast SEO and SEO Powersuite.
It gives you access and insight to all the Analytics data while it integrates right into your WordPress dashboard. You have everything at your fingertips and you don’t even need to leave your WordPress dashboard to have very bit of detail on the SEO performance of your site.
It is very new and some of the features are not available yet – like the built-in keyword planner and Google Trends data – but even without these it is one of the most comprehensive and best free SEO tools available right now.
It basically renders everything else listed in this post a bit less important – if it doesn’t affect site-speed and works reliably without any massive issues I probably going to install it onto my sites too. Right now I only use the Schema.org Mark-up / Rich Snippet feature. This is available separately, as a stand-alone plugin.
A great alternative to Ubersuggest (or to use it alongside Ubersuggest) is WordTracker.
WordTracker uses the seed keyword you feed into its search bar and gives you an in-depth analysis of all related keywords. It gives you instant data on competition, popularity & trends.
The free version allows you to look at the first 10 results / suggestions, but you can have access to the full version for free for 7 days if you register your email address. After that there’s a monthly subscription fee.
If you’d like to save time (and have had enough of seeking new topics over and over again) then you could refresh old content (that don’t rank well…you should do this anyway on a regular basis). An easy way to know which posts you should upgrade / give a fresh look is Animalz Revive.
It hooks up with your Google Analytics and looks deep into your website traffic and user engagement to determine which older posts of yours should be updated.
It gives you some basic ideas why that post is losing traffic, how you could update, expand or optimize those posts to get them back to their previous (best) rank (or beyond).
It is really simple and if you have an older website it’s worth checking your older posts every now and then with Animalz Revive.
A limited version of AffiloTools comes free with your AffiloRama membership (you basically need an email address to register with).
Its a keyword tool-meets-analytics, meaning that it automatically tracks your rankings in greater depth and in more search engines. It makes it easier to see results of SEO efforts, so if you are constantly analysing Search Console then it is a great tool to get real insight of ongoing changes in terms of rankings, popularity, impressions, competition, location.
So if you find it somewhat difficult or complicated to dig deep into your data with Google Analytics and Search Console, AffiloTools has it all-in-one.
If that’s not enough;
- You can connect your FaceBook and Twitter accounts, to track social media outreach
- You can connect you ClickBank account, so you can track your affiliate sales (at least the ones through ClickBank)
If you have a new website, it is absolutely worth setting AffiloTools up. If you struggle to get visitors, it is even more worth setting AffiloTools up.
If you ever get stuck, there are at least 2 links on top of every page that link to the relevant training module (still free)
So the free account is a great add-on for anyone. Yes, you can have everything that AffiloTools offer anyways through other, free (or paid) tools, but you can only have the insight on separate platforms. AffiloTools has it under one roof.
…And there are tons of other free SEO tools and resources online. I must admit I don’t see the point of the paying for an expensive SEO tool, not yet anyways. These free tools I just shared with you are perfectly enough for me to carry out all tasks SEO on a weekly / monthly basis.
Affiliate marketing – and the way you set up your website and target keywords for affiliate marketing – is slightly different anyways, from having a blog and that’s it, so it will always involve a great deal of manual work – research and brainstorming – that none of the pro SEO tools can substitute.
If you’d like to know more about how to monetize your website more efficiently with affiliate marketing I recommend the Online Entrepreneurship Course at Wealthy Affiliate.
It is free to join (and remains free without limitations). The free account gives you access to many tools and resources (like a keyword planner, super-fast hosting, image optimization, SEO plugin, affiliate program finder, tons of training on all aspects Make Money Online etc.).