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128 Top SEO Tools That Are 100% Free

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These are some of the top SEO tools you can use for free to improve your marketing.

Software makes the SEO world go round. From analyzing your website data to performing research, effective SEO relies on a series of tools to assist humans in decision-making.

Paid subscription tools can be highly effective and usually come with support. But if you don’t have a large monthly budget, they might be out of the question.

The good news is that there are plenty of free tools. With a bit of time and know-how, you can create a free stack of software that helps you achieve your SEO goals.

What Are SEO Tools?

Think of SEO tools as your digital magnifying glass and toolkit for your website. They’re not just about providing numbers and graphs; they’re about offering insights and strategies to enhance your website’s visibility and performance.

These tools are the compass and map for navigating the vast world of search engine optimization, helping you pinpoint exactly where you stand and what steps you need to take to improve and boost visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Each SEO tool has a unique function, just like how a hammer is distinct from a screwdriver in a traditional toolbox. They offer specialized assistance in various aspects of SEO:

  • Analytics – Understand your website traffic and user behavior.
  • Keyword Research – Discover what your audience is searching for.
  • Links – Analyze your backlink profile and build quality links.
  • Local SEO – Optimize your site for local search results.
  • Mobile SEO – Ensure your site is optimized for mobile users.
  • On-page SEO – Improve the content and structure of your website pages.
  • Research – Dive deep into market trends and competitor strategies.
  • Rank Checking – Monitor where your pages stand in search results.
  • Site Speed – Enhance the loading speed of your pages.
  • WordPress SEO – Optimize your WordPress site specifically for SEO.

SEO tools are incredibly useful, but you must understand how to use them to get the most out of them.

There are even a few toolsets that can help you in more than the areas we just mentioned, giving you more of an all-at-once glance at your SEO performance.

Do You Need SEO Tools?

The short answer is yes, you need SEO tools.

Imagine trying to build a table using only your hands.

You wouldn’t get very far, would you? No.

You will need tools – saws, a measuring tape, a drill, and screwdrivers, to name a few.

Similarly, while you can certainly create a website with basic knowledge and intuition, truly optimizing and understanding its performance requires the right tools.

Without them, you’re essentially playing a guessing game.

Without SEO tools, you’re missing out on:

  • The volume of traffic reaching your site.
  • Alerts on sudden drops in website visits.
  • Identifying and fixing HTML errors.
  • Tracking the quantity and quality of your backlinks.
  • Discovering potential keywords to drive more traffic.
  • And much, much more.

So, while it’s theoretically possible to manage a website without SEO tools, if you’re serious about maximizing its potential and reaching your audience effectively, leveraging these tools isn’t just recommended – it’s essential.

What Are The Best Free SEO Tools?

If you’re looking to get started with SEO or want to achieve better results for the low cost of $0, here are 110 of the best free SEO tools you should be using.

Free SEO Analytics Tools

1. Google Analytics 4

Screenshot by author, May 2022

Google Analytics 4 is an invaluable resource that is virtually indispensable to any digital marketer serious about SEO.

It provides plenty of handy data about websites, such as the number of site visits, traffic sources, and location demographics.

With the detailed information from Google Analytics, digital marketers can tweak their content strategy and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Google Analytics 4 is one of the best free SEO tools that every digital marketer should be using.

2. Looker Studio (Formerly Data Studio)

Google Looker Studio lets you merge data from varying sources, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, and create sharable visualizations.

If you’re just getting started with it, this beginner’s guide to Data Studio will be helpful.

More advanced users can learn how to use CASE statements for better Data Studio segments here.

3. Keyword Hero

Missing keyword data? Leave it to Keyword Hero, which uses advanced math and machine learning to fill in the blanks.

This service is free for up to 2,000 sessions per month. Keyword Hero also provides a 14-day free trial of any of its  plans.

4. Mozcast

Mozcast tracks changes big and small to Google’s search algorithm.

With Google making hundreds of changes every year, keeping abreast of the latest developments helps you ensure you’re doing everything to have the best SERPs.

5. Panguin Tool

The Panguin Tool, provided by Barracuda Digital, lines up your search traffic with known changes to the Google search algorithm.

If you see a drop that lines up with an update, you’ve likely found the culprit and can work on fixing it!

6. Google Search Console Enhancer

A Chrome extension that beefs up your Google Search Console (GSC) with additional features and insights. Google Search Console Enhancer is like putting a turbocharger on your Console, providing you with more detailed data to fine-tune your SEO approach.

7. Better Regex In Search Console

This nifty Chrome extension amps up your Google Search Console experience.

If you’re into the nitty-gritty of SEO data, this tool helps you create more sophisticated search patterns to dive deeper into your website’s search query data.

8. Lost Impressions Index Check

This tool from TameTheBots helps you uncover potential SEO opportunities by identifying where you might be losing visibility in search results.

Free Crawling & Indexing Tools

9. Redirect Path

Redirect PathScreenshot from Redirect Path, March 2024

The Redirect Path Chrome extension will flag 301, 302, 404, and 500 HTTP Status Codes.

Additionally, client-side redirects like meta and JavaScript redirects will also be flagged, ensuring any redirect issue can be uncovered immediately.

HTTP Headers, such as server types and caching headers, as well as the server IP address, can also be displayed with the click of a button.

Furthermore, all of these details can be copied to your clipboard for easy sharing or addition to a technical audit document.

10. Link Redirect Trace

Use this Chrome plugin to make sure all your link redirects are directing people and crawlers to where you want them to go.

11. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Crawl your website for SEO errors.

Discover HTTP header errors, JavaScript rendering hiccups, excess HTML, crawl mistakes, duplicate content, and more with Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

12. Screaming Frog Log File Analyzer

Upload your log files to Screaming Frog’s Log File Analyzer to confirm search engine bots, check which URLs have been crawled, and study search bot data.

13. SEOlyzer

Another SEO log analysis tool that provides data in real-time and page categorization.

14. Xenu

One of the original free SEO tools, Xenu is a crawler that provides basic site audits, looks for broken links, and the other usual suspects.

15. Where Goes?

Track where redirection URLs and shortened links go with Where Goes?

16. Check My Links

Check My Links sampleScreenshot from Check My Links, May 2024

Check My Links is a nifty Chrome Extension that crawls through your webpage and identifies the status code for each link on the page – including broken links.

Each status code is color-coded with 200 status codes returning dark green, 300 status codes returning light green, and 400 status codes returning red.

Once identified, you can copy all bad links to your clipboard with one click.

17. Robots.txt Generator

Create a correct robots.txt file instantly so search engines know how to crawl your website.

Advanced users can customize their files with Robots.txt Generator as well.

18. HEADMaster SEO

Checks URLs in bulk for status code, redirect status, response time, response headers, and HTTP header fields with HEADMaster SEO.

Get results in real-time, sort and study your findings, and export your work to CSV.

19. Keep-Alive Validation SEO Tool

Check URLs in bulk – or one by one – to see if their servers support persistent connection, which makes your website load faster.

Check what version of HTTP your server is on and whether there are any external connections on your URL with this tool.

20. Hreflang Tag Generator

Generate hreflang tags so that Google knows which language particular pages on your website are in.

This will allow Google to search those pages in that language.

21. XML Sitemaps

Create a site map of up to 500 pages for free without registration.

Download your sitemap as an XML file or get it via email.

22. SERP Checker

Determine the potential ranking difficulty of a keyword with Ahrefs’ free SERP Checker tool.

You can check the top 10 search ranking results from any location without using proxies or location-specific IP addresses.

23. SFAIK Screaming Frog Analyzer

A robust visualization of Screaming Frog crawl data using Google Data Studio.

24. SEOWL Google Title Rewrite Checker

This Google Title Rewrite Checker will allow you to check if Google is rewriting the title of a list of pages, allowing for deeper Title Tag structure analysis.

Free Keyword Research Tools

25. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic for marketingScreenshot from AnswerThePublic, May 2024

AnswerThePublic is a nifty tool that provides content marketers with valuable data about the questions people ask online.

Once you input a keyword, it fetches popular queries based on that keyword and generates a cool graphic with the questions and phrases people use when they search for that keyword.

This data gives content creators insight into potential customers’ concerns and desires, and enables them to craft highly targeted content that addresses those needs.

AnswerThePublic also provides keyword suggestions using prepositions such as “versus,” “like,” and “with.”

It is an excellent research tool that can help you create better content that people will enjoy and be more likely to share.

26. Keyword Explorer

This keyword research tool will give you up to 1,000 keyword suggestions, a keyword difficulty score, a click-through rate date, and SERP analysis.

You get three free searches per day.

27. Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is designed for ad campaigns, but you can use it for keyword research by seeing how keywords perform in ads.

28. Keyword Sheeter

Get keyword volume, cost per click, and competition data with this free keyword tool.

29. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere sampleScreenshot from Keywords Everywhere, May 2024

Keywords Everywhere is a must-use keyword research tool due to the massive list of sites that it provides free search volume, CPC, and competition data for:

  • Google Search.
  • Google Trends.
  • eBay.
  • AnswerThePublic.
  • Google Keyword Planner.
  • Bing.
  • Etsy.
  • Soovle.
  • Google Search Console.
  • YouTube.
  • Ubersuggest.
  • Majestic.
  • Google Analytics 4.
  • Amazon.
  • Keyword Sheeter.
  • Moz Open Site Explorer.

It’s available for Chrome and Firefox.

30. Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty

This tool lets you discover how difficult it will be to rank in the top 10 search results for any keyword.

Simply enter your term and choose your location, and Ahrefs will give you a score, with 0 being easy and 100 being extremely difficult.

31. Also Asked

Find out what questions people are asking about particular keywords so that you can write content that answers those questions with Also Asked.

Conduct searches by country and in different languages. You can claim three free searches to start.

32. Google Trends

With Google Trends, you can see the interest in a particular term from as recently as an hour to as far back as 2004.

Sort by categories, country, and type of search. See related topics, popularity by region, latest most frequently searched-for terms, and compare to other terms.

33. Glimpse – Google Trends Search Extension

This Chrome extension brings Google Trends right to your browser, offering instant insights into trending topics.

It’s a goldmine for SEO strategists looking to tap into current interests and emerging searches.

34.  Keyword Surfer

This Chrome extension shows you the search volume in your Google search results. You can also see the word count and the number of keywords for top-ranking pages.

35. CanIRank

CanIRank homepageScreenshot by author, March 2024

As the name implies, CanIRank helps you determine if you can rank on the first page of search engines for a particular keyword.

Unlike other tools that merely provide data about how competitive keywords are, CanIRank lets you know the probability that you’ll rank for a search term and uses AI to give you suggestions on how to better target keywords.

CanIRank provides great competitive analysis data and actionable steps to get your site ranking higher with better SEO.

36. Seed Keywords

Come up with a question or topic you want to research, send it to your contacts, and have them select the keywords they would search for to get the information you want with Seed Keywords.

37. Exploding Topics

Similar to Google Trends, Exploding Topics will help uncover topics that are about to become popularly searched before they become popularly searched!

38. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest exampleScreenshot by Ubersuggest, May 2024

Ubersuggest is a simple keyword research tool that scrapes data from Google’s Keyword Planner for keyword ideas based on a keyword you provide.

The tool also returns handy data for each keyword, including the search volume, CPC, and level of competition.

An excellent feature of Ubersuggest is its ability to filter out keywords you’re not interested in from search results.

The tool has recently added a feature where you can type in a competitor’s domain to get better keyword ideas.

39. Keys4Up

Get the related keywords, also known as semantically linked keywords, for any search with Keys4Up.

40. Wordtracker Scout

Wordtracker Scout will help discover what keywords people search for when they’re ready to make a purchase.

41. KWFinder

With KWFinder, you can discover long-tail keywords – those more specific, less frequently used keywords that yield higher results because of how specific they are.

42. Keywords People Use

Get into the minds of your audience by discovering the exact phrases and questions they use.

This tool helps you align your content with real user searches, making your site more visible and relevant.

Free Link Tools

43. Disavow Tool

Use Google’s Disavow Tool to free yourself from toxic backlinks.

44. Moz Link Explorer

See the backlink profile and domain authority of any URL with Link Explorer.

45. Link Miner

Discover if a given URL has any broken links and discover the metrics of those links, including both search and social data with the Link Miner extension.

46. Backlink Checker

Use this Backlink Checker to discover all the backlink data about a particular URL.

See the number of referring domains, the number of backlinks, the domain and URL rating, and its Ahrefs Rank, a domain’s position in Ahrefs’s list of most powerful sites.

47. The Anchor Text Suggestion Tool By Outreach Labs

Discover the best anchor text to use for any URL with this Anchor Text Suggestion Tool.

48. SendPulse

SendPulse allows for the configuration of chains of emails, notifications, and SMS messages based on user actions, variables, or events.

49. Scraper

This Chrome extension lets you scrape data from any URL and export the info into a spreadsheet.

50. Help A Reporter (HARO)

Help A Reporter is a resource that connects journalists and experts who act as sources for stories.

51. Streak

Convert your Gmail inbox into customer relationship management (CRM) software with this free extension.

Local SEO

52. Google Business Profile

Connect with customers across Google Search and Google Maps using a free Google Business Profile.

53. Whitespark Google Review Link Generator

Use this tool to find your Google Review listing and generate a shortened link to your page.

54. Local Search Results Checker

Conduct local searches using Google Search or Google Maps with Brightlocal’s Local Search Results Checker.

55. Moz Local Check Business Listing

Confirm that your company’s details appear correctly on various directories with Moz’s Local Business Checker.

56. Whitespark Local Citation Finder

Track your citations, discover new opportunities, and get the citations your competitors have with this Local Citation Finder.

57. Review Handout Generator

Print instructions on how to leave a Google review via desktop or mobile device for your business with Whitespark’s Review Handout Generator.

58. Fakespot Review Checker

This Chrome extension lets you know if the product you’re about to buy comes from a reputable seller and, if not, provides an alternative.

59. Mobile SERP Test

See your local SERPS on various mobile devices with Mobile SERP Test from Mobile Moxie.

Mobile SEO Tools

60. WebPageTest

webpagetest mobile seo toolScreenshot by author, March 2024

Get visual insights for Core Web Vitals, including the primary image responsible for low LCP scores, scripts responsible for render-blocking, and .gif examples of cumulative layout shifts from the WebPageTest.

61. Merkle Mobile-First Index Checker

See how your website stacks up relative to SEO best practices, depending on whether it’s your desktop or mobile version, with Mobile-First Index Checker.

62. Google Page Speed Insights

Test your website’s mobile-friendliness with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.

63. GTMetrix

See how quickly your website loads with GTMetrix.

Discover what’s keeping it from loading as fast as possible, and see what steps to take to optimize load speed.

64. Cloudflare

A free content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers that speeds up content loading by using the server closest to the person doing the loading.

65. Reddico SERP Speed Test

Reddico’s SERP Speed Test tool allows you to compare your page speed at keyword level with the rest of the pages ranking on page 1.

The best part? Most countries are supported – simply choose your local from the drop-down.

Free Multi-Tools

66. Semrush Free Account

Semrush for SEJScreenshot from Semrush, March 2024

Semrush is an excellent keyword research SEO tool that, among other things, makes it easy to find out what keywords any page on the web is ranking for.

It provides detailed information about those keywords, including their position in SERPs, the URLs to which they drive traffic, and the traffic trends over the past 12 months.

With this feature-packed tool, you can easily find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and craft great content around those terms and phrases.

Semrush also offers more features and unlimited access with various paid plans.

While they’re not cheap, you can get started with a 14-day free trial to test the premium features. Or follow the company’s guide on how to use features with a free account.

67. Chrome DevTools

Edit pages in real-time using tools that are built into Google Chrome DevTools.

Diagnose problems as you encounter them.

68. Marketing Miner

Get SERP data, ranking, tool reports, and competitive analysis all in the form of convenient reports with Marketing Miner.

69. MozBar

MozBar sampleScreenshot from Mozbar, March 2024

MozBar is a free SEO toolbar that works with the Chrome browser. It provides easy access to advanced metrics on webpages and SERPs.

With MozBar and a free Moz account, you can easily access the Page and Domain Authority scores of any page or site.

The Page Analysis feature lets you explore elements on any page (e.g., markup, page title, general attributes, link metrics).

You can find keywords on the page you’re viewing, highlight and differentiate links, and compare the link metrics of different sites in SERPs.

If you need to do detailed SEO research on the go, MozBar is one of the best options.

You can unlock even more advanced features, such as Page Optimization and Keyword Difficulty, with a MozPro subscription.

70. SEO Minion

Conduct on-page SEO analysis, check for broken links, get a SERP preview, and more with this Chrome extension.

71. SEOquake

See SEO metrics and conduct an SEO audit with this Chrome extension.

72. Sheets For Marketers

Learn how to automate tasks in Google Sheets and discover the best automation templates and tools via this curated list.

73. Sheet Consolidator

Create workbooks using CSV exports with a table of contents and enabled hyperlinks using this simple Excel Sheet Consolidator tool.

74. Google Search Console

Google Search Console sampleScreenshot by author, May 2022

This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Google Search Console.

Aside from the fact that the data comes from Google, Google Search Console is rich with insights related to:

  • Keyword and URL performance.
  • Indexation issues.
  • Mobile usability.
  • Sitemap status.
  • And much more!

75. Small SEO Tools

A suite of tools to make it easier to create content, including a plagiarism checker, article rewriter, grammar check, word counter, spell checker, paraphrasing tool, and more.

76. Internet Marketing Ninjas

From social tools and schema generator tools to webmaster tools and web design tools, check out the free suite of tools from Internet Marketing Ninjas.

77. Ahref’s SEO Toolbar

Get SEO metrics and SERP details from Ahrefs free Chrome or Firefox extension.

78. Bing Webmaster Tools

Featuring keyword reports, keyword research, crawling dates, and more.

Unlike Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools only focuses on organic search. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to be ranked on Bing.

79. Woorank

WoorankScreenshot by author, May 2022

Woorank is a handy website analyzer that provides useful insights that can help you improve your site’s SEO.

It generates an SEO score for your site and an actionable “Marketing Checklist,” which outlines steps you can take to fix any problems with your site’s SEO.

Another cool feature of this free tool is the social shareability pane. This section provides social network data such as the number of likes, shares, comments, backlinks, and bookmarks across popular social networks.

Woorank also has a great mobile section where you can find information on how your pages render on mobile devices and how quickly they load.

80. SEObility

Find a suite of SEO tools that includes a site auditor, a SERP tracker, a backlink tracker, and more with SEObility.

81. Dareboost

This tool will provide you with an audit of your technical SEO, content, and website’s popularity.

You can also find out which keywords you should add to your pages.

82. Siteliner

Discover duplicate content, broken links, and page authority, and get both an XML sitemap and a detailed report of key site information with Siteliner.

83. InLinks

InLinks is about enhancing your content’s SEO by understanding and optimizing for the context of your topics, not just keywords.

It’s like having an SEO coach who helps you make your content more relevant and engaging through internal linking recommendations, AI content generation, content brief automation, and more.

On-Page SEO

84. Named Entities Indexing Checker

Part of InLinks, this indexing checker tool checks how well search engines understand the named entities (people, places, things) in your content.

Ensuring your content’s context is spot-on for better SEO performance is crucial.

85. JSON Crack

While more technical, this online JSON tool can help SEO professionals work with JSON, a common data format, making it easier to analyze and utilize structured data for SEO purposes.

86. Counting Characters Google SERP Tool

Counting Characters homepageScreenshot by author, May 2024

While counting characters has been a long-standing approach to evaluating meta description and title tag length, the reality is Google doesn’t count the meta title and description in the number of characters. It uses pixels instead.

The Counting Characters tool will provide both the character count and the pixel count to ensure you are creating meta tags that are not cut off by an ellipsis – represented by (…).

87. Natural Language API Demo

Use machine learning to determine the sentiment of text with the Natural Language API Demo.

New customers get $300 in free credits to spend on Natural Language. Use this data to improve your product or site design.

88. Rich Results Test

The Rich Results Test will discover if your website can support rich results, which is when your Google result includes non-textual elements like images.

89. Structured Markup Validator

Google’s structured data tool no longer exists. The Schema Markup Validator is the recommended alternative.

90. Ryte Structured Data Helper

The Ryte Structured Data Helper will provide you with a handy overview, showing you how to quickly and clearly validate your page’s Schema markup.

91. Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager allows you to manage your website tags without editing any code!

92. View Rendered Source

See how your browser renders a page with this Chrome extension, including modifications made by JavaScript.

Differences between raw and rendered versions are shown line-by-line.

93. Higher Visibility Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool

Find out what your SERP snippet will look like with Higher Visibility’s Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool.

94. Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator

Merkle’s Schema Markup Generator tool will help create JSON-LD markups for articles, breadcrumbs, events, FAQ pages, and how-to guides.

95. Animalz Revive

Find out which of your pages needs an update or an upgrade with Animalz Revive.

You can see the traffic for your pages, including the percentage of traffic your page lost since its peak.

96. Copyscape Free Comparison Tool

Copyscape’s Comparison Tool will help you check the percentage of shared text between two different pages to weed out plagiarism.

97. Internal Linking Tool

An internal linking tool to help you weave a web of internal links on your website, boosting your SEO by making your site more navigable and interconnected. Think of it as laying down a network of roads within your website, guiding visitors and search engines alike.

SEO Research Tools

98. Hunter

Hunter will help find all the important email addresses associated with a given domain.

99. SimilarWeb

Conduct competitor analysis with SimilarWeb that shows you a given domain’s traffic, top pages, engagement, marketing channels, and more.

100. Wappalyzer

Wappalyzer will help you determine if a given website is using a CMS, CRM, ecommerce platform, advertising networks, marketing tools, or analytics.

101. Wayback Machine

See a website throughout time, including pages that are no longer on the web with the Wayback Machine.

Bonus* check out the Compare tool to visualize how a page has changed based on specific timestamps.

wayback machine compare datesScreenshot by author, March 2024

102. SEO Explorer

SEO Explorer is a free tool for keyword and link research.

103. RedditInsights.ai

This is a cool tool for peering into the vast world of Reddit to uncover trends and topics.

Understanding what’s buzzing on Reddit can guide content creation, helping you tap into what your audience is interested in to inform your keyword and content strategy.

104. Thruuu Page Comparison Tool

Dive into side-by-side SEO comparisons of different web pages with the Thruuu Page Comparison Tool.

You can use this to help you understand how to optimize your own content.

Free Rank Checking Tools

105. Ahref’s SERP Checker

See the domains that place in the top 10 for any given keyword in 243 countries, and get robust analytics from Ahref’s SERP Checker.

106. SERPROBOT

Find a dedicated SERP tracking tool with the appropriately named SERPROBOT.

Set up automatic alerts, choose the frequency with which your SERP is checked, and get visual representations of changes.

107. Bulk Google Rank Checker

See your website’s SERPs for various keywords en mass with the Bulk Google Rank Checker.

Free Site Speed Tools

108. Lighthouse

This is Google’s open-source site speed utility. Lighthouse provides audits of performance, accessibility, web apps, SEO, and more.

109. WebpageTest

WebpageTest conducts site speed tests from different locations using different browsers.

110. Web Vitals

This GitHub extension measures Core Web Vitals, providing instant feedback on loading, interactivity, and layout shift metrics.

Here is an additional list of plugins to improve site speed.

WordPress SEO Tools

WordPress is a robust SEO-friendly CMS platform with numerous plugin options available to improve SEO.

While this post isn’t a WordPress-specific list of plugins, it is worth mentioning a handful of key plugins worth considering.

111. RankMath

A newer SEO suite for WordPress, RankMath has 15 modules and provides SEO guidance using 30 different types of improvements.

112. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most installed SEO suite for WordPress, with regular updates and new tools.

113. Ahrefs WordPress SEO Plugin

The Ahrefs WordPress SEO plugin will provide you with content audits, backlink checking, and tools to monitor and grow your organic traffic.

Here are additional lists of Google Analytics plugins and plugins to improve site speed.

Free AI SEO Tools

Last but not least, we cannot ignore AI.

For better or worse, artificial intelligence has completely shaken up the digital world. While it should never replace your current SEO activities, it can certainly enhance them.

Here are some free AI SEO tools; we’ll also explain how to use them.

114. OpenAI Chat (ChatGPT)

chatgpt seo toolScreenshot by author, March 2024

Perhaps the most famous AI tool out there, ChatGPT can be a great help in your SEO efforts.

You can ask for advice, generate content ideas, and even get help with keyword research. It’s like having an SEO buddy you can brainstorm with anytime.

While the Premium ChatGPT, i.e., ChatGPT 4, is paid, ChatGPT 3.5 is free of charge.

115. AIRPM for ChatGPT

Think of AIPRM as your personal assistant to supercharge ChatGPT’s capabilities.

It helps you craft prompts that get straight to the point, whether you’re looking for keyword suggestions, content ideas, or SEO strategies, making your interactions with ChatGPT even more fruitful.

116. SEO.AI

This innovative tool leverages AI to analyze your content’s alignment with SEO best practices and offers suggestions for improvement.

It can provide insights into keyword optimization, readability, and other on-page SEO factors, helping you refine your content to better match search engine algorithms and user expectations.

You can get 10 content audits free!

Time to Take Your SEO Efforts To New Heights

In today’s digital landscape, standing out is not just about having a great website; it’s about making sure it’s seen.

With well over 100 free SEO tools at your disposal, the power to elevate your online presence is literally at your fingertips.

We’ll leave you with some parting tips to help you while using these free SEO tools:

  • Start with a goal – Have a clear objective before diving into the sea of tools. Are you looking to increase traffic, enhance user engagement, or improve your search engine rankings? Knowing your goal will help you select the right tools and focus your efforts effectively.
  • Experiment and explore – Don’t hesitate to try different tools to see which ones resonate with your workflow and provide the most valuable insights. What works for one site might not work for another, so exploration is key.
  • Integrate SEO into your routine – Make SEO a regular part of your content creation and website maintenance routine. It’s not a one-off task but a continuous effort that pays dividends over time.
  • Stay updated – The world of SEO is dynamic, with search engines constantly updating their algorithms. Keep abreast of the latest trends and adjust your strategies accordingly to maintain and enhance your site’s visibility.
  • Use data wisely – Leverage the data and insights from these tools to make informed decisions. But remember, data is most powerful when combined with creativity and a deep understanding of your audience.
  • Patience is key – SEO results don’t happen overnight. Be patient, keep refining your strategies, and the results will come.

So, whether you’re a seasoned SEO strategist or just starting, the wealth of free tools available means there’s no excuse not to optimize your site.

Dive in, explore, and watch as your website climbs the ranks, attracting more visitors and turning clicks into customers.

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SEO

The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You’ll Face in 2024

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The 6 Biggest SEO Challenges You'll Face in 2024

Seen any stressed-out SEOs recently? If so, that’s because they’ve got their work cut out this year.

Between navigating Google’s never-ending algorithm updates, fighting off competitors, and getting buy-in for projects, there are many significant SEO challenges to consider.

So, which ones should you focus on? Here are the six biggest ones I think you should pay close attention to.

Make no mistake—Google’s algorithm updates can make or break your site.

Core updates, spam updates, helpful content updates—you name it, they can all impact your site’s performance.

As we can see below, the frequency of Google updates has increased in recent years, meaning that the likelihood of being impacted by a Google update has also increased.

How to deal with it:

Recovering from a Google update isn’t easy—and sometimes, websites that get hit by updates may never fully recover.

For the reasons outlined above, most businesses try to stay on the right side of Google and avoid incurring Google’s wrath.

SEOs do this by following Google’s Search Essentials, SEO best practices and avoiding risky black hat SEO tactics. But sadly, even if you think you’ve done this, there is no guarantee that you won’t get hit.

If you suspect a website has been impacted by a Google update, the fastest way to check is to plug the domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Ahrefs Site Explorer screenshotAhrefs Site Explorer screenshot

Here’s an example of a website likely affected by Google’s August 2023 Core Update. The traffic drop started on the update’s start date.

Website impacted by Google's August 2023 Core UpdateWebsite impacted by Google's August 2023 Core Update
Hover over the G circles on the X axis to get information about each update.

From this screen, you can see if a drop in traffic correlates with a Google update. If there is a strong correlation, then that update may have hit the site. To remedy it, you will need to understand the update and take action accordingly.

Follow SEO best practices

It’s important your website follows SEO best practices so you can understand why it has been affected and determine what you need to do to fix things.

For example, you might have missed significant technical SEO issues impacting your website’s traffic. To rule this out, it’s worth using Site Audit to run a technical crawl of your website.

Site Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site AuditSite Audit screenshot, via Ahrefs Site Audit

Monitor the latest SEO news

In addition to following best practices, it’s a good idea to monitor the latest SEO news. You can do this through various social media channels like X or LinkedIn, but I find the two websites below to be some of the most reliable sources of SEO news.

Even if you escape Google’s updates unscathed, you’ve still got to deal with your competitors vying to steal your top-ranking keywords from right under your nose.

This may sound grim, but it’s a mistake to underestimate them. Most of the time, they’ll be trying to improve their website’s SEO just as much as you are.

And these days, your competitors will:

How to deal with it:

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to do these two things:

Spy on your competitors and monitor their strategy

Ok, so you don’t have to be James Bond, but by using a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer and our Google Looker Studio Integration (GLS), you can extract valuable information and keep tabs on your competitors, giving you a competitive advantage in the SERPs.

Using a tool like Site Explorer, you can use the Organic Competitors report to understand the competitor landscape:

Organic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerOrganic competitors screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can check out their Organic traffic performance across the years:

Year on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerYear on Year comparison of organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can use Calendar to see which days changes in Positions, Pages, Referring domains Backlinks occurred:

Screenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerScreenshot of Ahrefs' Calendar, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can see their Top pages’ organic traffic and Organic keywords:

Top pages report, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTop pages report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And much, much more.

If you want to monitor your most important competitors more closely, you can even create a dashboard using Ahrefs’ GLS integration.

Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,Google Looker Studio integration screenshot,

Acquire links and create content that your competitors can’t recreate easily

Once you’ve done enough spying, it’s time to take action.

Links and content are the bread and butter for many SEOs. But a lot of the time the links that are acquired and the content that is created just aren’t that great.

So, to stand the best chance of maintaining your rankings, you need to work on getting high-quality backlinks and producing high-quality content that your competitors can’t easily recreate.

It’s easy to say this, but what does it mean in practice?

The best way to create this type of content is to create deep content.

At Ahrefs, we do this by running surveys, getting quotes from industry experts, running data studies, creating unique illustrations or diagrams, and generally fine-tuning our content until it is the best it can be.

As if competing against your competitors wasn’t enough, you must also compete against Google for clicks.

As Google not-so-subtly transitions from a search engine to an answer engine, it’s becoming more common for it to supply the answer to search queries—rather than the search results themselves.

The result is that even the once top-performing organic search websites have a lower click-through rate (CTR) because they’re further down the page—or not on the first page.

Whether you like it or not, Google is reducing traffic to your website through two mechanisms:

  • AI overviews – Where Google generates an answer based on sources on the internet
  • Zero-click searches – Where Google shows the answer in the search results

With AI overviews, we can see that the traditional organic search results are not visible.

And with zero-click searches, Google supplies the answer directly in the SERP, so the user doesn’t have to click anything unless they want to know more.

Zero Click searches example, via Google.comZero Click searches example, via Google.com

These features have one thing in common: They are pushing the organic results further down the page.

With AI Overviews, even when links are included, Kevin Indig’s AI overviews traffic impact study suggests that AI overviews will reduce organic clicks.

In this example below, shared by Aleyda, we can see that even when you rank organically in the number one position, it doesn’t mean much if there are Ads and an AI overview with the UX with no links in the AI overview answer; it just perpetuates the zero-clicks model through the AI overview format.

How to deal with it:

You can’t control how Google changes the SERPs, but you can do two things:

Make your website the best it can be

If you focus on the latter, your website will naturally become more authoritative over time. This isn’t a guarantee that your website will be included in the AI overview, but it’s better than doing nothing.

Prevent Google from showing your website in an AI Overview

If you want to be excluded from Google’s AI Overviews, Google says you can add no snippet to prevent your content from appearing in AI Overviews.

nosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentationnosnippet code explanation screemshot, via Google's documentation

One of the reasons marketers gravitated towards Google in the early days was that it was relatively easy to set up a website and get traffic.

Recently, there have been a few high-profile examples of smaller websites that have been impacted by Google:

Apart from the algorithmic changes, I think there are two reasons for this:

  • Large authoritative websites with bigger budgets and SEO teams are more likely to rank well in today’s Google
  • User-generated content sites like Reddit and Quora have been given huge traffic boosts from Google, which has displaced smaller sites from the SERPs that used to rank for these types of keyword queries

Here’s Reddit’s traffic increase over the last year:

Reddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerReddit's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

And here’s Quora’s traffic increase:

Quora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site ExplorerQuora's organic traffic increase, via Ahrefs Site Explorer

How to deal with it:

There are three key ways I would deal with this issue in 2024:

Focus on targeting the right keywords using keyword research

Knowing which keywords to target is really important for smaller websites. Sadly, you can’t just write about a big term like “SEO” and expect to rank for it in Google.

Use a tool like Keywords Explorer to do a SERP analysis for each keyword you want to target. Use the effort-to-reward ratio to ensure you are picking the right keyword battles:

Effort to reward ratio illustrationEffort to reward ratio illustration

If you’re concerned about Reddit, Quora, or other UGC sites stealing your clicks, you can also use Keywords Explorer to target SERPs where these websites aren’t present.

To do this:

  • Enter your keyword in the search bar and head to the matching terms report
  • Click on the SERP features drop-down box
  • Select Not on SERP and select Discussions and forums
Example of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerExample of removing big UGC sites from keyword searches using filters in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

This method can help you find SERPs where these types of sites are not present.

Build more links to become more authoritative

Another approach you could take is to double down on the SEO basics and start building more high-quality backlinks.

Write deep content

Most SEOs are not churning out 500-word blog posts and hoping for the best; equally, the content they’re creating is often not deep or the best it can possibly be.

This is often due to time restraints, budget and inclination. But to be competitive in the AI era, deep content is exactly what you should be creating.

As your website grows, the challenge of maintaining the performance of your content portfolio gets increasingly more difficult.

And what may have been an “absolute banger” of an article in 2020 might not be such a great article now—so you’ll need to update it to keep the clicks rolling in.

So how can you ensure that your content is the best it can be?

How to deal with it:

Here’s the process I use:

Steal this content updating framework

And here’s a practical example of this in action:

Use Page Inspect with Overview to identify pages that need updating

Here’s an example of an older article Michal Pecánek wrote that I recently updated. Using Page Inspect, we can pinpoint the exact date of the update was on May 10, 2024, with no other major in the last year.

Ahrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerAhrefs Page Inspect screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

According to Ahrefs, this update almost doubled the page’s organic traffic, underlining the value of updating old content. Before the update, the content had reached its lowest performance ever.

Example of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerExample of a content update and the impact on organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

So, what changed to casually double the traffic? Clicking on Page Inspect gives us our answer.

Page Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerPage Inspect detail screenshot, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

I was focused on achieving three aims with this update:

  • Keeping Michal’s original framework for the post intact
  • Making the content as concise and readable as it can be
  • Refreshing the template (the main draw of the post) and explaining how to use the updated version in a beginner-friendly way to match the search intent

Getting buy-in for SEO projects has never been easy compared to other channels. Unfortunately, this meme perfectly describes my early days of agency life.

SEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgetsSEO meme, SEO vs PPC budgets

SEO is not an easy sell—either internally or externally to clients.

With companies hiring fewer SEO roles this year, the appetite for risk seems lower than in previous years.

SEO can also be slow to take impact, meaning getting buy-in for projects is harder than other channels.

How long does SEO take illustrationHow long does SEO take illustration

How to deal with it:

My colleague Despina Gavoyannis has written a fantastic article about how to get SEO buy-in, here is a summary of her top tips:

  • Find key influencers and decision-makers within the organization, starting with cross-functional teams before approaching executives. (And don’t forget the people who’ll actually implement your changes—developers.)
  • Adapt your language and communicate the benefits of SEO initiatives in terms that resonate with different stakeholders’ priorities.
  • Highlight the opportunity costs of not investing in SEO by showing the potential traffic and revenue being missed out on using metrics like Ahrefs’ traffic value.
  • Collaborate cross-functionally by showing how SEO can support other teams’ goals, e.g. helping the editorial team create content that ranks for commercial queries.

And perhaps most important of all: build better business cases and SEO opportunity forecasts.

If you just want to show the short-term trend for a keyword, you can use Keywords Explorer:

Forecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerForecasting feature for keywords, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer
The forecasted trend is shown in orange as a dotted line.

If you want to show the Traffic potential of a particular keyword, you can use our Traffic potential metric in SERP overview to gauge this:

Traffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerTraffic potential example, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

And if you want to go the whole hog, you can create an SEO forecast. You can use a third-party tool to create a forecast, but I recommend you use Patrick Stox’s SEO forecasting guide.

Final thoughts

Of all the SEO challenges mentioned above, the one keeping SEOs awake at night is AI.

It’s swept through our industry like a hurricane, presenting SEOs with many new challenges. The SERPs are changing, competitors are using AI tools, and the bar for creating basic content has been lowered, all thanks to AI.

If you want to stay competitive, you need to arm yourself with the best SEO tools and search data on the market—and for me, that always starts with Ahrefs.

Got questions? Ping me on X.



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Why Now’s The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

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Why Now's The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

There is no better time for organizations to prioritize Schema Markup.

Why is that so, you might ask?

First of all, Schema Markup (aka structured data) is not new.

Google has been awarding sites that implement structured data with rich results. If you haven’t taken advantage of rich results in search, it’s time to gain a higher click-through rate from these visual features in search.

Secondly, now that search is primarily driven by AI, helping search engines understand your content is more important than ever.

Schema Markup allows your organization to clearly articulate what your content means and how it relates to other things on your website.

The final reason to adopt Schema Markup is that, when done correctly, you can build a content knowledge graph, which is a critical enabler in the age of generative AI. Let’s dig in.

Schema Markup For Rich Results

Schema.org has been around since 2011. Back then, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex worked together to create the standardized Schema.org vocabulary to enable website owners to translate their content to be understood by search engines.

Since then, Google has incentivized websites to implement Schema Markup by awarding rich results to websites with certain types of markup and eligible content.

Websites that achieve these rich results tend to see higher click-through rates from the search engine results page.

In fact, Schema Markup is one of the most well-documented SEO tactics that Google tells you to do. With so many things in SEO that are backward-engineered, this one is straightforward and highly recommended.

You might have delayed implementing Schema Markup due to the lack of applicable rich results for your website. That might have been true at one point, but I’ve been doing Schema Markup since 2013, and the number of rich results available is growing.

Even though Google deprecated how-to rich results and changed the eligibility of FAQ rich results in August 2023, it introduced six new rich results in the months following – the most new rich results introduced in a year!

These rich results include vehicle listing, course info, profile page, discussion forum, organization, vacation rental, and product variants.

There are now 35 rich results that you can use to stand out in search, and they apply to a wide range of industries such as healthcare, finance, and tech.

Here are some widely applicable rich results you should consider utilizing:

  • Breadcrumb.
  • Product.
  • Reviews.
  • JobPosting.
  • Video.
  • Profile Page.
  • Organization.

With so many opportunities to take control of how you appear in search, it’s surprising that more websites haven’t adopted it.

A statistic from Web Data Commons’ October 2023 Extractions Report showed that only 50% of pages had structured data.

Of the pages with JSON-LD markup, these were the top types of entities found.

  • http://schema.org/ListItem (2,341,592,788 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/ImageObject (1,429,942,067 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Organization (907,701,098 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList (817,464,472 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebSite (712,198,821 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebPage (691,208,528 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Offer (623,956,111 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/SearchAction (614,892,152 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Person (582,460,344 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/EntryPoint (502,883,892 Entities)

(Source: October 2023 Web Data Commons Report)

Most of the types on the list are related to the rich results mentioned above.

For example, ListItem and BreadcrumbList are required for the Breadcrumb Rich Result, SearchAction is required for Sitelink Search Box, and Offer is required for the Product Rich Result.

This tells us that most websites are using Schema Markup for rich results.

Even though these Schema.org types can help your site achieve rich results and stand out in search, they don’t necessarily tell search engines what each page is about in detail and help your site be more semantic.

Help AI Search Engines Understand Your Content

Have you ever seen your competitor’s sites using specific Schema.org Types that are not found in Google’s structured data documentation (i.e. MedicalClinic, IndividualPhysician, Service, etc)?

The Schema.org vocabulary has over 800 types and properties to help websites explain what the page is about. However, Google’s structured data features only require a small subset of these properties for websites to be eligible for a rich result.

Many websites that solely implement Schema Markup to get rich results tend to be less descriptive with their Schema Markup.

AI search engines now look at the meaning and intent behind your content to provide users with more relevant search results.

Therefore, organizations that want to stay ahead should use more specific Schema.org types and leverage appropriate properties to help search engines better understand and contextualize their content. You can be descriptive with your content while still achieving rich results.

For example, each type (e.g. Article, Person, etc.) in the Schema.org vocabulary has 40 or more properties to describe the entity.

The properties are there to help you fully describe what the page is about and how it relates to other things on your website and the web. In essence, it’s asking you to describe the entity or topic of the page semantically.

The word ‘semantic’ is about understanding the meaning of language.

Note that the word “understanding” is part of the definition. Funny enough, in October 2023, John Mueller at Google released a Search Update video. In this six-minute video, he leads with an update on Schema Markup.

For the first time, Mueller described Schema Markup as “a code you can add to your web pages, which search engines can use to better understand the content. ”

While Mueller has historically spoken a lot about Schema Markup, he typically talked about it in the context of rich result eligibility. So, why the change?

This shift in thinking about Schema Markup for enhanced search engine understanding makes sense. With AI’s growing role and influence in search, we need to make it easy for search engines to consume and understand the content.

Take Control Of AI By Shaping Your Data With Schema Markup

Now, if being understood and standing out in search is not a good enough reason to get started, then doing it to help your enterprise take control of your content and prepare it for artificial intelligence is.

In February 2024, Gartner published a report on “30 Emerging Technologies That Will Guide Your Business Decisions,”  highlighting generative AI and knowledge graphs as critical emerging technologies companies should invest in within the next 0-1 years.

Knowledge graphs are collections of relationships between entities defined using a standardized vocabulary that enables new knowledge to be gained by way of inferencing.

Good news! When you implement Schema Markup to define and connect the entities on your site, you are creating a content knowledge graph for your organization.

Thus, your organization gains a critical enabler for generative AI adoption while reaping its SEO benefits.

Learn more about building content knowledge graphs in my article, Extending Your Schema Markup From Rich Results to Knowledge Graphs.

We can also look at other experts in the knowledge graph field to understand the urgency of implementing Schema Markup.

In his LinkedIn post, Tony Seale, Knowledge Graph Architect at UBS in the UK, said,

“AI does not need to happen to you; organizations can shape AI by shaping their data.

It is a choice: We can allow all data to be absorbed into huge ‘data gravity wells’ or we can create a network of networks, each of us connecting and consolidating our data.”

The “networks of networks” Seale refers to is the concept of knowledge graphs – the same knowledge graph that can be built from your web data using semantic Schema Markup.”

The AI revolution has only just begun, and there is no better time than now to shape your data, starting with your web content through the implementation of Schema Markup.

Use Schema Markup As The Catalyst For AI

In today’s digital landscape, organizations must invest in new technology to keep pace with the evolution of AI and search.

Whether your goal is to stand out on the SERP or ensure your content is understood as intended by Google and other search engines, the time to implement Schema Markup is now.

With Schema Markup, SEO pros can become heroes, enabling generative AI adoption through content knowledge graphs while delivering tangible benefits, such as increased click-through rates and improved search visibility.

More resources: 


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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

Google removed the Covid-era structured data associated with the Home Activities rich results that allowed online events to be surfaced in search since August 2020, publishing a mention of the removal in the search documentation changelog.

Home Activities Rich Results

The structured data for the Home Activities rich results allowed providers of online livestreams, pre-recorded events and online events to be findable in Google Search.

The original documentation has been completely removed from the Google Search Central webpages and now redirects to a changelog notation that explains that the Home Activity rich results is no longer available for display.

The original purpose was to allow people to discover things to do from home while in quarantine, particularly online classes and events. Google’s rich results surfaced details of how to watch, description of the activities and registration information.

Providers of online events were required to use Event or Video structured data. Publishers and businesses who have this kind of structured data should be aware that this kind of rich result is no longer surfaced but it’s not necessary to remove the structured data if it’s a burden, it’s not going to hurt anything to publish structured data that isn’t used for rich results.

The changelog for Google’s official documentation explains:

“Removing home activity documentation
What: Removed documentation on home activity structured data.

Why: The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

Read more about Google’s Home Activities rich results:

Google Announces Home Activities Rich Results

Read the Wayback Machine’s archive of Google’s original announcement from 2020:

Home activities

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