Best free SEO tools in 2024

We see so many people out there who want to grow their websites and do the best SEO practices. However, during this journey, not everyone has a good budget to subscribe to those hefty SEO tools that can significantly put a hole in their pockets.  

Best free SEO tools in 2024: quick menu

And this is where the free SEO tools come into play. These tools cost you nothing and have the power to escalate your website through best SEO practices instantly. Be it keyword research, site auditing, backlink monitoring, or even website performance, there is a free tool for each of these needs. 

In this article, we’ll cover the best free SEO tools in the industry. Under this, we’ll describe the USPs of each tool, how they work, and how you can make the most of it. If this sounds interesting and useful to you, read this buying guide on the best free SEO tools for 2024. 


Best free SEO tools in 2024 in full

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Best overall

Website screenshot for Google Search Console

(Image credit: Google)
Best for SERP Ranking

Reasons to buy

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Detailed reports on top search queries
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Provides specific AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) status reports
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Integrates with other Google tools like Analytics
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Instant alerts for indexing and security issues
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Mobile usability report for each page

Reasons to avoid

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Relies on the Google ecosystem
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No keyword volume data
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Steep learning curve

Google Search Console (GSC) is so big and vital that almost all website owners ranking on Google use it to know more about their site’s performance. Unsurprisingly, GSC offers many advanced features that give deep insights into a website for free. 

First, you get a Performance Report's query-level data, which goes beyond basic visibility metrics. With this, you can analyze impressions, clicks, and position data for specific queries and find hidden opportunities for keyword optimization and content refinement. You also get an Index Coverage report that diagnoses and fixes complex indexing issues. For instance, it identifies precisely which pages are not indexed by Google and why, including issues like server errors, redirects, or blocked resources. All of this helps you improve your site’s performance over the long run.

Moreover, if you’re someone running a large or dynamic website just like us, the URL Inspection tool offers an in-depth look at the indexing status and search visibility of individual URLs. This feature is particularly valuable after deploying new pages or making significant updates, as it verifies whether Google's index reflects these changes accurately or not.

We also love GSC’s insights into site structure and usability issues through its Core Web Vitals report. This report focuses on user experience metrics like loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability and further shows areas that need improvement to meet Google's page experience standards. Lastly, the Security Issues and Manual Actions sections can maintain your site’s ranking by alerting you to the actions taken by Google that could affect your site's Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking.

Read our full Google SEO tools review.

Best site analysis

Google analytics landing page

(Image credit: Google)
Popular SEO tool

Reasons to buy

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Extensive web traffic analysis
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Real-time user activity tracking
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Detailed audience demographics
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Customizable report dashboards
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Behavior flow visualization

Reasons to avoid

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Overwhelming data for beginners
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Privacy concerns with data collection
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Custom reports can be tricky

Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful SEO tool that shows a website’s detailed insights to its owner. Unlike GSC, GA goes a step ahead and reveals a website’s data from Google and other search engines as well. It goes beyond surface-level metrics to offer tons of advanced features that unlock powerful insights into how visitors interact with your site.

Along with that, GA’s dynamic Audience Segmentation feature has all our praises, as it creates highly specific segments based on user behavior, demographics, acquisition channels, and more. With this, you can tailor your content and marketing strategies to match the preferences of different user groups closely. This dramatically improves your site’s engagement and conversion rates.

Plus, the custom dashboards and Reports stand out for their flexibility and depth. You can customize these tools to track specific KPIs and metrics relevant to their unique objectives. In short, whether it’s monitoring organic search performance, referral traffic, or user engagement levels, custom dashboards provide a comprehensive, at-a-glance view of your site’s performance according to your needs.

As we said, GA is capable of giving you such deep insights that even the top SEO tools fail to offer. For instance, the Event Tracking feature delivers detailed insights into user interactions within the site. This involves things like clicks on a call-to-action button to video views or downloads, all of which help identify what captures your reader’s attention and drives them to take action. Similarly, the Conversion Paths feature studies the multi-touch journey of users and gives a clear picture of the paths that lead to conversions.

Lastly, the integration features of Google Analytics with other tools, like Google Ads and Search Console, give you a more cohesive analysis of search performance and advertising ROI. In short, this integration removes the gap between acquisition, behavior, and conversion metrics.

Read our full Google SEO tools review.

Best for data

Semrush website screenshot

(Image credit: Semrush)
Ideal for competitor analysis and keyword research

Reasons to buy

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Extensive keyword research database
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Competitor strategy insights available
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Comprehensive backlink audit function
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Detailed SEO health site audits
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Tracks social media performance
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Advanced content marketing toolkit

Reasons to avoid

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Basic features in the free version
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Regional data accuracy varies
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Report generation can be slow

Although Semrush is widely popular for its paid SEO tools and services, it also comes with many free tools that could do a lot for you. This includes researching your site, doing extensive competitor analysis, and quickly checking your site’s health. First off, you get a keyword research tool known as the Keyword Magic Tool and Keyword Overview with a capacity of running 10 searches in a day for 10 times, where you can unlock access to the data of 100 keywords in total. This includes detailed analytics on keyword difficulty, search volumes, intent, trends, and competitive PPC landscapes, spanning across 142 countries for over 25 billion keywords. 

Plus, along with 10 domain analyses per day, you also get extensive data on a domain's organic and paid search performance, including keyword rankings, competitor comparisons, traffic sources, and backlink profiles. Imagine the level of insights you could gain from your competitors’ sites, and that too without spending a penny.

And the fun doesn’t end here. To top it all off, Semrush also offers multiple content marketing tools for free, including an SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant, which offers recommendations for optimization, readability, and keyword inclusion to enhance content effectiveness. For local SEO, the Listing Management tool's audit checks your presence across over 70 directories in the US and beyond, something that is super vital for local search visibility.

Read our full Semrush review.

Best backlink analysis

Ahrefs

(Image credit: Ahrefs)
In-depth SEO insights

Reasons to buy

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Free for website owners
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Deep backlink profile analysis
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Comprehensive keyword rank tracking
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Competitor website crawling
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Actionable SEO insights

Reasons to avoid

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Limited keywords for free users
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Data mainly for own site
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Reports take time to refresh

Despite making waves with its paid plans offering crisp and detailed insights into SEO, Ahrefs has also created a huge audience with its free tools. The Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) serves as an essential toolkit for SEO experts with a suite of advanced features designed for deep analysis and strategic execution.

You get a Site Audit tool that stands out for its exhaustive approach to identifying technical and on-page SEO issues. With a focus on advanced diagnostics, it examines everything from HTML tags, content quality, and site structure to HTTPS status and JavaScript rendering issues. The tool's capacity to prioritize issues based on estimated impact helps you address critical errors that could be impeding crawl ability or indexation by search engines. 

We also love AWT’s Backlink Profile component which delivers an advanced exploration into a site's backlink ecosystem. It includes vital metrics like Domain Rating (DR), URL Rating (UR), and Ahrefs Rank (AR) to assess the strength and quality of inbound links. It also identifies and manages toxic links that risk penalization by Google's algorithms. Additionally, its competitor backlink analysis gives strategic insights into link acquisition tactics and guides you in crafting superior link-building strategies.

Moreover, AWT's Keyword Explorer goes beyond basic keyword research and offers advanced metrics like Clicks Per Search (CPS), Return Rate (RR), and Parent Topic to generate those keywords with the highest potential for traffic and conversion. 

It provides a detailed overview of SERP features and the top-ranking pages that deliver a deep dive into the competitive landscape. This can help you spot opportunities for ranking in featured snippets, local packs, or other Google SERP features, which fine-tune your keyword strategy for maximum visibility. Additionally, its Content Explorer tool uses advanced filtering by traffic, domain rating, social shares, and content freshness to highlight gaps and trends within any niche. 

Read our full Ahrefs review.

Best for beginners

Detailed SEO

(Image credit: Detailed SEO)

5. Detailed SEO extension

Browser plug-in

Reasons to buy

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Instant on-page SEO metrics
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User-friendly interface
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Integrates with Chrome easily
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Highlights technical SEO issues
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Quick access to backlink data
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Supports multiple SEO tools

Reasons to avoid

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Limited access
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Basic features compared to full platforms
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Lacks deep analytical features
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No historical data tracking

If you’re someone who likes to do your SEO analysis side by side on your browser itself, then the Detailed SEO Extension is just what you need. This tool seamlessly integrates into your browser to offer instant insights on any webpage you visit. 

In fact, some of our top SEO experts use this free extension to quickly watch a site's metadata details, including title tags, meta descriptions, and even meta robot tags. This instant access helps to swiftly evaluate the effectiveness of your on-page SEO efforts and identify areas for improvement without the need for cumbersome manual checks or navigating through source code.

It further reveals header structure (H1 through H6 tags) on any page, which is crucial for understanding content hierarchy and keyword emphasis. This insight is particularly valuable for optimizing content structure to better target key phrases and improve search engine visibility.

Link analysis is another area where the Detailed SEO Extension shines. It highlights internal and external links, identifies broken links, and outlines nofollow links. Moreover, the extension offers a quick glance at a webpage's load speed and mobile friendliness, two factors increasingly important for search engine rankings. Finally, its ease of use and the ability to export data directly from your browser into a CSV file make it a great tool for SEO professionals looking to compile reports or conduct in-depth analyses. 

Best site performance

GTmetrix

(Image credit: GTmetrix)

6. GTmetrix

Detailed site speed analysis

Reasons to buy

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Performance and structure scores
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Presents visual loading timeline
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Mobile and desktop testing
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Historical performance tracking

Reasons to avoid

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Advanced features require payment
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Limited tests in free version
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Focuses mainly on speed metrics
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Reports require interpretation skills

GTmetrix also offers multiple free features aimed at improving your website’s performance and user experience. At its core, GTmetrix provides a detailed analysis of a website's loading speed and performance using extensive data to pinpoint areas for improvement. The free features of GTmetrix offer a solid foundation for understanding how your site performs from a speed and user experience standpoint, all of which are crucial factors in SEO rankings.

What we love the most in GTmetrix’s free version is the comprehensive performance report, which grades your site on key metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Total Blocking Time (TBT), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These Core Web Vitals are super important for SEO, as Google uses them to assess the quality of the user experience. It won’t be wrong to say that by identifying these metrics, GTmetrix not only helps in pinpointing performance bottlenecks but also aligns optimization efforts with SEO best practices.

Another useful feature of the free plan is its ability to test your site's loading speed from different locations. This is particularly beneficial for sites targeting a global audience, as it provides insights into how geographic location affects site performance. We say this because understanding regional variations in loading times can guide optimizations for a more universally swift user experience.

GTmetrix also offers a waterfall chart in its analysis, detailing the loading sequence of site elements. This visual representation helps SEO experts and web developers identify which elements slow down the site, from oversized images to slow third-party scripts. This helps you reduce the loading time of your website, something that hugely impacts a site’s performance on Google. 

Furthermore, the tool provides actionable recommendations based on the analysis and priorities fixes that can have the most significant impact on your site's performance. These recommendations are value-bomb for anyone looking to enhance their site's speed and user experience without diving into the more technical aspects of web performance optimization.

Best keyword research

Google Ads keyword planner

(Image credit: Google)

7. Google Keyword Planner

Free with a Google Ads account

Reasons to buy

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Extensive keyword data source
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Predicts search volume trends
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CPC estimates for advertisers
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Filters by location, language
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Generates keyword ideas quickly

Reasons to avoid

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Designed for advertisers, not SEO
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Requires Google Ads account sign up
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Broad rather than precise volumes
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Limited organic SEO insights

The dynamic Google Keyword Planner is an essential tool for SEO experts looking to refine their keyword strategy with precision and insight. Designed primarily for advertising on Google Ads, its functionalities extend far beyond paid search campaigns, offering invaluable data for organic search optimization as well. Along with this, the free features of Keyword Planner deliver extensive knowledge for keyword research, competitor analysis, and SEO planning, making it a cornerstone tool in any SEO professional's toolkit.

One feature that we absolutely love about Keyword Planner is its ability to generate keyword ideas based on initial seed keywords or phrases. This feature is a big plus for expanding your keyword list with relevant terms, including long-tail keywords that might offer lower competition and higher conversion rates. 

If you’re a fan of comprehensive analysis, Keyword Planner’s insight into keyword competition and bid estimates is worth considering, even if you’re only focusing on organic search. Understanding the level of competition for keywords and the cost associated with ranking for them can help prioritize keywords that offer the best ROI for SEO efforts. 

Moreover, it also excels in delivering historical search volume data, which helps you identify seasonal trends or shifts in search behavior over time. This feature is critical for planning content and SEO strategies around peak search periods and even firming the fact that your efforts are aligned with times when target audiences are most active.

In addition, it can further filter keywords by location, language, and search network. This boosts the precision of your SEO strategy and helps in the localization and customization to meet the specific needs of different market segments.

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Pawan Singh

Pawan Singh is a tech writer at TechRadar Pro, where he contributes fresh how-to guides, product reviews, and buying guides within the tech industry. Apart from his writing duties, Pawan offers editorial assistance across various projects, ensuring content clarity and impact. Outside the world of tech, he enjoys playing basketball and going on solo trips.