With so many SEO tools out there, finding the right ones to match your needs and/or budget can be somewhat tricky. For most advanced SEO tasks, paid tools are usually the way to go but for simple research, testing or analytics jobs, free SEO tools can be just the ticket. We’ve put together this updated list of free SEO tools (in no particular order) we use here at iProspect. Most of these get a workout every day, others are quite specific so only get broken out of the toolbox on an ad-hoc basis.
Google Tag Manager is Google’s free tag management tool which allows you to manage all the tags on your website under one roof. This includes both Google and non-Google tags. The benefits in terms of SEO mean you no longer have to rely on your web developer when adding tags to your site. Instead, think of it as an open box on your site that you can place any tags you may need into. It also has a positive impact on site speed, which is now a ranking factor. This is because your site now only has to load one the Google Tag manager script as opposed to a bunch of various different tags. It is worth noting that once you apply the tag manager code to your site you should remove your existing analytics code and manage it under your Tag Manager account. This will also allow you to easily upgrade from Google Analytics to Universal Analytics, which we explain in the next section.
Yep, it’s a blindingly obvious one to include in this list but if you’re not using Google Analytics (even as a backup to a paid alternative), you’re really missing out. It’s super easy to implement and learn, has a huge support community and offers a ton of features. Now, if they’d only give us our damn organic keywords back! Whether you’re already using it or are just getting set up, we’d recommend taking a look at our 5 Essential Google Analytics Filters video.
Another freebie from Google (don't worry, we use more than just Google tools!) that is handy when working with the both Tag Manager and Analytics is Google’s Tag Assistant. Tag Assistant is a Chrome Extension. This tool is great for checking your Google tracking scripts have been implemented correctly on each page and your information is being tracked. Super convenient!
Last but not least in the Google tool box is Google Webmaster Tools, which has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. With the introduction of the link disavow tool, improved notifications and communication and more recently the announcement that search query numbers will no longer be rounded, it’s become an essential component of your SEO toolbox. It’s probably worth mentioning that Bing Webmaster Tools is, if anything, an even better tool and many of the improvements brought in by Google were as a direct response to Bing offering the same functionality months before. We wrote a post about Bing Webmaster Tools back in January 2013 which gives a run down of the main features.
Okay, so it looks like it's been dragged straight from 1995, but this is a great alternative to lots of paid tools out there. If you’re looking to contact lots of webmasters for link building (or link removal) purposes, you can intelligently guess or find the recipient’s email address, pop it in here and the tool will tell you whether the email address exists or not. As you’d expect, it doesn’t work on every domain in the world but it’s great for Gmail addresses, which is a pretty solid start!
So, how do we find those broken links? Well, one free way is to use Domain Hunter Plus. Go to any webpage, hit the plugin button and this tool will scan every link on the page and identify any which are broken links. It also gives you the added benefit of telling you whether the linked to domain is available for purchase.
Despite the recent huge drop in the number of search results showing authorship, rich snippets are still a great way to stand out in the SERPs. Once you’ve marked up your page, it’s a good idea to test that everything is likely to show as you’d expect. This tool is how you do just that.