Free SEO Tools to Get You Started

There’s no shortage of SEO tools online that can help you improve your campaign. But if you’re new to search engine optimisation, it can be tough to know where to begin! We’ve compiled a short list of free tools that will point you in the right direction and give you the fundamentals to get started. While some may only include a free trial period, this should be enough in most cases to grab the info you need for now.

Data is key!

Google Analytics

Analytics is the first of the Google products in this list, and it probably should be the first thing you set up. With the tracking code installed on your website, Analytics will start collecting all kinds of user data, including who is visiting your website and how they’re interacting with it. It’s a great place to start because once set up, it’ll start collecting data from that moment onward, giving you a solid benchmark to work from.

Google Keyword Planner

Although the Keyword Planner is designed to identify the right phrases to focus your Google Ads campaigns on, it also provides a perfect start for your SEO campaign. After all, if you don’t know what types of phrases or user intent you’ll be targeting, how can you start planning that successful campaign?

In the future, you should check out some of the many options out there to expand your research, but the Keyword Planner is a great place to begin.

In its simplest form, you can enter a handful of phrases you think users will be using to find you. The Keyword Planner will then show the average monthly search volumes for each of those terms, along with a whole host of suggestions based on the terms you entered.

Google Search Console

(formerly Google Webmaster Tools or GWMT)

The final Google product to make our list, Search Console, connects to your Google Analytics account. Once connected and verified, it will provide you with even more data as well as a handful of helpful tools that you may need over time.

For example, you can check out your Page Speed Report to see how your site is performing, check out the crawl stats to check your site for errors and control an array of other settings you may need.


SEMrush provides you with a vast array of data that will give you some insight into what your competitors are doing, where their traffic is coming from and the types of things you should be doing. The SEO Site Auditor will give you a list of red flags to check out too!

Combined with the Google Keyword Planner, it can be a great way to narrow down your target search terms. SEMrush also provides content ideas, estimated traffic volumes and other useful data for both your site and your competitors.

While the data is accurate enough to identify trends and opportunities (and it really is a tool that every SEO specialist should have in their arsenal), remember that it is not 100% accurate because the exact data is not publicly available for privacy reasons.

Backlink Analysis Tools

With your backlink profile still being very important to long term rankings, you need to have some idea of exactly which websites are linking to you. The three tools below are the most prominent and worth checking.

Each has its own set of pros and cons, so trialing each is worth your while to see which is most suitable for you. We mainly use Ahrefs here at Spot On Digital, but you’ll need to determine what’s the best tool for you.

Remember that supplying this data requires an unbelievable amount of computing resources, so no tool is going to give you 100% accurate backlink data. This even includes Google themselves, who also offers some of this capability in Search Console.



Link Explorer

All three tools will show a snapshot of the sites that link to you along with a broad range of other relevant data. The best part is, that same data is also available for your competitors’ sites, so you can get an idea of what they’ve been up to as well.

If you’ve had low-quality SEO in the past and you’re concerned that there may be some low-quality links pointing to your site, you can double-check the quality of those links and proceed accordingly. All these tools can give a proprietary score for each link, giving you an idea of how valuable or worthwhile each link might be.

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