10 Free SEO Resources (2021) — SEO Tools That Improve Your Site’s Ranking

Free SEO resources (image of scrabble tiles spelling the word SEO)

Search engine optimization, or ‘SEO’, is absolutely key to the success of any business operating online (and, in 2021, if your business isn’t operating online, it probably should be!).

So, in this post I’m going to share 10 free SEO resources that will help improve your understanding of search engine optimization, along with some tools that can help you improve the visibility of your site.


1. Google’s SEO starter guide

Bing, Yahoo Search and Duck Duck Go are all very well, but we all know that if your site isn’t coming up tops in Google search, you are going to be missing out on a huge chunk of traffic, leads and sales.

So it’s important to listen to what Google say about how to ensure good search rankings — and thankfully, they have a lot to say in very own free search engine optimization starter guide.


2. Semrush

Semrush is an industry-leading SEO backlink checker and competitor research tool — you enter a domain name into it and get a huge number of insights about it, including a list of backlinks pointing to it; competing domains; the keywords it currently ranks for and more (all vital pieces of information for informing a strong SEO strategy).

There is a free version of Semrush available, and although it’s more limited in terms of functionality than the paid version, it nonetheless lets you see at a glance how authoritative a particular domain or page is — and this helps you determine whether it’s a site worth approaching for backlinks or pitching guest posts to.

You can find out more about Semrush and sign up to a free 14-day trial of the full product here.

(For more information about Semrush and keyword research, you can read our Ahrefs versus Semrush comparison, our guide to Moz versus Semrush, our guide to Semrush pricing or our in-depth Semrush review).


3. Yoast

If you’re a WordPress user, you really should be using Yoast, a free plugin which evaluates your page content from an SEO perspective.

Yoast’s traffic light system tells you immediately if the content you’ve created is search-engine friendly, and if it isn’t, you’ll get a list of practical suggestions as to how you can improve it.

If you’re not a WordPress user, you can still make use of Yoast by visiting the catchily-named (!) Real-time Content Analysis section of their website. This allows you to enter the HTML for one of your web pages — along with a focus keyword – and it will check how good your on-page SEO is.


4. Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Moz is one of the leading websites about search engine optimization and provides a range of free and paid-for SEO tools as well as resources about the topic.

One such resource is their Beginner’s Guide to SEO — a comprehensive, 10-chapter guide on how to optimise your site for search and measure search visibility. Well worth a read, particularly for those who are new to the whole area of SEO.


5. Google Search Console

If you’ve got a website, and you want it to perform well in search, then you’ve simply got to register it with Google Search Console.

Regardless of the website builder you’re using for your website — i.e., Shopify, Squarespace or WordPress — Google Search Console gives you a comprehensive set of tools to improve its SEO performance, check it for any crawl errors and view backlinks to it.

As soon as you register your website, Google Search Console will send you an email with a series of steps you should take to maximise its visibility in search. Follow them!

(You should also register your site with Bing’s Webmaster Tools. Although Google is still the dominant player where search engines are concerned, Bing is generating increasing numbers of searches, particularly in the US and the UK — so it make sense to ensure that it knows as much about your website as possible.)


WHILE YOU’RE HERE:

If you’re interested in getting a fuller understanding of search engine optimization, make sure you sign up to our mailing list below. This gives you free access to all our SEO guides, checklists and resources, which we’ll send to you regularly.

Access all our SEO resources

Get essential free resources on SEO and how to run a successful online business, plus other news and offers from us — just enter your details below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

View privacy notice.


6. Pingdom

Google and other search engines place an increasing amount of emphasis on page speed; sites that load content quickly are given preferential treatment in search results.

Pingdom have a really helpful (and free!) Website Speed Test to help you analyze your website load speed.

The test is designed to help you make your site faster by identifying what about a webpage is fast, slow, too big, and so on.

You simply enter a URL to the tool, and it will produce a report which highlights areas for improvement.


7. Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls your website’s URLs and analyses your onsite SEO. You can download it for free, or purchase a licence for additional advanced features.

A few things you can do with the free version of Screaming Frog are as follows:

  • Find broken links, errors and redirects

  • Analyse page titles and meta data

  • Review meta robots and directives

  • Audit hreflang attributes

  • Discover duplicate pages

  • Generate XML sitemaps

Not a bad feature set for a free tool.


8. Hubspot’s Website Grader

I’ve found Hubspot’s Website Grader tool pretty handy over the years as an SEO ‘sense-checking’ tool.

You basically enter a URL (yours or that of a competitor or client) and it will tell you 1) how well your site is functioning from an SEO and inbound marketing point of view and 2) the steps you need to take to rectify any problems.

It only analyses your home page, however, so for more detailed analysis of how a piece of content is doing, I’d use a combination of some of the other SEO tools on this page.


9. FatJoe’s Blog Post Title Idea Generator

Link-building company FatJoe provides a blog post title generator which might come in handy if you’re stuck for ideas on either what to write about, or how to format a post title. You enter a keyword and it provides a list of suggestions on how to include it in a post title.

According to FatJoe, the titles output are based on a formula — Number + Adjective + Keyword + Rationale + Promise — which has been shown to clickthroughs in search results (many SEO experts believe there to be a correlation between clickthrough rate and overall rankings).

The tool is pretty basic, and depending on the keyword you enter, some of the titles suggested don’t always make sense — but it can provide some food for thought.


10. Google Webmasters YouTube Channel

The Google Search Central YouTube Channel is full of useful advice regarding SEO. For a good visual introduction to search engine optimization, it’s definitely worth subscribing to.


Get more SEO tips via our mailing list

If you’re interested in getting a fuller understanding of SEO, make sure you sign up to our mailing list. This gives you free access to all our SEO guides, checklists and resources, which we’ll send to you regularly. Join our community below!

Access all our SEO resources

Get essential free resources on SEO and how to run a successful online business, plus other news and offers from us — just enter your details below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

View privacy notice.


Other free SEO resources and tools

You may find the below SEO resources helpful too:

No comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *