17 Completely Free SEO Tools to Boost Your WordPress Site's RankingsSEM Tools
Successful SEO comes down to three things: staying on top of SEO best practices, having a strategy to implement them on your website, and finally, using the right tools to ease the process.
In this article, we’re focusing on that last thing. If you’re ready to boost SEO rankings for your WordPress site—completely for free—you've come to the right place.
Essential SEO Tools for WordPress
At the bare minimum, there are three free SEO tools every WordPress site needs. Here they are.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is Google’s own free traffic analysis tool. It is the most accurate tool out there for viewing your traffic numbers, sources, audience behavior and demographics.
After signing up for a Google Analytics account, you’ll get a tracking pixel to add to your website—either manually or through a WordPress plugin. Once you add that pixel to your site, you’ll be able to view real-time and historical data for all sorts of things, including:
- How many people are visiting your site
- What websites, countries, and metro areas they’re coming from
- What percentage of those visitors convert by taking action on your website
- The top traffic channels for your website, such as social media, organic or paid search
- The most popular pages on your website, and in what order people visit them on your website
- Much, much more
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the next Google tool you’ll want to set up on your WordPress website. Like Google Analytics, you’ll also be able to view traffic numbers here, but Search Console shines for pointing out opportunities for improvement with your website. Some of the things you can uniquely do in Search Console include:
- See your impressions and clicks for various keywords
- View a list of the most-linked pages on your website, both internal and external
- Confirm that the right pages on your website are crawlable and indexed, and fix them as necessary
- View errors for any schema markup
- Be notified of any manual penalties
- Submit your sitemap to Google
- A whole lot more
3. Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools is essentially Bing’s version of Google Search Console, but for Bing. If your WordPress website gets any visitors from Bing (and most websites do, even if it’s only a few percent), you should sign up for a Bing Webmaster Tools account. At a minimum, you’ll can submit your sitemap, view performance metrics for Bing, and be notified of any indexing errors.
Free On-Page SEO Tools for WordPress
After you’ve installed the basics, it’s time to optimize your on-page SEO and internal link map with these free WordPress SEO tools.
4. Yoast SEO
Yoast is the #1 most-downloaded SEO plugin for WordPress, and for good reason. With this WordPress plugin, it’s easy to optimize your on-page SEO. You can add title tag and meta descriptions to your pages, set up canonical tags, display schema markup, and integrate with Google Search Console. One of our favorite features is their on-page analysis (pictured above), which changes color according to how well you meet their recommendations (green is good, red is bad).
5. Google Structured Data Markup Helper
Google relies on schema to create featured snippets, Knowledge Boxes, and other special, highlighted areas in the search results. In other words, if you add schema to your site, you may get rewarded with enhanced visibility—and enjoy more clicks from organic search!
You can add schema through the Yoast plugin, but before you do that, you’ll need to actually build out the code. Fortunately, that’s easy with Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. Enter the URL for a page on your website, choose the schema you want to create, and the tool walks you through selecting different fields on your web page to create the schema code.
6. WordPress Broken Link Checker
Broken links and 404 pages are bad for your SEO, and they annoy your users. If you link to a lot of broken links from your website, it makes your site look questionable—even spammy— to search engines. Luckily, you can find and remove them quickly with the Broken Link Checker plugin for WordPress. This tool tallies up your broken links in your WordPress dashboard, where you can replace or remove the link.
7. WordPress Redirection
Do you have pages you want to delete on your website, but they’ve built up backlinks? Don’t let that SEO juice go to waste. Funnel it towards another relevant page on your site that could use the boost with a 301 redirect.
With the Redirection WordPress plugin, this process is as simple as copying and pasting the two URLs into the plugin interface and selecting “301” from the dropdown menu. You can also set up redirects for broken pages on your website, newly migrated landing pages, and more.
Free Keyword Research Tools for WordPress
Whether you’re looking to optimize your title tags for better click-through rates, or to brainstorm topics for your WordPress blog, these free keyword research tools will help you find the right words.
8. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is designed to help people bid on PPC ads, but you can use this tool’s wealth of keyword data to inform your SEO campaigns. Type in phrases to discover relevant keywords, and understand the competition and search volume, so you can be strategic about which keywords to compete for in the search results.
9. Keywords Everywhere
When brainstorming blog topics, many of us start with Google. We type the topic idea into the Google search bar, and see what comes up. The free SEO tool Keywords Everywhere is like Google keyword research on steroids. This free Chrome and Firefox extension displays related keywords—with search volume, CPC, and competition metrics—right there in the search results. You can use these related keywords to refine your topic, or discover new sub-topics to cover on your WordPress blog.
10. Google Trends
Once you know what people have searched for in the past, discover what they might be searching for in the future with Google Trends. Google Trends is a great place to discover what topics are hot, hot, hot right now—and which ones are about to be.
It’s also a good spot to check if the topic you’re considering writing about has lost the public’s interest. If it’s trending downward, you don’t have to waste your time writing it.
Free Site Speed Tools for WordPress
Site speed is a SEO ranking factor. If you want your site to rank better, it needs to be fast. The tools below will help you speed up your WordPress site.
Smush is a free WordPress plugin that automatically optimizes your images for fast loading. Why should you care? Due to their size, images are often one of the biggest drags on site speed.
Download Smush for free, and you can ensure every image you upload to your WordPress site is resized and compressed for optimal website performance.
12. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is another free WordPress SEO plugin. This one tackles another aspect of site speed: caching. Caching instructs your visitors’ web browsers to store certain types of data (like CSS files), so your site loads faster the next time they visit it.
Want help finding other opportunities to boost your WordPress site speed? Check out GTMetrix. This free tool will give your site a PageSpeed Score based on industry averages, with letter grades that prioritize your biggest page speed problems (and biggest page speed wins). You’ll even be able to see the specific images, site files, and plugins that are your biggest load time culprits, and get detailed recommendations for reducing your page size and HTTP requests.
14. Google PageSpeed Insights
Besides GTMetrix, you can also use Google’s own tool, Google PageSpeed Insights, to test your site speed. Rather than grading you on individual aspects of site speed, Google gives you an overall score based on similar websites in your industry. This way, you can easily see whether your site is one of the fastest or slowest websites around, or if it falls somewhere in the middle.
Google PageSpeed Insights also provides speed scores for both the mobile and desktop versions of your WordPress site, with helpful recommendations that are prioritized according to the amount of seconds they’ll shave off your load time.
Finally, there’s Pingdom. Pingdom shoots out a pagespeed score just like the other tools on our list, but it has its own unique perks, too.
Part of what we love about Pingdom is the ability to test your site speed from various server locations. It’s helpful to test from different locations to see how slow your site might be in a worst case scenario, depending on the distance between your site visitors and your host servers. Pingdom also breaks down, in graphical form, your biggest page time-sucks (pictured above), making it easy for you to prioritize what to work on first.
SEO Audit Tools for WordPress
Maybe you don’t want to pay a SEO professional to perform a detailed technical audit for your WordPress website. Instead, you want a DIY option. Here are two tools for that.
16. Screaming Frog (<500 URLs or less)
Screaming Frog is a cool tool with a cool name. This desktop software is free to download. Enter your URL into the software, and it will crawl to find broken links, errors, and redirects. With Screaming Frog, you can also download reports detailing:
- All images that are missing alt tags
- Gaps in your SEO metadata (how many pages have title tags that are too long, too short, or missing altogether?)
- The HTTP codes for your pages
You can even generate XML sitemaps to upload onto your WordPress site.
The trick with this software is that you can only crawl up to 500 pages at a time, which is fine for smaller WordPress sites. If your site is larger than that, you can still perform a free crawl at the URL level.
SEOQuake is a free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Over 3 million people use it to get a quick look at the SEO health of their website. The tool spits out key SEO metrics and a health analysis at the page- and domain-level for any website you’re visiting—whether it’s your own or one of your competitor’s.
You can view a page’s internal and external backlinks, how many social media shares it has, and more. You can also see whether your URLs, title tag, meta description, word count and other on-page elements are optimized for better rankings.
You can even compare this data between URLs. We love this feature for WordPress blogs because you can compare your article against the ones already ranking well for your target keyword, to get ideas for what you can do to improve your ranking. Is it links? Keyword density? Something else? SEOQuake points you in the right direction.
You can do a lot to improve the SEO of your WordPress site with the free tools we’ve listed above to improve the SEO of your WordPress site. With time, however, you may find you want to upgrade to a paid SEO tool to get better rankings, faster. When that happens, make sure you save with these SEO tool promo codes from Knoji.
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