Slow-loading web pages and dead links annoy site visitors and can harm your Google rankings.
Keeping your site or blog healthy is key to getting more search engine or organic traffic. It is vital for your online promotion and content marketing.
If you are already making money from your blog or you are trying to monetize your blog with advertising and affiliate marketing, you really should be using pro tools.
But there are also many free SEO tools that can help you.
The best way to master SEO
Semrush is the choice of pro bloggers because it does, well, everything.
It comes with keyword research tools that have almost limitless options for seed keyword ideas and has a range of tools for link building opportunities.
There are live SEO (search engine optimization) data reports such as a keyword rank tracker, search traffic insights, local SEO and projected monthly search volume.
But just for site health alone, the Semrush site audit tool provides over fifty technical SEO tests that can be scheduled to run daily or weekly on a certain day of the week.
It also has SEO keyword planner reporting, a link explorer, a search result auditing tool and tools for link analysis.
It is the complete SEO package.
One of my favourite tools is the WordPress Semrush Writing Assistant. It sits as a small floating window in your WordPress editor.
All you have to do is input your main keywords and the writing tool gives you all the related semantic keywords you need to include in your content. As you include each term, it turns green.
The Semrush suite of SEO tools does everything you could ever need or want to do as a pro blogger to maximise your income from your sites.
However, if you are new to SEO you can use many of the Semrush features for free.
To start your free level subscription, enter a query in the SEMrush search bar and you will automatically be prompted to register for your free account.
You will then be able to use a limited free version of the service for as long as you like.
But not every website owner needs to pay for pro tools.
If you are an author and have a blog or website to promote your books, or you have a blog that you do not intend to monetize, then you can use some excellent free tools to help your website analysis.
The difference with using free tools is of course that you have to go to one site at a time and do separate tests.
But if you add them to your bookmarks, it will take you very little time to conduct your tests.
My ten free SEO tools and best website checkers – all tried and tested
Free does not necessarily mean that a tool or app is of a poor standard. Nor does it mean that they will drive you crazy with junk emails.
I have used all of the following great tools for years and can say that each one does a terrific job.
As far as I can tell, none of these collects email addresses for intensive marketing campaigns.
Everyone knows that Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) are two must-have free tools.
You should also be using Bing Webmaster tools too. But I have not included them here. You should be using the three of them already.
So let’s get started on my list of 10 free SEO tools.
Ahrefs Backlink Checker lets users analyze backlinks to any domain or a separate page for free and no registration.
You can learn various details about each backlink – ratings of the referring domain and URL, anchor text, follow / nofollow status, and organic traffic.
The latter metric gives an idea of how much referral traffic the backlinks can bring.
Additionally, the tool reveals 5 of the most frequent anchors and linked-to pages on the site analyzed.
The cool thing is Ahrefs™ freebie is integrated with their premium, industry-leading database of 16.6 trillion links.
2. Nibbler – SEO check
Nibbler is my number one choice for a free SEO analysis tool because it gives you so much information.
While it only analyses five pages for free, that is enough to get a good overall idea about your site’s health.
It checks your H1 headings, internal links, image alt tags, meta tags, http header and even social media.
If you only use one free website tool, this one is it.
3. Varvy – SEO check
Varvy is another great SEO tool that is similar to Nibbler, but there is much more information on a detailed level.
While the image below only shows three report cards, there are fourteen detailed reports such as page speed, HTML, link profiles and many more.
4. SEOptimer – SEO check
With free tools, sometimes it a good idea to get a second opinion. SEOptimer is the perfect tool to do just that.
The beautiful report interface of this app is what I like best of all. It is quick and easy to know if you have a problem.
It looks like a school report card. Oh look, I got an A!
5. Website Grader – A Quick SEO check
Website Grader has been around for a long time.
The best feature is that it gives you a big number to tell you how well your site is doing.
I also like the big bold comments to tell you about your site. “This Site Is Great” is what you want to see.
All the basic information you need is above the fold, but you can scroll down for more details.
6. Web Dev – The ultimate website checker
If you really want to find out the in-depth nitty-gritty about your site, then Web Dev will tell you everything you need to know.
It uses Lighthouse to check so many aspects including load speed, performance, accessibility as well as the use of best practices for search engine optimization,
As an on-page checker for SEO and performance, this free app is a huge help.
I still use Broken Link Checker once a month or so even though I have Semrush.
All you need to do is copy your blog or site address into the box, pass the security code check and click “Find Broken Links”.
If you have a site with a lot of posts and pages, it can take a little while to finish a scan.
But relax, make a cup of coffee and come back 30 minutes later and you will have a list of all your dead links.
You can click to see each error by URL or source code. Then it is easy to remove or update your dead links.
Just be warned though, that many dead links can come from your visitors’ comments. So there is not much you can do about them. But they do not harm your SEO.
Concentrate on fixing the broken links in your content and articles, because they can affect your on-page SEO.
8. Dotcom Tools – The absolute best site speed checker
If you want to check your site’s page speed performance, Dotcom Tools is the best tool I know.
You have probably heard of Pingdom, Google Pagespeed Insights and GTMetrix. They are all useful website speed checking tools.
But Dotcom Tools beats them all because it is the only tool I know of that can check your site speed from 25 locations around the world in one test.
9. Uptime Robot – Is your site down?
Uptime Robot is a set and forget app.
All you need to do is add your site or sites and register your email address.
At anytime your site is down, you will get an email, and another when it is back up online.
It is a very useful tool to check the performance of your web host. If you get a lot of downtime warnings, it might be time to look for a more reliable host.
10. StatusCake – TTFB checker
StatusCake does one thing very well and for free.
There are a lot of tools listed on this site and offers of free trials. But ignore all that.
This free app can measure and track your site’s TTFB (Time to First Byte).
TTFB measures the duration from the user or client making an HTTP request to the first byte of the page being received by the client’s browser.
Half a second is commonly seen as very good speed performance, but it is difficult to achieve on some shared servers. If you can keep it to around 0.7 of a second, you are doing okay.
We tend to take the Internet for granted, but it is still somewhat fragile. The same applies to your website.
Taking good care of it and checking that everything is working fine is well worth doing from time to time.
A quick weekly check can save you from losing traffic and help you to improve your site’s overall performance.
The ten free resources I have listed can certainly help you do just that.
Bookmark them all, and play it safe with your blog or sites.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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