With the help of some SEO experts, I've compiled a list of useful tools to help with on-site optimisation, link analysis and more. 

While some of these tools are paid, the majority are free to use, or at least offer a limited service for free users. 

Thanks to Kevin Gibbons, Irish WonderNick Chowdrey and Pete Handley for their suggestions. 

Keyword research and content planning

Google's Keyword Planner. Used as described in this article, the keyword planner can be a valuable tool for identifying opportunities and finding ideas for content. 

faq fox. This is a useful tool for finding popular questions that people ask in your industry. 

Yandex Keyword statistics. For those targeting the Russian market. 

Baidu Keyword Tool. As above, for China. 

Google auto complete. 

Google Auto Complete

Ubersuggest. Enter a phrase and ubersuggest will provide a bunch of suggestions around that term. 

On site tools

Searchmetrics. The research section is free and gives us so much juicy info.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This is useful for identifying a multitude of on page factors and highlighting where there are issues (with page titles and descriptions being too long or too short, finding broken links or internal redirects that need to be updated).

Schema Creator. If you want to look at how to start getting rich snippets in Google Search results, but don't know how to write the code for it? Schema Creator can help you generate this depending on the type of rich snippet and structured data you need to implement.

Page Speed checkers

Google Page Speed Insights. Speed matters, and this tool will score sites for speed, with some useful suggestions for improvement. 

WebPageTest. Along with Pingdom, these tools provide insights into the elements that may slow page loading. 


Link analysis

Majestic. Another good top-level analysis of backlink profiles that comes free.

Broken links checker. Does what it says on the tin... 

ahrefs. The free version provides good top-level backlink analysis. 

SpiralDB. This is handy for doing a quick check on a web page for a domain, using LinkRisk, Majestic, ahrefs and SEMrush data. 

Other tools 

Jellyfish Google penalty checker. This looks at site data, plotting Google updates on a timeline. 

Copyscape. This looks for sites copying your pages. 

Wayback Machine. Here's what we looked like in 2001...

theMediaFlow's HREFLANG XML sitemap generator. This can be used to generate international targeted XML sitemaps for various languages and regions.

Moz. The pro tools here contain lots of useful data, including link analysis, social analytics and keyword tracking. 

PI Datametrics. This paid tool allows you to track your own and competitors' rankings over time, and shows which pages are ranking at any given time. Its especially useful for avoiding issues with cannibalisation of ranking by competing pages from the same site.

Jellyfish search snippet tool. This allows you to test how your page will look in the SERPs. 

Google Webmaster tools (which as of the date of this article being published has been rebranded Search Console). Essential for checking crawl errors, keywords, and any notifications from Google. 

Spyfu. This provides competitive intelligence, both organic and PPC visibility data, as well as historic rankings with Google update clues over the timeline and a handy option to compare two or more sites and the chance to spy on competitors' profitable keywords. 


BuiltWith Technology Profiler. A really useful tool to understand what web technologies are employed on a website - server types, content management systems, code frameworks and much more.

Buzzsumo. Among other things, this can analyse the performance of content and the backlinks each article attracts. 


SearchStatus. A Firefox plugin offering quick access to data about a site including Whois, Google indexing of the site, link report for a page, etc.

SEMRush. This provides organic visibility and PPC visibility data, as well as some useful data on competitors: 

Archive.orgCheck what a site looked like in the past, how long has a site existed on a domain etc.

Ayima Pulse. This provides insights into rankings and movement in various sectors. 

Which tools do you use? 

This is a long list, but we may have missed some useful SEO tools. Please suggest any below and let us know why they're useful to you. 

(Bear in mind, our spam filter tends to frown upon links in comments, so just provide the name of the tool rather than the URL.)

Graham Charlton

Published 25 May, 2015 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (17)

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François Mommens, Founder at Linkody

I'd like to add our tool, Linkody, for link monitoring and analysis.

about 3 years ago


Adnan Atif, SEO Analyst at Sofizar CCk

Yeah these are really helpful tools,specially in SEO audits of websites,Some of them are paid and gives less amount of data in their free version, but this all are very useful in analysis of any website strength.

about 3 years ago

Andrea Moro

Andrea Moro, SEO Technical Specialist / Growth Hacker at Freelancer

Perhaps it would have been worth sense checking the article before going live? Yesterday Google announced that Google Webmaster Tools has been rebranded into Google Search Console.

A well-respected site like yours should pay a bit more effort into this kind of things IMHO.

about 3 years ago


Chris Monkman, Web Developer at E-Dzine

Been using pagespeed for a while, was quite chuffed when I got our own website to be green through the board.

about 3 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

@Andrea - To be fair, the announcement was issued at exactly the same time that we published this article. An amendment has been made in the text above. Thank you.

about 3 years ago


Howard Phillis, Head of Social Media at Barracuda Digital

Try the Panguin Tool for checking your site for algorithm penalities. Unlike the Jellyfish one you mention, Panguin doesn't require you to be "approved" before you can use it

about 3 years ago

Owain Powell

Owain Powell, Marketing at Decibel Insight

'Decibel Insight' helps SEOs to bridge the gap between data from GA and site changes. We should be at a stage now where behavioural analytics/insight tools should plug this gap, to help SEOs understand the what/why/how/ of their GA data. This will put an end to rash decisions to make site changes before a proper analysis has taken place.

We provide a free trial, but would also encourage people to check out all tools on the market to weigh them up fairly.

Disclaimer - I work for Decibel Insight

about 3 years ago

Richa Nautiyal

Richa Nautiyal, Digital marketer at Maverick

Thanks a lot for the useful post on SEO tools. I have used most of the SEO tools like Uber suggest, keywords planner, moz, majestic, ahref, Google page speed test etc.

Although I came to know about few new SEO tools too like Jellyfish, PI data metrics.

about 3 years ago

Will Huggins

Will Huggins, Managing Director at Zoocha Limited

Useful article! Is it rude to suggest our tool too? https://metaforensics.io/ - it is active development so feedback welcome (public or private).

about 3 years ago

Will Huggins

Will Huggins, Managing Director at Zoocha Limited

Doh - fail on the explicit instruction of not adding URLs (sorry). Our SEO tool is called metaforensics

about 3 years ago


Dragan Spasic, Freelancer at Freelancer

Graham thanks a lot . You did a wonderful job by creating this list of tools . We all are looking for the right tools , to accurately measure our web traffic and statistics . I have been using GoStats lately , i must say it is a quite easy to use .

about 3 years ago

Simone Castello

Simone Castello, Digital consultant and trainer at www.simonecastello.co.uk

Really useful article. Lots of insipid and generic articles about SEO out there. Well done.

about 3 years ago

Devanshu Arora

Devanshu Arora, Head of Strategies & Planning at RankWatch

Disclaimer : I work for RankWatch

While the disclaimer would make me an automatic advocate for RankWatch, we are a complete SEO Management platform, assisting you with client onboarding (setting up the right campaigns) to retaining them (White Labelled access for your users).

We have infact launched a revamped Backlinks sections (tells about toxic links and why they are toxic as well). It is private BETA, so when you sign up for a free trial, just write to us and we will activate that feature for you.

We would love to get some feedback. Best feedback wins a life time account at RankWatch. Win-win?

about 3 years ago


Jonathan Sinclair, Marketing Consultant at Open Development

Will Huggins, very neat tool you guys have put together there! Easy to follow and lots of info!

Graham Charlton, this list must have taken lots of work to put together and I appreciate that big time! I've found it super helpful and I think lots of people will take something away from it.

One tool I've been working with for a while now is CanIRank, a keyword research tool and pretty much the only intelligent one out there that will not only run the data searches, but do all the interpretation for you. Great for anyone who's sick of compiling numbers in excel sheets to hunt for trends!

about 3 years ago


Sam Gooch, Digital Marketing Manager at WooRank

You've mentioned some great tools here, with a few that I have yet to try out. One that's definitely missing is WooRank (https://www.woorank.com/) which allows you to carry out an instant analysis of your website to highlight areas that could be harming your rankings, and other things that will improve your SEO.

over 2 years ago


Tanya Cen, SEO at http://www.seoldiers.com/

Hey there, Graham! I’ve read the entire post and wow, I couldn’t agree more with you! Digital marketing is undeniably on trend now that is why a lot of digital marketing companies are stepping up their game as well. There are a lot of big companies out there, but you might wanna check us out at https://www.convertbetter.com/. Hoping for your next blog.!!!

3 months ago


Jerry Leach, Consultant at Binaryone

A couple of tools I would add would be Sitebulb for crawling a website to find indexable issues and https://www.webtextanalyzer.com for checking webpage to make sure they are setup optimally for the keyword they are focussed on.

30 days ago

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