4 Free and Simple SEO Tools for Bootstrapped Business Owners

A working knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is useful for more than just search advertising and getting your site found for relevant keywords.

In fact, I'd argue that knowing the basics of SEO, and the tools to use, can help you become a more effective entrepreneur in general, from using search volume to evaluate the demand for a product idea or piece of content, to establishing the empathy you need for effective copywriting.

That's because search engines offer a window into our collective wants, questions, concerns, and curiosities.

Unfortunately, many of the best SEO tools on the market (like SEMrush and Ahrefs) can run you about $100/month, which might not be ideal for a bootstrapped entrepreneur or someone who's still trying to wrap their head around SEO.

That's why we've put together this list of useful free SEO tools that you can use for anything from keyword research to backlink analysis.

Ubersuggest: Generate Long Tail Keyword Ideas

Google is pretty good at making suggestions to help you complete your search query.

But while these can be useful for brainstorming other searches that might be relevant to your target keyword, Google only gives you a handful at a time.

That's where you can use a tool like Ubersuggest, which offers you a long list of keyword ideas based on the main keyword you enter.

You can use this to generate product ideas, angles for marketing, your next blog post, and more. 

MozBar: Link Metrics in Search Results

Moz offers a few different free SEO tools in the form of their MozBar (a Chrome extension you can use if you create a free Moz account). But, for the sake of this list, I'd like to highlight the Link Metrics feature in particular.

With this, you can gauge how competitive a spot is in the search engine results for a keyword based on Page Authority, Domain Authority, and the number of backlinks pointing to the page. 

This can help you make decisions based on how hard it might be, and how many quality backlinks you might need to build, to get a good ranking.

MozBar also gives you other tools for conveniently analyzing on-page SEO and evaluating how useful a backlink from a certain page might be. 

Soovle: Keyword Suggestions from Other Search Engines

Soovle, like Ubersuggest gives you keyword ideas via autocomplete suggestions. But what it does differently is instead of generating a lengthy list, it goes beyond Google and gets you suggestions from Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, YouTube, Answers.com, and more.

Each platform, as you'd expect, can yield different insights. 

Answer.com, for example, gives you common questions that people ask about your main keyword, while YouTube's suggestions will tell you what people want to watch regarding the topic (like unboxing videos or reviews).

These suggestions can often inspire less competitive long tail keyword ideas that you can capitalize on.

Screaming Frog: Crawl Your Site For Errors

Running a website, especially with a blog, eventually results in more pages than you can manually keep track of and maintain.

Sometimes links break or you duplicate pages by accident, all of which aren't ideal in Google's books (or your visitor's). Luckily you can conduct a free site audit using Screaming Frog (up to 500 URLs on the free version).

This will tell you if there's anything that might need to be updated or optimized and where these issues are. You can then export this information into a spreadsheet to use in a variety of ways.