Best SEO Tools for Small Businesses – The FREE Tools You Need to Know About

Emma Grant

Head of SEO

Results-driven Emma heads up our SEO team. A champion of best-practice SEO strategies for search engine success that lasts and delivers best value, Emma’s work focuses on boosting clients’ online visibility with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Emma applies her extensive skill and experience to create strategies that pay off quickly for faster results. She knows precisely what to do to reduce clients’ paid ad spends for greater profits, and how to boost organic leads for better long term return on investment. After close of business, when she’s not organising exciting travel adventures, you may hear Emma strumming classical guitar tunes or working on her jazz riffs.

If you’re going to be successful with search engine optimisation and put yourself in a position to compete against the best for the top spots in the search engine results pages, then you’re going to need to stock your armoury with the right tools to help you get the job done, and done well. There are plenty to choose from, and many of them are helpfully zero charge. But with so much choice, how do you know which are the best SEO tools for small businesses?

Join us as we round up six of the best SEO tools that we think are top drawer for the smaller business looking to grow its online visibility. But first things first, let’s take a look at what it is you should be looking for in free SEO tools.

Best SEO tools for small businesses

What to look for in small business SEO tools?

As a London based SEO agency, we’re often asked what search engine optimisation tools are best. To answer this question, it’s necessary to look closely at the tasks you need to fulfil as part of your SEO campaign, and then make sure the tools you choose are capable of satisfying all your needs, or as many as possible.

Here are some of the key functions the best SEO tools for small businesses will offer:

  • Ability to research and track keywords
  • Features for auditing and analysing competitor website rankings and backlink profiles
  • Ability to monitor online reviews and reputation
  • Capabilities for managing and updating local citations
  • Ability to analyse website traffic and content performance
  • Tools for creating reports to track SEO success

When choosing small business SEO tools, we suggest you weight up the importance of each of these functions. Some free SEO software will focus on one or maybe two of them in fine detail, whilst other solutions will be more of a complete platform that cover all of the functions, but perhaps not in as much detail, which is fine if you are simply looking for a general overview and don’t want to drill down too much.

So, what are the best SEO tools for small businesses?

Based on first-hand experience, as well as our own research, here are what we believe to be the best FREE SEO tools for the small business…

1. Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC), previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, has to be one of the best SEO tools for small businesses.

Its primary function is to help you manage your online presence in Google Search, and to monitor and troubleshoot issues that may prevent your site from ranking.

All you need to do to use GSC is login to your Google account, create a new website property, and then verify your website using one of the methods given.

You can use GSC to submit sitemaps and updated pages to Google. It will also give you insights into which of your pages are correctly indexed in Google Search, allow you to check how mobile friendly your pages are, and analyse keyword positions, impressions and clicks.

Submitting sitemaps and updated pages to Google helps to speed up the indexing of your site in Google Search.

Stats you’ll get include:

  • Keyword rankings
  • Clicks per keyword
  • Search impressions per keyword
  • Click through rate

Being able to see which pages are indexed and showing up in the search results is valuable, as is being aware of which search queries are generating impressions for your web pages, and which are driving traffic to your website. You can also see which pages may be blocked from being indexed in Google, and detect penalties such as link spam or poor quality content.

When you know which pages are performing and which aren’t, you have the intel to make changes so that more of your content ranks, giving you greater visibility and more chance of click-throughs.

Google Search Console free SEO tools for small businesses

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful free SEO tool that reveals which of your online marketing strategies are driving the most traffic, leads and conversions, as well as how visitors are using your website, their preferred pages and more.

Google Search Console can be linked to Google Analytics in order to unlock even more reporting tools. The combination of GSC and GA gives deeper insights, such as the ability to see:

  • Which channels visitors came from
  • Physical locations of visitors
  • Web traffic quality
  • How visitors are using your website, including which pages they viewed, how long they spent on them and where they went next

You can also set up Goals in GA which allow you to track your desired conversions. This could be, for example, calling you, signing up for a free trial, booking a consultation or submitting an enquiry form.

Google Analytics is free, but there is also a premium version – Analytics 360 – which provides higher level features, such as unlimited reporting. For the small business, however, free GA is perfectly sufficient.

Google Analytics best SEO tools for small businesses

3. Google Keyword Planner

Staying on the theme of free Google SEO tools, Google Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool that allows you to discover new and related search terms associated with your business.

Whilst this tool is primarily associated with Google Ads, you can still use it for free to carry out keyword research for organic SEO. All you need to do is set up a Google Ads account with no obligation, and you’re ready to go.

Features include:

  • Discover new and related search terms, revealing search demand and keyword competitiveness to help you choose topics to cover in your content
  • Search by keyword or website URL, including yours or a competitor’s site, for added keyword ideas
  • See average monthly search numbers in a range, e.g. 100-1,000 (unless you’re running a Google Ads campaign, in which case you will see precise search volume)

Keyword Planner is great for finding outline ideas before analysing them further using more in-depth tools, such as Semrush or Ahrefs.

Google Keyword Planner SEO tools for small businesses

4. Semrush

Semrush is another of the best SEO tools for small businesses. Features include free backlink analysis, keyword research and rank tracking tools, competitor analysis, website auditing and more.

This is an all-in-one SEO strategy tracking platform, packed with features and highly regarded for the volume and quality of data it provides.

Features include:

  • A powerful keyword research tool including estimated search volume and keyword competitiveness for particular locations
  • Detailed on-page website audits so you can check how well your pages are optimised for search engine ranking
  • The ability to search, analyse and compare competing websites in a particular industry sector for keyword rankings, backlinks and estimated site traffic
  • Automatically scheduled SEO reports
  • Gap analysis to reveal keywords and topics based on competing sites that could open doors for you in terms of content ideas
  • Review monitoring and in-app management of Google Business Profile and Facebook listings

It’s important to note that the free version of Semrush does limit its features and the amount of requests you are able to make in one day, as well as how many keyword research returns it makes.

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial that lifts these restrictions, but you can only do that once. It’s definitely a powerful platform and one of the best SEO tools for small businesses, but the restrictions may prove frustrating, and there are other completely free tools that may give you similar results, and that may be easier to use.

Semrush best SEO tools for small businesses

5. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler tool, perfect for the small business that wants to scan their own and competitor pages to see if there are any onsite issues or opportunities.

Features include:

  • Scan hundreds of web pages to check titles, headers, meta tags, word count and more
  • Detect page URL issues, including broken links, redirect chains and loops, server errors and unnecessary page redirects
  • Check internal links for potential improvement
  • Get a picture of your website’s architecture to analyse user experience

The free version of Screaming Frog allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs. You can upgrade to the premium version for unlimited access.

Screaming Frog free SEO tools for small businesses

6. Rank Math

Rank Math is a WordPress SEO plugin offering numerous features on a free or paid basis.

With Rank Math, you get access to a raft of useful SEO settings for WordPress, helping you configure and optimise your website for search courtesy of a simple to use setup wizard.

Features include:

  • SEO analysis of all web pages
  • Broken link detection
  • Pre-post page preview, including how the post will appear in the search engine results pages and social media
  • Auto-generated XML sitemaps
  • Ability to add Schema structured data markup to give Google more insight about the nature of a particular page

The free version offers plenty of features, but with the paid version, you get to integrate Google Analytics, Google Search Console and enable keyword tracking in the WordPress dashboard.

Rank Math SEO tools for small businesses

Rounding up – the best SEO tools for small businesses

The best SEO tools for small businesses are a powerful way to improve and track search engine optimisation strategies, showing valuable data and actionable insights to help you get the most out of your efforts.

From keyword research and tracking to backlink monitoring and competitor analysis and performance measuring, SEO tools help you save time and drive a more fruitful return on investment from SEO.

Are you looking to boost your online visibility and grow your business? London SEO agency Figment specialises in doing just that, and we have the results, track record and reviews to prove it.

If you’d like to talk to our team to discover how we can help you take your small business forward courtesy of an added-value, fully tailored SEO campaign, you are welcome to get in touch.

SEO results made simple

Request a Quote