Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (2024)

Last updated May 2, 2024

Leverage Free Options from Leading SEO Software Platforms

Paid subscriptions to premium SEO platforms can get rather expensive, that’s for sure.

But did you know that many leading SEO toolkits offer some basic intro plans and tools for free?

In this post, we’ll look at a few good examples of this — starting with free SEO tools from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush — plus a few others to consider.

Let’s take a closer look below…

Table of Contents (+/-)

    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (1)

    This post contains a few referral links to vendor partners. We may receive compensation for purchases made via these links, at no additional cost to buyers.

    Top SEO Software Platforms — Free Tools and Plans

    What You Can Get for Free from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush

    SEO tools and platforms come in all shapes, sizes, and price points — from absolutely free basic SEO utilities (like browser extensions) all the way to premium all-in-one SEO toolkits that cover nearly every aspect of SEO work.

    Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush are three of the major software toolkit providers in the SEO industry. They each have well-deserved reputations as premium toolkits, but with subscription price points to match.

    The good news is that these ‘Big 3’ SEO vendors also provide various ways to use some of their toolkits for free. Typically, this goes beyond just offering the usual ‘free trial’ software evaluation period.

    Why They Offer Selected SEO Tools for Free

    Question: Why would highly-regarded, well-established SEO software vendors provide free tools alongside their paid toolkits?

    Answer: Because it helps grow their subscriber/user bases, grabs market share, and therefore increases recurring revenues and profits.

    When you use a free SEO tool from just about any software vendor (‘Big 3’ or other), you’re getting a useful peek at the value their toolkit(s) can provide. Access to various free SEO tools may be all you need, especially if you’re trying to do your SEO for free.

    These options also help when you’re doing SEO on a tighter budget and need cheaper SEO software tools. Or when SEO is a secondary marketing tactic for you.

    Two-Way Value Exchange

    This is all about a free exchange of value. You get free access to one or more proven SEO tools to help you with your digital marketing efforts. On the flip side of the coin, the software vendor gets an opportunity to impress you and convince you to become a paying user.

    It’s sort of that simple.

    Now, the software vendor may also just want to be generous and altruistic, ‘giving back’ to the user community. That could be in play here as well.

    But, it’s much more likely to be a revenue/profit motive that drives major SEO software vendors to provide ‘free’ value here.

    In the end, free trials, plans, and tools from premium SEO software providers are great to have available. Just keep the two-way value exchange in mind and then dive right in as a smart consumer.

    Types of Free SEO Tools and Plans Available

    Looking specifically at the top paid SEO toolkits, their free options and tools typically include:

    • Free trial periods with access to all tools (7-30 days is typical)
    • Free but limited plans (no time limits, but very feature-limited by design)
    • Other SEO tools or free utilities (leveraging the vendors’ massive databases of keyword info, backlink metrics, rankings data, etc.)

    As I mentioned above, all of these options can provide at least some standalone free value to you as an SEO user. But the software vendors would really like you to use these as platform on-ramps — to sign up and move into a paid subscriber/user plan to get maximum utility from their platforms.

    Now let’s take a closer look starting with Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush. (These three in alphabetical order just for convenience.)

    Free SEO Tools from Ahrefs — Webmaster Tools & More

    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (2)

    Free Webmaster Tools and Other SEO Essentials

    Even if you’re not a subscriber to the premium platform, Ahrefs still offers an impressive range of SEO tools for free.

    Ahrefs does not offer a free trial of its complete platform, other than the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools option. This is essentially the ‘free plan’ level for Ahrefs.

    Free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

    Free for verified website owners, Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) provides access to their Site Audit and Site Explorer toolkits.

    Ahrefs is similar in ways to Google Search Console, with several advantages.

    Compared to GSC, Ahrefs Webmaster Tools provides:

    • Insights into more SEO-related website health issues
    • A richer set of backlinks data/metrics (GSC is very basic here)
    • SEO metrics and SERP analysis for keywords

    Other Free Ahrefs Tools

    Aside from free webmaster tools, Ahrefs provides more free tools in over 14 SEO-related areas, as highlighted below.

    Keyword Research

    • Free Keyword Generator — Find relevant keyword ideas
    • Keyword Difficulty Checker — Estimate difficulty of ranking in Google’s top 10
    • YouTube Keyword Tool — Research what people are looking for on YouTube
    • Amazon Keyword Tool — Align product listings with shopper search interests
    • Bing Keyword Tool — Get keyword ideas for gaining search traffic from Bing

    Link Building

    • Backlink Checker — See top backlinks to any site or page
    • Broken Link Checker — Identify broken links to/from any site or page
    • Website Authority Checker — See the Domain Rating (DR) of any website (backlink profile focused)

    SERP & Ranking Analysis

    • Website Traffic Checker — Get search traffic estimates for any site or page
    • SERP Checker — See the top 10 rankings for any keyword in any country
    • Keyword Rank Checker — Check your ranking position in any country

    Other Free SEO Tools from Ahrefs

    • Ahrefs SEO Plugin for WordPress — A multipurpose WP plugin for Ahrefs users
    • Ahrefs SEO Toolbar — A multifunction SEO browser extension
    • AI Writing Tools — A collection of free AI copywriting tools

    Free SEO Tools from Moz — Basic SEO Data & Insights

    Free SEO Tools from an Industry Software Leader

    In addition to their premium enterprise-class SEO toolkit, Moz also offers several no-cost seo tools as noted below.

    The free tools from Moz include:

    • Keyword Explorer — Free keyword research from Moz’s massive keyword index
    • Link Explorer — Free backlinks data and link building opportunities
    • Competitive Research — Gain insights into your top SEO competitors
    • Domain Analysis — Get key SEO metrics for any website domain
    • MozBar — Chrome browser extension with search, social, and page metrics
    • MozCast — Track Google’s SERP volatility via day-by-day changes
    • Brand Authority — Measure ‘brand strength’ for any website
    • Local Online Presence — Check location-based online appearance

    Registering for a free Moz account/profile gives you access to more functionality and data from some of the free tools.

    For example, Moz’s free Keyword Explorer tool will give you estimates for monthly search volume, organic click-through rate, organic keyword difficulty, and around five top related keyword suggestions based on your initial keyword entry.

    That’s a good start, but by signing up for a free Moz account you can unlock up to 1000 more free keyword suggestions (which is probably what you really wanted in the first place.)

    A free Moz signup also provides a basic Google SERP analysis for the target keyword/keyphrase, which is also very helpful.

    This is a good example of how many SEO platforms’ free tools provide basic value but also motivate signups for deeper engagement with the platform.

    SEO Tools from Semrush — Free Plan & More

    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (4)

    Selected Freebies from a Digital Marketing Software Giant

    SEO and digital marketing leader Semrush doesn’t offer quite as many ‘standalone’ free SEO tools as Ahrefs and Moz, but they do offer a free account that provides a useful intro to their entire toolkit (besides the usual free trial option).

    They have a few other useful SEO tools, apps, and utilities available for free as well.

    Semrush Free Trial and Free Limited Plan

    The free trial from Semrush provides full access to all Semrush toolkits for 7 days. This is a good start, although a 14-day trial would be better, especially if multiple team members need to evaluate the complete toolkit.

    Apart from the free trial option, the free plan level of access provides limited access to specific Semrush tools and data.

    Semrush App Center

    Semrush also provides a fairly unique ‘marketing app ecosystem’ here in the Semrush App Center. This collection includes 60+ apps and tools in 10 categories popular with digital marketers.

    These Semrush and partner apps work within the Semrush platform interface, which is great for streamlined access and ease of use for busy digital marketers.

    Many of these Semrush and partner-developed apps have free trials available. Some are completely free.

    Other Free Semrush Tools

    Semrush offers two other free SEO utilities:

    Here’s a current view of the Semrush Sensor, embedded as a simple widget below. This is something I look at regularly to see the level of volatility in the Google SERP for desktop and mobile searches in various industry categories.

    You can target different country indexes here as well.

    Free SEO Tools from Other Software Vendors

    Many SEO Software Vendors Offer Free Tools

    Fortunately, other paid SEO toolkits besides Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush also offer bundles of free tools. If you’re looking into a specific paid SEO toolkit, definitely also check the vendor’s website for free tools it may also provide.

    Here are a few examples.

    SEO PowerSuite — Free Desktop/Laptop Applications

    SEO PowerSuite, which is a complete all-in-one SEO software suite delivered as a family of four desktop/laptop applications, has a ‘free forever’ version with good but limited functionality.

    It’s a good way to test out this entire SEO applications suite for as long as you like. In some cases, casual or infrequent SEO users may find that the SEO PowerSuite free version is all they need in the way of more premium SEO toolkits.

    Others (like me a few years ago) may try the free version for a while and then decide to upgrade to either the Pro or Enterprise version.

    Related: Learn more here about SEO PowerSuite’s free version and other related free SEO tools and resources.

    Mangools — Free Plan and Other SEO Tools

    The cloud-based SEO suite from Mangools is often viewed as a more budget-friendly and easier-to-use alternative to Ahrefs, Semrush, etc.

    Mangools offers a free account/plan as a way to get started with all five of their main SEO modules at no cost.

    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (6)

    In addition to a free plan level, Mangools also offers a free SEO browser extension, a SERP simulator, SERP volatility checker, and SERP location changer.

    SE Ranking — Free SEO Tools for Companies and Agencies

    Competing with other all-in-one SEO suites, SE Ranking offers several free and useful SEO tools for individuals, companies, and SEO-focused marketing agencies.

    These tools are completely free to all. They require no account registration, email details, or other signups.

    SE Ranking’s free tools include:

    • Robots.txt Generator and Tester
    • View as Googlebot
    • Redirect Checker
    • CMS Checker/Identifier
    • Subdomain Finder
    • Domain Age Checker
    • Website Speed Checker
    • IP Address Lookup
    • Word Counter
    • Password Generator
    • Google Search Location Changer
    • WHOIS Lookup
    • HTML Title & Meta Description Checker
    • Keyword Density Checker
    • Marketing ROI Calculator

    Plus these free SEO templates and checklists for companies and SEO agencies:

    • SEO Proposal Template
    • SEO Contract Template
    • Content Strategy Template
    • RFP Template
    • SEO Checklist Template

    Ubersuggest — Free Intro Plan & Other Free or ‘Freemium’ SEO Tools

    In addition to a free 7-day trial, value-priced Ubersuggest also offers a free account and plan for basic access to its cloud-based SEO platform.

    Other tools from Ubersuggest include:

    • Free Chrome SEO browser extension
    • A free SEO Analyzer report
    • AnswerThePublic (additional keyword research tool; free trial then paid plans)
    • Free backlinks checker
    • AI writing tools (free trial then paid plans)
    • Free website traffic checker tool
    • Free Open Graph tag generator
    • Simple A/B testing significance calculator
    • Free Google Ads performance grader

    Free Tools from Major SEO Vendors — Closing Thoughts

    Use Leading SEO Tools for Free — Or Try Before You Buy

    Having many options and ways to perform SEO activities for free is a very good thing. They can help you take a ‘minimalist’ approach to doing SEO and also help when SEO is not your primary marketing tactic.

    Fortunately, some of the best available SEO platforms offer multiple options in this area, centered on free trials, free limited plans, and free access to specific capabilities.

    As highlighted above, leading vendors Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush provide their own collections of free SEO tools and methods. Other popular SEO tools vendors provide free value in this area as well.

    Of course, they all want you to sign up and — sooner or later — become a paying subscriber or customer. In my opinion, this is natural, expected, and a fair exchange of value. It’s just part of the business model of monetizing these platforms and running profitable, sustainable software businesses.

    So, go ahead and try any of the complimentary SEO tools, utilities, and plans that strike your fancy. Get the most value you can from the free options and then decide if becoming a paid subscriber/user makes sense for your specific SEO needs.

    Questions or Comments?

    I hope this discussion of free SEO tools from leading vendors like Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, and others has been helpful! I’ll wrap up with a few quick questions for you:

    • Do you use free SEO plans or tools from any of the leading SEO software platform vendors today? Which ones do you like the most?
    • Do you ‘mix and match’ free and paid SEO tools in any interesting ways? How does your custom SEO tech stack work out for you?
    • Which SEO platform features would most likely prompt you to jump from a completely free SEO toolkit to a paid/subscription plan?

    Feel free to add more in the comments below with any thoughts, feedback, or related questions.Thanks also for any social shares on this post via the buttons below!

    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (7)
    Free SEO Tools | Best Options from Ahrefs, Moz, and Semrush (2024)


    Which tool is better to use in SEO Ahrefs or Semrush? ›

    While Ahrefs helps analyze backlinks, Semrush outperforms it in all three categories: backlink database size, backlink reports and tools, and backlink auditing and building. It makes Semrush a better option to consider.

    Are there any good free SEO tools? ›

    Screaming Frog is known as an “SEO spider tool.” It “crawls” the pages on your website to look for technical issues that can hinder its rankings. With the free plan, it can crawl up to 500 URLs and inform you of broken links, duplicate pages, redirect errors and other common back-end SEO problems.

    Which is better, Ahrefs or Moz? ›

    Of the three products, Ahrefs' rank tracker is the most generous. Its entry level plan lets you track 750 target keywords, while Semrush's equivalent plan limits you to 500 and Moz's 300. It's a similar situation on more expensive plans — Ahrefs remains the more generous tool.

    Is Moz a good SEO tool? ›

    Moz is considered to be one of the best competitor analysis tools, which means you can also check out what your competitors are up to with this tool. With Moz's competitor tracking features, you can learn info like: Search rankings for different keywords. Domain authority.

    What is the most accurate SEO tool? ›

    The best SEO tools in 2024
    • Search Console for technical SEO.
    • Google Trends for timely keyword planning.
    • Google Analytics 4 for SEO performance tracking.
    • Ahrefs for best overall functionality for the money.
    • Semrush for hardcore SEOs.
    • Screaming Frog for finding common SEO issues.
    • AnswerThePublic for topic ideation.
    Jun 17, 2024

    Is there something better than Semrush? ›

    Ahrefs has a solid reputation for its strong link-building tools; it's super-easy to track backlink quality and find backlink opportunities with Ahrefs. Who should use it: Ahrefs is the best Semrush alternative for those needing a feature-rich all-in-one SEO tool that costs less than Semrush.

    Is there a free version of Ahrefs? ›

    Signing up here gives you access to Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT), our answer to the limitations of Google Search Console. It's completely free.

    Does Google have a free SEO tool? ›

    1. Google Search Console for Technical SEO. Google Search Console (GSC) is a free SEO tool that allows you to track your site's health and performance. You use it to help improve your visibility and ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    Can you do SEO yourself for free? ›

    Anyone can study SEO best practices and use SEO tools to optimize your website in-house. In fact, most SEO experts got their start with do-it-yourself (DIY) SEO. And with some time, a few free SEO tools, and this guide on how to do SEO yourself, you too can become an SEO expert.

    Why is Semrush better than Moz? ›

    Reasons to use Semrush over Moz. Semrush is MUCH more generous than Moz when it comes to the number of reports you can pull per day. For example, on Semrush's entry-level plan, you can pull 3,000 keyword reports per day — this is considerably more generous than Moz' 150 reports per month limit.

    Does Moz have a free version? ›

    More Free SEO Tools from Moz

    Try the best free SEO tools for link building and analysis, keyword research, webpage performance, local listing audits, and more!

    What is Moz good for? ›

    Moz Pro is the do-it-all SEO solution to help you rank higher, drive qualified traffic to your website, and run high-impact SEO campaigns.

    What is the number one SEO plugin? ›

    Semrush is the best overall SEO tool on the market. Used by professional SEO experts, marketers, bloggers, and large and small businesses, it provides a comprehensive set of tools to grow your traffic. You can use it to find organic keywords and search terms that you can easily rank for.

    Does Moz find backlinks? ›

    Newly discovered links can be added to our index within about 3 days. It may take longer for us to discover backlinks to your site based on factors like the crawlability of the referring pages or the quality of the links and their referring pages.

    How can I use Moz for free? ›

    To get started with MozBar:
    1. Download MozBar and install it in your Chrome browser.
    2. Or create a free Moz Community account if you don't have one yet.
    3. Locate MozBar 'M' icon from the toolbar at the top right-hand side of your browser.
    4. Ensure you have third-party cookies enabled for through your browser settings.

    Is Semrush the best SEO? ›

    Semrush is consistently rated as the best SEO tool suite for mastering organic search. It helps you attract more site traffic and conversions from search engines.

    Which platform has the best SEO? ›

    Best SEO Website Builders
    • Wix – Best overall builder for SEO.
    • Shopify – For ecommerce SEO.
    • Squarespace – For SEO help and support.
    • Webflow – For advanced users.
    • IONOS – For affordable SEO tools.
    May 24, 2024

    Which of the following is the best SEO tool? ›

    Here are the 8 best SEO tools for increased revenue generation:
    • Google Search Console.
    • Google Analytics.
    • Google Keyword Planner.
    • Google Trends.
    • Semrush.
    • Surfer.
    • Moz Pro.
    • PageSpeed Insights.

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