seo freelancer working on computer

Essential Tech For Successful SEO Freelancers in 2018

Updated 2021

Getting traffic to your company's website requires effort, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by developing a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Companies normally leave this job to specialists who have both the time and the expertise to create a successful SEO strategy. Others will employ an SEO freelancer for the job as they are bound to charge less and offer a more nuanced approach.

2 SEO professionals looking at tool data on computer

Even though they may be experts in their field, freelance SEO specialists can't always do the same amount of work of a multi-employee agency (even though they may want to!) In fact, the most successful professionals in the SEO industry rely on several different apps, tools, software and other resources that help craft the best work experience possible.

So, if you're trying to automate parts of your freelance business — or are just trying to make digital marketing more affordable by doing it yourself — take a look at the list of SEO tools below and boost your efficiency.

What Are SEO Tools Used For?

  • Track activities on the website
  • Search target keywords
  • Monitor the activities of competitors
  • Measure and analyze the success of the SEO strategy and efforts

Here are some of the best SEO tools that are worth trying this year. They have been categorized into classes where they fit most, though some can fit into multiple categories.

Keyword Research Tools

Google Data Studio Dashboard on a tablet computer

Keyword Planner

A strong keyword tool is a must-have for any freelance SEO specialist. Keyword Planner from google may be the best – it provides useful keyword word data, such as competition, search volume and average cost for advertisers. You can also gain insight into variants of your main keywords and niche-specific keywords to help with targeting.


Ubersuggest is an excellent alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner. It provides more data than Planner does, and it's possible to arrange the suggestions to your preferences, like search volume, seasonality or cost per click data. The best part, is it's completely free!

SEObooks’s Rank Checker

SEObook's Rank Checker allows you to identify and export target search terms as they're ranked in Google and Yahoo.


Searchmetrics seems to fall into all categories, providing data on keyword strength, social impact and competitive research. It guarantees quality results.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is probably the most popular SEO tool among SEO specialists beyond Keyword Planner. This tool provides keyword data such as search traffic, and helps judge the performance of your competitor websites by offering information on their page/domain authority (PA/DA). is similar to Ubersuggest. A keyword search reveals more than 700 content ideas relevant to the keyword.

SEO Performance Analysis Tools

Google Analytics Dashboard on a laptop


This tool scores the SEO strength of a website and offers a guideline on how to improve its performance. It provides notifications on the specific pages that need to be optimized and provides tips on how to achieve optimization.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer finds opportunities that can be exploited online to increase your backlink profile. It researches backlinks, analyzes social activity and anchor text, as well as identifies relevant top pages across industries.

Monitor Backlinks

Monitor Backlinks is both an SEO monitoring tool and a competitor research tool. It provides a daily summary of changes in your website's backlink status. It also helps monitor keyword rankings as well as track competitor actions for new links.


Majestic is a useful SEO tool for off-page optimization, which is mainly focused on linkbuilding.

Xenu Link Sleuth

Xenu Link Sleuth is a software that checks and validates text links, frames, local image maps and backgrounds. It can also find broken links on websites.

Google Search Console

Search Console – formerly Webmaster Tools – is probably the most used SEO tool besides Google Analytics. It gives a visual impression of how the website appears on a search engine, providing tips on how to improve its visibility. You can gain insights into the amount of clicks you receive on specific keywords, as well as your average position over a period of time. Search Console also reveals site errors and accessibility problems.

Wayback Machine

An archive on the Wayback Machine brings back memories of any website that once existed on the web. It comes in handy if a new strategy seems to fail – simply check with the Wayback machine to find out what the previous web page looked like.

Competitor SEO Tools

multiple devices on desk


SEMRush is a comprehensive SEO tool, providing comprehensive reports on the performance of your website and competitors' websites. It's also useful at analyzing the performance of search terms used in an SEO strategy.

Rival IQ

Rival IQ is purely a competitor research platform. It accepts competitor domains and then crawls the websites to find out the number of backlinks in the domains, their authority, SEO titles, organic search traffic and much more. This feature has made it an excellent tool for performing SEO audits.

Similar Web

Similar Web is used for comparing the amount of traffic on two different websites. It has become a valuable competitor research tool.

Content Optimization Tools

woman looking at competitor ecommerce store on a tablet with email open in background computer


Impactana helps locate the best content related to a website or keyword. It shows the number of times a piece of content was shared, as well as the number of links it obtained from across the internet. Impactana is a useful tool for content marketing freelancers who are unsure if their content will attract enough backlinks.


Most people probably use this for keyword search. However, this excellent SEO tool goes well beyond offering high-performance keywords, also proposing content ideas for you to take advantage of. AnswerThePublic is essential for building relevant content, a practice that will support and improve your organic search efforts.


Copyscape enables you to find related website content to your own across the web. It also helps in avoiding the use of plagiarized material on your or a client's website – you don't want your site to get hit with duplicate content penalties!

Local SEO Tools

newspaper, computer, cup of coffee and other office items sitting on desk

Moz Local

Moz offers a local SEO tool for the management of local SEO efforts. You can use Moz Local to claim and verify local listing submissions, as well as identify harmful errors that can derail your SEO strategy. Pinpoint and track local keywords and analyze your website against the data so you can get more traffic within proximity to your location.

The Whitespark Local Citation Finder

Whitespark offers more advanced features than Moz Local does. It provides information on where you can list the business for better rankings. It can also be used for collecting customer reviews and online feedback.

Looking for more help with your online business operations? Read our post: Best Website Audit Tools

Choose Your SEO Tool Wisely...

With so many SEO tools available to today's freelancer, it can feel overwhelming to know which one is best for your needs. The best advice when using an SEO tool is to experiment with a few different ones until you find one that meets a specific service you offer, such as keyword analysis, content optimization, linkbuilding, competitor research or local listings, for example.

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