15 Best SEO Tools of 2023 (Free & Paid)

July 19, 2023
Irina Maltseva

SEO is an effective way to promote your business online. Even though the results might seem a little slow, there is nothing like seeing your page on the front page of Google’s search results. 

This is easier said than done. But investing in SEO tools makes your goal easier to achieve. These tools turn your website from a stinker in the search engine to the top of the charts. It does not matter how good your content is if nobody can find it! 

We reviewed over 60 SEO tools you can use for your website. Here are is a quick summary of the 15 best SEO tools to get your website to page 1 of Google’s search results.

The best SEO tools for 2023 

Without further ado, here are the SEO tools you should invest in to make your site stand out:

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs homepage

Ahrefs is known for its spectacular domain authority checker, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It audits your site, tracks your ranking, and helps with on-page optimization. If any software comes close to doing it all, it is Ahrefs. 

Big companies like Shopify, Uber, Facebook, Tripadvisor, LinkedIn, and more trust Ahrefs. With how many features Ahrefs offers, it’s worth it if you can afford it. 


Ahrefs does almost everything. It has features for auditing, analyzing the competition, finding keywords, and more. 

Key features 

Ahrefs has almost every SEO feature you could want in one place. This includes: 

  • Rank Tracker 
  • Site Audit 
  • Site Explorer 
  • Keywords Explorer 
  • Content Explorer


The biggest pro is that if you have Ahrefs, you won’t need another SEO tool. It has most bases covered. Ahrefs is the gold standard when it comes to SEO tools for many reasons.


There are very few drawbacks to Ahrefs. The biggest drawback is its price; there is no free trial. The multiple features may also be overwhelming for beginners. 


Ahrefs starts at $99 a month but gets cut to $83 if you get a yearly plan. It comes with almost every SEO feature a site owner could want but does not offer content optimization tools (which, for example, is provided by Surfer and Frase).

2. Surfer 

Surfer homepage

Surfer is another “all-in-one" SEO tool that allows you to boost your organic traffic and improve search visibility quickly. Along with keyword research and auditing tools, it offers a robust suite of content creation and optimization tools along with keyword research and auditing tools. Surfer generates AI tasks to enhance your SEO strategy.


The most prominent reason to use Surfer is for its powerful content creation and optimization features. It can make outlines for your work based on your competition. It includes keywords that you can put in your work. Surfer can create an SEO-compatible skeleton if you like, but it will be up to you to provide the meat on the bones. 

In short, Surfer does much of your SEO content creation work for you. 

Key features 

Surfer has many features that let you create SEO-friendly content, including...

  • A content creator 
  • SEO-generated outlines
  • Website audits 
  • Keyword research 
  • Integration with Google Docs 
  • Powerful browser extension for keyword research


Surfer simplifies SEO for beginners. It does the main thing Ahrefs does not: make and optimize content. It is another all-in-one package like Ahrefs. Your choice between these two services will depend on what you are willing to pay and how much help you need to create content. 


Surfer is not user-friendly at first glance. The learning curve is not as nice as Frase’s. Do not dive into Surfer without doing the tutorial.  

Besides, being an all-in-one tool, it doesn’t provide such essential SEO features as keyword tracking and competitor research.


Surfer has flexible pricing. If you only have one or two web pages, you pay only $59 per month to access Surfer’s amazing features. With all the stuff Surfer has in it, that’s a bargain! 

3. Semrush 

Semrush homepage

Semrush advertises itself as an ideal tool for online marketers and SEO experts. It also has many hidden features that make it good for site owners. 


It helps businesses of all sizes to effectively do SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC, and social media marketing from a single platform.

Key features 

Semrush is one of the most versatile options on this list. It includes the following: 

  • Over 23 billion international keywords 
  • Website audit based on 130+ checks 
  • Recommendations on your content 
  • Competitive analysis 
  • Draft, schedule, and post content on many platforms 
  • Create and schedule reports 
  • Advertising features 
  • Finds duplicate content


Not only does it show you your site’s relative rank, but it also tells you what you need to do to beat the competition. This makes Semrush the best option for small and medium businesses.  


The biggest downside of Semrush is that it is not always accurate. It gives you a vague picture of where you stand instead of precise details. 


Semrush’s base subscription rate is high compared to Ahrefs. You will pay at least $120 per month for its admirable suite of SEO services.  Semrush considers to be a great alternative to Moz PRO.

4. SE Ranking 

SE Ranking homepage

SE Ranking is a multi-function SEO suite. It includes all the SEO tools you might need and features that allow you to perform competitive analysis and optimize your content.


SE Ranking is an excellent first SEO software. It is easy to use and has many of the same features as Ahrefs. The features and reasonable pricing make SE Ranking great for smaller businesses. 

Key features 

SE Ranking is a bargain because it combines many SEO features at an affordable price. These include: 

  • Rank tracking for different search engines
  • Site audits
  • Backlink tracking
  • Keyword research
  • Competitor analysis
  • Content marketing tools


SE Ranking is one of the cheapest options on this list at $23 a month. The low price makes it good for new businesses. It is an affordable package for what it does, and it does a lot.

You can find all the SEO tools you might need in one suite.


SEO professionals say the keyword accuracy is not as good as it could be. Reviews also say that it is lacking in 24/7 customer service support. 


Plans start at a modest $23 per month. The business plan is under $150. It is a bargain for all the things this software can do. 

5. SpyFu

SpyFu homepage

Have you ever wanted to see your competitors’ keywords without paying a cent? If so, SpyFu is for you. You can type in any domain name (not just yours) on its webpage and get an astounding amount of keyword data. This is great for SEO and PPC. Their SEO, PPC, and CPC metrics come from Google itself. 

Of course, SpyFu offers more features if you pay for a monthly plan. Keyword and backlink searches are free; others are locked behind a paywall. 


SpyFu is an excellent beginner SEO tool. You can enter any domain name on its website (even domains that are not yours) and look at its keywords. 

Key features 

SpyFu is a keyword research tool with several other features, including: 

  • Pay-per-click price hunting
  • SERP analysis 
  • Ranking analysis 
  • Backlink tracking
  • Custom reporting 


SpyFu has many free features on its website. You can check any website’s related keywords and other information for free as often as you like—even for websites you do not own. Professionals use it for reporting and price hunting. 


The one aspect SpyFu lacks might be creating video tutorials and other educational information.


SpyFu is cheap at $39 per month. Many SEO professionals use SpyFu’s advanced SEO and PPC services, and that’s a decent price. 

Related: SpyFu vs Ahrefs: Ultimate Comparison (2023)

6. Woorank 

Woorank homepage

Woorank optimizes your website for maximum searchability. It’s fast and user-friendly, allowing you to target problematic areas easily. 


Woorank can scan your site for problems that keep it low-ranked. Then it gives you instructions on how to fix those SEO issues. 

Key features 

Woorank has several attractive features, including a few unique tricks:

  • Instant website reviews 
  • Keyword tracking 
  • Competition reviews 
  • Detailed SEO analysis 
  • SEO Chrome extension and Firefox plugin


Woorank is good for boosting your website’s search ranking. It also teaches you how to improve your page for the future. 


Its functionality is limited - Woorank helps you optimize your website for search engine results pages, and that’s it. If you want software with more SEO features, look elsewhere. 


WooRank has a free trial. The smallest paid plan is $79.99 a month. If you have an SEO suite like Ahrefs, Surfer, or Semrush, you probably might not need a Woorank subscription.

7. KWFinder 

KWFinder homepage

KWFinder finds top-notch keywords to make your site place higher and generate more organic search traffic. It helps you identify keywords with low keyword difficulty and high search volume to achieve top rankings faster.


KWFinder is a keyword research tool that helps you find long-tail keywords with low SEO competition. It can be used to find keywords for content optimization, link building, and ad campaign research. 

Although KWFinder is dedicated to hunting keywords, it comes bundled with other SEO tools that compensate for that one program’s limited capabilities. The Mangools suite will cover many of your SEO needs. 

Key features 

For convenience’s sake, here are the features of KWFinder:

  • Keyword analysis
  • Competitor keyword research
  • Search trends
  • Local keyword research and SERP analysis
  • Keyword ideas and keyword suggestions


KWFinder finds easy-to-rank specific keywords for your business. It also comes in a package with other SEO tools by Mangools (SERPChecker, SERPWatcher, LinkMiner, and SiteProfiler), so you’re not missing many other features. 


Sometimes incorrect data is provided with niche keywords. 


The most basic KWFinder plan starts at $29.90 per month. The “Agency” plan is less expensive than the basic rates of other software ($89.90). KWF comes packaged with many other SEO programs, so you get a decent amount of bang for your buck. 


NitroPack homepage

NitroPack’s purpose is to make your web pages load faster.  With it, you’ll get a massive speed boost to your website with no additional coding or tech skills required. 


NitroPack focuses on speed—something that no other software we reviewed above has touched on thus far. It helps to optimize speed for WordPress, WooCommerce, and Opencart websites.

Key features

  • Caching
  • Image optimization 
  • HTML, CSS, and JS compression


It offers a comprehensive image optimization toolset and suggests tons of minor tweaks to improve site speed and pass CWV.


NitroPack is good, but it is not for everyone. It does not work with all CMS. For example, if you’re on Webflow of Wix, you should find a different site optimization solution.


Their basic plan starts at $21/mo and offers speed optimization for one website with a maximum of 50,000 page views. If you have more page views than that, consider upgrading the pricing plan.

9. Frase

Frase homepage

Frase is like an online word processor designed for SEO. It helps you research, write, and optimize high-quality content in minutes. 


Frase is Surfer’s main competitor. It focuses on making SEO-compatible content. The interface resembles an online word processor. The features in the sidebar help with SEO optimization. These include AI-generated keyword guidance. 

Key features 

Frase is all about content creation and optimization. Here are some of the features that Frase uses to make SEO content: 

  • In-app document writer
  • Content brief
  • Content optimization
  • Content analytics
  • Integration with Google Search Console and WordPress 


Frase offers an imposing AI writing tool. The platform allows you to structure content based on top-ranking search results and optimize your content for SEO.


The AI writer is excellent but still needs a human touch. You can find some minor grammar mistakes in the content.


Currently, the lowest rate for Frase is $14.99 per month. It may not be worth it if you have Surfer already. But if you need help making content in the first place, Frase is worth the affordable price. 

10. Sitechecker 

Sitechecker homepage

Sitechecker is known for giving A+ technical SEO site audits. It is thorough, fast, and one of the best ways to make your site ready for Google. 


Web page owners use Sitechecker to, well, check their sites. The tool gives you a checklist of SEO aspects to work on, including internal links, backlinks, broken links, and headings. No matter what your level of SEO experience may be, Sitechecker can outline the issues for you. 

Key features 

  • Site audit
  • Rank tracker 
  • Backlink tracker 
  • On-page SEO checker
  • Google Chrome extension


We love how easy it is to do site audits with SiteChecker and implement the technical SEO suggestions. 


Once you fix the reported problems, it can take quite a while to update the reports. 


The current lowest price is $29 per month—a little below some of the competition. Many of the best features hide behind Standard ($49/month). 

11. Nightwatch 

Mightwatch homepage

Nightwatch delivers a user experience out of a sci-fi movie. Its job is to watch your keyword positions morning, noon, and night. It also does site audits and has very flexible pricing. 


Nightwatch is an SEO sentinel. This rank tracker tracks your positions over more than five different search engines. It also allows you to do comprehensive site audits.

Key features 

  • Rank tracking 
  • Site audit
  • Reporting


Nightwatch is looking out for your SEO rankings in real-time. Besides that, it provides accurate local rank tracking (it’s one of their unique features).


The features listed above may imply that Nightwatch does everything. It does not. It is a fine addition to more comprehensive SEO platforms, but if you want one SEO tool to do it all, Nightwatch is not it. 


The current minimum plan is $39 per month, which includes 250 keywords, 50 websites tracked, and 5,000 site audit pages. If you need more than that, Nightwatch offers more advanced plans based on your needs.

12. MarketMuse

MarketMuse homepage

MarketMuse helps site owners write SEO-optimized content. Its sophisticated AI makes writing optimized articles with expert-tier content quick and easy. 


MarketMuse is the other competitor to Frase and Surfer for content optimization. But there’s a twist: it leans on AI more than those services. 

Key features 

MarketMuse helps you craft credible SEO content with features like: 

  • Content optimization
  • Competitive content analysis
  • Content clustering
  • Keyword research
  • Content briefs


MarketMuse creates the most SEO-compatible content possible. It looks at what’s trending but also at what people are not saying. This gives any articles made on MarketMuse a ring of authenticity. 


For many business owners, MarketMuse is prohibitively expensive. Price aside, MarketMuse suffers from specialization. Do not expect other SEO features.


Currently, the first paid tier of MarketMuse is $6,000 per year. Its free version offers surprising features but is limited by the number of users and projects one can do. It is still not ideal for small businesses. 

Bonus: 3 best free SEO tools 

New or frugal business owners may wonder if there are any forever free SEO tools for their websites. Several of the tools above come with many free features but are “freemium.” Here are the three best 100% free SEO tools for your web page. 

13. Google Search Console

Google Search Console homepage

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that helps website owners monitor and improve their website's performance in Google search results.


Google Search Console provides you with a wealth of data and insights about how Google crawls and indexes your website, as well as information about any issues that may be impacting your website's visibility in search results.

Key features 

Google Search Console helps you...

  • Monitor your website's search traffic and performance
  • Get alerts when Google crawler encounters errors on your website
  • See which queries are driving traffic to your website
  • Check which websites are linking to your website
  • Submit and check the sitemap
  • Identify and fix security issues on your website
  • Monitor and improve your website's mobile usability


Google Search Console is entirely free for all webmasters. It provides the most precise data on how Google sees your website's performance.


Google Search Console’s biggest drawback is its lack of native integrations with many marketing and SEO tools. Also, it is Google-centric, which means Yahoo!, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are ignored in its metrics. 

14. Google Analytics 

Google Analytics homepage

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It provides insights into how visitors interact with a website, including the number of visitors, where they come from, how they interact with the site, and what actions they take. 


The main use of Google Analytics is to monitor user behavior. This includes how long people spend on your page, what they click on, where they are from, what device they use to read your content, and their age group. 

Key features 

From the SEO point of view, Google Analytics allows you to...

  • Track website traffic and user behavior
  • Track organic conversions and sales
  • Identify the performance of different traffic sources
  • Create advanced SEO reports
  • Monitor and improve your website's mobile usability
  • Besides SEO metrics, you can also track your PPC activities (Google Ads performance)


Google Analytics allows you to see the sources of your website traffic, which is essential for search engine optimization because you can see which search engines, social media platforms, and other sources are driving the most traffic to your site.


Google Analytics does not provide as much SEO-specific data as other tools, such as Ahrefs or SEMrush.

15. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools homepage

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) is exclusive to webmasters. It does several common SEO tasks, including monitoring your SEO health, checking your backlinks, and keyword tracking. 


It's a powerful tool that can provide valuable insights into how people interact with your website and how to improve it, especially regarding backlinks analysis.

Key features 

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools helps with the following: 

  • SEO health monitoring
  • Backlinks tracking
  • Search traffic analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Find page redirects


The best part of Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is that it is free. It can do many basic SEO tasks, such as site auditing and backlink checking. If you already use  Google Search Console, AWT lets you import that data to fill in SEO gaps.


Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is minimal compared to Ahrefs proper. AWT is limited to websites that you own. You must verify that you own a page before scanning it with AWT. You cannot use it to see data from other domains. 

It is also far inferior to Ahrefs’s paid service. While not a free trial, it is clear that Ahrefs wants you to buy their entire SEO suite. 

Top on-page SEO factors

On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. 

The following are some top on-page SEO factors that can help improve a website's search engine rankings:

  1. Content quality: Content is the most important on-page SEO factor. High-quality, informative and unique content can help attract more organic traffic to a website.
  2. Keyword research: Researching and using relevant keywords in the content, titles, meta descriptions, headings, and URLs can help search engines understand the topic of a page and rank it accordingly.
  3. Title tags and meta descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions are HTML tags that provide information about the content of a web page. They should be unique and descriptive and include relevant keywords.
  4. Headings and subheadings: Headings and subheadings help to organize the content on a web page and make it more user-friendly.
  5. URLs: URLs should be short, descriptive, and include relevant keywords.
  6. Image optimization: Optimizing images by compressing them, using descriptive file names, and adding alt tags can help improve a website's load time and make it more accessible to search engines.
  7. Internal linking: Internal linking helps search engines understand the structure of a website and can also help visitors navigate a website more easily. Relevant anchor text plays a massive role in internal link placements.
  8. Mobile optimization: Optimizing a website for mobile devices can help improve its visibility in mobile search results and provide a better user experience for mobile users.
  9. Site speed: Site page speed is increasingly important for SEO. A faster website can lead to a better user experience and higher search engine rankings.
  10. Schema markup: Schema markup is a code you can add to your website to help search engines understand the content on your pages.

It's important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and other on-page factors may also be important depending on the specific website and industry. Additionally, it's essential to keep in mind that these factors constantly evolve as search engines update their algorithms, so it's essential to stay up-to-date on the latest best practices.

Have questions?

What are SEO tools?

SEO tools are software applications that help website owners and SEO professionals improve their website's visibility in search engine results. These tools can provide a wide range of data and insights, including information about website traffic, keyword rankings, backlinks, and more.

Why use SEO tools?

There are many reasons why website owners and SEO professionals might use SEO tools. Some main reasons include: improving visibility in search engine results, identifying the top-performing content, analyzing competitors, keyword research, identifying new opportunities, and more.

Overall, SEO tools are an important part of the SEO process. They can provide valuable data and insights to help website owners and SEO professionals improve their website's visibility in search engine results and drive more traffic to their site.

What is a site audit?

A site audit thoroughly examines a website's technical and on-page elements to identify any issues impacting its search engine rankings. An SEO site audit aims to identify and prioritize issues that need to be addressed to improve a website's visibility in search engine results.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of identifying and researching the words and phrases that people use to find products, services, or information on the internet. The goal of keyword research is to identify the keywords that are most relevant to a website's content and that have a high search volume and relatively low competition.

What is rank tracking?

Rank tracking is the process of monitoring and tracking a website's search engine rankings for specific keywords over time. The goal of rank tracking is to identify how a website performs in search engine results for specific keywords and to identify trends and changes in those rankings.

What is content optimization in SEO?

Content optimization in SEO refers to ensuring that a website's content is well-written, relevant, and optimized for search engines. Content optimization aims to ensure that a website's content is easily discoverable and understood by both users and search engines, which can help improve a website's visibility in search engine results.

How long does it take for my business to see changes from SEO?

The time it takes for a business to see changes from SEO can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors such as the competitiveness of the industry, the current state of the website, the quality and quantity of the content and the backlinks, the targeted keywords, and the overall SEO strategy.

Generally, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months for a business to start seeing changes from SEO. However, it's common for it to take longer, especially for more competitive industries or websites with many technical SEO issues that need to be addressed.

It's important to remember that SEO is not a one-time fix but an ongoing process. Even after a website starts ranking well, it's essential to monitor and improve its search engine performance to maintain and improve its ranking.

Additionally, it's essential to set realistic expectations and understand that SEO is a long-term strategy, improvements in search engine rankings will take time and effort, and patience to see real results.

What is the best free SEO tool?

There are many free SEO tools available, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and goals. Some of the most popular and well-regarded free SEO tools include Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs Webmaster Tools.

Irina Maltseva

Irina is a Founder at ONSAAS, Growth Lead at Aura, and a SaaS marketing consultant. She helps companies to grow their revenue with SEO and inbound marketing. In her spare time, Irina entertains her cat Persie and collects airline miles.

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