SEO has become extremely competitive in the last couple of years. And this is specifically true for small business owners (with limited resources) who have to compete against established businesses with dedicated SEO teams.
However, with the right SEO tools, small businesses can maximize their SEO efforts to outshine established businesses.
But with so many options, how would one choose the best SEO tools for small businesses?
That’s what this blog is all about.
Below, we’ve listed the 16 most popular small business search engine optimization tools (both paid and free) that you can rely on. Each tool will add more weight to your SEO strategy, making it more effective. So, read in full.
Why do Small Businesses Need SEO Tools?
Here are the top reasons small businesses must use SEO tools to create their SEO strategy:
SEO tools are no longer an option. They have become a necessity for every business, big or small.
After all, can you perform keyword research, analyze competitors, identify technical problems, launch SEO campaigns and track their performance without the right tools? You simply cannot. You need SEO tools at every step of your SEO strategy.
It’s extremely tough for small businesses to rank, especially when competing against larger brands with more resources.
SEO tools enable small businesses to create and launch effective SEO campaigns and compete with established brands without investing as much resources.
Hiring in-house SEO experts can be extremely expensive for small businesses as they work with limited capital. By leveraging SEO tools that are substantially less expensive than in-house employees, small businesses can save a lot of money, which can be spent elsewhere.
Now that you know the importance of SEO tools for small businesses, let’s talk about some of the best in the market.
Best SEO Tools For Small Businesses (Free + Paid)
Here are some of the best SEO tools every small business must use to survive in this highly competitive market:
1. Google Analytics 4 (Free)
Google Analytics is a free and one of the best SEO software for small businesses that allows you to monitor website traffic.
With Google Analytics, you can determine how many visitors your website is getting, how they found it, and what they’re doing.
Around 60% of the 100,000 most popular websites use Google Analytics.
But what makes this tool so popular?
Well, Google Analytics is completely free and easy to set up. You can get started using your Google account and follow the tutorial. And within a few minutes, you can get real-time insights about your website.
The latest version of Google Analytics is the GA4. It’s highly customizable and allows you to create custom reports, among other things.
Using GA4, you can monitor the following data:
- Acquisition: What Channels is the traffic on your website coming from?
- Engagement: How are users from different devices interacting with your web pages?
- Demographics: Who are your site visitors, and where are they coming from?
- Conversions: How many users are taking the desired action?
2. Google Search Console (Free)
Google Search Console, or GSC, is an analytics tool from Google that offers small businesses insights into how their website performs in organic SERPs. Using GSC, you get to know which web pages are ranking on SERPs for which search queries and how many clicks your pages generate, among other things.
GSC and GA both complement each other. Where GSC helps you determine how visitors find your website through Google search, GA tells you how they behave on your website, what pages get conversions, etc.
Also, you can connect GSC with GA, enhancing the capabilities of Google Analytics. Once connected, you can view more data points such as keyword rankings, CTRs, impressions, etc.
Similar to GA, Google Search Console is pretty easy to set up. You can get it up and running within a few minutes through your Google account.
- Webpage Performance Analysis: Helps you determine how webpages are performing in SERPs.
- Indexation: Ensures Google indexes your content.
- Mobile Optimization: Tells how well-optimized your website is for mobile devices.
- GSC Insights: Helps meet the Google Search Central guidelines for relevancy, accuracy, and quality
While GSC has some remarkable features, it has a delay of 1-2 days for data collection. Also, you cannot perform competitive analysis using GSC.
3. Google Business Profile (Free)
Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that helps small businesses manage their local online presence.
You can create a local citation that includes information such as business name, phone number, website, opening hours, etc.
You can also add photos and videos and connect your social media handles on Google Business Profile.
- Local Business Directory Citation: It allows you to promote your business and engage with your customers through reviews.
- Local Search Optimization: It helps you get found whenever someone searches for your business in the Google search or maps.
- Analytics: You can view analytics, respond to customer reviews and queries, and modify the business information as required.
4. PageSpeed Insights (Free)
PageSpeed Insights, as the name says, is a site speed analysis tool that tells how fast your website is loading.
In addition to that, it offers you insights into the factors impacting your site’s loading speed, such as web page design, hosting server performance, and image size, among other things.
This tool plays a crucial role in improving your website’s loading speed, which in turn is an essential factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. It means faster loading speeds can boost your rankings and increase your brand’s visibility and reach.
- SEO Audits: Allows you to audit your site for multiple devices.
- Speed Issues: Helps you detect issues impacting your loading speed, fix them, and improve SEO.
- Site Explorer: Gives you recommendations on how to improve site performance.
5. Google Keyword Planner (Free)
Google Keyword Planner is yet another free tool from Google that primarily helps you with keyword research.
Using this tool, you can identify the keywords or search terms relevant to your business and how many times users are searching for these terms every month, among other things.
While Google Keyword Planner is majorly used by advertisers for paid search campaigns, it offers powerful keyword insights you can leverage for organic SEO for your business.
- Device Search Breakdown: You can see how many searches are coming from which devices (mobiles, or computers).
- Search Volume: Offers search volumes and costs to target specific keywords.
- Keyword Research: Suggests relevant keywords and provides competitive analysis and historical metrics.
6. Google Trends (Free)
Here’s another one from Google. Google Trends is an impactful tool that tells you about the popularity of a particular keyword on Google and YouTube.
As a small business, you can use this tool to perform keyword research, identify the right keywords based on their popularity, and reach your target audience more effectively.
- Keyword Research: It helps you find keywords related to your business and optimize the content with trending keywords.
- Local SEO: You can identify and discover local search trends and optimize accordingly for better local search visibility.
- Discover Trending Topics: You can identify trending topics and keywords related to what you’re searching for, improving targeting.
- Competitive Analysis: You can search for your competitors to determine what search queries are leading users to them.
7. Answer The Public (Free and Paid)
Answer the Public is an SEO tool that leverages autocomplete data from Google and other search engines and tells what people are searching for (keywords or questions).
You can get started for free using your Google account and input at least two words in the search bar. And within seconds, you’ll get to see an interactive pie chart with all the questions and phrases people are searching for on the internet.
- Keyword Research: You can identify long-tail keywords and fresh ideas for your web content.
- FAQs: You can find relevant FAQs, answer them in your blogs, and improve your ranking.
- Industry insights: It allows you to build ideal audience personas by analyzing common questions you are asking in your business niche or industry.
Answer the Public is free to try. But you can perform a limited number of searches each day. However, paid plans are affordable, ranging from $5 to $99 per month.
8. Ahrefs (Paid)
Ahrefs is a whole suite of SEO tools that any business, regardless of their size, would need. Whether you want to analyze your web traffic, backlinks, keywords, or competitors, Ahrefs does the job perfectly.
- Real-time analysis: Find CPC, search volume, and search terms based on the competition.
- Keyword Research: Find the AdWords and Google search volume competitors for keywords.
- Competition Analysis: Track your and your competitor’s site ranking.
- Backlink Analysis: It helps identify new link opportunities and analyze your backlink profile over time. You can even find out who is linking to your competitors and mimic their strategy.
- SEO Audits: Identify broken links, redirect chains, duplicate content, and more with in-depth SEO audits.
Plans from Ahrefs start from as low as $99 a month and go all the way up to $999 a month.
Moz is known primarily for its Domain Authority checker. Domain Authority is a metric ranging from 1 to 100 that tells how well a website is when it comes to ranking in the SERPs. In addition to the domain authority checker, Moz comes with many free SEO tools suited for businesses of all sizes.
Features (Moz Free SEO tools):
Here are some of them:
- MozBar: This Chrome extension allows you to view a site’s page authority, backlink information, domain authority, spam score, and more.
- MozLocal: This tool helps you audit your local citations. You can check if your business information or NAP is consistent across all citations.
- Link Explorer: It helps you identify link-building opportunities and content opportunities and perform competitive analysis for better link-building.
- Keyword Explorer: It allows you to search a huge database of keywords to identify and prioritize the best keywords.
While you can try Moz for free, the paid plans start from $99 per month and go all the way up to $599 per month.
Yoast is a popular WordPress plugin that helps website owners with content optimization and on-page SEO. The plugin provides you feedback on how well-optimized your website is and allows you to edit or add meta titles and descriptions for your pages.
Yoast offers a readability score that tells how easy-to-read your content is. Also, it tells how about the distribution of your keyphrase, whether you’ve included images, and internal and outbound links, in your blog among other suggestions.
You can follow it’s recommendations, make the necessary changes, and improve your overall SEO score.
- Content Optimization: You can improve your content quality by making the necessary changes and optimizing the overall content for SEO.
- Search Rankings: Helps improve search ranking and generate more traffic to your website by providing recommendations on meta keywords, meta descriptions, and titles.
Yoast is available for free but offers limited functionality. You’ll have to go for the paid plan that costs $99 per month to enjoy additional features.
BrightLocal is an SEO platform where small businesses can supercharge their visibility in local search results. It’s particularly beneficial if your business has multiple business locations and would benefit from local traffic.
- Keyword Ranking: Using BrightLocal, you can track keyword rankings and find how they’re ranking in the search results.
- Review Monitoring: Helps manage reviews across multiple platforms, making reputation management easy.
- GBP Optimization: It allows you to manage and optimize your Google Business Profile and rank better in Google Maps.
12. SEO Quake
SEO Quake is a powerful plugin offering instant insights with real-time data. You can use this tool to analyze multiple aspects of your website’s performance, such as keyword ranking, backlink profile, website health, and more.
- You can conduct on-page SEO audits almost instantly.
- Examine external and internal links.
- Compare URLs and domains in real-time.
- Export the data easily.
13. ChatGPT & Google Bard (Free and Paid)
You must’ve heard of these amazing chatbots: ChatGPT and Google Bard. Here’s how these chatbots can help small businesses with SEO:
ChatGPT (Paid and Free):
- Content Creation: ChatGPT can help create quality content pieces that are SEO-friendly and insightful within seconds.
- Content Optimization: You can optimize the content as much as you want to meet the relevant criteria in terms of readability, engagement, and more.
- Fact-Check: Using the latest version of ChatGPT, you can check your content copy and make it completely error-free.
You can try ChatGPT 3.5 for free. However, the premium version has GPT4.0 and amazing features and costs just $20 monthly.
Google Bard is completely free.
- Schema Markup: Bard can analyze your content and help you create schema markup that matches your content.
- On-Page Optimization: You can identify the areas on web pages that might need improvement using Bard.
- Competitive Analysis: Using Bard, you can identify the top SEO competitors ranking for the keyword you want to rank for.
14. Screaming Frog (Free and Paid)
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is another invaluable tool that helps you with technical SEO audits. It can identify technical issues in your website’s architecture, meta tags, etc., that might impact your ranking and fix them.
Here’s what the Screaming Frog can help you do:
- Find Broken Links, Errors & Redirects
- Analyze Page Titles & Meta Data
- Review Meta Robots & Directives
- Audit hreflang Attributes
- Discover Exact Duplicate Pages
- Generate XML Sitemaps
- Site Visualizations
15. Looker Studio
Looker Studio, formerly Google Data Studio, is a free platform that builds custom SEO reports that you can use for tracking. You can even share these reports with your stakeholders and make data-driven decisions for a positive ROI.
Looker Studio allows you to connect multiple data sources, including,
- Google Ads, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics
- Facebook Twitter
- MySQL and BigQuery
On connecting the relevant data sources, you can create detailed dashboards that are visually interactive. Also, the tool pulls the data in real time, keeping the reports updated at all times.
16. Bing Webmaster Tools
Think of Bing Webmaster Tools as an alternative to Google Search Console that draws its data from Bing instead of Google. While you must consider Google your top priority when it comes to SEO campaigns, Bing’s AI features make it unignorable.
Bing is the next most popular search engine after Google, with millions of regular users. Yes, the market share is small, but including Bing and Google in your SEO strategy can give you an edge over your competitors.
- Keyword Analysis: You can identify how many times specific keywords are being searched for on Bing and optimize the content accordingly.
- Backlink Analysis: You can analyze and compare your and your competitor’s backlinks and create better link-building strategies.
- On-Page SEO: Webmaster tools offer SEO reports that you can use to identify potential areas of improvement in your site’s SEO.
Tips To Use Best SEO Software for Small Business
Now that you have the best SEO tools for small businesses, it’s time to use them to your advantage. But how to get started? Here are some tips to help you leverage the above tools and achieve SEO success for your small business:
1. Understand Your Goals
Before you jump into using the tools, it’s important you understand your goals. It’s because the tools will change based on your needs. For instance, if you want to increase user engagement, you may need tools for content optimization, and if you want speed, you might need technical SEO optimization tools.
2. Keyword Research
The first thing you need to do is perform keyword research, i.e., identify keywords you want to rank for or your competitors are ranking for.
Tools you can use: Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Answer The Public.
3. Content Optimization
After you have your keywords, you need to optimize the website content, i.e., including the keywords in your content, meta titles, descriptions, etc. Also, you’ll have to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
Tools you can use: Yoast, ChatGPT & Google Bard.
4. Improving Site Speed
Site speed is a crucial ranking factor for Google’s search algorithm. The better the speed, the better the user experience and the higher the search ranking.
Tools you can use: Page Speed Insights.
5. Monitoring Your Competitors
Without monitoring your competitors, you’ll have to reinvent the wheel to identify what works and what doesn’t. So, it’s essential to monitor your competitors and tweak your SEO strategies accordingly.
Tools you can use: Ahrefs & Semrush, Moz.
6. Track Your Progress
Tracking your SEO progress is important if you want to determine how your SEO efforts are performing. If they’re not performing as expected, you can make the necessary changes in your strategy and progress slowly.
Tools you can use: Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Google Search Console, Moz, Looker Studio.
7. Link Building
Link building is essential for the success of your SEO strategy. When you generate links from high-quality websites, their link juice travels to your website, improving your credibility, authority, and, eventually, your search ranking.
However, you need to identify the right link-building opportunities and analyze what your competitors are doing for the best results.
Tools you can use: Ahrefs & Semrush, Moz.
8. Local SEO
If you own a local bakery or similar business with a local store, you need to up your local SEO game. After all, this is the only way you’ll get seen in the SERPs of local search queries or Google Maps.
Tools you can use: Google My Business, BrightLocal.
9. Regular Audits
Regular SEO audits allow you to identify and fix the potential issues impacting your website’s performance.
Tools you can use: Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Moz.
10. Staying Updated
SEO is constantly evolving and requires you to be up-to-date with the latest trends if you want to outshine your competitors. Otherwise, you might end up using obsolete strategies that do you no good.
Tools you can use: Google Trends, Ahrefs & Semrush, Moz.
In this fast-paced world where technology is ever-evolving, you cannot expect to create an effective SEO strategy without the right tools. Best SEO tools for small businesses not only make you more efficient but add more value to each aspect of SEO, including keyword research, website analysis, and content creation.
So, go through the list of the best SEO tools for small businesses, as mentioned above, and build your own SEO tool kit. Get started with the free ones and move towards the paid ones as your needs expand.
Which Are the Best SEO Tools for a Beginner Small Business Owner?
Here are the best SEO tools for a beginner or advanced small business owner:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Business Profile
- Pagespeed Insights
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Screaming Frog
- Looker Studio
- SEO Quake
By including the above-mentioned tools in your SEO strategy, you can easily compete with established businesses who have dedicated SEO teams.
How do I choose SEO tools?
You must define your specific needs and goals to choose the right small business search engine optimization tools. Let’s say you need help with keyword research. You can go to Google Ads Keyword Planner. If you want to monitor your website’s position in SERPs, you can opt for GSC or Bright Local.
So, to choose the best SME search engine optimization tools, first understand your business needs. This will help you make the right decision.
How much do SEO tools cost?
The cost of SEO tools for small businesses depends on the tool you’re choosing and the features it offers.
For instance, the Lite plan from Ahrefs has basic features, including keyword explorer, site audit, rank tracker, and more, costing $99 per month. On the other hand, the Advanced plan comes with all the features of the Lite plan, web exploration, content grader, and more, which cost $399 per month.